Unlike a lot of people, I actually enjoy the company of chatty cab drivers. Rather than sitting forlornly in the back of the taxi, silently contemplating a script, the last book I read, or whether or not that snoopy neighbor is going to discover the cadavers of the two vagrants buried underneath the toolshed, I prefer to engage the driver in conversation. It always make for an interesting, occasionally thrilling ride – like the time we were in Tokyo and our cabbie, amazed by the fact that I could actually speak some Japanese, spent most of the ride turned around in his seat, excitedly chatting away, cheerily oblivious to the oncoming traffic. Or the time Fondy and I were heading back to Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris and were regaled with a lengthy lesson on the evils of French colonial policies in Africa. Our driver, an affable enough fellow who hailed from Cameroon, bemoaned the persistent French influence on the politics of his homeland. And then, upon learning Fondy and I were engaged to be married: “For your honeymoon, you come to Cameroon. You will love the food; the people.” And then, suddenly dead serious: “If you are French, we kill you.” Before brightening: “But if you are not French, you will be treated like kings.” I assured him that I would think about it. In the end, we went to Hawaii instead.

Cab drivers can often be depended upon for a good restaurant recommendation or two – not just the hot spots but those diamond in the rough family-run hole-in-the-wall eateries that eschew hoidy-toidy bells and whistles like tableclothes, complimentary bread baskets, and, on occasion, cutlery, to focus on the food. Dishes like Au Petit Café’s family-recipe meatballs, Long’s Noodle House’s tong sum choy with bean paste, or Zukkushi’s home made zaru tofu are out there just waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is ask someone to point you in the right direction. If you’re new in town, try asking the cabbie ferrying you from the airport to your hotel. Or, if you’re coming to Vancouver and prefer to plan ahead, check out urbandiner.ca, the egullet boards, or this blog (natch).

And speaking of little gems – even though it’s not a restaurant, I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite top-quality meat shop in the city, Nikuya Meats (107-2828 East Hastings Street, http://www.nikuya.ca), where I swung by today and picked up two luscious-looking Kobe Beef rib steaks from Snake River Farms. Pricey, yes, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, kobe beef is the way to go. Nikuya also carries other meats including Kurobuta Pork (Japanese Black Hog) that is supposedly more rich in flavor than your average pork. I have yet to confirm this, but I did pick up a frozen ham for next week.

So, let’s see what’s on your mind…

Teri writes: “While I both agree to a degree with the comments you made re the fandom (…) it’s rather unfair to deride them for going off without all the information and then doing nothing to alter their lack of knowing. And I say that fully aware that you may not be in a position to divulge said information, in which case perhaps the mocking was less than the best road to take. (…) So, you know, maybe try to avoid the sweeping generalizations?”

Answer: Unfortunately, no one involved in a production can be as forthcoming as they’d like to be. Fans of any show will be left in the dark to varying degrees and while I do sympathize with said fans (some of whom may view any change with a certain amount of trepidation), I don’t sympathize with those who devote their online activities to finger-pointing and baseless assumptions. As for the sweeping generalizations, I was and have been pretty clear about which specific group of fans I was referring to. Naturally that won’t stop others from choosing to lump themselves in with this group and revel in their exquisite faux persecution but that pretty much reinforces my point as well. Finally, when it comes to this blog, people come for the mock but stay for the food pics.

Anonymous writes: “Can we please have some sort of hint of how much we’re going to be seeing Elizabeth?! *gives puppy dog pout* Pwease?!”

Answer: Can’t say too much about what we have in store specifically for season 4. However, I can reveal that the Weir character will be a significan player in a major arc.

Mary Beth writes: “What was that dish a few days ago with the stuffed oranges? And yes I do feel “entitled” to knowing the name of that dish. I also feel entitled to seeing some ice cream recipes since you mercilessly teased us with their names way back when on your old GW blog.”

I believe you’re referring to the spicy tuna sashimi from Octopus Garden (served in the hollowed-out oranges). As for the ice cream recipes – I’ll be getting back into the ice cream making in the coming months and I promise to include pics and recipes.

Joe writes: “Do you find it hard to write and maintain a blog like this?”

Answer: This blog was originally intended to be a food/travel blog. But, upon my return from Asia, I decided to continue chronicling my adventures in eating – and whatever else crossed my mind. I’ve kept up the pace of posting daily as a means of forcing myself to write. Also, I can’t stop taking pictures of my meals.

16 thoughts on “January 18, 2007

  1. Hey There Joe M,

    I figured I should refer to you as Joe M since I happen to be a Joe as well. I guess I’ll be Joe A, or “Joe Also”.

    I imagine its hard to write the “Whatever Else” part of the blog. I believe what you are doing is a good thing, letting people see that the faces behind Stargate are real people. Don’t get discouraged. More people enjoy this blog, then don’t enjoy it.

    As for Cab Drivers, I agree with you. When I do take a cab I enjoy the conversation. Like when you get a haircut, you want the person that is giving you the cut to talk with you and keep you occupied. Otherwise you jus kind of look around in uncomfortable silence. That’s what I find at least.

    I hope you don’t mind a little bit of random comments on your blog from me, maybe even daily. Writing something a day is one thing everyone should do. Especially when it involves encouraging someone else, maybe when they don’t even need it. I guess I could say it helps me to clear my mind as well, responding. Again, thank you for putting up a blog for people to read publically.

    – Another Joe

    P.S. I’ll refrain from the Bad ‘Joe’ Jokes today, till I think of a good one.

  2. As for the sweeping generalizations, I was and have been pretty clear about which specific group of fans I was referring to.

    You both were and weren’t. I wasn’t in any way offended by your original comments but even I had to read it a couple of times to see any kind of delineation. What we write doesn’t always equate to how it’s perceived.

    Naturally that won’t stop others from choosing to lump themselves in with this group and revel in their exquisite faux persecution but that pretty much reinforces my point as well.

    To be fair, you are poking a stick in the tiger’s cage. Are you free to do so? You bet. Do they deserve it? To a degree, hell yes, but at the same time, and even though this is your personal blog, you are one of TPTB and, while wickedly funny, the snark *is* derisive even to fans that aren’t the ones you’re aiming at. That’s what a lot of the fans that actually weren’t being wanky are very angry about. Solid fans of the show are concerned about Season 4. Not the hypercritical, deconstructive fans either, but the regular run-of-the-mill like the show for what it is fans. And this hasn’t done anything to ease their concern, and has actually made the show look bad.

    I’m not trying to tell you that you’re wrong for doing it, but rather trying to remind you that this will *always* have collateral damage and cause kerfluffle. And I get being totally okay with that – because lord knows I’ll be the first to admit that I am no different – but the tonality, and responsibility, is very much different when the snark is coming from one of the exec producers versus. ymmocv.

    Finally, when it comes to this blog, people come for the mock but stay for the food pics.

    mmmmmm, food.

  3. I thought that was a Kobe beef steak. I went to visit the cows when I was in Japan and they honestly looked like the happiest cows I’ve seen in a long time. And damn the meat is good. I’ve only ever had slivers on top of sushi but everytime I eat steak I’m dissapointed because it’s just not the same.

  4. Yes, cab drivers can be amazing people. I remember a cab driver who took us home from Charles de Gaulle airport when we were back from our 2-week trip to the US. He nicely told us what happened in France when we were away…
    Most of the time, cab drivers know more about your city than you. Chatting with them can be so intersting…

    On another topic : Weir plays a major role in a major arc? Wow.
    Thank you Joe, that’s all I wanted to hear to cheer me up! ^^ I can’t wait to see what that role is.

  5. I am still craving that turkey sandwich from yesterday like a drooling mad bastard. Gosh darn your hide for posting it and getting me obsessed with delicious turkey, creamy mayo and luscious cranberry sauce. I prefer mine on a buttery croissant of course. There is this little mom-and-pop place in Denver that makes them. Unfortunately, I am trapped in a job I can barely tolerate for another 48 hours before sweet freedom will allow me to hit the Goodfriends or Racine’s take out. 😉

    Hey and happy Friday to you!

  6. Hey Joe,

    So have a question for ye. If you had to have the same meal everyday for a month what would it be and why?
    Me I hear you ask? Chicken Enchilada’s UMMMMMMM….

    Irishchick x

  7. Ok, what is your secret? I look at your pictures of food and I feel the added weight sneaking on. Eating healthy and exercising is boring, but is what I have to do if I expect to find that sexy body under all my well earned mom fat. Then you talk about all these cool foods you eat. So, I live vicariously for the time being, wishing I knew your secret. So, talk, before I get the desk lamp and rubber hose.

    Arctic Goddess

  8. Joe M: I believe you’re referring to the spicy tuna sashimi from Octopus Garden (served in the hollowed-out oranges).

    You know, at first I thought this read, “stuffed octopus”…and I felt my lunch rumble in my stomach unhappily. 🙂 I like tuna…but I don’t know what sashimi is…is this a type of sushi?

    Joe M: As for the ice cream recipes – I’ll be getting back into the ice cream making in the coming months and I promise to include pics and recipes.

    I’m really glad. I’d love to see some pictures and recipes…but then I’ve been whinging about this for forever.

    In fact there was one in particular that I remember really drooling over so it must have been a coffee/chocolate combo of some kind.

    Oh and how about this…when I went to your old blog to see if i could trip over the name of that specific ice cream blend, I noticed something interesting. It’s been a YEAR almost to the day since you “left” GateWorld. How about that?!??

    You are of course welcome to return to GW…but be warned; you might want to wear don flame retardant clothing in some sections. 😀

    Mary Beth

  9. I like to talk to the cab drivers too. I had a wonderful experience with the best cab drive in Vancouver when I was there over last summer. He became my unofficial ‘driver’ to the various production sets I was visiting to do interviews. By the second day he moved me up into the front seat next to him so we could chat without the danger of him glancing around his shoulder so much that it might cause an accident.

    I took him out to breakfast for being so kind, staying with me to make sure I had a ride back when I had to go all the way to Ridgemeadows to interview Michael Shanks and George Mendeluk on the set of Under the Mistletoe. The cabbie had memorized the dialog from the scene we were watching being filmed.

    I’m looking forward to you going back to talking about ice cream, oh and chocolate would be great to mention too, if possible:)


  10. Every time I read this blog I either come away with indigestion or an insatiable urge to go raid the refrigerator.

    I agree with you about the cab drivers, however be wary when trying to engage a driver when you’re on the streets of Cairo. Your life usually depends on it. If you do end up being hit by a car or your cab hits someone/something else, he’s the best man to have on your side.

    I’m looking forwards to the ice cream recipes too. If you do plan on experimenting maybe you might come up with something that involves Irish Cream as an ingredient?

    Now I am going to go see if I can find something to eat, I think I still have some tamale pie left over from last night.

  11. Joe:

    Speaking of food, are you going to be attending NATPE? If so, ath the tvweek.com site they are asking attendees to ‘shout out’ about where they will be eating in Las Vegas while they are there. It’s an online form you fill out.


  12. Joe,

    Do any of the cast and crew (of SG-1 and SGA, and including yourself) have any of the current gen gaming consoles (Wii, X-Box 360, and/or PS3)?

  13. As I have never been in a cab before (I’m from a small town in Indiana and lived in a small town in Texas.) I will definately remember to talk to a cabbie the first time I get in one.

    Strange, 23yrs old and never been in a cab. Good thing?

    Your food this blog-entry looks delicious. I will be doing alittle Texas bbq tomorrow night. Football and meat!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  14. Thank you so much for answering my Elizabeth question, you’re awesome, and as promised, you will be loved forever! Thanks!

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