A couple of months ago, I was reconsidering this whole blog thing.  In truth, after 4+ years of daily blogging, I was thinking about calling it quits or, at the very least, scaling back.  I was on the fence and so, elected to look ahead to my next milestone post – the big 2-0-0-0.  I decided that once I reached 2000, I would sit back, take stock and choose: stop and call it a blog at an impressive 2000, or keep on going.

I thought about it.  Considered.  Reconsidered.  And then, yesterday, a clearly disappointed Akemi asked: “You’re not going to write about my birthday dinner?”

3000, here I come!

Last night, before heading out to dinner, Akemi and I shared a little pre-dinner appetizer/birthday gift: chocolates from Beta 5, a new chocolate shop here in Vancouver.  I think that Beta 5 deserves it’s own post so I’ll keep this brief: if you’re in town, go check them out.  It’s worth the trip.  They make a dark chocolate and cocoa nib bar that is nothing short of outstanding.  It now rivals Amedei Chuao as my favorite bar.

April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Akemi was very impressed with their chocolate assortment - the flavors, the quality of the chocolate but, most importantly, the expert-thin chocolate shells.

For dinner, we headed over to Campagnola: Roma to visit Akemi’s fave chef, Jane Cornborough.

April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Akemi impatiently awaits a night of pizza and pasta.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Sausage pizza with salsa verde, spicy/sweet/sour peppers, and an egg on top. Fantastic.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Risotto with caramelized onions and crispy provolone. Very good but we only ate half figuring we would pace ourselves. As it so happened, the risotto was completely outshined by the...
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Spaghetti Pomodoro with basil. Wow. This one reminded me of my favorite Toronto pasta: Scarpetta's spaghetti with tomato and basil. Simple, perfectly cooked, but incredibly flavorful.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Akemi awaits dessert.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Cha-daa! Birthday tiramisu!
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
The meal has ended. Sad Usagi makes an appearance.

We’ll be seeing Chef Jane again very soon.  She’s agreed to prepare a 5-course Akemi birthday meal at our place next week.

Today, I was downtown where I met up with blog regular, gforce, for a mini Vancouver culinary tour-de-force.  We hit three food trucks and two macaron shops.  Not bad for a rookie.

April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
We started off at the Kaboom Box. He had the salmon sandwich, I went with oyster po'boy.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Then, over to Japa Dog. He had the teri-mayo (kurobuta pork with mayo and seaweed) while I went with the Okonomi.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Then it was over to the Ursu Korean Barbecue for chicken tacos.

The secret is to keep moving, even when you’re eating.  Burn off the calories as quickly as you consume, then start again from 0 at the next stop.

April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Our fist macaron stop: Bel Cafe. Then we headed over to Soirette for round two.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Once we were done, we met up with Akemi (who bowed out because she was still full from last night). Referring to Gary - "He's very nice,"she said. "A good listener." Apparently, he hears that all the time.

Thanks to Gary for coming out this afternoon.  And an extra special thanks for suggesting the title for today’s blog entry.

Finally, tonight, we met up with Rob and his date (his daughter) for dinner at the Oakwood Bistro…

April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Gasp! We're eating again?!
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
The kale salad.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
The smoked brisket poutine.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
My tuna main.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Rob gave me the update on his various projects on-the-go. There was one series idea he told me about that I loved so much I already requested a seated in the writers' room.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
Fact: Desserts taste better in jars.
April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!
How's this for a capper? Rob's daughter totally makes me look like bad by presenting Akemi with her own homemade birthday card.

And tomorrow I go in for my annual physical.  Talk about terrible timing.  I can just imagine the results of the blood test: “I’m sorry, Mr. Mallozzi.  I’m not sure sure how to tell you this but, according to these test results, you passed away three months ago.”

42 thoughts on “April 19, 2012: 2001 – A Food Odyssey!

  1. YAY – the real super heroine is AKEMI! Here she comes to save the day.

    Akemi chan, arigato gozaimashta for saving the blog.

    As usual, the food looks spectacular. Looking forward to pix and commentary on the special Akemi birthday dinner coming up. COOOOLness.

  2. YAY! The blog goes on! I’m in your time zone, so it’s my daily nightcap – I would miss it terribly! (Thank you, Akemi!)

  3. So. Much. Food.

    Actually, even at the end I never felt more than comfortably full. As Joe says, the walking gives things time to settle and burn off, plus the fact that it’s good quality food helps a lot too.

    Big thanks to Joe for being such a great food tour guide. He’s a total gentleman and a class act all the way. And Akemi is every bit as lovely and gracious as you might expect.

    Now, I’m still feeling a little full, but those chocolates are looking mighty tempting!

  4. @ gforce – Nice to ‘meet’ you!! I’m jealous! Not because you got to meet Akemi and Joe, but because you got to go on a foodie adventure with them! 2001: A Food Odyssey, indeed! (GREAT title, btw!)

    @ Lewis – Well, Mr. Das does have a katana… 😉 (We’re still working on the long hair – of any color – but it’s not something he can easily get away with in his line of work…or with his mother. 🙄 )

    @ Akemi – You are, indeed, Joe’s muse. I am so glad you came into his life, both to inspire him, and to keep him in line. 🙂

    @ Joey – If it makes you feel any better, I stopped giving out cards (of the ‘occasion’ sort) long ago. No one really reads them. Instead I put my sincere all into Thank Yous (because I think it’s so important in our increasingly rude society), Thinking of Yous (because some people just need to know others care), and Sympathys (my least favorite because it’s hard to find the right words, but sometimes the card is just enough – a ‘hug’ in an envelope). I also try to write real letters when I have the time. I’m all about trying to save the dying arts.

    das

  5. What a great way to start blog 2,001 (yeah to your decision to continue). I was practically drooling by the end of it. Your food focused blogs are among my favorites. The pictures alone were great. We have just started to get food trucks here in Atlanta and in fact we have a food truck park opening soon that will be open 7 days/week for lunch and dinner. On weekends it will be joined by an organic food market. Can’t wait to try eating Joe style, but I am not too sure about zero calorie start for each new truck item you try. Oh, if it was only true. By the way, please tell Akemi she made a beautiful birthday girl.

  6. Going for 3000!! Thanks Akemi!

    Beautiful box of chocolates!!

    Hi gforce! Does Joe really eat it all or does he take some home?

    Good luck with your physical. They’ll probably find chocolate in your blood.

  7. Ohhhh… egg on pizza…I’m going to try that tomorrow for Friday-Pizza-Movie-Night! Thanks for the picture/suggestion! I’m trying to imagine how egg would go with Asiago Cheese and Pesto Pizza…I’ll just have to try it and see 😉

    Looks like you all had a fun food tour with gforce. If you ever fly to Chicago, you’re welcome to join sylvia, Sparrow_Hawk, and myself on a mini food tour as well. For May we’re targeting Sushi, and for June we’re doing a sweet-shop/Japanese tea shop/cafe day. Lou, you’re very welcome to join us too…see:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chicagolandfoodietour/

    Look under calendar/events for dates and times, but we only have the May date set at the moment.

  8. Hey Joe,

    I am so happy to hear that 💁Akemi has encouraged you to continue the blog. I not only enjoy the usual favorites…but I have come to enjoy and look forward to 🚕The Adventures of Joe & Akemi🚗.

    🌷Thank You🌷 Akemi…you really are some kind of wonderful.

    Best to you Joe, Akemi & Pups
    Always,
    Cheryl 🌸

  9. Thank you Akemi for giving Joe the best reason to keep writing.

    Joe, plz post ur cholestrol and blood sigar numbers……… Cant wait to see those !

  10. @das: Thanks! And I agree with you about the cards. As far as sympathy goes, I’ve unfortunately had way too many opportunities to express it over the past year – but I’ve found it’s not really necessary to say anything other than “I’m sorry.”. Your mere presence in a time of need says all that needs to be said.

    @Ponytail: Joe (and I) ate every bite!

  11. @ das

    I’m getting ready to cut my hair, I’ve grown it out the past year and it’s now past shoulder length… I was going to give it to Locks of Love, but could send it to Mr. Das if you like. He could weave it into a removable wig and his mother would never be the wiser. Unfortunately it’s not albino color, but is strawberry-blonde which is pretty close to ginger (just don’t tell Dr. Who that tho).

  12. LOL we’d ALL like to see your cholesterol and A1C (3 mo blood sugar) levels.

    I am sure you know I am so happy you are not quitting. This is more than just you, you have a community. More than fans, less than family, but we sure care.

    I tried lavender and rose with cranberry macarons this week. OMG.I thought— who the hell eats flower flavored food? My daughter is in France and declared they are popular there as well as lavender beer, so wth.. I got them. I LOVED THEM. Sadly I got a strawberry/pistachio one that truly, if they were going for laundry detergent flavor, they would win awards. But it was fresh and flavorful, just not a flavor I wanted to have.

    Hell, just on expanding the palates of all your minions you are indeed doing a good service. 3000? Lets hope for 4000 and beyond. 🙂

  13. @ gforce – Thanks. You just confirmed my suspicions that Joe has a tapeworm. 😀

    Also, when it comes to someone who is mourning, sometimes the best medicine is a hug. I remember once when dad was in hospital and I was stressed to the point of a near breakdown, and some guy I barely knew (only knew him as the ex of a guy I went to school with – didn’t even know his last name), saw me in the store, asked me what was wrong (he could tell just by looking at me that I wasn’t well), and I told him about my dad. He said, “You know what you need? A hug.” And he hugged me, and it worked…it worked wonders. I will never forget that moment, ever. Over the years I’ve come to know him better, but haven’t seen him in a while, until last Sunday at the memorial service for George. Needless to say, we gave each other big hugs again. 🙂

    @ Lewis – Thankies, but I could never take away from such a noble cause. Afterall, Locks of Love is far more important than Locks for Fetishes. 😛 But, hey – it’s the thought that counts! 😀

    das

  14. Belated Happy Birthday Akemi!

    Belated congrats on #2000 Joe.

    Thanks Gforce for hanging out with Joe and the title.

    Thanks Akemi for encouraging Joe to continue on. 😀

  15. Yay, 3000! I was prepared to be very sad if you decided 2000 was it. I don’t know what I would do without your pups and food adventures and general humor. The internet would seem empty. 😉

    Pizza with an egg on top? I just…I don’t understand. Not that I would think it would taste bad per se (breakfast pizza=yum!) but as dinner? Who thought that up?lol That being said, I really want that brisket poutine. That sounds amazing.

    And seriously, I can’t get over how cute Akemi’s dress is. 😀

  16. gforce, how long are you in town for? Are you booked for the rest of your stay here? I meant to suggest a hang-out when you said you were passing through, but then I got caught up in the terror of studying for an exam I felt very ill-prepared for. But the horror is all over now, so if you’ve still got some time to kill here and want to kill it with me, let me know.

  17. Hmmm, Birthday Month? Very impressive!! The food pictures were fantastic. Happy Birthday Akemi! I’m glad he is treating you like a princess.

    gforce: You rock!

    Mr. M.: Good luck on the physical!

  18. No, never call it quits Joe! This site is one of the few truly inventive sites on a Net becoming increasingly burdened with spam and soulless sites in general. I’m sure I’ll still be reading and throwing in the odd comment when you get to 3,000 daily blogs.

  19. NICE! Glad you’re continuing on Joe!

    Your food odyssy with geforce got me thinking: You should run a contest like the old “Get in the Gate Sweepstakes”. Pick one winner at random and fly them and a guest to Vancouver for a three day, two night stay at Casa Mallozzi. Include a culinary tour of your favorite restaurants, shops and food trucks. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s full of WIN!

    FYI: some of the pics from Akemi’s birthday dinner are not showing. The captions are there though.

    Happy Friday peeps!

  20. YAY! My morning Dunk’in Donut coffee and I are VERY HAPPY this Blog Lives! Onward to 3000 and beyond! (thanks Joe)

    Thank you AKEMI for your “Joe inspiration” and sweet thank you’s (from yesterday’s post).
    And good to see gforce. We all envy your “food odyssey” time with Joe — lucky guy. 😉
    We ARE a community here you know…

    2cats
    So glad it is Friday, TGIF — BIG TIME.

  21. Whoot! So glad you’re going to keep going Joe…get that doctor told. There is life in the ‘old’ dog owner yet!

    Hope you head over my way some day. I’d love to meet you. Let me know first though. I’d need to diet for at least six months…

  22. @Joe: So glad you’re going to keep going with the blog. It is also my daily nightcap as I read it in the evening hours before going to bed. Got a question for you. I am working on setting up my own blog and like the wordpress set-up. I am guessing that you have the upgrades since you post video. My question is: What do you think of them? Is that the right way to go especially for someone who eventually wants to try and publish? From things you have said about this blog making you disciplined, I’m thinking it’s something I need too. I do make time to work on my projects every day, but I’m thinking this would help me as well. Any input you could give would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks so much and have a great day!!!!!

  23. @Deb: Thanks for posting about the Atlanta food trucks. We are very close to there and will probably be there at least once this summer for a Braves game. (Hubby and sons are VERY BIG BRAVES fans.)

  24. Hi Mr M!

    I’M BACK!!!

    Miss me?

    After an inexcusable absence of wayyyy tooo long, I am back “A votre service”.

    Hi to all the Regulars *lifts glass*.

    So what did I miss?

    There was a crazy wildfire rumour over on Twitter that you were *gasp* thinking of leaving Blogtown???!! But I see, the Blog goes on!! Phew!!

    Life happens when you are trying to live – I have often droppped in but not commented of late. (shame on me)

    Have been following Cookie Monster’s reviews of the movies…which I thoroughly love!

    Can you believe it is now just over FOUR years since we all met up in Fuel for the Fan Fuelled Dinner?? Where has the time gone?

    In any case, am over on Twitter.

    Have started an interesting Science Project with a pal over there. It’s here : http://www.twitter.com/Science140

    Check it out! Ideas, concepts and science thoughts – all in 140 character limit. Think Soduku for Science nerds!!

    I dropped you an email Mr M (at moorsyum?) hope it still works.

    Will def be commenting again soon all…

    Best from (amazingly) sunny Ireland.

    Shirt’n’Tie

  25. SGU programming alert! 5am eastern on SciFi. Saturday morning..all pub is good pub eh?
    and I noticed a 6-10am eastern Get Smart mini-marathon on CLOO as well if anyone is interested…

    Great looking foods!
    congrats gforce for “surviving”
    always good to see Rob “Hi Rob!”

  26. SGU @ 5am Sat on SciFi if anyone might want to watch, hope they show it more, it can’t hurt!

    Congrats Gforce for keeping pace with Joe!

    Great looking bd meal Akemi.

    Hey Rob!

    Cheers!

  27. @ Shirt’n’Tie – Yes, I’ve missed you!! I’ve stopped by your blog now and then to see what’s up. Glad to have you with us again!

    das

  28. G’day Joe

    Very glad to hear you are headed towards 3000. Made my very awful week much, much better.
    Yay for Akemi, encouraging you to continue.
    Food looks delicious.

  29. Joe is continuing his blog…..(sounder) rambunctious group of kids applauding (aka Jerry Doyle show)!

    FOOD Glorious FOOD, Makes me want to go get some……
    Wow, I was really planning to visit YVR this summer and patron some of those restaurants you often mentioned. With the untimely closure of Refuel, I was rethinking my trip schedule. In viewing this post you have reinvigorated my desire for that “weekend” plan.

    Back in my PeaceCorps days my roommate saw me making pancakes. I told him you can put many things in a pancake, like bananas (it was Thailand how would have thought.), other fruit, nuts (like cashews), etc. He listened and nodded and then asked, “What about chicken?”

    Physical tomorrow? Good thing Cookie Monster is not reviewing “the 3 amigos.”

  30. Those chocolates look so good. I wish we had a good chocolate place in my city, but I’m afraid it’s too small.

    Do you have lunches with blog regulars often? (Just, you know, so I know, in case I ever go to Vancouver again…)

  31. Wow those chocolates. Any left?

    This blog is a tremendous achievement at 2,000 posts. Congrats on the milestone.

  32. those chocolates look good.

    i, for one, am looking forward to the next 2,000 (or 1,999, rather) blog posts.

    but like some people suggested when you talked about cutting back; you could re-post favorite entries or have guest bloggers now and then to give yourself a break.

  33. Offering up a “Halelujah!” Thank you Joe for for continuing the blog. 😀

    I fourth or fifth the notion that I’d never have met the most wonderful people/friends without this community. We really are a Blog Family here, ’cause you’re The BlogFather… mmm, somewhere between The Sopranos and Men in Black. 😀

    Did MIB ever do a comic book? Cuz then maybe Cookie Monster could review the movies. (Another guilty pleasure.) The 3rd one comes out this Memorial Day / Indy 500 weekend.

    Must go. Brain is nearly toast after baby-sitting toddler nephew.

    Love ya, Joe. THANK YOU, AKEMI!!!!!

  34. Btw…Chef Jane coming to your house to cook for Akemi…that is awesome!! I can’t wait for that blog. That may take a special two parter blog to get everything in. I want to hear all about it.

  35. Chocolates – yummy!!!

    Yay finally some food that I am sure I would like!!

    The risotta and spaghetti pomodori look delish! And wow, that smoked brisket looks to die for! And those deserts look good too!

    Love the title of the day!! Will you also be having a space odyssey them for 2010, 2061, and 3001 coinciding with Odyssey 2, 3 and the final one? 🙂

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