Last night, Akemi and I attended a dinner hosted by our friends Steve and Jodi, a home cooked meal inspired by Steve’s Hungarian roots.  So, how did he do?  Here’s my review:

Iron Chef Steve
Lookit him go!!!

We arrived to find Steve hard at work, slaving over a hot stove.  There were a number of different dishes in play but he seemed calm and coordinated, moving effortlessly from pot to oven to slow cooker to the various plates lined up beside him.  This, I thought, was a good sign. He was prepared.  And, more importantly, was going to serve dinner at a reasonable hour.  There’s nothing I hate more than attending a dinner party where the meal is served a good one to two hours after the requested arrival time.  Not on this night, however.  I’m pleased to report that we were seated approximately fifteen minutes after our arrival.

1The starter was a traditional Hungarian soup containing duck hearts and livers – and, oh yeah, carrots and such.  I’m not a huge soup fan but I was mightily impressed, not only with the tender components (Akemi couldn’t stop talking about the ultra-carroty carrots) and flavorful broth, but the tiny and delightfully toothsome Hungarian noodles.  I would have had a second bowl (a rarity!) but decided to pace myself.  There was a lot of eating ahead.

1Our main course was, well, a bit of everything.  Slow-cooked tender beef goulash served over home made spaetzle, topped with sour cream. Tasty breaded, fried chicken livers that proved much more subtle than their calf counterparts.  Peas prepared in a thick roux.  And then rustic paprika-potato mash studded with marvelous smokey Hungarian sausage.  Fantastic.

At this point, we took a break so that Steve could open his belated birthday gift.  We got him a sampler from the Vancouver Olive Oil Company that included two types of olive oil, two flavored olive oils (garlic and harissa), and two balsamics (white peach and dark expresso).  On the box, Akemi had written: “Happy Deleted Birthday!”. Before leaving our place, she’d asked me what to write. I said: “Happy Belated Birthday”.  She started writing, got partway through and asked: “How do you spell delated?”.  “Not delated,”I said.  “BElated!”  “You said delated!”she insisted.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t say delated but, since she’d already written the d and e, I suggested we salvage the message by going with “deleted” instead.

I’m sure it didn’t affect the taste of the olive oil.

Then, it was on to dessert…

1An assortment of desserts from the old country compliments of Transylvania Flavour (and Steve who transported them home on his bike).  My favorite was the hazelnut pastry.

1Also for dessert, Steve’s belated deleted birthday cake which we picked up from Thomas Haas Patisserie.  Rich!  Decadent!  A thing of beauty!

The post-dinner entertainment was supplied by Steve and Jodi’s three year old daughter, Gemma, who led us all in a marathon session of X-Box Kinect (until I feigned an injury and rode out the rest of the night on the couch).

Iron Chef Steve
Iron Chef Steve
Judge Jodi
Judge Jodi

Excellent food and excellent service.  Free parking available with their visitor parking pass.

Highly recommended.

23 thoughts on “February 24, 2013: My review of dinner at Steve and Jodi’s!

  1. The whole meal sounds/looks so yummy! The deleted cake is pretty funny and totally understandable. Who cares what you write on it because it looked fantastic!!!!! Hi to your friends, Jodi, Gemma and Steve {waves} .

    One time we went to my brother-in-law’s house for a meal. We arrived at 4:00p.m. and didn’t eat until 11:30 that night! I would have eaten anything by that point. He smoked burgers and apparently, that takes a while. It was almost worth the wait. I’m not a big meat eater but those were the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. Or it could be that I was just starving and anything served to me would have been “the best ____I’ve ever eaten”. 😉

  2. G’day

    Wow, what a wonderful chef Steve is. Looks great.

    Well I rang hospital at correct time 9am, no word then, now it is 11am and still nothing. Poor Kris is hungry and not allowed to eat. Time to phone them again.

  3. Great looking food! I will say it sounds like a bit of a risk to review a friend’s dinner! 🙂 I do wish I could delete some of my birthdays, but not much chance of that, I suppose. The deleted birthday cake looks amazing. I expect it tasted as such.

    Kudos to Steve and Jodi for putting on such a great meal!

    @Tam Dixon: Perhaps your BIL could have started the burgers earlier? 😉

  4. OMG!! All that food looks devine! I would be too full to have dessert. Everything looks soooooo good! I’m drooling.

  5. Sounds great but I expect one needs special connections to swing a reservation. And how are you going to get Akemi to cook again if you treat her to dinners like this one? Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’d have to pass on the soup (liver AND hearts??! ACK!)…but the rest looks (and sounds!) awesome! I make a decent chicken paprikash thanks to some wonderful paprika my sister brought back from Hungary, but I’d never, ever invite you to try it, Joe…I’d be too dang afeared to see a blog entry entitled, “My Dinner at Das’ – Here’s My Review!…BLARGH!!!!!”



  7. *Pours a glass of wine and cracks open a dark chocolate bar*

    Just celebrating the end of awards season! (I assume the awards are over…PLEEEEAAASSEEE let them be over!!). I will probably skip watching the news the next few days (except for Stewart and Colbert, of course), just to avoid all the recaps of who won what and who wore what – I mean, who the hell cares??! The awards are nothing more than a popularity contest (I remember someone with voting privileges saying that it’s common to not even watch the movies, but just to vote for whatever director, producer, actor, etc, is a personal favorite), and the red carpet just a parade of pretentiousness. “OOO! Look who I’m wearing!” Ugh.

    (Keep in mind, I hate clothes, and will buy ten of the exact same thing just so I don’t have to waste time deciding what to wear…so I’m probably not the best judge of what goes down the red carpet. I just honestly do not get the whole ‘clothes and shoes’ thing most women are into – somewhere along the line I did NOT get that gene. A day at the mall for me is pure hell…a day in Home Depot for me is like Joey in a chocolate shop! 🙂 I do reclaim some of my girl cred when I’m let loose in Pier 1, however. 😀 )

    Anyways…after a long day out of town, I’m just sitting back and enjoying my wine, my chocolate, and my rugby…trying not to look at the clock because I know I really should be in bed. 😛


  8. those desserts look good!

    i’m currently drooling over stuff at thomas haas patisserie’s site open in another tab.

    that’s one of the problems with the internet, IMHO, you hear about some food place, look it up, drool over stuff & then whine about how you’ll never get to go there.

  9. G’day

    There is ALWAYS room for dessert.

    Well Kris did not go in for her tonsillectomy, a few emergencies went longer than they thought. Maybe in a few weeks.

  10. The meal looked lovely, but your friends even more so. Good choice for birthday cake Joe. You’re invited to my birthday party! If you can’t come – send cake!

  11. @Joe: All those desserts look GOOD! Course, if some vengeful so-in-so forced me to choose between savoury or sweet, I’d have to go with savoury! Crave salt, need salt … couldn’t manage without crisps (snacks are food) and tea. Okay, strictly speaking tea isn’t food but it’s like breathing – I need at least three cups a day to stop me from turning into a complete grouch. 🙂

    @Das. Nope, I didn’t get the clothes, shoes and handbag gene either! Which is good cuz I neither have the money nor time to indulge in clothes shopping … unless it’s shopping online, includes sci-fi, history and books and you can never find what you want in the high street anyway! Do I even need to mention communal changing room horrors? No, these days (at 5ft 2ins), I’m happy to find jeans which fit around my middle aged waist without falling to the ground and trailing in muddy puddles. 🙂

    I didn’t watch the Oscars – pretentious IS the right word! Gals squeezing into uncomfortable clothes on the red carpet all vying for ‘perspiration award’, while the guys wear what is essentially their Sunday Best. Didn’t we already know who would win in every single category? (I would’ve liked Hugh Jackman to take Best Actor though.)

    Are you watching 2013 Six Nations Championship? I don’t think there’s been a single match where it hasn’t rained or snowed. I’m not into footie at all but I do love Rugby. Dirty, rough, skilled men who don’t need to dress in silly clothes to play sport and aren’t worried about a few cuts and bruises!

    Massive smile on my face when we/England thrashed New Zealand’s All Blacks back in December 2012.

    Sunday’s Scotland v Ireland match was a tense nail biter! Still, I’ll say no more in case you’re not entirely caught up. Except I’m obviously hoping England goes on to lift the championship trophy. 🙂

  12. Those Desserts look amazing, shame about the rest lol. Not a fan of the stuff in those other dishes lol

  13. See now looking at that wonderful spread (yum) did not add any calories to my diet, thanks Joe, desserts look marvelous also. Happy Bday to your friend Steve. It Is good to have friends who know your oven is broken.
    ~we had a great time yesterday<sunday, at the Daytona 500 race, longest part was waiting in line for bus to take you back to car lot. But otherwise fun. catching us on lost sleep today. Have a terrific day!

  14. gforce: Yes, starting earlier would have been nice. At 10:00 I would have been happy with peanut butter with crackers.

    Janet: Good luck with your daughter. Too bad they had to put it off. Do you live in the states?

  15. Everything looks very tasty, especially the spaetzle and yummy soup, mm! Now I will head out to lunch with a hankering for pastry.

    I’m worn out from the Oscars and hoping no one talks to me today, I just want to sit propped up in my cubicle and spend the day rocking to Shirley Bassey and Adele on my headphones.

  16. I could get into that goulash right about now…no problem! You can send me a deleted birthday cake next week, Joe. Thanks! 😉

  17. Grrrr! Browser has crashed twice while trying to post here…grrrr!!

    Gonna make this quick…

    @ DP – Thanks for the info! Will check out some of the things you mentioned.

    @ Susan Bowden – Only getting four or five 6 Nations matches (on BBC America). I still have to watch the France v England match from this past weekend. Did not get the Scotland v Ireland match. A pity, since I tend to favor Scotland, and this year they are doing a little better than in past years.

    Still, my heart lies with the southern hemi teams since it was through them that I was first introduced to the sport. The Super Rugby competition has just started, and that means taping and watching at least 6 matches every weekend from now until mid-summer. THAT’S a lot of rugby!

    As far as that Match That Will Not Be Mentioned…let’s just say that the AB probably had a case of food poisoning. 😉 (Reference to their World Cup loss back in 1995 to the Springboks…)

    That all said, I do have a soft spot in my heart for a couple northern hemi players – Billy Twelvetrees because he has like, the best wild west name, ever!

    And Tom Biggs. I only saw him play a few times this season, but what I saw was impressive – he’s not the fastest or the biggest guy out there, but he’s fearless, especially in the tackle. That, plus he as great hair. 😉

    Okay – I hope this posts. Here goes nothing…


  18. I was inspired: ‘m making spaetzle for dinner tonight along with green beans with bacon and onions, bratwurst with caramelized onions and applesauce. Aaaaaand beer.

  19. Sounds yummy, Sparrow! ‘Cept I can’t have the beer NO more. 🙁 But I can have whine…I mean, wine! 😀


  20. Equally as aggravating is when you have dinner ready 15 minutes after the agreed-upon meeting time only for your guests to be an hour late. That deleted birthday cake looks heavenly.

    I was thinking to myself how funny your blog would be if you ever ate at my house. I think you would opt out of trying to write one just to be polite. Maybe in the next life I’ll be a foodie.

  21. Do the take reservations? does the chef have his “landed” status…I would hate this talent to be returned to Hungary! MMMM!

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