Category Archives: Food

Whether its restaurants or something I cook on my own, its right here.

How Coffee Is Made - The El Trapiche Coffee Plantation Tour in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Ever wonder how coffee is made? On a trip to Costa Rica last year, I found out just how it's done. I took a tour of the El Trapiche Plantation in Monteverde, Costa Rica and they showed us just how the process is done. With my daughter Lexi strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn, I managed to get as much footage as I could to put together the video below. Enjoy!

It's interesting to hear that Costa Rican people don't actually do any of the picking. Much of the labor comes from neighbouring countries. It was definitely cool to see how the wake up juice of most Internet entrepreneurs is made.

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I Flatlined at Hog Shack Cookhouse's Flat Line Burger Challenge

This past Saturday during our regular DotComPho time, we decided to change venues. But this new venue had a food challenge. Of course, being the one who tackled the 12 Egg Omelet, 4 lb Bowl of Pho, and Burritozilla, I stepped up to the plate to take on Hogshack's Flatline Burger Challenge; a monster two patty double burger topped with two individual grilled cheese sandwhiches that replace your standard garden variety buns. If your maths are up to snuff, that's four slices of thick bread and cheddar cheese inside. Add to that two more slices of cheese to cover the individual patties, special home made mayo, four thick cut tomato slices and romaine lettuce and you have a very tall order. Oh...one more thing...

The challenge dictates that you need to take a side dish. That could be their awesome hand cut fries or a garden or caesar salad. But the kicker of this challenge is time: 5 minutes is all you get to complete this meal. If you take it all down in the challenge time, you get it for free!

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ASUS Sends an Early Xmas Gift

Today I got a package from ASUS, those guys that make netbooks and motherboards. Since I've gotten packages in the past from companies like ASUS, I thought this was just another piece of hardware that was in need of reviewing. We do often get things just showing up on our doorstep and I was just going to toss it into the pile to check out after Xmas till I opened it up and saw that it was just a little more special than what we normally come across.

The package was stacked five tiers tall and held together with an elaborate bow. It was like one of those fancy wedding cakes. The bow was topped off with a snowflake encrusted with sparkles. I know that ASUS has been experimenting with the unboxing experience with some of their products but nothing this elaborate. Could it be a prototype EeePC or maybe a new media player, cellphone or piece of hardware? I was excited.

I took the bow off and saw that it consisted of five boxes of different sizes. I was leaning towards it being a new cellphone because obviously we need boxes for a charger, case and probably other accessories. Since BC is cracking down on driving and cellphone use, maybe it was an assortment of ASUS' latest cellphone gadgets?

I started with the smallest box and found some chocolates inside from Cheryl&Co, makers of high end gourmet brownies, cakes and fancy cookies, including seasonal cut-out cookies topped with a signature buttercream frosting. So of course, being me, I eat them and move on. But as I moved on, it revealed more and more tasty treats from Cheryl&Co but no gadgets. Hmm...

So here I am surrounded by some tasty treats. In fact, a quick look at the Cheryl&Co website revealed that this little slice of dessert/cookie heaven was in the $49 buck price range. This definitely isn't your typical COSTCO gift box of miscellaneous Xmas biscuits. Since I'm a bit of a connoisseur of all things edible I have to say that I'm quite taken back by just how tasty these high end treats are. Someone from ASUS was definitely reading my blog and knew how to butter up this Editor In Chief. More pics of this gift pack after the jump if you have a huge sweet tooth like me.

So as I'm sitting here stuffing my face with cookies, I'd like to take this chance to wish everyone Happy Holidays and  I hope that all your Xmas Wishes come true. Now go make me proud and demolish that Xmas Turkey, Stuffing and Ham 🙂

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Stephen Fung vs. Fraiche's Full Sized Burger Slider and Fries Challenge

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This past Wednesday I battled traffic all the way out to the North Shore mountains to sample a burger created by the culinary minds at Fraiche Restaurant. This restaurant, nestled amongst the treetops is located in the heart of suburbia in West Vancouver. In fact, I didn't even realize you could put a restaurant this far into a residential area. I guess even the Uber Rich get peckish after a long day of mergers and acquisitions. Of course, a 7-11 simply won't do.

So, after having a morning business meeting in Coquitlam, I ventured off to meet up with John Chow and Ed Lau to take on this new gourmet burger on the block. As you are well aware, I'm no stranger to gourmet burgers. Both the late great Feenie Burger and it's less decadent replacement, the dB Burger have fallen victim to my voracious appetite.

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Fraiche Restaurant's take on the gourmet burger starts with an 8oz organic beef patty. They then add truffle pecorino, foie gras butter, caramelized onions to the mixed followed by pancetta, and a side of house-made fries with sea salt. Without the Foie Gras or the Poutine Fries, it clearly isn't as decadent as the late great Feeenie Burger, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Since we never do anything normal, I ended up ordering three of them, making it into a Fraiche Restaurant Full Sized Slider Challenge! Check out the video below to see me take down three of Fraiche's finest!

As many of you are aware John Chow likes to bet and win and he bet me that I couldn't eat all three burgers which was the original challenge. After realizing how stupid that was, he said I had to eat a side of fries, which I was OK with. The chefs put more than THREE sides of fries on that plate as you can see in relation to the single order picture above. The extra fries were purely for bragging rights and you always order your sliders with a side of fries. He did everything possible to stop me by trying to add more fries to my plate. Luckily there were witnesses, his ruse was stopped cold and he was forced to pay up.

This was definitely one of the tastiest challenges I've undertaken. Even though I went as fast as I could, I could really taste how fresh the ingredients were. The flavours really popped. The only thing I would have changed were the fries. They were a little too salty for my tastes and could have used a little less time in the fryer for a bit more tenderness in the middle. The staff there were so amused by this they started taking pictures. Hopefully you'll see them on their Facebook Page really soon.

So in the battle of Stephen Fung vs. The Fraiche Restaurant Full Sized Slider Challenge, Stephen WINS! 😉

More pics by Ed "Lazy" Lau after the break...

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Stephen Fung vs. Pho Garden's Giant Pho Challenge

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Somewhere in San Francisco there is a place that serves what could very well be the BIGGEST PHO in the world and this place is called Pho Garden. This eatery kicked off my US tour of three places that I wanted to hit during my road trip to the US. They included Iguana's Tacqueria for the Burritozilla Challenge, Beth's Cafe and their 12 Egg Southwestern Exposure Omelet Challenge and of course the Pho Challenge!

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As you might have figured out, I kind of posted my challenges out of order. This one was my biggest disappointment because it was the one I was looking forward to the most. Ever since I found out about this challenge, I wanted to do it, not only for myself, but for the pride of Dot Com Pho. What says Pho more than a bowl that is nearly two feet wide, filled with 2 lbs of meat and 2 lbs of noodles?

Of all of the Dot Com Pho Gang, it's clear that I was the only logical choice to take on and defeat this challenge due to the fact that I have this tendency to finish things like the Kam Do Mixed Grill and have a reputation for eating massive hamburgers. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, my inexperience at this type of gargantuan challenge put me at a disadvantage. I did not have my strategy in place and I did not follow my instinct which was to attack hard and fast; a tactic that led to my success in Seattle at Beth's Cafe with a massive 12 egg omelet.

Despite the disappointment that this challenge represented, this also is a reminder that I do learn quickly and that experience is everything. Enjoy the video!

You'll find more pictures from the infamous Pho Garden Pho Challenge after the jump. Stay tuned for more food adventures coming up soon!

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