July 22nd, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

Organization, Biscotti, and Bicyclists

I bought lots of cardboard boxes today. Normally, I would stop by the LCBO and pick up a slew of them for free, but I'm tired of piles of raddy old boxes filling up the odd corner of my apartment. I want to sort everything into clearly labeled, sturdy, identical white boxes instead as a medium-term storage solution. The long-term solution is to acquire enough furniture to deal with all my belongings, but since I'll be moving within the next year, there's only so much furniture I'm interested in investing in.

Several of us, including pittenweem, went to Biscotti for lunch, a place recommended for food and loitering by double0hilly. The food was respectable, but my heart wasn't in it. There was far too much food and I wanted a light lunch. If I had taken an extra minute or two to peruse the menu in greater depth, this might not have been a problem. The menu was problematic all by itself. It was clearly not designed for the ease of the waiters. P. ordered "Il Piatto" and was served "Il Piattone". The former is an appetizer, the latter a sandwich. She had to send it back. I ordered the "Rigatoni". The waiter was confused. There were three dishes labeled as "Rigatoni" for their bold, offset titles. If I hadn't seen the refridgerator, I never would have known the restaurant serves interesting drinks, from Limonata wasn't mentioned on the menu.

My disappointment with the restaurant came only from my lack of planning on quantity and the fundamentally unorganized nature of the menus. The food itself was tasty and good-looking. I'd go back, but next time, I'll think more seriously about what I actually want to eat.

The Ragbrai riders from the Veneto arrives today in Des Moines. Ragbrai is an annual bike ride - not a race - across the state of Iowa, from the Missouri to the Mississippi rivers. It's like a big week-long road party, with 50-70 miles of biking per day, often in muggy heat. The number of official participants is capped somewhere in the 10,000 - 15,000 range. There's only so much campsite space available. Lots of others tag along anyways, some for a few days, some for the whole week. Iowa has a sister state in Italy, the Veneto. For the last five or so years, they've sent over a team of bicyclists for Ragbrai. Unlike most people who go for the week, this group likes racing. Iowa may be hilly, but they're used to racing around in the Dolomites. The last few years they've found kindred spirits in the Iowa Air Force. They like to race too. Anyways, the Ragbrai riders from the Veneto arrive today, and now you know what that means.
Fishy Circumstances

Toronto Chefs

If you know enough to know your Toronto chefs (I don't), there's a database to trace their careers: ChefDB.com. I don't know my chefs, but I know plenty of restaurants, and I like tracing back the other restaurants a given chef has come through en route to their current cooking venue. Another nifty goal of the website: tracing Toronto restaurants back through the past century's worth of chefs and restaurants. There are even old advertisements for a number of the restaurants!