I’m so Sexy in this Pub

As a collector of pin-up art, and the wife of a beer writer, I am probably more exposed to, and less bothered by, cheeky and puerile beer labels and tap handles than other women. I don’t know if beer labels with cute (hot) cartoon babes actually sell more beer – that would be kind of a sad thing, actually – but they certainly are out there. Here in Ontario, we’re all familiar with Niagara Brewery’s Niagara’s Best Blonde, with the 40s era bombshell on the label. She is not scantily clad, mind you, in fact she’s downright wholesome, but I can see where some women would take issue with an image of a woman being used to sell and promote beer.

Of course, busty women have been a marketing default for beer companies for years, and it’s only lately, with the rising popularity of craft beer, that mainstream brewers have changed gears to be more inclusive of women, portraying them more as beer consumers and less as a set of tits in a bikini top, emerging from a lake to bring the man in the ad a crisp, cold one.

Oddly enough, the “sexy-making” in the beer industry has seemed to revert back to the little guy, with craft brewers, especially in the UK, using sexual imagery and innuendo to gain attention for their products in a market that is becoming ever more saturated with competition.

(more…)

Read More

Lucky Dip – Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In Toronto:

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Fionn MacCool’s (70 The Esplanade, plus others) will be offering an Irish-themed menu starting Monday, March 5th, running until April 29th. Look for colcannon pie, lamb stew, corned beef and cabbage and a prime rib burger with corned beef.

You should go:

Jamie Kennedy and Gilead Cafe (4 Gilead Place) host an “Order of Good Cheer” dinner on Monday, March 12th featuring Prince Edward County wines from By Chadsey’s Cairns. Hors d’oeuvres plus a 4-course dinner costs $75, with wine pairings an additional $25. Call 647-288-0680 to reserve a spot.

(more…)

Read More

Lucky Dip – Monday, October 31st, 2011

Uh… how much candy are your kids eating after Halloween that they’re getting cavities  and “weakening” their teeth? Sure, taffy and the like is probably not a good pairing with expensive dental work, but if your kids are eating enough Halloween swag to get a cavity, there are other issues at play. [Globe and Mail]

And so you know the value of what your neighbours have shelled out – the candy hierarchy. [Boing Boing]

Groupon usually gets you cheap deals for cheap food – but they’re expanding into upscale restaurants. Could we soon see Groupon deals for Scaramouche and Pangaea?? [Nation’s Restaurant News]

The difference between food allergies and food sensitivities. (Although, as an allergy sufferer, the bit about the scratch test being the gold standard is laughable. We really need to update allergy testing beyond a 100-year-old system that is famously inaccurate.) [Toronto Sun]

Batali does Fieri for Halloween. [Eater]

(more…)

Read More

Lucky Dip – Monday, October 24th, 2011

One of the reasons I hate weddings is that the whole thing is a laundry list of things you have to do to keep other people happy. In Chinese culture, this also occurs, only it has some horrid environmental results – as in,  “Oh, grandma will be disappointed if there’s no shark fin.” So this week we urge Toronto city council to just say no to shark fin, and urge brides and grooms to be to question stupid wedding traditions that you do just to keep Grandma happy. [Globe and Mail]

Oh, I want to go to this – the Experimental Food Society Spectacular – where you can see a Dodo cake, an eagle made of sugar and a bum sandwich. [Daily Mail]

Meatballs – there’s a creative process at work. [National Post]

Tipping in restaurants – Eric Vellend offers part 1 of a guide. [Inside Toronto: Menumental]

Tootsie rolls vs. molasses candy? Well, Tootise rolls, duh. But both pull my crowns off so I eschew the chews. [Globe and Mail]

(more…)

Read More

Lucky Dip – Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Will a national food day convince people to eat better in the way that an earth day made us more aware of environmental issues? [The Atlantic]

You’ve heard of calorie counts on menus, but what about CO2 counts? Would you eat less of something at a fast food restaurant if you knew its carbon footprint? [Globe and Mail]

Is it the end of days for professional food critics? [The Atlantic Wire]

Soda, juice and booze… they’re tasty, but they’re screwing with your weight. [Toronto Star: HealthZone]

Are there too many dates on your food packages? In the UK, they’re looking to scrap the “sell-by” date and maybe the others, depending on the food. [BBC]

(more…)

Read More

Lucky Dip – Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I’m not sure calling yourself a supertaster is an excuse for being a picky eater. Sure, flavours are stronger to people with more tastebuds, but that doesn’t mean supertasters don’t like those flavours… or textures, smells, etc., which is the typical complaint of a fusspot. [Toronto Star]

It was the hottest dining trend a few years ago, but, hands up, who else is kind of sick and tired of having to sit with strangers at a big communal table? [Bon Appetit]

Sweet merciful crap, Trader Joe’s and every other store out there – we will pay the extra goddamned penny for a pound of tomatoes so farm workers can live like human beings. Honest. We’re all happy to do it. Stop stalling! [ZesterDaily]

News from the stupid unsupported scientific “study” world – go ahead and yo-yo diet! Lose that weight, gain it back, don’t worry about it. We did it to mice, and they were fine! [Toronto Sun]

Ah, yes, irradiation. I wondered how long it would take for someone to trot out an argument in favour of irradiation after this e.coli mess. [Associated Press/CBS42.com]

Jamie Kennedy puts his name on a new restaurant in Niagara Falls, but it’s chef Ross Midgely who will be running the day-to-day operations. [Toronto Star]

More on the new US food guide, pointing out the good and the bad. [National Post]

Why Canadians drink more beer than whisky. [Toronto Standard]

Word of Mouth: restaurant news, a new menu at Vertical, and calling your wine bluff. [Toronto.com]

Read More

Why the Hart House Craft Beer Festival is Better than the Festival of Beer

Every year, I say the same thing; “I’m not gonna go.” And every year, for a variety of reasons I end up going. Last year it was because The English Beat were the featured band on the Thursday “VIP” night. This year, it was because Greg whined at me. But every single year, I come home from Toronto’s Festival of Beer, swearing to never return.

This time I really mean it.

Okay, I understand that corralling thousands of drunken frat boys is a logistical nightmare, but the event has just never seemed to be on the ball. Getting in as media has always been a hassle. In part because they’re hiring rent-a-cops for security and nobody really seems to know what they’re doing but also, logic just seems to escape everyone involved. I’m not asking for a lot here, I’m not pulling a “do you know who I am” thing, all I’m asking for is appropriate signage and for the entrance we’re told to go through to not be a locked gate only to then be told to walk all the way to the other end of the event area to come back through a maze of fencing to pass through security at a spot less than 50 feet from where we started out. You make me walk all the way back to Medieval Times just so I can end up almost back in this very spot, I’m  gonna keep heading north and go home.

(more…)

Read More