Bad Photos Club

The last entry was such an effort post between translating fish names into three languages and editing photos until my eyes bleed that this one will just be cleaning out some places & photos not good enough to warrant their own posts

Sichuan Garden

It’s a bit of a shame that I’ve been eating here long before I started recording tasting notes and photos of food, because while it’s not the most delicious or authentic Sichuan in the area, it’s super consistant for the last 10+ years I’ve been here. Just a really reliable place when when you want to fall back on something familiar, with it’s artifical garden in the entrance way and checkerboard carpeting, somehow pulling in just enough customers to stay afloat.

Tofu Fish (豆花鱼), Left: Okay, not as tender as their water cooked fish, flavor a tad too simple and lacking depth
Pork Blood & Intestine Stew (五更腸旺), Right: this had barely any intestines, but the flavors are nice and deep and the other offal pieces were tender and plentiful


Fuqi feipian (夫妻肺片): probably the best dish of the night; slices of perfectly cooked offal and meat infused with the flavors of peppercorn and chili oil, topped with peanuts and sesame seed. Spicy, aromatic and a smorgasbord of texture

Sichuan Garden – Yelp
359 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2G3

Dark Horse Espresso Bar

Nice coffee place to hang out on Queen St., forgettable coffee though, not much to talk about other than the comfy ambience

Dark Horse Espresso Bar – Yelp
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2C7

Xanh

Super lackluster place for the 💸 price, nothing was outstanding from the food to the service to the atmosphere, probably wouldn’t survive outside of Mountain View’s limited options and over generous tech wallets, do yourself a favor and go to Pho To Chau

Braised Pork Belly Roll: This taste exactly like the ingredient list reads.

Banana Leaf Sea Bass: One of the better dishs, fish was moist but boring otherwise
Shaking Beef: Best dish of the night, tender, juicy beef coated in a peppery sauce, with that being said you can get the same thing for 1/3 of the price at Pho To Chau 2 doors down

Ahi Tuna Tartare: Taste like every other tartare you’ve ever had but with a premium for the dry ice smoke show

Xanh – Yelp
Xanh
110 Castro St
Mountain View, CA
94041

Behind the Scenes

Once you start taking photos of almost every meal you eat, you start to get decent at it after a few years. Some of the photos from the early years are outstandingly bad in every way: vertigo angles, serial killer lighting, and potato cameras

Some of these were especially sad because the food itself is delicious, but the photos looks like they’re from a 60 Minute incognito health inspection probe

Some of the more recent ones can be salvaged through the healing touch of Lightroom:

Kimchi fried rice and beef shank & tendon noodles (soup and dry versions)

Now that it’s a habit, I have to consciously restrict myself to not just impulsively take 50 shot bursts from the same angle, it makes zero difference in the end when 90% of them get thrown out in post editing

On the other hand (ha), I never trust my hands to be steady enough to just take one photo, for example the pictures below looks identical at 100%:

But zoom in and the contrast in clarity/details becomes more apparant, it’s a thing that probably only bother me, but that’s enough of a reason to err on the side of being over zealous


You all deserve each other.

My annual return to Maplestory, binge on it for a few days and then never touch it again until next year. Part of the holy trinity of the games from my youth, along with Runescape and Gunbound