reliable fish and chips was BUMPIN' yesterday. it was paul wall-to-wall mayhem up in there. i guess it's their busiest day of the year. i don't really understand the roots behind the christian fish-on-fridays thing...could one of my faithful readers educate me? most of the people were getting take out, and as there was only the two of us, we managed to pull up to the counter. the environment is really nice. the ginormous fryer is right in the middle of the space, but it's a testament to how powerful the hood is that the place doesn't smell fishy or fry-y at all. i was actually thoroughly amazed. and the hood is so quiet! it's a technological marvel! the coleslaw is very nice, and better than any of the other places we've tried. at harbord fish'n'chips, the coleslaw comes mulched like it came out of a wood chipper. the one at reliable, as you can see, is shredded and has a crisp texture and the dressing is proper: mayo-based, but with enough acid so that it's not gloppy and overpowering. we got 1 order of the halibut to split, and 1 order of the 2 piece haddock. the batter is crunchy, and slightly sweet. very pleasant. the fries are proper, and the vinegars (which i don't use) come in spray bottles.
i always prefer haddock to halibut. halibut has a tendency to get a little dry when fried, it ends up having the texture of overcooked chicken breast. haddock manages to stay nice and flaky most of the time, and it has more of a delicate fish flavour, whereas halibut is all about it's robust and meaty texture. they also have an organic salmon option, and fried clam strips, which we didn't try, but they sounded tantalizing. another nice touch is that the tartar sauce, even though i'm sure it comes in large buckets, is squeezed into those little wee paper dipping cups, as opposed to harbord and duckworth's, who just give you the little plastic packages, which are always a bit of a mess.
all in all, for being in the neighbourhood, reliable is very good. however, i would still rank harbord as #1. harbord's batter is unparalleled. it comes off in great, glass-like sheaths in your mouth and is shatteringly crisp. it's unbelievable. portions are also slightly larger, and for a little less money (you can get a deal for 2 with 2 pops for just under $20). and you can sit outside when the weather is nice, which is also pleasant, watching the traffic go by on harbord, in the dusk. we've also been to duckworth's, which is another popular choice on the east end of town (some say the #1), but i think it was way overrated. reliable is now in my #2. better coleslaw, and i like the option of having gravy for dipping my fries in.
so the best movie of 2006 has got to be "half nelson". it took my breath away. i've been wanting to see it for a while, but every time we were at the video store, knowing what i knew about it (that it's about a drug-addicted teacher), i didn't want to go down (what i thought was going to be) a harrowing road (a la "requiem for a dream" or any other movie about addicts). it WAS harrowing, but it was also beautiful. the pacing, the direction, the aesthetic, the acting, the characters, the story as it unfolded, were all executed with grace and poignancy. i can't even describe it enough to do it justice, but i urge you all to watch it. the performances are all so powerful. and ryan gosling is an actor of epic proportions. he managed to convey sadness, tenderness, pleading, hope, despair, resignation, all in one moment. and the little girl, shareeka epps, was stoic, reserved, and so vulnerable at the same time. the direction was beautiful and restrained, without any look-at-me! contrivanaces...lots of still, sun-drenched, saturated colours, and evocative set-dressing that really captured the feeling of the film. the music really matched the aesthetic as well, and mimicked the way i used to feel and the visual sense i used to get listening to a very specific kind of idm. i'm looking for it online now.
i really can't say enough about it. it was robbed at the oscars. ryan gosling was robbed. i saw a lot of movies this year, and i had thought "children of men" was my favorite. but "half nelson" is the one for sure. it's the kind of movie that i'm still thinking about, and would want to own, and that says a lot for me, because i'm generally not a re-watcher. also...ryan gosling is like, wicked hot! i didn't see "the notebook", but any of the commercials for movies he's been in haven't really done him justice. his eyes are so expressive! but he's definitely way hotter with the scruff.
today we're having dr. rei over for dinner, and then we're going to see this dude loefah who's the don dada of ragamuffin dubstep. i'm still not completely 100% on the genre, but i'm going because my male doppelganger will be there, and it's a night of fun (especially as i haven't hung with dr. rei in forever!). i'm working an 8 hour shift at the library, and i'm treating myself. yesterday was a total write-off. i applied for some jobs, but didn't crack a book or type a school-related word. ah well...i need one of those every now and then! and i have all tomorrow to do school work, so i'm okay with it.
tonight for dinner we're having a roasted butternut squash, sage, and parmesan pasta with whole wheat penne and olive garden salad. and for dessert, we're having butterscotch pudding.