Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just a Taste: The Wok

Location 
The Wok is located on 8th St. beside the New Ki Sum Bakery by JYSK.


Environment
We went for lunch and it was very busy! Make sure to get there at 12 pm on the dot because it is definitely a hot spot for people on their lunch breaks. They are well staffed and everyone is friendly.


Menu 
I didn't really take a good look at the menu. I looked at the appetizers and vermicelli section quickly and made my choice from there. They are priced at $6.75. But from what I remember, it is all Vietnamese and Chinese food. There are rice dishes, soups, appetizers, different sorts of noodles and a beverage menu.


Food
Like usual, we ordered the summer/salad/cold rolls and I had the charbroiled park and two spring rolls on vermicelli noodles. The salad roll filling was very good, but the wrap was very chewy. The peanut sauce complimented it nicely though. The spring rolls were almost the opposite. I really liked the crunch, but the pork filling wasn't on point that day. The vermicelli here was good, but the portion was small in comparison to the previous restaurants I had gone to. In their defence, their meals are more affordable! Sorry for the photo of the vermicelli too, it doesn't do it justice. It was uneaten but it was mixed up already.



Conclusion
I would recommend The Wok to everyone for a good place to grab lunch. The service is good and the meals are fresh. It also is a convenient location for people working on 8th St. or that go to the University.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Das Racist

It's pos-vibe raps. What's not to love?

Just a Taste: Aroma's (Wednesday Night Photo)

Make sure to check out the half priced pizza and pint specials at Aroma's (Radisson Hotel) on Wednesday evenings!


Forno Inferno

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marketplace Updated




Click here for more information.

Nike SB Dunk Low "Supreme"

It's been ten years since the original Supreme Low Pro SB. Once again they use the cement print, but this time with a red leather upper. People are still asking for an SB comeback, what are your thoughts? These will be released in June, 2012.


Love the North

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Nike CTR360 Maestri II




Marketing
This target market for this boot are the play makers, it doesn't matter if they're strikers, midfielders, defenders or even a keeper. The CTR360 is part of Nike's Control series. That first touch has to be perfect. These boots have pass and receive pods that were designed based on a golf putter. To get a better idea of what type of player would wear these, take a look at Andres Iniesta.


Fit
You are going to want to go for your true size for a snug fit or half size up for a bit of room. These are not meant to stretch. They were a uncomfortable in the toe box, the top of my toes have been rubbing on the material. I believe my situation was unique, because friends of mine did not have that issue.

Breaking In
I struggled breaking them in, in comparison to my Legend IV's. I generally have problems with the arches of my feet but the insole and shape did not create any difficulties for me. Like I said previously, the toe box was tight. I stuffed both shoes with socks to create more room in the toe box and instep area. They are feeling better already. The Kanga-lite material has been softening up where I need them to as well!

Price
I purchased mine on sale for about $150 but they are retailed at $250 CAD.

Positives
Firstly, I love the colour way and design! In time, the Kanga-lite becomes very soft. The material is also water proof, so it looks like this will be my boot of choice for wet conditions. I also really like that there is suede in the heel to keep you locked into the boot as well as a grippy insole. The stud set-up is superior for the turf fields in the city, it is quite easy to maneuver in different directions quickly. I appreciate the slightest details to footwear, this would include the short and thin tongue with perforations to make it more breathable.


Negatives
Like I said earlier, the break-in period did not go so well for me. The only other negative to the design is that this boot weighs at 10.8 oz.

Conclusion
I have a lot of life left in these boots yet and can't make the decision of whether they are worth it or not quite yet. But I can see them only getting better from here. I have high hopes for these still, everyone I know has had great experiences with them. The Kanga-lite was amazing in the first CTR360, so hopefully mine will get to that point. I will say that they provide good ball feel and touch and are good for passing and shooting, but are heavier for a modern boot. If you are that two touch playmaker, these might be the right tool for you.


I plan on doing a follow-up review in the future. For now, these are my training boots. Let me know about your experience with the CTR360 Maestri II.

Love the North

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Music that is better than Bieber

1. Boyfriend is written and produced by Mike Posner, who, while I do like some of his music, is as soft as the sheep you count in your cocoa+marshmellow-driven REM sleep.

2. We've all said it. We all used to say it (remember in 2008, that song by: MIA, KANYE, JAY-Z AND T.I.???!). But it's 2012 and SWAG is not a word that should be in anyone's vocabulary anymore! Let alone in a ballad about being someone's boyfriend.

3. Autotune that falsetto more.. (disclaimer: not saying dude can't sing)

4. Why was it on posted on hellosaskatoon on autoplay?

5. remember Hero f. Keri Hilson by Nas? That's all i think about when I hear this song.

Here is what I've been listening to for the past week or so. Boyfriend is stupid. Now we have a positive opinion and a negative one.








ONE MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE

Monday, March 26, 2012

Let's Chat: Guitars

You know that age old question "If your house was burning down, what would be the first thing you'd grab"? Since I don't have any photo albums in my house, next up would be my guitars.

If I had maximum wage, I'd splurge on guitars all day, real talk.

Not to say I'm king shred master John Petrucci, I just play as a hobby and frankly I haven't improved at all in the past four years.

Here's my collection.


Epiphone Les Paul: this was my first guitar ever. My parents bought it for me as a birthday present when I was in grade 10. So it holds some sentimental value.


Fender Telecaster: this is the first guitar I ever bought with my own money. My Les Paul has a fat sound while this has a "brighter" sound comparatively.



Yamaha RBX-170: got this bass when I was hitting the whole "I NEED TO BE DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979" phase. That has passed, but what I got out of that phase was the ability to play all Death From Above 1979 songs. Useful skill, never. It's too bad I don't play this as much, but I'm sure it'll get its use one day.


Hondo... something: my dear friend gave me this guitar, so I treat it with tender love and care. I love the worn look of it, and despite its age, it sounds wonderful.

Do you have any instruments? Let's chat about them.

Justin Bieber- Boyfriend

I know a lot of you guys are going to hate me for this, but JB just released his latest single. He does a bit of corny rapping in that new deeper voice of his, but I really like the way he sounds on the chorus. Well let me know what you think.

(EDITED BY JJ)




Love the North

Just for Kicks Tournament 2012

It's that time of year again! Next weekend is the Just for Kicks soccer tournament. You can participate in the men's league, women's league or co-ed league. All of these will be played on the boarded fields at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre. There are many teams, divisions and age categories. This means that there will be games early in the morning and late in the evening, I plan on spending a lot of time hanging out there this coming up weekend. Rather than competing for a cash prize, each team is playing for a t-shirt. Once again, I will be playing with the "Chestnuts" in the co-ed league with friends and family. Swing by, have some drinks and watch some games.

Love the North

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WDYWT: JJ

Lego Earrings
Diamond Supply Co. Varsity Jacket
Ransom Button Up
Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves
Deluxe Keychain
APC Denim
Common Projects


Just a Taste: Summer Roll

Location
Summer Roll is located on 234 Primrose Drive in the North end of the city.

Environment
It was nice to eat in a modern Vietnamese restaurant. It's always nice to see an Asian restaurant in Saskatoon without outdated decor. Everything looked very new and clean. I was telling my dad how much I liked the floor there too. The servers are friendly and do everything they can to give you a good experience. Shout out to Tina for being a great host and to her mom for being such a sweet lady.

Menu
They have a good selection of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai food. They had a lot of choices from rice dishes, vermicelli dishes, Pad Thai, soups, appetizers, combination meals and more. I had a lot of difficulty of deciding whether I wanted to order vermicelli noodles or pork chop and egg on rice. I went with the vermicelli this time, but I am definitely going to try the pork chop and egg on rice next!


Food
We ordered two pork summer rolls and vermicelli lunch specials. When ordering the summer/salad rolls, two rolls is equivalent to four rolls and four rolls are equivalent to eight. These are the longest summer rolls that I have ever had. They were pretty good. I usually like my sauce thicker, but everyone has their own opinion. This was my first time eating basil with my summer rolls though. It gave it a nice refreshing after taste, you should try it for yourself.

The vermicelli complimented by chili pepper paste and Sriracha was good as well. The cooked green onions gave it a nice taste. The spring rolls were crisp and not greasy. I tend to eat mine at the beginning because they aren't as good soggy. Like Fong's Kitchen, the fish sauce is already at the bottom of the dish. If you do not like using fish sauce or only a little amount, I am sure you could ask for it on the side. Also if you have a nut allergy, let them know before hand. Asian restaurants notorious for sprinkling peanuts on their food (even my grandma does it to our food, and my siblings are allergic to it).





Conclusion
I had a great first experience at Summer Roll. It had good prices, a large selection, fresh food and good service. Why wouldn't I go back? By the sounds of it from friends and Urbanspoon, everyone else has been enjoying it too.



Summer Roll Restaurant on UrbanspoonLove the North

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Friday: KT


Taking random portraits of friends is probably one of my favourite things to do with my camera.  Here's my boy KT just slow roastin' at a Starbucks in London.  I haven't seen him in almost a year so if there are any bounty hunters out there willing to kidnap someone from Tampa and bring him to the much more attractive city of Saskatoon.... Look me up.

E

Momentum Marketplace- Review of 2011

Here's a video put together by Christian Singh including clips of the previous year involving the shop from him, JJ and myself. It has shots from events such as the Primitive "Red Cup" party, Nike SB "Chronicle" viewing and skating from the team and friends.



Love the North

Swizz Beatz Ft. A$AP Rocky - "Street Knock"

Swizz Beatz is releasing a new mixtape soon. I believe this is the first song released. araabMUZIK produced the track and Rocky did a good job with his second verse. I honestly only listened to it because A$AP Rocky is on it, the only thing I really like about Swizz Beatz is Alicia Keys ha. Lend Swizz your ears for about four minutes and let us know what you think.




Love the North

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Odd Future - Oldie

Just a Taste: H67 Donair

Location
There are two locations. I went to 706A Central Avenue (beside Wing World) but there is also one at #2-2102 22nd Street West.

Environment
I went Monday night when there was an unexpected flurry so it was not busy. It was much tidier than it has been in the past. It is simple place, booths along the wall and a television that plays the news.

Menu
You can order donairs, shawarma, lamb, falafel and hummus. The west side location also serves pizza and wings.

Food
I ordered a large beef donair. It's like a sandwich joint where you have choice of which toppings and sauces you would like to have. The vegetables were fresh but the meat was a bit dry. I would imagine it would be much better at lunch when they have a rush are are consistently cooking and cutting more beef and lamb. It was still satisfying, filling and very messy. It's one of those meals where you don't even need a side dish.


Conclusion
I am not sure about other places in the city, but I do know that prices here are a bit high in comparison to places like Calgary and Edmonton. It's a short drive from where I live and I believe they are open late so it is convenient.  Next time you feel like fast food and are going to grab a burger or pizza, stop yourself and at least consider a donair.

H67 Donair - Central Ave on UrbanspoonLove the North 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII


The Mercurial Vapor VIII is available in stores on March 29, 2012. It is the eighth successor of the original Nike speed boot. This model has changed a lot than the current Vapor. It has been reduced to 6.5 oz. It once again uses a Teijin microfiber, I don't think they have used this material since the Mercurial Vapor III. The main change that caught my attention was the stud configuration. They use tradition FG (firm ground) studs but have only placed two on the back (similar to the Pele Trinity). Originally I thought that these back studs would cause injury, it seems like many companies are sacrificing comfort for light weight. But I won't make that judgement until I read reviews. Weight is important, as long as it doesn't affect the comfort and safety of your body. But I do believe that this may be the strongest speed boot to enter the market next to the F50 adiZero.

They will be retailed at $300-$250 CAD.


Love the North

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nike SB Dunk Mid "Sea Crystal/Black"


This is the Nike SB "Sea Crystal", it was released this month. I couldn't not buy these. It was my first dunk purchase since the Goodfella high. This Sea Crystal is the closest thing that I will ever have to the 2004 model. In my opinion, it is much stronger than the 2009 model too. Some may say that the velcro strap was a huge loss, but I am not too upset about it.

This is what I mean, I am not ready to give up on Nike SB quite yet. With their pro models and the revamp of the dunk, it seems like they are on the right track once again! I've had them for a couple of days now, but still are unworn. Not one bit of regret with this purchase!

Love the North

Sunday, March 18, 2012

HS x VG: Mass Effect 3



The final chapter of the Mass Effect trilogy.

This series that has been very near and dear to my heart. The feeling I got when I first beat Mass Effect 1 must have been the same feeling people got when they first saw Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

It opened my mind and legitimately made me wonder what else was out there in the stars. It's very rare for anything to do that to me especially since I'm so apathetic to most things.

The story to Mass Effect 3 begins as the Reapers begin their destruction of Earth. Commander Shepard, the protagonist of the series, must run around and unite the races of the galaxy to help him take back Earth and ultimately stop the Reapers from destroying all of the galaxy.

A rather cliché sci-fi sounding story, I know, but there's much more to it all.

What I did like.

The story is phenomenal. The whole schtick with the ME series is that as you are playing, you are making choices. Choices that will directly influence every outcome of the game. That being said, the choices you had made in the previous games (if you had carried over your saves) will ultimately decide the outcome of the story.

It's basically "Choose Your Own Adventure: The Video Game".

As the series progresses you will run into people that you had helped out in the previous game. ME3 did that perfectly. A lot of "OOOHH DIIIPPPP" moments. Seemingly everybody had to make a grand entrance in this game and I ate it all up.

The gameplay was A+. If you've played Mass Effect 2, you will know that the gameplay was a huge improvement from Mass Effect 1. The gameplay in ME3 felt like ME2 but perfected. With all the amount of gun fights in this game, I couldn't even imagine what it'd be like with the ME1 gameplay. Aside from the 3rd person view, it had the same feel as a 1st person shooter.



During some of the fights there would be cut-scenes which were virtually seamless. Even the little things such as, you're running through a field and a big explosion drops infront of you, instead of you just running through it like a sweet tough guy, Shepard will react to it. Once again, the little things.

Comparatively to ME1, the inventory system has been refined even more. ME1's inventory system was ultimate butt. There was no such thing as filtering in it. It was just a giant list of rubbish you had to traverse through just to find so-and-so thing to add to so-and-so gun. ME3's system was simply: use money, upgrade gun, find parts, upgrade gun stats. Not hard at all.

The graphics in ME3 haven't changed too much since ME2, which isn't a bad thing. The only thing worth noting though are the face lifts given to the characters.

I'm horrible with describing things so here's a picture



The model remains the same, but there's been more depth added.

What I Didn't Like.

In Mass Effect 3, they found it necessary to add a multiplayer mode in it. It's true that Bioware had always planned for Mass Effect to have a multiplayer mode in it but it almost seemed unnecessary. Not everything has to have multiplayer in it.

I liked the Mass Effect series because it was heavily based around the fact that it was a single player game. You do not see this too often anymore. Everything and their dog has to have some sort of multiplayer mode in it. The gameplay of Mass Effect 3 was excellent, but for shooting at AI, not other people.

During the playthrough of the game I had to switch the disc a lot. Normally this would be a huge problem if the Xbox 360 was on the other side of the room. But since I went hyper introvert mode with this game, I hooked up my Xbox 360 to my computer monitor so the console was exactly to my left.

With disc changing, I'm used to doing it when I get to a certain point in a game, exactly what old PSX RPG games did (e.g. SquareSoft/SquareEnix games). It seems they just did this to allocate certain missions onto which ever disc had the capacity to hold it which is understandable if you want to it all without having to trim the fat.



In the end, call me a fanboy if you want, but there wasn't much that I didn't like with this game. I could almost say that this game is near perfection for me, besides the obvious. If you follow any sort of gaming blog they will all note that the ending left many people unsatisfied. I would be one of those people.

But for the sake of a spoiler free review I will not go into that. That being said, do not let that scare you away from this game. I highly highly highly recommend that you play this game.

For those who would like to pick this game up without playing the first and second ones, it's recommended that you play those first so that you can have a character that you can carry throughout the series. It makes the story of this game much more enjoyable.

But if you're simply looking for a game just to play and are not concerned with the story, this will do it for you. Although it will be sort of like watching Return of the Jedi without watching A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It's a good movie on its own, but it may be a tad confusing.

The Mass Effect series is a labour of love that begs you to play the first two. With all the character development and the back stories, to get the full effect of ME3, you would be silly not to play the other two in my opinion.

You might think "oh I missed the ship on this game." but it's never too late. Mass Effect 1 and 2 are both excellent games in their own regards. I could pick up either of those games on a whim and be content with it.

I'm sad to see this series end, but I am more than content to be apart of this grand journey.

Just A Taste: The Factory Tap


The Factory Tap has become a favourite spot for myself and friends lately.  Formerly known as the Rhino Room, the Factory Tap is a little known gem hidden deep within Earl's massive building.  To get there, take a left into Bacchus, go all the way through the washrooms and you will find the door to what seems like a members only pub.


Environment:  As I mentioned before, you feel like you're in a fairly exclusive pub when you enter through a secret passageway.  There are about five tall tables and quite a few chairs lining the copper-topped bar.  An ideal group size for the Factory Tap would probably be about 4 or 5.  Large copper vats for the five locally brewed beers add a really cool look to the pub.


Menu and Food:  The menu at the Factory Tap is quite small but the selections are excellent.  The pulled pork sandwich is probably my favourite food item there and it is exclusive to this part of Earls!  The pretzel bun and cole slaw really add great texture to the bold flavours of the barbecued pork.  Other menu fav's include the dry ribs (seen above) and the chicken wings which are always 50% off the regular restaurant price.  The five beers they offer on tap all have a distinct flavour and there will be one to appeal to anybody's taste.  My personal favourite is the Berry Dark beer which has a slight hint of Saskatoon berries.





The Factory Tap is a great place to hang out and eat in a more relaxed and quiet environment while being able to taste some of the best local beers Saskatoon has to offer (and at $2.50 a glass, you can't go wrong with having a couple!).

Don't forget to tip your waitress,

E

Durr Movies: 21 Jump Street

It might be safe for me to assume that Jonah Hill is a king of comedy nowadays. You can't see a comedy trailer for a movie without seeing his face in it. But for good reason, the guy has the chops.

In his latest movie: 21 Jump Street, he stars with dreamy mcDreamBoat Channing Tatum as two officers that go undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring.

This movie is a modern remake of the late 80s / early 90s TV series 21 Jump Street which starred Johnny Depp.

Overall it was a pretty funny movie without going too over the top with the raunchiness. Albeit, there were a few parts but nothing that took too much away.

My favourite part of this movie had to be Channing Tatum. Usually you can find him being the serious bad boy in action movies, in this one he still is the bad boy but played in a lighter manner.

You could say it was almost similar to The Other Guys where you would have the "you know he's gonna be funny" cop (Will Ferrell and Jonah Hill) and the serious but "I can still laugh at cop because they're so unintentionally stupid" cop (Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum).



Should you go watch it? Yes, I haven't had a good laugh at a movie in a while and this one did the trick.

Case and Point
21 Jump Street is: dumb cop and Channing Tatum

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just a Taste: Earthbound Bakery

Location
Earthbound Bakery is on 8th Street beside Mano's.

Environment
This place is connected to Dad's, an organic grocery store. On top of that you can watch the staff bake. I automatically think of healthy when I am in there. They offer you just a taste of their daily breads and bakings. There is very little seating though. It is the type of restaurant/bakery where you either grab food to go or eat there with one person or alone.

Menu
The menu is small, but that doesn't mean that there aren't many good choices. With the two soups and five sandwiches they offered, I still had problems deciding what I wanted to order. Each day they have different sandwiches, soups and baking choices.

Food
I ordered the Hungarian salami sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and pickled banana peppers on a hemp and sesame bread. Oh my was it delicious! It was quite filling, the sandwich was full of fresh ingredients and the bread was tasty to say the least (Asif recommended it to me). I also had a bite of Aashna's smoked ham and aged cheddar sandwich on a multi grain bread and that was also very good!


Conclusion
I would definitely go again. For health conscious people, it would be a good option. Personally, I wouldn't go if I was starving, but it definitely satisfies your appetite more than you think it will.

Earthbound Bakery and Delicatessen on UrbanspoonLove the North 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo Friday: Garbage



Ok I will start this first Photo Friday post by saying that I nearly called it Photo Phriday... After two seconds of looking at it, I decided not to be lame.

Anyways, this is one of my favourite photos I've ever taken and it nearly didn't happen!  I was traveling through Europe in 2010 and ended up in Paris.  The first few days involved walking around and taking pictures of buildings mostly (because the architecture of European countries is slightly more attractive than the steel boxes we have in Saskatoon).  The reason for stopping at this spot was this cathedral:


A pretty amazing building I would say.  But after shooting this photo I turned around and there were three bright green garbage cans just sitting in perfect symmetry in an intersection. I didn't have to work too hard for it but the colours, symmetry and motion were too good to pass by and that makes it one of my favourites.  Sometimes the best stuff comes completely naturally and at random.  Grab a camera and take photos of whatever you see.  You might be surprised at what you end up with!

E

Forte Ideas: Questionnaire

Currently I am in the commerce/business college at the University of Saskatchewan. This term is coming to an end, which means that projects have almost met their due dates. I am in a class called Marketing Research, where we focus on retrieving data and learning how to analyze and use it. We are required to select a client and find an answer to a question that they may have through the use of a questionnaire.

We selected Forte Ideas and they are interested in how a consumer views business interaction on the Internet. With your help, we can reach our sample population of 125 people or more. So please, get involved and help me pass this class. Thank you!

Take the questionnaire.

Love the North

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saskatchewan Jazz Festival Part 2

Sweet baby, I thought this day would never come.

The Legendary Roots Crew are returning to Saskatoon for the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Sunday, July 1, 2012.



This is unreal news. If you missed them two years ago, now is the time. You must go to this show. They put on a magnificent show.

You don't even need to listen to their music to enjoy this show, it's just that good.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at $60.00.

Just go. Just do it. Holy cannoli I can't even handle my excitement.

Keep up to date with the Jazz Fest on their Homepage, Twitter and Facebook Page.

Just a Taste: New Island Sushi

As far as I know, New Island Sushi was the first all you can eat sushi restaurant that was opened in the city. If this is true, they really set a trend.

Location
It is located on Circle Drive and Quebec Avenue.

Environment
The restaurant now is much nicer than how it looked when it originally opened. There is one large television that usually plays sports highlights, a small dessert buffet and seating on the second level. The servers there are polite but don't speak too much. English is a second language for many of them so I understand completely. Servers come around often to fill up your glass and bring food quickly.

Menu
The menu contains sushi individually, maki, hand rolls, soups, rice and noodle dishes, tempura, deep fried dishes and sashimi.  The menu is quite large, each item will have a blank box beside it. It's quite easy to order, all you do is write the quantity you wish to order inside of the box and they come and grab the menu from you. The good thing about going hungry and with many people is that you have the chance to try many items.

Food
You could never compare a place like this to a specialty sushi restaurant in terms of presentation and the food itself. But that being said, it is still satisfying and a great deal. I enjoy all of the tempuras and the chicken and vegetable fried rice more than anything else here.








Conclusion
New Island Sushi is one of the more affordable all you can eat sushi restaurants in Saskatoon. It's not worth going to just grab a small bite and eat a few select items. It is a good place to go out for lunch or supper with a lot of people, this way you can try a lot of things. New Island is a good place for people eating sushi for the first time. This way you can try and experience different kinds of sushi. Not only do I recommend New Island Sushi, but other restaurants that are similar to it as well.

New Island Sushi - Northend on UrbanspoonLove the North