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Everyone claims to be a “foodie” these days. It’s chic. I just happen to eat occasionally. It’s something you and I probably have in common.

A squirrel ate my cookies!

Over Christmas I was given a box of cookies/biscuits from Toronto. I suspect they were given to me because of the name of the company that made them: Craig’s Cookies. Catchy name. 🙂

Craig's Cookies

Craig’s Cookies.

I had a look at their website and read their FAQs, one of which is, “A squirrel ate my cookies!” It’s rather amusing!

A squirrel ate my cookies!

A squirrel ate my cookies!

Major website-management failure (Win Win Chick-N) due to ineptitude, and loss of business

There is a fast-food chicken place in our area called Win Win Chick-N. We’ve been meaning to try it out for a couple of years, but we never get around to it. However, one day last week was the day, and I worked my mouth into a lather thinking about eating fried chicken.

And then I tried to use their website.

Win Win Chick-N menu

Win Win Chick-N menu.

First thing I noticed was the pop-up offering me a coupon for $5 off my order, in exchange for my email address. OK, sure, so I give them one of my older rotating email addresses and get my coupon code: MYCOUPONCODE. Cool. Then I look at their menu, which you can see at left. I settle on the “2pc Delicious Fried Chicken Snack”. I switch to the order page and I notice that the price has suddenly gone up from $9.99 to $12.75, a 28% increase!

So, whatever, at least I’ll get five bucks off. Since I was ordering for two, that almost made up for the sudden, unadvertised price increase.

So I put two meals into my shopping cart. I took some time to try and figure out whether or not a drink was included in the meal combos I had ordered. It was very unclear to me whether or not a drink was included, as it wasn’t mentioned in the $9.99 description but it was mentioned on the order page. However, as we had actually already decided we’d be eating the meals at a nearby coffee house, where we’d be getting drinks anyway, I decided to go ahead. If we got the drinks, great; if we didn’t, great.

Win Win Chick-N coupon fail

Win Win Chick-N coupon fail.

Then I entered my coupon code. The response was, “Unable to find the requested campaign”! By that time I just lost it.

There was no way I was ordering from such a badly run website, as who knows how much my credit card would be really charged, how many times it would be charged, and what the hell we’d get when we got there and whether it would even be edible. And if they’d so badly screwed up everything up to that point, it was very, very unlikely things were going to suddenly get better from that point. Ironically, if we’d just gone to the place and waited the twenty or so minutes they suggested our food would take things probably would have gone fine. But now … we’ll probably never know.

Instead of spending about $30 plus taxes and a tip at Win Win Chick-N, we chose to go to another place we’d been meaning to visit for the last couple of years, Steveston Built, and spent about $70 there instead. We’d heard their prawn tacos were good, and they were. I sort of got my fried chicken fix with their “crispy buttermilk chicken burger”, which they kindly offered in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.

Also offered on the Win Win Chick-N website is a “Valentine Special Best Gift Ever 2019”, in case you’d like to try and get back that girlfriend/boyfriend you lost in 2019. Good luck!

I likely won’t be going back unless I get a very earnest recommendation from someone I know (and they listen to my story first), and I don’t know the author of the old Globe and Mail opinion piece to which their website links.

Win Win Chick-N menu page

Win Win Chick-N menu page.

Delicious butter chicken

There’s an Indian restaurant in Vancouver that makes the most delicious butter chicken I’ve ever tasted. (That restaurant is “The Original Tandoori Kitchen Restaurant” at 689 East 65th Avenue, just off of Fraser Street. I’ve always just referred to it as the Tandoori King, but it seems there are numerous other restaurants with very similar names.) That said, I’m a white guy, so for all I know it’s something they concocted for Western taste buds. Regardless, it’s very good. Even though I like my curries hot, I always order the butter chicken medium or even mild, as I just like the flavour so much I don’t want the heat to get in the way.

I did try making butter chicken myself once from a recipe I found somewhere, but it was crap, and I’ve stopped ordering butter chicken in other restaurants because it doesn’t hold a candle to what is, for me, the original. However, courtesy of a friend (Steve) I now have a recipe that is damn good. Try it. You can find it at AllRecipes.com.

Update, 3 February 2011: After being informed that this restaurant had apparently closed, I drove by to check for myself. There is still an Indian restaurant there, but it’s definitely not under the same name, and the awning has changed. In its place is the “Tandoori Raj Restaurant, The Original”. (Just about all of these tandoori restaurants seem to claim to be “the original”, even the ones that opened last week!) I have no idea if it’s owned or run by the same people that owned or ran the old place, or if their butter chicken is anything like the one I used to enjoy there.

I did eat at another place with the word “tandoori” (and probably the word “original” too!) in the name in Surrey recently. The food there was served in dishes identical to those of the place on 65th, and they claimed to be affiliated with the place that is or was on 65th. I sampled the butter chicken that someone else in the party had ordered and it was good. However, I had ordered something else for my own meal and we were in a bit of a hurry, so I can’t really say I gave it my full attention to come up with a definitive (for me) opinion of it.

Update, 13 October 2011: We ate at the place mentioned above in Surrey again over the long weekend (yes, it’s called “Original Tandoori King”), and this time I did order the butter chicken. While it was good, it wasn’t delicious and was nowhere near as good as I remember it at the place on 65th. I’ll stick to my own, and order something else next time I’m there.

Update, 3 May 2012: Coming back to this post months later, I am reminded that I saw a news item saying that this place had burnt down, or had at least been extensively damaged by fire, several months ago. There were actually two “original” tandoori restaurants in this building. If they’re rebuilt, presumably they will still be “original”! 🙂