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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on February 12, 2007
Yes, the other reviews are true. The Rebar cookbook is amazing. I had to own it because I am a big fan of the restaurant and wanted to re-create some dishes when I am not able to visit Victoria.

I was amazed at the diversity of the dishes in this cookbook. You will find recipes that take inspiration from Asian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, and Japanese cuisine with the occasional twist- like a perogy recipe thrown in!

Usually I would say this would be disastrous. Who can combine that many styles in one cookbook and do it well? Well, Alsterberg and Urbanowicz are set to prove they can- and will- shake things up with this cookbook. The results are amazing.

The recipes have nice, short introductions, which I tend to enjoy reading. The instructions themelves are clear and to the point. The print on the page is easy to read and I like how the ingredients are outlined on the side of the page, visually separating it from the procedure. Very user-friendly.

If you are not sure what to try first, I would suggest the Rustic Bread or Caesar Salad. Next, you should venture onto the Rosemary Garlic Foccaccia which makes a fantastic pizza crust as well. This Foccaccia is superior to the one I had a couple weeks ago from an Italian bakery. The Whole Wheat Hotcakes are fluffy and light just as pancakes should be. Also be sure to try the Tuscan White Bean soup and Roasted Vegetable Strudel. I haven't had any recipe mishaps yet from this book.

I wouldn't have expected that such a healthy recipe book would have such decadent desserts! I am an avid baker and several of these recipes are among the best that I've ever tasted! Try the Carrot-Coconut Cake, the Rebar Chocolate Cake, the Banana Bread and always-requested Peanut-butter Squares (sans icing- it takes it way over the top here!).

I was tired of cookbook authors who destroy dessert recipes by using apple sauce in place of butter and sugar to reduce fat, and ultimately, flavour. Here they have delicious, delectable treats sometimes made with butter, chocolate (no carob!) and even whipping cream!!! Yes, there are still healthy "alternative" type desserts such as Power Spheres to give variety for the vegan crowd.

Downsides? Not all the recipes are accessible unless you are an adventurous eater- or plan to become one. Galangal, lemongrass, tomatillos, masa harina, miso paste, thai basil, and pea shoots are some of the ingredients you will be seeking out.

Not enough photos of the food! Basically these are few and far between. I really enjoy colour photos of the dishes to give me an idea of what I am aiming for with my recipe choices. This book has plenty of pictures of staff and customers which is fun but I would rather have food photos.

Just a few recipes don't strike me as worthy of testing- such as Bonnie's Spring tonic with stinging nettle tops- but perhaps this is personal prejudice that might someday be overcome.

On the whole, this recipe book is worthy of adding to any collection- if only for the salads and baked goods! Enjoy healthy eating that is delicious!

Note: Although this is a vegetarian cookbook with vegan options, it also includes some recipes with salmon and shrimp.
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on August 19, 2002
I'm a big fan of this book, having made over 140 of its recipes. The dishes are flavorful and creative, a nice change from your typical cookbooks. Enjoy food from all over the world - southwest/mexican food, asian, and italian with a twist. I have yet to make one recipe that I didn't like - they have all been great.
Although I agree with another review that states that some ingredients are hard to find, once you track them down you will be able to leverage them across many recipes.
I will also admit to finding a few errors in the book (e.g. items from ingredient list not listed in recipe directions), but nothing that will negatively impact on the results. Definitely no errors that are show-stoppers.
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on May 30, 2005
Being a fan of ReBar in Victoria for the past 12 years I was thrilled to bring this cookbook home to New Zealand. We have made several recipies from this book and all have been great -- its nice to find the recipies for our favourite ReBar treats now at home! And in a country known for its "meat and two veg" mentality, I am happy to report our household now eats tofu! (A banned product pre-ReBar cookbook!)
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on July 3, 2013
I love this cookbook. I agree with other low-star reviews in that many of the ingredients are hard to come by if you live in a small town. However, I don't, so I love the spice combinations and creativity. Certain tastes are paired together that I would never have thought to work. They end up being divine. I would warn the beginner cook not to buy this book just yet. There are many recipes that ask you to turn back to another recipe which can throw the beginner cook right off.
Of all the cook books on my shelf, I've used this one more than any other (it officially beats my Moosewood collection). The soups are divine, the southwestern spin on many recipes and even the home-made salad dressings are so original. In my opinion the Carrot-Lemongrass soup is the best soup recipe I've ever come across and it's fairly easy for such a rich tasting soup. A little tip: if you can't find lemongrass in your area, use a few drops of lemongrass essential oil (food grade, not incense-type).
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on June 29, 2009
I have had this book for over 5 years and it's one I go back to on a regular basis, if not for exact recipies but for inpiration. The pumpkin muffin recipie i one that i have made over and over and people love it at work, at home and at get togethers.
one thing that i think is a minor minus for this book is the extensive ingredient lists as well as some of the ingredients are hard to find and not always explained. but i do appreciate that they have stayed true to their recipies rather than try to simplify them and compromise their end result.

a really great book.
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on March 4, 2012
LOVE this cookbook, these are staple recipes that my son (4 1/2 yrs old)and I enjoy all the time. Only reason it got 4 stars is most recipes entail a trip to the grocery store (and I have a healthy pantry!)
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on October 27, 2013
Never thought a big guy like me would be eating vegan. Great part is you would never know. Great book lots of great recipes.
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on December 10, 2015
I personally prefer to eat vegetarians, but when co-habitating with them this book can satisfy even the biggest carnivore.
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on January 3, 2009
I mostly agree with the highly positive reviews of this cookbook. I wish that there were a site with recipe corrections or suggestions, though, because there are a few recipes that need a little adjustment. I'm thinking particularly of the Poppyseed Pappardelle: way too much salt, and a very soupy consistency (I think the mushrooms need to cook down more, and some kind of thickening agent needs to be used), with instructions that aren't as clear as most of the recipes in the book. (E.g. "deglaze the pan with the wine"--for the non-expert cooks, it would be nice to have this explained. And more information about how long each step should take). Also, where do they get pappardelle noodles in Victoria?! I tried several Italian delis, as well as the usual supermarkets, with no luck.

On the whole, though, great recipes. Some favourites are Monk's curry; Kung Pao noodles; and all of the soups are fantastic. Chocolate zucchini muffins are also great, esp for the summer zucchini harvest overflow.
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