I decided to be a nice boss and buy my team some Beard Papas. I bought a half dozen (3 regular and 3 chocolate) for ten dollars, and then cut them in half to serve at work. They were a big hit. The second photo is of an eclair which I used in my previous Beard Papa post.
The best part of the Beard Papa cream puff is the cream that they use in them, cold but yet sooo tasty. After you order your cream puff at the counter, they are then and only then injected with cream, so the cream is really fresh. Regular flavour is much better than chocolate. If you haven't had one, go down to Denman and try one, only 200 calories. Not bad.
1184 Denman Street
I feel that the best pizza spot in Vancouver is Nat's Pizzeria. I am not the only one because Nat's has received many awards in this city. Their slices are a little more than those dollar slice joints downtown but you can taste the drink when you are not drunk. The interiors are nice and some of the people behind the counter make you feel like they are New York imports. The just have that NY shtick to them. After you order the pizza ($2.50 - $4.00) they throw it in the oven so it can be served hot. If you haven't go and try their pizza and if you are interested, their sandwiches are also real good. My personal favorite pizza is the margarita pizza, simple and clean.
On the international stage our pizza doesn't cut it, we could never stack up against NY or Chicago.
2684 W. Broadway
PS - I love greasy Pizza Hut. I mean love it.
Since I am on the ramen mission, this place is a must. Kintaro is considered by many to be the best ramen in the city but that was partially because there was no competition other than Ezogiku but now there is.
Took a trip to Kintaro and based on recommendations from ilovefoodblog I got the chashu miso ramen with fatty pork and rich soup. The soup with a rich taste was good, almost great. I had a sip of the shoyu version and I think I liked it better. The fatty pork I ordered was way too much for me, it made me need a coke to help digest. Getting the chashu bowl is definitely worth it, you get a couple more pieces of pork for a couple dollars more, it makes the ramen a full meal. The gyoza was so so. We all know how important it is to know where to eat but knowing what to order is also key.
The atmosphere in Kintaro is ok. Basically, a place you go to after snowboarding or when you need to have bowl of ramen, not your date spot. If you do take a date there, you at least know the bill will be cheap. There is a big circular community table, a few small two man tables and the bar which seats about 8 people. Sitting at the bar can be fun because you get to watch the dudes behind the bar do all the ramen prep.
788 Denman Street
Next time, I am ordering shoyo chashu ramen, lean pork with cheese. Never had the cheese. Anyone??????
Took a trip today to Crystal Mall for some slop at lunch and it was one of the worst experiences of my life.
First, the parking. The underground parking lot is set up weird, kinda like a European round about. Insert a bunch of bad drivers in a round a bout you have a recipe for trouble. We were lucky to find a spot real quick and ended up privy to an argument over a parking spot, where two men were yelling and pushing at each other, it almost broke into a fight, I quickly interjected and somehow it dissolved. It was weird cause they all got good parking spots but one guy felt he should have got his choice of the two.
Second, the seating. There was a lack of seating in the mall. Our food took about 20 mins to get ready so I managed to find a seat but I also became the guardian of the table. I had to fend off person after person speaking to me in Cantonese and once I had to chase a guy down who just decided it was OK to take the chair. I am not Chinese and had to communicate mostly with awkward hand signals.
Once we finished the meal, and I stood up and someone was quick to take my chair, it felt like playing musical chairs and battling for a seat when the music stops. I literally just stood up and my knees were not even fully extended and someone was already sitting in my chair, I could feel her knees against mine. I could have gave her a lap dance we were so close.
Third, the music. It was a long sitting for mall food and we were close to the speaker where Cantonese music was blaring, after about an hour of this high volume music it was about all I could take. It was louder than a table at dim sum with a microphone. After one hour they didn't even play one Andy Lau track, lol.
Fourth, the food was flavourless but I liked my iced lemon tea.
I think this is my favorite bar in Vancouver. The Alibi Room has reasonable prices, a great atmosphere, a strong list of drinks, conveniently located on the fringe of Gastown and is large enough that it can host a good number of people.
The reason why I like the Alibi Room so much is because it is very social, you can get up and walk around and talk to other people and even dance if you are in the mood. There are too many bars in this city where you feel chained to your seat. On the weekend, people can be found sitting at their table, at the bar or just standing around downstairs conversing in a group. At late hours, downstairs you will find a DJ, some more seating and another bar. The major issue with the Alibi Room is that it closes at 1:00am, by the time you are getting a little tipsy and feeling good you have to go and find another bar or club to hit up.
From the times I have eaten here, I have not been happy. Today, the fries were a good snack but the two halibut cakes for $11 were a pretty poor value.
157 Alexander Street (Alexander and Main)
Since the last ramen post sparked so many comments and the fact that I have ten days do try all the ramen spots, I figured I should pay a visit to Benkei to try the ramen again.
My favorite thing about Benkei is the value, you can add more toppings for just 50 cents more. I added more bamboo shoots and an egg. I love having an egg in my soup. You even get a stamp card and when you get to your tenth bowl, it is free.
I had 25 mins on my parking and I managed to sit, order, eat and pay all in that time frame. The service was good, and the food came quick and was nice and hot. I ordered the miso ramen ($7.50), the broth was good but again nothing insane. When I think of all these ramen spots none of them stand out as being a clear undisputed champ. If you like ramen I would go recommend paying this place a visit as it is one of the cheaper ramen spots.
Benkei Noodle Shop
1741 Robson Street
Previous Benkei review which has more photos.
I decided to get a bite to eat with a few friends. We were going to end up in a club in Gastown so we decided to start our eating and drinking escapades early.
Started off in the Revel Room. This is a relatively new spot to Gastown, the atmosphere is great and the restaurant bar seemed to draw an older business crowd. The place is decorated with some Edison bulbs and a row of Stay Puff Marshmellow men, looks great. The place was packed, the three of us had to wait about 20 mins at the bar before we could sit somewhere.
We first ordered the wings for 11 bucks which were really bland, and maybe 10 in number not worth ordering at all. Then we ordered the mini burgers for 11 bucks, the meat in the mini burgers had a great taste, and the bun completemented nicely. For 11 bucks we got two mini burgers, I thought the value could have been better but I was happy with the taste.
The mini burgers are great but I am not sure what else is good on the menu. Overall after my two visits I find that it is a little overpriced for the value. No plans on returning unless it is just for drinks.
238 Abbott Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Got a little shout out today in the Province from my friend Hans. He listed a spot that I have never heard of, guess I have to pay it a visit. Here is the blurb in todays, The Province paper
Where: 469 Richards St.
Why: A good friend of mine does the food blog vancouverslop.com. It inspired me to share a really insider foodie tip I know, although I hope it doesn't come back to, um, bite me. Every day, this Chinese eatery offers two takeout specials for less than $5. Just make your choice and chill while your massive portion is cooked fresh and good. Cheap and tasty? You're welcome.
One month, I will hunt for the best sandwich and I think I know where the answer is already and it is not here although this place makes a good sandwich.
I took a trip to La Grotta Del Formaggio for lunch. La Grotta is a nice Italian deli located on the drive (Commercial Drive) just south of First Ave. One of the best things about La Grotta is your choice of toppings. You can choose from a list of different condiments, your choice of seven different cheeses, seven different meats and a long list of vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, hot peppers and sun dried tomatoes.
I ordered the turkey sandwich and added pesto mayo, oil and vinegar, emmenthal cheese, artichoke hearts, tomato, onions, and some sun dried tomatoes on a medium sub for only $6.00. The portions of meat were good and they even grilled the sandwich with a nice push button griller.
The bread was tasty which is a very important component in a sandwich and overall the sandwich was tasty and filling. In comparison to my favorite spots for sandwiches Finch's and La Galleria in Edgemont Village, I don't find the ingredients they use are as fresh. The selling feature of La Grotta is the variety of toppings.
One of the better spots east of downtown for sandwiches, definitely worth checking if you like sandwiches but I prefer both La Galleria and Finch's.
La Grotta Del Formaggio
1791 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 4A4
My filipino buddy and I walked in and were quickly greeted in Chinese. Our confused look and response of "for two" wasn't enough for them to stop speaking Cantonese and they quickly said some more words in Cantonese but we followed their arm directions.
My regular order at these restaurants is the baked pork chop on rice. It is a pork chop or two, on a bed of rice, baked with tomato sauce, cheese, egg, onions and other vegetables. At Copa it was $9.75 but some places you even get soup and a drink for that price.
At this place the pork chop tasted bad, it was spongy and tasted processed. It was a real low quality piece of meat. The overall flavor was ok but the taste of the cheap pork permeated through the hot tomato sauce and cheese and just left me unhappy.
I was told by friends that some of the other dishes are ok, but I won't be back to order the baked pork chop on rice again that is for sure. I am pretty sure I won't be back unless someone tells me what to order.
Cambie and King Ed.
740 Denman Street, Vancouver
Close to Denman and Robson.
I saw some friends in the restaurant who were visiting because they were going through the VancouverMagazine 101 (local) Things to Taste Before You Die.
PS - One day later and my skin feels great. LOL
I have been to Go Fish about five times now. I am not a fan of their fish and chips, I would say Pajos Fish and Chips is way better. The last time I had their tuna sandwich and really enjoyed it. Knowing what to order is equally important as knowing where to eat.
This visit to Go Fish I shared the scallop sandwich (from the special menu - $11) , fries ($3.50) and the salmon tacones ($9 for two tacones). The salmon tacones and the scallop sandwich was just ok. When I eat fresh seafood I want the accoutrements to add to the flavor of the fish and not overpower it. The taste was clean for both but I couldn't taste the taste of salmon or the scallop, I could taste the spices and cumin that was added. In my opinion stick to the Tuna when ordering there.
The atmosphere is great. Eating outside on a fisherman's warf on False Creek during a sunny day feels fantastic. The one thing to be cautioned about is that you can expect to wait about 10mins for your food and you might not be able to sit at a table.
I know people love this place, so I might get hated on here but I know many people get confused with the experience rather than the food. The view is great and on a sunny day it is ever so pleasant to sit outside and eat food, but I want it all, good food, good people and good atmosphere. To me Go Fish is a little expensive for what you get, and I have not really enjoyed the food except for the Tuna.
1504 West 1st Ave., Vancouver
Granville Island Fishermans Warf.
Side Note - The guy behind was telling his girl, we should try those things, they are a combination of a taco and a cone, they are called TaconEZ or Taconies (similiar to how you would say Sauconys). Man, he had it, he said TACO correctly, and then said CONE correctly, why would you say TACONEZ. LOL
For my starter I opted for the French Onion Soup over the Ceasar salad. The soup was great, nice and cheesy, hot, and it wasn't salty which is a pitfall for many french onion soups. For entree, I had the 7oz sirloin steak, done medium rare. It came accessorized with a few onion rings, a fantastic baked potato, and some fresh horseradish. The steak for the price was a great taste, it wasn't amazing but for the price it was delish. Comparing it to the Keg it matches it on par and was cooked to perfection. For dessert I enjoyed the chocolate pecan pie which was fantastic, the marriage between pecans, chocolate and the whipping cream was just perfect.
The stinky part is the atmosphere is cheesy, Pinky's is part of the Brown's Restaurant chain, and therefore has the same cheesy atmosphere as you would see in Cactus Club or Browns but the service and food was good. The bonus was we ordered a bottle of wine and what we didn't finish was corked up for us to take home. A nice road pop for the walk home.
I would return for the 25 dollar deal in a heart beat.
1873 4th Ave W
In September 2008, I tried to find the best burger in Vancouver. I was not able to go to all the spots but I think I covered some of the major players. I left out the fancy places like Diva at the Met because I am not dropping 50 dollars on a burger.
Check it out. Click on the link below.
This could be the last place you would see Ex Canuck Defensemen Jeff Brown. Social which is part owned by Kirk McClean sits at one of my favorite places to eat a Sunday Brunch. We managed to get a seat inside right at the window where we could people watch the patrons of Gastown.
The atmosphere in Social is great, very clean, with a great view of Water Street. One of the fantastic things is that not many people go here so there are never lines. The thing I love is that after you order they serve you some biscuits that they made that day. On this day, we received some cinnamon biscuits, unfortunately our brunch was a little late in the day the biscuits were hard as a rock. I ordered the Salt Beef Eggs Benedict with melted onions for 13 dollars and it was fantastic, the cold beef taste mixed with the warm eggs was surprisingly great. Some potatoes were a little hard in the middle which made me sad because I really like this spot. According to my friend the coffee is good, which is a big added bonus.
Social At Le Magasin
332 Water Street
The only thing close to my work that is worth ordering from is White Spot and the the only thing worth ordering from White Spot is the burger and this, the caesar salad with calamari for 11 bucks. It is a great combination, a nice crisp caesar salad and crunchy deep fried pieces of squid. This is actually listed on the menu to, I just love biting into the calamari and then adding some lettuce to make that je ne sais quoi taste but it is great. You also get two pieces of garlic bread and some tzatiki sauce. Screw having chicken on your salad get squid, how hype does that sound?
All around the city
Props to KJ for showing me this meal