Some Kinda Pasta
I have always had a hard time finding good pasta for under 15 bucks but this place has solved that.
My eating buddy Kent (you have seen his grill many times on this blog) wanted to show me this pasta spot. Some Kinda Pasta is located in the Point Gray / UBC Area, this is a part of town that I rarely ever reach out to. The atmosphere was nice and cozy. A large chalkboard displays the daily specials which were only 12 dollars, this is where my dish was listed.
I ordered the tortellini (looks like a UFC fighter's ear) with an Italian salad for 12 dollars, and my friends ordered the chicken Alfredo spaghetti special ($12) and the spaghetti and meatballs ($15.95). The warm bread served during our meal was memorable, we killed the first basket and got a second with our meal. My Italian salad that came with my special was fantastic. It was very simple with few croutons but the lettuce was crisp and fresh and served with the right amount of dressing and cheese. One of the best salads that I have ever had but I don't eat that many salads. My cheese spinach tortellini was also delicious. The portion was large, and judging by the taste, it was made fresh that day.
My friends stated their meals were great. The spaghetti with meatballs received accolades from my friend Kent, however based on my two samples I found it had too much garlic. The chicken alfredo in that size of an order packs as many calories of at least two Big Macs. I was happy to just have a few tasty bites because a full serving of that would mean I could never wear my skinny jeans again. It looks funny enough when I put my camera in the pocket of my skinny jeans, never mind when my tummy sticks out.
This is going to be my new favorite place for a relatively inexpensive pasta. Good call Kent.
Some Kinda Pasta was some kinda wonderful.
Some Kinda Pasta
4409 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 222-0220
I am sitting in Calgary at my sister's place watching the year in review in sports. I love watching clips of Roger Clemens "misremembering" and Sean Avery being a jerk (btw I think he is great for the NHL). I figured since I won't be reviewing my moms cooking tomorrow I might as well write a filler post, so here are my Top Five Meals recorded on Vancouverslop.com
5. Guu Gastown - The first blog entry.
4. Pied A terre - Birthday Meal
3. Ajisai - Review 1 Review 2
2. Korean Restaurant in New Jersey - Fresh Fish
1. Cioppino's - Always tell them at the end of the meal that you are paying.
For our celebration dinner we ordered lumpia (mini spring rolls - 5 bucks), lechon (fatty pork - 10 bucks), adobo (chicken- 10 bucks) and pancit (noodle dish - 9 bucks). which was more than enough food for two people. The lumpia was good, but this time it seemed like it spent a little too long in the deep fryer. The other dishes were solid and acted as a good remix from their Chinese neighbours. I am pretty sure I also saw Balut (fertilized chicken egg) on the menu which is a delicacy to the Filipinos but a challenge item on Fear Factor.
The service at Pin Pins was OK but fairly inattentive. They set us up with a pitcher of water so most of our needs were taken care of once the food arrived. Walking in we got the strange look that had the feeling of who are these non Filipinos in a Filipino restaurant.
Bottom line, Pin Pins offers solid food for a reasonable price. It is a great alternative when you are feeling like eating Asian food but you are tired of going to your regular Chinese spot.
6113 Fraser St
I am still searching for my ideal breakfast spot.
This is my second time going to Seb's and the only reason why I am going back is because I have heard so many recommendations about this place.
The first time I went to Seb's, I ordered an eggs benedict and they forgot to put the vegetables in the benny and instead just said the chef forgot to put your ingredients in the benny and then gave the veggies to me on a side plate. My immediate thought was "please bring this back to your kitchen and then bring it back when the order is right, and please don't spit in it" but I kept my mouth shut to avoid a scene and embarrassment to all at the table.
This time, things went smoothly and the service was decent. I ordered the eggs benny with roasted peppers, onions and basil (10 dollars) and my friend ordered a shitake mushroom omelet (10 dollars) with and side of turkey sausage (3 dollars).
The benny was different to most, but not in a way that I liked. My benny was served with havarti sauce instead of a hollandaise sauce and it was served on a country biscuit instead of an English muffin. I was not a fan of these changes. It was served with a small portion of fruit and potatoes which were nothing worth writing about.
The mushroom omelet was bland and I would rate only as satisfactory. The egg mix could have used some spices to make the omelet more flavourfull. The turkey sausage however was great, cooked to a crispy perfection.
The other great thing about Sebs is the atmosphere. Everything feels some homely. The coffee and soups seemed like they were served hot. I would like to chill there if the food was better.
Help me out and let me know your favorite weekend breakfast spot.
Seb's Market Cafe
592 E Broadway, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 298-4403
We got there and the only seat available was the worst seat in the house, the one right by the kitchen. The waiter asked if we were OK with that spot or if we would like to wait for another table. I said yes, I rather take the bad seat than wait 20 minutes but I thought it was nice that the waiter offered. The menu at Bo Kong is massive, tons of vegetarian things to pick from, almost too much. We ordered a chow mein, mushrooms with gai lan, the deep fried tofu and a plate of spring rolls. I don't remembered the exact prices but everything was about 8 - 11 dollars in price.
The mushrooms and gai lan were good but by no means any better than any other Chinese restaurant. My feelings were the same for the chow mein, it was good but did not blow me away at any point. The deep fried tofu was a little overcooked and dry.
The service was polite and friendly, and I would say pretty dam good for a Chinese restaurant. Something weird happened at the end of the night, the restaurant got cold, and when I mean cold I mean really cold. Cold like the ice planet Hoth or cold as the pole in the winter. I could feel my hair standing on ends and my nipples standing two Smarties high.
I would call the meal pretty average. I did have a good time catching up with some friends that I have not seen for a long time.
Bo Kong Vegetarian Restaurant
3068 Main Street, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 876-3088
This weekend I was hosting some friends from Toronto and they really wanted to have the chicken wings and squid at Phnom Phenh. We ordered like gluttons. The six of us collectively ordered five large plates of the deep fried chicken wings ($11.50 each large order), one plate of the squid in the same batter ($13.50), an order of dow me yu (Chinese green vegetable), and shrimp fried rice. The batter of the two deep fried items are incredible. The two dishes come topped with fried garlic pieces and scallions and served with a lemon,and pepper dipping sauce. You do get a lot of wing tips in the chicken plate, but I don't mind eating those joints as well. I am a bigger fan of the squid but everyone else liked the chicken better. The shrimp fried rice tasted great and is an ideal and flavourful complement to the deep fried dishes. Ordering some vegetables would not hurt as well (gai lan, tong choi or dow me yu) . ).
Phnom Phenh sits on Vancouver Slops favorite list and the lists of famous cooking personalities Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain. If you haven't gone here, you must put this place on your to-do list.
244 Georgia Street (just east of Main Street)
East Vancouver (604) 734-8898
Make sure you do your research on what to order to maximize your experience as there are some items on the menu that I am not a fan of. Generally, the negative reviews of this place are from the people who order the wrong things aka the people who don't read this blog.
Went back to Shiro and this time it let me down. The salmon sashimi was great and consistent with the taste and texture of my previous visit but the rolls we ordered were sub par. The issue was the sushi chef made a bad batch of sushi rice. You can see the gelatinous shine to the rice in the picture, I think maybe too much water or vinegar was added.
We ordered a futomaki roll later, and the rice was better. It helped make up for the meal but couldn't save it.
It just goes to show you how important consistency is and how on any day you could get a real good meal or a real bad meal at one of your favorite spots.
Previous review here.
3096 Cambie St
This is my first time having Persian food and in BC I guess there is no better place to have it other than North Vancouver. Yaas Bazaar is a popular spot for Persians and is an experience on its own. Walking into the store/food bazaar, you see a baked sweets section on the left, then aisles of canned or boxed Persian food products and to the right there is the hot food section.
Our Persian friend took care of the ordering and the three of us shared two plates of rice with kebabs. I think each plate was about 10 dollars and they both came with a pop. Overall, the meal was enjoyable. The rice was tasty and had some crispiness to it, which was a nice change to my regular Asian rice staple. The beef kebab was really good and the chicken was a little dry but we were eating near closing time so I would assume that was the reason.
The experience was non intimidating and enjoyable. The owner/staff was kind enough to turn the lights out while we were perusing the aisles to tell us that they were closing. I understand that people want to go home and I did not want my Persian friend to be embarrassed so I quickly scurried out but I really wanted to buy some sweets.
1860 Lonsdale Ave
I know the Smoking Dog has received various accolades for their steak frites and I remember walking home happy after my previous visit so I decided I needed to pay them a return visit.
I wasn't feeling good this day so I didn't order a drink with my meal nor did we order an appetizer. I ordered the Steak Frites (21 dollars) and my friend ordered the seared sea scallops on lemon rissotto (21 dollars). I am not sure if it was because we didn't order drinks or if the server was really busy but the service that night was brutal. We didn't get served bread until we stopped the server to ask for, our glasses of water were never refilled and it took a long time for us to get our bill.
I still enjoyed my meal, the gravy was a great addition to the steak and fries and really added flavour of my meal. The steak was cooked to perfection and the fries were tasty.
On the other hand, my friend's scallops were not so good, she ranks them as a two on a scale of one to ten (Wow, thats not even close to a pass!!!). The scallops were dry, and flavourless. The risotto was lack luster, dry and cold in temperature.
My previous visit last year was really good, but this time it was not replicated.
Smoking Dog Bistro
1889 West 1st Ave.
In Vancouver, there are not a lot of Jamaican/West Indian spots to eat. I used to diss The Reef before because I never really thought the food was that good but this time it changed my mind.
The atmosphere at The Reef is great. It works well with the Main Street crowd and has that feeling like your are in Maragritaville in Jamaica.
I ordered the Jerk chicken and although it was different than what you would get in Jamaica it was still a really tasty meal. Real jerk chicken is cooked on jerk wood about a foot off the ground. More commonly in Jamaica, the jerk is cooked in a drum pan with broken up pieces of jerk wood. Both taste nice. I could have used more rice and peas with my meal. That stuff is cheap, they should hook it up nice.
I know in past sittings the speed of service can be a little slow. Sometimes they are on island time and things can take a minute to show up. This time the restaurant was not busy and the complementary Johnny cakes came quick and so did the food.
I hear the breakfast here is off the hook.
Big ups to The Reef, you changed my mind.
4172 Main, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 874-5375
I know no one back yard says booyaka shots anymore but I just thought it looked good in the title.
Matt aka Mr. Chin from Shottas. Going to the Biltmore to check the Reggae night tonight.
My roughage intake is generally low and always has been. As a kid I would never eat salad, I would even order my McChickens without lettuce. I finally ate my first salad in Grade 12, it was clucks and greens at Red Robins.
A friend and I took a journey to Fortune Garden to go eat duck. Fortune Garden has an fantastic duck special on for 17.99 but you must order one other dish. What a deal!!! You get the duck skin with the wrap and then an order of lettuce wrap, all for 17.99!!! We ordered a crab egg fu yung (14.50) as the third dish.
The service was great and the restaurant appears very clean and tidy. Although, I didn't check out the washroom which is often the true measure of cleanliness for a Chinese restaurant. Both of our dishes of duck were really good. Nothing incredible but on par with every other lettuce wrap and duck skin dish I have had. What really excited me was how many servings I got to have because there were only two of us. Most family dinners I only get to have one serving of this dish. This time I get to have tons.
The egg fu yung was brutal. The crab stank of old fish and the plate simply looked like scrambled eggs. We should have ordered a noodle dish instead.
Bottom line, go have their duck special for dinner while they are still offering it.
Fortune Garden Restaurant
1475 W Broadway
Broadway and Granville.
This hot pot joint has been in my neighborhood for years but had never tried it out. Along with a good friend we stepped in to give it a try, not knowing if it was any good or how pricey the menu was. The atmosphere of the restaurant was clean, bright, and tables with gas ranges built in. At first glance the menu was pricey but laid out nicely in categories of seafood, meats, vegi's and so on. But when receiving the check at the end of the meal, the damage didn't seem to be too bad for what we ate.
We ordered some Chive Dumplings and Fresh Fish Dumplings off the recommended menu. Also some mushrooms and Lamb Slices for some variety. You also get to choose your hot pot broth and we went with the Cilantro Soup which also came with lots of sui choi, tofu pieces, and a couple century eggs (black preserved eggs). The dumplings came frozen, so don't know what the "Fresh Fish" part was all about. None the less, the dumplings, lamb and mushrooms were great in the broth. You get a few different kinds of sauces to dip your goods in. The food and experience was pretty good all around, except for the Plum Juice they serve you at the end of your meal.
I usually like to end my meal with a bite of something i enjoyed the most, so that i have that taste linger after the meal is done. So everything was going smooth until the server dropped off 2 small glasses of what looked like some dark ice tea. I took one sip and messed up my enjoyment of my last taste. I had to ask what this juice was because i could not even explain it, except that it tasted like an ashtray. So, everything was great but I'm warning you about the Plum Juice.
Landmark Hot Pot House
4023 Cambie St.
First thing worth noting about Les Faux Bourgeois is that they are very busy and you should get a reservation.
The second thing is that they offer a real good value both for their wines and for their food.
The third thing is that they are located in the middle of nowhere so if you did not get a reservation, there is no where to walk around to kill time.
The restaurant is owned by Stephan Gagnon (previous part owner of Jules) and Andreas Seppelt (somehow involved with Go Fish according to the host). I read that Stephan sold his shares in Jules last November, while he was at Jules it was one of my favorite places for steak frites, since then the quality of meat has gone down.
As with most dates, a bottle of wine makes it go a little easier. The bottles at Les Faux Bourgeois are well priced starting as low as 27 dollars. We ordered the Gamay noir for just under 40. I was eyeing the dam 27 dollar bottle but I let the date have her way because I wanted to take a pictures of the grub. We had a sip of the wine and it was tasty, my date then said to me, "I need cheese with this." She flagged down the French waiter and ordered a Cheese plate.
This is where my Japanese brain works really fast. I am thinking, who the hell really NEEDS a cheese plate. It wasn't the fact that I was spending another ten buck but rather her conversation how she really needed this cheese plate in her life. Whats next, she NEEDS two main courses.
The cheese plate was OK and small in size. My memory fails me because I was more concerned on what kind of girl I had in front of me rather than the flavour of our appetizer.
For my entree I ordered the Steak Frites (16 dollars) and my date ordered the daily special which was a salmon for 16 dollars (My Japanese brain was working hard again, thinking who orders salmon at a French restaurant?). My steak frites for the price was a great deal, the red wine sauce that it was served in was flavourful and the fries were really tasty. The steak was a chewy but I can hardly expect an expensive cut of meat for a 16 dollar pricetag. I had a bite of the salmon and I was less than impressed, it was pretty flavourless.
My date then felt the need to order a dessert here so we shared a creme brulee which was satisfying. I prefer to go have dessert at second location because it allows me to showcase my knowledge of desserts in Vancouver and the change of scenery gives added perceived value to the date.
Overall, Les Faux Bourgeois is a great deal and a worthwhile experience. I heard the duck confit is excellent and I will be back to try it. Make sure you have a reservation.
Les Faux Bourgeois
663 15th Ave
I wonder if she reads my review blog.
Missing the last call for food at Guu Gastown we needed close spot to eat at. I decided to walk the group past Boneta and journey over to Cobre. This was my first time going to Cobre and I have not read any reviews online so I had no expectations walking in.
The appearance of the restaurant from outside is fairly nondescript, a lit up sign and a valet marks the entrance. Inside, the restaurant has two levels of seating, accessorized with exposed brick walls, dark hardwood floors and and an ideal amount of lighting for late night drinks and snacks.
One of the things that I hate about blogging is having to be that guy, that says "Wait up guys, I need to take a picture before you can eat, so hands off!". That and it feels cheesy to take pictures of your food.
We ordered a plate of the pulled duck tacos, the free range chicken taquitos, the pan seared sablefish and the scallop in oxtail pozole. The taquitos came with a side of guacamole that really added to the taste of my crunchy friends. The flavour of the duck tacos were fantastic, maybe the highlight of the night. If I remember correctly, the sablefish and the scallop were both cooked to perfection and tasted good but it was such a small piece of a scallop and fish that it could not leave a lasting impression. No fault to the restaurant, they were both just dishes that were really hard to share with six people.
One real cool thing about Cobre is that they will adjust the numbers of the tapas to your table. There were six of us at the table and the server made sure we received six tacos, and six chicken taquitos. Not sure what the additional cost was.
Overall, a great place to go have snacks and drinks. If you need a place in Gastown for tapas that you want to walk out with your belly full go to Guu but if you want to spend a little more and try something different, give Cobre a chance.
52 Powell Street, Vancouver
After Cobre we took a trip to the Met to dance with some hipsters. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don't. I got issues.
Here is the first guest blog feature. I am glad I edited it because her writing was laden with gramatical errors and way too long. It is now a really good read. Enjoy.
Trattoria Italian Kitchen
So, I guess I should explain how I got invited to guest-blog on the illustrious Vancouver Slop. It was a challenge put forth after my dear frenemy, mastermind behind The Slop, questioned my taste in food and thus I was compelled to redeem myself - but not before making him pay (and literally) for his slander.
Rules of Engagement (As put forth, verbatim, by frenemy)
1. You guest blog
2. No appeys
3. No drinks
4. You arrange everything
5. You don't get to pick the place because I don't trust your taste. Ha ha.
So I got a meal, and a chance to show my frenemy what I'm made of.
I have yet to find an Italian restaurant that holds true to all three tenants of great Italian cuisine: simple, rustic and fresh. I also don't think people should have to pay $40 for an entrée to find a quality Italian meal that doesn't leave you feeling like you look like Joey Fatone. In my quest for the meal that brings out the best of my imaginary Italian countryside nostalgia, we decided to try a restaurant whose namesake is that of casual, modest, rustic style Italian eating – Trattoria Italian Kitchen.
Trattoria Italian Kitchen on West 4th Avenue is basically the Marc by Marc Jacobs, of the Italian Kitchen and the Glowbal family. It's still got the name, but caters to a younger, more casual, Banana Republic wearing crowd. Paradoxical to the spirit of a true trattoria, the interior is as yuppy as any Glowbal Group restaurant can be expected to be, but their patio looks like it will be a killer spot in the warm summer months. My frenemy and I ordered the same dish – Spaghetti with Kobe Meatballs. My strategy was to order a classic Italian dish that could serve as an easy barometre for comparison. The pasta came quickly and well presented with real grated parmigiano reggiano. The Spaghetti with Kobe Meatballs was a solid dish with fresh parsley and basil leaves that added an unexpected freshness to the otherwise heavy tomato sauce. The Kobe meatballs were tasty and very spicy, but a bit dry for a cow with a personal masseuse.
Our friends ordered the Penne Arrabiata and the Spaghetti Bolognese which were pretty decent, though the Arrabiata with its pancetta and dollop of heavenly burrata (a creamy white cheese) took the cake as the winning dish for the night. Trattoria has good pasta at a great price point, with 4 entrees coming to less than $60. Their selection of fresh pizzas and rustic-style dishes sounded appetizing but have yet to be put to the Vancouver Slop palette. I guess we're still looking for an Italian restaurant that services our faux countryside nostalgias...
Trattoria Italian Kitchen
1850 W 4th Ave
Written by ML
Edited by Matt