Just got back from a 4 day work trip to Las Vegas. As far as food goes you can find just about any type of food in Vegas. The problem is the food available to you in Vegas is bad fast food for cheap or good high end restaurants with very expensive prices. For the most of my 4 days there i was confined to a convention center where a trade show took place and all that was available in close vicinity was the sub-par food court. Your choices were greasy sandwiches, greasy chinese food, or greasy pizza all for about $15.
So on the 3rd day my friend and I decided that we would cab it to IN-N-OUT Burger for lunch. The cab ride there was $10. Got there just before the lunch time rush ad ordered their classic Cheese Burger w/ Fries and Drink combo (#2). $5 each! Delicious! In-N-Out has got to be, by far, my favorite North American burger chain.
For those of you who are not familiar with In-N-Out, they are a privately owned burger chain out of California and have been around since 1948. I believe they are only in the state of California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. They thrive themselves on serving the freshest burgers by having their own farms and beef patty making facilities. Ingredients are hand picks and delivered to each location. So fresh and so lean!
The menu is simple, Double Double (double patty double cheese), Cheese Burger, Hamburger and French Fries. A selection of fountain drinks and milk shakes.
But if you go to their website you will find the "not so secret menu". There you will find some special items that you can order if you can remember the names of the items when placing your order. You can even ask for cheese melted on your fries!
After our very satisfying meal we flagged a cabbie that was just finishing his In-N-Out lunch and took it back to the trade show for $10. So, in the end we got a much more healthier and tastier meal for $15 each (including the cab rides) than anything we could have eaten at the show. Shoulda gone there everyday!
ps: the closest IN-N-OUT BURGER to Vancouver is in Redding, California. I know, i took a road trip down to San Diego and had the pedal floored to get to the closest IN-N-OUT!
various locations in Southwest States
Guu With Garlic.
I have mentioned before that when I have friends in town, I make sure we make a trip to Guu Gastown or Guu with Garlic. Here is a quick recap of my recent trip to Guu with Garlic.
We walked into Guu late at night and managed to get seated immediately at the bar. Usually, the restaurant on the weekends is very busy and you can expect a long wait.
We sat down and I took care of the ordering. The two of us split the Gyu Shabu salad ($5.80 - one of my favorite tasting salads), yaki udon ($7.80 perfect filler), ebi mayo ($7.80 - everyone likes deep fried shrimp), unagi meshi ($5.20 BBQ eel with rice) and a mochi flavoured cheesecake ($4.00 - I liked the avocado version better).
The food was excellent and the restaurant has a fun vibe but not for everyone. I cannot recommend this place enough. To quench our thirst we both had a ramune with Calpis and soho. The drink was fantastic and ramune is both fun and tasty, give it a try if you haven't.
Go to Guu with Garlic.
Guu With Garlic
1698 Robson Street
I have never blogged about Cascade but this is not my first visit. I once had the burger at Cascade and I remembered that I was not a fan of the bun they used but I have been encouraged by many to go back and try it again.
After watching the movie Notorious, a friend and I decided to grab a drink at Cascade. I enjoyed my hang time in the restaurant, the interior is dark, with chalkboard painted walls, and exposed beams. The seating was comfortable and the music was set a level that allowed my friend and I to have a decent conversation.
The cocktail list was long but I settled for a couple of pints of Grolsch and my friend enjoyed a couple of glasses of the malbec. After my first beer I got a little snacky and we ordered the mushroom pizza (12 dollars - roasted mushroom, pesto, fontina, goat's cheese, and spinach). The food came really fast, I would assume mostly because it was late on Sunday night and no one else was eating. To my surprise the pizza was fantastic. The mushrooms tasted great, the crust was nice and thin, and the combination of the two cheeses created the perfect flavour. I must say I really enjoyed this pizza.
I'll be back to try some more items.
Habit, located next door is closed due to some damage from a fire. Wow thats two spots in Vancouver, Incendios and Habit. Someone better call Smokey The Bear to come down and do some fire safety training.
2616 Main St
Vancouver, BC V5T 3E6
I have only been to Octopus' Garden once before and all I can remember is that this place was good but dam expensive.
I had a friend in from the UK on the weekend and he wanted to have some good sushi. I decided to go to Octopus' Garden to try this place out for a second time.
The small restaurant was almost empty but they said all the tables were reserved. We managed to convince them to let us sit, under the promise that we were out the door in 45 mins.
When I sat down and looked at the menu, I now remember why I have not been back here in the last 5 years. It is dam expensive. We ordered the prawn tempura (12 dollars), Kobe style beef sushi (8 dollars for 2 pieces), salmon sashimi (15 dollars) and a dragon roll (18 dollars).
The prawn tempura was ok, I rather have an ebi mayo at Guu or any other izakaya. The salmon sashimi was fresh, tasting along the same lines as Yujis/Kibune. The dragon roll (tempura eel, avocado, red pepper, green beans) was tasty but not eighteen dollars tasty. Sure, the presentation was nice, but for eighteen dollars, circles of rice better look dam good. The kobe style beef roll was really flavorful and melted in your mouth.
Overall, the food is good but this place is pricey. I rather go to Yujis, Ajisai, or Kibune and save a few bucks.
1995 Cornwall Avenue
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden with you (if you were paying)
Quality not quantity.
My group of six, headed to this eatery to celebrate a very late Christmas dinner. The Refinery opened about two months ago. Their concept is called a “market-style-eatery”. For us Vancouverites, think highly refined cheese and crackers, but so much more than that.
Between the six of us we tried all of the dishes offered on the DOV menu. I was impressed. The dishes were well executed. I don’t have anything bad to say about the flavour of the food. Some people might find the portions small though and not filling enough. I was full but some of my hollow leg friends were just satiated. My favorite picks were…
Appy - Smoked salmon with Lemoncello gelee (lemon booze Jell-O): Refreshing and tasty that I didn’t want to share it with anybody.
- Portobello stuffed beef carpaccio: Sliced so thin it melts in your mouth.
Main - Vegetarian plate: Spiced Dijon squash cubes
- Seafood plate: Smoked tuna and white wine mussels
- Meat and Cheese plate: Every morsel on that one.
Dessert - Charlie’s mascarpone mousse: Not too sweet and light. Perfect after dinner, sweet… or any time sweet. I’m still thinking about that humble little dessert.
Service was excellent. I was not rushed in between courses or hungering for the next. The pace was perfect for all of us to chitchat, hang back, relax and laugh. At the end of the meal a friend asked for some tea but was told there is no coffee or tea service yet. Five minutes later a Starbuck’s tall, chai tea magically appeared before her. Thanks Ryan.
The bill came to $55.00 per person including tip, one bottle of sparkling wine and one bottle of shiraz (shared between the six of us). It’s a bit expensive but, worth every penny. We all agreed that we would head back to the Refinery soon.
I think this place is ideal for the ladies. The meals aren’t heavy and the atmosphere is comfy and casual. It’s a great place to hang out with friends. For the boys, the Refinery is your wing man. Take your date here to wine and dine because it’s best to share plates here to experience the menu…maybe more.
Happy reading and happy eating.
1115 Granville Street, Vancouver
Kintaro is celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary on Monday January 26, 2009 and in celebration they are selling their first 500 bowls of ramen for two dollars, and gyoza will be two dollars as well.
If you are in the area for lunch go stop by.
Sale starts at 11:30.
788 Denman Street
The slop is all about the cheap eats. Go, Go, Go.
I (Matt) still eat out everyday but I find that it is getting harder and harder for me to eat out at new restaurants. For my last dinner I gave my friend an option of four restaurants that we could eat at, he wasn't super happy that we couldn't go to one of our regular spots. In order to make sure Vancouverslop is still getting regular updates, and to add a new perspective to the website I have enlisted the help of a childhood friend, who will blog under the name T.
I lost track of T over the years but through Facebook we have found each other and became friends again. T is a foodie and currently works in the restaurant industry as a pastry chef.
Here is her bio:
I am a consummate foodie, so much so that I have followed my passion and work in the industry. Whether I am eating my way around Vancouver or abroad, I am always searching for the next "perfect" meal, cookbook, technique, kitchen gadget and the like. I look forward to sharing my savoury and sweet exploits with all of you. Remember life is too short so live to eat and not eat to live. Happy reading and happy eating!
I often frequent the website Chowhound.com which has a local discussion forum. Almost all of the people on the forum are really serious about food and on this day some of the members decided to have a group outing.
The beginning of the meeting started with introductions and talk of food in Vancouver. It then seemed like everyone was going to suggest their favorite restaurant and then have it shot down by other people at the table. Good thing everyone was nice and in good spirits or there could have been some blog wars started. To be honest, I think some blog beef would be funny.
Everyone at the table was talking about the bone marrow on the menu and it seemed like many people have tried this before. I felt like an inferior foodie for a second, but that thought felt really nerdy, so I was over that in a second.
Fmed from Foodosophy who ordered just before me got the last bone marrow dish available that night (16 dollars) leaving me with my second choice. It felt like a slap in the face by his gauntlet, and I thought the blog wars were going to start. Kidding! He was very nice and said he would share some of his bone marrow with me. I ordered the short ribs for 16 dollars and my friend that accompanied me to the meal ordered the bangers and hash (16 dollars which came with both mash and hash).
My sample of the bone marrow on toast was good. It was an interesting taste, but I would need to have more for me to really describe it. My first impression was flavourful but rich.
All the food tasted fantastic. My short ribs were really tender and had a great taste. The bangers and hash came with a generous portion of toulouse sausage (French sausage made from pork, smoked bacon, wine, and garlic) that were smooth and flavourful.
Everything that I tried was really good. It is also worth noting that the service there was solid. My only issue was for 16 dollars I was still walking out a little hungry, I could have easily ate another meal before I went to bed. To be a greedy pig here, you will have to break open you piggy bank.
307 West Cordova Street,
Their website sucks. Horrible font and some navigation elements that needs work.
Our friends Nina & Colin Hemmes have a little pastry & cake building kitchen called 'Tartlets' in North Vancouver. We had a chance to visit them to taste some cake and talk slop. Here is a little feature on Tartlets by yours truly, Vancouver Slop.
Click on the image above to see the feature.
Note from Author: Six Acres has been reviewed on VancouverSlop before (review here). I really enjoy this place for snacks and drinks but not enough food for a meal. Large beer list and a great atmosphere.
Guest Blogger from New York.
203 Carrall St
Friend from NYC
Facebook seems to be the new way to communicate with people. Friends will now write on my wall instead of emailing me, pokes have replaced text hellos and I am often tagged in photos I don't want people to see of me. However, without Facebook, I would forget most of my friends birthdays, miss out on a ton of parties and events and I would not be able to Facebook stalk the cool kids from highschool to find out they do not look so cool anymore.
Since Facebook is the new way to interact with people, I have decided to start a Facebook Group for Vancouverslop. If you are on Facebook, please join the group. It is a great way for people to interact with us and other foodies in Vancouver. Click on the image below to join the group.
Sandbar is a restaurant located in the heart of Granville Island and has one of the best patios in the city. It was not open during our visit but the patio has two large fireplaces, and heating coils on the ceiling to keep you warm through the cold winters. The view over False Creek is picturesque and is a great reminder to me, why I love Vancouver.
The brunch menu was really small, just three items (Eggs benedict / Sandbar Eggs Benedict / Chorizo Chicken Hash). I ordered the Sandbar Eggs Benedict (14 dollars - Eggs benny with shrimp and crab) while my friend ordered the chicken chorizo hash. The warm bread served at the beginning of the meal was really tasty and quenched the initial hunger of my growling stomach. As for the benedict, the thought of having eggs, hollandaise sauce with shrimp and crab made me excited however the meal did not live up to my imagination. The shrimp was good but the crab had a fishy taste to it. I guess I was a little naive to think I was going to get pieces of fresh crab.
Overall, the benny was decent but nothing special. I wish the crab was fresh or removed completely from the benny. Tthe service was top notch and the restaurant has a fantastic atmosphere. I do plan on having a few drinks on the patio next time but this will not be on my list of brunch spots.
1535 Johnston St
Here is another food event that I can now cross off my list. JJ's is a fine dining restaurant located in Vancouver Community College. The prices are really cheap because all the meals are cooked and served by students.
We walked in at 11:30 (you have to arrive before 12:00 to be seated) and a gentleman who had a mixture of colours in his hair was kind enough to take my coat. We sat down and took a look at the menu. What a deal!
Beginnings - Four Dollars Each
I ordered something off the daily sheet for my beginning and had pea greens with prawns wrapped in prosciutto. It tasted pretty dam good, altough it is hard to screw this one up, fantastic for four dollars. My buddy Kent ordered a salad containing pea greens, pickled pear, candied ginger and grape-seed oil. I wasn't into his salad as much, it was the first time I had pickled pear and I was not down with the acidic taste.
Middles - Nine Dollars Each
I ordered the lamb meat loaf panini with braised onions, gruyere cheese and minted aioli. The panini was good, I really enjoyed the taste of the lamb meat loaf. Not too gamey and had a solid flavor. Kent ordered off the daily menu and had the baked veal. Seems like the students needed more practice on this one because the veal did not have much flavour and the potatoes were decent but more on the bland side.
Ending - Three dollars
No endings for us today. The choices were rice pudding brulee, Pistachio olive oil cake, Warm pear tart and Peach bavarois
The whole process took about one hour. Our server was great and was very on top of things, her future looks like it will be brighter than being the girl that pushes the dim sum carts on Sundays. Best of luck to you girl. (No disrespect to all the loyal readers who are dim sum cart pushers)
Vancouver Community College (third floor)
250 Pender Street West
Vancouver, BC V6B 1S9
Consistency will be an issue, beware of the first year students.
I once got a hair cut at a hair school and after one hour and four apologies from the hair cutter, I had to ask to have my hair shaved off.
Taste BC 2009
Here is a great event for a fantastic cause.
Taste BC 2009 will take place on January 22, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and will give patrons a chance to indulge in tastings from some of the finest restaurants, wineries, breweries and cheese purveyors in BC, while providing benefit to one of the provinces most vital medical institutions.
Proceeds from ticket sales ($49.99) will be donated to the BC Children's Hospital - Oak Tree Clinic.
So come out, enjoy the food, drink some vino and support a fantastic cause.
Taste BC 2009
4:30 - 7:30
Hyatt Regency Hotel
655 Burrard St.
The restaurant was large in size but only a few tables occupied the floor. There was a heater sitting on the ground beside our table to provide some additional warmth for the customers but it looked very much out of place. The atmosphere for a Jamaican restaurant was standard, keep in mind this is the country that invented ugliest fashion piece in the world, the mesh tank top.
I looked at the menu that was sitting on the table and I got excited about what I was going to order but then the man behind the counter named Prince told me he only had four items to choose from (Jerk chicken, jerk pork, ox tail and one other item that was crossed out on the chalkboard). We ordered the jerk chicken ($12.00) and the oxtail ($12.00). The beverage selection was also minimal (Ting, pineapple drink, ginger beer and water). Prince continued to big up the food saying "people say this food tastes better than Jamaica".
The food arrived quick and the portions were large. Actually, the food arrived too quick for, I can understand that oxtail is stewing in a pot but the Jerk came in less than 5 mins, it tasted too good to be coming out of a microwave.
The oxtail was interesting. It had a different taste than traditional ox tail. It was sweet, like someone added some sweet BBQ sauce to it. It tasted decent but I wasn't really into the sweet taste. The jerk chicken was tasty and I would say best in the city. The skin was nice and crispy and you could actually taste the pimento in the flavor.
Overall, based on the nice portions and decent taste, if you are in the hood give this place a try. I recommend the jerk over the oxtail.
Kingston 11 Reggae Cafe
232 Lonsdale Ave,
The atmosphere inside is fantastic. Including exposed brick walls, old looking mirrors, paintings resembling Russia in the winter (although a different country the paintings reminded me of some of the cinematography from the movie Let The Right Ones In), old industrial seating and an annoying smoke alarm that decided to go off while we were eating.
I ordered the Fricasse (15 dollars - 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, smoked applewood cheddar. Grilled foccacia) and my friend ordered the Jambon et formage (15 dollars - Pulled Karabuda pork, morbier cheese, cherry compote, toasted fruit and nut bread Belgian endive, pecan, watercress salad). Look at the photos, it looks dam good and tasted even better. The braised short ribs tasted incredible, add the flavor of the egg and I was ecstatic. My foccacia bread was soft and a great addition to the meal, it was cut in a perfect rectangle, reminding me of Duplo blocks.
I wanted a little more food, so my buddy and I shared a waffle with the mixed berry compote on it (4 dollars). The waffle was warm, and had a nice sweet taste to it. It also managed to not get all soggy. It was small but dam tasty. Much better than Patisserie Lebeau who I have a love hate relationship with (love hate because the waffles are good but are not made fresh to order).
This is my new favorite breakfast spot. A little pricey for it to be a regular spot when I know I can get eggs and bacon at a greasy spoon spot for four dollars but if you ever want to go out for a nice breakfast you MUST give this place a try. Highly recommend.
556 Beatty Street
PS - Make sure you get a box of matches before you leave. I find it is always nice to have a pack available in your washroom in case you guests arrive to your place after a meal that did not agree well with their stomach.
Louis Gervais is a five diamond executive chef and was the head chef at The Sutton place, and he now operates a catering business out of North Vancouver. His business offers catering, cooking lessons and gourmet take away items. Through a recommendation from an industry friend I was told I have to try their sandwiches.
Here is the secret. The kitchen is open from 11:30 - 1:30 for people to walk in and have a soup and sandwich. We were very confused because this spot is not a retail spot and we drove past it twice until we decided to call to get directions/instructions. You basically walk right into the studio kitchen and order your sandwich and soup, I assume this would partially fall under the gourmet take away category.
We walked in and the chef greeted us and asked us what kind of sandwich we would like. The options included:
- Meat (Ham, chicken, salami)
- Cheese (swiss, or chedder)
- Bread (white or multigrain)
- Toppings (pesto mayo, spinach, tomatoes)
- The soup of the day was roasted red pepper
The sandwich was fantastic!!! The ingredients tasted fresh and I would rank this as one my favorite sandwich spots in the city (1. La Galleria 2. Finchs 3. Louis Gervais) . The side bowl of soup was massive and tasted great, I am not a fan of roasted pepper soup but my friend gave me the thumbs up when I looked over. The meal was a great value and very flavorful. I liked the white bread better than the multigrain becuase the multigrain looked like it would cut the roof of my mouth.
Louis Gervais Fine Food and Catering
159 East 1st Street
Back Alley entrance
Anyone ever watch The Ricky Gervais Video Podcast? It is great.
I often use Urbanspoon.com as a barometer for how Vancouverslop is doing versus other blogs and today to my surprise we were at number one.
I started taking VancouverSlop seriously in September of last year, I am very happy to see it come into fruition in such a short time. Thank you to all that have supported and have taken the time out of their day to read the posts. I try my best to make them an informative and humorous read. I am sure tomorrow or the next day we might be number two or number three because there are some other real good blogs out there but I am here to let you know that today we were number one and the slop is here to stay.
Thanks for all your support.
Cafe D'Lite is a little hole in the wall spot located in Kits that serves Malaysian and Singapore cuisine. They close very early and we have ended up outside many times looking in on the closed restaurant thinking about the meal we could have had.
Cafe D'Lite's specialty is Hainanese chicken, which is hated and loved by many people. The chicken is cold, or room temperature and looks uncooked. Those two things alone tend to scare people away from this dish. If you can get over that I recommend that you try Cafe D'Lite's Hainanese Chicken.
We ordered the large Hainanese chicken ($13.00) which is served cut up and de-boned so it is nice and easy to eat. The chicken tastes great and the preparation makes it really easy to eat. We ordered a bowl of chicken rice and a noodle dish to accompany our chicken dish. They noodle and rice were standard in taste and worked well as a filler.
Since we just squeezed our asses in before last call we didn't get the best of service. My friend made sure they knew that from the tip that we left. I subscribe to a different philosophy and I usually always tip well and I just won't return if the service is bad.
Make sure you call before you go cause they close early.
3144 W. Broadway,
Guu Gastown Otokomae (meaning handsome man both physically and all things that make a true man)
This is one of my favorite spots in Vancouver. When friends come to Vancouver, I usually make sure we have a dinner at Guu Gastown or Guu with Garlic.
Guu Gastown has comfortable seating, a great list of drinks (aloe vera juice, moonlight vodka and a dollop of honey is my favorite) and serves great food that has always left me walking out with a smile on my face.
Here is a list of what we usually order when we sit down in Guu Gastown. There are a lot more really good items to choose from, but this is a pretty standard for me in a big group.
Edamame - a great starter
Ebi Mayo - there is a new shrimp dish on the menu but this one is better.
Yaki udon - a perfect filler
Mexican Harumaki - I loved this item but it is now taken off the menu. Boo-urns.
Croquette - potato ball
Chicken kara age - labelled as chicken nuggets by some white people from Ottawa that I took for dinner once.
Grilled beef short rib - new item, I liked it but didn't love it.
There is a new menu at Guu Gastown and we tried some new items like the crab and shrimp dumpling and the ebi tartar. Some of them were ok, but next time I will order what I listed above. Ebi Mayo > Ebi tartar.
We had a large group this time, and some how the billed got screwed up and I ended up paying a ton of money for the bill. Whoever, did the math let somebody get away with a good deal cause I had to pull out my Christmas money to pay my share.
Expect good food, a nice atmosphere and the waiter to yell your order across the room. One of the great things about Guu, is that it is very consistent. Always dam good.
Guu Otokamae Gastown
375 Water Street #105, Vancouver
Tel: 604 685-8682
I wanted to have this out for the first week of December but I have been way too busy with my day job, Christmas commitments and my side company Finale Design. I finally dedicated a few hours on the weekend to get this done and here it is. Click on the image to see the roll up.
In my opinion the first place winner was leagues above all others and I recommend visiting this place if you are looking for a good steak frites. The restaurant had it all, great service, excellent atmosphere, and fantastic food.
Not sure what my next challenge is but I might have to change the format because this one was a little difficult to do properly.
Jules Casual French Bistro
To continue with my steak frites review, I went to Jules to try their steak frites set menu. I visited Jules a few years back and the meal I has was very memorable. Great atmosphere, great service, great food at a good value. This trip was not the same.
I ordered the set menu which consisted of a mixed green salad, steak frites, and a chocolate cake for 26 dollars. My fried ordered the french onion soup (8 dollars) and a plate of mussels with fries (14 dollars). The soup and salad were both good. Nothing stellar but decent. The steak frites was cooked to perfection, however overall the cut was not very flavourful and the sauce/gravy made it taste kinda cheap. The fries were crispy, hot and tasty. However, the bowl of mussels was the worst part of the night. They had a super, strong fishy taste and we couldn't eat half the bowl. Usually, when there is that much of your main course sitting around I would expect the server to ask if there was a problem. Otherwise, the service was very good.
I know there have been a few changes since I first went to Jules. I was told they have switched their butchers and one of the partners Stephan Gagnon sold his shares in the restaurant and started Les Faux Bourgeois. In any case, this visit was enough for me not to come back.
Jules Casual French Bistro
216 Abbott Street