El Inka Deli
Tucked away in an odd neighbourhood by Burnaby General Hospital sits the El Inka Deli. This little spot serves good Peruvian and Colombian food. The tacos are only $2.50 and the empanadas are only a buck each.
The tacos come in either a crispy shell or a soft shell and are much bigger than the ones you get at most restaurants. The tacos tasted good and there was a hot sauce that you can use to spice it up. The empanadas for a dollar are wicked. These little baked pasties filled with ground beef, onion and potato were fantastic.
Not the best atmosphere but a great meal for cheap. I love crispy tacos.
El Inka Deli
3826 Sunset Street
I have a friend that lives on Cambie and I have been waiting for this restaurant to open for what seems like months. This time we strolled by and to my surprise it was open. Woo hoo, our hungry bodies walked in there to see a pretty Mexican girl who directed us to the table to write our orders on a paper bag.
We all ordered different sandwiches and each of us claimed that our own choice was the best. I had the Carne Asada con Queso (Marinated and roasted beef with oaxaca $9.30) while my frieds ordered the cubana (Pierna, jamon, milanesa and palena cheese - $9.95) and the choriqueso (Chorizo sausage and oaxaca cheese - $9.30).
My Carne Asada was really tasty, the meat had a nice flavour to it and the toasted home made telera bread bun comes equiped with cabbage, tomato, pickled onions, jalapenos, guacamole, butter, mayo and refried beans. I was surprised that I really like the refried beans. The bite I had of the my friends choriqueso was really flavourful and had a sloppy joe kinda feel. Kent's cubana had these little amazing pieces of panela cheese that were delicious. They didn't melt and had a spongy feel to it.
We had a glass of tamarind drink ($2) to wash it all down.
My personal thoughts is that Las Tortas offers a really tasty sandwich but I need them to throw in a handful of chips or drop the price down by a dollar or two. At ten dollars a sandwich they are just a little pricey.
3353 Cambie Street
LARRY BERG - President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority
Mr. Berg is a director of Vancouver Airport Authority and a director of its subsidiary company, YVR Airport Services, which operates 18 airports within Canada and internationally.
Irish Heather - Long Table Series
This is a must do for 2009. The long table series at the Irish Heather happens between Sunday to Wednesday where patrons can enjoy a set meal with a beer for only $12 dollars. The set menu is published on their website and seats book up fast.
We went on a Tuesday where the menu consists of:
Sweet Potato and Yam Stuffed Tortellini with Three Kinds of Sausage and Onion Ragout
-Pint R&B Red Devil Ale
The Irish Heather asks you to arrive at 6:00 and to have a seat/drink in the Shebeen before the 6:30 dinner. At 6:30 we were invited back into the Irish Heather and we all scrambled to find seats together, which was a lot easier than I expected. The meal starts off with a talk by the chef who explains what he has prepared for us, he told us that this was a variation of the traditional bangers and mash. I guess the sweet potato and yam replaces the potato and the cut sausage replaces the uncut sausage. Shortly, after the beer comes out and then the food.
This meal was incredible. The taste of the sweet potato and yam stuffed tortellini was fantastic and the breaded deep fried onions on top were wicked and added a great texture to the meal. We ordered some bread to dip into our ragout sauce.
We have already booked seats for the Sunday session for the Roast Beef.
210 Carall Street
I will add that Pied a Terre is really a lovely spot, it is cozy, comfortable, and the staff is really knowledgeable (and quite tolerant of all our questions, which we seemed to have a lot of that night). We had to make reservations, as I tried to go there the week prior on a Wednesday and there were no availabilities until 930pm, on a Wednesday! Good for them for being so busy, and I can see why!
We were a bit indecisive with the menu, with so many good things to choose from, and I deliberated between a main or two appies, but two appies is always the better way to go, I like to try more than just one menu item. I opted for the Steak Tartare with crisp baguette garlic toast for $10.50 and the Salad Maison: endive, apples, bacon, croutons, walnuts, Roquefort for $9.50, while my friend went for the Steamed Mussels Basquaise for $11.
First came the bread stacked atop a spindle (an old metal stake receipt spike), which I thought was both cute and clever. Good presentation is important, and they definitely take care to present well here. The steak tartare and salad looked as though effort was taken in both the preparation and presentation. I can only presume that steak tartare is an acquired taste (or texture), but growing up in Alberta, and having a dad that would make us steak tartare had me wanting to try it. It was so fresh and full flavoured, with good sauce and seasonings; the portion was huge though, and definitely more than three garlic toasts could handle, and I had to ask for more later. The salad was perfect and beautifully presented, almost delicate; but this is a salad for those who love blue cheese, there are huge chunks of blue cheese and the flavour comes through with every bite, but is balanced out well with the apples (of which there were just the right amount), croutons, bacon, walnuts and endive (which is thankfully chopped nicely, because who really likes to eat a salad with a fork and knife?). My friend really enjoyed the mussels, which arrived steaming hot in their cast iron red pan, also a nice aesthetic touch.
Next up, dessert, a weakness of mine after every meal; how can you not? At $9 a piece, my friend ordered the Crepes Suzette, while I went with the Lemon Tart (which I will order any time it is on the menu, top favorite). Again, presentation wins; the crepes suzette, with their orange sauce, were accompanied with whipped cream served in a small lions head bowl, and the lemon tart came alongside creme fraiche, raspberries and a lemon sauce. Not being an orange fan (which for me, is so different than lemon), I didn't try the crepes suzette...but the lemon tart was AMAZING; the top was like creme brulee, it wasn't too lemony and the crust was perfect, I could eat a whole pie.
And just a nicety that I wanted to mention....I was unable to finish the tartare and salad (have to make room for dessert somewhere!), and I asked for them to be packed up. The server told me that they actually don't allow people to take the unfinished tartare home, I assume for risk of bacteria should it not be eaten right away, but in turn, they only charged me for a half order, which was such a nice and surprising gesture, I doubt most restaurants would do that!
First impressions: the staff was cute and eager, they played good music, but the chairs could be a bit more comfortable, and it was definitely too ACed, such an artificial cold. Another nice touch is that on the menu, they list last week's top food and cocktail items ordered.
We started with the $6 pumpkin croquette, a deep fried kabocha squash and mashed potato croquette with fruity vegetable sauce, which was delicious surprise #1 of our meal; it was lightly breaded, piping hot (and retained it's heat quite well, might I add) and delicious (...and as a rookie, I forgot to take a photo before we started eating it, but it looked so good, we couldn't help ourselves!) We then moved onto the gomae for $4.50, which was just okay, kind of disappointing actually (and I have yet to find a gomae equal to guu's). Then, the six piece, $11 wild salmon sashimi, which was tasty and good quality sashimi in my opinion, melt in your mouth quality. Next up was one of the evening's special rolls, the avocado spicy salmon for $4.95; I'm a spice sissy (not being a fan of sweaty faces and runny noses while eating), so for me it was a bit too spicy, but otherwise great...a nice touch, and healthier alternative to full battered tempura rolls, were the sprinkled whole wheat tempura flour bits. Not yet being full and satisfied, we decided to take a chance on the $7.50 italian springroll, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato and basil in deep-fried spring roll; mmmmmm surprise #2, it was so good, like a guilty bruchetta, but with more cheese and fresh basil, no dip required.
So, as we all know, anything deep fried is generally delicious, which is no surprise, but the pumpkin croquette and italian spring rolls were a fresh and tasty take on deep fried. I would recommend this place, it's moderately priced, and while the location is a bit random, it's not inconvenient, and the staff is really cute. And I will add it was nice to be outside after the AC....and, if you get take out (which I did from there last week, I don't recommend the deep fried items, why do they get soggy, even if you punch holes in the styrofoam)....
Alpha Global Sushi & Bar
1099 Richards St.
At Havana on the Drive you can get one of my favourite drinks in the city, the champagne sangria. Sooo good, and you get to eat the alcohol filled fruit at the end. Order a pitcher with some friends and have some of their new appetizers. Their new menu is actually quite tasty. For food we ordered the
Tostones - Fried plantain chips
Beef taquitos - Slow cooked skirt steak with pickled cabbage, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and white beans inside warm corn tortillas.
The atmosphere is also rad. Walls that have names and sayings scribed into them (done intentionally by the designer or done by the previous lease owners, I am not sure) and an art gallery in the back.
1212 Commercial Drive
It is BBQ season and I have been trying to perfect my burger recipe. There is still one or two more things to work out but they are tasting pretty good so far (defeated my nemisis at the last burger showdown). I am going to try adding bread soaked in milk or just straight bread crumbs and see if that gets the taste I want.
While at my friends place last night, my super foodie friend showed me this website done by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The site is fantastic and the voice sounds like it comes from Puddy from Seinfeld. Take a look and try and make your favourite burger from the site.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board