Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Buffet at the Grand Villa Casino

You may have gotten 2-for-1 buffet coupons in the mail from Gateway Casinos, good for either the Grand Villa in Burnaby or Starlight in New Westminster. The mailout I received had three coupons for three different periods between July and August.

If you can eat a heaping plate (or skip breakfast and dinner), then the lunch buffet is for you. Two can dine for $13 ($13.65 after GST) -- that's less than $7 each.
Buffet food is of course so-so, but here are some tips:
  • Go easy on the portions, especially if one of the hot items are running out because they'll restock with freshly cooked ones soon.
  • Desserts are usually lame and have sat around too long -- probably because people over-eat on mains.
This said, if OK food for a great price appeals, then those two-for-one coupons are gold.
And to be honest, fancier food at many places at a higher price isn't that much better. Considering you can eat three meals in one, $7 per person is a super deal (or if you need to save money for gambling, even $13 for your one super-stuffed meal per day is not bad).

For the lunch buffet, they have a small mix of Asian and Western food (sticky rice and fried chicken, for example) and even some breakfast items like oatmeal and yogurt.

Remember you are here for bulk food that is not badly cooked. If you can't eat like a champ, go to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant for cheap chow mein instead.

2017-Jul-31 The Buffet at the Grand Villa Casino

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2017-Jul-31 The Buffet at the Grand Villa Casino

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Red Robin veggie options

Red Robin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Went with a friend to redeem my Red Robin Royalty free birthday burger (comes with the usual bottomless fries!). As I was feeling like I had had too much meat recently, I went for the Garden Burger which, sad to say, is just OK, and that's if you immediately take out the pickles so you don't just taste pickles. Do NOT come to Red Robin for their veggie burger even if you do a patty swap. For approximately the same price (sometimes LESS) you can get a way more interesting and tasty burger (but with a meat patty).

However, my friend got the Veggie Fajita, and OMG it was totally not what we were expecting -- in a good way. Generous almost for-two portion for $14.99, and although they start you off with about 4 wraps, it is clearly not enough and you can get free refills. Veggies are cheap (it looked like mostly onions) and clearly they don't skimp on it maybe because they can.

NON-alcoholic drinks are big-portioned and cheap! My Coconut Pineapple Smoothie was just $4.69 and pretty tall. Heck, even the water is jumbo sized so they don't even have to come around and refill it because you are unlikely to drink it down to even half.

Cronuts are OK, though sweet and a bit oily-feeling so personally I don't like them much. The main thing about them though is they are light and airy. If you are thinking of trying them but feeling full, just get the short 4-stack and you'll be fine as there's no way they are gonna fill you up.

Friendly service, great value.

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - garden burger

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - garden burger

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - garden burger

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - veggie fajita

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - coconut pineapple smoothie

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - coconut pineapple smoothie

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - cronuts

2017-Jul-17 Red Robin - cronut interior


Friday, July 14, 2017

Ouisi Bistro has outdoor seating out back

Ouisi Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Pleasant summer weather means you can dine outdoors out back at Ouisi Bistro, although a bee had a strange fascination with the fried chicken I ordered--until I gobbled up all the meat. The interior is dimly lit so if you like light and a bit of sun and especially if it happens to be crowded inside the restaurant main, see if you can get a seat outside.

Following an old raving recommendation for the fried chicken, that's what I ordered. Luckily we didn't get any appetizer because all our near-$20 plates had pretty heaping portions! Our small party did manage one dessert to share afterwards though.

Southern Fried Chicken ($17) Three pieces of Rossdown Farms buttermilk mainated chicken. Double crusted and served with Yukon Gold-roasted garlic mash potatoes and jicama slaw (and cornbread)
  • By "double crusted" they first fry the chicken, then batter it and bake it.
  • I got two thighs and a wing. The thighs were juicy but the wing was dry. Maybe they did all three at the same time and the wing dried out faster?
  • No crunchy crust! If that's what you are looking for in fried chicken, pass.
  • Heaping plate but depending on your appetite, it might be too much. You might want to share this or just eat slowly and sit around and chat with your friends longer?
  • Cornbread tasted okay but seemed a bit dry. Probably a personal preference thing.
  • I recommend giving this chicken a pass. It's not bad, but it's not that interesting compared to the rest of the menu, especially if you haven't had much exposure to this cuisine.
2017-Jul-13 - Southern Fried Chicken

2017-Jul-13 - Southern Fried Chicken

2017-Jul-13 - Southern Fried Chicken

2017-Jul-13 - Cornbread

Big Daddy Fry's Bread Pudding ($6.50)
  • TIP: ASK FIRST what it involves. Came with some whipping cream (?) which had a pungent surprise in it. Was it stinky goat cheese? I personally gag on that so it turned me off right away.
  • Came warm but also dry. Recommend you pass, but if you are really curious, do yourself a favour and ask about it first.
2017-Jul-13 - Big Daddy Fry's Bread Pudding

2017-Jul-13 - Big Daddy Fry's Bread Pudding