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Showing posts from April, 2012

Unlucky Day at Miura Waffle and Milk Bar

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Tons of great reviews can't be wrong, right? Well... I had a pretty lousy experience this past Saturday at Miura Waffle & Milk Bar , so my one time there might have to be chalked up to bad luck. You can read about it and decide... The waffles here are quite big, and very thick. The waffle-maker used creates a single, large, 4-quadrant circular waffle, which is then folded in half to make a sando, and can easily be cut in half for sharing. You are probably getting more than twice the amount of dough compared to, say, a regular burger. Just half a waffle sandwich is therefore about the same as a medium burger, except that two-thirds of your sandwich is composed of waffle. If you measure food by cubic inches per buck, then Miura Waffle & Milk Bar does pretty well compared to a burger joint. Each waffle is made fresh, so there is some delay when you order your waffle "sando". There are weekday specials, which translates to $1 off some of their waffle sandwiches.

Lunch at Le Crocodile - Mains and Dessert

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In my previous post I talked about the Food Bloggers' lunch at Le Crocodile just this past Wednesday, and the appetizers we had . In this post, I'll finish up with my experience of the mains and desserts. Black Truffle Omelet ($14) served with Butter Lettuce and Pomme Frites This was my order. I've never been particularly impressed by truffles, which has always seemed to me a sort of easy ingredient to throw onto anything and immediately raise its classiness -- but that doesn't mean it's automatically better than the alternatives ( such as truffle pizza versus beef carpaccio pizza at MARKET by Jean Georges ). I thought I'd give black truffles one last try at a posh restaurant. I figure if it doesn't work out here, then I clearly don't understand what the big deal is about truffles. The omelette here is a simple, goodly-sized omelette with black bits (truffles!) beaten in. Clear truffle flavour. Nothing special otherwise. The lettuce was lettuce, w

Creamy Lunch at Le Crocodile - Appetizers

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I met Powderate (Lee Ann Foster) at the very first Food Bloggers Meetup at Griffins . She'd mentioned having worked at Le Crocodile , and I was intrigued at the idea of going with her and having her insights into her experiences, the restaurant, and the food. Somehow things got put off until April, but finally we did go, with a few other members of the Food Bloggers Meetup . If you've ever been to the Le Crocodile website, you'll see pictures of their trademark crocodile shaped into milk chocolate and dark chocolate. In case you're wondering -- YES, there are chocolate crocodiles there. They come after your meal, are FREE, and you get TWO per person -- one milk chocolate, one dark chocolate. Yum! Le Crocodile is one of the "old school" type restaurants, like Bishops. No impressively cleavaged hotties waiting on you here: It's male waiters and attentive service, and particularly impressive was a willingness on the part of the waiter and the kitchen to

Big Brunch at Little Nest

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Last Sunday I went to Little Nest just off Commercial Drive for 10 am brunch. It's a short walk off Commercial Drive into Charles Street, but that short distance makes all the difference if you're keen on leaving the busy Drive behind. Once inside, you're in a different sort of busy-ness, however, with chatty parents and noisy kids (not that parents-with-kids are the only patrons). They are open at 9am, and by 10am the place was at capacity, though we only had a brief wait for a table. The tables outside were empty (and on a beautiful cloudy morning too) so we opted to sit there, away from the bustle inside.  The brunch special of the day was chili-braised pulled pork with salad, eggs, and baguette. My dining companion chose a veggie plate with beans, which I passed on trying because beans give me gas so I'm usually choosy about my bean intake. She also got an Americano, myself a peppermint tea, and to share, an apple-ricotta-almond muffin bigger than a softball. A

Tazo Shaken Iced Tea at Starbucks

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After Loving Hut Express burgers on early Friday evening , it was still bright out and a beautiful evening. Posh Pudding and I wandered over to a nearby Starbucks for a drink, a chat, and some incidental people watching. I had had a Star Ruby Grapefruit GuS  so I wasn't really up for a drink, but Posh Pudding felt bad about using my Starbucks card and prodded me until I got something. Maybe it was because I'd already had a really long Friday, but for some reason my eyes landed on Tazo® Shaken Iced Tea . Iced tea is iced tea, but for reasons not clear to me, I was drawn to the word "shaken". Did that make it special somehow? Anyway, from the three flavours, I chose passion. It's not too sweet (yay!), with a bit of tartness. Basically a fruit juice rather than a tea. It's got ice in it. But was it special because it was shaken? It suddenly dawned on me that I paid $1.95 for fruit juice with ice in it. Duh. After some poking around, I found this page that

Mushroom Cheeseburger at Loving Hut Express

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Loving Hut Express  reopened in the latter half of last week after time out for renos and looking at new menu items. When I dropped by early last Friday evening for dinner with Posh Pudding , they were already sold out of various items, such as yam fries and onion rings (meaning no BBQ Onion Ring Cheeseburger!). Some goodies that were being considered for the new menu were sushi and spring rolls. Sushi fans should tweet them first  as they mentioned sushi would probably not make it into the new menu because there was a concern about freshness. Gluten-free Summer Rolls look to have made the cut, however . I had previously tried the Crispy Chick'n Burger and the  BBQ Onion Ring Cheeseburger (which apparently converted die-hard omnivore Food Persuasion to vegan goodness) , and those may very well be the top burgers in their line-up. This time around I went for the new Grilled Mushroom Cheeseburger ( beefless patty, grilled mushrooms, cheese sauce, mayo, mustard, tomato, red onion

Buffalo Burger at Seb's Market Café

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This past weekend was a busy three days of meeting friends -- and eating! Friday's late lunch was at Seb's Market Café because my dining companion was of the opinion that the words "vegan" and "burger" should never go together, so Loving Hut Express was out. At around 2pm when we walked in, things were already winding down. It was two hours to close (they close at the early hour of 4pm) and whatever lunch rush was clearly over and the restaurant was basically deserted. It'd been years since I'd gone to Seb's. Strangely, the menu looks the same -- I could have sworn I had their Cranberry Pecan Sourdough Sandwich way back when. This time around, I tried the [Moroccan] Spiced Buffalo Burger ($12; grilled sweet onion, roasted root vegetables ) and a spinach-honeydew shake--the only one with a vegetable in it. The shake is made with either milk or juice (I opted for juice) and has three choices for optional add-ons (75¢ each): spirulina , pro

Phone call from Vancouver Convention Centre

In late March I went to the MoneyShow at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and needed to make a phone call. I had nixed my cellphone because I used it so infrequently, and they wanted $100/year to maintain the balance on my Telus pay-as-you-go. So I used the phone booth. I didn't have change on me, so I used my credit card for a short local call. Here's how it finally showed up on my VISA bill... WIMACTL*8884760881 - Calcary, AB - $2.24  $2.24 for a phonecall that should have been 50 cents?! ARGH!

Late-season deal on winter boots

I'm not a skier / snowboarder / winter-baby myself, so I was surprised when a couple of my friends told me they wanted to squeeze in some skiing at Whistler this past weekend. Turns out there was still good snow up there! In April! The Weather Network forecasts rain this week for Whistler, but a little bit of snow for Sun Peaks . If you're getting out there late in the ski season, or thinking of stocking up for next season, you might want to consider a whopping 74% discount from Shoe Scandal . You can check out the shipping time and charges here .

GUESS Customer Appreciation Day -- TODAY

Got a GUESS flyer this morning as I was leaving Metrotown Skytrain Station: Customer Appreciaton Day Friday, April 20th Shop With Us On Customer Appreciation Day and Enjoy 25% OFF Your Entire Purchase* *Offer not valid on basic denim, Gc Timepieces or products with charity tie in. Offer not valid on previously prchased merchandise or GUESS gift card purchases. Valid at participating GUESS stores in Canada and online at GUESS.ca . Discount valid Friday, April 20th, 2012. Offer not valid at GUESS Factory stores or stores located in the United States. GUESS?, Inc. reserves the right to extend, modify, or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Oishii Sushi 4-course Groupon

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Out of the blue, my dining buddy called me up Thursday morning to see if I'd like to go for sushi. She had a Groupon that was close to expiration (these Groupon things tend to do that: help you go broke saving money) and offered to treat. Would I come out with her for a four-course dinner for two ? Hell, yeah! We were on for Ocean Wise   Oishii Sushi on Denman at Robson. Google translates Oishii as おいしい, which means the restaurant name roughly translates to "Delicious Sushi". The dilapidated laminated menu in the restaurant is somewhat outdated, but helpfully has an insert which lists the ingredients in each roll. It also features a lot of pictures, so everything on the Groupon Menu can more or less be deciphered without having to ask the server. $24 for a Four-Course Sushi Dinner for Two at Oishii Sushi (Up to $53.65 Value) Oishii Sushi 4 Course Groupon Menu Sake Or Beer (Please Choose 1 per person) Small Hot or Cold Sake or Small Japanese Beer Sunomono/Salad

A Confusing Tea Time at Truffles Fine Foods (VanDusen Botanical Garden)

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I've been to various afternoon tea services -- Shaktea , Urban Tea Merchant , Schokolade Artisan Chocolates -- and they've generally been pretty pricey because you get some pretty pricey labour-intensive goodies on your tiered tea tray. Truffles Fine Foods (at VanDusen Botanical Garden ) has a very different take on tea service. Which led to quite a bit of confusion when the Food Bloggers Meetup tried it on Tuesday (hosted by food blogger Dumpling Girl ). I've had some time to reflect on it, and although initially it wasn't a good experience, I think it is fairer to say the whole fiasco came out of good intentions on the part of the restaurant. Certainly the staff were very calm and patient with us, and I give them points for that. (And check out the cute hottie at the till with the fantastic hairdo!). Typically, afternoon tea service is a calm sit-down-restaurant service with a fixed menu for what items end up on your three-tiered tea tray. The only choice you

MAXimized at Max's Burgers

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It was dead quiet right at their 11am open on Monday when I walked in. Perfect -- just before the 12pm-2pm lunch rush, which our lovely and friendly server Jenessa estimated was typical. Hockey nights of course were busier, and the bright and airy modified garage was proudly Vancouver Canucks. Although they have alcoholic beverages, daily burger specials, and a flat screen TV visible wherever you sit, it's not really pushing to be the neighbourhood sports bar. Music that morning was '90's hip hop. TVs were on a sports channel but the volume was not on. The $10 daily special for Monday is the British Columbian (normally $12.50), but I thought I'd go for a "Max"-everything theme. So it was the Big Max ($10; token side upgraded for $1.50 into onion rings) and $2 Big Max Sauce for the onion rings. There was no "Max's Shake", sadly, so I let my dining companion choose a shake to share (Strawberry). I was half-hoping she'd be adventurous enough

Just $5! -- President's Choice Puff Pastry hors d'oeuvre collection

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My mom saw the President's Choice Puff Pastry hors d'oeuvre collection on sale at Superstore for about $5 yesterday (normally closer to $8) and ended up getting two boxes. Going on just price per pound, at 800 grams it is a pretty good deal, as some of the Superstore frozen pizza deals are about the same price. When you open it up, the four bags of frozen puff pastries don't look like they add up to 800 grams , but they are small and dense in that frozen form. My mom likes to semi-thaw stuff out first, despite the instructions to bake from frozen. This typically results in less-than-puffy results. From frozen, they can come out much puffier and seem less oily for some reason. Either way, they seem to end up sitting on the oils from the filling or the puff pastry, and that was somewhat off-putting on the initial tries. Baked from frozen, the ones with chicken filling (probably the least oily hors d'oeuvre) turned out okay without significant oiliness on the botto

Aussie Aboriginal Toilet Decor in Locus

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The food at Locus Restaurant and Lounge is interesting, but less interesting than the restaurant itself. The decor has a sort-of-Gothic "underworld" looking vibe, from devilish backlit masks to naked, twisted, trees with occasional humanoid shapes in them . Less grim/hellish is the spacious washroom which has very different decor strongly evocative of Australian aboriginal rock art. Strange as it sounds to actually recommend this, but if you go, make a point to go to the washroom. Also look around for other pieces of artwork that might be of interest. When I was there last Wednesday evening, the walls were lined with pieces from The Collected Paintings of Norman Leibovitch . Not exactly the cheeriest looking artwork, I must say. Overall, Locus feels like it is more interested in being artsy than being a restaurant. The restaurant is somewhat dimly lit, but if you are there earlier in the evening you can opt for a window seat, which definitely lets in more light but also

Tax (slightly) Discounted at the Twisted Fork Bistro

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Like Cafe Medina , the Twisted Fork Bistro is one of those places that is said to be perpetually busy. Still, there's no guarantee of this, and our server said it was really hard to predict when they'd be pressured with lineups, and when it'd be quieter. When I went out with the Vancouver Fine Dining Club last Saturday, we were the only ones there right at 5.30pm when it opened, and at around 7:40pm when I left, the restaurant was still at only about 3/4 capacity. The room is long, narrow, and small. For a larger group, you could squeeze in around a single table right at the window, or go for one of two tables right at the back. The rest is basically booth seating. Whichever you choose, a single table for 6 persons is really tight on real estate for dishes. When we chose to sit in the back, we ended up joining the two tables, which the restaurant allowed, but warned that if things got too busy, they might have to take one table back. I always try to order strange and

Devils on Horseback at Pourhouse

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It was dead quiet at around 1 pm on Wednesday afternoon when I wandered into Pourhouse. The lunch rush was clearly over, so I got the full-meal-deal from the bartender about Pourhouse and the restaurant's pre- Prohibition concept, which is mostly reflected in the decor and wine. If you're interested in that, then I definitely recommend sitting at the bar on a late afternoon and quizzing the knowledgeable bartender. Food-wise, it's "simply made" home-cooking and bread made in-house. I always look for strange things on the menu, so I ended up with Devils on Horseback, Pork Croquettes (okay, so this one isn't so strange), and Bone Marrow. Being a non-drinker, I asked for a peppermint tea. The closest thing they had was a chamomile-peppermint "Introspection" tea that came loose-leaf in a coffee press ($4!). Devils on Horseback ($6) This strange appy is prunes stuffed with Gruyère (cheese), and wrapped in bacon, giving you three contrasting flavo