Showing posts from November, 2015

Bread in soup at Sunny Spot Cafe

Brightly lit little mom-and-pop outfit on Main Street. Would normally have given it a miss except my friend had been there before and recommended it. Restaurant interior and layout is awful but they have some nice pieces if you look around, like a very long painting of horses frolicking. TIP: Look around for a ceramic jar of chili paste swimming in what is possibly sesame seed oil and liberally sprinkled with sesame seeds. It's fragrant and not that spicy-hot. Highly recommend you give this a taste and think about whether to add it to your order. My flatbread-in-soup would have been way tastier with a liberal helping of it. Pao-mo (homemade flatbread) in soup ($8) beef, lamb, or tripe I got the lamb one on the owner's recommendation. Surprisingly fragrant soup. The small chunks of torn-up flatbread didn't do much for me but it did make the soup heartier. Looks simple but pretty tasty. Portion size is like a small pho bowl. Felt a bit stingy on the meat but the

Cheap tasty noodles at G-Men

G-Men Ramen is a tight little space with a totally inadequate waiting area (but benches right outside) because of the queue that apparently forms every day, not just Friday and Saturday nights. However, turnaround is quite fast. There is also "bar seating", which actually isn't that bad as the bar table is quite wide. Good for couples since they are side by side anyway. Make sure you put your name down on the waiting list (which can move quite quickly despite the maximum 2-hr time limit per seating) when you arrive. You will be asked whether you are okay with bar seating or if you need a table, at the time you put your name down and again when seating becomes available. Tan Tan Men ($10.25) 8oz spicy sesame & peanut flavour pork bone broth with thin noodle Thin noodle looks like the type you get in a packet of instant noodles. And there's a LOT of it. Quite a bit of diced pork as well. Overall, a heavy and filling meal for just $10.25 and you may want to

Pricey mangoes at Mango Mama

Mango Mama Cafe Ltd. is a simple, brightly lit restaurant with booth seating that comfortably seats four and a fifth awkwardly with an extra chair. You order by ticking off a menu sheet -- sort of like dim sum. There is no "customer service" per se except they check if you're ready and bring your order to the table. The mangoes here are Philippine Mangos , which are supposedly the sweetest in the world and also hideously expensive here for being imported. If you don't care about that, you will feel like you are overpaying for simple things like adding some fresh mangoes to your fluffy ice, or getting a "fresh mango pancake" weighing in at $10.95. Which I got (see pics below). The crepe is thin and filled with mango cubes plus whipped cream (?). Also takes a while to make -- longer than my friend's mango fluffy ice. The fluffy ice comes out looking like a pile of phyllo pastry, and strangely keeps that look for a very long time. Portion is also hu

Comfort food at Tenen

Tenen is a rather small restaurant in a sort of residential area but not too far from Royal Oak Skytrain Station. Eastern European-ish decor. Tight seat spacing. TVs and small bar make this also a sports bar. Staff still seem very inexperienced, but at least the food is good--Tasty comfort food at a very good price for portion. Strangely, they ran out of some menu items at around 7.30pm, including cabbage rolls and their breaded crepe appetizer. Complimentary bread with your main -- each person gets one large, flattish bun cut into two halves. DO NOT EAT. If you do, you may not finish your main, depending on what you order and your appetite at the time. In any case, it is boring bread and there is no butter, spread, dip or anything to go with it. Save it for getting the last of any tasty sauce or stew from your main, or eat it later during your meal if you don't think you will be full. Yes, the main can be that filling. Stuffed Pork Chop ($17.95) boneless pork chop st

Anatolia's Gate meatballs and curry

Back to Anatolia's Gate -- because there was a Meetup there tonight and my friend was interested in Turkish food, so I went with her. If you are in a group, the lavash bread that comes with your meal will also be communal! Meat Lovers Pide ($11.95) Anatolia's Ground Meat, Turkish Pastrami, tomatoes, cheese, egg Quite small. Rather thin film of mixed meat. Either some spicing to the meat or it was the influence of the Turkish Pastrami. Not that tasty to me, maybe because there was too little meat. Meat portion is basically around $8 since the bread portion is probably about the same as a medium lavash bread. Overpriced. If you don't need the cheese, consider getting the lahmajun instead -- more meat spread over a thin crust, $11.45 Chicken Curry ($14.95) chicken breast chunks with curry sauce, rice, and salads; served with a freshly baked lavash bread and yogurt sauce The curry here is strong and has some heat, but not too much. Very much not like an Indian c

Mad Love at Red Robin

I would not normally have gone back yet again to Red Robin , except it was my friend's birthday and she had a coupon. Which didn't say anything about not working with their Angus Beef burgers, so fortunately having experienced that limitation, I was able to avoid disaster by having her double-check with the server. Oh, and you have to submit your printed e-mail to the server to actually get your burger taken off the bill. Apparently the server has to get the sign-off from the duty manager. My friend and I both got different burgers and the kitchen was kind enough to cut them in half for us so we could both have a solid taste of each. Unfortunately the burgers were not evenly laid out inside, so one of us ended up with most of the patty from the Bleu Ribbon Burger. Mad Love Burger ($17.29) 100% Black Angus beef burger (half pound) topped with a cheddar and parmesan cris, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, avocado, citrus marinated tomatoes and onions, shredded romaine, cia

Pints of Coney Island Frozen Custard

This is actually inside The American Cheesesteak Company, and the person who answers the phone will say so. Also, close to closing time when it's really quiet (even around half an hour or possibly more before closing), they may put the chairs up to clean the floors. THEY ARE STILL OPEN! Try the door and see. The frozen custard here is like soft serve ice cream, except it is firmer and a bit more elastic feeling. Slight custard flavour plus whatever flavour you chose. Apple Pie Like apple pie filling, not the apple pie crust part. Even has soft bits of apple in it. Rather good but would be even better if flavour were stronger. Salted Caramel More salty than caramel-y. Maybe too much on the salty side. If you just want one flavour, under no circumstances should you buy scoops or cones. Get a whole pint for the same price as a couple of scoops. Grab one of the plastic sample spoons. Then go to the nearby Emery Barnes Park and enjoy.

Joe Fortes 1985 menu

A little while back I mentioned that Joe Fortes was offering certain menu items at 1985 prices this week . I finally got to go, and sad to say, it was my most disappointing Joe Fortes experience ever. When you are offering burgers for $6.95 and small bowls of Clam Chowder for $2.95, obviously you can expect the restaurant to be overwhelmed. No reservations. Bar seating only. People packed the lobby shortly before 11 AM. Staff understandably haggard but doing their best to keep a smile and their chins up. Still, not the best situation to expect great service and for the kitchen to put out the best meal. Clam Chowder 1985 ($2.95) Good deal as far as price for portion. Very chunky! Definitely not going cheap here with a soupy chowder. As chowders go, inferior to anything I had in San Francisco. Definitely lacking in richness of taste. Blackened Rockfish 1985 ($11.95) My plate was hot -- so hot that I couldn't hold it with bare hands for more than a few seconds. But the

La Belle Patate smoked meat poutine

La Belle Patate is a simple diner with order-at-the-counter service. Despite the vegetarian gravy, as poutine gravy goes, it tasted okay. They claim to have squeaky Quebecois cheese curds, which I can't say I've experienced in Quebec. What I did get tonight was room temperature curds that were quite firm. Is that what the "squeaking" is all about? In any case, if you've had poutine where the curds have been softened or basically melted, then you will not get here. The owners have mentioned on Yelp that it is not the Quebec way to serve the cheese curds like that and therefore not the way you will get it at La Belle Patate. The cheese-curd-to-fries ratio also seems higher than other poutine places I've tried. Smoked Meat Poutine ($10.50 for medium size) Lots of cheese curds. Decent amount of fries but not heaping portions. For smoked meat, I was expecting something thinner-cut and more tender -- i.e., like the smoked meat sandwiches. Instead I got

Get free stuff to try from SocialNature

You have have seen some posts about samples from SocialNatur e, such as Happy Water or Tega Tea . If have been curious about how to get these free samples, whether you are in Canada or the United States, follow this link to sign up . It is FREE to join and they send you "samples" for free, either as the product or as coupons to reimburse you for the before-tax price. By "samples", typically they send you one unit of the product that you might buy in the grocery store or supermarket; in rare cases, such as 6 Mountains Tea, they send just a few tea bags.

Earls Truffle Fries

Ended up here with some friends after a late Meetup. Ordered Truffle Fries to share. Truffle Fries ($8.25) with our custom salt and pepper blend, truffle aioli Where's the truffle flavour and aroma? I got just a faint whiff of it. Tasted like heavily peppered french fries. For a bit more, you can get a really good portion of truffle parmesan fries from Joe Fortes during their Happy Hour. Bibimbap ($15) Hot stone rice bowl, with carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and soft poached egg, sesame chili sauce My friend's order. Didn't get to try it, but notable for not having a lot of rice. Bowl was maybe only half full and most of it seemed to be the other ingredients, carrot, mushrooms, etcetera, plus the tofu for which she paid $3 extra. Spacious location with some interesting decor, such as a giant chimpanzee. Table spacing also seemed very good, giving you reasonable privacy from neighbouring diners. Currently they have a special promotion where buying a $50 gif