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Everything posted by Anchoress

  1. I used to waitress at Da Francesco's, until they closed. I bumped into a customer from there and he told me that Francesco and his uncle have opened up another Italian restaurant with the same food at Burrard and Smythe. Anyone heard anything about that? A quick google seach wasn't fruitful, although I didn't try very hard.
  2. Just dined at Bombay Bhel for the first time, found it a nice room and enjoyed the food. The prices seem very reasonable for the size - I ordered an appy, Sev Poori, which turned out to be six big (two or more mouthfuls each) channa pastry cups filled with potato, raw onion, cilantro, and tamarind sauce and topped iwth little cupcake sprinkle-sized pieces of what seemed like papadum. Cold appy, I enjoyed it and so big I couldn't eat the channa bhatura I ordered (which came with two HUGE spiced bhatura). I'll be returning with family or friends to try more of the dishes. The service was pleasant and I really dug the room.
  3. Confession: I've never posted in this thread before, but the odd confluence relating to my last three restaurants is worthy of note, I think. My mom was in town, and I had a craving for pasta, so on Tuesday night (Sept 2), we went to Marcello's on Commercial. I confess that I'm a bad East Van Girl, visiting very few restaurants outside quick walking distance from my house, so I have never dined there before. Mom and I ordered the pomodoro e cippola salad, which came with big hunks of gorgonzola, but we were in the mood for cheese so we enjoyed it. Mom ordered spaghetti alio olio, and loved it. I ordered I think it was Tagliatelle Chef or something, it was also very tasty. Passed on dessert, even though I was craving sweets, when I saw the prices. Wasn't in the mood to pay $10 for ice cream even if it was amazing - I'm in agreement with Vincent Vega - if you're gonna pay that much for ice cream it had better come with a shot of bourbon. The only off note (for me) was that when I ordered a refill of pop, it took forever to come, and when I realised it wasn't what I had been drinking before, it took forever again to catch the eye of a server to change it. There was a big off note for the server tho - there were two older, schoolmarmish ladies dining next to us, appearing to have a fine time (no complaints, either to the server or each other, and they stayed for coffee), but when they got their bill, they walked!! The server was understandably crushed, since she had to cover it. The next night I hadn't fully scratched my itch for pasta, so we went to Lombardo's for comparison. I'd been there a few times, but so long ago that it was like new for me. The evening started off fine - we ordered a large caprese and each had the special pasta (creamy pesto with sundried tomatoes and mushrooms I think). The first blip came when we waited what seemed to be a painfully long time for our salad, and when we asked a server, lo and behold!! Apparently they have a caprese pizza too, and that's what the server was bringing us!! Seems like the kind of confusion that would happen often enough that the staff would ask, but my bad for not saying "salad". Salad was fine, pasta had a bit of a hiccup - they were out of the kind mum wanted, so she ordered spaghetti instead, but it turned out to be the old-fashioned kind (like soba noodles), and she really hated it. Luckily we could switch - I'd asked for mine spicy, but it wasn't that spicy. The pasta was really tasty, although no mushrooms in sight and the quantity of sauce was very different between our two orders. The only absolute miss was the dessert. I was THRILLED to see something I felt like eating - pecan pie. Can't go wrong with that, huh? ... Unfortunately, first of all it took forever - the poor waitress spent the whole night apologising to us for various things, including forgetting about the pie - and when it came, two big problems. First, it was really stale. Not rancid, thankfully, but the nuts were chewy and soggy and tough like the pie had been frozen and reheated in the micro (not saying that's what happened, but it seemed that way). And then, it came covered not only in chocolate sauce, but cocoa powder too!! I find it so strange that lately every dessert I order comes drenched in Hershey's chocolate sauce (blech). Same thing happened with the NY cheesecake I ordered from I think Wazzuubee a couple of months ago. What is with that??? I sent it back, and actually I don't remember checking the bill to see if anything was taken off (we didn't have a bad night per se, but there were a number of snafus), but in retrospect I think probably the dessert was taken off. The third meal was a business lunch at the Milestones on Lougheed. I'm a person who loves to eat giant salads, so I was happy with their generous side salad and a soup. Mum had a veggie burger with salad and fries - she liked the coleslaw with sesame - and our guest had the turkey club on cranberry bread. She didn't like the huge hunks of not very fresh lettuce in the sandwich. Our server was awesome, and she gave us two 25% off coupons. Weirdly, all three meals were $49.xx, which is a really bizarre coincidence.
  4. A new Latin American restaurant just opened up in the 2200 block East Hastings, El Barrio. It seemed to spring up like a mushroom practically overnight in a location that has been a rotating list of forgettable Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants for the past several years. It's a pretty big room - I dropped in on their second day in the afternoon looking for a takeout menu, and was struck by the decor (black and dark red - reminded me of the old DV8 in Yaletown for some reason), and the exceedingly enthusiastic waitstaff. The menu is on their website - it seems a tad expensive for the area, but if the atmosphere is great it could be worth it. Also, underpricing is one of the death knells of new restaurants - better to price oneself out of the market than to run at a loss until bankruptcy. Don't know if they're licensed. I hope they do better than their predecessors - it certainly is a change in decor.
  5. Thank you, that sounds very doable!! I will drop by there this week.
  6. I haven't... I have never shopped at either of those places and I don't even know where they are!! I will check them out, though. Thanks for the tip!
  7. I'm looking for two completely different items: 1) bulk baking soda - I don't need a 25lb bag, but I'd like a largish quantity, say a kilo, hopefully more economical than buying little boxes; 2) I buy bulk beans in the Punjabi Market, and they're very clean and reasonably priced, but the stores I shop at don't have several varieties I use regularly, including split green peas, black and pinto beans, etc. Can anyone recommend a store that sells bulk beans that's known to be clean and free of six legged hitchhikers? I'm in North-East Vancouver and on the bus, so location is somewhat important, but any suggestion will be carefully considerd. Please and thank you!!
  8. Yeah, thanks Oyster Guy, great post!!
  9. Endy if I may, some of us in Vancouver may be (consciously or unconsciously) still feeling stung by a similar (not too recent, but for some still painful) experience of a couple of New York hot shots being lured to town, replacing people who, despite their relative failure compared to the newcomers, many locals felt were more than good enough. I'm speaking of Mike Keenan and Mark Messier, who acted like we were lucky to have them and if we didn't realise it it was because we were rubes, and OF COURSE we'd rather have them than the losers they replaced! And then when they weren't able to produce a result any better than those they replaced, they blamed the market, not themselves. It's not a precedent or even a pattern, but...
  10. I've been looking for good East Indian delivery. The only criteria is a good selection of vegetarian dishes and that they'll deliver to Hastings-Sunrise. I tried calling a bunch of places that advertise in the YP, but many of them said they weren't doing takeout anymore, wouldn't deliver to my neighbourhood, or charged $7-10 for delivery! But I have had two good experiences with Saffron on Kingsway in Burnaby. The food is pretty good - on the plus side it's fresh (had a bad experience with delivery from Yogis on Commercial, where all the food seemed like it had sat in the steam trays for the whole weekend - but it was a Monday so I will give them another try before panning them), not too salty and not greasy. On the downside, the samosas are just so-so, and the vegetarian koftas are a bit soggy and flavourless. But what's really great about the place is the delivery service. Both times I called, the person who answered was very polite, got what I was talking about right away, didn't rush me (although they were busy both times), took a moment to be kind, gave me a total without me asking for it, and just generally made it a peasure rather than the usual chore it is to call restaurants to order takeout. Both times the food was faster than expected, by a wide margin, both times the deliverer was really nice and polite, and both times my order was EXACTLY RIGHT. I usually expect about 50% or more of my takeout orders to arrive incorrect in some way, but not from Saffron. Saffron's web page.
  11. I like the Samosa Garden (East African Indian) on the south side at around the 3700 block I think.
  12. Anchoress


    And again - who says Maitre'D? are thou OpenT? ← Huh?
  13. Is that the same company as this: SCHOKOLADE CAFE On East Hastings.
  14. Anchoress


    Wow... $3000 a year plus userfees?? You could probably have a computer geek code you something in MySql for your website that would do the same thing (slot customers into available tables and send a conf to the Maitre'D and customer) for the same price.
  15. I live two blocks from that restaurant, but I've never been tempted to go because they have such a weak selection of vegetarian dishes. There used to be a Singaporeese restaurant kitty corner from them (similar food) that had wonderful vegetarian selections, but unfortunately it went under years ago.
  16. Another update on my fave neighbourhood diner... they did get their liquor license, and they're now open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 10pm or later. I asked if they had a dinner menu printed, and unfortunately they didn't, but right now it's a few of the most popular items from their lunch menu. They have beer on tap (didn't get the brand name, sorry), they have a few liqueurs, and I saw wine carafes but no bottles, so I don't have names. It looks to me as though they're building up their inventory of booze slowly, which seems like a good idea to me. I've talked to the owners several times, and they seem to be so, so smart about the way they're going about this new business of theirs - cautious, but with a strong emphasis on quality and consistency. I can say that, having dined there regularly for a year, consistency is probably their strongest selling point - and it's interesting because that's the thing that's often weakest with new restaurants (or should I say new restaurant owners). Business seems to be good - there's frequently a lineup when I visit. Hours are slightly different now - they close at 3 or 4 Sunday to Wednesday, then stay open til 10 the other days as I said. Open at 9am Mon-Fri, 8am Sat and Sun.
  17. From CBC.ca: Salmon farms destroying wild salmon populations in Canada: study
  18. I became a vegan at 14 (in 1982) and I started drinking soy milk as soon as I discovered it. I'm not a vegan anymore, but I've never gotten over the *squick* feeling of putting milk on cereal, so I still use soymilk. It's always been Sunrise for me!!
  19. CLICK. Wow. Moderator's Note: This quote from the article linked above added by the host:
  20. I just noticed today that there was a brief review in the Straight back in March. The business is still going strong, hoping to get a liquor license so they can open nites!
  21. So... what happened? I've searched for a thread that explains why it closed, but didn't find anything.
  22. Tee hee, Life imitates Art (aka The Simpsons). "Move over eggs, bacon just got a new best friend! FUDGE!!"
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