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Posts posted by grayelf

  1. All -- I need your assistance with dining recommendations!

    My girlfriend and I will be in Vancouver for 9 Days.  I will be eating out every meal (except breakfast, since I usually sleep fairly late when on vacation).  I am very interested in hearing everyone's top 5 or 10 places to go to in Vancouver.  There are really no boundaries in terms of type of food -- i like everything.  I tend to gravitate towards interesting ethnic restaurants (of any type), or market-oriented restaurants with frequently changing menus.  However, I am up for anything.

    Chances are that I will only pick one place that is very expensive (i.e. $100 or more per person), will pick 2 or 3 places that are moderately expensive (i.e., $60 per person), and will pick 3 or 4 that are more reasonable (under $50 per person). 

    Thanks so much for your help.  I'll keep you posted on what we decide, and how it turns out!

    List of possible higher end/"splurge" restos (not exhaustive, some I've tried, others gleaned from reliable food enjoyers):




    Blue Water




    Five Sails



    Conor Butler

    Le Crocodile


    Lumiere/DB Bistro Moderne


    Octopus' Garden



    Joe Fortes







    Morton's (for a double porterhouse and football sized potato)


    Il Giardino



    Pear Tree (Burnaby)

    Pearl on the Rock (White Rock)

    Val D'Isere, Bearfoot Bistro (Whistler)

    La Buca or L'Altro Buca (family style 6+ course chef's menu)


    Peaceful Noodle

    Legendary Noodle (the one on Main)

    Phnom Penh

    Guu with Garlic (can be spendy if you like to imbibe)

    Nuba Cafe (the one on Seymour, didn't love the new one on Hastings)

    Go Fish

    Argo for great lunch specials or solid diner regulars

    Deli Nippon for chicken based ramen and tasty okonomiyaki

    myriad bahn mi, pho and bun places on Kingsway

    dimsum in Richmond if you have a car

    Alvin Garden for Hunan in Burnaby if you have a car

    That's enough for now. Happy to provide specifics if you are interested in any of these. Have fun with your planning!

  2. Thanks so much for posting on Nippon Deli! I saw it a few weeks ago when we went to Cuu Long but it wasn't open on a Sunday evening. I'd go just for the okonomyaki!

    Also sorry to hear about Menya -- we only went once and it was decent but not hugely memorable. It is the closest and easiest to park at ramen place for us, but I consider myself warned. Will make the trek to Knight and K'way instead :smile:

    Sounds like a great tip, nondual! 

    Seeing this thread again makes me just have to say that Menya has gone downhill since it opened.  They just aren't consistent sadly.

  3. I'm still looking for authentic Mexican cuisine.  My boyfriend has had a taste of Mexican food when he was in Texas.  I want to surprise him and find a restaurant in Vancouver or nearby.  So far, no luck.  Any leads out there?

    As noted above, Dona Cata was the most authentic I'd found in Vancouver but was very taco-heavy until their move and menu expansion. If that didn't appeal for whatever reason, there is a new option. Kinda goofy name but great food. It's Don Guacamole's 1333 Robson. We went on Monday night and it was slammed at 7 pm. It's pretty small (4x4 tops, a bar and some two tops down the side). We waited half an hour for a table for four. The strawberry margaritas were excellent (real strawberry puree), the sangria delicious and the Coronas cold :cool: The food was uniformly tasty, starting with three complimentary salsas (a ridiculously good verde, roja ahumada and fresca) as well as a bowl of limes and of course totopos. The sopa azteca was well executed and even better with a squeeze of lime, but the pozole really hit the spot. Apart from using head lettuce instead of cabbage it was the best pozole I've ever had with a delicious hearty broth. The hominy alone was worth the price of admission. We also tried the mulitas which one of my DC's gave the thumbs up (too cheesy for me), the tostadas (a sub for the sopes which they had run out of) were very good apart for the massive slice of beefsteak tomato which should have been cubed and the inadequately drained head lettuce which made things damper than necessary but not egregiously so. The tacos are served taqueria style and you can get as few as one, with a choice of several different toppings including lengua. I tried the al pastor which had a decent char and flavour but was a tad gristly. All of the corn items (tortillas, tostadas, taco shells) were high quality whether housemade or no. And the bill for four very stuffed people was $130 plus tip, which is exactly half what we paid at Chill Winston on Saturday :wink: The room is relatively spare and modern but not offputting -- nary a sombrero in sight which is kind of a nice change. Service was a bit rushed at times but very pleasant despite a kitchen mixup on the taco choices. I would definitely go back to try more items. Tons of mexicanos frequent the place as well which I take to be a good sign.

  4. Man, talk about not fooling around: It looks like Caffe Artigiano has no fewer than three locations in the works for the Broadway corridor. One is rumoured to be on Broadway, West of MacDonald across from the newly opened Dolcetto Cafe. Another is opening in the London Drugs (yes inside) on Broadway near Cambie and across from the new Elysian Room Cafe and a couple of doors down from a newly opened Blenz, and the third one is opening right next door to the Tim Hortons on W. Broadway!

    Of the three locations any bets as to which of the "competition" will not suffer from C.A. moving in?

    The one across from Dolcetto is more than a rumour: Artigiano signs are already up inside and out. It is about four doors east of the Tim Horton's on West Broadway at Balaclava, next to the hobby store. Is there another Timmy Ho's on West Broadway, or are you talking about the small one at Hemlock in the gas station?

    Oh yeah there's another Tim's, a big "mothership" about half-way between Oak and Cambie beside the Shoppers.

    Right, I remember it now -- and I think I know the vacancy you are talking about. That is some expansion!

  5. Man, talk about not fooling around: It looks like Caffe Artigiano has no fewer than three locations in the works for the Broadway corridor. One is rumoured to be on Broadway, West of MacDonald across from the newly opened Dolcetto Cafe. Another is opening in the London Drugs (yes inside) on Broadway near Cambie and across from the new Elysian Room Cafe and a couple of doors down from a newly opened Blenz, and the third one is opening right next door to the Tim Hortons on W. Broadway!

    Of the three locations any bets as to which of the "competition" will not suffer from C.A. moving in?

    The one across from Dolcetto is more than a rumour: Artigiano signs are already up inside and out. It is about four doors east of the Tim Horton's on West Broadway at Balaclava, next to the hobby store. Is there another Timmy Ho's on West Broadway, or are you talking about the small one at Hemlock in the gas station?

  6. Great thread!

    I am sitting here with a box of Trung Nguyen purchased last year in one of the mid-sized Vietnamese grocers along Kingsway (between Fraser and Knight). It was $4.89 for the 2x250g bags as described above. The ingredients listed are: Arabica, Robusta, Cherry and Catimor. I love the chocolatey flavour noted by sanresho and find this brand to be extremely smooth. Also, oddly but goodly, I never seem to get the "rattlies" from TN, though it is high test full on caffeinated.

    We only buy Longevity, because it is cheaper, thicker and has a higher ratio of cool-sage-dude on the label than the Safeway brands :-). It is also easy to get in Kits, as they sell it at New Apple (Bway and McDonald) for $2.69 (300 mL tin).

    We got the little coffee drip dealy as a present but know that it was purchased at one of the stores on Kingsway as that is how I found out where to get the TN coffee. I believe it was under $5.

  7. We used to go to Modern Club a fair bit but finally gave up because of the ridiculously long waits for food.

    The okonomyaki at the Clubhouse is a bit too thick for my taste but nice and noodly, and very filling -- two people could share one.

    I haven't tried it at the Eatery, Zipang (thanks for the tip, twinkienic) or Guu so can't comment. The only other place I've tried it was at Sai-Z. It was good but of the noodle-free variety.

    The best okonomyaki I've had in Vancouver was courtesy of a Japanese group I belong to. We got together one summer evening and made our own. It's not that hard...

    Last time I was at Modern Club, the place was full of oily smoke and my okonomiyaki was charred.

    In addition to the suggestions above, I've seen okonomiyaki on the menu at Zipang sushi... but haven't tried it.

  8. Okay, I'll play :-).

    An Epicurean cutting board with the little trough around the edge (cut our very first home-cooked turkey on it)

    A Calphalon 8-egg poacher (made my very first eggs Benny on Christmas Day)

    Gomashio (Japanese sesame salt)

    Cyprus mediterranean finishing salts

    Some gorgeous home-made ginger molasses star cookies (these were actually for New Year's

    A gift card to Gourmet Warehouse, which I used to stock up on Feridie's peanuts, Cosmos caramel corn, Callebaut chocolate chunks, fancy chips and various cheeses.

    What I gave was a really good way of preparing brussels sprouts which won over even the haters :-).

  9. Drove by Dona Cata on Victoria today and experienced a moment of horror at the empty premises and for lease sign. Horror receded when we drove a couple of blocks more and discovered it has only moved to larger digs -- didn't catch the exact address but it is still on the east side of the street, just a bit further north. Phew.

    Good thing I come to eG once in awhile ... would have missed this info!

    Couple of blocks over ... is that North or South? On the Firehall side or the other side?

    Dine Here says 5076 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

    Tel: 604-436-2232

    but it was definitely a couple blocks further north, still on the east side of the street (not sure about firehall).

  10. I walked by Kei's today at about 2 pm and they were indeed closed -- sign on the door said just for today. Lights were on in the back and young Asian woman was bestirring herself at some unidentifable task.


    I'm worried that Kei's Bakery on Burrard may not be returning.

    The sign posted on the door on October 11th said they'll be back in two weeks, but two months later the sign's still there and it looks like no one's been back since...

    Oh no! I hope they're ok... Maybe they went back to Japan for an extended visit?

    My understanding is that the husband has got some real health issues. I really hope that a speedy recovery is made - and that they open shop again real soon.

  11. First look at Fuel's second restaurant, Campagnolo, here. They should be open next week.

    Thanks for your sneak peek (which for some reason I couldn't find on the Scout site without this link, my techno-bad). I have been waiting with anticipation for the opening and since we were right across the street today during the Culture Crawl, I suggested to my companions that we see what we could see. As we were peering in the large front window and gesticulating wildly at the architectural details (two of the group are an architect and an engineer), one of the workers came out to chat with us. No big deal, you might say, until I tell you that this involved walking all the way around the building as the front door is not yet functional. Giovanni introduced himself as the guy behind the bar (way to multitask) and asked if we would like a copy of the menu. Why yes, yes we would! So we trundled round to Station Street and he kindly invited us to step inside while he was getting the sheet for us, it being a chilly early evening. Needless to say, we were soon roaming the main floor ogling the setup with Samantha the manager. The 30-seat wine bar in the back is going to be a big draw, I'm guessing. Oh and that menu? Nothing over $18, and lots of choice without being too ambitious: Six antipasti, four housemade salumi, three pasta and one risott, three pizza, four mains (chicken, beef, ling cod and pork) and four contorni. I only wish we weren't booked up all this week or we would be knocking down the door (once one is actually installed).

  12. There is a new European specialty food shop on the corner of Kingsway and Fraser operated by a couple from the Ukraine originally.  I think the complex is 701 Kingsway.  It is a nice little shop, with handmade pieroge available made by the owner.  They have cheese, sour cherry, cabbage, potato, potato cheese, turkey, and beef.  Bought some of the cheese to take home and prepare and they had that nice sourness common in the Eastern European style cottage cheese pieroge.  The dough was the perfect chewiness.  Still have the cabbage ones waiting to try next.  They also have a nice selection of canned products from Russia, including wonderful sprats in oil.  Deliciously smoky on a slice of rye bread!

    I don't know the name of the place though.  Does anyone know the name?!?!?!?!

    ooo, i've been wanting to try this place! it's called "Alenka" i believe.

    Yep, sure is... drove by on our way to pho last night but sadly it was after hours...

  13. Hey greyelf,

    sorry for my late response....it is right on the north east corner of main and 3rd, the door is actually on 3rd, there is a cement wall beside the door with a mural that says "Narrow Lounge", this you can only see during the daylight, but when it get dark, you will be able to see the red light bulb above the door (the light is on when it is open).

    As for the decor, the website says "dark and moody but still with a sense of fun" which i think sums it up!  They have a huge bar with lots of seating and a few tables, it's not that big, hence the name!  They also have the most beautiful chandelier hanging over the bar.  It wouldn't be my first pick on a sunny summer day, but i have a feeling we will be there a lot more often in the winter!


    The prices were very reasonable too, my lamb stew was $8.

    Hope this helps!


    That's great -- was just thinking about this post yesterday as we were driving along Great Northern Way.

  14. They're more than just fish and chips. It's near the end of the their season, but you may find peel and eat spot prawns on offer.  The scallop burger is pretty regularly offered too.

    Reasonably priced seafood in Vancouver is surprisingly hard to find. You might want to check out some of the Chinese restos for this.

    For non-Asian, definitely check out Go Fish. I think the spot prawns were done as of the end of June, but they put whatever is fresh off the fishing boats a few metres away on the menu. Their tacones are tasty and a nice change from fish and chips, for example. And it's hard to beat the location -- just be sure to go early as they close around 6:45 pm. And be prepared for lineups.

    Another place to try that is relatively moderately priced might be Fish Cafe. There are two locations, one near Kits Beach on Yew Street and one in Kerrisdale on West 41st Avenue. I've not been to the Kits one since they relocated from 4th Avenue but both restos do simple preps with fresh fish and they also have good crab cakes according to the parental units (I am allergic so cannot attest personally).

  15. Thanks for this, Global. I can't picture the locale at all. Could you give a bit more detail on the type of resto (decor, casualness, price etc)?

    Just went to the Narrow Lounge tonight for dinner and had a great experience!  It is a tiny place tucked underneath Luxcious, on the east side of Main St, between Great Northern Way/2nd Ave and 3rd Ave.  There is a red light above the door, if it is on they are open for business!  We had a veggie and dip plate, the dip was raita, so delicious.  We also had the lamb stew, so good, there was definitely a lot of slow cooking love put into the dish!  They have a great selection of beer in the bottle, as well as a great wine list, and pretty good prices.  The service was great too, we ordered the lamb stew for two of us and the chef brought it out divided onto two plates without even asking!  I will definitely be back to try the other great sounding dishes on the menu.


  16. A few things to eat if you find yourself in Vancouver:

    Salt for a late afternoon ploughman's moderne snack

    Cobre for a pan-Latin dinner

    Peaceful for great noodles and dim summy stuff (lunch or dinner)

    Patisserie Lebeau for sweet and savoury brekky waffles (go early)

    Nuba for healthy but v. tasty Lebanese in a funky setting (two locations)

    One of Andrey Durbach's restos (Parkside, La Buca) for muscular Italian

    Aurora for locally sourced creative dishes without blowing the bank (great weekend brunch)

    Go Fish for super fresh "fish shack" offerings with a twist in a supernatural BC setting (one word: tacones, especially if the cod version is on the specials menu; ask for extra hot sauce on the side instead of the cole slaw)

    Green Lettuce for Indian-Chinese food

    Rangoli for a taste of Vij's minus the wait (don't know if they'll have crickets on that menu though)

    Argo Cafe for a post-modern take on the diner (breakfast and lunch only -- be sure to check out the lunch specials like duck confit or seared tuna for like $12!?)

    49th Parallel for coffee (either at their flagship store on 4th Avenue, or at the Edge Cafe with a great breakfast or lunch, or at Cafe Medina with yet another waffle, or at Prado if you find yourself on Commercial Drive)

    Denman/Robson (West End) for an izakaya crawl -- check out the Guus, Zakkushi (for things on sticks), Kingyo, Hapa and maybe throw in a Korean joint or two for fun

    If any of this sounds interesting, I can post more details...

  17. Just noticed Cheesecake 101 on 4th has packed it in, ostensibly to focus on their wholesale business...

    It's going to be a PHAT. From the Urban Diner archives, two months ago:


    My favourite Vancouver sandwich spot is expanding to Kitsilano. Fans of Yaletown’s PHAT (an acronym for Pretty Hot and Tasty), and in particular their smoked meat sandwiches, will rejoice in hearing that William Kaminsky is opening his second location at 1859 West 4th in the old Cheesecake 101 location. They picked up the keys yesterday, have their plans sorted, and are putting in their application for a liquor license. Expect longer opening hours, a menu that is a carbon copy of the Yaletown location’s, a communal table, espresso bar, and garage door frontage for al fresco suppage.  D-day is July 1st.


    I spoke with Kaminsky just a few nights ago and they're on track, give or take a few days (probably give). I'm looking forward to it.

    My bad -- must catch up on UD postings...

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