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Everything posted by grayelf

  1. I certainly don't qualify as a pho expert but my experience has been that the other menu items are superior, and what we usually go for. The pho, while by no means bad, seems to lack a bit of depth, although I understand it is cooked for many hours. We really like this little spot, the owner and staff are great, and they have an egg based item there (sorry, can't think of the name) that's a real favourite of the SO. I am addicted to their meatball brochette...
  2. I think it is, but not in the location of my off-putting experience.
  3. It was a trip to the Vina's on Denman (no longer there) that put me off Vietnamese for many years - feh.
  4. Yep. Zimmern's shtick is seeking out and eating the most bizarre foods he can find - I think it's more a gross-out factor thing. There is no context provided for what he goes to eat. He's like a dumpy, pudgy, middle-aged wannabe Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off bats. (OK, that's unfair to Oz!) ← Hmm, maybe I should be thankful if we don't get that show here
  5. Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if we get that show here in Blandcouver. Was he by any chance the guest star on the ABNR New York ep?
  6. Excuse my obvious ignorance but who or what is zimmern?
  7. Although it seems a bit incongruous to find HCB at a Belgian bakery, you might want to try Patisserie Lebeau on 2nd just east of Burrard. When I went for my ham'n'cheese waffle fix last Sat, they had some HCB that looked amazing. Go early or call first as they sell out of everything (closed Sundays). PS I know exactly what you mean about Uprising...
  8. Thanks for the review of it. No slight taken at all. It is really interesting to see another experience with it. Oddly the one time I visited sha-lin noodle house I thought the noodles were mushy, broth overly salty, and that it was targeted primarily to a non-Chinese customer base. I have since been back to Peaceful another time and it was an entirely different waitstaff and kitchen crew. I even got an entirely different menu. Very confusing. I wonder if they have some odd staffing schedule and subsequently variation in quality of the cooking. Cheers! ← Went to Peaceful on Friday night based on reccos from here and elsewhere and forewarned by flowbee not to order the potstickers. The Peaceful beef roll was as good or better than promised, and we also really enjoyed the not quite XLB steamed/pan fried offerings. We went for the cat's ear noodles stir fry which now oddly are scored and look more like squid (we were warned of this). They were nicely cooked but the veggies esp carrot and snow peas were underrepresented and overdone. The flavour was subtle. The other item we ordered was the chili wontons, which we half loved (wontons themselves were delightful) and half not loved (the sauce was basically chili flakes in oil). If this report sounds wishy washy, it isn't. We thought the place was great, the service was excellent (really helpful and attentive servers), very clean, speedy (we were in and out in 45 minutes) and we are definitely planning to go back. Next time, we'll get a party of four at least so we can try more of the dishes.
  9. If there were an emoticon for "drooling on my keyboard" I'd be inserting it here! I just called my SO to inform him that we were going to Peaceful for dinner
  10. Hey Vancouver! On your kind recommendation, we hit "Hai Phong - 1242 Kingsway - My favourite pho in Vancouver. They also have Vietnamese hotpots." It was about 1:30 on Sat and the place was slammed. This obvious popularity was a good thing, as our first impressions were a bit bleak: strip mall, bare bones, not super clean looking. Took a while to get seated and menued but that may have been because of the volume of humans. We all decided on pho tai to establish a benchmark and because the rest of the menu was a bit daunting. We did notice a table next to us digging into one of the hotpots you mentioned and it looked and smelled great -- maybe more of a dinner option for us?? Anyway, the pho appeared in a fairly timely fashion and our first observation was that it smelled quite different than the phos we are used to. There was a decidedly non-savoury tang to it and by that I don't mean unsavoury but rather a spice that we usually associate with sweet things, kinda cinnamony. Our fears were assuaged by the taste however, in that this unidentified spice did not telegraph in the eating. Everyone gave it the thumbs up, although I must admit I still give Kim Phung's pho tai a slight edge. Condiments were great, with lots of very fresh and crunchy sprouts, decent and plentiful basil, and a couple of those gnarly bird chilies plus limes. Noodles were also plentiful and cooked just past al dente which is how I like 'em in pho. I had a delicious glass of lemonade (really limeade) which at $3 was $1 less than Kim Phung. I also note that the pho prices are lower here (the small coming in at a mere $5, the large at $5.75). Service was as noted a bit scattered and we were slightly disappointed to discover they don't have the steamed "rolls" that we like (chopped up pork and mushrooms inside, served with what can only be described as Vietnamese bologne). Given the price, tastiness of the pho, convenience of location and possibilities for further menu exploration, I suspect we will be back.
  11. It's right by my work so I popped in one day at about 11 am. The interior looked rather sprightly I thought and the steam table although oddly situated in the front window looked and smelled good. I haven't been able to convince my usual lunch buddies to go because THEY went by just after noon one day and decided the interior was uninviting and the steam table more so. I may have to venture in on my own... ← Still haven't had a chance to actually eat here but did notice as I walked by last week that they have moved and/or removed the steam table -- at any rate, it is no longer in the prime window space.
  12. The waitron at Kim Phung was so very pleasant that I dared asked how to pronounce it and I got "fah" but I'm still a bit flustered when pronouncing it and tend to fall back on the obviously incorrect "pho" -- just too white I guess
  13. Isn't this how breakfast diners make hashbrown taters? ← Maybe. It seems like diner hashbrowns sometime have a mushy texture. Letting the baked potato sit overnight in the fridge seems like it keeps everything together. The outside is super crisp and the inside is fluffly. It may very well be just one of those things your mom cooked for you as a child and for one reason or another is better than anything else you've had. ← We do an even more rustic version -- cool the baked spuds overnight, slice 'em and fry 'em up in a hot pan with a mix of veg oil and butter. So tasty!
  14. That is sad! No one else did the deep-fried thing quite like the KF, and the staff were great.
  15. It's true, every once in a while, the world just needs a phodown. A bit of phodown triva for you: I often get flack because the traditional pronunciation of pho (fuh) makes the pun we are going for rather pointless. That's a valid point, of course, but who really pronounces it correctly anyway? Anyway, I'm a broth man myself, but we also give points for beef, noodles, condiments (basil weighs in heavily) and general service and atmosphere. The points are broken down into categories so you can pay more attention to what interests you. We go to places based on reader recommendation, e-gullet searches, and sometimes just driving around Hastings, Kingsway and Fraser. I am always on the lookout for a hot pho tip, so all of your comments are definitely valuable to me! ← Thanks for the lowdown on the Phodown (oh, really, please, somebody STOP me). BTW I love that the pun is that it is based on a mispronunciation, in fact I'm down with that... oh damn...
  16. As we've only been twice with pho as the phocus (oh, somebody stop me), we haven't tried other items apart from the lone salad roll. Anyone else out there up on the sarnies at Kim Phung?
  17. Awesome! Will you be posting any results on eGullet or should we be going "elsewhere" (that is a hint to post a linky to your site in case you missed it ).
  18. Huzzah for the Phodown! Read all your old posts assiduously. Do you have a start date for the 2008 event?
  19. And we were. Exactly one week later. With another pho friend who confirmed the worthiness of the pho tai. And did I mention it has cilantro ← I scanned up - thread but didn't notice if your experience includes Au Petit Cafe. Is Kim Phung better? Admittedly the REAL reason I go to Au Petit is for the bhan mi, but the pho isn't bad either. ← Au Petit definitely has a presence on this thread, and I have partaken of their offerings. It's been a while since I tried their pho but Kim Phung is superior I would say. If you're feeling adventurous, ask for their "spicy broth"; I'm a purist and stick to the regular pho tai but my SO was quite sold on the spicy version. BTW we tried their salad roll on Sunday and it was also pronounced good by thems that knows (I'm not a huge s.r. fan so dassn't judge).
  20. And we were. Exactly one week later. With another pho friend who confirmed the worthiness of the pho tai. And did I mention it has cilantro
  21. My condolences at being so close to MC -- I feel your pain as I am only 3 blocks away I haven't fully graduated to the dark side (chocolate that is) and my downfall is the little tubes of round chocolate "chips" they do. Creamy goodness in a tiny bomb of happiness.
  22. It's right by my work so I popped in one day at about 11 am. The interior looked rather sprightly I thought and the steam table although oddly situated in the front window looked and smelled good. I haven't been able to convince my usual lunch buddies to go because THEY went by just after noon one day and decided the interior was uninviting and the steam table more so. I may have to venture in on my own...
  23. No surprise to hear that from a New Yorker. Bar Crudo is a NYC restaurant transplanted into San Francisco. ← Good to hear from you, Melkor! You were an unwittingly large contributor to my SF restaurant list, so thanks. Anything in the way of updates/tried and trues/mustn't misses you'd care to share?
  24. I've been hearing so many recs for Canteen. We tried to get a reso in Nov but left it too late, so I'm getting my dibs in early for our April trip Note to ALANBF: Canteen is tiny and popular, and has three seatings per night at 6, 7:30 and 9:15 (not open Sun or Mon). They do a lunch service during the week and brunch on Sat and Sun (no resos for brunch or lunch). Have also heard raves for Incanto and A16. Thanks for the heads up on the Water Bar. Views/atmos are great, but I'm there for the food! I haven't heard of Swan -- can you fill me/us in?
  25. Second Swicks' suggestion re thread which is sadly closed (something to do with the reorganization??). I used it and other eGulleteer's suggestions before our last trip in November 2007 to great advantage. You can check out my ramblings about that weekend here if you're so inclined: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=110065 Also feel free to PM me if you want a list of restos I compiled at that time. We're heading back in mid-April so I'll be updating it before we go!
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