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What's Missing From This Picture?


jamiemaw
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And Salvadoran... oh how I love love love B.C., but oh how I wish we had a home-cooking, hole-in-the-wall Salvadoran restaurant.

What about Rinconcito Salvadoran Restaurant at 2062 Commercial Drive? This pupuseria has been on my "To Eat" list for quite some time.

How about a real good cookware store? Seattle has City Kitchens and Sur La Table. We don't have anything even close. It's easy finding stores that sell pots but how about the little things that make every cooking day better? Gadgets and gizmos that are sub-$100.

Have you tried the Cookshop in City Square?

As far as what's missing in Vancouver from my perspective, I'd have to say a Filipino restaurant along the lines of Cendrillon in New York. More upscale and featuring something other than the homecooked offerings at cafeteria-style "turo-turo" eateries which seem to be the only type available in this city.

Also, so common in the U.S. but sadly absent here, a mid-range restaurant that I can take my 3 1/2-year-old gastronaut in training to which serves good quality food and dishes other than fried food for kids. Aside from ethnic restaurants, White Spot and Milestones just aren't cutting it on the "family dining" front. In fact, the term "family restaurant" almost invariably implies bland and boring food. Sad.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Did anyone mention decent late-night food yet?

I was walking up and down Davie Street at 3am this morning looking for something to munch on, and my choices seemed to be limited to Denny's, a few pizza places, a greasy Chinese place, and Blenz.

I had an espresso and a nanaimo bar at Blenz and then went home for a snack. :sad:

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Did anyone mention decent late-night food yet?

I was walking up and down Davie Street at 3am this morning looking for something to munch on, and my choices seemed to be limited to Denny's, a few pizza places, a greasy Chinese place, and Blenz.

I had an espresso and a nanaimo bar at Blenz and then went home for a snack.  :sad:

Hmmm. If you're looking for food up until about 1:30 to 2:00 a.m., there's quite a list to choose from. Wild Rice, Brix, Fiction, Bin 941, Lucy Mae Brown, Shanghai Chinese Bistro (spicy wontons are great for staving off a hangover), The Alibi Room, Subeez, Cin Cin, Green Hut and Gyoza King to name a few.

After that hour, well, there's the Fresgo Inn, Bread Garden or The Vineyard. Dang. Who, in a drunken stupor, hasn't ingested either a mushroom burger or beef dip at Fresgos? Ah, memories. :blink:

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I was walking up and down Davie Street at 3am this morning looking for something to munch on, and my choices seemed to be limited to Denny's, a few pizza places, a greasy Chinese place, and Blenz.
Okay, am I the only one wondering what Ling was doing walking up & down Davie Street at 3am?? :shock::shock:
After that hour, well, there's the Fresgo Inn, Bread Garden or The Vineyard.  Dang.  Who, in a drunken stupor, hasn't ingested either a mushroom burger or beef dip at Fresgos?  Ah, memories.  :blink:
Moosh, if you can remember the beef dip you weren't that drunk!

I was gonna mention Fresgo's too, and (I'm gonna date myself) Did's Pizza. There also used to be a place in Burnaby called Sharkey's Beach House that was open until 5am. It was in the old funeral chappel at the corner of Royal Oak & Kingsway. It's a lousy Korean BBQ place now, but Sharkeys was around during my clubbing days .... long long long ago.

A.

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I agree that we are missing good neighbourhood restaurants that are close to home (walkable) and affordable. I don't always want to go too far afield when I am too tired to cook and I don't want to spend too much. I'm just looking for somewhere comfortable, where they get to know you, where I know I can get not only good food but interesting food and not pay an arm and a leg. About the only place that is close by for us is a great sushi restaurant - Ajisai but it isn't exactly a warm comforting place that welcomes you in and makes you forget your woes - it is small and there are always too many people waiting for you to hurry up an finish so they can get a table! But it is absolutely fabulous sushi - and it is affordable.

For good sandwiches try Terra Breads on 4th. I really like their wild salmon as well as the roasted lamb sandwiches. Mix, the bakery, has great sandwiches as well - try the Chicken (it has a great name but it escapes me) and the Granny Gobbler - turkey and Granny Smith apple combo.

Cobbs is an atrocity and I will sign the petition to stop them.

I also wish we had more great grocery stores - I love Stong's but it can sure get crowded. I have yet to try Whole Foods but Meinhardt's is impossible to find parking and it is more for impulse/special purpose than a grocery store to feed your family. Stong's and Urban Fare fit that bill but the city needs more grocery stores that stock specialty items as well as the usual suspects.

Cheers,

Karole

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Moosh, if you can remember the beef dip you weren't that drunk!

I was gonna mention Fresgo's too, and (I'm gonna date myself) Did's Pizza.  There also used to be a place in Burnaby called Sharkey's Beach House that was open until 5am.  It was in the old funeral chappel at the corner of Royal Oak & Kingsway.  It's a lousy Korean BBQ place now, but Sharkeys was around during my clubbing days .... long long long ago.

A.

Nobody, but nobody, forgets Fresgo's beef dip. It's a bad cholesterol nightmare that keeps reliving itself throughout the course of your hangover. On another note, unlike the typical Asian, my alcohol tolerance level is through the roof. Just ask Ian. In my dancin' youth, it was far, far too expensive to try to get hammered at a nightclub. But good grief Arne. Not only am I stalking your restaurant escapades, but we very well may have tripped the light fantastic at the same clubs. :blink:

I, too, remember both Did's and Sharkey's. In fact, Sharkey's was the meeting point for two groups of us late one night many, many years ago. After connecting there, we ditched the idea in favour of another venue and all piled into our cars to leave. Only one group of us made it there, however. The other group was stuck in an aging Volvo station wagon trying to pull out of the parking lot when the U-joint broke, thus leaving the drive shaft in the middle of the road. Needless to say, there was no pizza for them that evening.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I too have spent a drunken evening at Fresgos ingesting the mushroom burger and fries. It was my grad night many years ago and our limo driver pulled up to it, said "Trust me", and we did. Boy was that man full of wisdom!! Best damn burger at 3am.

Ling, what were you doing wandering along Davie at 3am?

Yes, casual late night eats. Seriously lacking.

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In days gone by it was all the questions the sandwich maker asked you that was such a revelation; whole wheat, white or rye? Lettuce or sprouts? butter or mayonnaise? mustard? To go or for here?

This is a fond memory when I went to UBC.

There is (or was) a sandwich shop on the lower floor of the Student Union Building and there was this plump woman from New Zealand. She made great sandwiches, asked all the right questions ( she used to say "butta-mustaad-mayonaaaize" like it was one word ) great rye, black pepper and salt etc. Every now and then I think about popping out there for one ( or two ) sandwiches but I feel that it might have turned into a chain type sandwich shop or something and then the spell would be broken and I could never reflect on the great sandwiches again.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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In days gone by it was all the questions the sandwich maker asked you that was such a revelation; whole wheat, white or rye? Lettuce or sprouts? butter or mayonnaise? mustard? To go or for here?

This is a fond memory when I went to UBC.

There is (or was) a sandwich shop on the lower floor of the Student Union Building and there was this plump woman from New Zealand. She made great sandwiches, asked all the right questions ( she used to say "butta-mustaad-mayonaaaize" like it was one word ) great rye, black pepper and salt etc. Every now and then I think about popping out there for one ( or two ) sandwiches but I feel that it might have turned into a chain type sandwich shop or something and then the spell would be broken and I could never reflect on the great sandwiches again.

If it is the sandwich place in The Deli, it's still there and their menu is still pretty extensive.

I've never heard of Fresgos Inn but I'm looking up the address right now. :wink: Thanks for the tip! I don't really like eating at Bread Garden...then again, I can't be too picky so late at night, can I?

I had a few too many drinks Sunday night and got home around 2am (no I didn't drive). Was a bit hungry when I got home, so I changed into my sweats and went out in search for food with bf. Capped off the evening with coffee and a look at Neil's picture in the Georgia Strait. :biggrin:

Edited by Ling (log)
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Capped off the evening with coffee and a look at Neil's picture in the Georgia Strait. 

Lorna , you are bordering on being a stalker. First the ginerbread pudding obsession and now seeking out my picture at three in the morning. :biggrin:

I guess it could be worse , Sam Salmon could be my stalker. :raz:

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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What's missing for me are bistros like Brasserie l'Ecole in Victoria and Le Pichet in Seattle - mixing a warm atmosphere, an interesting and affordable wine list, some well-executed comfort food, knowledgeable staff, and attentive and professional service without the pretense.

Straying farther afield, we could do worse than a good souffle restaurant like Cafe Jacqueline in San Fransisco. She does one thing and she does it well.

As for seafood, I'm with Jamie: your best bet for consistency, freshness and proper preparation in Vancouver is a Chinese or Japanese restaurant. There's nothing like Cal Pep in Barcelona, where they serve up the daily catch simply, with lightning speed and cooked to perfection. There's is a line up everyday to prove it, just like there used to be at the Only on East Hastings.

I also miss small, hole in the wall stand up wine & tapas bars like Quimet & Quimet, also in Barcelona. You don't have to speak Catalan to get their attention, even when access to the bar is several people deep, just look hungry and show some respect for the food.

Some limited or single menu restaurants would be welcome too. Le Bistrot du Paradou in Southern France comes to mind, with its set menu for each day of the week, including entree, main, dessert, wine, bread and coffee included. It's the same price every day and very satisfying.

We could also use some nose to tail eating, like Fergus Henderson's St. John in London. Bring on the rook pie, lambs tongues and roasted marrow bones!

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We could also use some nose to tail eating, like Fergus Henderson's St. John in London. Bring on the rook pie, lambs tongues and roasted marrow bones!

Funny you should mention that. We were just putting together a Fergus Henderson tribute dinner at Fiction. It probably won't be until the new year, when it's really gross outside and the hocks are extra tasty. Is this anything that would pique the interest of other gulleteers?

One of the dishes chef did last month was a take on Keller's 'tongue n' cheek', with braised tongue and veal cheek, with a squeek of truffle oil. Awesome.

Nice to see some carnivores out there :raz:

Owner

Winebar @ Fiction

Lucy Mae Brown

Century - modern latin -

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We could also use some nose to tail eating, like Fergus Henderson's St. John in London. Bring on the rook pie, lambs tongues and roasted marrow bones!

Funny you should mention that. We were just putting together a Fergus Henderson tribute dinner at Fiction. It probably won't be until the new year, when it's really gross outside and the hocks are extra tasty. Is this anything that would pique the interest of other gulleteers?

One of the dishes chef did last month was a take on Keller's 'tongue n' cheek', with braised tongue and veal cheek, with a squeek of truffle oil. Awesome.

Nice to see some carnivores out there :raz:

Pork hocks, tongue, tripe--I love it all! :wub:

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Interesting to see a trend toward "nose to tail" cooking... I had my birthday dinner at Le Gavroche on Sunday night and my husband had the braised veal tongue and veal cheek dish (the meat was braised until very tender, and it was served with a demi sauce).

ssherwood, let us know when your Fergus Henderson tribute dinner will be on. My husband and I would definitely be interested in trying more "nose to tail" cooking. :smile:

-Christine

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ssherwood? Sean is that you? Nice to see you posting and not lurking. When it comes to offals I know where to draw the line. I love tongue, kidneys, liver, tripe, and sweetbreads. Not a fan of tendon or week (the congealed blood you can have in the pho at you know where). Will not be trying brains, heart or bung. Just some guidelines I like to follow.

Just want to set a few things straight, during the 70's I did frequent the Fresgo Inn, even during it's days as about a 4 table joint. During those days Walter and Peter actually cooked the food (that's them in that sketch at the start of the line up). Despite how many cocktails (glasses of draft) I consumed I never, ever was there or anywhere else dressed as a ballerina. During a spell in the 80's I did wear tights well riding my bike but only during cold weather. Unlike Baryshnikof I never embelished my tights with any sort of sockwear. Just thought I should straighten that out.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Hi all:

Funny you should mention Fresgo's!!!

The other night as my wife lay in the hospital, expecting the birth of our second child (Emma was born on Nov. 30th!!) at St. Paul's she suddenly said:

"I could go for a burger" it wasn't late, about 11:30 pm so I went out in search of a decent burger "to go".

Since I was in a hurry I didn't bother to deal with the parking nightmare Downtown, and set out on foot.

As I rounded the corner of Thurlow & Davie....there it was....Fresgo's.

I haven't been there since I lived in the West End (some 15 years ago) but fondly remember their burgers. I also fondly remembered the decor....it hasn't changed much since my last visit.

As I perused the menu...just off to the left...there it was...."Double Bacon & Cheese Burger with fries" $6.95!!!!!!

It was huge and it was delicious!! Still piping hot after the 8 - 10 minute wait for the elevator at the hospital on my way back up. The fries were "good" but for $6.95 it was a steal!!!

In a pinch, a great burger to go.

Cheers from a sleepy Dad!!

John

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.

Hunter S. Thompson ---- R.I.P. 1939 - 2005

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

--Mark Twain

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The other night as my wife lay in the hospital, expecting the birth of our second child (Emma was born on Nov. 30th!!) at St. Paul's she suddenly said:

"I could go for a burger" it wasn't late, about 11:30 pm so I went out in search of a decent burger "to go".

:laugh: I had to read that twice ... sounded like Emma was asking for the burger!! :laugh:

Congrats to you & Mrs. dodger!

A.

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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For all the bragging we’ve been doing recently, there remain certain things impossible to find in Vancouver.

In addition to good local newspapers, it's freakishly tough to get a decent sandwich. And in a city of a thousand seafood-centric restaurants, it's difficult to find great hot (non-Asian) seafood, especially classically sauced.

A decent pizza means a long drive from most precincts. Want a simple crab or shrimp Louis? Good luck. And, let's face it, most Vancouver sites suitable for restaurant occupation are architecturally challenged.

What are your pet peeves? And what would you do to fix it them? And they needn't be limited to just the food . . .

Time to chime,

Jamie

Hi Jamie,

This is my first foray into the eGullet world. My intention was to get my big toe wet but having just read my prattle it would appear that I have plunged my leg in right up to the knee.

Here goes.

We need more taxis. It is impossible to order/flag one on any afternoon especially a Saturday in July. Try explaining that to a tourist.

We need to encourage more Gastropubs. They are all the rage in Europe and making inroads on this continent with New York’s “Spotted Pig” stepping into the arena.

Develop a zero tolerance policy towards panhandlers; they are the cause of the most common complaint that I hear from visitors

More whisk(e)y lists in more establishments. Apart from Fetz, Jay’s at West and my own I haven’t found much to get excited about.

We need a greater appreciation for developing neighborhoods. This is where young people with limited financial resources go to open restaurants and where everybody else should be able to go to get a deal

We are loosing what little dining history we have. I would love to see somebody buy “Only Seafood”, “Ovaltine Café”, etc and restore them to their former glory. I tried last year but my timing was all wrong.

Pet Peeves

Peeve-Solution

Hosts/hostesses that chew gum-please don’t do it,

Being slotted into “Other European” section in Van Mag awards. Sorry Jamie- start a Pub food/Gastropub section perhaps

Sandwiches filled with processed meats-Ban processed meats, that stuff couldn’t be good for you

Tapas that are priced as entrees-not much we can do about this now

Bias against Gastown-Visit us again with an open mind. There are massive improvements underway; Woodwards, Carrall Street Green Way, Koret Building, Inform expansion, Storyeum to name but a few.

Reading about Vancouver in Travel/Food magazines and seeing the same five establishments lauded each time-somehow make publicity accessible to those who can’t afford P.R. folk

Got to go…baby is wailing.

Sean Heather

MAY THE WIND AT YOUR BACK ALWAYS BE YOUR OWN, MAY THE ROAD RISE TO MEET YOU AND SPLIT YOUR FOREHEAD AND IF YOU COULD SHITE WALKING YOU'D BE A HORSE OF A MAN

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This is my first foray into the eGullet world. My intention was to get my big toe wet but having just read my prattle it would appear that I have plunged my leg in right up to the knee.

Welcome aboard Sean! Forget about that wussy big toe stuff. You just have to plunge in like the rest of us. :biggrin:

Bias against Gastown-Visit us again with an open mind. There are massive improvements underway; Woodwards, Carrall Street Green Way, Koret Building, Inform expansion, Storyeum to name but a few.

You're post has already made in-roads. I knew about Irish Heather, but not about Shebeen. I was mentioning to Foodie's hubby a while back that I am woefully lacking in whiskey-knowledge. Sounds like a visit is in order.

We are loosing what little dining history we have. I would love to see somebody buy “Only Seafood”, “Ovaltine Café”, etc and restore them to their former glory. I tried last year but my timing was all wrong.

That's pretty typical for any building Vancouver ... until the building codes are allowed to be "grandfathered" restoring buildings to modern codes is just too damn expensive. We're getting better, but not fast enough IMO.

A.

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