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I'm a big fan of Monsoon. Great vibe, friendly staff, and interesting Asian fusion food; but my favourite restaurant has to be Aurora Bistro. Aurora has an all BC wine list and locally sourced ingredients. Try them for Brunch. The truffled scrambled eggs on puff pastry with oven roasted tomatoes is stellar!!

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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Monsoon has gone down hill in recent years and I don't recomend it anymore. Five Point has great food and a pub like vibe. Hawker's is my favorite for Malaysian. Toshi's has the best sushi in the vicinity, they are on 16th just off Main. Pho Hoang for vietnamese, really good and cheap. The Main for greek food. Haven't been in a couple of years, but the last time I was there it was fantastic.

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I would approach Pho Hoang carefully if you are from LA. The vietnamese restaurants in California are much much better than they are here. I have yet to find something that will match up to what you may already have had in LA.

There are two cheap Chinese places that you may be interested in checking out. Mui Garden has a chinese take on Malaysian food - with excellent Curry Beef Brisket (you can have chicken (ask for boneless if that sort of thing bugs you) or vegetables). I also like Shanghai Yan Yun for excellent Xiao Lung Bao (Juicy Pork Dumplings)

If you want to do something super-canadian - I think that the Ukranian Church on 10th and Main is having their Perogy night this Friday (first Friday of each month). It is like a giant church dinner with homemade Perogies, Bortch, and Cabbage Rolls. It is very popular with the locals and tends to sell out by 7pm or so. There is no sermonising if you are worried about that sort of thing. So charming and quaint you could choke!

Hope this helps.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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I'd certainly add Long's Noodle House (4853 Main) to the list. Try their wine soaked chicken. Yum! :smile:

Budapest at 3250 Main has a nice selection of Hungarian food including a tasty goulash.

If you enjoy Buffalo wings, try Wing Nuts at 4444 Main. Their "seriously hot" sauce tastes very similar to the wings in Buffalo, NY.

And for a nice machaca torta try Duffin's Donuts of all places at 4898 Main. Yum again! They have an eclectic mix of items ranging from the machaca to fried chicken to donuts. Strange mix, but tasty machaca! :smile:

Cheers!

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Most of my faves are already listed. Add to them Josephine's at 11th for Phillipino cuisine.

Another place I've had limitted success with is Slickety Jim's (2300 Block, West side). I really want to like this place, but the food is pretty hit and miss. A very "Main Street - Low Rent" kinda feel that has it's appeal. But ultimately its about the food. Breakfast is your safest bet.

My favorite breakfast place is still Helen's Grill (Main & 25th - SE corner). The diner that time forgot. Cheap breakfasts, and little juke-boxes in each booth! 2nd place goes to Berts (@12th - East side). Breakfast is just as good, but no juke-boxes.

BTW ... checked out the new tenants in the old Big C Grill location. It's called Clews Breakfast Grill. Disappointing. The guy who owned Big C used to do his own corned beef for c-b hash. Clews most adventurous brekkie is steak & eggs. Everything else is pretty standard. Average coffee. Nice remodel though :rolleyes:

A.

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Just want to let you know the Main is still good for Greek food, great place to hang out with a beer or glass of wine and live music on weekends.

I'll second a few spots including Long's - get some pot stickers (very good at this local spot) and also recommend spicy dumplings not sure of exact name. Wine soaked chicken is their speciality, but many good things on their menu. Add the charm of the host/owner and you have a happening spot.

Nobody mentioned the Reef, only been once, but it is fun for carribean food - we liked it and the others who went with us return regularly (we are into continuing our hunt for new things). Also of note is Cipriano's - it is Ital/Amer or possibly Ital/Canadian ... good pizza and other entrees you would expect, sometimes they lock you in while they sing old Italian songs.

Have fun exploring :wink:

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We are big fans of the Reef, a roti and thier coleslaw is amazing, followed with a nice cold Red Stripe. Then go down a couple of doors to a little dessert place which i cannot remember the name at the moment, but great fresh desserts, and great little ambient room.

Too bad to hear about Big C, we used to go there every weekend best cheap breakkie in town, but also agree with Daddy A in re. to Helens, good greasy spoon!

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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Well hello everyone. My first post. :smile:

It only seemed appropriate that it be in this thread, since I live across the street from Clew's (their Open sign wakes me up every morning at 7:00). Suprisingly, haven't ventured in yet, but the bf and I were planning on a breaky date this Sat.

A few of my fav's:

Toshi-- they have a grilled squid dish that I can't stay away from.

Mui Garden-- have to second the Curried Beef Brisket, as well as give two yums up to their Wonton Soups, both the regular and the Shanghai style.

Locus-- with their $3.00 pints between 3-6, their appetizer plate for two always goes well. Usually it's got some wild boar sausage or a lamb kebab on it.

Legendary Noodle-- any of their dumplings are superb, I'm also a sucker for their pea shoots with garlic. :wub:

Typhoon-- no, not MONsoon, TYPhoon. Just go north a block or two. We've always had great service, and wonderful food. I remember something delicious with lamb and 7 spices, maybe with a roti...

The Reef-- Pork tenderloin. Oh. My. God.

Sweet Revenge is the dessert place a few doors down. Yum yum yum. I try to put blinders on, but...

The Purple Crab--I'm not suprised no one has mentioned this. I live next door, and otherwise probably would have never set foot in the door. Great friendly staff, and the owner/chef takes pride in his food, for good reason. To be blunt, the atmosphere sucks. Strange decor, and there's live music every night, with an open mic 3-4 nights, or something like that. It can make for interesting background music while eating. Any seafood dish is great. Clams with "Vietnamese" sauce, crab bisque, et., etc. I often get take out of their chowder, or the clam bisque. Or else we go early before the jam starts. :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to report in on another great Egullet recommendation.

Went to Au Petit Cafe the other day and it was excellent! Split a Bahn Mi with my brother and it was delicous. The bread was warm and crusty and not overfilled - but the filling was rich and satisfying.

Their pho was good but their beef stew in tomato sauce was other star of the meal. The beef was nicely braised and the stew had that real slow cooked quality to it. The broth was nicely de-fatted so the flavors were very clean. Came with a very nice side of jasmine rice that was cooked perfectly (it is these little things that really impress me). The rice was hot and fresh - but the grains were seperate and not mushed up like you see in many Asian restaurants. Maybe it was becuase we went at lunch time.

Warning about the beef stew - it comes with alot of tendon pieces that may be an acquired taste (they were nice and jello-y though). Maybe you can specify that you don't want so much tendon.

The place is alot cleaner and neater on the inside than the dirty awning would suggest.

Iam told that they run out of the Bahn Mi fairly quickly around lunch time. Now - I am trying to find the thread on Bahn Mi in Vancouver - so see if other people felt like there were better places that warrant further investigation.

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The Purple Crab--I'm not suprised no one has mentioned this. I live next door, and otherwise probably would have never set foot in the door. Great friendly staff, and the owner/chef takes pride in his food, for good reason. To be blunt, the atmosphere sucks. Strange decor, and there's live music every night, with an open mic 3-4 nights, or something like that. It can make for interesting background music while eating. Any seafood dish is great. Clams with "Vietnamese" sauce, crab bisque, et., etc. I often get take out of their chowder, or the clam bisque. Or else we go early before the jam starts. 

I like this place aswell :biggrin:

The music and beer rocks, food is good.

I like to be there when the jam starts, thats just me :blink:

I am going to be in the city next week

I think I will go

or maybe Keno cafe, another live music place

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hanging at the Reef

Arrived home late afternoon from Alberta. Bad news in the post, so I opened the bottle of wine on the table. I needed a drink. Nothing like a glass of Nederburg Cab Sauv. (2002) to calm the nerves. The wine is a dark, tart, inky plum. I'd like a dress like this -silky, velvety, with a bit of an edge. No food in the fridge so we head to The Reef on Main because my four-year old loves the plantain fries, and I can get some spice. We get the last table at 5:30. The place feels warm and vibrates like a funky beehive. The reggae is good medicine for the travel-weary soul.

The waiter recognizes me and I am relieved. He is lovely- cool, efficient, and gives us a basket of fry bread while we wait for our orders to come up. "It's like eating doughnuts!" the woman at the next table exclaims. "Yeah doughnuts you slather with butter," I'm thinking. Diet starts tomorrow. We share a ginger beer. I love its bite, though I don't know how authentic it really is because on time I saw a waitress top it up with seven up. Oh well, this summer I vow to make my own. It will be peppery gingery- blow your stack. It surprises me my boy loves the ginger beer since he tells me he HATES GINGER, (and any other food that is not entirely bland, sweet, or chocolate.)

Anyway, I order the pork tenderloin jerk and watch the Green Goblin join defenses with Emperor Zurg against Spiderman in a lurid battle by candlelight. I am beginning to uncrease. The music makes me feel loved in spite of it all, and before you know it my boy's munchin' his chips, bobbing unselfconsciously to the rhythm of the music. We've been taking him here since he was in the womb and he's always loved the music.

I have one bad memory of the place that kept me away for some time. My son was three at the time, and I brought him in for lunch. The place was almost empty-we were well-behaved diners, but the attitude I got from the waitress (very hip, very young) chilled me to the bone. In the end, I paid the bill, walked out the door and then realized (in my mother-muddle brain) she'd short-changed me, thinking of course, it had been a mistake. I left her a fifteen percent tip, but she had purposefully kept part of my change back for herself before the tip and was very annoyed when I asked for it back. I was gobsmacked! I haven't seen her since, (very hip, very short-term).

Most of the time I've had great service. It's the food that seems to change with the winds-maybe a succession of cooks? Sometimes the jerk is spicy and delivered with a heat alert, and sometimes not. I like it when it burns. Tonight it is over-salted, but the medallions are very tender and there is a nice slow burn. The rice and peas are salty too. I'm thinking canned broth? Oddly, the coleslaw is lacking in vinegar and under-salted.

However, I'm unwinding, and forgiving. My boy loves the clown fish in the tropical tank. It's a little piece of paradise. I wish they could project it onto a wall somehow. Taking our leftovers to Cinephile we pick out our post dinner culture (Scooby Doo again) and head back past the recumbent digger that will raise their dino heads and chew up, the streets again on Monday. (Drivers beware.)

A night in the life of Zucchini Mama

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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It's been mentioned, but wanted to second legendary noodles. My favourite tan tan mein of all, great dumplings in hot and sour soup, lamb noodles, pea shoots!

also, for pho, pho thang long near 22nd on main. Nothing but pho but I still go there and absolutely love it.

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Romance at Aurora

When you have had a hard week, you ask your boyfriend to take you to Aurora Bistro. P's next door at Pulp Fiction books while I preview the new wine list. Now I'm excited. This wine menu is all B.C. and I like the way they've hi-lighted some of their favorite choices. There is a good selection by the glass so you can try a few different ones and then pop down to Dunbar and 41st to buy a bottle or two. I can tell by the new menu they have developed a strong identity and made a stronger commitment to local wine and food. There is even a list of B.C. cheese, with their own little sides which bring out the unique flavors of each one. I'm over the moon!

I ordered the Salad of hazelmere Organic Beets and Blood Oranges with arugula and chive blossom vinaigrette. It amuses me so much that pickled beets are given such rarified treatment here. They are cut into thick strips and stacked up log-cabin style with an accompaniment of three tiny pieces of blood orange). My mom's pickled beets were really too beautiful to keep in the root cellar. When we ate them, they weren't given there own course, just plopped on the side of the plate where they seeped into the edges of the potato salad, tingeing it bright purple. For this reason, and for the earthy sweet and tart bite they deserve this blood-orange duet on their own plate.

I bet that's blood orange peel in the butter and bloody good bread, too.

I start with the Cipes "Aurora" Brut: floral, dry, light and summery. That's because its Summerhill Pyramid winery- can you feel the vibrations? We share Fanny Bay Oysters breaded with lentil flour and served with curried aioli and plum chutney. Yes! I could have stopped right there and ordered two more plates. P's warm goat cheese and pear slice were classic. He had that sexy cherry red sports car blush. I'm not even going to tell you what it is, because (even thought I can't afford it) I want it all!!!! This is why I could never be a food critic. Je suis méchant.

For my main course, I had a glass of the Hainle Zweigelt, which is fantastic. I find there's a bit of a longstanding wine storage issue here at Aurora. Their reds are almost always served a touch warmer than they should be. Anyway, the Hainle is a big surprise. It's got tons of big Bing Cherry on the nose and more weight than usual in this varietal. Full of bon ami.

My vegetarian strudel was decadent. Flaky pastry criss-crossed over sweet potato and onion mixture that weren't baked to a mush the way it is when I try to do it. The morel sauce kept it savory-balanced it out and gave it elegance. P. loved his halibut.

For dessert I had the Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with pistachio cream, chocolate salad, and pistachio brittle. I love the idea of a chocolate salad!!! The contrast in textures were what makes it a stellar dessert-creamy, wobbly, crunchy.

So much cheese to choose from, so little time. My partner in fromage had Meadow Mountain sheep cheese with a golden fig compote. The descriptions of the types of cheese were very helpful.

I'm so glad Aurora is in our neighborhood. It's casual enough for the guy at the next table to wear a baseball cap, but fancy enough to feel like a real treat. The decor is witty and unpretentious in its glitzed up plywood kind of way. We gotta go here more often! It's good for our relationship!

Zucchini Mama says eat yer chocolate greens.

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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Great post - my wife & I have been meaning to try Aurora, as it was recommended by a coworker of hers who by all accounts should be on this site. (Lurking still, probably. :hmmm: )

Is the cheese a la carte then? Can you get a plate of say 3, or 5, or ?? Also do they suggest pairings with them? Do they carry a lot of ports? Sorry for so many questions; probably the best way to answer them is to just go!

The list grows ever longer, when will we get enough time... and cash...

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Dear B.C.,

You can mix and match the cheeses and yes, they have port style wines. Actually, it's all on their fabulous web site <www.aurorabistro.ca/dessert.htm>. I e-mailed a question to them last week and the chef e-mailed me back himself! Great service, eh? You must go. It's so great!

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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Hey Zucchini Mama-

Have really been enjoying your restaurant experience posts.

Any other 4-year-old-boy friendly restaurants in that neighborhood?

Ann

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Dear Ann,

Glad you like the posts. There seem to be a lot of us in these threads with children the same age.

I would be fun to have a mom's night out together sometime. The Main actually does a decent weekend brunch. I really like their crab and avocado eggs Benny. It has a child-friendly Greek-Canadian pub atmosphere at that time, and earlier on in the evenings. (We often just go really early to places in the evening and find that better for dining out with kids, as you probably know.) The Sawasdee Thai place near us at 4250 Main Street is totally child-friendly. The service is great and the food is a good value. P. and I like the deep fried ocean perch with all kinds of yummy sauce on it. One of my absolute favorite places on Main is Chutney Villa, with lots of child-friendly snacks on the menu, but it's a bit pricier, so I like to save it for a romantic night out. I also like to take the bus up to the Punjabi Market, but do you know where the best place to eat up there is? I'm try to widen my curry reperatoire in the kitchen, so have been heading up there for ingredients. All India Sweets is child-friendly, but I'm a bit bored with it.

I'm always on the lookout for places to have lunch with my boy around town, so I would love to hear postings on that subject-in my neighborhood and others. Stay tune for more detailed postings of our neighborhood joints.

Zuke

Oh, and once in a while we get take-away wings from WING NUTS. They have a simply spiced version and my son loves them! I like the honey Dijon.

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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There seem to be a lot of us in these threads with children the same age.  I would be fun to have a mom's night out together sometime.

I'm always on the lookout for places to have lunch with my boy around town, so I would love to hear postings on that subject-in my neighborhood and others.

Belated welcome to eGullet... and I'm always up for a Mom's night out! :wink:

Andrew started a thread a while back called Vancouver Comfort Food that focused on kid-friendly restaurants. Check it out... I hope you'll find it useful!

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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  • 3 weeks later...
I love Budapest.  Their Translyvanian Wooden Plate is delicious and a great value, and the restaurant itself is cosy and comfy.

Just wanted to say that I checked out Budapest last night and it was goooooood.

Shared cucumber salad and tomato salad. They were dressed with sharp vinegar that was refreshing and opened the appetite. Then shared a Translyvanian Wooden Plate for three that had:

Veal Schitzel

Pork Schitzel

Chicken Schitzel

Cabbage Rolls

Spaetzle

Pan Fried Potatoes

Purple Suarkraut

Suasages

A tonne of food for $45.

Everything was delicous - with the schitzels being particularly excellent. :wub: Thin with a really crisp coating, not greasy at all - better I am afraid than Katzenjammer. Dessert was a Sour Cherry Strudel and Vanilla Kreme. The Sour Cherry Strudel was actually a poppy seed strudel studded with sour cherries (the waitress gave us fair warning) The Vanilla Kreme was like a vanilla pudding cake sandwiched between flakey pastry - not too sweet and good.

The decor is like being in an East European profressor's office. Kind of cozy - kinda of suffocating.

Will definitely be back.

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