y

YVRChow's Profile

Title Last Reply

PIZZA!

I do have to get to Via Tevere. I've tried once or twice but lines scare me off. :)

Nov 08, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PIZZA!

I'd suggest it - I actually really prefer it.

Nov 08, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PIZZA!

LOL

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PIZZA!

Yes. I've found the quality of the slice at the downtown one to be a bit better than the Commercial Drive one from my experiences as both. Have you noticed differences too?

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PIZZA!

Did the food change at all with the rename?

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PIZZA!

Cotto's carbonara and margherita pizzas. What happens when you take a chef that has worked under Jean George, Daniel Boulud, Christian Delouvrier, and Frank Dodd who then worked at Cioppino and stick him out in the burbs owning and operating a pizza place?

The answer is simple: Cotto.

This suburban pizzeria has the feel of a family dining restaurant chain like Earl's or Cactus Club complete with multiple young hostesses standing by the door not doing much while waiting to seat people. It seems they put some money into the place, yet it feels very corporate. Let's just say it felt like a chain, and I was surprised it wasn't. Perhaps there are big plans ahead.....

We started with the complimentary fresh baked bread which was served with a white bean dip. The bread had a nice crust, and the dip was smooth and flavourful, as it was sitting in a bit of nice oil.

Our Insalata Rucola then arrived. It had arugula, Gorgonzola, crispy pancetta, pickled cucumber, pressed cantaloupe, pinenuts, with a red wine vinaigrette. Everything worked really nicely - including the pressed cantaloupe which added a pleasant sweetness - with the exception of the pickled cucumber. It was jarring and the salad would have been better without it. Overall a nice salad with some interesting components and nicely dressed.

The pizza margherita had a pleasant char and leoparding. It may have been about 15 seconds too long in the oven for my taste - but that is a personal preference as I prefer my pizza slightly softer than many people do. The tomatoes had a heartiness that really worked well. A very solid job on this pizza, with the exception of the basil leaves being a bit burned and not having a strong basil taste.

The pizza carbonara was a real treat. This one was cooked more to my liking - perhaps the toppings protected it a bit - or perhaps they took this one out first? It had guanciale, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, fonduta, roasted garlic, and a 63° egg. The guanciale really gave a carbonara feel to the pizza. It was a delicious local one. The egg was perfectly cooked, and breaking it and spreading it over the pizza really enhanced the overall flavours. A delicious pizza!

Overall the pizzas and salad were very good. I'm not a fan of the atmosphere - I'm not a fan of the family dining genre. But their pizza has pulled me back several times.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Verace's diavola. This spot comes in right about average among that new pack of places. I ordered the Divola, which they describe has having fresh tomatoes, spicy genoa salami, capicollo, roasted red onion and peppers, topped with grana padano, fresh basil and evoo. The capicollo was very good - it had the proper aged flavour and was definitely the highlight of the toppings by far. The spicy genoa salami was a disappointment - it had almost no flavour, no spice, and was rather uninspired. The tomatoes had a nice strong flavour. There were very few onions and peppers so they didn't contribute much flavour wise. The crust itself had a good chew, but had already cooled substantially by the time it made it to the table unfortunately. It came with two bottles of oil - one chili oil and one garlic oil. The chili oil had almost no flavour to it. I don't think the chili had been sitting in it long enough. The garlic oil was very good.

The pizza came with a complimentary side caesar salad, which had crisp leaves but was slightly overdressed.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Novo's diavallo (sic). Neapolitan style served with hot capicollo, onion, chili flakes and basil. Granted I've never seen it spelled that way, but I digress.

The cooking was a bit uneven with one or two chars that were past char and into charcoal range on the crust. But I digress, as barring the charcoal bits the crust was otherwise good. It was thin, crunchy on the outer parts and softer in the centre as it should be.

The toppings were of decent quality. I would have liked a bit more heat.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Mercante's Alla Salsiccia. Unlike several years ago, clearly Neapolitan style is popping up all across town - even in some VERY unlikely locations like this. I had heard that a new Neapolitan spot opened up in the unlikely location of the UBC campus. Huh? Really? Couldn't be. So I hightailed it over there (to hell with difficult parking!) to try it out.

Based upon the huge line it was clear something different was going on here. Seems they have plopped an Italian cafe right in the middle of what would normally be a decent quality food vacuum filled with generic cafeteria style food outlets and fast food chains. Go figure.

The menu has a nice variety of Italian options including breakfast to the tune of Uova in Camicia in a breakfast sandwich format (poached egg in fontina fondue with choice of toppings), lunch/dinner options ranging from freshly made Neapolitan pizzas to pastas, and dessert options including affogato, tiramisu, and torta di cioccolato amaro. Had to check where I was after reading the menu.

I ordered the Pizza Alla Salsiccia, which was a very reasonable $9.50 - perhaps the least expensive Neapolitan place around town? It was described as having chorizo, tomato, basil, oregano and mozzarella. After ordering they prepared it fresh in the open kitchen and threw it into the large open oven to bake it off. The pizza was composed well, and properly baked off. The dough had a good amount of chew and was softer in the centre as it should be. It was slightly too thick overall though so it was a bit too doughy for my preference, but I'm nitpicking. The toppings are where it differed from the newer places around town - they were decidedly lower in quality - everything from the tomato sauce to the cheese to the sausage. They weren't terrible, but the quality difference was noticeable. Also as a stylistic preference, I prefer when they don't fully bake off the basil leaves and leave them fresher on top in the last minute. These were baked down to brown/black. Overall the pizza was decent - not at the level of several of the other newer spots around town, but if this was 8 years ago it could have been categorized as one of the better pizzas in Vancouver.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Bibo's Margherita. Neapolitan style. The pizza arrived nice and hot with a wonderful char on the crust. The outside edges were crunchy with a softer centre - like it should be. It had a very light overall flavour. The cheese was a bit light for my taste, and seemed to be slighter lower quality than many other places around town.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Campagnolo Roma's diavolo. Was well executed. The crust had a nice chew and char. The spicy salami added just the right amount of heat to a rich yet not overpowering sauce. Considering this is not a pizza specialist they did a superb job on it.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Pizza Garden's regular slice (AKA Margherita). This is a typical NY style slice shop. It is right off of the Granville entertainment district and was a really pleasant surprise. They use a Wood Stone open oven, and producing a very VERY respectable NY style slice for a reasonable price ($2.25/slice, or $5.50 for 2 slices and a drink).

The key here clearly is getting whatever is coming fresh out of the oven, as the slices sitting in the warming tray did not look anywhere near as good.

Luckily the friendly guy behind the counter was just taking out a basic no fancy schmancy toppings pizza from the over so I got to enjoy my favourite - a regular slice. The crust was very good, with just the right chew while still being crispy and light. It folded perfectly. The bottom had a nice leoparding with a slight char. The sauce was rich and flavourful, the cheese just right, and there was a little bit of olive oil on top just like in NY.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
2

PIZZA!

Trilussa's arugula, sausage and mozzarella. This spot serves pizza al metro style (the type where you say how much you want and they cut it off to that amount). The crust had a nice chew and was perfectly charred on the edges. The bite of the arugula combined nicely with the other ingredients. But the highlight was the sausage, which was a perfectly seasoned non-commercial tasting sausage. So many places put a nasty commercial tasting sausage on their pizzas. Not here. Good stuff! My only wish would be if they would use just a fraction less olive oil in it. It was delicious, but could have been just slightly less oily (not a lot, just slightly).

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

PIZZA!

Pizzeria Barbarella's Salsiccia. It was topped with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, fennel sausage, house pickled peppers, basil, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. The fennel seeds in the sausage added the perfect flavour punch to each bite. The crust was perfect for this style - the centre was softer, but not falling apart, and the outside was crispy but not burned. It was easy to pick up a piece, fold it, and eat it without things falling apart. The bottom of the crust had a nice leopard spotting from the perfect char.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
2

PIZZA!

Been to a lot of them. I'd also add a few more to the mix for discussion:

- Campagnola Roma (Good)
- Pizza Garden (NY style - very good)
- Cotto (Good)
- Brick Oven Pizzeria (Decent)
- Verace (Did they rename recently?)
- Famoso (Just ok)
- Mercante (Just ok - but for the location a great option)

I've got some photos that I'll post below in case people want to see them for themselves.

Nov 07, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Yama Tower Iced Coffee in Vancouver?

I just recently tried an iced coffee made with a Yama Tower cold brew drip tower down in San Francisco at a cafe called Jane that was phenomenal. Are there any places in Vancouver that make iced coffee with one of these? Details:
http://gizmodo.com/5938277/yama-cold-...

Oct 02, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best HK Cafe Baked Pork Chop Fried Rice?

Dragon Lord Cafe was a regular favourite of mine for their Baked Pork Chop Fried Rice. The rice had good wok hei, the pork chop was crispy and not overly breaded. They had a few little extras mixed in with the rice, and overall had my favourite. But they changed to the Moon Cafe and since then it has slipped a bit for me so it got me wondering what is the best location for a great one with good wok hei on the rice?

I've already tried BT Cafe (not bad), Kam Do (decent), Benss (ok), 54th Ave, Silver Tower, Mui Garden, Ken's, Qoo, Seahorse, Bauhinia, La Amigo, and Angel. (Yes, I've been searching hard!)

So which have I missed that I shouldn't have?!?!?!?

Sep 21, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best Burger in Vancouver - what's your vote?

Did you forget the "wink wink" part? :)

I had one there once that was too coarsely ground as well. The issue I have with the place is that they simply are not fully consistent. But sometimes it has been VERY good.

Sep 17, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Suggest a food crawl

I should clarify a bit.

"The tendon factory is closed." is what the friendly man who sat me down and took my order told me when I ordered the beef tendon noodle soup. I didn't know tendons had their own factory. I can only imagine what it must look like. Perhaps it is good it is closed. But then again, it isn't - because I couldn't get my tendon craving satisfied!

The broth of the beef noodle soup was extremely flavourful, not greasy at all, and didn't taste overly salty or MSG laden like it does at many other spots. I really loved the broth. The noodles were cooked perfectly so they still had some chew. The pickled veggies were also a treat - they were still a bit crunchy, slightly sweet, and not salty at all. The beef was a little bit chewy to start - but got much better as I let it soak in the broth and it softened up nicely. I didn't get any fresh veggies on the soup, but I think in addition to the tendon factory being closed perhaps the fresh veggie farm is shut down as well! I think they normally do provide fresh veggies too from what I understand.

The wontons in chili sauce were a tender wrapper that was perfectly cooked surrounding a generous filling. They were topped with a spicy chili sauce that gave my brow a nice sweat as well as crunchy green onions to round out the flavour. Nice dish!

Overall a really nice version of Taiwanese Beef Noodle, and I looked forward to returning when the farm and tendon factory were back in business! But now it looks like that won't happen!

Sep 17, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Don't Argue Pizzeria on Main St

I have to try this new one out. I agree with LotusRapper about Pizza Garden making a decent NY style slice. I think their location on Smithe just off Granville has a slightly higher quality than their Commercial Drive location. The photo is from their Smithe location.

Sep 17, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Suggest a food crawl

Accord closed?!?!?! Oh no! When?!?!?!? I still remember the first time I went there and I ordered the beef shank and tendon soup and the guy explained to me that the, "tendon factory was closed." Guess now the whole factory is closed. Too bad.

Sep 17, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best Burger in Vancouver - what's your vote?

Will be curious to read your impressions! I've been a few times and when they are good they are very good. I've found that asking for it "as rare as possible (wink wink)" helps quite a bit.

Sep 16, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Suggest a food crawl

Glad we found one you want to explore. Looking forward to reading your write-up of it!

Sep 16, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best Burger in Vancouver - what's your vote?

One more to throw in for consideration is Cannibal Cafe on Commercial Drive. I like the idea of this place. No, no, no, not a place for cannibals to enjoy dining on their own kind (it is named after the old punk rock song actually). But a place grinding its own meat to make fresh burgers that they can cook a bit on the rarer side (give a wink and a nod and they will go towards the rarer side) and serve it up in a casual atmosphere with walls lined with punk rock posters. Great idea (the grinding the meat fresh, I'm agnostic as to the poster choices)!

They get their beef from the Texas of Canada - Alberta - and do a daily custom grind of brisket, short rib, and chuck. Great idea!

When you order your burger you get your choice of how you want your 6 ounces of meat - either as two thinner patties (they call that "old school") or one thick one ("juicy"). Great idea!

There are a variety of pre-selected combinations of toppings, or you can have the freedom to build your own. Great idea!

I opted for the build your own, and added smoked gouda, applewood smoked bacon, and sauteed mushrooms to a "juicy" which was served on a brioche bun. They have a bunch of other toppings ranging from fried eggs to avocado to kimchi to basil pesto. Great idea!

They rest their burgers for a good amount of time to keep them nice and juicy inside. Great idea!

Their fries are dusted in herbs and served in a nice mini metal basket. Great idea!

So with all of these great ideas, I still have some good ideas for them to make the experience better:

1) While I'm really happy that they rest the burgers for a good amount of time to maintain the juiciness, I wish they wouldn't rest them on the bun (they only do this sometimes). That is a very bad choice as the bottom bun gets soaked in grease and juice that shouldn't have been there - making it mushy and starting to fall apart. When they rest the burger separately and then added them to the bun all is good.

2) I wish they were more careful on the amount of herbs added to the fries - there was one that was rather overpowering. I believe it was thyme. Just a bit too much, and a little bit goes a long way.

3) The bacon on the burger was a bit over-fried for my taste - perhaps a personal preference, but it was at the point of crumbling.

4) The cheese on the burger could have been melted more as it was still a bit too solid for my taste.

So all of the great ideas with this place have a really great potential. I think with a few minor tweaks and a bit more consistency this could be my favourite burger in Vancouver!

Sep 16, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

is there ANYTHING worthwhile to eat at the PNE?

It is always more difficult to determine the level of smoke ring with the chopped version, but the brisket definitely seemed to have a decent amount of smoke on it, and you can see in the picture that there was a bit of ring on the larger pieces.

Sep 10, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Suggest a food crawl

What about a Vietnamese crawl on Kingsway? You could include Cafe Xu Hue, My Chau, Mui Ngo Gai, Hai Phong, Thu Hien Deli, and Tung Hing Bakery.

Or a Korean food crawl on North Road? You could include House of Tofu Soup, Myung-Ga Sonmandoo, Wonjo Bbq & Noodle Restaurant, Kimbap Cheonguk, Good Friends, and Hanahreum H-Mart.

Or a Taiwanese food crawl in Burnaby? You could include Accord Food House, Ali Shan, The One, Lao Shan Dong, and wrap up in Crystal Mall.

Just some thoughts.....Have fun!

Sep 10, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
2

is there ANYTHING worthwhile to eat at the PNE?

With 99% of the stuff served at the PNE I would agree about it being overpriced and very bad value for things that don't taste that good.

I was pleasantly surprised this year though with one stand - Smoke and Bones.

These guys are the real BBQ deal. Unfortunately they don't have a restaurant and primarily focus on catering. But during the PNE they are setup with a stand at the fair so you can sample their goods.

I tried both the brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. Both were pretty generous portions - a very good value.

The pulled pork had a light smokiness without being overpowering. The meat was perfectly tender, and it combined well with the not overly mayoed slaw. A very nice sandwich!

The brisket was the star of the show. Perfectly executed with a good bark and nice smoke flavour. The fat had been rendered properly but still the brisket was very moist. They really did a good job on the brisket. I would love if they offered a sliced version instead of just the pulled version. But as part of the pulled version there were a few larger chunks that gave the taste of being sliced as well. Nice contrast! I really enjoyed this sandwich.

I wish these guys would open up a restaurant and give the other sub-par BBQ options around town a run for their money!

Sep 10, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Marutama Ramen

I agree - pricing is a bit out of whack on this spot.

They originally from Japan. It is a small chain from there, that has four locations in Japan, as well as a variety of spots in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. And now Canada with this opening in Vancouver.

They specialize in Tori Paitan broth (a cloudy chicken based broth), and aji tamago (soft boiled and seasoned with soy egg).

The setup is a typical Vancouver ramen spot with lots of wooden tables and a counter.

I ordered the house specialty - tamago ramen. They offer a regular and spicy version, and I opted for spicy. The bowl arrived very quickly and at first looking at it I thought it may be the wrong order as it didn't look spicy at all. The soup was topped with green onions, aosa, the aji tamago, and two slices of chashu. The broth was in fact actually spicy - it had a pleasant level of spiciness - deceptively so! I didn't detect any MSG, and quite enjoyed the chicken based broth. The aosa was a nice touch, and the chashu had a decent amount of fat so it was quite juicy and flavourful. The aji tamago was perfectly soft boiled and when cracking it open added the yolk to the broth creating a very pleasant texture. The noodles tasted fresh made to me. I'm not sure if they make them in house or not, but they certainly tasted like they do. They had a pleasant chew and were cooked perfectly. These were very nice noodles.

Overall a very respectable bowl of ramen. Although I'm still always a bit put off by ramen pricing in Vancouver compared to Japan. But that is a local market phenomenon I suppose!

May 31, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

"Healthy"?!?!? fast food - UFood Grill

I passed by this spot that had all sorts of signs touting their healthy fast food and decided to pop in.

I ordered a roast beef sandwich from their menu, and trusted that it would be a healthy choice since that is how they are touting themselves.

I got a few slices of beef with chunks of white fat on the edges on a rather flavourless piece of "naan" (I use the term loosely), with some under ripe tomato slices, a few wilted greens, and some gloopy mustard based sauce. So in addition to the unappetizing white fat on the roast beef, which I wouldn't expect for a "healthy" place, the sandwich was unbelievably salty. I mean over the top salty. Crazy salty. I was thinking there is no way this is a healthy sandwich, but they claim it is, so it must be, no? Not a good sandwich, and didn't feel healthy at all.

After the experience I was curious about what they claim to be the nutritional breakdown on these sandwiches so I visited their website.

I found they certainly have consistent branding as on their website they continue to tout the healthy aspect of the food with this quote, "UFood Grill is where delicious meets nutritious, because we offer better-for-you food, fast. We know what you want...healthy comfort food...And it's great to know you can choose from a wide variety of menu items that include vegetarian, reduced sodium and fat, gluten free, low calorie and low carb options." They even have a quote saying, "Please enjoy our great tasting, unguilty food. fast." Sounds pretty darned healthy, right?

Well, looking further, I found their nutritional breakdown. The roast beef sandwich is listed as having 1680 mg of sodium. You read that right. 1680mg! That explains why it tasted so damned salty!

Just as a comparison I checked out McDonalds nutrition guide and found that a Big Mac has "only" 1020 mg. What about calories? The roast beef sandwich is listed as 490 calories. A Big Mac 540. What about carbs? The roast beef has 46g of carbs. A Big Mac 44g. Seriously? Wow. Not that I'm a huge fan of Big Macs, but I have to say they taste better than this Roast Beef "healthy" sandwich and actually sound healthier to me! Crazy!!!!!

So I delved more into the menu comparisons as this was intriguing. UFood lists its "Better Bacon Cheeseburger" as having 640 calories, 1715mg of sodium, and 60 grams of carbs. So just to make that clear - it has more calories, sodium, and carbs than a Big Mac. Seriously.

Let's take off the bacon and just look at a "regular" cheeseburger at UFood. 567 calories, 1302mg of sodium, and 60 grams of carbs. Again more than the 540 calories, 1020mg of sodium, and 44 grams of carbs for a Big Mac. Ridiculous.

Well, what about french fries? They are marketing their "Unfries" healthy fries. Let's see how those compare. Unfries are listed as having 230 calories, 600 mg of sodium, and 33g of carbs. McDonalds fries? 220 calories, 170 mg of sodium, 30g of carbs. Um....Hello?

OK, so what about saturated fat? They must be better on that, right? Um....No.

"Better Bacon Cheeseburger" 12g of saturated fat. Big Mac 10g.
"Unfries" 2g saturated fat. McDonalds fries 1.5g.

This is just so wrong. Just wrong!

May 31, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

Salty Tongue left a bad taste in my mouth

Do you mean the same guy that made the "darken my door" comments many years ago: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/60208...

Don't know that he is actually open to feedback online, if it is one in the same.

Mar 24, 2013
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)