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YVRChow's Profile

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New on Lower Robson - Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizza

I haven't been to Ragazzi for about 6 years. I only went once. I did find that at the time they had higher quality toppings than many of the 99 cent joints at the time. But I have no idea what they've done since then. I'm definitely not a fan of Via Tevere - been once and won't return anytime soon.

I did like SOB (thank you for that acronym - I wonder if it will stick!). Maybe next time I'll get unstacked or at least get some wax paper if I get stacked?

Apr 22, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

New on Lower Robson - Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizza

Wow. You must be special - they gave you wax paper! I went a second time and they stacked again. No wax paper in sight! The pizza was just as good the 2nd time.

Portuguese chicken

Yes, I never even followed Daniel from Rupert to Renfrew. His quality control went downhill at Rupert and I just gave up at that point. I wonder if he got things together for the Kingsway location?

On waiting 15 mins - I was really desperate to find good Portuguese food! :) And I did try to flag them down. They ignored me. :)

Apr 21, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Portuguese chicken

P.S. Daniel (Senhor Rooster) closed at the original location, then opened up near the PNE on Renfrew, and then closed and has opened up yet again. This time on Kingsway. Haven't tried his new spot yet.

Apr 20, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Portuguese chicken

Yup, I've tried Casa Verde about 4 years ago.

Positives:

- Real Portuguese feel to the staff. Everything from the Portuguese language TV station playing on the large TV to the Portuguese being spoken between servers and kitchen.

- The piri piri chicken was well seasoned, and very moist.

Negatives:

- Service SUCKED. It took 15 minutes from walking in until I was acknowledged and told, "Sit wherever." Ok. I did. Then it was another 15 minutes until a menu was brought over. The restaurant was not crowded - they had maybe 4 tables of customers. So 30 minutes in I've got my menu and quickly make my choice. I then wait, and wait, and wait, for about 10 minutes until the waitress comes and I thought she was ready to take my order. Nope. She just took the plant on my table away and didn't take my order. Another 10 minutes and finally she took my order. So it was close to an hour before I had my order taken. Yikes. Amazingly the food came about 3 minutes after I ordered it. That was a bit frightening and just made me wonder how that happened?!?!?!

- The complimentary roll was served cold and with only packaged margarine. No butter available apparently. Meh.

- The salad was rather plain. It had iceberg lettuce and some very under ripe tomatoes.

- The fries were undercooked and could have used another minute or two in the fryer.

- Loud coughing and wheezing sound from the waitress who clearly had some type of cold/flu. It was a bit disturbing that I didn't see her wash her hands at all after coughing and wheezing into them before handling plates. Ugh.

- The place could use a good cleaning. It has accumulated a lot of dust over the years. I'm perfectly comfortable with hole in the walls, but this one was a bit past that in terms of basic dusting, etc. Combine that with the coughing waitress and it just felt like this place was a petri dish of nasty things.

So while the chicken was tasty I will not be back.

Apr 20, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

New on Lower Robson - Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizza

I actually got the same ones, grayelf. I tried out the original and white slices from the display case. They took both slices and heated them in the oven so they would be properly heated throughout. They oddly chose to serve the two large slices on a single plate by placing them on top of each other. That presentation could definitely be improved for the premium pricing.

The original (tomato, fresh mozz, and basil for $3.25/slice) had a nice crust, good leoparding with proper chew. It was a well balanced slice, with just the right amount of each of the 3 primary ingredients. The white (mozz, smoked provolone, ricotta, grana, garlic, oregano for $4.00/slice) had a similarly properly done crust and good balance as well. The ricotta combined really well with the punch of garlic.

The photo is after I took one slice off of the other one since they were originally just stacked on each other oddly!

Overall I enjoyed both slices, they did have a more premium taste than Pizza Garden while still tasting like a NY slice. I hope they fine tune their presentation just a bit and offer oregano shakers to complete the offering. I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop!

Apr 20, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

You all are making Mr. Buffett very happy given the news yesterday!

Mar 25, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best HK style baked porkchop on rice?

I found the tomato sauce at Silver Tower to be very bland, the rice to be too mushy, and the pork to be overcooked. It did have a nice layer of cheese though.

My current favourite is Moon Cafe on Fraser. Service can be spotty (but hey, which HK Cafe isn't that the case?!?!?) but they consistently have the best baked pork chop rice for my taste.

They have two sizes - the "mini" and the dinner portion. But the mini is definitely large enough for me! Their dishes seem to keep every bit hot until the very end. The pork chop itself is more of a pounded version similar to a good schnitzel - but not THAT thin. The rice is nicely fried with good wok hei. I like that slightly charred flavour from the rice a lot. If that isn't your thing, then this won't be a good version for you.

Here are some photos of it for you. Sorry for the low rez - poor lighting that day......

Mar 25, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

So it sounds like they are pretty consistent, with the one exception of when they were at East Side Flea. Hm......Were they really crowded then, grayelf?

Definitely have L'abbatoir on the list to try...Just have to have the timing work out. :) Looking forward to it!

Mar 22, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

Thank you for this suggestion, grayelf! I tracked them down finally and tried them yesterday.

The basic cheeseburger is $7, and you can add an extra patty for $4. There is also an option to add bacon for $2. I opted for the extra patty, as they said the patty was a 4oz. patty and figured I would try the bacon on another visit.

They prepped the burger pretty quickly, and presented it in a closed box making it easy to carry. It was a bit hard to get the burger out of the box! But it was worth it. The patties were nicely seared, and phenomenally juicy inside. This was one of the juiciest burgers I've had in Vancouver. The green leaf lettuce and cheese added the perfect contrasts. There was a slightly spicy sauce which was applied to the nicely grilled bun. It added the necessary seasoning without overpowering the flavour of the beef. The beef was really the highlight. It was a nice quality that still retained the natural beef flavour well. Overall, this was a really enjoyable juicy multiple napkin burger - even if it wasn't as thick as originally requested - it was still quite juicy!

Mar 20, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

And going downhill to ones I wouldn't return for....
Rod's kitchen
Mahony & sons
Ensemble Tap
Red Onion
Sunset
Tomahawk

Feb 19, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

Thank you all for all of the thoughts! I have tried many of those, but a few I have not. So from all of these it looks like I still have to try out L'Abattoir, Hawksworth, Koerners, and Pourhouse. I remember Hamilton Street Grill used to have an excellent lamb burger, but the last time I was there their "lamb & yam" was no longer available apparently. I should try their regular beef burger too I suppose.

On the others, I do think Camp upstairs does a decent job - but it is somehow a bit small for me and doesn't give that overall burger satisfaction gut feel.

On the others......

I'll include some photos of others just for reference in order of better to worse from my experience:

Marmalade (sadly gone)
Fray (sadly gone)
Save on meats
Stackhouse
Romers
Cannibal Cafe

Feb 19, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dream burger

OK, this has been bugging me for a long time. I can't seem to locate an excellent simply burger in Vancouver. I know it must be out there, but simply haven't found it. And not for the lack of trying!

My criteria:

1) At least 4-5cm thick patty of good quality meat with proper fat content which remains juicy. The thickness is critical for me.

2) Properly rested after preparing.

3) Served simply on a good bun with fresh veggies.

4) Bonus points for skirting the law and keeping it more towards the rare side as well as serving excellent housecut fries.

Where can I scratch this itch?

Feb 12, 2015
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Tibisti Foods & Grill

I have visited this spot for years whenever out in that area. He offers a VERY fresh selection of halal meats. There used to be Middle Eastern groceries and a freezer section with some Middle Eastern products, but he has gotten rid of most of that and added more tables.

He grills to order items straight from the butcher section. Talk about fresh!

My favourites there are the mirqas (both beef and lamb are very good), and they steaks.

The mirqas tastes freshly made with a spice blend that is not over the top hot, yet very pleasant. The quality of the meat is very high. They clearly pay attention to meat quality here. They split the mirqas in half and grill it to perfection. Each piece gets a nice char, while still being tender inside - a difficult balance. It comes with a small side of tzatziki for dipping.

Steaks are always grilled to the requested level of doneness and he hits it on the head in terms of doneness every time I've been there.

The meats also come with a side of rice, salad, and potatoes. The rice has a hint of spicing to it, and the salad is very fresh with a nice mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and feta. The potatoes are cooked in olive oil and covered with a bit of parsley.

Service is extremely friendly. The butcher seems like a really really nice guy who loves food and has pride in putting out a great product.

Coffee by the gram

Thank you all for the ideas. I will check out JJ Bean, Murchies, and Buen Cafe. Excellent!

Greyelf - yes, I miss their Callebaut Gianduja by the gram!

Quddous - No, not for a rental. It is for visitors. Thank you though!

Sep 07, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

New to Frasier/King Ed neighbourhood - Whats good?

Yes, give their huarache a try. I like the lamb huarache the best. Here is a photo I took of their pork one though. But I'd recommend the lamb. :)

Aug 21, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Coffee by the gram

Thank you for this tip. I'll check them out. Any other locations people can think of? Cafes? Coffee markets? Green grocers?

Aug 21, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Coffee by the gram

Are there any good spots to purchase small amounts of good coffee (50 or 100 grams) where they grind it fresh for you? Almost all of the good roasters around town seem to have only large bags available. I remember Yoka's used to do coffee by weight and did small amounts. But can't seem to find anything other than supermarkets now.

Any thoughts on this where you can find good coffee available in small by the weight portions to give as a welcome gift to visitors who will need it pre-ground?

Aug 19, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

New to Frasier/King Ed neighbourhood - Whats good?

Oh, and other spots (some of which have been mentioned) which are worth checking out include

Sal y Limon (try their huarache)

Tung Hing (try their banh mi and their custard buns)

Hai Phong (almost all of their food is great, I particularly like their bun bowls)

Koon Bo (classic casual Cantonese - I really like their Crispy Chicken)

Al Watan (great Pakistani)

Good Choice (solid dim sum)

Moon Cafe (classic HK cafe - baked pork chop rice a favourite)

Ho Yuen Kee (classic casual Cantonese - double baked ginger custard is a lovely dessert you need to order at the start of your meal there)

Aug 19, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

New to Frasier/King Ed neighbourhood - Whats good?

I would agree that Carano is ok for a neighbourhood spot, but not as strong as several of the other pizza spots which have opened up around the city. I find the Carano pizza to have way too much corn meal for my taste and the toppings on the white sauce, sausage, fennel, fior di latte, arugula pizza I had ($15) left me craving more fennel taste and much less salt. It was unusually overly salty for me.

Aug 19, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

PAZZOChow Pasta

They have a single table inside and 2 outdoor tables. There is a small grocery section with a nice selection of pastas and other imported goods. They also serve up ice cream and a few savoury lunch choices.

I tried their special of the day - fagiolata ($10 per bowl) which was served with a piece of focaccia.

The focaccia was freshly baked, and fluffy. It had nice course salt and overall was a good job. The fagiolata was a bit different than any I have had before. It was topped with raw kale, and I believe the fagiolata itself didn't have any meat in it. (At least I couldn't identify any.) The base was white beans with a rich tomato sauce. They placed the raw kale and some shredded hard cheese on top. Then they drizzled a bit of sage oil. I found the fagiolata to be a bit one noted. It could have used some meat flavour to make it more complex, and perhaps a bit more garlic. I also would have enjoyed a bit more in terms of herbal flavours. It tasted very pure tomato. I felt that $10 was over priced for the quantity and simplicity of what was served.

Overall the place holds promise, and I hope they get their legs and a little bit of balance in the food - and perhaps adjust their prices or portion sizes to match.

Aug 19, 2014
YVRChow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Any good Burmese restaurant in town ??

P.S. They have a limited website with the menu on it: http://wahhteeburmeserestaurant.com/

Any good Burmese restaurant in town ??

Started off with the laphet thoke (fermented tea leaf salad). It was a good sized portion, presented on a flat plate with the chili and raw garlic on the side so you could add to taste. There were 3-4 types of fried beans which added the classic crunchy texture, combined with the marinated tomatoes and of course the star of the dish, the fermented tea leaves. What a wonderful start to the meal, and reasonably priced at $5. They have a wide selection of Burmese salads, all priced for the same $5. I'm looking forward to trying them all!

They offer three different noodle soups, which are all available in small ($3.50), medium ($5.50), and large ($7.50). We ordered two mediums, and the serving was more than enough for us.

The mohinga had a classic fish broth, which was nicely balanced. The rice noodles were perfectly cooked. The sliced hard-boiled egg soaked up the broth nicely. The banana tree root, lemongrass, and cilantro all combined and rounded out the complex and well balanced flavour profile. Delicious.

The ohn no kyawswe (coconut milk noodle soup) had wheat flour noodles that had the perfect chew, and although I don't think they make them in-house tasted almost handmade. The chicken was boneless dark meat which was moist and flavourful. The broth had deep complexity with nicely balanced seasoning and herbs. It was topped with fried rice noodles for texture, as well as a sliced hard boiled egg. Delicious.

The friendly woman who runs the place gave us some complimentary desserts including sooji (semolina flavoured with coconut) and shwe htamin (sweetened sticky rice flavoured with coconut). Both were very good, with a slight preference for the sooji. Neither was overly sweet, and the flavours nicely finished off a wonderful meal.

Total damage for the entire meal for two people was a very reasonable $16.

Will definitely be back, and can't wait to try all of the salads, the curries, the fried noodles, and the biryani.

This spot is a keeper, and is definitely my favourite Burmese in Vancouver (over Amay, Original Bo's, New Bo's, etc.) based upon my initial visit.

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.

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.