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NoMoreSnuggles's Profile

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2015 Tacos Challenge (Van Foodster)

Yeah, VF is a good example of how far you can get when you are one of the first out the gate. And his reviews are severely lacking in substance. But I will say, as Grayelf has already noted, that the opening soon blackboard is objectively a useful resource. I can't say I don't trust his opinions because there isnt any. Also, on a purely gut level, there is something so mid-90's internet idealistic about his willingness to profile pretty much anyone. And the photos and website are so, so, so terrible, if he's just faking being backwards, it's working on me. I dunno, it's hard for me to beat up on that without feeling a tiny twinge of guilt. I must be softening with old age.

UYU Ice Cream - new fancy soft serve in crosstown

Checked out the newly opened UYU today in search of the ultimate soft serve because really frozen yogurt is just not exciting. The UYU concept is soft serve in milk/plain or one of two rotating feature flavours (tonight it was Vietnamese Coffee or Matcha) in a cone or cup with optional toppings like freeze dried strawberries and nuts and included drizzle of sauce (flavours include honey, caramel, passion fruit and others). They also sell fancy ice cream bars which I did not sample.

We tried the plain and the coffee with drizzle only though the topping were pretty fun. They were both decent but I think texturally, Soft Peaks' ultra smooth luxuriousness has a significant edge. The toppings and flavour rotation will probably make it a regular stop for me nonetheless.

Yes and it's right beside Tacomio on Abbott.

Where to eat ice cream in Portland

On our recent visit to Portland, I really, really, really enjoyed Fifty Licks. The texture was just like a fresh homemade batch. So tasty. Plus bonus points for making blood orange creamsicle - hardly anyone does an orange ice cream.

Aug 13, 2015
NoMoreSnuggles in Metro Portland

Small Birthday Cake or Cake Dessert reco

Yes! I almost accidentally ordered just espresso there cause I was so in need of coffee that day. Disaster averted at the last minute.

More info on Alma's treat activities (we may have also had some really good cookies while in the shop):

Aug 12, 2015
NoMoreSnuggles in Metro Portland

Small Birthday Cake or Cake Dessert reco

Thanks for the tips. In the end, I decided on a mini carrot cake from Ken's Artisan Bakery on a post-run drop in - which was very cute but had too much frosting for the boy's sensibilities (I thought the frosting was nice because it was flufflier than your classic cream cheese but I think he likes the savoury richness of a mostly cream cheese cream cheese frosting).

I then discovered that the wonderful pastry chef at Alma Chocolates does a very chocolately chocolate layer cake on Fridays and Saturdays only. We hit up brunch on NE 28th Saturday morning and grabbed a slice for later in the day. It was awesome - the cake was moist and super dark while the frosting was elegantly bittersweet - exactly the way the boy likes it.

Aug 10, 2015
NoMoreSnuggles in Metro Portland

Small Birthday Cake or Cake Dessert reco

Thanks, grayelf. I suspected Papa Haydn would be the best option given the criteria. Will let you know if we make it back there.

Small Birthday Cake or Cake Dessert reco


I'm heading down from Vancouver in August for another round of eating and drinking my weight in Portland goodies. This time we will be down during the BF's birthday and I would normally bake a ridiculous cake for him but, being on vacation, I would rather throw money at the problem this year.

Does anyone have a reco for the very best small cakes in town? He is especially fond of chocolate and carrot cakes - but nothing too sweet.

What about best cake dessert options at a restaurant?

Jul 21, 2015
NoMoreSnuggles in Metro Portland

Old School Italian in Vancouver

It's not my favourite but if you want old school right by your hotel, and you are ok with the price point, Francesco's might work. Also, went to C Prime a while back (also literally right by the Wall Centre). Their pastas needed work but they eggplant parm as a side! Also the steak was lovely.

La Terrazza in Yaletown might also be an option.

Lupo is one of my favourite restaurants in the city but it might not scratch that itch.

Any recent takes on TOJO Vancouver ?

While I will agree that bang for your buck-wise, Vancouver offers many, many, many better options, I do think Tojo makes excellent sushi. It is somewhat for tourists in that people who live in cities where world-class sushi is astronomically priced do not find Tojo's expensive.

I actually think the menu is on par value-wise with a lot of other high end restaurants in this city - one can certainly spend the same or less there than at Blue Water Cafe for example. Also, I've noticed that the wine list that is more reasonably marked up than at other super pricey spots and offers options in the totally doable $30-$45/bottle range.

We recently had Omakase at the bar and it was fantastic. Food? Delicious. Service? Fantastic. Bill? Ridiculous but it was a special occasion.

Your pick for happy hour in Vancouver (food and drink)

Adding Exile Bistro on Bute St. to the list of places with late happy hour - they are running $7 double cocktails and menu specials til 7pm and after 10pm.

Recommendation needed for one 'wow factor', Michelin stars caliber meal in Vancouver

I tend to agree that you can't go wrong showcasing what a city's food scene does best. In Vancouver's case, if you aren't going for an abdominal-distending, multi-course Chinese dinner, FA would be my #1 pick for impressing upon a visitor what Vancouver can do. Is every dish they make excellent? Not yet. Will you try things that speak to a talented chef's imagination and integrity? Absolutely.

Side rant: I also don't generally associate Michelin stars with wow or a sense of discovery. At its best, the system speaks to a level of respect for food, consistency and service that few restaurants are able to maintain over long periods; at its worst, it can be an elitist circle jerk. Even the 3-stars I've been to haven't all been as memorable as the really special little family-run rooms I've found through boards like this.

Your pick for happy hour in Vancouver (food and drink)

The Abbey, Scuie, Left Bank, Ebisu and Hapa on Robson are also in the until 6:30pm club.

I'm not sure if it's seasonal but Hapa on Robson was running a half dozen oysters + a 200ml bottle of cava for $20 in addition to cheap drinks and small plates so it became a bit of thing for me after a hard day.

Left Bank also runs their happy hour all evening on Mondays for people who really work too much.

I'm also a fan of the second round, after the dinner rush. Pidgin, Nomad, La Mezcaleria and Pizzeria Fabrika all run late night specials.

Probably also worthwhile noting that some places do run happy hour on the weekends too. I know Joe Fortes, Italian Kitchen, Coast, Revel Room and Chewies do, and have edible food, but I'm not too sure about other non-bar options.

Your pick for happy hour in Vancouver (food and drink)

AMEN. I did recently note that both L'Abbatoir and Pidgin run their Happy Hours til a respectable 6:30pm.

Royal Dinette by David Gunawan?

Clearly, the DG is trying to buy legitimacy but once you've acquired literally every liquor license in town, that's the next step, right? [sigh] I will probably go.

Where can I find nduja in Vancouver?

I am pretty sure I have seen it at Oyama in Granville Island but I'm not sure if they have it all the time.

Fish and chips that are worth a drive?

I used to be all about Go Fish and I still go there but I think Fish Counter does a better job - especially with the chips part. If drive-worthy fish & chips are what you're after, I would go Fish Counter, but both are very good.

Big Lou's Shuts its doors - nooooooooooo!

Terrible news from Scout today: Big Lou's, source of delicious summer grilling meats, winter braising meats, and meat-tastic sandwiches is closing due to the after effects of the gross 2 Chefs Bathroom's Are for Pooping Not Peeping scandal. Bummer.

Beach Bay Cafe (old Raincity Grill location) - now open

The doors are now open. The space is soooo white inside. Will circle back when I've actually had a chance to eat, which I will do despite the fact that it has the most generic name possible.

Korean on Robson Street?

+1 on Sura. I dream about their galbi.

If you're interested in something different, I also think Damso ("modern Korean") on Denman is fun.

Quark (German Farm Cheese)

I think North Americans decided cottage cheese was good enough. Have you ever tried making your own? I've never done it but I'd imagine it's as simple as making fresh ricotta (that is to day, pretty simple)

C Prime at the Century Plaza Hotel - ehhhhhh.

That explains a lot - thanks! And, I like a good deep fried calamari too - but there's something about a really good, spanish-y hot charred squid that I want all the time.

C Prime at the Century Plaza Hotel - ehhhhhh.

I can only really blame myself for setting my expectations for the new restaurant from prodigal chef Moreno Miotto. But I finally went and I have to say, it was a lot of meh. Actually, I also blame Alexandra Gill for her review of the previous incarnation of the restaurant after the chef took over, praising the handmade pastas with "exquisitely balanced sauces". So, I went mainly for carbs, glorious carbs.

We ordered calamari which was deep fried (boo!) and served on decent marinara and burrata with prosciutto. The apps were way bigger than I anticipated, the seasoning either too much or not enough depending on which side of the plate you ate from. This was not a good start.

We then each had a half pasta course which is when things went wrong-er. My date ordered the spaghetti and tomato sauce. At a place that prides itself on pasta, this move is like ordering a margherita pizza place - if it's not good, the chef needs to step back and work their fundamentals. It came and looked and, to be honest, tasted like Campbell's tomato soup - except more watery and strangely bitter. My pasta was a campanelle with fennel sausage desperately seeking salt, and body. Two big disappointments on a pricey date night.

Fortunately, my honey ordered a wagyu-style rib eye and it was very, very good! Well-seasoned with an excellent crust, spot on doneness with a sutble touch of rosemary and olive to finish, it was delicious (and we were really not hungry at this point). The sauteed mushroom side he got was also very well done. This, coupled with the decent wine list (not too badly marked up, especially for a hotel restaurant), saved the night. If they can bang that out consistently, there may be hope yet.

Retirement Dinner in Burnaby

Trattoria is part of the Glowbal Group and it's servicable for a meal but I wouldn't pick it for a special occasion - especially if you are considering something in the price range of the Pear Tree. There is no contest.

Vancouver: Coal Harbor (near convention center)

The first time I went to Tractor, I thought, this place would be literally the only place my co-workers would ever want to go for lunch if it were near my office. It's healthy without feeling puritanical - kinda like the Whole Foods on Cambie hot bar. I work with a lot of women who are perpetually on some phase of a diet so there's that.

Downtown, I assume it survives because of that and the fact that it is quick.

Coal Harbour restaurants and other Vancouver dining question

We seem to really like seafood and oysters here so there is a full range of options open to you (from Blue Water to Go Fish).

Given your initial post, I would suggest Joe Fortes for cocktail and oysters because their patio is so lovely. You'll be here at the best time of year for patio-ing as we get extremely long summer nights. It's a rooftop patio on Robson Street that feels like an urban oasis. The menu is classic steak & seafood house stuff, reasonably well executed. It is on the expensive side and Rodney's and Chewie's would both be more casual.

I am also not a fan of Homer St. Cafe. I always think, "hmmm, I could make this at home for $5 - also tastier."

Depending on where you are coming from, you might not want to miss dim sum while you are here.

La Brasserie

Went this week - they are still in a settling period but the chef has apparently been rehired. The menu is a little slimmer than I remember but yes several favourites and the burger are still on it - fried leeks and all, though it seemed a little less meaty than before. I was sad to see that the onion tart had not survived the reopening but was assured it would be back once the chef felt like he could expand the menu. It's nice to see the room open again.

Coal Harbour restaurants and other Vancouver dining question

Oh beautiful views. The only patio that truly comes to mind in terms of satisfying both of those criteria is Miku near Canada Place but it's not a mountain-facing view. The patio at Lift is incredible but the food is pretty unspectacular. Same for Cactus. The sushi at Miku is very solid and the patio does have a lovely view of the Burrard Inlet side.

Dinner before U2 @ Rogers?

I would pick Cinara or the Abbey over Chambar but I'm probably in the minority.

Dim Sum and Sushi with Excellent Service and Good value in the North Shore?

Westview is pretty much the only game in town as far as dim sum goes and it's just good enough. Honestly, there's not a lot of great options left in Vancouver proper, forget about the North Shore.

For sushi, I would +1 Hamaei. It's not a particularly elegant room but the sushi is good.

New on the Drive: Wishes + Luck

Dropped into a new spot on Commercial Drive at 6th, next to Jamjar for an impromptu dinner after failing to get a table at 3 other spots. Wishes + Luck's big draw for us was the elevated wooden slat patio but the food was pretty well executed. The menu is super westcoast - we had house-smoked salmon, house-cured ham, salmon belly toasts with nori, squash salad and beef tartare - all very decent. The cocktails were promising but could use a little more finesse.

All in all, it's nice to see another viable option on the Drive - every neighbourhood in this city should have decent restaurants and bars.

Didn't have a chance to take photos.