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La Taqueria NĂºmero Tres (North Vanc) Opened Yesterday ?

Yes it's open. Go lunch from there today and the menu is the same. It's nice to have one plausible taco option on the North Shore.

They said it would be a couple of months before the tortilleria part is up and running - boo! (Sorry, no pics.)

Bao Down Coming to Old Lily Mae spot.

Clearly, someone out there likes me... and wants me to weigh 1200 pounds.

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2015/02/20/di...

Who makes the best sausages in Vancouver?

I haven't had one from Original D's or Big Lou's that I didn't love. As for best? There's just too many out there to pin me down! Don't ask me to pick a favourite wine, sausage or cheese.

Soft Peaks - organic soft serve in Gastown

Hi ho. Decided to pop into the soft opening of Soft Peaks last night. The concept is organic soft serve (plain) available with a few toppings. I tried the very appealing North Pole Breakfast which was topped with cornflakes and a drizzle of honey. They also had one with chocolate sauce and Tim Tam bits, another with pink salt and chocolate caramel, a multigrain powder and honey and others.

The ice cream itself had really lovely thick, smooth texture and a pure milk flavour that was not sweet. And there isn't anyone else in town doing an upscale soft serve so that's a plus. I have to admit to occasionally craving a DQ and hating myself the minute it's weirdly petroleum finish sinks in so I am glad it's there.

That said, I found their pricing a bit aggressive. A small plain cup is $4; my large cup with a sprinkle of cornflakes and honey (pictured) was I think $6. For cornflakes and about 2 teaspoons of honey. There's a $0.50 up charge for what looks like a totally run of the mill wafer cone. I also spotted bottled chocolate sauce so I don't think they do anything but the ice cream in house. Price wise, that puts them in the same arena as Bella whose product generally has a lot more going on than milk and sugar.

The Dine Out dilemma...

I've done Dine Out at Pidgin and had a really great time. Not Wildebeest's biggest fan so I'm not the person to ask.

I wish there was a place as great as Altura here!

Robson is a bit of dining dead end if you are not looking for ramen, izakaya or korean but Left Bank at the very top (Denman) is decent.

Unfortunately, Farmer's Apprentice, is closed until Jan 26. Fable is doing their own version of Dine Out with a $30-something dollar prix fixe.

Vancouver's underground supper clubs

I don't have a ton of experience but I have gone to a few of the more popular ones. I would say that Bird's Nest is a favourite because it's so adorable and the food is tasty. Swallow Tail has never really impressed me. Farm 2 Fork seems to be one of the most food-forward and I believe they are doing more open seatings as a pop-up of sorts this season. Can't remember where I saw that.

Every week sushi?

Maumi is definitely legit - very small husband and wife operation importing fish fresh from Japan a few times a week. Their hours are a little hard to nail down. I will check next time I'm there to see if it's settled down.

Miko is totally solid and a personal downtown favourite for sure but our bills there have really crept up over the years, not that it was ever a cheap sushi joint. $80 would work for two non-gluttons... I would imagine.

For really good value, I would nominate Shizen-Ya (downtown and in fairview) and Tsuki on Abbott St.

Cheese fondue in Vancouver

This might not be the alpine evening your friend is hoping for but Les Amis du Fromage will lend you a fondue set for a day if you buy cheese from them. I find most fondue I've had in town to be lacking in quality cheese...

http://www.buycheese.com/fondue%20rac...

Christmas dinner - Turkey? Prime rib? Ham? And where to source it?

I took over holiday dinners when I was pretty young and have made them in all sorts of random living situations. Whatever you choose to do, it's all about having a gameplan. Some 30 thanksgiving/christmas/etc. dinners later and I still sit down and write out a plan starting with when people are meant to sit down and worked my timeline back from that, including sometimes a little diagram of what would be in the oven and how many burners I would have to have going at once and what time I would need to start heating the oven, etc. Might be a good place to start.

And both prime rib and turkey benefit from a nice rest period, which does free up your oven at the very end for re-heats.

Scissor Buns

It's not quite a Safeway scissor bun but Terra Breads does do the epis which are tear-apart buns in a laurel leaf shape.

Kerry Gold butter? Best Cdn brand butter avail in BC?

They carry the unsalted Sterling high fat butter at WF on Cambie and in West Van but it's painfully expensive ($5.99/half pound).

Good Bread in Van

I don't mind the pain de campagne from Terra or some of the 'mixins' breads they make, but I would say that the overall quality of the 'regular' breads from Terra Breads are totally lacking. The flavour is super flat and they all seem to have dry, hard (as opposed to crispy) crusts. The baguette in particular seems like a fail - there's something really insubstantial about it.

Good Bread in Van

Bread is definitely not a Vancouver special-ty. Even the best places here pale in comparison to bread I've had pretty much everywhere else.

+1 for the baguettes at Faubourg.

I also don't mind Beyond Bread.

Now for updates! The owner of Rise Artisan Bread's storefront on Fraser St., Batard, is apparently very close to opening. I'm very excited about this addition to what is becoming a really food-centric neighbourhood.

The new bakery on Homer, Small Victory, did a soft run last week and will be open open Dec. 1. I haven't tried them out yet but will do soon and report back.

One place I actually have been to recently is Romania Country Bread in Steveston, though I'm embarassed to say it was really very recently. They make one style of bread and it's $10 but it's the real deal.

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/romania-countr...

The situation is admittedly a little sad. I mostly make bread at home.

Potholes in the Vancouver Dining Scene and a Thumbs Up to the Folks of La Buca/Pied de Terre

Yes, London is also about 10 times the size geographically.

The one pastry

Yes, and I love Timbertrain coffee! Finally made it back to Chez Christophe this weekend. Tried the gianduja cerise cake (layers of hazelnut, chocolate and cherry). It was very good. Also got a chocolate eclair which was better than Beaucoup's - might be my fave eclair in YVR. Macarons were nicely flavoured but could have used some textural refinement. Overall, very impressed.

If we are adding savoury to the list, I would put forward the *almost* too rich little quiche from Temper. The pastry is amazing!

Canlis Vs Altura

I've had amazing night at both but the experiences as people have said are really different.

The service at Canlis is as close to perfection as humanly possible but I would definitely not call it stuffy. It is formal by West Coast standards but not in an oppressive way - it's in a way that makes it feel like dining there is a special thing. The room is one of the most beautiful and romantic dining rooms in the country, so +1 to the suggestion of cocktails and apps if you decide on Altura - especially on a starry night. Plus the food is excellent and their wine program incredible.

Altura has a much more casual room but the food is delicious. The kitchen is open which is fun to watch and I would say it's a better choice for adventurous eaters. You really can't make a wrong decision here.

The one pastry

Those are really good too. I would like to sample more of the stuff from Chez Christophe but I never make it out there. Any other recos?

The one pastry

Nah, I wouldn't call not having tried the Black & Tan Cake "a problem" per se ;)

and if it is, at least it's the kind that can be solved with cake.

Potholes in the Vancouver Dining Scene and a Thumbs Up to the Folks of La Buca/Pied de Terre

For the size of city Vancouver is, I think the variety, overall quality and rate of openings here - especially lately - is impressive. I've actually been feeling like I can't keep up with all the new places to try living here full time. Obviously, this city has neither the population base nor do residents here (in general) have the available income of a New York or San Francisco, but from the last year or 2:

Farmer's Apprentice, Pidgin, Cinara, Ask for Luigi, My Shanti, Boulevard, The Fish Counter, Gyoza Bar, Blacktail Florist, The Fat Badger, Mamie Taylor's, Crackle Creme, Dunlevy Snack Bar, Cuchillo, Chicha, Bistro Wagon Rouge, Kessel & March, Basho, Exile, Buck Stop, Forage, Bufala, L'Offucio, Nicli Next Door, Prontino, Bella Yaletown, Fabrika, Curano, Graze, Pazzo Chow, Good Wolfe, Tuc, El Camino, The Abbey, La Mezcaleria, Absinthe, Shirakawa, Belgard, Yolks, Burdock and Co, Feast, Longtail Kitchen, Bambuddha, Bestie, Left Bank, Jamjar, Gringo, Charlie's, Don't Argue and I swear about 5 Flying Pigs.

That's just the stuff I remember hearing about somewhere in advance and not including food trucks, microbreweries, coffee shops and juice bars that seem to keep appearing out of thin air. Other places, like Mr. Red whose owners probably don't employ a publicist, are the kind of thing you learn about from a board like this. For that, I'm grateful.

The one pastry

That is a tough one! I can't but I can put forward some favourites:

The Last Crumb's Browned Butter Brownies
Cadeaux's London Fog cake
Blackrook Bakehouse's Black and Tan Cake
Beaucoup's Pine Nut Croissant
Beta 5's Cherry Coke Cream Puff
Honey's classic doughnut
Cartems's Earl Grey
Savary Island's Lemon Buttermilk pie

Take Out/Delivery Pizza

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. You can get some delivery of reasonably ok city but it'll cost you since they are mostly available through paid delivery services. I had hoped that Bella Yaletown would become available since you can order $20 pints of gelato for delivery but it does not appear to be yet. The Ragazzi site says "call if you're outside of our delivery area" but I have never, ever gotten a yes from them on coming downtown.

In rough descending preference order, I would say:

Fabrika (Order It).
Ludica (Wow Tasty)
Novo (Order It and Wow Tasty).
The Parlour (direct). It's got more of the 'creative toppings' situation happening but not a great crust.
Incendio (direct)

French Olive Oil

One place to call might be the Epicerie in the Granville Island Market. They have a lot of imported french product there and sell oils and vinegars from cans.

Best Italian pasta in Vancouver - what's your vote?

I would go with La Quercia or Ask for Luigi, though +1 on the ragu at Campagnolo - it is so tasty.

More downtowny options would be Cibo, Lupo and Cioppino's (if it's a special occassion or money rains from a cloud that follows you all over town).

Gyoza Bar ......

Hey Dennis.

We also hit the Gyoza Bar right at the opening bell on Saturday and ate our way through a LOT of the menu (it was somewhat shameful). But just a note on the auto-grat. We must have been done after you because our server brought us a bill, then brought a corrected bill a few minutes later because apparently, they had been set to auto-grat every cheque all evening by accident. I really do think it was an opening night hiccup, but it sucks.

Onto the food. Fried brussels and wild boar bacon - delicious. The wild boar bacon is in a dish at Minami and it's sooo tasty. Also came with fried shishitos.

We ordered the tonkotsu ramen as a reference point and it was exceptionally porky. The noodles had excellent texture (and the bowls are gorgeous). I was similarly expecting the char siu to have a delicious charred edge but it did not (it should be said that I am 100% on the side of chinese style char siu so I like it lacquered and/or crunchy); and when char siu does not have a delicious charred edge, it should be meltingly tender and Gyoza Bar's wasn't.

The teppan gyoza were tasty but the gyoza skins could have been a touch chewier - though the delicate crispiness was excellent. We also tried the chili shrimp which were delicious but not spicy and the short rib gyoza which were a little over the top in terms of richness. They could have benefited from a side pickle instead of the feta cheese topping.

Overall, I think the place will do very well and I'm sure I'll be back. Everything we had was tasty but the menu feels a bit self-consciously un-japanese at the moment instead of daring. We'll see where they go from here.

First visit to Bao Bei

At that time you should be ok. If the wait is long and you just can't do it, there are plenty of options in the hood - Calabash, Campagnolo, Mamie Taylors, The Parker, Oyster Express. Farina has very good pizza but the seating is really limited and, while licensed, it doesn't really have that 'nice spot to hang out and drink' feel to it. I've only been to The Abbey (in the old Wild Rice location) for drinks but I liked what I saw and it could be an option as well.

One thing I would say, don't actually eat at the Keefer. The last couple of times I was suckered into that because I was hangry were a disaster.

SF Bay Area hound needs fun foodie stops near Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center

Hi. Really, really, really close to your hotel is a restaurant that will look horrific from the outside - Beyond at the Century Plaza Hotel. It looks like an overpriced hotel restaurant but they have recently hired an excellent italian chef so if you are craving pasta, that might be an option.

Also close by is the newly opened Boulevard at the Sutton Place hotel. It's expensive but tasty with a heavy seafood focus. I would also not discount Le Crocodile if you are craving french (I could eat an entire onion tart there). It's been a consistently excellent option in Vancouver for 30 years which pretty much makes it a unicorn. I've also eaten there alone and had a lovely.

I would also +1 Miku, Miko and Santouka recos and add that in the neighbourhood of the latter two, there are a number of delicious izakaya within a block or two.

If you read about Vancouver's food scene, you may learn that it is a place where people are used to paying nothing for sushi so you often hear that Miku and to a lesser extent Miko are "overpriced". I think they are both worth the price and, if you are from the Boston area, they will probably not seem out of line for what you get. Miku is, however, a bit of a trek from the hotel (doable but more than a 15 min walk). Minami, its sister restaurant, is closer on foot by quite a margin and has seating at the sushi bar which is especially fun if you are on your own.

If you are looking for a tasty, inexpensive and very Vancouver sushi experience within a 3 min walk, I would suggest Shizen Ya on Hornby.

One night is really not enough in to explore but hopefully you will have an excellent time and come back again for longer.

Bella Gelateria Yaletown is Open!

The decor is very bright and white with the back wall in that semi-dark wood. It's a nice room with obviously a lot of window frontage. We did go last night, saw the lineup and my heart sank, went to the hostess stand and asked how long the wait was for dinner and we were seated within 5 minutes. The crazy line was just for gelato.

Those people were insane because the pizza is really, really good. Really good. We tried the burrata and foccacia (good) and the insalata mista (tasty) but the pizza is the star. Though the pizza menu itself could use a little more differentiation (personal opinion), the crust is really nicely flavoured and texturally right in the centre of soft-chewy-charred-crisp zone. Toppings are very classic.

Here is a photo of the Diavola. I want more.

Weekend trip from Van? Best chowspot?

The restaurant at the Willows Inn is indeed excellent and destination-worthy. But definitely a splurge and a half.

Bella Gelateria Yaletown is Open!

One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

Hello. Some excellent digging. As a fellow 'other board' lurker, I approve.

Coffee - I prefer Matchstick and the previously mentioned Timbertrain to Revolver but they all have good coffee. If you are closer to the West End/Stanley Park side of downtown, try Greenhorn. On Main St, Gene is pretty good.

Pastries - I can't say that I agree with the reco for Baguette & Co. (if you name your business after a food item, you should be able to make said item better than Safeway) but I do have an oddball reco that is right across the street from it. Transylvanian Traditions makes delicious kurtos kolacs, light and crispy "chimney cakes" that are baked on thick dowels and sprinkled with sugar that caramelizes on the outside while the dowels are rotated over hot 'coals'. So tasty.

If you do decide to go to Farmer's Apprentice at lunch/brunch, Beaucoup Bakery is just a couple of blocks away and good.

Downtown, Thierry, Ganache and Cadeaux are your best pastry options. Cartems doughnuts are very good - Earl Grey is my favourite that they always have but they also really like to do specials.

Dim Sum - yes, take the kids on a Skytrain adventure to Richmond. Many of the city's very best Chinese restaurants are within a 5 minute walk of a station (Sea Harbour which is terrific though busy and expensive is practically in the River Rock Station).

Ramen. I love Santouka and Motomachi (pork jowls? yes please!), but depending on where exactly you live in the Bay Area, I think you can get similar ramen at home (including I believe your own location of Santouka). There is a fancy gyoza bar & ramen place opening downtown shortly that will have something interesting to bring to the table but otherwise, I would skip.

Pubs - The Abbey and The Fat Badger are both new gastropubs, though I would say that The Abbey is more like an upscale restaurant that serves pub-inspired food. The Alibi Room is good for beer but I wouldn't go to eat there. As people have said, Chambar is not super kid-friendly though they are pretty good at accommodating people.

Ice Cream - your side of town definitely kicks our butt in this department. I finally tried Rain or Shine and, while I like the approach and the ideas - and the fresh waffle cones - I would trade a dozen Rain or Shines for 1 Humphrey Slocombe, Smitten, Bi-Rite or any of a number of other Bay Area parlours. Mediocre texture + moderate flavour levels = meh. That said, on Tuesdays they do taco shell waffle cones with fun toppings and the kids would probably enjoy that a lot. It's also just a couple of doors down from Fable which is excellent and open for dinner and lunch (get the duck meatball pasta).

Bella Gelateria is the city's true standout in the frozen category and the owner is about to open a pizza & gelato restaurant in Yaletown (right by the Skytrain station that would take you to Richmond). I haven't been (opens Friday) so I can't speak to its kid-friendliness but I would think it will be fine.

Not to Miss?
Farmer's Apprentice is, yes, delicious and very Vancouver. I would also put Fable in that category though it's less adventurous.

Phnom Penh for legendary chicken wings and lac lac beef.

Miku or Minami for aburi salmon oshi sushi (lots of people on this board seem to dislike Miku/Minami for whatever reason but still love this dish)

Alvin Garden - hunanese chinese food if you get a car (it's in Burnaby, a suburb to the east of Vancouver)

HK BBQ Master - HK-style barbecued pork, crispy-skinned roasted pork and soy chicken. they really are masters.

Shanghai River or Dinesty for XLB/soup dumplings

Any one of a number of excellent Vietnamese options in East Vancouver. Mr. Red is one that's recently been on the hot list and it's located in the East Village neighbourhood.

East Village is home to a lot of independent food spots like the Black Rook Bakehouse (which doesn't look like much but makes some truly yummy cakes, several available by the slice) and Basho Cafe (Japanese patisserie/cafe, only open until 4pm and only M-F) and a lot of good restaurants like Bistro Wagon Rouge, Campagnolo, Kessel & March, Le Do, Tacofino...

Chicha is a Peruvian restaurant on Broadway and Main. It's still a bit under the radar but it's fun, tasty and open for lunch.

If you do decide to get a car or don't mind a bus ride, you might get a kick out of Moderne Burger on the west side - the menu is burgers, fries, soda/floats/shakes. END OF LIST. Conveniently located a couple of doors down from delicious pastries at Thomas Haas.

It doesn't scream kid-friendly but there's a both in the back so if you can get it, I have to give some love to Cinara. It's so lovely and the food is so tasty.

Have an amazing visit!