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Bites about town: Wallflower, Emelle's, Innocent Coffee, My Chau, Matchstick, Belgard Kitchen (The Settlement)

And is closed on Sunday. Yeah, elusive, but worth the candle. Hope you both get in soon and enjoy!

about 19 hours ago
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Golden Ocean (Kerrisdale) - do 3 people need a reservation for 1pm on a Wednesday?

I haven't been in a while but last time I went it was carts. I'd grab a reso if you can, even if you call in the am. Why not?

about 19 hours ago
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

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

Amen, brother! And I'm not sure you're missing anything. The dim sum scene changes virtually weekly (and I'm talking about at the same restaurants), tried and true puts bums in seats and, as Sam says, we're just not a big enough market to support a lot of fine dining. Maybe it's time for a trip to the SF Bay Area: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

I'm delighted to hear about your good experience at Pied A Terre and La Buca, especially the latter. We're hoping to get in before their game and mushroom menu ends on Nov 2. Looking forward to that puree!

Take Out/Delivery Pizza

7 mins by car (2.6 km or about 20 blocks) and apparently they do deliver there, so woot!

What's for Dinner #331 - the Pumpkin Carving Edition

The pork paprikash was a bit one note last night, and I figured out it was because I forgot to add the booze, doh.

Tonight I have to use up a pack of tofu puffs that shuffled to the back of the coolerater to use Steve's nomenclature so off to google I went and will be doing them with ground turkey and some Chinese-ish fixings. May splurge and put that over rice.

Cocktails and good eats in Vancouver

Sorry I missed your August inquiry post till now, barley. Glad you did well overall.

Take Out/Delivery Pizza

Good to know that Double D is still doing what they do. It's been ages since we ordered from there, will have to rectify!

Also nice intel on Martini's -- will pass this on to my peeps in Strathcona.

Bites about town: Wallflower, Emelle's, Innocent Coffee, My Chau, Matchstick, Belgard Kitchen (The Settlement)

A few photos:

pho ga at My Chau

Bites about town: Wallflower, Emelle's, Innocent Coffee, My Chau, Matchstick, Belgard Kitchen (The Settlement)

Had the chance to stop in to a few places over the weekend.

First breakfast was a bit of a bust at Wallflower. The waffle bennie plate came out about four minutes after I ordered it, which isn't enough time to poach an egg, let alone plate it, so I think these must have been pre-prepped. They were just luke warm and over cooked at the same time. "Hash browns" were also close to cold with no hint of crisp and quite bland. And a salad at 9:10 am just doesn't do it for me, especially such a boring one. The hollandaise was also dull and skimpy. And the crowning inglory? The waffle tasted of way too much vanilla and powdered sugar. Bacon was okay but undercooked. I ate about three bites of the dish and left my misspent $12 to find another option nearby.

That turned out to be Emelle's, primarily a caterer that does breakfast and lunch on the weekdays. For $7 I got nicely scrambled eggs, a very decent turkey sausage, a side of marble rye toast and more "hashbrowns" but better ones made of red spuds. I liked the pepper and salt combo on the tables, but I'm not a fan of the pre-rolled knife and fork in a serviette, found here and at Wallflower. I'd like to come back and try a bennie here.

On my way home, I finally stopped at Innocent Coffee, which I pass several times a week. It's a cute little spot with several parking spaces. Would be very hot in the summer though. I had a decent pourover here of Java Taman Dadar. Not crazy about the Muscovado sugar which is all they offer as a sweetener.

Lunch was with my partner in crime at My Chau and her first time there. We were both impressed with it. Such consistency! Always delicious and prepared virtually identically. One of Vancouver's gems.

The next day after the Trout Lake Farmers Market (so nice and uncrowded at 9:15) I picked up the seasonal pastry at Matchstick, still warm from the oven. Housemade ricotta with kale and eggplant. Pastry was lovely but overall it was a bit greasy. I'd still get it again in a heartbeat.

On Sunday a friend and I braved the Willingdon Costco (shudder) and rewarded ourselves with a stop at Belgard Kitchen in the Settlement Building for a late lunch. Though they use Pemberton beef for the burger, they can't serve it to order, so it had the slight livery taste that overcooked beef can get. Not a fan of the trendlet of messy main dishes served on a wooden cutting board. Left most of the brioche bun but that was a personal choice.

The idea of a fried egg on a burger is much better than the reality but my DC had the brainwave of popping it on top of the excellent spuds. Yum. These are great spuds with nice flavor and a good crust.

Had a bite of the DC's steak from her steak and eggs. Nice quality, well cooked, sauce a bit sweet for my taste. She loved it. No beer or wine this time but I'll be back to sample from the in house brewery and winery. The room is really beautiful as well.

Coffee, pastries, lunches and happy hours/beer/cocktails for a greedy BC Hound please

@smatbrat: We did try Fat Angel for HH a couple trips ago in Nov 2012: "Pimm's cup ($8) decent, the SO tried a 750 mL bottle of the High Tide Fresh Hop ($16) and found it good. A Honsenbrouc Framboise ($9) was too sweet. The HH menu wasn't really notable here and didn't appear to be particularly good value as the portion sizes were miniscule may be better during the week? We tried the Firebrand bread and butter, the fried capers and the homemade nuts. All just okay. It is quite a nice little room however, and the neighbourhood appears to be very up and coming"

@majordanby: we love a good scone, though I prefer the elusive savoury scone; lemon curd bombolini sound worthy too -- Heartbaker on the radar! Any notable coffee nearby?

Suggestions for a first-time visitor?

Good point. I went on a weekday and it was still bumping. The original Broder I've given up on even on a weekday. Maybe we'll give the north one a go next trip.

Oct 20, 2014
grayelf in Metro Portland

Cafe Linh (formerly Cafe Regalade)

I spoke to a reliable source who went on Sat and reported it was basically the Café Regalade menu with a couple of Vietnamese dishes added. Sounds like it would be worth a look.

The chef/owner worked at Café Regalade per the website: http://linhcafe.com/our-story/

Oct 20, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner #331 - the Pumpkin Carving Edition

No costumes here, but there are 8 pumpkins under the new deck waiting to be carved (I don't like to eat pumpkin save the odd kabocha dish at an izakaya but I loves me some pumpkin seeds). We'll have a carveathon at our place on the 30th, then the SO will decorate for the 150 trick or treaters we usually get. He really likes Halloween.

The padrones and COTC last night were spot on, accompanied by a snausage each. Tonight it was a coriander lemon soup with straw mushrooms from my favourite Thai cookbook, as the man picked up a nasty cold in TO. Went up to 22 degrees today which is whacky for this time of year in Van, but tomorrow will be rain and comfort food: pork tenderloin paprikash with oyster mushrooms from the farmers market. Still debating the sides but possibly quinoa and something with the gorgeous kale I picked up at the FM.

Coffee, pastries, lunches and happy hours/beer/cocktails for a greedy BC Hound please

@hhc: added to the coffee list!

@barleyw: thanks for the suggestions, will prolly sub in one of them for Alta as I can't remember why I picked it (!); have only been to Corner Store but for brunch; The European looks up our street, love yuzu in beverages, thanks for the reminder re Mikkeller and the Garaje tip.

@smatbrat: we tried St Frank last trip and weren't blown away by the coffee or the shop (a little sterile for our taste), great pastries though. When Wrecking Ball was at Firehouse 8 we went twice and really enjoyed it, so looking forward to the new spot.

We weren't too impressed by Trick Dog, and 15 Romolo's take on the Pimm's Cup (a personal fave) was disappointing. We bailed on HH at Comstock because of the lack of beer choices and really uncomfortable table/seating. I like cocktails that are more savoury than sweet (Aziza is a good example) and I am not a fan of bitters which has been kind of a stumbling block for the last few year :-). The SO likes draft beer, and local craft options if possible (when in Rome).

Portland, Maine chowhound says thanks!

I just noticed that the online reservations appear to be for five or more. I've only made resos by phone.

We have especially enjoyed the tea leaf salad, the samusa soup (though be sure to ask for lots of samusa in it!), the mohinga, the jia san hinga (black pepper soup), and the samusa salad. When it's on point (2 out of 3 for us), the balada is excellent. I don't see it on the menu online, but they used to have a deep fried onion dish that was rather tasty. Check out the specials when you go in as well. I recall we had a very refreshing banana blossom salad off the specials board a few years ago. The cold Burmese tea is very good here and a nice variation on the more usual hot version. If there's a sweet potato dessert on offer, get it.

I wasn't a fan of the Mandalay string beans or the ginger salad, and the dry Burmese noodles that get a lot of play were for me too oniony. The shrimp and sourleaf curryish dish called chin mong jaw was a bit sweet for me.

Do be sure to ask for the housemade hot sauce. Lovely.

What's for Dinner #330 -- The Glorious Month Edition! [through Oct 18, 2014]

I had to make a quick post since roxlet picked a quotation from my favourite author (I even wrote my thesis on her). I've been totally MIA from WFD and missing it. Haven't been cooking much of interest, and have been crazy busy at work but today the SO is on a rare weekend home, they had padrones and COTC (last of the season) at the farmers' market, and I finally found the right kind of delicata squash, so things are looking up. I hope you all have been cooking up a storm, and I look forward to catching up on all the threads!

Oct 18, 2014
grayelf in Home Cooking
2

Portland, Maine chowhound says thanks!

We love Mandalay as long as you order really carefully, sticking strictly to the Burmese dishes. You may know this already as well but they do take reservations and it's worth it especially at night to get one.

Coffee, pastries, lunches and happy hours/beer/cocktails for a greedy BC Hound please

Dinners for our November trip to SFBA are set thanks in no small part to this lovely thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/989200. Now it's on to the other three or four meals of the day ;-). We mostly take transit and are pretty decent at getting around after 14 visits since 2007 so any area is fine, and price range is open, though we don't tend to gravitate toward higher end places.

For coffee and pastries, I've got my eye on the newly revamped Ritual, the new Wrecking Ball, the new FiDi Blue Bottle if it's open by then, maybe Pinhole if we make it out to Bernal Heights, and Tiny Warrior because I heart iced coffee. Dignita sounds good too (thanks to Lady THopper for these suggestions in 7x7).

Any other new and great coffee and/or pastry stops?

For lunches: Arguello with a stop at the Presidio Heritage Gallery, Marla (love their pastries so lunch is likely to be good), Garaje for the burger, Taqueria Campos in Fruitvale (nixtamalized pozole!), Belcampo (chop salad, rillettes) and Causwell's (grilled octopus, burger, salads and six beer on tap).

What else is new and fun for lunch?

Happy hours that look interesting: Alta CA, El Techo de Lolinda, Poquitos, Social Study, The Hall Food Court, Burma Bear BBQ if it's open and doing HH, and another round of uni flan at Skool (dang, that stuff is good).

Are there fabulous happy hours that I have overlooked? I feel like I'm missing good beer on tap and inventive cocktails. Do they exist together anywhere (with good snacks too of course!)? Hey I want it all...

Thanks for any and all suggestions and corrections to my current list. May the force of good eating be with you all.

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

Frances is long and skinny, and the tables are cramped. The bar seating is right by the door so I don't know if it would be better. The food was okayish except for the steak which was so tough the server actually noticed I couldn't cut it and offered to replace it. That took so long that my DC was done long before it came back out. As an apology, they added another dish that we didn't need as we'd already ordered what we thought we could eat.

Jai Yun only does lunch for groups of at least 10 now AFAIK which is very sad. I had three outstanding lunches there before that policy came into play. Dinners are said to be very good as well but much pricier. It is some of the best Chinese food I've ever had. I don't think the experience is for everyone but we loved it.

neighborhood restaurant recommendations for November in SF?

I've only been to Universal Café for dinner. They do brunch as well: http://www.universalcafe.net/ from Wed to Sun, but no lunch. I didn't realize that the chef owner was a woman till I looked at their site just now. It seems like it fits the OP's original criteria quite nicely.

We're going to Central Kitchen the first week in November so I hope it's good :-). Nopa is really difficult to get resos at -- I think I've given up and will just attempt a walk in sometime, if only to try the burger. I really didn't like Frances for either ambiance or food. Rich Table is a difficult get as well, and the menu doesn't appeal to me.

As a visitor, if I could go to any three restaurants in SF that I've already been to, no worries about getting a table or paying, I'd pick La Ciccia, Cotogna/Jai Yun/Chez Panisse Cafe (but I'd make these lunches), and a Lao place. If money really were no object, I'd have Dennis Leary get his team together again and do a one-night-only Canteen dinner just for me -- a gal can dream, right? :-).

Sattle for a week from Australia

Me again, as a BCer who treks over the border a few times a year to eat :-). It's a 2.5-3 hour drive realistically to Vancouver from Seattle, and it can be MUCH longer if you hit rush hour anywhere around Seattle, or have bad luck and there is a big car accident. Also the border is a huge wild card. We routinely see waits in excess of an hour (we are lucky to have special passes). Unlikely to have snow or ice but rainstorms can be not fun to drive in. Once you get here, some tasty chow, and we are finally allowed to have happy hours so that can be a reward :-). If the OP is interested, she should come on over to the BC Board!

Oct 17, 2014
grayelf in Greater Seattle

lunch West End or downtown today?

Thanks for the reminder about the new Medina. I'd given up on their old spot because they lost the ability to fry an egg properly (!). And the long waits. And the expensive waffles. But I'd give them a bash again. It's been long enough.

Today my PIC (partner in crime) worked from home so we had a different geographical area open to us. She hadn't been to My Chau for pho ga, which had to be rectified. It was as perfect as ever. Not only is this the finest chicken pho I've ever had, but also the best fried chicken, and it's so consistent. At $6.75 for a generous "small" it's top value as well. A keeper.

Oct 17, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Sattle for a week from Australia

Thanks for the shoutout, venice. Here's a link for the OP to my trip report which circles back to the great recommendation thread y'all contributed so generously to: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9828...

Here's the Cole's notes: drink coffee and eat pastries!

Oct 16, 2014
grayelf in Greater Seattle

French Olive Oil

Just watch the best before dates on anything tinned or bottled.

Oct 16, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Commercial Drive highlights: where to eat?

Thanks for the early intel on JamJar -- I took a photo of the door with the sign on it in the summer when I visited Lear Faye and was curious how it turned out.

Oct 16, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

North Beach/Telegraph Hill/Chinatown [San Francisco]

Plus one on the garage view -- we parked in there for Sotto Mare and that was part of the attraction!

North Beach/Telegraph Hill/Chinatown [San Francisco]

Hence the "go early" recco :-).

North Beach/Telegraph Hill/Chinatown [San Francisco]

Fun! Here are a few faves from our various trips: Pizza from BaoNecci after 5 on a weekday. Burger from Naked Lunch at lunch. Petrale sole from Sotto Mare. A truffle from XOX. Liguria for some focaccia (go early). Dol Ho for super old school dim sum and their hot sauce.

Italian Restaurant Recommendations

Excellent point about the specificity at Burrasca. I love that he makes all his pasta and most of his own bread in a CART! Here's the current menu to give the OP an idea: http://burrascapdx.com/menu/ He seems to have the squid on quite often -- we had it the day we went and it was great, even for this non-squidophile.

Oct 15, 2014
grayelf in Metro Portland

A "special" dinner in SFBA -- your thoughts much appreciated

Thanks. I'm sure La Ciccia will be as great as it always is, between the fine food and the marvelous hosts. I think this will be our fifth visit there. Verbena I'm still a little on the fence about but ya gotta try to know, right?