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Vancity Vic's Profile

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Seeking Seafood in Vancouver

I have to disagree with the Sockeye City recommendation. Its a tourist trap. I was there in June and it was an overall terrible experience. The fish was bland and overcooked (I took it back, and the result was no better).

The service was amusingly bad, there were many times were people at our table would just stare at each other after another service screw up. The decor and atmosphere is reminiscent of an ABC restaurant or a pre-renovation Moxies.

Rodney's in Yaletown has a great happy hour ($1.50 oysters), or try the oft-mentioned Go Fish for informal freshness.

As for fish, don't miss out on local trout (i.e. Sooke trout), lingcod and of course, salmon.

Lord Sandwich (Calgary) [moved from Canada board]

Bad news for foodies - Caffe Mauro closed a couple months ago (along with another fave, Falafel King) due to restorations on the 1st Street block south of Stephen Ave. Any news as to when/where its going to re-open?

Dec 22, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Wild Ginger - Calgary

If it weren't for expense accounts, most of Vickers' restaurants would go under. Walk by Wild Ginger at lunch on any weekday and its pretty busy, with a 95% male clientele, and a salesman from some service company at every table wearing a corporate polo or black jacket.

Check the Penny Lane group's website if for some reason (there really is none) you would want to try another of his fine establishments. www.plegroup.ca

Dec 19, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Christmas Eve / Day dinner around Yorkville

A friend and I in our late twenties both have no families where we currently live in Canada, so we both decided to book a flight to NYC over Christmas to New Years.

For Christmas Eve or Christmas Day I'd love to be able to dress up and enjoy a bottle of wine in a trendy/classy/young festive atmosphere with turkey on the menu, for less than $100 each.

Neither of us have been to NYC, so any recommendations at all for the week would be appreciated. I'm a big fan of tapas, seafood, sushi (being from Vancouver does that to you), hole-in-the-walls, and lounges at night. I'm pretty unfamiliar with the whole reservation process as it seems that all the top restaurants are booked months in advance. I only bought my ticket last week so am I just better off winging it? I'm open to all suggestions! Thanks!

Dec 17, 2007
Vancity Vic in Manhattan

Lord Sandwich (Calgary) [moved from Canada board]

Agreed, I buddy brought 5 $10 Safeway deli subs camping and it easily fed 8 guys with leftovers. Nothing fancy, just decent bread with mayo & mustard, tomato & lettuce, and lots of cold cuts inside.

Jul 28, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Lord Sandwich (Calgary) [moved from Canada board]

Thanks to you Chowhounders, I had sandwiches at Caffe Mauro twice last week! A little steep at $10.25 but the ingredients are quality. I like the calabrese & hot capicolla with provolone, mushrooms, peppers & jalapeno spread on Focaccia. A brought it back to work and everyone walking back asked where I got it from!

Its too bad they don't have a hot salami, the hot capicolla lacks kick. I also tried one on a French baguette but its really thin so it falls apart, and I don't like crispy breads (hurts the top of the mouth). I'll try the meatball next!

Jul 28, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Seafood in Calgary

I've had the lunch buffet at the Petroleum Club a few times and I always look forward to it when I get the invite. Its not the seafood buffet, so maybe thats something different, though there is some seafood at lunch. Its right along the lines of the Palliser and Banff Springs buffets... I always stock up on smoked salmon and save room for all the desserts. No jeans and no use of cellphones allowed in the main dining area!

Jul 28, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Seafood in Calgary

I've heard good things about Uptown, I'll have to try it.

Sushi Kai is at the back of Dragon City Mall (not to be mistaken with the horrible Sushi Tokyo at the front!) on the 4th Ave side. Its the last store in the mall on the main floor next to those Chinese video stores. Tell Sally Victor sent you!

Jul 28, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Seafood in Calgary

I can't even say top 10, there are not that many I'd go to. Here's a list of my favorites, keep in mind I'm the type that orders by the piece. One caveat - I've been to some of these places for lunch and dinner, weekdays and weekends, and the service and food quality often varies, especially in the Chinese owned places. Some of these on the list I go weekly. One thing I've unfortunately learned to accept in Calgary. In brackets i put one gripe and one compliment.

- Sushi Kai (new downtown, great salmon, often run out of items)
- Sushi Bar Zipang (half of the customers were from Japan, but I had bad very small Toro sashimi)
- Fujiyama (salmon, caterpillar & softshell crab are superb and so is the toro at times, service can be very slow to non-existent at lunch)
- Hana Sushi (hit'n miss but I still go a few times a year)
- Sushi Hiro (quality, but again bad tuna at times)

I'm always up to try new places, I hear Wa's is good. Some others I've tried off the top of my head: Kawa is OK, Towa is not as I've mentioned before, Sushi Tokyo / Ichiban are awful, Sumo not very good, Sakana same as Ichiban (Crowfoot location got shutdown by Calgary Health), Sushi Boat I'd try again, I liked Zen 8 though lots of people I know didn't, new Blowfish tries to hard but just doesn't taste right, Reiko's is pretty good, Shikiji average and Kyoto is just OK.

Now I'm craving sushi :)

Jul 20, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Seafood in Calgary

I agree with Rafer, you just can't get fish that fresh when so few people order it. I've lived here for over 4 years (moved from Vancouver) and go out to eat everyday at lunch since. The seafood here is pretty poor, it'd be a stretch to even call it average.

Usually when I bring someone to a restaurant they haven't tried and they get a disappointing fish entree, my usual response is "what do you expect, this is Calgary" or "this is a steakhouse". i.e. Saltlik has one fish entree (Halibut) which is pretty bad (their ribs are bad too). Many finer restaurants around the core only have one, maybe two fish dishes. You'd be better off going to Costco and getting a salmon and BBQ it yourself.

Perfect example of below average seafood that you still need reservations for at lunch: Chowder House.

And Towa Sushi isn't even in the top 10 for sushi places in Calgary, unless you like corn and lots of rice in your giant rolls while sitting on Ikea furniture.

Jul 05, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Best Chowder in Calgary

No replies = no good chowder in Calgary?

Honolulu for One Day, where to eat?

Update: I ended up snacking at Ninja Sushi by the airport because it was open and close. Typical fast food sushi, not very good at all.

For lunch I headed to Mitch's and it was just as described. Very expensive though. Mitch saw my table split part of my Toro ($18 for 2 piece) so he got the chef to cut small pieces for everyone at the table! Nice, amiable guy, and he knows I heard of his place from the 'net so he was extra nice to me. The cute Japanese grandmom serving us was memorable too. And Mitch made sure the girls at our table knew the chef is single.

And yes, it was the best toro ever. Melt in your mouth, and not fishy at all.

Dinner at California Pizza Kitchen was great for a casual, family style meal. We had it with a bottle of red, and the bill was very low and food very high quality. Great salad, good pizzas (a few too many mushrooms on the 4 Mushroom Pizza), and good pasta. This is a chain that does it right! Come to Canada!!!

Jun 15, 2007
Vancity Vic in Hawaii

Best Chowder in Calgary

What's your favorite Boston Clam Chowder style chowder in Calgary?

I like the seafood chowder at The Catch, and I don't like the overly creamy and not very fresh chowder at Chowder House.

The Verve - Calgary

Anyone know what happened to the The Verve on 8th Ave by Olympic Park (old Drinkwater's)? I was there once and really liked the atmosphere, but I went back a few months ago and the sign said they broke their lease agreement.

Mercato Calgary

I'm a fan of Mercato and I'm pretty picky. Its fun to sit at the bar and watch them cook. I was last there a year ago so it may have changed a lot, but the menu was very limited.

Mountain Mercato's in Canmore is a great place after a hike to get soup and a grilled panini. Calgary needs more places like this.

Anyone know if the owner of this operates other restaurants around town?

Wild Ginger - Calgary

Completely agree with star33star. Decided to try out the new corporate credit card, and went by the bar waitress' recommendations. She described Wild Ginger like P.F. Chang's in the States, and said most tables of 2 get an appy, two main meat dishes, and a rice or noodle.

The Kung Pao Chicken came out before our appetizer, a Nudie Roll we asked to start with. The roll fell apart as I dipped it in the soy, and I'm very good with sushi & chopsticks. Roll tasted OK, 4 large pieces. We told the waitress about the cold chicken and she apologized and offered to take it off our bill or get a new one, so we got the new one. The beef dish was average, and the recommended lobster fried rice didn't taste of lobster at all. It came in a large white bowl, with no spoon so I asked for one. It was difficult to eat off the plates you get (small rectangular sushi style serving tray) so I asked for a bowl, because I'm Chinese and thats how we eat rice. She apologized for not having regular bowls, but got us small square edamame bowls which did the trick.

She was trying, but I overheard her apologizing to both tables next to us for one screw-up after another, it was comical. I asked for a dessert menu, but there was none. She did say they have this very good deep fried banana spring roll with coconut ice cream, so I ordered that. 5 minutes later she came back apologizing, saying she's not sure if they can make it and she'd have to ask the manager. 10 minutes later she came back and all was well. That was the best dish of the bunch.

In Summary:

Food: Like you're ordering appy's at Fuel (Earl's lounge). Except not as tasty. The food is like oversauced Chinese food, but not as fresh, and not fusion by any means. Dessert was great.

Service: Apology after apology, and we got a 2nd nudie roll served with our main dishes which we had to explain we had received already. I almost feel sorry for our server as it was pretty unorganized.

Atmosphere: Dark, red, trying to be trendy, but strange in that on one side you get the typical Vickers wine cellar in one corner, a view of the TD bank machine in the other, and bright windows looking out to the downtown street that are dying for curtains or stained glass. 95% of the clientele were businessmen. Usually thats a tip that the restaurant is no good - no women eat here.

Value: $122 for 2. 1 appy, 2 mains, 1 rice, 2 dessert, 1 coffee, 2 glasses of red.

Comment: Follows the same Vickers formula: flashy interiors, good wine list, hot waitresses, and bad overpriced food. If it weren't for expense accounts, this place would go broke in a few weeks. Wait, thats just like all of Vicker's other restaurants (Chophouse, Belgo...).

Jun 15, 2007
Vancity Vic in Prairie Provinces

Honolulu for One Day, where to eat?

I'm looking for good cheap eats / under $20, local fare or sushi, that will fit into this itinerary:

Fly in at 9:45am on a Wednesday (after 4 days in Maui) and pickup a rental car, drive to Iolani Palace in the morning, have LUNCH, picking up friends at the airport at noon, Pearl Harbour, then DINNER, then check-in at Sheraton Waikiki.

Apr 18, 2007
Vancity Vic in Hawaii