ATTENTION FOODIES! DUE TO PERSONAL FORCES OUT OF MY CONTROL, VANCOUVER EATS WILL NOT BE UPDATED FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE. WE HOPE TO BE BACK UP & RUNNING SOONER RATHER THAN LATER BUT FOR NOW... THE EATERY IS CLOSED.
April 27, 2009
April 13, 2009
“FILLED WITH GOOD FOOD”
101 Main St., Vancouver
I love me some Diner grub, I love the somewhat simple look and décor and the greasy spoon food that you can find at a local diner. One of my favorite Food TV shows is “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” not only because it showcases these types of joints all over America but also because it showcases that the food at these joints can also be top notch. Take FOG CITY DINER in San Francisco, it’s a train car Diner but the food is outstanding and the staff all wear white coats and ties. That doesn’t sound like a “greasy spoon” to me. Well Vancouverites, now we have a higher end Diner in “Railtown” (that area next to Gastown, across from Jerktown I think) from the makers of COBRE, called DEACON’S CORNER.
Located on the corner of Main & Alexander, across from the ALIBI ROOM, there once stood a dilapidated café that no one would ever go to because of the substandard food and cleanliness issues. Well, thankfully that has all changed and now there stands a cool 65-seat eatery that's a cross between a Diner and a Café and is bright, clean, friendly and ofcourse, filled with good food.
I met my friend Sarah there, who has been frequenting DEACON’S for a while since she works in the area and we had some late breakfast. Sarah had the Corned Beef Hash & Eggs (with Toast) while I tried the Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs (with Country Gravy, Hashbrowns & Toast). Both meals were gigantic, tasty and not at all greasy, in fact they were light and fresh despite the heaviness of the actual meal. I was stuffed and satisfied afterwards and unlike most Diners, I didn’t have a stomach ache a few hours later.
I would heartily recommend DEACON’S CORNER for breakfast or lunch, they have an ample menu, big portions and great flavors to choose from. The room is bright, the staff is friendly and the coffee is good… what more could you ask for from your local “Diner”?
RATING: 8/10 FULL BELLIES
April 6, 2009
“$28 be damned!!!”
2551 W. Broadway St, Vancouver
Ever hear of Daniel Bouland? He’s a world renowned chef who has come to Vancouver, taken over LUMIERE and turned it into DB BISTRO MODERNE. Think traditional French cooking, New York haute cuisine and Pacific Northwest bright flavors which define a critically-acclaimed seasonal menu and uptown casual setting… at least according to their menu. I went to this new hot spot in Kitsilano for lunch and was greeted by a cool yet quiet room.
The menu is smart and lives up to its reputation, modern French with a twist, things looked good, but still pricey… then at the bottom, I saw something… something wonderful. The clouds parted, the sun shined bright, my jaw dropped and my mouth watered. It dropped because I saw a $28 Hamburger, it watered because of what was in said burger.
The Original DB Burger (a classic found in many of Bouland’s restaurants) is a thick, juicy Sirloin Burger filled with Foie Gras and Braised Short Ribs, the patty is then drizzled with Black Truffle Oil and it’s served on a homemade Parmesan Bun… are you kidding me.
$28 be damned, I had to try this burger.
I am happy to report that this burger is as good as it sounds but I never have to order it again, it is so rich I slipped into a food coma right at the table. My lunch companions tried the Coq Au Vin with Wild Mushrooms, Bacon, Pearl Onions and Spaetzle, the Country Duck Pate with Onion Compote and Whole Grain Mustard and The Caesar DB Las Vegas Salad with Parmesan Crisp, Avocado, Anchovy Dressing & Garlic Crouton. All the food was good but seriously, you gotta try this burger. Sirloin? Short ribs? Foie Gras? Truffle Oil? I must be dreaming!!!
DB BISTRO MODERNE has successfully shaken off the past of LUMIERE with it’s new colorful look, tempting menu and a $28 burger that is worth a shot just to say you had it. It is pricey, it is rich and it may cause a heart attack but as you die you will definitely be smiling!
RATING: 8/10 FULL BELLIES
March 31, 2009
“FUNKY & TASTY, A GOOD COMBINATION”
1144 Homer St, Vancouver
What a surprise, another Vancouver restaurant that is exactly the same as all the other Vancouver restaurants and by that I mean:
- It’s funky and cool
- The menu is unnecessarily wordy & complicated
- It’s pricey
- All the food tastes the same as it does in all the other restaurants.
The difference with PLAN B LOUNGE is that the food is actually good!
This lounge eatery is cool, dark walls, modern art and an extremely funky vibe, the food is pretty good too. We tried 4 dishes this evening, the Moroccan Glazed Chicken Popsicles with Parsley Coulis that was definitely the favorite of the evening, a modern twist on the chicken wing rich in flavor and perfectly crisp. The Crisp Pancetta & Nicoise Olive Risotto with Veal Demi Glace was tasty but I actually found it a bit too soupy for my liking. The Steamed Local Mussels with Pomme Frites and Grilled French Bread is always a crowd pleaser and this one was done with a nice classic saffron & white wine sauce that complimented the fresh shells perfectly. Finally, we shared the Charcuterie Plate with Olives, Pickles & Preserves, House-made Pork Pate, Crostini and assorted Fine Cured Meats, a great sharing plate filled with tasty nibbles.
Good food all around. So if you are looking for something good, then I can recommend PLAN B LOUNGE, it’s a funky & tasty joint which is always a good combination.
RATING: 7/10 FULL BELLIES
March 16, 2009
920 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
I mentioned in an earlier review that SLICKITY JIM’S was our favorite breakfast joint, but I should say it’s our favorite “fancy” breakfast joint. Sometimes you feel like a bit of “greasy spoon” bacon & eggs, or a quick burger or something else with bacon. When we wake up with a hangover and walk to Commercial Drive, there’s only one place to go and for the 7 times we’ve been there, it’s never let us down… I’m talking about ZAWA.
ZAWA is always good, always fast and always friendly. The place itself is an ugly, giant waste of space that is in serious need of a restaurant makeover but you don’t go there for the ambience, you go there for the food. For this lunch excursion, the three of us had the All Day Breakfast (2 Eggs, hashbrowns & toast with bacon or sausage. $6.99), The Falafel Burger (A delicious homemade falafel pattie with house hummous & fries $7.99) and The Veggie Deluxe Burger (Loaded with sautéed onion, green pepper, mushrooms, cheddar & swiss, served on a whole wheat Kaiser with lettuce, tomato, pickles & mayo $7.99). All three meals were extremely tasty and very reasonably priced. May I also recommend my personal breakfast favorite, the Chorizo Breakfast (2 Eggs cooked any way you like 'em served with spicy chorizo sausage, hashbrowns & toast. $7.99), this is a beauty. Simple and tasty.
There’s really not much more to say about ZAWA on Commercial Drive, for Breakfast and Lunch, it’s a great “greasy spoon” choice for a quick, uncomplicated meal. The room is ugly but the food is worthy of a visit, especially to nurse that weekend hangover.
RATING: 6.5/10 FULL BELLIES
March 9, 2009
“GREAT BUT NOT THE BEST”
2507 W. Broadway, Kitsilano
Burgers are big business in Vancouver, everyone claims to have “the best burger” in town but consistently it comes down to two main competitors: VERA’S BURGER SHACK and MODERNE BURGER. I have said before that VERA’S is my #1 choice but I consistently hear great things about MODERNE so today I tried it and truth be told I still prefer VERA’S but that’s not to say that this wasn’t a good burger, it was, it just wasn’t the best.
If you’ve never been to MODERNE BURGER, the place is awesome. It’s designed like a 50’s Diner, it’s bright, it’s fun and the menu is small. Burgers, Floats, Shakes and that’s about it. It’s won numerous awards for it’s hamburgers like “Best Burger House 2007” and “Best Burger in Town 2008” and I can see why, they take their burgers seriously as they do the environment they serve it in.
I had the Moderne Steak Burger with Chedder, Fried Onions & BBQ Sauce and it was great but not the best and hears why. The BBQ sauce was too sweet with very little spice, I ordered the burger with fried onions and I got very little on my actual patty, just a few strands and finally, I found the quality and size of the meat not up to the standards set by VERA’S. The patty was small and somewhat dry. The Hand Cut Fries were great and the dipping sauce (chipotle?) is fantastic!
Now this is not to say that it was a bad burger, it wasn’t, it was great but not the best. I will definitely go back to MODERNE BURGER and give it another go because the food and the location are too cool to ignore and seriously, it's a good burger.
RATING: 7.5/10 FULL BELLIES
March 2, 2009
“TOO EXPENSIVE FOR WHAT YOU GET”
3995 Main Street, Vancouver
Being Italian, I rarely go to Italian restaurants cause quite frankly, I get kick ass and make kick ass Italian food at home. But as we were dining with friends tonight, Jonathan suggested we go to CIPRIANO'S as he said “it has the best lasagna he’s ever had”. I went there once about 9 years ago and couldn’t really remember it so who am I to argue with Jonathan’s request? Well, I should have argued a bit.
You walk in and are greeted with red & green walls, pics of Italy and Frank Sinatra, a Goodfellas poster in the bathroom, yes this place is a time warp back to the Italian Restaurants of the 80’s… small, cheesy yet quaint. Right off the bat I sensed trouble as none of the staff were smiling and made little conversation with us or any of the other tables. We ordered some Garlic Bread for the table, Jonathan got the lasagna, my wife got the Pasta ala Casa and I went for the Veal Parmigiana.
Note, for the cheap look of the place, the menu is limited and everything costs around $20, pricey. A basket of garlic bread costs around $7 and the meals were all between $18-$22. Hmm… better be good.
The Garlic Bread was outstanding, I know it’s just garlic bread but I think they bake it in butter dishes or something cause it’s the richest, tastiest, best Garlic Bread I’ve ever had… ever. The rest of the meal didn’t hold up to the bar set by the bread however. My Veal Parmigiana was tough, dry and quite thick (I was expecting a thinner piece of meat). The pasta on the side was good but the sauce was very sweet (did they add sugar or are they using canned tomatoes…). My wife’s Pasta ala Casa was huge and based off of the same tomato sauce as mine but it had huge pieces of sliced spicy sausage as well. Nothing extraordinary. As for Jonathan’s Lasagna, it was huge as well and dripping with cheese, he was extremely pleased with it but for the price, I was honestly expecting more.
After the meal, we sat around and talked for a bit but he kept getting hounded by the staff “do you want anything else?” “Can I get you anything?” in other words, they were asking us to get the hell out of there and it was only 9:30pm. As we paid the giant bill (yes this place is too expensive for what you get in my opinion) and walked out the door, I heard the lock engage behind us. Good, cause it will probably be another nine years before I go back to CIPRIANO'S… unless its for the garlic bread.
RATING: 5/10 FULL BELLIES