December 23, 2008


1111 Mainland St, Vancouver

Founded in 1994, the YALETOWN BREWING COMPANY was built with the vision of being a true neighborhood pub in the up-and-coming warehouse district known as Yaletown. This 160-seat Restaurant and a lively Pub has been voted Best Brewpub in Canada on several occasions and still works diligently to wow customers with seasonal beers, evolving menus and entertaining event nights. YBC has become a one-stop destination for everything from large corporate events to quick after-work beers with the regulars. But let’s get serious, if this place is going to continue to thrive, it has to serve good food. So how good is the food?

Not bad at all. Here's what we had: MANCHURIAN CHICKEN (Bite-sized chicken pieces drizzled in a Spicy Sweet Ginger & Garlic-Cilantro Sauce), GUACAMOLE BURGER (A monster beef burger saddles with Swiss Cheese, Bacon & Fresh Guacamole on a fresh toasted bun. Served with Beer-battered Fries), PULLED PORK SANDWICH & BEER $10 LUNCH SPECIAL (Slow-smoked Pork in-house brewed beer braised onion, coleslaw & chopped fresh cilantro on a hoagie bun. Served with house-made potato chips and a glass of Iain’s Downtown Brown Beer) and the ROASTED CHICKEN SALAD (Tender Roasted Chicken, Sundried Cranberries, Goats Cheese, fried Garlic Chips, Avocado & straw Veggies in a lemon/lime vinaigrette and a fig-balsamic reduction).

Sounds all right doesn't it? Well it was, the burger was fresh and juicy, the pulled pork delicious and the beer-battered fries were out of this world. Unfortunately the Manchurian Chicken was drowning in sauce and the pieces were quite chewy, other than this disappointing dish, the others were great. The service at YBC was decent and the vibe is always lively so all in all, it's a great place to eat. Are there better choices? Sure...are there worse options... absolutely but if you want some good grub in a decent place then the YALETOWN BREWING COMPANY might be the spot for you.


December 18, 2008


980 Granville St, Vancouver

DEUCE BUNGALOW is Granville Street's newest Lounge/Bar/Restaurant and there is the problem, it doesn't know what it wants to be and does all three styles half-heartedly. A jack of all trades and a master of none. Sporting the décor of a club & sports bar and featuring a menu filled with latin-inspired dishes, DEUCE BUNGALOW is in danger of disappearing quickly if it can’t forge its own unique identity soon and work on its food quality sooner.

My biggest issue with the place, is the overuse of pickled onions and Avocado Sour Cream, these two condiments are on virtually every dish that is served whether you like it or not. I do like both of those flavors... but not on everything! This is what we feasted on: Pablo's Mortar & Pestle Guacamole (Home-made Refried Beans, Pink Pickled Onions & warm Tortilla Chips), Deuce's Double Breaded Chicken Wings (Avocado Sour Cream, Deuce's Special Hot Sauce), Yucatan Avocado Fries (Smoked Ancho Aioli, Heirloom Tomatoes, Pink Pickled Onions) and the Salsa Verde Braised Beef Taco Skewer (Rajas, Tender Flank Steak, Chilled Gazpacho Shooter).

Their guacamole is actually quite tasty but the Black Bean Dip underneath the Guac was so hard, no chip could pierce the dip and we had to use a spoon to get any Black Bean out. The Wings were bland on their own (the breading was quite standard) but the house made hotsauce was a definite winner and brought these otherwise average wings to life. The biggest disappointment were the Avocado Fries, this is supposedly the “signature dish” at DEUCE and if you look at the online reviews, this is one of the best received dishes at the eatery. I did not like this dish at all. First off, Avocado is a subtle yet rich flavor that explodes when accompanied by another flavor, these were just slices of avocado, breaded and deep fried. So it tasted like avocado-flavored breading and to make matters worse, the Avocado was not ripe. Yikes! If this is the signature dish, it needs a lot of help. Our final dish, the Beef Tacos were probably the tastiest dish of the lot but the gazpacho shooter was a waste, it didn’t add anything to the meal.

I don’t know if I would return to DEUCE BUNGALOW, the food was only so-so and the ambiance was awkward. Is it a club? Is it a lounge? Who knows, but I will say this, if it’s a restaurant, they have a lot more work to do.


December 16, 2008


52 Powell St, Gastown

I’ve had numerous people recommend COBRE to me as the “best Latin Food in the city” which I always smiled and thanked them for but never acted upon. Then both my Dad and my cousin who are both restaurateurs recommended it so I knew I had to go there eventually. So this week we hooked up with out fabulous “foody” friends Vicky & Dan and decided to pull the trigger on COBRE … boy am I glad we did.

Located in historic Gastown, COBRE offers us a mix of Argentinean, Cuban, Brazilian & Mexican flavours in an elegant setting. It’s a beautiful scene, a multiple leveled room showcasing a mix of slate floors, exposed brick, warm ochre and the spotlight copper ceiling piece (Cobre means “copper” in Spanish). COBRE is gorgeous, this isn't your typical “taco joint” so we asked our waitress for her opinion and she gave us a description of the type of food they offer, she was extremely friendly and willing to help us make our decision. She offered a few suggestions and we were off and running! This is a Tapas joint so the portions are small and meant to be shared, no dish is over $15 which means you can order as much or as little as you want without going into overkill. I should note that overall, The service was spectacular! We were so caught up in our conversation that the server had to come up multiple times to ask for our orders, but she never once looked frustrated and was very gracious about it. Anyways on with the food…

We started with a classic Ceviche, Local albacore tuna y pipian rojo azteca, warm Peruvian causa. This was a small but tasty app that blended the tuna and potato it was sitting on perfectly. Michelle wasn’t sold on the warm potato mixing with the cold Ceviche but I found the mix tasty. Next we tackled the Taqueria, Pork saddle al pastor con pina, traditionale which was a nice blend of multiple flavors and textures in a classic taco, each bite was an explosion of goodness.

Then onto the main Tapas. First off, White corn free range chicken taquitos w/ fresh house guac. Not too adventurous as it is one of the more “mainstream Mexican” choices but its’ delicious regardless and the homemade guacamole was light and refreshing. Next up, Wild Mexican sea prawns y pipian verde w/ butter browned corn arepas. These were my personal favorites of the night as I loved the combination of the spicy prawns on the corn cake, this was a tasty dish. Finally, Michelle’s favorite, the Maple chipotle glazed beef short ribs w/ sweet potato chips. The chips were excellent, deep fried to perfection very crispy. The short ribs had a bit of an Asian influence, but the chipotle kept it grounded in Latino flavors but it was like eating spicy Maui Short Ribs. Not that that is a bad thing cause these ribs were delicious.

We finished the night with some White Sangria and two great desserts. The classic Dulce de Leche, a rich caramel pudding served with caramelized banana and espresso churro. the other is a Pecan Pie with sliced pear and horchata cream. Both are worth a taste!

It was a fantastic night and COBRE offers up some great, great Latin-influenced food. I cannot recommend this place enough. The décor, the service, the ambiance, the flavours, it all makes for a great night out and primed for a return visit. COBRE, we will be back!


December 14, 2008



Location: 4121 Main St, Vancouver
Telephone: 604-708-4121
Website: LOCUS

While LOCUS remains one of the staples of the Main Street Food District and usually serves up some delectable eats, this time they did not, this time, it was a disappointing meal. That being said, the service and ambiance were top notch but the food was not. Michelle opted for the Spicy Chicken Quesidilla while I went for the Duck Sausage Eggs Benny... here's the dillio.

The Quesidilla is a mix of spicy roast chicken, crisp bacon, fresh tomato white cheddar cheese in an organic whole wheat tortilla fresh cut salsa, spiked guacamole & sour cream organic green salad, sounds good right? Well it would be but the chicken chunks were gigantic making the Quesidilla awkward to cut and the cheese was so very strong, it completely overtook every other flavor in the mix, including the bacon and you don't want to mess with Bacon. As for the Duck Benny, the sausage was very gamy and greasy and I know that those are traits of duck meat but I've had duck sausage before and this wasn't a high quality one, the meat replaced the other flavors in the dish which was a shame. At least there is one constant at LOCUS and that's their thick-cut, chunky style,fried Brunch Potatoes, they still are and will always be awesome. Also the Baily's Latte is a great way to spend a few indulgent moments out from the holiday cold.

All in all, I would still recommend the LOCUS as a great place to have a bite on Main Street but this time, the meal was a disappointment. It would be fair to say that I will return but next time I will be ordering something else.

December 9, 2008



Location: 1079 Mainland St, Vancouver
Telephone: 604 602 0835

Opened since 2002, this 100-seat eatery has become somewhat of a staple in the hood called Yaletown, from it's open concept Kitchen to its award-winning Executive Chef John Crook, GLOWBAL has maintained a consistent vibe and clientele that sees the establishment busy every day of the week. Add to that, the 50-seat lounge AFTERGLOW located at the back of the restaurant and GLOWBAL definitely becomes one of the hot spots to visit in Vancouver.

This time around, a few of us at work decided to make GLOWBAL our holiday luncheon destination and am I glad I did, not only was the service fast & friendly but my meal and all the others were delicious!

Here's a look at what we had:
  • THE SATAY PLATTER: A giant platter filled with one of each of Glowbal's signature satays including: Garlic Jumbo Prawn, 7 Spice Ahi Tuna, Braised Beef Short Rib, Grilled BC Salmon, Mushroom Tempura, Kobe Beef Meatball, Diver Scallops, Rosemary Lamb Chops, Louisiana Fried Oyster & Ginger Brushed Chicken. They are served with Asian slaw, spiced pappadam and a trio of dipping sauces: ginger soya sauce, smoked chipotle mustard with fresh thyme & sun-dried tomato aioli.
  • KOBE MEATBALLS & SPAGHETTI: The Glowbal Signature dish and according to the hostess, the most asked for dish on the menu. 4 giant, rich meatballs served in a spicy tomato basil sauce with garlic confit and fresh parmesan cheese.
  • BRAISED SHORT RIBS WITH LINGUINE: The staff favorite according to two waiters and one of the cooks. This explosion of flavour is served with woodland mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and a light café au lait sauce.
  • CHICKEN PARMIGIANINO: The Daily Special but no less impressive. A massive breaded Chicken Breast friend golden and served with a fresh Tomato Basil Linguine.
  • PAELLA RISOTTO: A twist on the Spanish Classic, this seafood staple comes with mussels, clams, chorizo, calamari, prawns and it's all mixed together with a saffron cream.

This was a fantastic meal, all of the dishes were extremely tasty and worth a repeat order, I should know, I tried a bite of all of them. Personally I ordered the Meatballs & Spaghetti and I wasn't disappointed, it was truly delectable, light yet filling and spiced perfectly. Paige, a co-worker had the short ribs and said "I was sad when it was over, I didn't want it to end" while Alia commented on the Chicken Parm, "wow, that was good". You can't get much better than that.

GLOWBAL will definitely be a place for me to revisit in the future. It's a small room, with a great vibe and the food that I tried this time around was great all around. I look forward to trying something different next time.


December 5, 2008



Location: 562 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Telephone: 604 879 7119
Website: CHAMBAR

CHAMBAR is the small Belgian hideaway that is well known for it's funky atmosphere, its diverse Beer selection and its legendary Mussels. Seriously, if you are a Mussel fan, then do yourself a favor and dig into a giant pot of these beauties, you won't be disappointed. I had been to CHAMBAR once before for a Birthday Party and this time, 9 of us went for a Holiday Work Dinner.

Here's a look at some of our selections for dinner:
  • Foie de canard ‘Villa Lorraine’ (Spiced Foie gras terrine with Port reduction, Kriek Granita & truffled brioche french toast)
  • Moule Frites: Coquette (Mussels cooked in a white wine cream. Smoked bacon lardons, spring onions)
  • Moule Frites: Congolaise (Mussels cooked with a tomato coconut cream. Smoked chili and lime. Fresh cilantro)
  • La morue charbonniere (Pan seared sablefish, marinated artichoke, fingerling potatoes, lemon yogurt remoulade & saffron rouille)
  • Steak Bourguignon (Grilled AAA ribeye steak, pommes frites, roasted king oyster mushrooms, fried shallots, Bourguignon sauce)
  • Chevreil aux Chataignes (Roasted venison short loin. Parsnip puree, elk salchichon, caramalized chestnut & baby winter vegetables)
  • La cafe belge (Espresso cheesecake with Belgian chocolate mousse, creme de cacao gelee & crisp chocolate wafers)
  • La bombe d'Alaska (Italian meringue, matcha ice cream & vanilla sponge cake with lemon curd & fresh pomegranate)

Overall, the food was spectacular. Again, the mussels proved to be the table favorite as people fought tooth & nail to sop up as much of those tasty sauces as possible with all the fries & bread available, seriously, there's that good. The Foie Gras was divine, the Sablefish fresh and the Venison to die for... but then there was the Steak.

Now as you know from previous reviews I am a steak lover, I loves me some steak and so did a lot of people at dinner last night as 5 of the 9 people there ordered it. 4 out of those 5 were awesome, mine was not. It was probably the fattiest steak I had ever had in a restaurant and while the spices and sauce made it tasty fat, it was still fat nonetheless. I know some people like a lot of fat in their steak, I don't like THAT much in mine, an epic disappointment for a meat-fan like myself.

This did not ruin the night for me however as the rest of the food was top notch, the service professional and the company was fantastic. We topped it off with probably the richest cheesecake I have ever tried (La Cafe Belge) and a scotch, what better way to end an evening out with friends.

While I may hold off on the Steak, you can bet that I will return to CHAMBAR for another evening out. As I said, the great atmosphere and those "to die for" mussels are worth a return visit.