February 25, 2009


965 Granville St, Vancouver

Amongst the pseudo-bright lights of Granville Street’s Entertainment District lies the Caprice nightclub and it’s lounge-restaurant called LUX. We went there for a friends birthday dinner and trust me when I say, I will never be going back.

LUX is one of the most poorly run, overpriced, undertasting eateries I have ever been too, quite simply, LUX sux. Our party of 25 was under a two hour time limit (cause they had another party coming in at 9:15), fine, they said they would set us up in the lounge afterwards. The didn’t, the lounge was packed so after slow drinks, even slower food and everyone being pissed off, we had to leave LUX and look for another location at 9pm on a Saturday night. Luckily DUECE BUNGALOW had room for us and although I was unkind to them in a previous review, they’ve updated their menu and those who ate, loved it.

If there’s one thing I liked, it’s the room itself. This intimate 80-seat dining area features chic banquettes, candle-lit tables, and socially alluring sofas, all wrapped in the warm glow of a beautiful fireplace. Lots of white, silver and maroon highlights, it’s a good looking room. Too bad the service didn’t match the restaurant. Drinks were slow and the waitress constantly had to be reminded that we actually ordered drinks, food was even slower, so slow in fact, we had to cancel some meals because we were getting kicked out. We tried talking to the manager about the slow service and the lack of room in the lounge since we were getting kicked out of the dining room but he actually had the balls to say it was our fault. Our fault, the kitchen, bar and waitress was slow, our fault they booked another party after us, our fault they didn’t want us to spend our money there either I guess. Wow.

Now onto the food, only so-so, as it tastes like all the other food available at the other restaurants in the Granville Area. Like they all share one giant kitchen under the street with little conveyor belts up to the individual dining rooms. I had the Pulled Chicken Tacos with Mole (Maple Hills Chicken, spiced mole, pickled red cabbage & carrot, crème fraiche & gold flakes) and the BC Dungeness Crab Lollipops (Fresh crab, peppers & cilantro, lemon tarragon cream, crispy leeks, paprika garlic oil). They were both only okay, no stand out flavors, nothing memorable which is too bad as they both sound so good. Add to that that these small “share” plates were over $11 each is like an extra knife in the gut. I don’t mind paying high prices for great tapas but these weren’t great, $7 tapas at best.

As you can tell, I thought LUX was awful. I cannot believe that this place is still around when other far better places are closing their doors. The management and service were horrid, the prices outrageous and the food only decent. Small portions, big prices. Skip LUX altogether, trust me, you won't be missing a thing.


February 16, 2009


9604 Cameron St, Burnaby

We used to joke about the portions of Pasta at Anton’s when we were growing up. Cause it never was that tasty but it was cheap and you could stretch out the leftovers over a couple of meals. I went there once or twice but the quality of the pasta never sold me so I stopped going. Years later, my wife introduced me to ANDUCCI’S as she said it had “good big portions of pasta” so who am I to argue. We tried it out and she was right, for $15, I was given a truckload of pasta and while it wasn’t of the highest quality, it was still damn good.

There are a few ANDUCCI’S in town but this night we went to the Burnaby location and it was packed, there was a Canucks game on and all of their TV’s were showing the game. The place is dark with lots of stonework, it’s got kind of an Italian-American Milestones vibe to it and all the servers are young and busy talking to each other rather than checking in on the tables. We sat down to peruse their giant menu but really we were here for pasta so that’s the page we stuck to. ANDUCCI’S lets you choose they type of pasta you want, then the sauce combination that goes with it. Cool.

My wife ordered THE HULK WITH WHOLE WHEAT PASTA (Fresh avocado, fresh baby spinach leaves, lemon, seared mushrooms, roasted almonds, and melted goat cheese in a garlic olive oil sauce) while I had THE CARNIVORE KING WITH SPAGHETTINI (Mamma’s meatballs, capicolla, and Italian sausage in a creamy meat sauce). Both plates were gigantic, tasty and could not be finished. In my opinion, HULK was tastier than KING but KING was more filling. At lunch, they offer smaller portions for $10 but really, for $15 and this portion size, it’s two meals worth of food on one plate. Wow, that’s a lot of pasta.

I can’t comment on the other food offerings at ANDUCCI’S as I’ve only been there for the pasta but really, why else go. The price point for the portion size is right up my alley and I can forgive the blasé wait staff for being young. It’s a great place for well-priced truckloads of pasta!

As a side note, I looked up Anton’s online and realized they bumped up their prices, a plate of pasta there costs the same as a plate of pasta at ANDUCCI’S. Hmm, me thinks a Burnaby Spaghetti Smackdown is in order. Stay tuned.


February 9, 2009


2513 Main Street, Vancouver
no website

One of our favorite breakfast haunts in the core of Vancouver is the eclectic yet laid back SLICKITY JIM'S CHAT N' CHEW. This is our fifth time at the popular main street eatery and it was as good as always. A couple things you gotta know though:
  • This place is small and very popular so be prepared to wait, especially on the weekend, sometimes it 45 minutes or more but trust me, it's worth it.
  • This place is eclectic; the walls look like someone took a retro yard sale full of junk and stapled it all over the walls. There is a kind of "diner" feel to this place and the booths for four are a tight squeeze but while you are waiting for your food, there's lots to look at.
  • The food and the coffee are fantastic. This isn't a typical breakfast joint as JIM'S has taken the art of food-naming to a whole new level. Everything has a funky name that has nothing to do with the meal you’re eating but who cares, it’s fun.
This time around the wife and I ordered Je Suis Un Petite Canard (Scrambled Eggs with Avocado, Feta & Salsa Verde on English Muffins, served with Mixed Greens & Potatoes) while I had Figment of My Imagination (a Benny with baby shrimp, Bocconcini cheese and fig chutney, served with roasted potatoes). Both meals were out of this world. And that goes for every meal I've had at this place, SLICKITY JIM'S is tasty, it's cheap, it's got character and it's got good coffee. What more can you ask for.

So if you are sick of brunch at Milestones and are looking for more than just Bacon & Eggs, than I heartily recommend SLICKITY JIM'S CHAT N' CHEW. Despite the long wait and the cramped seating, the food speaks for itself and we will definitely come back for more!!!


February 2, 2009


128-998 Harbourside Dr, North Van

If you are looking for one of those “hidden gems” on the North Shore, then do I have the place for you… THOMAS HAAS PATISSERIE-CHOCOLATE & CAFÉ. Yes, Thomas Hass is known for his kick ass Chocolates, Cookies and Cakes but what you might not know is that he cooks up some mean food as well! This tiny café is, well, tiny… it fits about 15 people and that’s pushing it, also, it’s always busy and I mean always for both the savory and the sweet.

We went to pick up some birthday chocolates for a friend and we ended up staying for luch because the food looked so damn good. We had the Leek & Portobello Mushroom Quiche (with Marscapone Cheese, Shallots & Garlic) and the Tomato & Bocconcini Panini (with Pesto, Avocado, Arugula & Roasted Red Peppers). Both meals were small yet filling and exploding with fresh, vibrant flavors. For dessert (you gotta have dessert if you’re eating at Thomas Haas, right?), we shared the Summer Brioche Pudding and the Pistachio Sour Cherry Tart. Needless to say, both were out of this world. We finished it all off with two of the tastiest Americano this side of JJ Bean. All in all, it’s a bit pricey but no one said that guilty pleasures were cheap ☺

Do yourself a favor and let yourself indulge by trying THOMAS HAAS PATISSERIE-CHOCOLATE & CAFÉ, not only are the sweets kick ass and the coffee good but the food is surprisingly good and obviously fresh. This is definitely going to become one of our North Shore “hidden gem” favorites.