March 31, 2009


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:
  1. It’s funky and cool
  2. The menu is unnecessarily wordy & complicated
  3. It’s pricey
  4. 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.


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.


March 9, 2009


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.


March 2, 2009


3995 Main Street, Vancouver
No Website

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.