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Month: March 2016 Page 1 of 3

BETA5 Chocolates

Limited edition Easter chocolates and seasonal cream puffs for winter.

 

My new go-to for birthday cakes is actually birthday cream puffs. More and more restaurants are not accommodating outside desserts and cakes to celebrate birthdays within their walls. So my solution is the cream puff. The ones from “Beta 5” are especially beautifully and absolutely delicious. A single serve round with no need to cut and slice, and they look just as good with candles stuck atop. You might not be able to get them personalized, but with unique flavours and accompanying decorations they are quite the celebratory treat. With these you don’t have to ask for a knife to cut, or plates to serve, and if they don’t let you eat them inside, you can easily eat with your hands on the sidewalk, outside the restaurant.

I travelled to an industrial area, cleverly on industrial street. A warehouse shop along with other small batch, local operators like themselves. So here I was picking them up on Sunday for Monday. “Beta 5” is not open on Mondays. I was just in time for the last of their Easter treats and took advantage.

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For Easter, the third busiest season for chocolates after Valentines and Christmas they offered seasonal filled eggs, chocolate bunnies, and cream eclairs.

Their bunnies were the most impressive. These weren’t your regular 2D hollow rabbit chocolate figures. With pointed ears and a round nose, this was gourmet chocolate art, crafted to look like they were blown from a balloon and shaped by a clown. Their rounded parts were posed to mimic the action of break dancing. Bunnies tilted on their side, balancing on their front left paw. Each was made in either milk or dark chocolate and dripped over with milk, dark, and white chocolate robes.

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On today, the last day that they were being offered I walked into at 1pm to a lady buying one for her daughter, leaving only two more small ones on the shelf and two larger ones beside it. I skipped it altogether as I am not a fan of solid chocolate, plus they were too cute and wonderful to eat. And at $30 a pop for the small, they were too pricy to have as melt-able art with no other purpose.

Though I did take the time to take in and appreciate their display of these dancing bunnies and other Easter chocolates for sale. Located behind glass at their check out counter, these were bunnies in multiples, surrounded by peanut butter quail eggs and praline egg halves filled with hazelnut, raspberry almond, and cocoa nibs.

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The crown jewel of this display was a large white chocolate bunny drizzled similarly in rainbow drippings. It sat balancing on three similarly toned coloured eggs, tip to bottom.

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Seeing them online and having them recommend, was enough of a push to get one of each of the Easter eclairs. They were essential the same batter and cream as the cream puffs, but in a longer and less round presentation, with extra embellishments.

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The “strawberry vanilla eclair” was stunning. White and pink frosting entwined in ribbons with vanilla bean speckles, and tiny candy daisies. Like its colours, the different flavours comes through in the both strawberry and the vanilla. Like a strawberry ice cream milkshake or the flavour of pink pocky. It was lighter and not as sweet as it looks.

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The “malted chocolate eclair” was a pretty decent contrast. Not heavy or sweet either, but a more solid flavour. This one is definitely for the chocolate lovers with its velvet smooth mocha as light as foam.

As for the cream puffs, I picked up as many that fit into a single box, five. Five of their limited time winter collection cream puffs, seeing as they are only around for a certain time. I got everything, but the “passion sesame”. I was choosing them by look and not flavour, and out of the six in the collection, I deemed this the one I was willing to miss.

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“Banana tonka”. The gentle flavour of banana melded with the clean simpleness of vanilla. “Tonka beans” are used as a vanilla substitute, with a strong fragrance similar to sweet woodruff.

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The “pineapple yogurt” had a purposefully melty appearance whereas the other cream puffs were perfect in their fold of cream adorning each top. The tartness of pineapple and yogurt played well off one another in parallel.

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The “spiced mango” included a cuff of orange dyed chocolate. It had a zesty note paired with the sweetness of ripe mango.

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The “mojito” as topped with lime shavings. Didn’t get the kick of rum, but got the lime just fine.

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The “coconut” was most captivating with it perfect pillow of white and the miniature chocolate coconut sitting on top of it. The “coconut” was accurate in its hash marks and textured scraping. I was impressed, it was too perfect to eat. But good thing I caved into the craving as the milky flavour of coconut is one not to be missed.

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During my last visit I grabbed a box of their signature chocolate collection. It included a square of their “salted chocolate caramel”. Then, I wondered why they were so popular. Popular enough to sell by the boxes, a set of six and another of twelve. Coming back for more now, I got it. These are now my favourite salted caramel chocolates. Melty chocolate paired with taffy like caramel, a texture that was as fun to eat, as it was good to savour under your tongue. Sweet, but not so much that you couldn’t enjoy one after another, then another.

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Today they also had cherry chocolate samples at the pick up counter, cut into halves they were ready for sampling and I have wasn’t too shy to help myself to one. It was a nice dark wine-like cherry filling to compliment the dark chocolate that enrolled it.

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They take your order and you pay, leaving your name. When your order is put together they call you by name to gather it at the counter. I appreciate the fact they they show you what’s inside the box before they shut the lid and pack it all up in a paper bag. It gives you peace of mind in what you are taking home. At this point they also humour you if you want to take a photo of the open box. A photo now, in case they don’t last the car ride home.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I have their website link as a button on the home screen of my phone, and I am already patiently waiting for next season’s chocolates and cream puffs. So I will be at least back once a season. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

BETA5
413 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver BC
604-669-3336
shop.beta5chocolates.com
BETA5 Chocolates Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

El Pulgarcito

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My partner is always on the search for new small, family run Mexican places for us to try. First he loves Mexican food, and second he finds these the most authentic and worthy of his money and support. We drove past this one in the morning and kept our word to come back at night.

A smaller restaurant themed in yellow and blue: yellow walls, blue columns and blue counters. Hanging on these walls were paintings of birds on canvas, 3D sculptured front of homes, and a gilded piece depicting a court yard in Chrome.

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Towards the back of the room was their register and a shelf of imported products. The wrap around cubicle-like walls were decorated with sombreros, woven baskets, and a colourful garlands of ornaments. It was as authentic as the hip shaking beat playing over head. The shelves beside them were stocked with groceries included cans and bottles of preserved vegetables, sauces, and spices for you to take home and flavour your food with.

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There weren’t many tables, and they all got sat fairly quickly after us. Surprisingly lots of patrons stopped by for dinner. We weren’t sure if they were just passing by and stopped in by chance, or if they were happy and returning customers. But the traffic was encouraging and we were happy for their success. Each wooden table was clothed in picnic style red and white gingham. And set with a caddy of napkins, hot sauce and salt.

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The menu without photos was hard to decipher. Luckily they had a banner on the wall illustrating their offerings. Photos of dishes with names and numbers, corresponding to the menu. I went back and forth between the two, undecided. The menu offered more description and the photos showed how they would be presented. It seemed like each dish came with tortilla, but how each differed was the way it was presented. Wrapped around the ingredients or stacked on the side of them.

I heard the microwave beep, but given the size of their operation and the traffic they get in, it is probably a necessary for them to use such an appliance. The father gave us our menus and the daughter took our order. A good call as he was not the most welcoming or the most friendliest front of house face. Although he did thank us for our business after we paid. The daughter on the other hand answered our questions and took our requests, before receding to the back to help prepare the plates in the kitchen. I assume her mother was the one running said kitchen and these were her Salvadorian and Mexican recipes. There was a hefty wait and confusion when it was time to serve a few entrees. Plates were brought to the wrong table, then removed and given second hand to their rightful orderer. We were the first to be seated, coming in before the four other parties that walked in after us, but were the second to be served. But seeing as it was a small family run operation, I was a lot more understanding.

This was one of the most extensive Mexican menus I have ever seen. 33 different options with variations in beef, chicken, pork, or vegetable. Some even had the option of baby shrimp or egg for protein. They had an all day breakfast selection with plenty of eggs and avocado options. And did sides like chips and nachos with yucca fries and even taquitos. For lunch there were several soups with vegetable or meat, and even entrees with cow’s feet, tripe, and gut. The rest were the familiar American-Mexican staples of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and wraps. And even the above, all deconstructed on dinner plates with El Salvadorian influences.

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They had horchata in two different varieties. Our server explained that the Salvadorian version was made with seeds, and the Mexican one was with rice. After confirming that both were sweet, I went with the former as I have never had Salvadorian horchata before. It looked grainy and the texture matched, like powered chocolate milk mix. Chalky and less sweet than the Mexican version. But you still got the cinnamon and sugar cereal milk flavour that you wanted.

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My partner got his usual “Enchilada” in beef. Three stuffed corn tortillas with sauce, melted cheese, and then topped with sour cream. This was the large size, the regular came with one less wrapped tortilla. It was also not a lot of food for what was considered a large plate. One more wrap than the regular for $2.25 more. They were severed with a side of lettuce salad, rice, and beans; with your choice of red, mole, green, or spicy sauce. My partner just asked for it to not be spicy, and it came bland in their red sauce. The entree was homey and filling, a good cheesy mix. But pretty standard in terms of expectation.

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I wanted more rice and meat so got the “Fajitas” in chicken with beans, rice, salad, and three tortillas. It was a build your own fajita affair with the tortillas separate, in a container kept warm by a cloth cozy. The chicken was cooked in a tomato sauce with cheese, onion, and peppers. It was hard and slightly over cooked, but served luke warm. The flavour was similar to Mexican, but different. I cannot place it, but it was almost sweeter?

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
My regret is not taking advantage of more of their Salvadorian dishes, as I am unfamiliar with the cuisine. Like the “pupusas” which were declared their house specialities. “Pupusa” is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of cheese, seasoned pork meat ground to a paste, refried beans; and queso, Central American cheese. They are reason enough to return and try something new. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

EL PULGARCITO
2522 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 1Z2
604-568-8591
El Pulgarcito Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant

We had the clever idea of heading to the revolving tower for a night cap. We knew we wouldn’t be able to get a table by the window with just having drinks, but didn’t think the bar/lounge would be as bad as it was.

It was after hours so there was no one stationed at the information desk at the lobby of Harbour Centre. No one directing traffic between the two elevators, so we helped ourselves in and up. In the glass front elevator you get a slow climbing view of the city growing before you as you ride higher and higher.

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The elevator stopped at their lookout level, one below the restaurant. To gain access to the view here you have to pay. Had I known, I might not have been so brazen as to snap a few shots, before being scolded for not knowing any better. The space gave a 360° look of Vancouver offering harbour views and majestic mountains. The space is available for rental. You could have this the be the backdrop to your next fundraising event, product launch, meeting, press conference, cocktail reception, and/or corporate party. Not only did they rent the space, but the equipment and supplies necessary as well. They also did guided tourist for those visiting who wanted more history and learning.

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I would say it would be a better deal just to eat at the restaurant and enjoy your view with a meal, however I have had the food before and you are truly paying just for the sights. $16.25 for a stop to the lookout, and all the time you want to walk around, taking it all in. Compared to $33 for the most modestly priced pasta entree to $65 for the most priciest lobster bowl. It don’t recommend dinner. If you have never been, the lookout is definitely worth the time and price. Check out my photos at dusk, as the peach coloured sun set pass the buildings.

So back in the elevator we went to the top. Right as we exited we are greeted by the hostess behind her booth. She took us to a table in the bar area. There we sat thumbing through the drink menu. No one came to greet us at our table, maybe we were just given space and time. After what felt like 10 minutes, we caught the eye of one of their bartenders, and he approach us soon after. He was nice enough and helpful enough when I asked for recommendations on drinks. He was also very truthful in saying that he actually doesn’t drink the cocktails he prepares.

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Our table wasn’t the greatest, close to the kitchen entrance, we were seated as far away from the rotating view as possible, in the area that did not rotate. If we could have looked out we would have seen the same lit buildings and the same patch of black sky for the duration of our stay. Therefore the ride up and the over priced cocktails therein were not worth the time and our money.

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You were however able to get up and walk around to take photos. Not all the tables were sat, so I easily took a few night time ones.

You expect better and are disappointed. Things did look better when you just focus on the window at the distance and don’t look anywhere else. I can’t believe it was that large of a difference between the dining area and the bar area. Where the former had white table cloths, reusable napkins, and candle lights. We were caught in the past.

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Looking around it felt like we were in the 80’s with over sized neon glow sticks attached to the ceiling. They desperately needed a renovation to bring the space into the modern era. The outdated furniture and its colours distracted in your peripheral view. The pattern of the floor was washed out and busy against the mismatching upholstery of all the chairs. It at least matched the burgundy of the table cloths used in the bar area. Based on this description my guest likened it to an unfinished Chinese restaurant. Especially when she saw the bamboo sprouting from the glass jar, filled with shiny blue fish tank pebbles. It, like everything else in the lounge area looked tacky and cheap. Maybe this was purposely done to have patrons considering an upgrade, and willing to pay the $30 plus dollars for a plate of food and a window seat.

This place has so much untapped potential. The back drop is truly one of a kind and one many would return again and again for. However the food just doesn’t beckons diners back. I mean I have been once and that was enough for me. And I mostly enjoyed it for the experience. If only they reinvented themselves and breathe new life into their menu and space. I could see the new energy it would bring and the additional traffic it would garner. I get that there probably needs to be a higher cost of goods, for the maintenance of such unique place. But the food needs to feel worth it and their plates didn’t present that and the setting didn’t show that they cared.

Especially when you visited the ladies room and the seat of the first toilet was stained in a urine yellow from all its use and peeling. It was such details that didn’t meet up with the expectation, the backdrop laid forth. This wasn’t part of the four star dining service you were expecting. More so for those here celebrating an occasion and dressed for fine dining.

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We sipped two of their signature drinks, named after the restaurant. Both were nice drinks, but nothing more special than how high in the air they were being mixed.

The “Top of Vancouver sunset” included vodka, raspberry liqueur, and pineapple juice. I could see the resemblance of a setting sun in the soft orangey red hue.

The “Top of Vancouver Caesar” was made with stoli vodka, clamato juice, tobacco, Worcester sauce, horseradish, and a pepperoni stick. The non pork eater asked for the stick on the side. I was more than happy to eat it where she could not.

 

Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I don’t think I have any other reason to return. I will recommend it once to those who have not been, and again to anyone visiting from out of town. But other than that, I deem them overpriced for a gimmick. I suggest visiting the lookout out instead and getting exactly what you paid for. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

TOP OF VANCOUVER
555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 4N6
604-669-2220
topofvancouver.com
Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sitar, Indian Restaurant

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I was accompanying a friend, she was hungry, I already ate, so the venue choice was all her’s. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from blogging at her expense.

We stood outside its brick wall and by its elephant shaped sandwich board, looking in. There were enough window for a clear view. We were still in contemplation. Such a large space and only one table sat? Was the place any good? Was this the cuisine she wanted to eat? Eventually it was a pedestrian passing by that cinched it for us. Without stopping his stride, he told us how good he thought the place was. We went in soon after.

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I cannot see myself coming all the way downtown for Indian food. And stopping at Gastown of all places for it. Downtown know for its night life and drink scene. Gastown, an area to visit for its pubs and craft kitchens. Where as I find the Indian cuisine homey and warm, like eating at a your mom’s house in sweats. Comfortable, comforting. Having to dress up and walk around, I don’t find downtown all that relaxing. I find the Main Street area and around Fraser more inviting, and where I would head to first for Indian cuisine. I instead would take advantage of what the Gastown area had instead and satisfy my cravings for Indian cuisine else where. But for those living in the neighbourhood, I can see this restaurant being very popular, especially with no other option like it around.

We were greeted at the door by what looked like a father and son team. They welcomed us into their history rich restaurant, leading us to a table by the window. We would be the first of many to be seated. No longer would those passing by think the place wasn’t good. The tables by the windows would soon be all sat, and the larger groups would fill up the rest of the first floor dining area.

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Like the exterior, the interior was red with brick walls. On them hung Indian tapestries and Indian art in bold colours. Scenes of women in elaborate saris and couples held together in tender embraces. The dining area opened up to two floors. A studio with vaulted ceilings and a skylight lined with stain glass. Similar glass was used in the lamp shades dangling in their bar/lounge area. Each table was draped with a maroon cloth and set with paper placemats. Like all the other decor elements it gave the place mixed messages. Casual yet formal, dressy dining meets 70’s bar.

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We had been drinking before and were planning to continue, so my other guest grabbed a high ball. She gambled on a gin and seven. We were surprised that her choice was listed as $7, but came to $10. We didn’t question it, assuming it was because she went for a top shelf liquor. The drink was a simple mix of gin and seven-up with the choice between tanqueray and beefeater. I on the other hand was iffy on getting a cocktail here, so instead took a break from drinking all together. You don’t go to such a restaurant to drink. My East Indian guest concurred. She stated that she has never seen many if any options for alcohol at traditional Indian restaurants, mostly to do with religious reasons.

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My hungry guest went for the vegetarian “Palak paneer”. It was made with fresh spinach and Indian cream cheese, served with a side of naan and rice. It didn’t look like much, but was chalk full of flavour. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of cream spinach for dinner. The white chunks of Indian cream cheese was more like tofu. Mild like tofu, with a similar crumbly texture. The whole lot was creamy like a spread and hearty like a meal. But with no frame of reference to judge off of, this was hard to review.

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The airy naan was the best part. Fluffy like a flaky savory pancake. But like the rice, it was more on the tasteless side. More for texture and to fill you up.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I don’t have any reason to not return, but as I have mentioned earlier, it will not be my first choice for Indian or a restaurant to stop at in Gastown. This one is for the locals. Having to drive into downtown Vancouver to reach it, isn’t convenient for me, especially with the lack of accessible parking. But as a long standing staple in the area since 1983, it is an impressive landmark. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

SITAR
8 Powell Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 1E7
604-687-0049
sitarrestaurant.net
Sitar Indian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

St Patrick’s Day at Doolin’s & Belmont Bar

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, drinking green beer amongst a rowdy crowd, in an actual Irish pub; has long been on my bucket list. I sought to cross it off this year. Although it wasn’t quite what I conceived and fantasized.

We planned to meet for happy hour, thinking it wouldn’t be too busy this early, and that we could take advantage of cheap food and drink prices. But despite it being a Thursday, it seemed like no one else was working or had classes. The city was out at 3pm. Irish bars already had bouncers, stanchioned lines, and were charging cover. Looking around the Granville entertainment district, other, non Irish bars were busy as well. They too took advantage of the day to sell green beer.

Our first choice had a shorter line with no cover, but they took in more people than capacity. Not everyone was guaranteed a seat, let alone a table. I wanted to eat so we went across the street to Irish option number two.

Already all green throughout the year, “Doolin’s” showed additional patty pride with a bouquet of green and white balloons, door men with green sweatbands and velvet rope. The line was longer here, and the cover shot up from $7-$10, however with a larger space and two floors we were more optimistic of a table. Little did we know, they would be inviting in more patrons than there were tables as well. Groups stood idle in the centre of the room, couples leaned on one another in corners, and majority of the guest were putting up post at the bar.

After two laps around the main floor we took advantage of the back bar and ordered a couple of drinks. But sadly there was no green beer to be had. They teased it on signs and suggested a “real beer” instead. With our regularly coloured beer we stood at wait by the live band. They were playing jaunty Irish jigs and drinking songs. I was envious that others knew the words and that I could not sing along.

The bar was full, heavily seated with bar stools and high tops, corner booths, and plenty of places to lean and huddle against. In the frenzy of finding a space to call our own I didn’t get a chance to soak in any of the decor. All I made note of is how explorative the place is, how all the patrons were able to get up and mingle in their respective claimed spots. Multiple bars and servers in green shirts paired with plaid mini skirts or leather kilts serving from them.

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There we were, standing and waiting for 4pm to hit. There was promise that the lower floor would open up. And that if we were patient we would be able to get a table and seat down there. We assumed the wait would be for the same bar, only to find out that it was their separate sister bar, “The Belmont”.

Our eagerness translated to us being the first ones down. We got to see the live band do a practice set and the serving staff having their pre-shift rally. We choose a booth at the back, with a view of all the high top tables and benches before us. The walls were lit in green lights and decorated with glittery shamrocks, helium filled balloons, and banners wishing drinkers luck.

They had St. Patrick’s Day wearables for those who lacked green or wanted a little more. Mardi Gras beads, blinking shamrock pins, clovers on headbands, and green leis. We helped ourselves to a few, utilizing them in our photo op.

Guinness, the Irish beer brand took advantage of the people’s want for free merch, and the free advertising it provided them. Their reps gave out their own branded novelty wearable. Both miniature and oversized pint shaped hats and green fitted tees with their names on it. I didn’t need one, but like all the others wanted them because their were seasonal, fun, and free.

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Without the tinge of green and dollar store decorations, it was a pretty classy looking bar. Brick columns, cushioned walls, horseshoe shaped booths, and a stage for live music. I have been in on nights where they have performers playing and patrons dancing, and it is quite the space to enjoy both in.

Their bar was most impressive, if I were to come on a normal night, this is where I would like to be seated. Beveled decorative counters, sculpted edges, and leather seats with copper detailing. Behind the shadow of the stone archway this was an impressive historic 1930’s looking bar.

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The entire room quickly filled with bodies, laughter, and plenty of drinking. This must be their “Christmas”, they would not doubt be making a killing tonight in drink sales. My hats went off to the staff and the management. This was a tight ship that they were running. Tables wanting non stop beverages, round after round. All the many bodied moving about, it was no doubt hard to keep track of them all. Not to mention the need to watch out for clumsy drinkers bumping into you and knocking your tray of multiple drinks. I watched our server maneuver around the floor like a performer, she tipped toed and twirled, guiding customers out of her path like the lead in a dance. Their day was just beginning, it would only get busier as the patrons got more boisterous with liquid courage. We left well before that.

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I was still sore about not getting green beer so settled for a pint of Guinness, I guess their branding reminders worked. Especially as I also got some Guinness in my entree.

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The “Guinness beef pie” was a hearty braised chunk with sautéed mushrooms in Guinness stout; under a flaky pastry with a side of seasonal vegetables and garlic mash. It wasn’t so much a pie, but a disc of buttery pastry covering a dish of meat and gravy. It was a little one tone and strong, but helped along by the side of mash potatoes and grilled vegetables. Although I would have preferred the carrot and some corn and peas going straight into the stew just to balance the heavier meat and gravy. Similarly the pastry helped to balance things like a side of toast.

But before we could eat we had to get our hands on some utensils. It was hard to attract anyone’s attention in the crowd of raised hands. So after a few failed gestures, I got up to search for a set or two. I ended up at the bar helping myself to a fork and knife bound by a folded napkin. I tried to ask for the ability to take, but was unable to draw the eyes of anyone behind the bar. They were very content on keeping their heads down, towards their hands instead of up and meeting the faces of anyone. Though since it was super busy, I totally understood, and didn’t expect much or anything otherwise. Once again I was already very impressed by their multitasking and ability to hold composure. And reflecting on it now, I would be even more impressed to see them still as chipper and on the ball at night’s end.

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My guest got the “chicken strips and fries”. House made savoury buttermilk marinaded chicken strips with a side of fries, vegetable sticks, and a honey mustard dip. This one was pretty standard bar fare. Crispy white meat chicken dipped into mustard with a break of chewy potato fries and crispy carrot and celery sticks.

I wanted to stay longer, to be rowdy far into the night. I wanted to drink, dance, and party with like minds. However the stars didn’t align for my plans. I ran into too many people I knew, and instead of reminiscing I decided to run. It’s only fun to get messy when there are no witnesses around to document or remember it. I wouldn’t get that anonymity in this crowd of green and faces I knew. So we left for the night and didn’t engage in any more St. Patrick’s Day festivities. We didn’t feel like waiting in any more lines or paying more cover for a cramped shoulder to shoulder setting.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Irish pubs are a must on this day and what better a one, than one with two floors and plenty of people to drink and be merry with. I would definitely be repeating this again next year. Maybe I will even request the day off work and get in an earlier start, to avoid lines, cover, and a wait. Thus ensuring we get a table, service, and the comfort we wanted in a booth. Until next year, don’t deny your cravings on St. Patrick’s Day!

 

DOOLINS IRISH PUB
654 Nelson Street, Vancouver BC
604-605-4343
doolins.ca
Doolin's Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

BELMONT BAR
1006 Granville Street, Vancouver BC
604-605-4340
belmontbar.com
Belmont Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Steak & BJ Day at Gotham’s

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When you have been in a committed relationship long enough, you seek out events and occasions to celebrate, and make a special day out of any day. After Valentine’s Day comes “Steak and BJ day”. Basically a tongue and cheek (excuse the pun) way to say the male equivalent of valentines. Men lavish women with romance and gifts on February 14, and in return women give them a day the way they like it: apparently to the point and direct. There is already something similar in Japan. In Japan, for Valentine’s women treat men, then men reciprocate on “White Day”, a month later, in like fashion. A lot more delicate and polite of a name than the North American version.

It was in the name, so we had to go for steak. My partner has yet to try the ones at “Gotham” so thought it as good of a place as any for such an occasion.

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The restaurant is very regal looking. He deemed it, “on another level” of prestigious with its crisp linens, dim lights, and vaulted ceiling. It was the detailing that made me feeling little in this rich space. Chestnut on wood panels, luscious red booths of velvet, ceiling to floor painting in breathy tones, and white table cloths paired with cloth napkins folded at precision points.

Our server was dressed in a white waist coat, like a doctor. He looked very dapper and was just as impressive as the setting. I appreciated that he didn’t discriminate and treat us like we could afford a round for the whole place. He didn’t assume that we weren’t interested in the bin’s list, and even tried to sell us on it. This was a list of top shelf liquors, at the bottom of their bottles. They were limited time only features, a great way to taste something you might not otherwise get the chance to, at a discounted price. Although it was still fairly pricy in the opinion of my pocket book.

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We were given our time to peruse the menu and weigh our options. They had more than just steak available, but you don’t get anything other than some prime cuts of beef from a steakhouse, so we didn’t bother looking at anything else. Each steak was priced on its own, and if you wanted sides with it, they would be extra.

Similarly was bread situation. They no longer passed out complimentary baskets of bread before your meal. It was explained that, not everyone wanted or ate from it and therefore a lot of it went to waste. We were given the option to order cheese toast or onion loaf as a side in its replacement. We declined, preferring to use the money towards sides for our main.

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We got the side of “onion rings” to start like an appy. Our proper server thought it was a good idea and wondered why more people didn’t do the same. Sadly the onion rings were just okay. I don’t know why I thought onion rings at such a venue would be better than rings from a restaurant with a dedicated fry cook. They were over priced for 7 rings. Over a $1 for each, and it didn’t even taste any better or look any different from the ones you can get from any concession stand, at a fraction of the price. In fact we wished for more breeding and a longer fry. The batter was light, but we preferred it chunkier, and crispier. Ideally a greater batter to onion ratio, so you can’t taste the onion or feel it’s waxy slimy texture between our teeth. $11 was too much to pay for this.

I don’t typically list the prices for what I have, unless it’s ridiculously cheap or outrageously expensive. I believe that you pay for what you get and that quality comes at a cost. If you want a delicious meal, there needs to be an investment in the ingredients and in those who prepare and serve it to you. So there is no point to argue over price, it is there for a reason and you can either take it or leave it. However I would like to point it out here for value and comparison purposes between other upscale steak houses. A good contrast between other who steak places that boast similar quality of cut and level of service.

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I got the “Bone in rib eye steak” at 20oz for $66. For 12oz more I would have to pay $93. I considered it, but no one needs that much meat. I remembered not being able to finish a 26oz steak, although that was all meat. This steak was more fat than meat, 1/3 of it was gristle that even I couldn’t work my way through. Although scraped aside, the fat was necessary to get the rest of the cut as tender and luscious as it was. The pieces in the centre that were cooked perfectly pink were amazing. It melted in your mouth. This definitely isn’t an every day steak in cholesterol and price, but a great one for an occasional indulgence.

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My partner prefers his meats lean so went with the “Filet mignon” at 14oz for $75. Their petit size at 8oz went for $50. I encouraged him to go for the larger size as it never looks like much. However I would be wrong. The steak was so thick and so solid that he was quick to full and unable to finish. The cut was very lean as promised, in hindsight 8oz would have been perfect. The sides with its charred grill and coarse seasonings were the best bites with its saltiness. The meat as a whole was a nice piece, done medium rare. There was no sinew or fat in this steak, where as I was collecting a mound of it on my plate. However mine was more tender than his, thanks to the fat and the meat by the bone.

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The sides came on literal side plates, generous portions with enough to feed more than two. Great to see as the potatoes were $8 and the asparagus was $14. “Baked Idaho mashed” and “Fresh asparagus”. Both were fairly standard. They didn’t have much flavour on their own, they were true sides. They were a great way to change the taste and dilute the mains a little. I advise taking a bite of steak and then one of both the sides.

As an added touch, when we got the bill, our server offered to get us a cab or to get our car pulled around by the valet. None of which we needed, but was nice of him to offer and ask.

My only complaint, was the draft that wafted in each time the front door opened, we were left to freeze from the breeze. And the distance from the front of house dining area to the washrooms. The restaurant was huge, with several levels and sectioned off rooms. Though from each corner and wherever you sat, it still required a cascading climb down a spiralling staircase to reach their facilities. The washrooms were only convenient for the private dining rooms in the basement.

And that was us having steak for dinner… I will leave it at just that.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Many steak options in the city, and this is one of the good ones. A great one for a work night out or a place to impress a date at. Come prepared to pay for what you get. I advise only having steak. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

GOTHAM’S STEAKHOUSE
615 Seymour St, Vancouver BC, V6B 3K3
604-605-8282
gothamsteakhouse.com
Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

IKEA, bulk candy

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The “IKEA” in Coquitlam has increased their food prices. Where it was once $5.99 for 15 meatballs it is now $6.99 for 10. The food was never that good, but you kept going back for more because you appreciated the value, and the distance a dollar brought you. So having learned this, we couldn’t will ourselves back to their cafeteria knowing we once paid less and got more for what little they were willing to give now.

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So instead, this visit we took advantage of their new bulk candy bins. This was a new feature in their grocery section. A wall of plastic bins holding over 48 different types of Swedish gummies, chocolates, liquorice, and hard candies. It’s the same concept as any bulk shopping. You self serve with a scoop and bag, picking and choosing only that which you want. But here you can mix and match as they all have the same price: $1.99 per pound. And no need to record the separate bin numbers. The only challenge was picking between them all. A took a good 20 minutes cataloging all that they had and what I would want. I was unfamiliar with Swedish candy, but just judging them based on looks was pretty tempting.

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Octopus shaped liquorice, fried egg shaped gummies, cola bottles and squishy hearts. A yard long snake, a spool of rainbow rope, green frogs, and primary coloured mice. Crispy chocolate balls, harden marshmallow cubes, gummies shaped like race cars, and social media themed candy. Just to name a few. I was familiar with most of them, as I have visited “Karameller”, the Swedish candy store operating in Yaletown. They carried all the same candies before me now, but and much more. Their collection was double this one as well. But you couldn’t beat the price here.

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To pay you first weigh, using the self serve scale to your right. You place your bulging paper bag on the scale and push a button. The weight is recorded and it is priced based on it. A label prints out for you to stick on your bag. I used mine to seal it in the process. You then take it all to their grocery till to pay.

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Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
It was fun to sort through the candy and pop random ones into your mouth. A progress of tasting and trying to see what you liked and didn’t. I spat out a few and only bit into some. For the most part they all were fairly tasty, but not all that fresh. Most required excessive chewing, with plenty of bits getting stuck in the cracks of your molars. Good candy at a decent price, but you get what you pay for. Great for a party mix, but otherwise nothing I would go back for. If I am going to eat empty calories it will be with candies that I enjoy a lot more. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

IKEA COQUITLAM
1000 Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam BC, V3K 3T5
1-866-866-4532
ikea.com
IKEA Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Doolami

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With all the photos popping on to my online feed, this one has long been on my list. I read foodies and food bloggers alike declaring that their sago and mango ice the best to hit the block. Ironically we tried neither. Instead, we were craving durian and knew they offered it here, so that was reason enough for us to go.

Late on a Friday night we drove up to a line. A wait list hung by the door, 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes was a decent amount of time to wait, however, we already drove across town for this, we weren’t turning back now.

You must love the smell of durian, it engulfs you upon entry. It was the reason why we were here in the first place, so we were thrilled. But for those unfamiliar with the pungent fruit, I can only imagine their reaction and repulsion, having to turn around 360.

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There wasn’t many tables so I understand the wait. Several two tops with the ability to push them together to seat more. Waxy white tables with white scoop-back chairs. We were eventually given a seat on the cushioned bench by the wall. With a backdrop of red behind us and a lengthy cubby hole still decorated for Christmas. Red and green tinsel, hanging red baubles, miniature frosted trees, and snowmen bundled up for the winter. There was a similar theme decorating the washroom, with garland strung up over the mirror.

Across us, on the other wall was a series of mirrors. They created the illusion of depth in the narrow space, reflecting the light from the unwatched flatscreen and the drops of bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

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On their working counter, towards the back of the restaurant was a machine that enabled you to print out photos of yourself, if you have WeChat. I attempted to download the app using their wifi, but no luck. Those who succeeded had the option to add their photos on to “Doolami’s” real world social media gallery.

The wait we had allowed us to go through their entire menu in complete thoroughness. For both of us, we were visualizing the tastes of our childhood desserts. With each page we flipped, we reminisced.

They had tropical and classic homemade ice creams server in waffle bowls or take home pints. Each flavour is made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives, sweeteners, additives, or colouring. I regretted not taking a pint home of durian. They also had mango, matcha, blueberry lavender, vanilla earl grey, or Godiva chocolate available. We passed on two scoops of ice cream in the waffle bowl for something we couldn’t prepare ourselves.

Their most popular item was their “Snow ice”. A pile of ice shaved as fluffy as snow, topped with tropical fruit. It is essentially is the Asian version of a snow cone flavoured with fruit and sweetened with condense milk. The prices were reflected of the fruit they imported to use in each. They stressed that you were definitely getting what you pay for, by listing where they fly the fruit in from. Mangoes flown in, by air from the Philippines and/or Australia caused the price to fluctuate. Market price has their “Mango snow ice” and “Lychee snow ice” at $15.99, pretty steep for fruit and frozen water. Though it was the “Golden dragon fruit snow ice” that cost the most. $20.99, as they used jumbo, super sweet dragon fruit from Ecuador. In comparison, the papaya version was decently priced at $10.99. Jet fresh, tree ripened papaya from Hawaii. We passed on these for their price, deciding to get more bang for our buck on other items.

Like their sago, the reason why we came in the first place. “Sago” is a starch extracted from various tropical palm stems. It is often made into flour and in this case, then produced commercially in to tiny pearl-like spheres. It is similar to tapioca pudding in its texture and common preparation.

Their mango was the one everyone online was raving about, and the one that won all the awards. But we were here for durian and since we didn’t get it in the ice cream, this was our own choice left.

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The “Durian sago” tasted true to our memory of durian. Sweet and creamy, with its unique after note. It really is an acquired taste and those who love it, get cravings for it, like we did. And those who hate it, can’t even stand being in the same room with any of it. They often describe the stench of durian comparable to dirty socks. We however loved the fruit and its role in the pudding-like dessert. We even concluded that they must have used “D24” durian. “D24” is the designation of a premium species of durian, it is often the most fragrant and the most flavourful. Together with the sago, this was a fresh and foamy dessert, like an airy moussed mixed with a milky cream. The sago pearls offering a fun texture to chew through. As good as it was, we felt like it was missing an element to being a full dessert. Something crunchy or starchy like a side of sweet bread or a slice of plain cake. Overall, the flavour was so strong and so unique, that I suggest saving it for last, like we did.

Their house special grass jelly and red bean soup is available both hot and cold. I veto-ed the more common red bean soup and we asked the server if the grass jelly was better hot or cold. He suggested cold, and in hind sight I wish we went hot for more of a soupy dessert.

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The “House special grass jelly” came with handmade taro balls, matcha balls, red beans, lotus seeds, and peanuts. The dish was literally the assembly of all the above bland ingredients on a plate, like a salad. And like a salad, in needed dressing for flavour. We asked for some condense milk, to help transition it better into the realm of desserts. The only server, was kind enough to give us free reign over one of their condense milk squeeze bottles. I went crazy with my squeezing and still felt like I was missing some sweetness in this. The balls were similar to Mocchi but harder, chalkier, and not as enjoyable. If you didn’t first see their colour, you couldn’t tell one ball and its flavour from the other. The peanuts and red bean were worst. Both were sandy and the peanuts soggy. I have never had cooked peanuts like this before and I wouldn’t want to again. It just breaks apart in residual pieces in your mouth. It was best taking a bite of everything at once, as it brought things together. I couldn’t imagine this dessert hot, but probably better than cold cooked peanuts with condense milk.

The most interesting dessert was their black sesame and purple taro paste. It was liquified colour, similar to a pudding, but you sipped like soup. Though neither of us grew up with this so we passed on it for some rice balls instead.

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The “Glutinous rice balls with peanuts and sesame” was our favourite. It hit the childhood nail on the head with its gummy centre covered in a gritty enjoyable shell of sugar and ground up peanut and sesame sand. It got caught in between your teeth, but the hassle of eating it, was worth it. Six balls in one order was not enough.

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The last item we got was not on the menu. My super sleuthing online showed us that it was not listed, but something you could request for. I did this by showing our server the photo on my phone. It was creamy milky jello solidified in a cored papaya, then cut down to bite size pieces. It looked better than it tasted. I expected more flavour and more sweetness from the tofu-like jello, to offset the mild start of the papaya.

Often, all my photo taking for this blog leads to stares. Looks as I strive to get the best photo I can with my iPhone 6. I am willing to stand above my table and make my guests shine their phone’s flashlight over my plates. All my invitees know to not touch their food until I have had my way with it first, and that is often plenty of photos in different angles. Often dozens of shots snapped of just one dish, which I later go home to dwindle down to the perfect one for this post. And today I was going over and beyond to capture the perfect shot to win “Doolami’s” photo contest, which I did not. The rules were to take a photo and post it on Instagram tagging them. If they repost it you win a free serving of what was depicted in your winning photo. Guess I was ambitious when I tagged them in a photo with all four of the dishes we ordered.

Either way all this snapping caught the attention of our neighbour. A young man, dining by himself, who taught himself clever to sneak a photo of me taking my photos. He did this with his phone at his side, barely tilting his body towards me. From the corner of my eye I called him out on it. I started out friendly, though not letting him get much of a word in.

I asked him if he took a photo of me, he was truthful. I asked him why and what was he going to use it for. He couldn’t reply. So I filled it in for him. I stated had he simply asked for a photo, I would have posed for him. Even in my awkward bent knee, head bowed, and shoulder slumped unflattering profile. But to take a photo with the purpose of making fun of me publicly, I told him it wasn’t very nice. I explained that I take photos for my food blog and that I take my writing seriously. So for him to do what he plans on to mock me, would be very disrespectful. I asked him to delete the photo and watched him do it. I even went so far to ask that he scroll through his album so that I could confirm the image of me was indeed gone. Later I would realize it would still be in his “deleted” folder. I can only hope my words struck something in him and that he is a respectful young man.

After this interaction, we went about finishing our desserts without any further contact or acknowledgement of what hadtranspired. Though before he left, I did give him my blog card to visit my site. Once again I hope he heard my words, as what I shared meant something to me.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
We were able to narrow down what we wanted to try to five items, which still left us wanting many more. These were sweets made with ingredients I have yet to find in abundance anywhere else in Vancouver. Unique flavours worthy of trying once. Though given its location and that it is not the most convenient of drives, I do not see myself returning often for that very reason. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

DOOLAMI
8030 Granville Street, Vancouver BC
778-737-7123
Doolami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DVC Ventures Inc.

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BC’s only indoor gun range.

This was on my guest’s bucket list. I haven’t been to the gun range in a while, since the first time I got rear ended, and the additional times careless drivers struck my vehicle. In short, years ago. So I thought it was a good chance now to see how I faired with a handgun. Sadly my fear of pain and my now weak muscles had me wavering from the target. But we’ll get more in to that later.

The drive to the shooting range is to the middle of no where, an industrial area, where this was the only thing open.

We choose this as our Friday night destination, as it is ladies night at the range. Women don’t have to pay the handling fee, just the bullets they want to shoot and the target they want to shoot at. This made “DVC” a great spot for date nights, and the reason why so many couples were in tonight. We came in at 6pm, just missing the evening after dinner rush.

You are buzzed in and greeted by their shop dog. A beast of a creature and as friendly as he was big. He rested his head on the laps of patrons waiting, and rubbed his head against you signalling for a pet or scratch behind the ear.

Behind the counter a clerk walks you through the process. You sign their waiver, agreeing to the terms of their range. You then hand over a piece of ID to be returned after you pay, after you have shot. Your group or pairing is given a number, that will later be called when your turn is up.

They didn’t have a menu of guns to choose from, but a showcase of pistols and a rack of rifles to pick from visually. All the 9mm, .40C, .45ACP, and .50 AE were grouped together, and marked by an etched piece of glass, kept under lock and key. The rifles were propped up by the butts of their stocks and required an explanation from the clerk.

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You pay for what you shoot. The weapon chosen decides what you shoot. The larger the caliber, the larger the price. All the different bullets were glued to an acrylic in example and their prices listed on the television screen centring the counter.

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We choose a 9mm to warm up with. A plastic one, upon the clerk’s suggestion. This after my guest considered thoughtfully, “What gun does James Bond (Ian Flemming’s suave and fictional super spy) use?” But settled for what does the VPD (Vancouver Police Department) use.

His rifle choices were based on his experience in “Call of Duty” (a first person shooter, video game franchise). “I have done it in the game and would likely do it in real life”, was his thinking. Neither of us could recall their names, but I have photos of them below.

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Next we were able to choose the target we wanted. They had the basic silhouette of a human, and fun ones including double pistol wielding Hello Kitty and a zombie minion with a lollipop. My guest choose the zombie target as it was bigger. I choose the storm trooper cause I thought it was cool, but later worried about not being able to hit my mark because it was a much smaller target. However we ended up using the handgun rounds on the zombie and the precision rifles on the storm trooper, based on our range guide’s assumptions.

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We were directed to take a seat and wait for our group to be called up by number to the counter. A few groups gathered together in their training room. A small closet that had a makeshift range set up. Targets in frames and guns with fake bullets to be used as example. And in the corner was a series of Star Wars characters for fun. Everyone needs to attend the safety and how to tutorial that begins each round of shooting. One of their employees explains how to load, hold, and shoot the gun. In the past I remembered them teaching you how to load the magazines here as well. However now your gun range guide does this work for you. Good thing, as I remembered not having the strength to load bullets into the magazine myself, and relied on the staff anyways.

The full magazine goes into to handle of the gun. You cock it by lifting then pulling the top of the pistol. Wielding it with one thumb under the other, standing feet shoulder width apart. Their main rule is to always keep the barrel of your gun pointed down the range and towards your target. Your pointer finger doesn’t touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Aiming is done by aligning the sight at either ends of the pistol. Then slowly pull down at the trigger until the gun goes off. It may happen that a stray shell casing hits you in the face or body. If that happens you don’t panic as it is only hot for a split second. If you get a stray down your shirt, you put your weapon down before retrieving it. Our instructor used humour to make the weight of the messaging stick. You can’t tilt your gun and shoot it gangster style and don’t look down the barrel of it either.

Each group is assigned their own range guide. He greets you and gets you to equip yourself with protective eyewear and earwear before you enter the range. I brought up not being able to keep the goggles on as I lack the noise bridge to do so. He suggested and was right, that after I put on the earphones, they would help secure the goggles in place. They ended up hovering before my eyes and not really resting on my face.

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When geared up, our guide led us to our own lane, in a room of loud pops in the air and littered casings on the floor. We were stationed at one of many isles separated by carpeted dividers and a waist height counter. Our range guide set up as we took it all in. He stapled our target of choice to a piece of cardboard; and pushing a button, it flittered out into the range, stopping half way. This was for our 9mm. The target for the rifles went back, double the distance.

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Our instructor then took our chosen rentals out of his carrying bag and rested them on the counter. We took turns firing and taking photos and videos of one another in commemoration. In between, our guide loaded our magazines and steered our experience towards and fun and safe one. He was also there for advice, and was more than willing to give me tips when I asked. After the frustration of failed shots I sought out his help. He told me to relax and just let the recoil happen instead of tensing up to fight it. He also suggested to ease into the trigger, to gingerly push down and let the shot fire as it will. My issue was aiming then dropping my hand a little from fatigue and fear of the recoil. Something that takes more than a clip to over come.

The rifles were no easier for me. Less bullets and fewer shots per magazine, but a heavier weapon and the need for additional upper body strength, that I did not possess. The stump of the rifle rests against your chest. In an awkward upper body lunge you round your back to get your eye as close to the sight as possible. It is quite an unnatural pose, I don’t know how professional shooters and media characters make it look so easy. I never got the hang of it.

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Our first rifle had crosshairs to help us align our shot.

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The second rifle came with a laser pointer scope. It was just as we imagined in the video games and just as fun.

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After we spent our rounds we were given the option to add on some more. We passed and were directed to the exit with our hole ridden targets as souvenirs.

We exited back to the lobby to discard our safety gear and reclaim our identification. Our bill came to a total of just over $100, and that is without me having to pay the drop in fee.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
There is no other recreation like it in the city. The ability to wield and fire an armed weapon without a licence, in a safe environment. A safe place where you can also take photos of your adventure to impress your friends with. Overall, this is a great activity to set yourself apart on a date, a great way to try something new, and a fun way to let out some steam.

 

DVC
Unit #201-1655 Broadway Street, Port Coquitlam BC, V3C 2M7
604-941-6933
vancouvergunrange.ca

Sarlo’s Awesome Eatry

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At Sarlo’s nothing ever gets done small, it’s a go big or go home sort of operation. Any one can make a sandwich, or braised some meat. Sarlo makes enough to feed an army, or in the case a band of food lovers and those who photograph food for pleasure. This is my fourth visit to his home spun operation, where the camera eats first and you roll up your shelves in preparation of a feast.

This was a passionate hobby chef, his basement, a handful of friends, and extravagance beyond compare.

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On tonight’s menu was a whole pig on the spit. However the weather was not permitting and an outdoor barbecue over hot coal turned into a restaurant order for a whole cooked pig. Since the pig was ready, so we set to making the sides.

The deep fry station was set up in the backyard. Those who fry know that splatter is a pain to clean. A deep pot and tonnes of oil to fill it, set to boil over electric heat.

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Bricks of tofu cut into cubes, then dusted with spices, were dropped into oil first. Once they bubbled up to the surface they were fished out and left to dry. Before serving they were tossed with sliced up chillies and jalapeños.

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Next in to the backyard fryer went some cauliflower florets. They went in without batter and came out a light brown crisp. They were tossed with salt, paprika, and freshly chopped cilantro before serving.

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The oil was removed and the green beans were pan fried in batches. This is the most green beans I have ever seen gathered together.

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Oil, garlic, salt, and soy. They came out perfectly coated and cooked to a crisp.

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Meanwhile, a ginger and green onion oil was prepared, to enjoy with the rice. There was enough steamed rice in between two rice cookers for everyone to go back for seconds. And plenty of food to feed the lot of us.

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With all the sides done, the main attraction could begin. Over 15 individuals gathered around the counter using phones and cameras to capture the pig’s before and after, from whole hog to chunky bites.

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The carving of the pig was set to the backdrop of Japan’s iron chef theme. Sarlo skillfully yielded his clever and with a few hacks took the pig down to sections, then slices, then pieces.

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I was cheeky and impatience, grabbing an entire rib to chew through with my side of beans and rice. The tofu and cauliflower appetizers didn’t make it to the main course. It doesn’t long for a group our size to dwindle dishes down to none.

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Another meal down, looking forward to the next one; and a redemption of the roasting of a whole pig in the backyard, if weather permitting.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
As this is an invitation to his home, most events are private and by the discretion of Sarlo. Though if he knows you, he welcomes you and a plus one whole heartedly. He has met a few of us on online, through Facebook and Instagram, highlighting delicious food. What a great way to get strangers together and give them an opportunity to make something delicious. It is so hard to make friends as adults, but at Sarlo’s it was organic; like many of his ingredients. People coming together to talk about food, to cook food, to take photos of food, and to eat food. I truly thank him for such a unique experience, to be given the chance to be in the presence of those with like interests. I never deny my cravings when with Sarlo.

 

SARLO’S AWESOME EATRY

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