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Category: juice Page 1 of 3

Weekend Tea

A new tea and juice shop has opened up on Kingsway, another beverage solution to help keep you cool this summer. Located by Metrotown, you might miss their shop if you don’t know what you are looking for. An all glass exterior with the word “weekend” running across the top, reminding you of what you are waiting for.

Inside, is an oasis with faux greens grafted on to the wall. They hung and dangled, surrounding their logo for the perfect backdrop. Before it, several chairs and small tables are available for seating.

You order at the counter, reading off the straightforward menu behind it. For those who order visually, they also have photos of drinks and their names on surrounding their till.

The following are what we tried, based on the clerk’s suggestions. Their specialty is their fruit based teas so we were sure to try the “Lychee Tea”, that came highly recommend. Plus, it isn’t often that you come across lychee juice on a menu, even if it is blended with tea. There are bits of lychee and jelly within, offering plenty to to chew through. It was not too sweet, serving as a great thirst quencher.

Another one of their specialties is their yogurt drink. We tried both the “Honeydew yogurt” and “Grape yogurt”. You definitely want to mix this one up so you get an even blend of the slush and yogurt, with jelly bits in each sip. The fruit flavours come through and you get a bit of creaminess to it from the dairy.

The “Zang mango” is mango jam, mango chunks, fresh milk, and cheese foam. Another one you mix up, in order to get the intended flavour. Sweet fruit and salty cheese works in this drinkable dessert.

And I got the “Zang pearl milk”, their take on the popular brown sugar trend that doubles the calories and sugar of the drink. Great the first few sips, but it is a flavour that wares out quick.

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.
A solid option for drinks and a place to chat at in the area.
Don’t deny your cravings.

WEEKEND TEA
#101-5021, Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4A5
(604) 620-1315
weekendtea.com

Juice Truck- Steveston

Today we were at the “Juice Truck” in Steveston, here to try their two limited edition, Chinese New Year drinks. Originally our plan was to visit them much sooner, more in time with this year’s lunar new year festivities; however Vancouver’s sudden snow fall had us doing otherwise. But with clearer weather and a cold sunny day, this was the perfect time to venture out to Richmond for a healthy drink and some good fortune snacks. And although the drinks are no longer available at the time of this post, the other lunch and snacks options that we tried are; and they are worth blogging about.

The “Juice Truck” started off as a roaming vehicle, which has now branched out to 6 different locations serving the lower mainland. They are best known for their use of raw ingredients in their unpasteurized drinks. But they also offer salads, lunch bowls, and a collection of sweet treats and hearty snacks that are all healthy and fresh. They are also 100% vegetarian, vegan friendly, and gluten free.

The “Golden Dragon Smoothie” was made to order. It had a deep magenta hue thanks to its feature of pink dragonfruit. The exotic fruit stood out amongst the blend of strawberry, orange, banana, and coconut water. You also got a warming ginger after-note to it.

The “Lucky Red Juice” was pre-pressed and travel ready in mini purse-sized bottles. It had a blend of beets, mandarin oranges, strawberries, pear, and ginger. Not only did this have a fun name, but a fun look too. Red from the beets and for good fortune, it is predominantly what you tasted. Though the collection of fruits lent their sweetness to the mix, and therefore making each sip a much less beet focused one.

“The Almost Poke Bowl” is 100% vegan with “ahimi”. “Ahimi®” is Ahi without the tuna, made from tomatoes and a few simple ingredients. So believable as an animal product that I offered my vegetarian friend a bite and she spat it out believing in its meat-like texture. Not to mention all the ingredients and the creamy sauce used had it tasting like your run of the mill, seafood clad, poke bowl; but with a whole lot more greens. Sesame marinated Ahimi (vegan), romaine hearts, curly kale, radicchio, quinoa, yams, edamame, carrots, pickled ginger, wasabi peas, crispy onions, and crispy nori; all self coated in a creamy wasabi dressing. There is so much going on here to keep you interested from first bite to last. Tangy beets, crispy peppers, fresh edamame beans, nice chewy smoked tofu, and creamy sweet potato chunks; which were my favourite.

My guests loved her “Macro Bowl”, she could see herself eating this everyday, if not for the price. Although reasonable at $14.00, a little steep for every day eating. The way they marinated the tomato had it tasting and looking like pieces of smoked salmon. They were the highlight that had you not missing meat. Kale, spinach, pea shoots, quinoa, smoked tofu, edamame, red pepper, carrot, baked yams, pickled red cabbage, and roasted maple sirarcha cashews; all coated in a citrus sesame dressing.

The “Moroccan Cauliflower bowl” was a smaller serving, more like a side. It was punchy, and full of nutty flavour. Rich with warming spices. My favourite were the sweet apricots, which were a nice surprise to happen upon. Roasted cauliflower, sriracha chickpeas, apricots, toasted coconut, fresh mint, cherry tomatoes, hemp hazelnut dukkah, and a smokey tahini dressing.

We also got a chance to try a few of their bars and chocolates.
“Cacao Coconut Bar”, walnuts with pecans, cacao, coconut meat, coconut flakes, raisins, and maple syrup.
“Protein Ball”, dates , almond butter, carob, maple syrup, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and coconut ribbon.
“The green energy bar” is eye catching with its bold colouring. Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut butter, bee pollen, cacao powder, vanilla, mint, and goji berries. My guest could of sworn their was some goat cheese in this, given the sharp tangy flavour she kept coming across.
She was really keen on the “almond chocolate cup” and the “peanut butter cup”. She found both so creamy that they melted in her mouth. “Almond chocolate cup” had almond butter, maple syrup, extra virgin coconut oil, cacao powder, almond meal, coconut sugar, and Himalayan sea salt. And the “Peanut Butter Cup”, peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

All their foodstuffs travel well so you can either take it to go or eat in. There is plenty of seating within, choose your own seat across bleach wood benches and white chairs.

They also have a mini grocery store of sorts with loose leaf teas, nutritional supplements, rice crackers, and healthy candies for sale. Along with many bottles of their cold press juices ready to go.

But my favourite thing about their space is their single stalled toilet with avocado print wallpapering.

 

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.
Given how great the two bowls we tried were, I am pretty keen on returning to give their “Jackfruit taco bowl” or their spring roll with marinated tofu a try. And given the numerous locations, I need not just venture all the way out to Steveston to do so. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

JUICE TRUCK
12151 First Ave, Richmond, BC V7E 3M1
604-285-5404
thejuicetruck.ca

Edge Yuandian tea and juice bar

Looking for an after dinner dessert option, my guest suggested the newly opened bubble tea place “Edge Yuandian tea and juice bar”. Truth be told, she sold me by describing its decor.

With all the other places for bubble tea in Vancouver you have to find a way to stand out, and here, “Edge” certainly has… or should I say, they have an “edge” in the game. Their pink cafe screams Instagram worthy, with a great selfie being reason enough to visit.

A minimalist approach on furnishings, but where they shine is in their decoration. One pink wall featured a collection of blown glass vases, empty and hung in disarray; they looked like bubbles coming from out of the wall.

The other had pastel rainbow cotton tuffs, clouds in this candy sweet wonderland. We were able to take our photos uninterrupted, by coming early and avoiding the after dinner crowd. As the only bubble tea game in the area for miles around, I can imagine them the popular kid on the block. And seeing this installation live I can definitely recommend coming down to see it in person.

As for the drinks, I didn’t find them especially different from anything or anywhere else, although the pearls were solid. My lactose allergic friend got one of their black teas with coconut milk and the traditional tapioca pearls. It was as expected, overwhelming with the distinct flavour of coconut. She ordered it with less ice and less sugar, opting for the ability to customize her drink further.

I had the Matcha milk with fresh strawberry and pearls. This, after a long agonizing decision on what to get. They had a few interesting sounding combinations to consider. But ultimately I made my choice based on what looked most appealing to me. A choice made easier with their collection of photos on an iPad. Each photo gave you more than just what the menu listed them as, with some names being more mysterious than other’s: “Avocado panna cotta”, “twin stars”, and “pink teddy”. They didn’t have an English description, but a line of Chinese character/, so you are forced to ask the clerk behind the counter what things are, if you are ordering based on taste.

The actual drink was matcha heavy, what I thought would be a creamy tea based beverage, was actually light like matcha powder stirred into luke warm milk. Luckily the strawberry chunks that it comes with and the addition of pearls that I ordered, made the drink more interesting. I enjoyed all the chewing through watery mouthfuls. But what I didn’t consider was how the drink looses something when you do as the clerk says, and stir it all together before you drink.

 

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.
A great edition for bubble tea fans in the area. Pretty drinks in one heck of a whimsical setting. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

EDGE YUANDIAN
106-950 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V5Z 1K7
604-423-2808

Honey Salt, brunch

This weekend we were spending a night in “JW Marriott” at “Parq”, in celebration of my girl friend’s birthday. And after a late night of drinking, we decided a light and healthy brunch at “Honey Salt” the morning after, would be the best for our bodies.

I have been to the restaurant that was stylized like a tea parlour on one side, and a pantry on the other, once before. So to read more about that visit and the setting we enjoyed in depth, visit the link below.

Honey Salt, at Parq

 

Today we were seated in one of the booths, the lime green leather popped against the white walls and the restaurant’s name spelled out across it in moss. The placement of our C-shaped seating was cleverly done. We were essentially seated back to back with those to the side and back of us, thus allowing us privacy of seating, while maximizing the space.

To start, we had some drinks. Whereas my girl friend kept her hair of the dog at bay with their take on a negroni, I had some green juice.

Honey-groni. Bontinst gin, sweet vermouth, amaro averna, amaro montenegro, and honey syrup. It was a lot easier to drink than a regular negroni with the sweetness of the honey.

The “Green goodness” was a pressed blend of apple, cucumber, spinach, fennel, celery and ginger. It was spicy with the ginger and went down easy with the apple and cucumber. It was a great pick me up and a nice way to start the day.

To eat I had the “BC smoked salmon board” a build your own bagel experience with cream cheese spread, a mixed salmon and green onion spread, smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes and cucumber, capers, fennel, and half a boiled egg.

From here you spread and top as you please, and as you can see I got pretty creative with it.

My guest got the “Dungeness crab goddess salad” made with gem lettuce, watercress, potatoes, cucumbers, radish, and tomatoes. It was well dressed and deliciously done. Another great healthy way to start the day.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Everything was light and breezy, a nice snack option and a great place to enjoy it at. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

HONEY SALT
39 Smithe Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 0R3
778-370-8200
parqvancouver.com/restaurants/honey-salt

Kokomo

This was another meatless Monday with my vegetarian friend. When looking for a spot near by “Kokomo” came up. I liked the photos of its peachy exterior and the quote that was splashed a-crossed its front window. Both beckoned for warmer weather and sunnier days, that and it’s colourful menu were enough to peak my curiosity.

The interior matched the exterior with its peach coloured tiled counter that separated the open space between kitchen and eating area. The colour then begins to pattern with white, striping the cushioned seats that surrounded the rest of the room. Sections were punctuated with a similarly coral coloured throw pillow. It was fun and flirty, but was easy to get dirty. The whites of the cushion and the floor showed the cafe’s age with stains and smudges.

The only thing that felt out of place was their choice in music. Not that I minded, as I liked their rotation of hip hop. A playlist I assume was off of a staff member’s phone. Although up beat and catchy, we did find the juxtaposition of light food versus hard hip hop hard to swallow. Given how lighthearted our serving below was and how airy the space felt, you expect something more calming to play, the music to be more zen. Something you can mediate to, maybe something with some chanting.

You order at the podium by the door. They only have one printed menu for viewing, it has a little more information then what is on the wall menu, like what goes into the named bowls, salad, and noodle dishes. But given that many of their customers this afternoon, didn’t need to reference it or the wall, I can safely assume they had a well established following of regulars. And I can see why. They were not trying to fool the diner with meat friendly substitutes, their dishes fully celebrated being vegan with its use of colourful vegetables to highlight the flavour of other rich veggies.

Although I recently read that several vegetables like lettuce and avocado aren’t actually vegan given the need for and use of bees in their pollination, therefore no bees no avocado. Other vegetables on this list includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, muskmelon, mustard, okra, parsley, peppers, pumpkins, rutabaga, squash and watermelon.

Being an omnivore I good either way, and was just happy to have found this new and tasty way to eat healthy and be happy doing so. Not that I would crave any of it again, but it’s nice to know that when my body craves green I can offer it another option and a full menu’s worth of variety.

Vegan food typically has a lot of fillers to add textures and flavours, but here everything is made to order using whole foods.

To start with I ordered one of their smoothies, mistaking it for a juice to accompany my lunch with, instead of its intended meal replacing beverage. The “lush greens” was recommend to me as being the easier to drink of all their green based juices. Banana, kale, mango, apple, lemon, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, coconut oil, and coconut water. It was as savoury as it sounds, where I should have mentioned I wanted something sweet and juicy… I guess I actually wanted a pressed juice and not a thick smoothie to hard swallow. This would be better suited as a meal on the go.

For a full meal you get one of their bowls. The “coastal macro” was another recommended to me, this was majority of their customer’s favourite bowl. Brown rice layered with greens, marinated tempeh, roasted squash, cucumber, ginger pickled cabbage, and a edamame hummus. All drizzled in a Thai turmeric sunflower seed dressing, and eaten like a salad. The rice was present to make you feel full with the starch your body craves. I liked the fulsome assembly, with the varying combinations of textures and tastes, they offered a new squish, crunch, or chew as random surprises. Overall it had a crunchy feel with a tangy pickled flavour. I could have used a rich element or spread to create a dense chew, and  with some more cucumber for balance. Towards the bottom of the bowl, the rice became really salty, so much so that I couldn’t finish in full. Though this was a large serving, that many wouldn’t be able to finish half of, let alone get to the bottom of the bowl. It at least helped to change the taste and keep the bowl interesting from the first scoop to last grain. Whereas the highly anticipated noodle dish below, we found boring.

This was their interpretation of laksa, without most of the noodle’s trademark heat and/or spices. It tasted toned down and made bland for anyone who has had the authentic South East Asian noodle dish before. “Golden laksa”, a coconut and turmeric broth with rice noodles, zucchini spirals, sliced cucumber, ginger ferment carrot, green onion, cilantro, and sunflower cracker croutons. I should have known that this would be far from authentic, having read the inclusion of croutons in their laksa. It certainly tasted healthy, but I just couldn’t get behind it, as the broth lacked punch, and some heat would have greatly helped to flavour. Some tomato would have also been a welcomed tradition. The noodle dish was good as a side, but not the main and the only thing on the plate.

We were smart enough to order and pay for our dessert when we did so our mains. Ours was the last of their “cocowhips”, which I am thankful for. Because honestly this is one of the best ice cream-like desserts I have ever had, and it’s surprisingly it is void of any milk or cream. This is their coconut milk based soft serve. And unlike other vegan ice creams, it doesn’t over power with a coconut flavour. It tasted fresh and light, like a sorbet but actually creamy instead of icy. It also had the perfect amount of mild sweetness to it. It is available topped in either a berry mix or our chocolatey explosion version. Raw brownie chunks, cacao nibs, hemp hearts, and a dark chocolate sauce. Those who know me, know that I am not a fan of chocolate, but here, found myself appreciating the flavour it added, and the chew the brownie chunks offered. The nibs and seeds provided the crunch you like in your desserts.

 

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.
Given my appetites, I don’t think I will find myself here again, or anytime soon. I wouldn’t travel for anything in particular, but if roaming around west 4th I could see myself stopping by for a smoothie. And if they were open later, back again for dessert after dinner. I prefer them to their neighbourhood ice cream purveyors. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

KOKOMO
611 Gore Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6A 2Z8
604-428-6599
heykokomo.ca

Glory Juice

I own a juicer and can make my own fresh press juices, so I haven’t visited “Glory Juice” until today. This was the last stop in our morning work out sponsored by “Saucony”. Where I found out that “Glory Juice” is a great place for vegan friendly, healthy food, drink, and snacks. Nothing like continuing your healthy choice to exercise, by making another: a nutritional brunch that will start your day with some extra energy.

Their menu was hung on the wall across a series of boards. Along with their cold press juices they also offer a line of almond mylks and 11 organic smoothies. Each one also doubles with the possibilities to be made into one of their popular smoothie bowls. You pick a flavour, and too it they add their house made granola, bananas, honey and goji berries.

We had the “Creamy nutty”, the perfect description for their smoothie bowl of frozen açai berries, raspberries, blueberries, banana, almond mylk, maple syrup, and glory nut butter. This was my first time enjoying a smoothie like I would soup. But instead of it being warm like your brain thinks it should be, it turns out to be chilled. It was a little perplexing for my mouth and tongue. It is like yogurt, but in a drinkable texture, yet I am using a spoon to eat it, as if it is much thicker than it really is. That’s where the fruits and nuts come in. Both give the serving some crunch and a lot more filling substance. It surprisingly helped to fill me up. @pekopekolife enjoyed the bowl so much that she bought a bag of their coconut flavoured granola to be able to recreate a version of this in her own, at home. Overall a great snack, not substantial enough to replace a meal though.

The “Cauliflower and chickpea” bowl would be the one to get if you were hungry. It was extra filling with a bevy a vegetables. Quinoa, lentils, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, red onion, smoked paprika, and tahini; all drizzled over with a light maple dressing. I was skeptical. I went in cautious and left surprising myself, learning that you can find healthy food that can be this tasty. It felt like you were eating salsa and guacamole with bean dip and were just missing some crunch. The lentils and quinoa added a heartiness, the avocado offered moisture, and the red onions some sweet tang. The only ingredient I would want in addition was some deep dried shallots or maybe some crispy coconut shards, once again for that crunch factor. I definitely would eat this again if it was more readily available. This would be the perfect work time lunch, if only it was more readily available to me. The ideal meal for when you get that feeling like you haven’t eaten enough vegetables.

They also offered the trendy “Avocado toast”, this would be my first taste of the combination. House made gluten free chia flatbread, spiced avocado, pickled red onions, and sunflower shoots. I liked how they included texture in this and an array of flavours. The crispy wafer, the creamy avocado mash that was spread over, the crispness of the thicker shoots, the tangy onions, and all the ground pepper that flavoured it. This made another great snack option.

For drinks we grabbed a couple of their cold pressed juice to go. I ordered the “Magic switchel” for its blue colour. It was ideal for after a workout, like the one we just completed. It helps to rehydrate, it aids in digestion, and boosts immunity. It was bitter and spicy, with ginger being the main ingredient. You can’t help but make a face after sipping it. You would think it would be somewhat sweet considering the cotton candy blue hue.

@pekopekolife wanted her drink to be the most healthiest of their green juices. She ordered it asking for the most bitter juices. The #1 has kale, celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger, and lemon. It was exactly as she wanted tart and strong. It was made with 3 pounds of fresh organic produce, and it tastes like it. It helps alkalize the body, it is good for cleansing blood and liver, and it helped to build her immunity.

 

 

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.
We had a super light meal that had us feeling good walking out. And as I mentioned earlier if given easier, daily access to any “Glory Juice” location, I would most definitely visit them regularly for lunch at work. I consider them a convenient stop, and not really one that I would go out of my way for. Because, to be honest, my body is so use to grease and carbs that it wanted ramen after all the above, although at the same time I always want ramen. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

GLORY JUICE
2186 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6K 1N6
778-379-4511
gloryjuiceco.com
Glory Juice Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chatime, Fairview

“Chatime” is a glowbal teahouse brand, originating from Taiwan. They are well known for their shaken, churned, and blended bubble tea and tea related drinks. And in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, this franchise has made a boom. Like with “Starbucks”, you can pretty much find one location in every major area. And like the coffee mongrel, these shops have devoted fans flocking to them as soon as they open at 11am daily, staying till when they close around 11pm.

They are popular because all of the teas that they use are brewed fresh in store, and of a fine quality. That and the ability to customize any of their drinks just the way you like. With each beverage you can select how much sugar or cream goes into your cup. You can even nitpick on the quantity of ice that is used to chill it.

I had recently downloaded their rewards-based app, which gifted me a complimentary drink. So today, I was eager to redeem those points. I trekked down to the nearest “Chatime” location, by my workplace. Their trademark purple marked the spot.

I checked online and approached the cafe, reading that they were open at 11am. I had scheduled my break around this time to ensure the shortest wait, when they first opened for the day. I was planning on ordering six beverages and didn’t want to hold anyone up. All this, to find out that their doors were still locked. This is despite the sign in the window reading “open: 11am”. And the fact that I called the night before to confirm their start time. A poster outside invited customers to order over the phone. I heeded its suggestion and called in twice, and both times it went straight to voice mail.

By 11:10am there were two of us waiting outside, by 11:15am six individuals, and by 11:20am eight people across five different groups/pairings/solos. I guess purple needed their shaken drink fix first thing before lunch.

So there we were, we stood silently waiting for the man with the turned baseball cap to acknowledge us. He continued to work feverishly to prep his day, as he met our furrowed brows. He eventually did let us in, explaining that their company policy was to not open up for business until there were two employees staffed to handle the workload. It looked like his colleague was late. His explanation made me sympathetic, we have all been there. From here everyone was willing to wait. They understood that he was on his own, and would need to take and process each drink order before making it.

I always find bubble tea menus overwhelming and “Chatime’s” was no difference. Their store front and counter side bombarded you with options and choices. How is one to choose? And is trying something new or different worth the gamble if you didn’t like the first sip.

Given that they have an upcoming promotion in November, I decided to order from their mousse/tea-latte series to take advantage of it. They had six different types of sweet drinks to pair with their savoury mousse topping. I was going to make my six, one of each flavour. But they only had enough of the premade mousse for three cups, so I had to narrow my choice down to three. I simply went for their most popular three: black tea, matcha, and chocolate. The mousse and its hint of salt highlighted the sweetened flavours of the above. It is best when you stir the mousse thoroughly in, this way you get an even blend and sip.

And between November 10-12, 2017, every “Chatime” BC mousse drink purchase benefits the “Movember Foundation”. Where the first 100 customers to post a mousse moustache selfie during this time, gets another one for free. A good way to treat a friend, or try a flavour you otherwise might not have, if you had to pay for it.

For those unfamiliar, “Movember” is the month that brings attention to men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer. For more details and how you can participate, aside from growing a moustache, check out the Movember website: https://ca.movember.com/.

For my other three drinks I went for the very trendy blue drinks made butterfly pea flower tea. Its advertisement attracted my attention walking in. The photo showed a series of bold and opaque sky blue drinks. But what I got was a translucent dark purple liquid, hinging on black. I was disappointed by its appearance, but at least the flavour held up. Butterfly pea flower really doesn’t have a taste, whatever you mix with it, is the flavour you get.

I went for the one with grapefruit, another with mango, and the last with green tea mixed in. The differences in liquids were clear given the blocks of colour visible through the plastic cup.

 

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.
I find the experience in any “Chatime location” is consistent from one shoppe to the next. They are your staple for bubble tea and other tea and milk based drinks, juices, or slushes. And now there is an even better reason to visit and purchase a mousse latte from
Them between November 10-12, 2017. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

CHATIME
1545 West Broadway, Vancouver BC
778-379-7711
Chatime Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

T’s Home

While dining at “November Desserts” last week, we were simultaneously and suddenly invited to check out one of their neighbouring cafes, just two shops down from where they were. It turns out the owner of “November Desserts” and “T’s Home” are friends. And she wanted us bloggers to try what they have to offer too. She liked their fresh fruit soda-teas, as a different option for an after dinner destination, and hoped we would too.

We didn’t enjoy our drinks within their cafe (they were actually kind enough to deliver it to us at “November Desserts), but I did take a peak within, to be able to report the following. Given the clean lines and crisp white walls, I ascertained that they have recently just opened. Other than that, the only and most iconic thing about this drink shoppe is their mascot. A brown and white corgi that makes his cartoon appearance on each drink cup and as a large decal on the shoppe’s entrance. I assume they get asked a lot whether or not the dog is real, so they have photos of him displayed at the counter where you enter, and are known to bring him into their cafe on slower days. Quite the clever marketing draw if you ask me.

Their menu is a clear cut listing, either written in chalk over the counter or handed out as a laminated sheet. You basically have the option to choose your flavour across ten different fruits and to it they mix brewed tea and fizzy soda water.

And you can’t choose just one, get all ten of them in their “Super 10 items soda tea”. Pineapple, peach, watermelon, mango, strawberry, lemon, lime, blueberry, and bobo ball (sadly I did not get a chance to ask the latter was).

We also tried their “Kiwi fruit soda tea” with kiwi fruit, peach, pineapple, watermelon, blueberry, lime, lemon, bobo ball, and mint. And their “peach soda tea” made with peach, blueberry, pineapple, lemon, lime, bobo ball, and mint. And finally their “strawberry soda tea” with strawberry, watermelon, blueberry, lemon, lime, bobo ball, and mint. They all tasted similar, with enough varying change to tell them apart as different. Although the kiwi stood out all the more with its extra zesty mint flavour. And the super 10 had a green vegetable drink taste to it, not bad, just surprising. The other two were more like fruit soaked in seven-up, and less tea.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A simple and easy place for a refreshing drink, but not much more. Great for the neighbourhood, but not much of a destination to travel to. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

T’S HOME
5318 Grimmer Street, Burnaby BC, V5E 2H2
604-620-7957
T's Home Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zend Conscious Lounge

I am not a good a judge of vegan food because of my accessibility to everything, so thankfully my guest was on this one. One thing great about dining with friends is that they help to increase my food experience. As a foodie I love all kinds of food, I eat everything and will trying anything. So when it comes to picking the place, I allow my guest to make the final decision. This is so that there is an increased variety in my writing and that I am not just showcasing that which I prefer, repeatedly.

This was the case for today’s vegan destination. I am an omnivore who has done a stint as a vegetarian, so given the option, I don’t actively choose a vegan restaurant. A shame, considering how many great ones Vancouver has to offer.

This is the only vegan restaurant in Yaletown. It may match the Yaletown lifestyle, but I didn’t feel like it matched the vibe of the area all that much. It was more laid back with a goal of peace and tranquility, as per the “zen” in “Zend”. Similar to the feeling you would get from a like establishment in Main Street or the Commercial Drive area. Whereas many of the other modern restaurants in Yaletown come with a more rambunctious party vibe. Here is was dim lights, warm tones, calming plants, salt crystals, and deep acoustic music. This is more than just a place to eat, the space cultivates and encompasses a lifestyle.

The restaurant focuses on organic, plant based cuisine that is gluten free and nutrient dense. This includes a unique, holistic beverage program: Canada’s first kava bar featuring their “Zend Elixir”. The “Zend Elixir” is a traditional herbal drink utilizing the root plant, kava. It has been consumed ceremoniously for thousands of years in the islands of the South Pacific. It is a shot that promises relaxation and relief from stress. And was marketed as a replacement for alcohol. It doesn’t get you drunk, but it does come with its own effects, which does not include hangovers, calories, caffeine jitters, or anxiety.

There was a warning that came with the order. Your mouth will go numb from the beverage, and the reaction is not an allergic one. It tastes sweet to start, then triggers some bitterness at the back of your throat. Like the fresh and tingly feeling of swallowing a bit of mint toothpaste, or sucking on a strong lozenge. Given the potential for numb-ness, we decided to save drinking this until the end of our meal, less it effected our dishes after it. However the numbness wasn’t to the point of distracting from our meal, in fact I would say that it could have given us an interesting take on it. Like how drinking alcohol makes things more uninhibited and you ore carefree. Having your mouth slightly numb takes away from the texture component of the dish, and allows you to focus more on flavours that you taste instead of feel. 1oz or 2oz shots at a $2 difference. $40 for a 750ml bottle.

Truthfully, as a meat eater, I was already very worried about being unsatisfied by this vegetable only restaurant, and then even more so as I learned that they specialized in raw food preparation. Although the menu does offer many regular bar classics, done a lot more healthier. Some were good for vegan dishes, others made me missed their cream-filled versions. And as a whole, everything tasted mild and nutty, forcing us to pour hot sauce over it for more depth. Everything was raw and naturally sweet, it just needed some spice to give it a more savoury tone, instead of one for dessert.

The “Flatbread pizza feature” was my favourite out of all that we had. The most satisfying, for someone who has no eating restrictions. Mushroom, greens, cashew cheese, and pico de gallo. It could have used more salt for flavour, but that would taken away from how healthy this was. This is one of the closest vegan proximities to a pizza that I have ever had. You could imagine it a regular garden veggie, except the crust was a little too tough to saw through with just knife and fork, thanks to the gluten-free dough. Despite the harmonious flavours of the seasoned marinara sauce, the fresh grilled veggies, and the creamy white dressing, I still found it lacked something. However, was able to claim that something in the pesto sauce from the cheese plate below.

The “Mushroom and fennel soup” of the day came with an olive balsamic vinaigrette. It was surprisingly creamy for a bowlful lacking milk or actual cream, but still very lumpy with a grainy finish. It had a very heavy flavour, and no shortage of earthy mushrooms, but you got more fennel than anything else. Peppery, with an implacable fishiness to it. Therefore it benefited from the side you choose to have with it. Some crusty gluten-free bread to make the soup feel even smoother when dunked in. Or a refreshing side of greens to lighten and brighten up the serving. Or even the starchiness of crispy yam fries, to helped to change the flavour.

The “Quiche” used seasonal vegetables like beets and sweet potato, along with house dried Roma tomatoes, cashew cheese, and almond fat. It is served with a green salad on the side; but the tangy sauerkraut that topped it was the best accompaniment, along with the mild house made ketchup that was more like a ground up salsa. The quiche surprisingly had a texture similar to the traditional baked egg dish. And the cheese on salad was mistakable for actual goat cheese. A nice tacky binder for the raw salad. Along with the heavy shake of sesame seeds, it gave the salad more substance.

It is hard to order this many vegan dishes looking for variety because at the end it is all nuts, like this vegan “cheese board”; that came with nuts on the side of cheese made of nuts. However, they were all house made and incredibly accurate to normal crumbly and stiff cheeses. And even flavoured wonderfully with a different set of spices.

The board comes in a small and large size. Ours included a seasoned nut mix, a pesto spread, and dehydrated seed crackers. I just wish for a more bland base for the “cheeses”. Each type of vegan cheese was fairly spreadable, and not as grainy as you would imagine. The saltier the “cheese”, the better smeared over a thinly sliced piece of apple it was. I kept searching for the same refreshing qualities from the other toppings, and could have benefited greatly from a jelly or some grapes, to perk this heavy assembly up.

 

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? – Yes.
My mind can’t help but compare vegan dishes to that which I know. So I can’t process each as it is: a unique interpretation to stand alone. So when I compare the above to its egg, milk, cheese, bread, and meat counterparts they don’t live up to it. And sadly having shared this much food between two, I found that it all started coming together with the same taste, unavoidable given the similar assembly of nuts and spices used. I am glad to have tried it and be able to speak to and recommend “Zend”, but I myself would not look to be vegan, and therefore cannot see myself craving any of the above again. So in short, okay as an omnivore; and amazing as a vegan restaurant, definitely a step above most that I have been to. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

ZEND
1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver BC
778-588-6688
zendlounge.com
Zend Conscious Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jugo Juice, Metrotown

Coming back from vacation I often find myself craving for meals on the healthier side. Call it guilt from all the careless eating I do when I am abroad. But this is the closest I would get to eating healthy, and it would cost me. It is also the closest to any cleanse I will ever get, as I don’t think I can fandom the idea of not eating for an entire week.

My closest “Jugo Juice” is the one at Metrotown, one of the many kiosks representing this chain around town. They are all health conscious spaces for refreshing beverages and a light snacks. I proceeded to fill my week with their meals, and thus this blog post with reviews.

You walk up and look up to place your order. Their fresh drink menu is sprawled across three television screens and six lists. I mostly stick to their veggie juice selection to get the greens I otherwise don’t go searching for. Although they also offer blended fruit juices, protein based fruit and vegetable smoothies, and cold pressed shots.

I have never visited without there being a line, as they are a fine destination for meals, those in between hungry bouts, or just for something to quench your thirst with. Whenever I visit I make my drink a combo with one of their pre-rolled veggie and meat wraps, pressed to order in their panini press. So the following is basically their entire veggie smoothie menu and all their full size wraps and flat breads that make this combo $13.34 each time. $6.75 for the drink and $5.95 for the add on of a wrap, otherwise the wraps are $6.75 individually. I actually feel that the wraps are on the smaller side, though they are plenty when paired with the full drink. They also have snack size small tortilla wraps at $4.25. But only in some of their more popular flavours.

“Mighty kale” is typically the way I go. A drink meant to trick my body into consuming more veggies. Fresh kale, fresh spinach, mango, pineapple, orange juice, and apple juice. It features two greens I don’t other wise eat, in a sweet and tangy drink, where I don’t have to taste their flavour or feel their texture of them on my tongue. The perfect way to consume leafy greens for those who rather not.

Similarly their wraps are also a helpful way for me to eat more leaves. This is the “Sante fe” wrap which once again is a little pricy at $6.75. I could technically purchase my own ingredients and make them myself for cheaper. But who was I kidding, I wasn’t going to go through the trouble of doing that. So spending the money was worth it. It meant I ate healthier and even took in some vegetable. In this case, specifically spinach leaves, which I avoid like the plague. But it wasn’t so bad hidden, masked by the spicy sauce, tender chicken, fresh corn, filling bean, creamy avocado and flavourful salsa. It had a great zesty flavour and was an easy to eat roll.

The “Kale-Abunga” is made with fresh kale, peaches, fresh spinach, mango, cauliflower, tropical juices, and apple juice. It is similar to the green smoothie above, but even tarter. You definitely get more from the citrus and pineapple juice in it too.

With it I had the “Fiesta veggie” prepared with a grain brown rice blend with corn, black beans, salsa, chilli sauce, real cheddar cheese, fresh spinach, red onion, red and green peppers, and a touch of spicy sriracha. There are plenty of fresh flavours and crisp textures in this to keep you interested. I felt better about myself by eating it.

The “Green Glow” is prepared with fresh kale, avocado, banana, pineapple, tropical juices, and coconut water. The juice and the amount of fruits in this makes makes it a sweeter drink. It is also substantially creamer with the use of avocado and coconut water. Tasty, but it doesn’t feel as healthy as the others.

This, I paired with the “Pesto turkey grilled cheese”. Fire grilled turkey breast tossed with basil pesto, zesty marinara sauce, and red onions. Then topped with provolone cheese on their multigrain flat bread. For something more filling the flat bread is definitely the way to go. It has more surface area and therefore offers more for you to chew on. Meaty chicken meets Mediterranean flavours, where the crisp red onions stand out. Though the taste got a little monotonous after the first half, and when allowed to cool the bread hardens.

“The Clean kick” is their newest green drink. It is made with fresh spinach, banana, pineapple, lemon, ginger, orange juice, and unsweetened almond milk. The milk gives it a more creamy, shake-like texture. Though the ginger is the more prominent flavour here. This gives the smoothie its normal refreshing nature, but with some warming heat.

With it I had their “Chipotle turkey bacon club” with fire grilled turkey breast, crisp bacon, ancho chipotle pepper sauce, fresh red pepper, red onion, and real provolone cheese. Once again, it was made more filling in between their multigrain flat bread. It had great flavour to it, but I couldn’t taste any bacon, and I found myself craving for more barbecue flavour from it, and maybe a little more sauce to moisten things up.

The “Coco plus” featured coconut water, along with fresh spinach and cucumber, pineapple, mango, and tropical juices. The pineapple was the highlight of the cup. As a whole this was one of the more refreshing smoothies, thinner and more juice than it was a thick blend. However, I wasn’t a fan of the bitterness in the spinach that eventually does come through.

It was partnered with the “Kale chicken Caesar”, the last of their flatbread options. Thick cut grilled chicken breast with fresh kale, spinach, and red onion; all tossed with their garlic lover’s Caesar dressing and sprinkled over with real cheddar cheese. The cheese is the ingredient that pulls this all together, whereas the Caesar dressing was missing in action.

The “Kale berry crush” was a darker hue from the mix of fresh kale, strawberries, raspberries, cranberry juice, and apple juice. The colour was off putting. A brown chocolate-like tone with the flavour of tart cranberry. I had to ask for some water to be added, just to temper my cup, which turned out to be an issue with the staff. I guess not many people critic their drinks and simply accept that healthy is the taste of bitter? Either way, I was not a fan and would not revisit this one.

On the other hand, the “Spicy sriracha chicken” became one of my favourite wraps. It had thick cuts of grilled chicken breast tossed in a spicy sriracha chilli sauce, with red and green peppers, red onions, and real provolone cheese. The thick chunks of white chicken meat had a nice dull spice from the hot sauce.

Having tried all their green veggie juices I was now on to the red drinks with beets. “Can’t beet this” was a fun name for the mix of fresh beet juice, strawberries, blueberries, banana, and apple juice. I expected it to be the sweetest of all that I tried given the lack of veggies and the amount of fruit. But it was more beet forward than anticipated and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I wish I got more berry juice in it to balance things out.

The “Sweet chilli chicken” was similar to the brand name chilli sauce wrap above. This too featured thick cuts chicken breast, but tossed in a sweet chilli sauce made with garlic and red chilli instead. It came with real cheddar cheese, fresh spinach, red onion, and red pepper. And had a nice sweet chilli sauce flavour from chicken to vegetables. Another one I would pay for again.

And to usher in spring, there was a new drink and a new wrap added to the menu. The “Green rush” is made with kale, ginger, pineapple, cucumber, orange juice, and coconut water. To be frank, it tasted like the other green drinks, but with the warming burn of ginger and the after taste bitterness of cilantro. The juice kept separating quicker than with the other drinks, each sip required a forceful stir. It wasn’t a thick concoction, but surprisingly light with the inclusion of cucumber and coconut water.

The “Butter chicken” wrap is what is new for spring food wise. It is a fire grilled chicken breast tossed with a butter chicken sauce and packed in tight with brown rice, red peppers, red onions, and cilantro. It smelled like and had the flavour of butter chicken, and therefore was really tasty, although a little on the salty side for me. It could have use more of the rice filler to balance this; and to keep the wrap tight, so that everything would be packed in place and wouldn’t fall out. But I would say this is one I would order again and again.

Now that I am finished “researching” this post, I have found a good eating pattern, I intend to continue to visit them, and simply order that which I enjoy the most.

 

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.
It isn’t cheap eating healthy, but once again, this is the least I can do to keep myself trim-ish. One of the many tricks I employ to appear healthy without exercising or really watching my diet. The price I pay to be moderately healthy is $6.95 per smoothie, $13.34 for a drink and wrap. Therefore I can see why majority of us out there gravitate towards fast food meals, it tastes better and you get more. Sadly in the social media era, one must consider imagine a little more. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

Jugo Juice
Metropolis at Metrotown
#2245-4700 Kingsway, Burnaby BC, V5H 4M1
604-348-3336
jugojuice.com
Jugo Juice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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