VieAMaggi.com

Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: Deep Cove

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

IMG_3349IMG_3345

The sun has been out and it feels like the city in spring. So we, like many others decided to head outdoors this weekend. One of the more popular areas with a view, is Deep Cove. When in Deep Cove I highly recommend stopping at “Honey’s”, better known for their classic cakey doughnuts, but they offer much more.

IMG_3328IMG_3348

There were plenty of tourists with the locals in today. An increased popularity thanks to an article listing the area as one of the best places to visit in the city. And because their doughnuts have earned their own accolades. The line extended out the door, a few were turned away by the wait, but those in the know, knew it was worth their time.
 IMG_3347IMG_3346
The crowd did not let up. Saturday after 2pm, it was peak snack time, but we were here for breakfast. Everyone had a doughnuts on plates, and we were looking for a full meal with our doughnut on the side. Luckily breakfast was served until 4pm, with the possibility of lunch all day. But first the wait. The line had us packed in tight, shoulder to shoulder with the person in front of us. Though the necessary time gave us a chance to read over the menu. Two black boards printed in coloured chalk, separating the breakfast menu from the lunch. Egg combos and sandwiches stacked with cold cuts. Hot sandwiches grilled crisp and cold ones served fresh. Corn beef and Swiss versus shrimp and avocado, to name the more adventurous options. Though in general they served classic North American style breakfast and lunch.

The poor waitress spent most of her time apologizing. “Sorry” for needing to move about, “sorry” for having to get past people to serve others. All things considering, she navigated the sea of bodies well. She also remembered orders and requests.  We, amongst others needed something, a bag for the rest of my doughnut, to go. She promptly brought a wax paper sleeve. She was as polite as the women who worked behind the counter were nice. Peering past them, and further, you could make out the blurs in the kitchen. Multiple chefs preparing multiple dishes.

IMG_3329IMG_3330

When we got to the counter we saw the donuts stacked neatly under glass, chunky cookies wrapped in Saran, and muffins nestled in baskets. The white chocolate cappuccino muffins with walnuts caught my eye, but I kept the other on the prize. Past it, the Honey, Chocolate, Maple, and Cinnamon sugar doughnuts. All the above was well lit by several stain glass lamps hanging over the counter. They, like majority of the decorum, they too made it through the 80’s and found a new home on these walls.
The paint over the block and stucco walls were chipping, the checkered floors were scuffed; and every miss matching table and chair was either dented, scratched, or faded with use. It simply made the restaurant lovingly worn, cozy and warm. It was all well lived in, and all the antiques and Knick knacks only added to this. An old miniature organ was repurposed into a shelf, on it stood a like miniature guitar and an old fashioned radio. Model sized military planes were suspended from the ceiling, and colourful sketches of cars were parked behind framed glass. Corner to corner there was something vintage to catch your glance. Wooden puppets, coffee tins, glass bottles, and metal lamps.

IMG_3336IMG_3335

A few tables sat in the foyer, but given the necessary bumping and the lack of personal space, it wasn’t advised as good seating. Definitely not for those who are claustrophobic. We instead travelled to the secondary room and found a table by the window. It looked out on to their patio and plenty of bodies enjoying the luke warm weather outside. There we waited with our doughnuts and numbered card. The savoury portion of our meal would follow suit.
IMG_3343IMG_3344

Even the plates were vintage 80’s. I had their “Mexican breakfast”, a whole grain and seed heavy bagel sandwiching a fluffy multi egg omelette, with homemade salsa and guacamole. The sheet of egg was made with two types of cheeses, and ended up being double the size of the actual bagel. I have never had an egg so fluffy. The abundance of melty and stringy cheese only made it better. The salsa and guacamole gave this breakfast bagel its “Mexican” flare, and most of its flavour. I could have used more salsa, though it was already pretty messy as is. Dripping in between my fingers and puddles of liquid pooling on my plate.

IMG_3341IMG_3342

My partner got the “Breakfast sandwich”, bacon, egg, and cheese on an toasted English muffin. It was good, but no different than any breakfast sandwich offered at most fast food chains. Though the addition of sliced orange was a nice differing touch.

IMG_3332IMG_3333

No surprise, the donuts were the best thing about this meal. And as expected, worth the travel time and the wait in line. Yes, they are that good, certainly my favourite cakey doughnut. Best taken in a large bites. These rounds were as dense as they were thick. Heavy, hearty, and rich; more cake than donut. I could barely finish my chocolate in one sitting. The chocolate and maple coating only made the cake better, like icing it added texture and flavour; and gave you options. But they would have been just as good plain.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
The breakfast wasn’t anything special. No real innovations in ingredient assembly between slices of bread, but you come for more than that. A place with a view and doughnuts to die for. Homemade flavours served loving. “Vancity Buzz” has listed Deep Cove as one of their “5 happy places for city dwellers to check out in Metro Vancouver”. So stop by and visit “Honey’s” before the rest of the city catches wind of them, and their lines extend around the block. Don’t deny your cravings.

HONEY DOUGHNUTS
4373 Gallant Avenue, North Vancouver BC, V7G1L1
604-929-4988
honeydoughnuts.com
Honey Doughnuts and Goodies on Urbanspoon

Gelato Express

Another great Vancouver day meant another trip to Deep Cove. And when there, there is nothing better than walking or sitting by the water with ice cream! 

With not many choices I was drawn to “Gelato Express”, by way of their giant 3 scoop ice cream cone statue. In this monster sized cone a child sat on top eating out from between his legs. My first thought, is his bottom not cold? Ridiculous, yet I wished that was me sitting on a mound of strawberry, chocolate and “yellow” ice cream. Next thought, what ice cream flavour is yellow? 

As with the other destination ice cream places is it all about location, location, location. And here, by the water, after a hike or after some kayaking, ice cream is the perfect climax to a day well spent. 

For a small shop, in a slower paced town I was impressed with their selection and the overall look of the quality in their creams. The amount in each vat indicated their popularity. A blue cotton candy was guarded by a blue smurf. The pink bubble gum had wrapped gum balls stuck in. And a few flavours had thick chocolate drizzled over them. Their gelatos included classics like cookies and cream. Favorites like strawberry cheesecake. And sweet fruits like coconut and mango. More fruits fell into the sorbeto showcase, those included green apple, watermelon, and raspberry. They even had a dark chocolate sorbeto. That would be worth sampling. If not to get, just to try. 

The decor of this ice cream shop was fun. Colourful signs indicated menu choices. The signs were as colourful as the ice cream that sat frozen behind the glass, and before you. On top of ice cream they also do frozen yogurt and shakes. If you didn’t read it, you could have told by the jars of colourful straws and cups lined up in pastels. Looking up, tiny hot air balloons hung from the ceiling, and barely grazed your head. I really thought the plastic bucket that was filled with layers of coloured spoons, then made into a lighting fixture was clever and a real nod to their theme and offerings. And if you want your ice cream by more than a scoop, you are welcomed to take your frozen treat to go. Available are three sizes of styrofoam take out boxes to store them in. 

I was most impressed by their business card, a great design and a solid card for a hole in the wall. I judge only on looks, but they must do well with the warmer weather and longer days. But without anything else to offer I wonder how well they fair during our fast approaching colder months?

Pricing was determined by scoops and cones. You read them off chalkboards written in neon chalk. You can get up to 3 scoops and they can be held in cones or by plastic bowls. The ice cream cones come in a regular, sugar, or waffle variety. And for those who want more of everything, they carry waffle bowls too. Today miscommunication resulted in a scoop of mint chocolate chip in a, a lot to spacious waffle bowl. Just as well, the bowl is the best part. Ice cream can never be bad, and this was not an exception. The waffle, however was the best that I have had. Crispy and fresh this was not sitting out to allow the air to lessen its crunch. Then of course for extra nonsense-ical indulgence, I topped the whole lot off with a scoop of rainbow sprinkles for an additional cost. I enjoy the colours and like the texture they provide. 




And as I suggested earlier, I had my bowl as I sat on a bench and looked out into the still waters and setting sun of Deep Cove. I will be coming back to Deep Cove, and except an ice cream the next time as well. And as this is pretty much the only spot for ice cream, it looks like I will be back here too. 
Don’t deny your cravings. 


Gelato Express
4379 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver, V7G 1L1
604-929-0996




Gelato Express on Urbanspoon Instagram

Deep Cove Bubble Tea


We rushed down to Deep Cove after work, to capture as much daylight as possible. In our hurry we ignored our hunger, thinking we could grab dinner there. Arriving at 7pm we were disappointed to discover not much is open past 5pm. We didn’t want to go back to “Arm’s Length” (http://www.vieamaggi.com/2013/04/at-arms-length.html) having been disappointed once before and “Honey’s Doughnuts” (http://www.vieamaggi.com/2013/04/best-doughnuts-in-town.html) was long closed. So our options were limited to ice cream, pizza, and everything else at “Express Bubble Tea”. We chose the latter, for both price and selection.

Waking towards “Express Bubble Tea”, the patio is your lead in. Surrounding it and the front of store, are pictures and signs advertising the variety in their menu options. It almost feels like they are trying to please everyone by having a little bit of everything. Bar stools in doors for seating and plastic patio chairs outside. Tonight ppl were in for ice cream and bubble tea. 



Drinks offered are coffees, teas, slushies, smoothies, pops, and bubble teas. Food is either hotdogs, gyros, onigiri, chips, and other fast food related snacks. But their selection of drinks is what keeps the people coming. Two chalk boards are dedicated to describing their fruit juices in kiwi, watermelon, mango, and all the mixed varieties in between. Given the fact that bubble tea is in their title, it is no surprise that this speciality drink is well invested it. They make their drinks with both fresh fruits and powered mixes. Your selection of “bubbles” come in the traditional black balls of tapioca, clear jelly cubes of coconut, and rainbow jelly with colours that remind me of a fruit cocktail. And if this is all bubble tea talk is foreign to you, they even have a poster to explain what this drink you chew is all about. They must be doing well enough to have a heavily used and very successful loyalty card program. Every tenth drink earns you a free one. And you don’t even have to carry anything around. All their customer’s stamp cards are stored in little individual envelopes taped to the wall. Running out of space, they have now migrated to the cabinet door as well.

Seeing it only in pictures, I had to try the “Onigiri” in person. It means “portable rice”. It is a Japanese speciality. Seasoned rice packed into a triangular shape for presentation and easy traveling ability. A piece of nori (seaweed) is used to wrap the bottom, and gives you a place to hold your snack upright. Nothing really special about this. It tasted like salty rice, and I was torn over finishing it and all incurring all the carbs. I think the Japanese eating this is equivalent to North Americans eating fries. Except without the great taste at a similar calorie count.

The Mega hot dog combo. You can’t go wrong with pop, chips, and a hotdog. It reminded me of every elementary school sports day, and days spent at carnivals. Pretty standard, with ketchup over the steamed dog in a cold bun. 


Would I come back? – Yes. There isn’t much I want to eat at Deep Cove; but I do plan on coming back here a few more times this summer, to enjoy the warm weather, breath in the fresh air, hiking the roughed trails, and maybe do a little kayaking. And chances are before or after these activities I may get peckish, and at their prices it is good enough food to satisfy enough. Plus the owner was the most friendliest Japanese woman I have ever met. She was cute with her accent and ever smiling face. And was grateful for every visitor, calling her regulars by name. She brought a really warm and welcoming energy to her tiny shop, even if you could hardly see her past the elevated counter.

Would I recommend it? – No. This is a place you come out of convince, not want. But the next time you come to Deep Cove and are craving bubble tea, this really is your only option. And it is made authentic with fresh fruits, sort of a rarity in smaller shops.

EXPRESS BUBBLE TEA
4377 Gallant Avenue
North Vancouver District, BC V7G1L2
604-988-5276

Deep Cove Bubble Tea on Urbanspoon Instagram

Arms Reach Bistro

 Beautiful Deep Cove from View Point
At Arm’s Length ~




In attempt to bring fine dining to a small country town; the answer was found in “Arms Reach Bistro” at Deep Cove. This restaurant is the closest to the water and therefore gives you the best view of the sun setting behind the mountains.

If there was one word to describe this restaurant, it’s plain. Plain in both decor and food. The interior was lit dimly in your standard fixtures and table top tea lights. Everything is coloured beige and off white from the booth seats, chair backs, framed art work and other furniture. I believe it is so that you are not distracted by anything that could take away from the large windows and beautiful views. You get a wonderful, but obstructed view from any window facing seat. Everything really comes together to provide a very soothing dining experience. Nothing more suitable for this quite town. 


Our waiter didn’t say what they were out of until we ordered and by then I had my heart set on the roasted lamb and couldn’t be swayed on anything else. We ended up sharing the “Angry Chicken”. The only other thing we both wanted and felt like. Though they do offer a large array of dishes from curries to salads and pastas.

The breast was from a Fraser Valley free range chicken. It and all the market vegetable were soft. While great in the chicken breast, it would have been nicer to have the potatoes firmer and less crumbly. This dish needed one element to give it some contrast and a much needed crispy texture. 


Good thing we only got this one plate. Our chicken was good but nothing you couldn’t duplicate in your own kitchen. We go out to enjoy that which we cannot cook ourselves. We pay for the skills of the chefs on the cooking stage. And this was certainly not worth $26 for. We should have gotten two plates of this level of quality.


I think I was the only one that came to this conclusion. The local couple at the table next to us spoke highly of “Arms Reach Bistro”, when I mentioned writing about it on this blog. I was also able to watch from the corner of my eye, the man tilt his plate and scrape clean the sauce left behind from his pasta. He was basically just shy of licking his plate clean, but instead moved on to his wife’s. I don’t know if that was a show put on just for us. 

And then there was the multicultural group at the table in front of us. They really spoke to how good everything was. And they really must have meant it, seeing as they made a reservation for the following night, on the spot. 


I also don’t like the name “Arms Reach Bistro”. It does nothing to elude to the food. Instead it just refers to its location in proximity to the shore line. Also, to me bistro means smalls plates and not full dining. And it really should have been the case tonight. 


Would I come back? – No, I was not wowed by the taste and feel it is not worth what they are asking for. 

Would I recommend it? – No. Even 

though this was the busiest place at Deep Cove on the Easter weekend; and it is one of the only sit down, more refined meal destinations in the area. It is not worth the price you have to pay to try it. You don’t go to Deep Cove for a three course meal; you come for ice creams and sweets by the water. Leave the fancy dinners for city. In this case there are no cravings so nothing to deny. This is worth skipping.


ARMS REACH BISTRO
107c-4390 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver BC, V7G 1L2
778 866 7120

armsreachbistro.com


Arms Reach Bistro on Urbanspoon Instagram

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies


Best Doughnuts in Town ~


Taking advantage of the sun in Vancouver means sunglasses and a top down ride to Deep Cove. We were told by a friend who lives there that the doughnuts at “Honey Doughnuts and Goodies” were the best and a must try. They were closed at 7, but the owners allowed us to come in and buy a bag of their trademark doughnuts to go. This was after jostling us for only wanting 3, and saying we should have called ahead to reserve them. these ladies obviously acknowledges how good their product is. I was just happy that they let us buy them & minutes after closing. Other food establishments would not do the same, nor would they have the same love as these ladies did for their business. The deal is buy 6 doughnuts and don’t pay tax.
The total was $9. My only gripe is that I don’t like how it was put into a brown paper bag to go. I know these are good for soaking up the excess oil, but visually it just looks like the oil is seeping through the side of the bag.
These were next level of doughnuts.
And will ruin mini doughnuts for you. I officially deem them as being the “best doughnuts” in town. The first bite you bite into is the best; It’s warm, sweet, soft and crunchy all at the same time. They taste flaky and cakey , with that great doughy thickness to it. a great combination of textures coupled with a delightful sweet vanilla taste. We had gone through 2 thick and perfectly round doughnuts and then began drumming up different toppings we could put on it at home to make it even more decadent. Came up with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup as being the top two. 


Would I come back? – Yes it’s a great treat to get each time you make a trip out to Deep Cove. That is if you can find a parking spot during peak hours of course.
Would I recommend “Honey Doughnuts and Goodies? – Yes. It truly is a great doughnut, I dare say the best in Vancouver. This is best kept secret in Deep Cove.
And this is the definition of a craving you should not deny yourself of fulfilling. It looks to flight and fluffy. My guest
 remarked that it tasted like a scratch home made doughnuts, the kind his mom use to make. Those he said were good, but kept you wanting something more from them. In “Honey Doughnuts” you almost get all that you were looking for – Deliciousness.


HONEY DOUGHNUTS AND GOODIES
4373 Gallant Ave, Deep Cove Vancouver BC,
604-929-4988
honeydoughnuts.com



Honey Doughnuts and Goodies on Urbanspoon Instagram

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén