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Category: Maple Ridge

Ban Chok Dee, Maple Ridge

Having travelled all the way to the original location of “Ban Chok Dee” before, I was excited to see if their new location would measure up to the pedestal that I put their Langley one up on. Though as much as I enjoy dining with them, the travel to is one I don’t enjoy making. Luckily my role as judge for the Vancouver Foodster sangria challenge demanded that I make the trip out. So here I was.

It is located in a strip mall, so already on first impression it is a lot more casual. Though it does still hold a candle to some of the more decorative elements the original location is known for. Like the jewel incrusted Thai deities greeting you at the threshold, the glowing crystal chandeliers caged in iron, and the rhinestone mandala that garnered your attention.

The place was packed this Friday night (the photo I took above was as one of the last guests leaving for the night). Every seat was sat, and there was a wait for more to free up by the entrance. We were seated at the bar, with a direct line to the kitchen.

Here I would be reunited with the head chef of both “Ban Chok Dee” location’s and their newest cooking school: Prinya. I have met her once before, so was delighted to have her cook for us tonight. For dinner she would spoil us with a six course meal from off the menu. She is known for her creativity and the specialty dishes that combine her expertise of Thai cuisine with all the cooking techniques that she has picked up through her journeys and learnings. Given her creativity and talent I can see her competing on Iron Chef Canada, but where would she find the time? As the owner of two successful “Ban Chok Dee” Thai cuisine restaurants, the teacher at her own cooking academy, a mother of two, and a fitness model who has competed locally, and will soon do so nationally. But despite inevitable fatigue she greeted us at our bar seats, and personally delivered us our plates course after course. She took the time to explain to us what we would be having as well as check in on how we were doing.

It is no wonder all the staff working for her were just as cordial. She has set the standard and they all followed with exceptional service and conversation. This was especially the case with their friendly bartender, and creator of their sangria contender: Kelsey V. She was as bright and cheery as her rainbow hair and wide grin. She engaged us and checked in between our sips of cocktail and wine. I won’t be covering her sangria in this blog post, as the competition is still going on, and I am sworn to secrecy. Instead, I invite you to return back to this blog after October 7th, where I will be reviewing the entire competition, the winners, and how I voted.

We began with a great tasting platter served on a marble board shaped like a cactus. It was an assembly that went well together with uniform tangy seasonings and crispy bites.

The flaky curry puff was filled with a sweet curry ground beef. It was the dressiest curry puff that I have ever had.

I liked the prawn wrapped in noodle. It offered a new twist to breading and deep frying your seafood. Here the crispy noodle strand wrapping the juicy shrimp gave it a great crunch and a unique flavour.

The prawn served with duck soy sauce was served wrapped in pandan leaf. I have never tried pandan leaves before, so wasn’t sure if you ate it and the prawn whole as the bite it was intended to be? Only through trying did I learn that the answer was, “no”. The leaves were too tough to even rip with teeth.

In the similar vein of utilizing non edible plants as holders for edible food, the shrimp cake was wrapped around some lemon grass. It was served looking like a drumlet that you can easy bite down on and pry seafood from “bone”. It was a little salty, but I loved the bounce in the bite of the cake and how crispy it’s breading was.

The next course was a chilled soup of cucumber, coconut, mint, and plenty of shrimp. It was served in a young coconut, and I wasn’t sure if you were meant to eat the coconut flesh with the soup, but I made sure to scrape it clean after my last sip. The soup was refreshing, like drinking a green smoothie, but savoury and more filling like a salad. There was nothing I didn’t like about this from its presentation to its taste, this was a great build up for flavours to come.

Next we had a scallop and crab salad with pomello, cherry tomato, cucumber, scallops, and greens. If all salads were like this one I would order and have more salads. It was great for those like myself who don’t actually like greens. It was fragrant with the strawberry, and herbaceous with the shisho leaves, peppery from the shallots, and sweet from the juicy tomatoes. This was another great start to build up the appetite with.

The lobster tail in red curry was an impressive plate. However the curry was so flavourful that it over powered the natural sweetness of the lobster meat. I wished for some noodles or a nice basmati to pair with it. Some thing carb-y to soak up the flavour, as I didn’t want to waste a drop of it, but it was too overwhelming to drink as a soup.

Our main was a deep fried cod fillet served with green beans and rice in a Penang sauce. The seasoning and level of flavours were similar to the dish above, therefore after the first bite it was too much for me. I would have liked the salad above just before this to give the palette a breath. Therefore, I was left wanting some pickles or a tartar-like cream sauce to balance out the drier fish. This dish could have also used more rice give the pool of sauce it soaked in.

For dessert we had two citrus flavoured panna cottas with butterfly pea flower jello. I preferred the orange blossom flavoured panna cover over the kaffir lime and lemon grass one. The orange offered a nicer contrast to the jello. This was a light finish to round off all the flavours above.

 

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 came in a fan, and felt reassured in my declaration that “Ban Chok Dee” is one of my favourite places for dressy, modern, and fun Thai food. Bold flavours and stunning plates, whipped up a strong woman. Make sure you follow them on social media, if you are like me and eat with your eyes. They are always doing so many creative things worth driving 19km for. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

BAN CHOK DEE
20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge BC, V2X 2P9
604-459-8000
banchokdee.com
Ban Chok Dee Thai Cuisine  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wasabi Sushi & Grill

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Trying sushi out in Maple Ridge.

Located on a really busy strip of Lougheed Highway, just before downtown Maple Ridge. This wasn’t our intended destination, we were just catching lunch on the way.

Sushi places in Maple Ridge are similar to the ones in Vancouver. Almost every area and every other corner has one specializing in fast food. And like the plethora in Vancouver, they cover everything you would expect at any fusion Japanese eatry. They had all the expected traditional rolls and some specials all their own. Fried appetizers and tempura, soupy noodles and grilled teriyaki; and of course sushi by the piece, roll, and with a combo. For specials they had the North American favourite California roll wrapped in rice paper, breaded and deep fried jalapeño stuffed with spicy tuna and cream cheese, and a deep fried spicy tuna roll with cream cheese. I wasn’t really excited by anything, and not comparing it to anything else, it all seemed pretty good.

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The wall by the entrance was lined with colouring sheets. Their own “wasabi sushi” mats coloured in by children. A squid, puffer fish, sting ray, turtle, and octopus highlighted in waxy crayon.

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It was a fairly small shop, quiet. Best for a quick lunch alone or a meal with a small party. Though they did have private rooms against the left wall. They were cubicles with a narrow entry way. You slide across hard flat seats to reach the inside. The walls of these rooms were decorated with the ends of wooden planks jutting out at varying lengths.

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As a whole the restaurant was very modern in its use of raw materials. I was most impressed with the hallway leading towards the washrooms. Strands of rope were strung up and down along the corridor like the laces of a shoe. It was rustic chic.

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At each table the chopsticks came in their own cone shaped sleeve, and the napkins were folded into small triangles for that extra touch. It was very professional looking, and certainly set them apart.

We were automatically given some complimentary hot tea to start. It was the largest portion, in the largest cup I have ever had at a restaurant. It was also the most bitter tea.

It was funny that we came to a sushi place for chicken. Although not surprising as my partner doesn’t actually eat seafood and prefers chicken over all sources of protein. I just wasn’t feeling raw fish today and was looking for something more homey. Shame, as I later heard them speak Japanese so would assume that the food would be authentic. However, I did also heard the microwave door open and its buzzer sound, so that had me lowering my expectations some what.

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The “Chicken katsu” is breaded and deep fried chicken. It was served up real crispy, still warm from a fresh fry. It was quality white meat hidden under the even breading. With it we were given a tangy dipping sauce. I would have preferred a creamy mayo based sauce with this instead.

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Here we learned the difference between a teriyaki dish and teriyaki as part of a rice bowl, “don”. The “Beef teriyaki” was served on a sizzling plate with a heap of bean sprouts and lettuce, two chunks of carrot and one floret of broccoli. The whole of it was coated in the iconic sweet and garlicky teriyaki sauce. It also came with a bowl of steam rice on the side to eat it all with. I like beansprouts so was not disappointed to have most of it be bean sprouts and lettuce shreds filling the plate and propping up the meat.

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The “Chicken teriyaki donburi” (rice bowl) was meat and rice all in one bowl. There was plenty of sweet sauce to coat all the meat, veggies and rice. Though I wished I had some of the beansprouts above included in this too. They were essentially the same things but the former came with more and latter less.

 

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.
It wasn’t outstanding, but I wouldn’t be apposed to a return trip. Your classic fast food Japanese restaurant in Maple Ridge. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

WASABI SUSHI
#5-21768 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge BC, V2X 2S1
604-477-0222
wasabisushingrill.com
Wasabi Sushi & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Townhall Public House

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On route to Mission Raceway we stop at this restaurant, this is our yearly ritual. However this is the third year we are here, and this is its third reincarnation of said restaurant. The first year we liked the “Buffalo Club” so wanted to come back the following year, when we were in the area again. To our surprise, there was a “Wings” instead, so we ended up eating there. And today we pulled up to see “Townhall”. So as tradition dictated, we had dinner there anyways.

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The restaurant is on the second story of two story building. It requires a climb up their winding staircase. The foyer, like the washrooms, was plastered with posters of blown up album covers, they spanned across decades and continue to creep up the stairs like the steps.

On the second floor, despite the presence of a hostess booth, you are asked to seat yourself. The music was loud with a mood setting beat. Many tables were filled with happy patrons taking loudly to be heard. They were of all ages, all enjoying the up beat vibe. The restaurant is divided into two rooms, we found what we could given the busy Friday night crowd. Settling for a table in need of bussing. However a server was quick to approach us and quicker to set us up.

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The second room, in which we sat, was dressed like a den, done in the fashion of a modern speakeasy. Given the brick walls, the wide widows detailed with decals, the wooden panels, and the hard wood floors; I felt it would make for a very nice man cave. The images of beer labels spray painted over bricks, and sporting matches broadcasted on their numerous flat screen televisions, echoed this sentiment. The seats were homey. Couches and chairs with carved arm rests, dimpled leather booths and sturdy high top stools. We were definitely in the lounge.

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At the opposite end of the room was a tiled fireplace. Thankfully it was left off for the summer season. The room was already pretty hot without it burning. All these bodies and no air conditioning, they made things very humid. I wasn’t the only one fanning myself with sheets of the laminated menu. Was the temperature intentional to get you ordering more drinks? I was seriously wondering. Back to the fireplace. I imaged it pretty cozy for the colder months and something unique to set this bar apart. Surrounding it on either sides were wooden book shelves. they were filled haphazardly with what looked like encyclopedias and first edition tomes. They gave a learned and studious feel to the place. Though the iron rack of metal beer kegs adjacent sort of took away from this, in a oxymoronic kind of way. It was used as a barrier between the foyer and the dining area, matching their pub/bar theme.

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The main room was set up surrounding the bar. Multiple high top chairs around high top tables, facing multiple beer taps. I found the highlights of this room to be its viewing distance of their in house pizza oven by the front, and the golden pipeline light bulb fixtures above. The oven was hand crafted and flown in. It is able to heat pizzas at 900 degrees in 90 seconds. A fact proudly announced on their menu along with the fact that the restaurant is part of the “Joseph Richard Group”. This is their 9th public house. They boast serving pub fare at its finest. We were eager to find out for ourselves.

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The menu had your classic pub/bar offerings. Deep fried shareables, hand held entrees, and anything that goes well with beers and cocktails. Deep fried pickles, chicken tenders, dry ribs, nachos, calamari, and sliders. They promised that the meats in their sandwiches and the burgers between each bun were never frozen, but prepared fresh the day of. Steaks, salads, and soups. They had it all covered and even had donuts for dessert. Basically they served anything that you would expect at a similar casual chain. As it was so hot, I was tempted by their yellow tuna and quinoa salad, but as this was a pub and left I should go with what they do best.

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Craving chicken wings, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to try them stuffed. “Stuffed chicken wings”. Five bone in chicken wings stuffed with jalapeño, bacon and cheese. The order comes with a side of fries and a dish of ranch for dipping. Breaded with a thick coat and filled full, the wings ballooned to double their normal size. The concept of stuffed wings is alluring, however the filling used was overwhelming. The prominent flavours of nacho cheese and spicy jalapeño hid away the seasoned breading and the tender meat around the bone. The breading reminded me of a chicken tender, crispy on the outside, but needed a sauce to dip in to. Something to give it some moisture, some additional flavour. Luckily the ranch dip and the side of ketchup offered great solutions. Both also served as helpful palate refreshers.

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“Townhall perogies”. Cheddar stuffed dumplings, fried crispy. Served on house made gravy, topped with applewood bacon, fried chorizo sausage, sour cream, and green onions. Thanks to the additional fry treatment the perogies were slightly crispy on the outside, while maintaining their chewy centres. With all that was going on in this bowl, they ate like a meal instead of an appetizer. Lots of salty meats and plenty of heavy gravy. Though at the same time it felt jumbled. Too much was going on in the flavour department, it needed more cohesion. I thought, all the toppings would have faired better in a jambalaya. Although I am biased as I prefer my perogies for breakfast with cheese whiz and sour cream.

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We spotted their dome shaped pizza oven on the way in so decided we should give their Neapolitan pizzas a try. Plus they had a whole menu insert dedicated to it so it must be worth tasting. Their pizza listing was divided between the traditional and their more inventive styles. The “new world” list had a tandoori chicken pizza with a cilantro yogurt, a Thai prawn with Sambal seasoned sesame vegetables, and the “fortuna” included poached pear, toasted pecans and a balsamic glaze. On another night, with a larger group they would be fun to share and sample. If you wanted something specific? You also had the option to craft your own pizza. Choosing your own meats from either land or sea, picking out what toppings you wanted from the farm, and which herbs to flavour and garnish the pie.

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As our first taste we kept with the “Old world” pizzas, specifically the classic “Margherita”. Made with San marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The presentation was pleasant, a full thin crust pizza on a large pizza board. The cheese was bubbly and the crust was crisp. The slightly sweet tomato sauce complimented well the fresh leaves of basil. Hands down my favourite Neapolitan pizza flavour, and they represented it well here.

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The server accidentally included a poutine with our order. When we brought it to her attention, she invited us to take it on the house, assuring us it would not be included on our bill. Though with all the food we had, and the side order of fries our chicken came with, it was left half eaten. But I guess us picking at it was still better than throwing it all away. There are three types of poutine to choose from. This was their “classic” with cheese curds and beef gravy. The thin fries were quick to soak up the generous amount of gravy, and quick to grow limp and soggy. It was your average bar style poutine.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Sadly, I found the setting out weighted the food. The decor is what got me excited about our visit, and is what had me hopeful for the food to come. However they got caught up remixing the classics, adding twists in everything, and spicing up great originals. And often more is not more, but can end up make things less. However with so much to try, I am sure a return visit would yield a different experience. Plus it is traditional, we will definitely be back. After all they have plenty of specials for each day of the week, giving you reason to come back. Including a trivia night with prizes every Monday. Sadly all the way out in Maple Ridge, this might not be a convenient drive if you are not a local. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

TOWNHALL
Hammond Mill Centre, 200-20690 Lougheed, Maple Ridge
604-457-0100
jrgvancouver.ca/townhall-maple-ridge
Click to add a blog post for Townhall Public House on Zomato

Papa Greek

IMG_3229The speed and connivence of a food court stop, with the comfort of a quite sit down restaurant, all in an intimate space of a cafe. When in Maple Ridge your lunch options are limited. I refused to settle on a chain restaurant, and didn’t want to chance anything by choosing a random hole in the wall. Most time was spent trying to find a unique spot that didn’t look run down. Eventually our travel concluded at a small outdoor shopping complex. It was here that we settled on the newer and cleaner looking “Papa Greek”. It’s name was as creative as it’s menu.

The place was pin drop quiet with no music playing. The only other party left as we sat, as was the case after us. As we left a group of three came in. The place never had more than one of its 8 tables full, while we visited.

IMG_3230We didn’t expect much looking at the server, who was the only staff member in today. She was young and definitely only here for a paycheque. But we were already though the door and the photo menu looked good enough to try. The menu was fast food style, back lit, above the serving counter. With 18 familiar classics, they had all the would-be Greek cravings covered. Beef, chicken, lamb, and salmon souvlaki. And for the vegetarians there was a platter with veggie patties. If you want some variation, go for the chicken and beef gyro combos. And for those looking for non Greek options in a Greek restaurant (like my guest), choose from chicken fingers, Caesar salads, wraps, and lasagna. Each entree was severed with roasted potato, rice pilaff, Greek salad, and tzatziki sauce. For an additional charge you can add on a pita as well.

After ordering and paying. The lone employee slowly began assembling our lunches. We honestly thought that there was a guy in the back who was going to do all the cooking, so were immediately regretting the money we had handed over.

Making the lasagne involvedremoving a pre-prepared dish from the fridge, ladling tomato sauce over it, then shoving it into the oven. Everything else came from the covered metal trays in the front. We watched her assemble and cook. As we sat things were looking bad. I am sure she got the proper training to do her job and was has the skills to work this location herself. However based on what we were seeing, we weren’t holding our breaths for delicious plates. Though it did get better as the food was delivered with a smile, and it all came together hot and smelling as it should.

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Even at $10, this was a small portion. For one skewer, it was over priced. I have gotten more meat out of a fast food burger, at half the price. The beef was a little dry and a lot chewy, not surprising from a reheat job. The rice and potatoes were also reheated, but their heavily garlic-ed seasonings made them the headline of the dish. The Greek salad was ice cold and drenched in a pasty dressing. It can only be described as a half ranch, half thousand island concoction. Though despite its look, it wasn’t half bad.

IMG_3235The machine that was used to bake the lasagna was impressively fast. The dish could have been a little hotter, but it wasn’t half bad, being taken from cold to hot in a matter of minutes. The tomato sauce was a little too sweet, and therefore tasted liked like it was missing something. A pinch of Italian spice? Something to give it a touch more authenticity. Maybe it was basil?

During our wait and in between our speculative conversation, we had lowered our expectations so much that we actually found the food okay. We were genuinely surprised over how much better it tasted than some of the other Greek restaurant we have visited. This was definitely better than any food court meal. The point of this shoppe is decent Greek food, fast. And they certainly delivered on their average offerings.

Would I come back? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No
Maple Ridge is a little far to travel for just edible Greek food.

PAPA GREEK
670-22709 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge BC, V2X 0T5
604-466-4060
Papa Greek on Urbanspoon

Kingfisher Waterfront Bar & Grill

Enroute to the Mission raceway we wanted dinner. We kept our eyes open for a new place, a hidden gem that didn’t look too run down in a small town. We knew “Kingfisher” was our stop when we drove by its lot, filled with cars inside and out front. This looked to be the only building seeing business at 6pm on a Friday night. A lone pub slash restaurant in a row of empty factories and industrial facilities. Yes it was busy now, but I can only imagine how busy it got during happy hour. After shift for many hard working men and women, who toiled in the factories now closed for the day. 

That aside, we had to stop. Clearly the locals knew something about this place that we had to find out. Pulling in we it was a race to find a parking spot. To your right there were rusted containers, your left a chained and gated off field, behind you the empty road ahead, and before you a old restaurant fronting a fantastic view of the Pitt River and setting sun. 


Seeing the crowd get out of their cars I was expecting to be the only Asian girl in the joint; only to open the door and pass the stone waterfall feature, to see standing behind the hostess podium, a young Asian girl, no older than 14. I could see the same surprise in her eyes that were probably in mine. She stood with another 14 year old East Indian girl. Yes this was a pub and bar but as hostesses they came no where near the alcoholic beverages. We Vancouverites must speak very differently than that of Maple Ridge locals. After a series of “huh’s” and “pardon me’s” we decided to not wait for a beautiful patio seat, and instead grabbed a no-wait seat inside. This place was as busy as Maple Ridge was going to get on a Friday night. An hour plus wait for the patio and a quarter of the seats reserved. We settled on the bar, not liking our closely spaced booth options. Here our neighbours were friendly and struck up conversation. But we had places to be and were just concerned about eating and beating it.

Our seats over looked the plain bar. The old walls and worn doors were well lit by the sun and the reflective waters of the Pitt River. Nothing stood out decor wise, and yet you felt as if nothing matched. It just looked like a living room in anyone’s home, with an island bar and booths. But with the large windows facing the water you weren’t really looking anywhere else. You focused on that view, and on first glimpse that was worth the drive out to no where. 
We were surrounded by a pretty diverse and mellow crowd. All Caucasian, all middle aged, all in casual wear, and all having fun. We got settled into our seats just as the band arrived and started setting up. According to the staff they were good. We really didn’t get a chance to experience this before we were ready to leave. 

Seeing a beer taster get passed to another customer, I had to get one too. I always find them the best deal. You get to try 3-4 different beers for the price on one. Shame, that the version at “Kingfisher” only used 3 of the 4 cut out slots on the beer paddle. They called this their 
Weekend summer beer flight. You got three tasters for $9. Your selection included the “Hoyner pilsner”, the “new grist gluten free” beer, and the “hay fever saison”. All light, one tangy, and you could tell which one was gluten free. 

The menu was thorough with a fairly large selection from pastas to burgers. But nothing really jumped out as a must try. Also you don’t want to pay $20 plus for a dish you potentially won’t like, at a place where you don’t know how good the cooking is. We instead decided to share three safer appetizers. I think the best way to judge a bar is by how well they do the usual classics. Bar fare that is available at all other bars. In this we felt that “Kingfisher” had its hits and a few misses.


Hand breaded onion rings. Buttermilk herb marinated, beer battered onion rings, with red pepper aioli dipping sauce. Each “O” had a crispy texture. But the batter did nothing to give it an individual taste. Shame, as I was expecting a better beer kick in my first bite. In my opinion the best onion rings are ones where you can’t taste the onion or feel its slimy texture. These had those classifications. And as long as you were heavy on the sauce you need not worry about lack of taste. 

One pound of crispy wings in honey garlic. These were literally the smallest wings I have ever had. Their chickens must be on a diet to have such little meat on bone. Three pieces here were equivalent to one wing you can get at local your grocery store. The saving grace of this dish was how great the honey garlic sauce was. It was thick and sweet with strong garlic a pick me up. 

Braised pork ribs. Ginger soy marinated pork ribs, fried and tossed in hoisin sauce. Doesn’t look good but at least tasted it. We never tried anything like it. It had the flavours found at a North American BBQ competition but prepared with heavy Asian influences. Most of the pieces were fall of the bone tender. Though half way through the long plate, we realized one side was more tender than the other. 

These plates were all great appetizer sizes for sharing. Each dish was under $10. The food was ok, but nothing note worthy.The sides that came with each plate was bland. And felt like it was only present for colour. 

The later it got, the busier it got, and we lost service from all the staff. It was considered a Monday night at any bar in Vancouver, but here everyone was scurrying and staff kept their eyes down, lest they be hailed for help. An over crowded bar and forgotten requests warranted a small tip. At the end we gave up on packing our leftovers to go, and left un-noticed. This was after we made attempts to hail one of the two bartenders. After 15 minutes we got up to leave. It was only then did they turn to our direction, though only to check that the bill was paid in full. Not even a “goodbye” or “thank you”. They just wanted the seats for two locals waiting with the herd of others at the restaurant foyer. 


Would I come back? – No. 
Would I recommend it? – No. 
The distance to travel is considered more than out of the way. The river was beautiful, but we didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. And with a wait time of an hour plus it was not worth the time spent. You could leave your name and come back, but there is nothing around to see, and you would only loose a hard sought out parking spot. The food was only alright with both strong and weak points in each dish. Definitely nothing different or better than if we had ordered this else where. The staff were unfocused and seemed to buckle under pressure. So a trip out here for this is not worth your effort. But this was definitely the bees knees in the boonies. 



KINGFISHER BAR
23840 River Road, Maple Ridge
604-463-0094
kingfisherspub.ca

Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon Instagram

Bobby Sox, 50’s diner

Knock Your Sox Off ~

You walk into “Bobby Sox” and your arrival is announced with the ringing of a mini cowbell, as it rattles against the door hinge. This gets annoying fast. This is the kind of diner you would see on an episode of “diners. drive ins, and dives”. They stand apart with their 50’s theme decor and food.
In every direction nothing matched, and it is not suppose to. It’s the 50’s come alive with Elvis posters, an old timey coke machine, and music from a jukebox. The teal walls clashed with the red trim and everything was almost an eye sore for those not familiar with this small town dinner.

Booths were made squeaky by red sparkly synthetic leather. Seats around table were made from a combination of teal and blue , cloth and plastic. And the bar by the soda jerk was lined with leopard print swivel seats. Each piece classic 50’s and clashed with the black and white checkered floors. Old records, guitars, opened umbrellas, and scooters and tricycles hung from the ceiling. Low hanging lights were a hazard you if got up too quick and were any where above 5 feet.
Even the windows were confusing one side had floor the ceiling; and the other glass blocks the kind that made washroom windows hard to peep into. Definitely a look you won’t soon forget.

The service from a pretty young, blonde waitress soured our experience. The impression she gave off was that she was above the place. She didn’t greet us or answered when we asked twice to sit at the booth, she just wiped down. So we sat. The table still damp with water from a wet rag. She was abrupt with answers and just seemed way too busy to care. I thought she was consistent with everyone until she was setting utensils down at our table and the one that housed 6 guys behind us. She gave them a, “you’re welcome” to their thanks, but could not bother to reply to my “thanks so much”, even when after I repeated it loudly. This got so bad that we later went out of our way to call on another server, in order to avoid the first. We do not go out to eat to feel as we are troubling the staff. But if you can get past this, “Bobby Sox” is a really unique dining experience.

The whole community was here on a Sunday afternoon late, in the day: families, girl friends, couples and the solo diners enjoyed the atmosphere and food. People were turned away with tables full at 2pm. And when they left, they did so with doggy bagged containers. The area is predominately Caucasian and I felt special to be the only other ethnicity in the area, though this could explain the service I received.

Frenchy has come in a handful of times to grab a good hearty, classic bread and meat lunch before returning to his job, a block away. He recommends their breakfasts and has enjoyed their classic 50’s footlong hot dog.

The menu was 4 pager filled with options like home cooked breakfast, blue plate specials, big juicy burgers, and 50’s style sandwiches. We originally came in for all day breakfast, which Frenchy defines as good greasy spoon place.
Though we were persuaded otherwise when we read their burger options. All burgers are made with no fillers; and the menu stressed that meats were “real”.

Despite the lengthy wait for food our burgers were sloppy. The meats and veggies were strewn and heaped across the patty haphazardly. Before you can eat, you have to “fix” your burger. I gathered up all the lettuce strands back inside, and pinched the bacon strips in half in order to have more then 30% of it in between the buns.

The “Hero burger” was a two handed job, all attempts are made to keep this burger together. And I knew if I let it go I would not be able to pick it up again. The sauces and salsa over the bottom bun made it so soggy that it eventually broke apart. And as is common with big burgers, you eat until the bottom or top bun is half the size of the other. Lop sided and ugly; and having it not measure up annoys you. I didn’t finish, but not with lack of trying. The beef was well seasoned and the onions sweet with caramelization. The mushroom added great flavor, the pickle gave it crunch, and the hot dog wiener was a surprise hit. I would dare say I felt like a hero eating it.


With the Chicken “bacon” burger, I was wary as the word “bacon” was printed in between quotation marks on the menu; but reassured with the words “our best seller” in brackets after it. The chicken was dry and really wasn’t anything special after thoroughly enjoying the first three bites of the “Hero Burger”. The burger needed additional mayo that we had to ask for. But this the most I have seen Frenchy eat in one meal, let alone the first of the day. So it must be good.
Classic glass ketchup bottles made ketchup for your fries a treasured commodity. Digging a knife in and scooping what you could out was a requirement.
Their milk shakes are made with real hard ice cream and come in the metal cups they were stirred in. It was creamy and delicious but I could have done with a better presentation, glass goblet? Sprinkles?
This is not the food you want to gorge on then have to go back work with. After our meal it was lazy time, we drove back to Vancouver and went straight to nap.

Would I go back? – Yes! Were it closer then Maple Ridge. The food is classic, casual diner style. Uncomplicated, all American comfort foods. I would just make sure to avoid the same server.
Would I recommend it? – Yes, food is more fun when it is themed and a 50’s diner is not common to Vancouver. I wished they went out all on the theme; and the staff dressed, looked and talked the part. Not that they need another reason to bring customers in. A table left and another sat down fluidly. A very popular place.
Not a place to deny yourself of trying. It is worth the car ride, and when there you can fill up on cheaper gas at 125 in Mission where it was 138 in the city.

BOBBY SOX
22596 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge BC, V5X 2V4
604-467-9290

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