Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Black Bear Pub (LYNN VALLEY)

This was my first time having a proper meal at The Bear. I ordered the Jerk ChickenBurder ($11.99) with fries.
Personally, I love Jerk Chicken. I lived in the Caribbean for 6 months when I was younger and never really discovered this Jamaican classic. Well, now everytime I go to the Canadian Superstore, I buy the Jerk Chicken marinade and use it on everything, including cereal. 
Well, sadly, the burger had potential but lost it in execution.


The jerk flavouring came through on the burger, but very very mildly, the flavour wasn't tongue sizzling. The burger was drier than it should've been, and obviously could've been marinaded longer or cooked slower in the marinade. Regardless I enjoyed it and they had just the right amount of veggies on the burger to go along with the chicken. 

The French Fries were real French Fries, cut in restaurant and slightly seasoned. They were basic ordinairy French fries, it would've been nice to take them a step further but at least they weren't a Costco bag of cuts. 

Needless to say, it filled me, I was full. Too bad the slab of chicken was too dry and not flavourful enough. I won't be heading back here soon for work, but I will have to check out their mussels and tuna entries at some point, they both have a very good reputation.  For a decent burger, check out the $16 Lamb Burger from the Village Taphouse, soooooo good. 


Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub on Urbanspoon

Friday, 22 July 2011


For lunch yesterday, we stopped at a coffee shop in Kerrisdale, only because Dairy Queen didn't have burgers, shoot me. For $10.45 I got a salad and a sandwich, which is a pretty hefty price tag, considering most bars do a soup/salad and sandwich for $7-$9 as a lunch special. Well, the salad rolled around, and me and my co-worker were both impressed.
There was just the right mix of walnuts, feta, and deliciously fresh blackberries and strawberries that I could've eaten a large bowl of this salad and been satisfied. The greens were fresh, everything went perfectly bite after bite. The salad came with little jars of balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, so you could add the two for a perfect taste as you saw fit. I don't order salads too often, this made me realize what I was missing. Mind you it's a coffee shop, the salad wasn't huge, but a good starter to a sandwich.

Then the sandwich arrived. Smoked salmon with avocado. I love smoked salmon, and was kind of dissapointed to see how little there was on the sandwich. It pulled through in some bites but never strongly, a little bit more would've really enhanced the sandwich. The bread was store bought, nothing too exciting. Still, the sandwich was good, albeit nothing extra-ordinary. I will definitely try their smoke salmon wrap next time, which include avocado, but capers as well.

That little sliver of melon was a nice touch to the meal. I have to say the staff were extremely friendly, the food was fast, I just wish it wasn't quite so much for a standard sandwich, and an excellently simple salad. Check it out if your in the area, apparently their soups are quite excellent.


Legato Tea & Coffee on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 21 July 2011


I stopped by Village Taphouse for a bite on Tuesday, after visiting it for the first time to see a friend earlier that day. Now it was time for some food. I ordered the Bay Shrimp Club, made with fresh avocado, dill aioli, and a prosciutto crisp ($14, with a side order of Poutine ($4).

Now, until I just looked up what I'd actually ordered on a menu on their website, I had completely forgotten there was a dill aoli inside. Maybe it's because the flavour wasn't that strong, or maybe it was the pint of Stanley Park Pilsner($4.75), a LAGER, overpowering it, but the sandwich kind of disappointed. I'm a huge fan of shrimp in sandwiches, and with avocado your usually asking for a guaranteed winner. My first bite, squished 80% of the shrimp out of the gorgeous looking sandwich, and there it wasn't jam packed with them or anything like that. Heavy dosing of avocado though, and the sandwich was definitely a decent size. The prosciutto crisp was a nice touch, but there wasn't enough to really make it stand out. Overall I was kind of disappointed by the sandwich. Bolder flavours and better execution would've made it a whole lot better.

The Poutine was actually pretty damn good, I think I liked it more than the sandwich. It had quite a strong flavour to it, more onion than meaty, but one of the best poutine sauces I've had
ever had. Which doesn't mean much, I usually eat shit poutine(notice the small p?) wherever I find it and am in the mood. The cheese was nice and gooey, just the way it should be, and while it wasn't covered all over the top, it was sufficiently buried in the small bowl. It's not a huge amount of Poutine, but a perfect amount for a side. It nicely complimented the meal, I'd get it again . Not quite sure what's sprinkled on top, I was too busy eating and that photo blows.

Sorry for the crap photos, unexpected stop and only had my iPhone on me. A bit shaky too.
Anyways, I would visit the location again. While the food wasn't mind blowing, it was better than your standard bar food (looking at you Lynnwood) by a fair amount and you can tell the Cactus Club influence on the place. 22 kinds of beers are available on tap, and all the servers/waitresses are given a beer education when they start working there. Their daily food and drink specials are actually pretty decent as well. Maybe next time I'll try something a little bit less...ordinary. Off to bed, I just got off set and here I am writing a food blog post when I need to be up at 6. Classy.


Village Taphouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


So I went to the Cheshire Cheese on Dunbar for lunch yesterday. Sorry, I was working and dirty, so I left my fancy camera at home, but this surprise stop made me pull out my iPhone.

 Being that it's a British restaurant and I hadn't tried too much British cuisine, I went for a Toad In the Hole, which is home-made sausage cooked in a Yorkshire battery, traditionally served with veggies, and mashed potaotes, along with some onion gravy. 

The mashed potatoes were good, with a bit of parsley on top, but pretty close to what you would make it home. Nothing too crazy here. The veggies were boiled, maybe a bit too long (or a bit old), as they didn't have a particularly strong flavour to them, but they weren't unedible and could be seasoned to your personal tastes.

The Toad In The Hole. First off, the British know how to make sausages, that's for sure. The sausage had great flavour but wasn't too overpowering or spicy. The Yorkshire itself was beautiful, soft, fluffy, and complimented the sausage with onion gravy every single bite. The only minor complaint was that one corner of the dish was definitely drier, the Yorkshire was harder there and the meat has turned almost into a pepporoni. I understand a dish like this takes 45 minutes to make so everything is made ahead of time, but something got fumbled and I did have a bit of a hard time getting through that corner piece.  

The Toad In the Hole was $11.99, and along with a Kilkenny pint ($7.85) it out to around $20 before tip. If you want to try some good authentic British food, check The Cheshire Cheese out, there are multiple locations around Vancouver. I apologize again for the short review and lack of photos, I will be more prepared next time and not in a rush for work as I type this. 

Cheshire Cheese Inn on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 17 July 2011

BISTRO ROYAL (Park Royal in West Vancouver)

While I was picking up an HDMI cable at Park Royal today, I stopped by the food court for lunch. I almost went Chinese, but a man beckoning me over with a sliver of chicken on a stick got my business. BISTRO ROYAL is a newer Euro/Internation food shop there, trying to entice customers with good pasta and chicken/meat dishes.

The Sweet Basil chicken sampler he handed me was beautifully cooked and very juicy. On the spot I decided to eat there, and ordered the Sweet Basil Chicken chicken with 2 sides, for $7.99. They also had some Salmon or Basa as a meat main, and quite a variety of sides to go with all of these, including 4 types of salads, 3 types of pasta, and various other veggie dishes. This being my first, (and accidental!) blog post, I didn't take any photos of the establishment or the menus, but this will be an ongoing thing as I plan for things like this ahead of time.

Now, onto the food. It was pretty good for food court fair.  The Pesto pasta I had as a side was perfectly cooked, the sauce was creamy with good flavour, but not too overpowering. Most food court shops tend to under season, as the customer can always season to perfection but can't un-season if it's a bit too much. 

The salad I had was crisp and fresh, with just the right amount of light dressing on it, something close to the flavour of a Greek salad dressing and some nice parmesan on top. I drove like a maniac on the way home, so my salad got tossed. No, not like that, like this:

The chicken was dripping in the Sweet Basil sauce. It was tender,juicy, and just the right amount of seasoning and pepper. I even dipped some of the pasta into the excess sauce for a bit more kick. However, it was a tad too sweet for me, I'm a spice guy and by the time I made it to the end I wasn't too down for anything with sugar, but that's just me.

There was also a small home-made bun that came with the meal, only a couple bites worth but a nice addition to the meal. The bun got a bit of sauce on it in the travels home, but after the first bite I couldn't stop and ate it up, it was great and reminiscent of buns my Mom made, just the perfect density and slightly sweet. 

The owner and his wife are very friendly to the customers, and they told me they just opened up in January this year. There wasn't a line-up or a lot of people eating here yet, so here's hoping his promotional tactics continue to draw in customers like they did for me today. Good, fresh food at decent prices in a food court setting. Next time I feel like a meal cooked at home I'll have to swing by. 


Bistro Royal (Park Royal Shopping Centre) on Urbanspoon