Juke in Chinatown has been open about 5 weeks. There’s this thing about food blogging/food reviewing that you shouldn’t review a place the first x it’s been open — that “x” could be a week, a month, whatever…that value changes depending on who you talk to. I break that rule all the time. One part of me understands that restaurants always need time to work out the kinks, to smooth out their processes and staffing, settle into their “vision”, what have you. The other part of me feels that I don’t want to be a guinea pig, spend hard-earned cash money, waste my time, or waste a dining opportunity with so much out there to try. So I waited more than a month to try Juke. I think I have a pretty good idea about their food and can judge accordingly. You may like it. You may love it. I didn’t.
There’s a popular salad bar near my work that I’ve ignored for years. But then people in the office said they liked it, so I tried it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So what the heck is a “FEFs Night Out”? It’s our foodie-centric take on the infamous Munchies web series Chef’s Night Out, where they follow a group of chefs going on a food and booze crawl, getting various degrees of shit-faced. We thought the Vancouver episode (with Tannis and Joël from Bao Bei/Kissa Tanto, with cameo by Ken Tsui) was way too tame and responsible, so a bunch of us booze-friendly food bloggers tried to do own unhinged version one Saturday night. In attendance were Meaghan (Grub is Love) and Kevin (604 Foodtography), with Wicca and few others. The Instagram tag was #fefsnightout (click if you want to see some triplet fashion porn) and the writeup is below. I didn’t take notes during this outing, so I don’t really get into my usual level of detail and analysis. So enjoy the more relaxed me below!
Mensch Jewish Delicatessen (Instagram, Facebook) started as a pop-up series at Buckstop and Pidgin in early 2016 and moved to a dedicated pop-up space in mid-July 2016. It currently occupies the Harkness & Co Butchers space on Broadway near Fraser, on the same block as Pizzeria Barbarella and Poutinerie Jean-Talon (review here).
Mensch Jewlish Deli pop-up ends on September 9, so my advice would be to check it out before it’s gone!
I reviewed the original Richmond location of John 3:16 back in November 2014 (review here) but that location was torn down to make way for a new huge development. Their replacement Richmond location around the corner on No. 3 Road is coming “soon”, but in the meantime they opened their North Vancouver location back in April 2016.
R&B Brewing are actually one of the local old-school breweries, having opened in 1997 in the same space (now expanded and remodeled) on East 4th & Quebec St. They’re within walking distance of the new Faculty Brewing, Steel Toad, 33 Acres, Brassneck, and Main Street Brewing. R&B were a near-casualty of the Vancouver craft beer boom, and got increasingly overlooked, out-brewed, and ignored when everyone else was opening up tasting rooms where people could hang out, fill growlers, etc, while R&B were stuck with no ability to open a tasting lounge that’s become a critical part of becoming a successful brewery in Vancouver. On the brink of bankruptcy, they were bought out by Howe Sound Brewing in April 2015, with one of the founders, Barry, continuing on as an employee. With that injection of capital and manpower, they’ve finally opened up their lounge and pizza oven in August 2016. How do their beers fare now in today’s crowded and hot hot hot craft beer scene? And how’s their pizza?
If you’ve been following the Vancouver food blog king Sherman’s Food Adventures on Instagram, you’ll know that he’s been eating a ton of lobster rolls while on the east coast. Of course I felt massive FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out”), so I googled around to see if I could find lobster rolls here in Vancouver. Little did I know that it would lead me down a dark, dank hole, with me ending up at Kingsgate Mall.
The Blind Sparrow on Denman (across the street from Kintaro Ramen) calls themselves “Vancouver’s first gastrotavern”. I fail to see the difference between “gastrotavern” and the more popular term “gastropub”. Let’s see if my visit during their happy hour cuts through the bs and answers the question, “Is this place good enough to return to?”
I seem to eat a lot of fried chicken when I visit in-laws in Calgary. It must be the whole “vacation mode” thing, plus there’s some great Korean fried chicken here. This summer though, I passed on Korean fried chicken and tried the new Southern-style fried chicken place Cluck N Cleaver, opened up by the Gomes sisters (one of whom was on Top Chef Canada Season 3).
Ever had one of those toe-curling experiences with food? Jamón Ibérico does it to me every time. They have at Cabrito and sometimes you just need that one thing to keep you coming back. Luckily, the rest of the food (for the most part) is executed well and warrants repeat visits if you’re looking for tapas/small plates. This is just the start of my journey to find out if Vancouver can do tapas/pintxos, and not just leave it to Toronto (eg. the exemplary Bar Raval and well-regarded Bar Isabel).