All posts by dennis

I eat, drink, photograph, tweet, write, yoyo, design & run. Let's have fun!

First Look: BREWHALL in Olympic Village is a Modern Beer Hall

Steel Toad had a tough time and also an identity crisis. The group behind Tap & Barrel took over the space and have now turned it into BREWHALL and T&B’s experience shows in how well put-together this place is. I haven’t tried any of the food yet, and only had a couple house beers, but this place works.

(Side note: I’m so glad they changed the name from “T&B Brewing Co.” cuz that would’ve been a supreme dick move. R&B Ale & Pizza House is only blocks away.)

Continue reading First Look: BREWHALL in Olympic Village is a Modern Beer Hall

Lunch Quickie: Cubano Sandwich at Havana on Commercial

It’s the new Havana! Newly recharged with actual Cuban food on the menu, courtesy of the group behind Postmark, Belgard Kitchen, etc. I stopped in for a Cubano to see what Andrew Morrison was raving about. In a nutshell: very good except the pickle element rolled over and died. Plantain chips were excellent.

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A Very Soft Soft Opening: Bean Bánh Mì

Seems like banh mi is having a bit of a resurgence! In addition to Banh Mi Yen Linh (Kingsway & St. Catherines), the new second location of Ba Le (Broadway & Fraser), and the new Chinatown location of DD Mau, a new “modern” banh mi place has taken over the old Tung Hing space on Kingsway & Inverness called “Bean Bánh Mì“. Why “bean”? It’s a family operation and “bean” (đậu) is the son’s nickname which in Vietnamese also means good fortune or prosperity or something like that ;). So they’ve ran with the whole “bean” theme in their marketing. Wicca and I checked them out during their first week of operation.

NOTE: they’re still in their soft opening phase, so things probably will change and hopefully improve!

In a nutshell: the bread needs a lot of work. Some components need to be tweaked. But a promising start with a lot of heart.

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King Crab Dinner at Fortune Terrace in Richmond

Few things have that uneasy mixture of luxury, guilt, and controversy as king crab does. Like spot prawns now, there used to be a mad king crab season rush in the Lower Mainland. But because we can’t have nice things, king crab prices are high and supply has become questionable (and possible illegal). So on that note, we recently celebrated a family reunion of sorts with king crab. I didn’t even see a menu during this dinner. My dad and relatives ordered, my dad paid, and I ate and appreciated like a number one son.

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Storied French & Quebecois Country Cooking: Putting the Saint in St. Lawrence

I purposely read very little about JC Poirier’s St. Lawrence restaurant, trying to ignore all the awards and acolades it’s won. (The most recent being JC being named one of the Foodies of the Year by Western Living Magazine. Side note: it feels like Western Living is stretching when they anoint the Superflux guys as being “Chill AF Dudes”…VanMag maybe, but Western Living?? Using “AF”??? Disclosure: I sometimes shoot photos for Superflux and they are indeed chill AF dudes.)

So walking in with no real expectations except for that JC has been part of some of the city’s best restaurants (Pourhouse, Pizzeria Farina, Ask for Luigi, Di Beppe), I thought, “how good can it be?”

Excellent.

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Dinner Quickie: Decent Korean Eats at Andamiro Korean Bistro on Kingsway

Solid. Not exceptional but good enough. Lots of staff and responsive service. Huge menu. Faint smell of gas/butane in the air. Not “this restaurant’s gonna blow” level of smell, but “you gotta get that checked out” kind of smell. Read on for the deets on this quick little dinner!

Continue reading Dinner Quickie: Decent Korean Eats at Andamiro Korean Bistro on Kingsway

Lunch Quickie: Homey Cuban food at Varadero Cafe on Commercial

Cuban food is pretty hard to find in Vancouver.  I haven’t tried Havana on Commercial Drive, but since it’s been taken over by Postmark/Belgard Kitchen/Vancouver Urban Winery group, I’m not sure what’s to come of it. I always thought it might be the Cuban equivalent of The Reef — a smoothed-out, shaved-off mainstream rendition of “ethnic” food. The Las Margaritas of Cuban restaurants, if you will. Well, there’s an actual hole-in-the-wall, homey Cuban restaurant on Commercial Drive now called Varadero Cafe. It’s been open since July 2017 and word-of-mouth has been promising. Moyenchow and I checked it out. If you’re into the starch-heavy, laidback seasoning that’s typical of Cuban cuisine, you’ll like this place. This small initial visit is positive.

Continue reading Lunch Quickie: Homey Cuban food at Varadero Cafe on Commercial