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).
Everyone seen the promo video for Strathcona Beer Company yet? They’re really showing their love for skaters, motocross, bocce ball, weenie-roasting, working out on rooftops, and beer! This place finally opened on Friday, July 15 after a bit of controversy over opening up a brewery in a low-income neighborhood that struggles with addiction.
Hoang Yen on Victoria Drive (across the street from Chau VeggieExpress and Amay’s House) seems to have been there for ages but I never paid attention to it because of the “Vietnamese & Canadian Cuisine” noted on their sign and menu. It brought to mind those increasingly rare “Chinese & Canadian Food”-type diners that I would never eat at unironically. But the constant lineups at this small place made us curious. We tried their most famous dish, the “Bun Cha Ca” (housemade fish cakes in vermicelli noodle soup) and we liked it!
La Mezcaleria‘s second location in Gastown is finally open. They’ve had their original place on Commercial Drive since April 2013 but I’ve never been. Their molten cheese fondue served in a volcanic rock pot is one of their most Instagrammed dishes — for good reason! I mean, check this out:
Anyways, this was a lonely solo lunch for me, so I’d have to save the molten cheese for next time. I got a couple dishes and was plenty pleased about it, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be back with a group for fondue and mezcal flights.
It’s finally happened — Vancouver now has a dedicated craft cider bar. Orchard & The Sea opened on July 14 (a week ago as I write this), and operates out of The Birds & The Beets space in Gastown on Thursday and Friday nights from 6pm-11pm, and Saturday night from 5pm-11pm (sort of like a pop-up restaurant). I’m fairly new to the whole cider thing, but already know that I don’t like the syrupy sweet mass-market ciders out there. Maybe I’ll find something more to my taste here?