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?”
Price isn’t usually that much of an issue for me unless something jumps out — and jump out it did when I took my family to the new Anh + Chi in the old Pho Hoang space on Main & 18th. I don’t mind paying more for a commensurate increase in quality, technique, freshness, and service…but I’m not sure that what I ate justified the increase in price.
TLDR: Average food with hints of greatness for a premium price.
Duffin’s Donuts has been a divey institution for ages. In the 90s, they used to be located on Main and 33rd where they did the same combination of donuts and Mexican torta sandwiches. A failed attempt at trying the newish TK Sub Cafe (which apparently was opened up by an ex-employee of Duffin’s) resulted in a trip down to the truck-stop vibe of Duffin’s Donuts at Knight and 41st to try the original taste of Vancouver tortas.
Well-trained but restrained… maybe too restrained.
The first time I went to Farmer’s Apprentice was more than a year ago when I went for brunch. I remember being stimulated more intellectually than gastronomically. Since then, this restaurant has won a few awards and is generally regarded as one of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer — especially when out-of-towners ask where to eat on Chowhound. Speaking of Chowhound, check out this little discussion of Chef David Gunawan’s new downtown venture with Donnelly Group (!).
Continue reading Well-Trained but Restrained: Farmer’s Apprentice
You know I go on and on and on and on and on about how good Longtail Kitchen in New West is. They just won a VanMag silver award for Best Thai! Anyways, they’re going to be featured on the Food Network Canada show “You Gotta Eat Here!” (Season 4 Episode 15 — airs May 8) and we were invited to the taping last November.
When I wasn’t being all nervous with sweaty pits, I snuck a few pics…
Disclaimer: We were invited to this taping as longtime (heh) customers of Longtail. We didn’t have to pay for any of our food, but then we didn’t get to choose what food we got. And I didn’t get to drink any beer cuz the kegerator wasn’t operating that day 🙁 We have no connection to Longtail other than being regulars and on friendly terms with the chef and staff. We were not paid for participating nor were we coached or told what to say. If this is the extent of me “selling out” as a food blogger, I’m happy with it.
There’s been rumours of a change in ownership of Taishoken, the tsukemen place near Tinseltown that just opened in June this year (so only 6 months ago as of this writing). I’ve read and heard both good and bad about the place in recent weeks, so I thought I’d personally check it out to see if they still have the best tsukemen I’ve ever had so far. (See previous posts about Taishoken here and here.)
Bottom line first: I wanted to like it more than I did. The cooking is executed well but the flavour combinations are a bit odd and don’t necessarily showcase the ingredients in the best light.
Now for the meat of the review… Continue reading Horse Tartare at Mamie Taylor’s