Tag Archives: meh

Happy Hour Quickie: Getting Lost in a Pan-Asian Fog at Bao Down Snack Bar

[ UPDATE – MAY 22, 2018: Looks like this entire chain has imploded. Must’ve spread themselves way too thin with so many locations and spinoffs. Hope everyone involved lands on their feet with more well-received ventures in the future. ]


I never tried the old menu at Bao Down Snack Bar. I guess I was waiting for word-of-mouth to get better before trying it. When a prominent local blogger gives a middling 3.5 beakers out of 5, that’s not exactly a reason to rush out and try it. Now Bao Down Snack Bar have a totally new menu and I can only imagine what their first round of nu-Filipino food was like. Maybe it’s unfair for me to make them the torchbearer of modern Filipino food…

Going by what a friend and I tried during a Friday happy hour, the new menu has morphed into a pan-Asian/Mexican pub food thing where the Filipino spirit got buried by trend-driven blandness.

There was lots of Kanye on the sound system.

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Eat the Rich: Dinner at Bandao Pearl at Marine Gateway

If my dad wasn’t given a $100 gift certificate to Bandao Pearl (part of the Peninsula group), we never would have set foot in this high-end Chinese seafood restaurant. (My dad got the gift certificate from a friend who didn’t want to use it. One look at the prices on the menu and we could see why!) The food itself was no better or worse than what you can find at much cheaper mid-range Chinese restaurants around town. This place caters to the rich who want to show off. Period.

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There Must Be More To It Than That: Happy Hour at Fayuca in Yaletown

Let’s get this out of the way first: Fayuca is a term used in Northern Mexico to describe petty contraband goods smuggled over the border like clothes, liquor, and food.” – Scout Magazine. So the name of the restaurant is a sly nod to how they approach their food, bringing influences from all along the Pacific coast. But, as they say, don’t call them Mexican.

Long story short: I don’t think their happy hour menu really shows what they can do. I wasn’t thrilled. These are Chefs with a captial C, and this restaurant did a lot of collaborations and events with the YVR Food Fest, so I thought they would be capable of much more.

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It’s not you, it’s me. Ok yeah, it’s you: El Santo in New West

You might’ve heard that El Santo in New West tied for Gold with La Mezcaleria for Best Latin in this year’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. We came in with a certain level of expectation, perhaps a more modern, tweaked, elevated take on Mexican cuisine. But we came away confused, disappointed, and frankly stunned with the generally bland, one-note, and at times off-balance flavours.

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Lunch Quickie: Parallel 49 Brewing Company’s Street Kitchen

I wasn’t gonna do a blog post about Parallel 49 Brewing Company‘s new Street Kitchen, but another website posted their article on it today (the one with the effusive hyperbole), so hey, fair game, right?

Long story short: ambitious menu, perhaps a bit too complicated for the crowd, great service, servings too small, prices too high.

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Lunch Quickie: Slight Sadness at Sal y Limón

Something’s not right here…Sal y Limón in “Fraserhood” has been around since 2012 and has perpetual lineups, but reviews of them are all over the place. Some gushing praise, some bitter disappointment. I guess it’s expected with a place so freaking popular, that every Tom’s Harry Dick is gonna get on Z*mato or Welp and wax lyrical about those big-ass burritos. Here’s my take on this place after eating seven tacos.

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The Jukes of Hazzard: Juke Fried Chicken

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.

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Ghetto Lunch Quickie: Lobster Roll at Sugarcane Bistro & Juice Bar at Kingsgate Mall

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.

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Lunch Quickie: Smokehouse Sandwich Co. (Downtown Location)

The original Richmond location of Smokehouse Sandwich Co. has a big following and I’ve been meaning to try it for a couple years. They opened up a more convenient downtown location back in March but I was actually reminded this week about it from three different sources: a really cool dude posted a SocialShopper coupon for it on Facebook, and two different trusty Instagrammers posted their sandwiches over the past week. That black charcoal bun really stands out!

TLDR: I wanted to like it more than I did. Underseasoned meat, brisket sandwich was dry, but good chips and strawberry & mint drink.

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