As Wicca says, the beef pho we had here was “aw-pho” (as in “awful”, for the dense people). I try to stay away from superlatives, but that bowl of beef pho we had at Sing Sing Beer Bar was the single worst dish I’ve had in the last year. The chef here is vegan.
Disclaimers about this review:
- Sing Sing were open
less than a week a week and a half when we visited, so the food and menu will probably change. Hopefully the pho will improve.
- I post this because people like you and me deserve to know how the food is tasting now, if we’re considering risking our hard-earned money on a place with a gloriously wacky concept.
- Consider this a rough guide to what works and what doesn’t right now.
- NOTE: the room got dark really fast, so my photos of the food are horrible. The food actually looks way better in-person.
- There’s some connection to Donnelly Group that I haven’t been able to suss out yet. Sing Sing is a venture by the people behind Back and Forth Bar (the ping pong bar) in Gastown. Could it be Donnelly Group lending support to places that are actually cool? Instead of overwrought and soulless?
- NOTE 2: I wrote this while high, so I’ve gone back afterwards and added a few notes, as noted. 🙂
If you don’t want to read or scroll, here it is in a nutshell:
Good beer list, very fair beer prices, great pizza, the pho is a crime against Vietnamese culture, and the room is VERY LOUD.
Continue reading First Look: Good Pizza & Beer, Aw-pho Pho at Sing Sing Beer Bar on Main St.
Basically ignore every post or review of Joe Pizza you’ve read before late February, cuz after their initial soft-opening phase using Annabelle Choi’s sourdough, they’ve completely reworked their dough recipe on their own, now use commercial yeast, and have lowered prices to the $5-6 range instead of original ~$8; so it’s pretty much a new place as of late February. I went on a Thursday night and while I like it and admire it for what it is, I don’t love it.
Continue reading First Look: Pizza by the Slab at Joe Pizza
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?
Continue reading First Look: R&B Ale and Pizza House
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.
Continue reading First Look: Great Pizza at Strathcona Beer Company
Everyone knows about Hawksworth, the multi-award-winning upscale restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, right? I’ve actually never been there! More generous relatives have brought their families there and quite enjoyed it, but I’ve never step foot in there. An old boss of mine remarked that dining there is actually a good value! I thought, “WTF?! Maybe in your gated community mentality it’s a good value, but… I think you’re not paying me enough, then!”
Thankfully, David Hawksworth has opened his more casual and accessible share-plates restaurant Nightingale last week. Prices are about 1/2 to 1/3 cheaper than Hawksworth, with a focus on pizzas. Can’t get more casual than pizza! Are you ready for a taste of David Hawksworth unbuttoned?*
* Wicca actually came up with that phrase. I was thinking up tortured stuff like “Hawksworth with his two top buttons unbuttoned” and “Hawksworth rolling up his pants, going sockless, and wearing fashion sneakers.” Gah.
DISCLAIMER: As usual with these early “First Look” reviews, take everything with a grain of salt. It’s only been a week and I’m sure it’ll take more time before the team gets into a rhythm and gets to know that pizza oven and it’s quirks. But early impressions are good! Service was good and dishes were timed well.
Continue reading David Hawksworth Unbuttoned: First Look at Nightingale
I was recommended by longtime local internet foodie LotusRapper from the Chowhound forum to check out Pizza Garden (PG), to compare with my experience with Straight Outta Brooklyn (SOB). So I picked the worst lunchtime out of the week to head out of the office to try them out! There were thunderstorms plus even a bit of hail, but that didn’t stop me from having a slice at PG then another slice immediately afterwards at SOB to compare…THEN an ice cream-in-a-fried-bun-thing at Japadog 😛
Continue reading Lunch Quickie: Pizza Garden vs Straight Outta Brooklyn (vs Japadog vs my stomach)
Mere steps from Ramen Jinya is the new Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizza which opened April 8 (almost 2 weeks ago as of this post). I think there’s been huge latent demand in Vancouver for NY-style, thin crust, QUALITY pizza. Downtown is awash in cheap slice pizza, so how does SOB compare? Will you pay more for quality?
Continue reading First Look: Straight Outta Brooklyn NYC Pizzeria
After shaking off the emotional crap from the previous night, we headed out and did an epic day:
- Quan Ngon Nha Trang (San Gabriel)
- Fugetsu-do Sweet Shop (Little Tokyo)
- Far Bar (Little Tokyo)
- Angel City Brewery (Little Tokyo/DTLA)
- Wurstkuche (Little Tokyo/DTLA)
- Pie Hole (Little Tokyo/DTLA)
- Pizzanista (Arts District)
So in this one day, we were able to pack in Vietnamese noodles, Japanese sweets, German sausages with Belgian fries, American pie, and New York(ish) pizza. We could’ve easily added in Mexican food (of which there are a ton of regional styles available in LA) but surprisingly we didn’t have a drop of during our entire trip because we just couldn’t fit it in.
Continue reading LA Day 4 – A Cross-Cultural Mash-Up of Epic Proportions
Pub/restaurant crawls are tons of fun! Especially when you don’t plan out exactly where you’re going — it keeps things spontaneous and exciting! It’s good to go to an area with good density of worthy spots where you can have a drink and a bite at each place and basically experience the best of each place, all in one night! Main St. is a good area, as is Robson & Denman area, but Gastown felt right for this particular rain-free evening. Things got progressively fuzzier as the night wore on. Good thing I always have my camera!
Continue reading Choose Your Own Adventure: Gastown Crawl with Alibi Room, The Diamond & Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Another yearly trip to Calgary for some in-law visiting and good food eatin’. Some good, some bad, some disappointing, some surprising. Read on! Continue reading Hot Ramen Facials & More in Calgary – June 2014