Friday, 17 January 2014

Old Town Pizza

Where has all the time gone? We can't believe it's already here! This year, my mom decided to take me on a pretty long trip around Asia and I missed majority  of the holiday time with Michael. When I returned Michael quickly whisked me away to Portland to spend what was left of the holiday together.

Old Town Pizza

This time Michael decided to stay at somewhere we have never stayed at before. We came across Old Town Pizza, Michael sounded very excited but  I thought I wasn't feeling pizza...until he said it was a haunted pizzeria? Okay now we're talking. As much interest as I have with the supernatural world, ironically I am actually the biggest wimp and I am afraid of everything, and I stupidly suggested to eat there at night to add a complete the eerie experience.

Ooo a "resident ghost"

Old Town Pizza is located at 226 NW Davis. This is a place the famous Rachel Ray and Jay Leno has dined at. This restaurant also claims it is somewhere you must visit before you die, something that needs to be crossed off the bucket list. When we walked in to the restaurant was quite dark but there was blaring sounds of alternative music. The gentleman that greeted us had a sleeve of tattoos. He said to us the menus are on the side and we order up front when we're ready and we can find a table while we wait for our food.

Nina the ghost's supposed carving

On the menu explains the history of the pizza restaurant, to make a long story short Nina, a sex worker who was pushed down the elevator shaft, and apparently she never left the place. According to the restaurant's history, she - or her ghost - carved her name on the wall at the bottom of the shaft, which now serves as one of the restaurant's walls. The restaurant did not change much from what it was from the 1900's. It used to be a hotel and the pizza order counter is the old check-in counter of the hotel.

Our split flavour pizza

Michael and I ordered a large split pizza on regular dough ($23.95) that we could share. I got the pesto pizza that had spinach, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and feta cheese, with pine nuts, and a light pesto sauce. I liked that the sauce and toppings were everywhere even on the crust. At the end of the pizza I liked that the crust wasn't hard and dry. It was soft and fluffy like the rest of the pizza. There was strong taste of the fresh spinach which I really liked because it added a organic touch to it. Of course the mozzarella was amazing but I didn't taste much saltiness from the feta cheese. I was a little disappointed because I didn't get as much crunch from the pine nuts as I hoped on the pizza, I felt a lot of  other strong flavour over powered  and the nuts got lost somewhere in there. I thought the pizza was very tasty overall, the dough was slightly thick and felt a little heavy but that was okay with me because it still consisted a soft texture. 

Michael got the House pizza which is a Portland classic, it consisted pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, olives, and a house sausage. Michael really liked that there was a lot of toppings he thought it was of course filling.  Michael was more interested with the restaurant than the food. Probably because we did have a little bit of a  "haunted experience," Michael's pretty positive it was the ghost but I'm not so sure.

There's a very "old town" feel to the restaurant

Here's how it happened: the restaurant was not that busy with diners that night Michael and I was sipping on our beers with a candle between us. All of a sudden, we both felt a cool rush of air - I felt it brush against my feet and within seconds our candle had blown out. When we looked around all the other candles on the other tables were still lit. Was it her? 

A little spooky for me. So, as much as I enjoyed dining at this haunted pizza joint I think the next time I'll come back in the day time, with a take out order!

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Friday, 27 December 2013

The Eatery

The Eatery is probably one of the most fun places to get sushi that I know of in Vancouver. I found this little sushi joint about two years when some of my classmates invited me out for dinner. I thought the place was very wild and funky. Something I don't often see at a typical sushi place.

The second time I visited The Eatery was not too long ago with some co-workers, I had ordered the avocado crunch and I was just obsessed and I asked Michael to come with me for a second round of that decadent little roll.


The Eatery at 3431 West Broadway is funky. There are lava lamps above the bar area and there are almost life sized super hero figures hanging on the wall. There's also a DJ spinning in the corner. Add in quirky little quotes posted throughout the restaurant and on the menu and you have a hell of an unusual dining experience. But we're here for the food, and we didn't leave disappointed.

Michael and I aren't great believers in fusion food but the Eatery is somewhere that has mastered fusion sushi and transformed it in to something fun. They've really done their research on how to do "fusion" properly, I don't see that too often.

The owners have a sense of humour :)

First thing first. Get a reservation in advance. They tend to get you to play the waiting game and it's not fun. The restaurant is not too big and you can see people eating right in front of you while you wait and starve. You have been warned.

Another factor is I don't feel that The Eatery is somewhere I'd go to eat and get really good service. I feel that from my experiences I felt a lot of the servers were a little rude and took very little in regards of the diners needs. But oh well, the place makes pretty good food, what more could I ask for. 

Since it was Michael's first time at the place he let me take control of ordering the rolls. Oh man, I love ordering their rolls because of their funny names. Sometimes I try not to get too carried away and order too much. Also when you let me take control of rolls, you will begin to nice a pattern.

Our plethora of rolls

Of course I ordered the avocado crunch ($5.50) which is avocado and cream cheese fried in to a tempura batter. I loved that there was crunch from the tempura and the mild creaminess of the avocado that's molded in to one ball. But then there is the slight cream cheese that hits you unexpectedly with a tang.  Michael thought it was extremely creamy, almost like a cream puff with a marshmallow filling. He thought there was a little sweetness in there too that the avocado gives you when you bite in to it.

Our second roll was the erotica roll ($6.95) which was avocado, salmon, tuna with roe, with crab, cucumber, and mayo. Michael both agree that it tasted very much like a California roll. I thought the crab's taste over powered a lot of the other mild ingredients and I could only taste the crab. Which I think that's what's giving the California roll type of feel.  Michael feels there was a good amount of the fish and roe which also tasted very fresh. The salmon tasted similar to the tuna one but there wasn't a lot of that mayo taste coming through.

Our last and final roll was the Viva Las Vegas ($7.95) which the menu claimed that this is what killed Elvis! I thought it was very delicious,  the roll is decked with crab, eel, avocado, cream cheese, and spicy mayo. I was looking for something with packed a lot of heat. The Vegas one had a fair amount of heat but I wish there was more. Maybe I would have gotten the heat if I ordered the X - rated roll. But overall I thought there wasa. Lot of elements to the Vegas. There was eel and there was the crab which I kind of thought it was a little lost in there because maybe there was also the cream cheese and the spicy mayo.  Michael thought the same that we're a lot of components in there and he referenced it to a chowder soup. Since there was a lot of ingredients happening its hard to differentiate them apart. He could taste the crab and the eel, and the avocado came throughout it mixed in with all the other ingredients in there eventually. 

Did you notice the pattern? All three rolls that I ordered contained avocado, well I just love my avocado!

Salmon tar tar

Another dish we ordered was the smoked salmon tar tar ($9.50) it had three types of salmon with black sesame, chives, and creme fraiche. There were wonton chips on the side made out like nachos which we thought was pretty cool, Michael thought it added a real nice touch.  I couldn't really make out the creme fraiche but I could definitly taste the smokiness. Everything just molded together ever so nicely. The salmon was just to die for, it was so good it was like my whole body just melted. There was also a little green salad on the side which Michael capped on to his salmon with the wonton chips. He thought it added an extra freshness to the mushiness of the salmon. I didn't really bother too much with the greens because it looked really dry that made it look not too appetizing.

Cheap wings

We also ordered half a dozen of wings ($0.35 each) and we got the salt and pepper flavor one. We didn't really have much of an opinion on those wings. We felt that there wasn't anything special to them, Michael purely got them was because they were so cheap. It was practically a steal.


We then got the yaki-tori ($5.25) which was three chicken skewers with a honey soy sauce. Michael loves anything that's served on a stick. I'm not sure why but I wasn't surprised that he wanted to order that. We both agree that the chicken skewer tasted extremely tender just fell off the stick practically. Michael thought the teriyaki sauce was very tastefully done, like the ones you would get at a fancy Japanese restaurant. Michael thought it was salty too, a little more salty than sweet but he ended up liking it anyway. I felt it a little too salty. 

Michael and I left the restaurant feeling super stuffed. We were about to fall in to a deep food coma. The eatery is somewhere that I would recommend if they are looking for somewhere to fun to eat at. The Eatery definitely has great energy and great food. It such a delight always just walking in to the restaurant because of their wild decor. 

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Little Bird Bistro

The leaves have turned golden brown and fallen off the trees, the wind blowing, and rainy days. Fall is definitely here. So what do Michael and I do? Run away to Portland again. Visiting the Oregon city has become something Michael and I really enjoy, a yearly routine for us. One of the biggest reasons is the great dining in Portland.

When we were looking for somewhere to eat dinner, everything we came across sounded so wonderful but unfortunately we arrived in to Portland late, and we could only dine out for only one of the nights we were there.

Because of our minor delay we got up bright and early to make up for the lost time in Portland. I did my usual stops in downtown, and of course Michael sat in his boyfriend chairs and waited for me. While he sat there patiently he did some research on where we could dine at. Michael has always had a fascination with birds since he was a child and when we came across Little Bird Bistro he got pretty excited. Since the bird bistro served French cuisine, he thought this place had something to offer for the both of us.

Luckily, we got a table after a short wait

When the evening approached us we were starting to get second thoughts of the place. What if there's a lot of people? Was it too late to make a reservation? Michael went back to the drawing board but we still went back to the bird. We made our way down to the restaurant on that cold night, it was a long walk from our hotel but we finally made it to the restaurant. Good thing there wasn't much of a wait.

Little Bird Bistro is a two story restaurant. I felt that it looked really cozy and the restaurant reminded me of cafes in southern France. There were blackboards up above in the wall that showed the specials and a big window where diners could watch the city goers walk by.

Michael and I were seated on the main floor and our tables were pretty tucked in there side by side with other diners. I got hungry during my shopping day so I got tempted by a pretzel from the mall, but Michael suggested that we would get an appetizer to share. Michael knew that I love gnocchis  and decided to order the goat cheese gnocchi with ox tail, served with caramelized orange jus and peppers ($14). Yummy!

Biting into the gnocchi was like chewing in to lumps of clouds. There were such strong aromatic flavours from the ox tail with a lighter balance from the jus. I didn't try any of the ox tail myself but eating just the gnocchi's were just amazing. I loved that there was sprinkles of goat cheese to the dish, which added a nuttiness to the light flavours. Michael said that the ox tail was like melt in your mouth good. There such natural flavours in the ox tail with a touch of light seasoning.

Chicken fried trout

Michael was feeling a little ill that day and wanted to eat something light and easy on his stomach. He wanted to get the chicken fried trout with herbs, pickled vegetables, gribiche, and radishes ($22), but I thought that sounded pretty delicious and I wanted to eat that. Michael was nice enough to let me order it and he would order something else. Unfortunately, the chicken fried trout was completely different from what I thought it would be. I thought the dish was really heavy because the trout was fried, and now come to think of it the title makes sense now. There was a creaminess present from the gribiche that tamed a little bit of the friedness. I really liked that there was sprigs of dill and different herbs on the plate. Not only did it make the dish have an additional flavour but it also added interesting presentation. It was a bonus that beneath the batter the fish was very soft, smooth and silky. I decided it was a bad idea to have the mall pretzel in the end, I regretfully didn't finish the fish.

Pork pot au feu

Michael, meanwhile, got the light dish he was looking for. He ordered the pork pot au feu, which a stew with bone marrow and potatoes on a broth ($28). Michael just gobbled that sucker up because it was soupy, non greasy and not fried. Exactly the kind of fancy for-sick-people dinner he was looking for. He has never had bone marrow before so it was definitely an adventure for him. He was the pork itself was very soft another melt and he loved dipping the morsels in the broth and marrow. 

Even though I was really full from my fried trout I kept stealing Michael's potatoes. They were so tasty. I love that the seasoning on the potatoes wasn't overpowering and it was just prepared very simply. Michael's broth added the perfect amount of flavour. So very tasty.


Even though I didn't get the dish that I had anticipated on, I would be more that happy to return to the bird bistro to try other dishes off their menu. The kitchen definitely knows how to cook and I am super eager to return to try their other dishes. The server also gave us small macaroons with the bill, which was a nice touch.

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