Monday, 30 July 2012

Kaboom Box

Here is another segment of our Eat St experience. We all know that food carts are on the rise in Vancouver recently and are becoming really popular, I think it's because the menus are creative, their truck designs are witty and it makes us coming back for more.

Usually open for lunch to 3 p.m. daily

Michael and I have  walked by Kaboom Box at Granville and Robson many times. This little red wagon serves classic west coast cuisine such as fish and chips and salmon burgers. Their menu isn't very big but it offers a good choice and variety.

Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po Boy

Michael instantly knew what he wanted to get the Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po Boy ($8.04). Michael's lunch comes with three fried oysters, coated with a thick crust and paired with tartar sauce for dipping. Of course Michael saved the best for last, the good boyfriend he was, he let me try some of his fries, we both agree that the fries were cut and fried to perfection. They are served skinny cut fries and tasted very light, crispy outside and fluffy inside. We could eat a whole plate of these fries and wouldn't feel sick afterwards. Marvellous.

House Salad

As for myself, I really didn't know what to get for my lunch, I didn't have much of an appetite but I knew I should eat something anyway. I ordered the House Salad ($8). Almonds, smoked salmon and cranberries. All of this yummy goodness was rested on top of mixed greens and served with a dressing that I can't quite put my finger on but seems like a creamy type of vinaigrette with a hint of garlic. Quite the tasty thing.

I felt rushed because I was the only one standing at the cart, and I felt an awkward tension between me and the cashier.  When my salad was served, I saw cranberries, and for those who don't know me I despise fruits, but surprisingly the cranberries didn't taste all that bad. Since they were dried, there wasn't a strong berry aroma, and the cranberries really balanced out the tangy sour taste to the dressing. The almonds added a hint of saltiness and crunchiness to everything and was really nice. The salmon, oh my it was good. Light, smoked to perfection, very moist  and delicious with the greens.

Although my salad was amazing, I have to say that the portion served could've been bigger. For $8 I expected a bigger portion to the salad, even if it everything was just greens. Street carts, you better up your portions or lower your price. But other than that, keep on roaming the Vancouver's streets.

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Sunday, 29 July 2012


Feeling healthy? Have no fear, Freshii's here.

Michael got a gift card from his work and decided to give the 870 W Cordova Street cafe a try. We've never heard of this place and was wondering what this cafe had to offer when I found out it served food that was healthy and organic. I was hesitant to go with Michael because I know that he doesn't always make the healthiest decisions when it comes to his meal, but I can't put all the blame on him, I am not always the healthiest person as well. So I was also afraid I wouldn't be able to find anything I like to eat there.

The place is located in the busy part of Vancouver waterfront and it seems to be pretty hidden, so you'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Freshii is all about the healthy
The atmosphere seems reminded me of  one of those healthy organic cafes that you would find in Los Angeles where you take a shot of  wheatgrass after your meal. Yum? Freshii really encourages  healthy living with their biodegradable cutlery and utensils and of course healthy eating with lots of choices of veggies, fruits, and various proteins.

You grab a menu and a pencil then make your selection

When we walked in we didn't know what to expect, you could even say we walked in like headless chickens, not knowing where to go. A worker of the cafe greeted us and explained their ordering system. We were to grab a piece of paper and check the items that we wanted to get. Salad ($6.99), bowls ($6.49),wraps ($5.99), and soups ($6.29). For toppings we get to choose the type of cheese, protein, nuts, and fruits, with an extra charge of course. As for the unlimited topping, it is just the normal veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, spinach, etc, for for no extra charge.  We also get to choose to the type of  dressing and how much of that dressing you want on your dish.

Salad with albacore tuna and lots of toppings

I honestly didn't know what to get, my paper ended up being so messy with scribbles because I was so indecisive and couldn't make up my mind. Sadly, the verdict was a plain old salad with albacore tuna (extra $1.75) and unlimited amounts of corn, cucumbers, diced tomatoes, crispy wonton and edamame. For my salad dressing I chose aged balsamic vinegar lightly drizzled on the salad. My salad tasted just like any other salad, but after seeing a lot of the people ordering the rice noodles, it made me jealous because it looked really delicious and it looked much better then my boring old salad.  Although I think the crispy wonton they give you was a nice substitution to croutons. I got complimentary pita bread to go along with my salad, too.

Buffalo chicken wrap

As for Michael he got the Buffalo Chicken wrap ($10) which wasn't part of their DYI menu, it has romaine lettuce, buffalo chicken, tomatoes, celery , carrots, cheddar and a blue cheese  dressing. Michael thought the wrap was a little dry and made him extremely thirsty, but other then that problem it was a stand up wrap.

DIY soup

He also ordered from the DYI menu, soup with rice noodles and vegetable stock, with carrots, broccoli, celery, chick peas and mushrooms. Michael likes the concept of building his own soup with the ingredients that are being put in, but said the broth could have had some more salt.  Overall he doesn't think it was anything specular or special, but that it's pretty good for something he built on his own.

Moving on to desserts friends, I love frozen yogurt, and it's something I love eating with my best friend. Hand hug sista. At Freshii they offer frozen yogurt, and unlike the usual places you pick your own toppings, at Freshii we can only choose two and for extras theres a $0.50 charge.

Cinnamon and granola frozen yogurt

That's okay, I can live with two toppings. I love cinnamon and granola together, so just the thought of it in delicious frozen yogurt sounds like heaven to me. The vanilla frozen yogurt tasted really good, it was light and creamy. The cinnamon was divine, and granola added a nice crunchy mixture to everything, like chocolate chip cookie and milk. Surprisingly, it all tasted a lot better then I thought it would be and actually better than some of my favourite places.

I really hope I get to return to Freshii one day, I am dying to taste that rice noodle and of course that wonderful  frozen yogurt. Michael said that he would consider it but he wouldn't go out of his way.

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

ABC Cafe

ABC Cafe, not exactly an original name with pretty mediocre food. Michael decided to go to Aberdeen Center in Richmond today and he got hungry after going on a hunt for some shoes. There were a few restaurant decisions but we ended up choosing the cafe at the 4151 Hazelbridge Way mall, tucked away in the property's back halls. It's not a very visible location and seems like not a lot of people would venture down to its corner. Michael and I have been to the restaurants at this location before ABC came along, but all these restaurants all ended up disappearing sooner rather than later.

ABC Cafe is suppose to be a classic Hong Kong diner menu with set menu with soups and drink and various other a la carte meals such as baked spaghetti, rice and noodle dishes. But ABC added a fancy element to the restaurant and also serve king crab and lobsters, which we found a little odd because we rarely see fancy meals like this served at a Hong Kong diner. The restaurant was not busy at all, which is not surprising because of its location, although the unit is pretty big.

Penne with Italian sausage

Although I wasn't hungry I didn't want to order something big, but Michael  insisted that I order the set menu because it's cheaper and comes with a drink. So I did, lately I have been craving to eat pasta but never got around to fulfilling that crave. I got the spaghetti menu ($9.50), I love tomato sauce from Hong Kong diners because they tend to taste creamier than the tangy taste from western restaurants. I picked Penne with Italian sausage, although I thought it was going to be spicy like chorizo, I think it tasted like regular sausage.

Hong Kong borscht

Michael got the sizzling grill menu ($12.95), which is when the meal is served on a hot plate. He got to choose two dishes and a side dish. It also comes with a soup and drink. Michael chose the Hong Kong  borscht. Which is made from tomatoes rather then the traditional Russian borscht made from beats.

Steak and chicken with mushroom sauce, served with rice

The server said they don't have the hot plate today though, so Michael was disappointed and found it very odd. He chose the chicken and steak and rice with mushroom sauce and thought the chicken tasted very good, the skin was crunchy and it came in a big portion. But the steak on the other hand was not that great. It wasn't seasoned that well but the mushroom sauce did help it a little.

Hong Kong style sweetened ice lemon tea

Michael and I both agree that we can live without coming back here. The restaurant seem like they don't serve the greatest food and for Hong Kong diners, Michael and I think we have visited better ones.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Charcoal Sushi

What a hot day it was! I didn't have much of an appetite and if I did it would've most likely been a bucket of ice. But a gals gotta eat with her man.

Michael randomly searched for a place in Richmond and we ended up going to Charcoal located at 7997 Westminster Hwy. They serve sushi and do it yourself barbeque. I have been to Charcoal before with my parents and friends, I never thought anything special of the place except the fact that it was a more cleaner then many other sushi places in Richmond.  Michael had never been and I didn't want to burst his bubble, so the good girlfriend I am I went with him anyways.

The restaurant is a decent size about 10 tables or so, and there is a little stove built in to the table where you can grill your delicious meats and veggies. The enviroment of the restaruant is modern with stoned walls and a good ventilation so all that barbecue smoke doesn't build up in the restaurant. I personally don't really have the patience to grill my dinner myself in a restaurant, it gets pretty frustrating when I am hungry the last thing you want to do is wait for your chicken to cook a front of you.

Tuna and avocado roll

Michael and I wasn't that hungry today so I ordered a tuna and avocado roll ($4.25) which of course is just tuna and avacado. The tuna didn't have much of a taste but the avocado added some texture and a faint taste to the tuna. But nothing like some good old wasabi would do the trick.

Ebi Sunomono

Michael had the classic chilled dish Ebi Sunomono ($3.95) which had prawns, cucumbers, lemon, and vermicelli salad. Michael thought the appetizer was perfect, sunomonos are usually cold sour noodles which are supposed to stimulate the appetite before a meal.

Classic Roll

As for the dishes that Michael and I shared, we first had the classic roll ($7.99) which had eel, yam tempura, with sliced avocado. For an original roll it didn't taste that classic to me,  I have had MUCH better original rolls, this taste description is going to be short,  there isn't much to say, the roll had no taste, even the mayo and teriyaki sauce did nothing for me. This roll just didn't cut it for me. Wheres the flavour flave? it tasted like I was just eating rice with random stuffing inside. Michael on the other hand did enjoy the roll a little more then I did, he thought the tempura gave it a nice crunch and the price was pretty good for something with barbequed unagi (eel) in it.

Sauna Clams

Now, something Michael and I can both agree on is the Sauna Clams ($5.95). We both thought the clams were going to be pint sized but we were far from being right. The clams were very big and was served in a clay pot, which was still bubbling when it came to our table. It was served from a broth that was very flavourful it had a little tang and sour taste to it. It went very well with our big clams.

Beef grill

Michael and I also shared the beef grill ($12). Michael thought it was going to be one of our DYI projects on the table since the picture showed some raw beef with veggies, but he was really disappointed when the beef came out cooked. Nonetheless we both agreed that the beef was served very moist and tender. It was very easy to chew as if it was just going to melt in your mouth. Underneath, it came with buttered onions and mushroom.

Overall Michael and I think Charcoal isn't very special and doesn't stand out in Richmond's restaurant industry. It's not somewhere that we would go out of our way for their food. Their menu isn't special or unique to make us want to come back.

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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cancun, Mexico

Hola everybody! Michael and I went away for a brief vacation to Cancun, Mexico. It was a fabulous trip, we learned a lot from the culture, met some amazing people along the way, and while it's not on the West Coast we certainly gobbled away on orgasmic food.


I know that the concept of nachos to us, is something we eat at a bar or at home where it comes out of a plastic bag and has boring salsa on the side, and if we wanted to make it exciting, we would add sour cream  and guacamole. Well we were served with nachos in the beginning of our meal, the Mexican version of the bread and butter. The nachos tasted so fresh and crunchy, I don't think words are able to describe it. Sometimes we were served with salsa, which tasted so flavorful with the mixture of the citrus lime and tangyness from the tomato and onions and the rich taste of the cilantro. Just yum.

The best guacamole I've ever had

Now avocado, I love avocado, you put avocado with anything and I'll eat it. So it's a given that I would love guacamole, though I never tasted guacamole that was out of this world, I was determined that good guacamole was somewhere out there for me to taste. Mexico heard my calling and I did have the best guacamole, the avocado was fresh and tasted creamy with bits of flavors accompanied with the tomato bits and onions. I am just drooling as we speak.


Another a favourite of mine was ceviche, which is like a mixture of seafood, usually a combination of fish and shrimp that is marinated with citrus juices. I loved the light taste and it was always served in a decent portion, so it was hard not to get sick of the flavours.  The fish was always tasted fresh and the lime and lemon taste was so tangy it really added the refreshing element, especially in the hot weather of Cancun.

Pollo Enchilado

Lastly, an unforgettable meal for me was our last day in Cancun, I had the Pollo Enchilado, which is like a burrito, a corn tortilla wrapped up with Pollo (Chicken) goodness and served with a rich tomato sauce over it. There was a cheese sprinkled on top with die for. And also frijoles, re-fried beans. The tomato sauce was paired really nicely with the chicken,  the sauce was sweet, tangy, and I loved how thick the sauce was, When I paired the Enchilado with the guacamole, there was just an explosion of flavors, it added a nice creamy element to everything overall.

Stone bowl

As for Michael's turn, one of his favourite meals were served in a stone bowl with a boiling broth of chicken, beef, cactus, avocado, Spanish spicy sausage and  cheese. He wrapped all of this yummy goodness in the flour tortilla. He was just nom nom nom and wished he could have more. The meat was cooked very nicely nice and tender, just the way he likes it, except the sausage was too spicy. The cactus surprisingly for the first time, it didn't taste as bad as we thought it would be, just like cabbage but thicker and crunchier. The broth at the bottom was very flavourful and had the aroma of everything on top mixed in together.

Seafood stew

Another favorite of his was a seafood stew (he insists it's a cerviche), squid, octopus, prawns, fish and various seafood. The soup had a tomato broth, it exploded with favour but didn't overpower everything else either. He just kept on gulping away with his spoon.

Michael and I had a wonderful trip together in Cancun, we truly think it's a special city, although we were only there for a short amount of time, we saw a lot and learned a lot. We simply can't wait to go back to explore and eat more.

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Steamworks Brewing Company

Happy Canada Day everyone. Michael and I tried to get in to our patriotic shoes on the special day and celebrated it with some of his friends. It was a busy day in Downtown Vancouver, we thought we were going to get a chance to eat some fabulous food carts, but surprisingly they were nowhere to be found.

We came across Steamworks Brewing located at 375 Water St in Gastown, Vancouver. The pub was pretty quiet surprisingly, the ambiance of the place was just like any other bar, stools, tv with the sports network on, and the menu was like any other bar menu as well - wings, burgers, soups and many other bar tapas.
Coffee-rubbed shaved brisket dip

For Michael's lunch he was intrigued by the name of the dish and decided to order it, and as well as his his friends, who were always astonished by the name of this dish. The coffee-rubbed shaved brisket dip ($15.99) with a side of french fries of course so I can munch with him. The sandwich is made with beef braised in coffee with parmesan butter, crispy onion, mayo, and all of this yummy goodness was squeezed between two ciabatta buns. Michael thought the gravy dip that came with the dish could've been thicker, but it was a 'beef dip' type sandwich, so can't ask for much. Otherwise he thought the beef was really tender and thickly piled on - the fries were thick cut too to make sure you won't leave hungry.

Southwest chicken salad

For myself, even though I was hungry I didn't want to be too full, so I chose the southwest chicken salad ($14.49), chicken rubbed with southwest spice, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, romaine lettuce, and a light vinaigrette dressing. But hold the black beans for me please. I never liked the taste of beans. The chicken wasn't too dry. The southwest seasoning gave it a nice smokey flavour but there were times I thought it was a little too seasoned that it made it difficult to swallow the chicken.

But other then that the salad in general was nice, there was a little kick of heat to it but it was balanced out with the creamy sour cream and guacamole. The romaine was lightly dressed with the vinaigrette, and I also liked the tortilla strips mixed into the salad that gave it a nice crunch. Overall, it had a nice tex-mex feel to it. But in the end I did feel full and the sour cream just started to taste heavy to me. And as fabulous my salad sounds,  everyone at the table was eating a lot faster then I was, which made me feel like I had to eat faster, so it felt like I couldn't enjoy the salad as much as I would have.

Steamworks, I don't find anything special to the place other then it's just another old pub that Michael and I walk by all the time. There isn't anything on the menu I feel that I need to return for except for their chocolate hedgehog ice cream pie. It sounds delish!  Apparently a combination of chocolate and hazelnut ice cream mixed together. How decadent. Hedgehog pie, I'll see you next time. As for Michael, I am not sure how eager he wants to return, but I did point out on their dessert menu that their Tiramisu is well known throughout Vancouver. Maybe that will keep him thinking.

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