Dining in Vancouver

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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Farhan Lalji » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:48 pm

Meh,

This isn't anywhere near the best place in Vancouver, but I used to love TOPS Restaurant way back in the day (Kingsway/Rupert). The place used to be open 24/7 and it was a great place to go and sober up with friends.

I'd always order the perogies (24) with a Chocolate milkshake and would annihilate the shit out of it. :lol:

For old times' sake, I actually went there 3 weeks ago. It had been about 10 years since I had been. Although my body isn't used to junk food anymore (95% of what I eat is fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, and soup), I had the perogies (12) and milkshake just like the old days.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby KeyserSoze » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:52 pm

Anyone doing Dine Out this year?

I'm going to Chambar, but that's the only place I've booked.

On a side note I hear that Top Chef judges Tom Colicchio & Emeril Lagasse dined at Hawksworth the other night...
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Topper » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:57 pm

KeyserSoze wrote:Anyone doing Dine Out this year?

I'm going to Chambar, but that's the only place I've booked.

On a side note I hear that Top Chef judges Tom Colicchio & Emeril Lagasse dined at Hawksworth the other night...

Dine Out is a horrible waste of time.

Owners do it to put butts in seats in the dead zone between New Years and Valentines.

Front of the house hates it because they work their tails off running about to please a bunch of customers too cheap to eat on the regular menu and earn fuck all in tips. Kitchen staff is rushed cranking out volume 3 course specials instead of quality.

When I was in the kitchen, we did Dine Out once, realized what a pain in the ass it was and never did it again. Not doing Dine Out, we had increased business, each night was on par with a weekend night crowd and we were serving our regular menu at regular prices. The owners took home more $'s, servers brought in more tip money at the end of the night and us in the kitchen had no problem handling the flow so the customers received top notch food and service.

Your best bet is to find restaurants that are not participating in Dine Out, avoid the crowds and enjoy the evening the way it should be.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:12 am

Topper wrote:Dine Out is a horrible waste of time.

...


I'm with you on that Topper. I've tried Dine Out for a couple of years and has been more of a hassle than an enjoyment.

If you're looking for great pizza and an amazing staff. Head to Burrard and 5th and go to Novo Pizzaria and Wine Bar. Amazingly fresh ingredients and they do it properly in a forno oven. They have a good selection of wine and their pizza actually tastes better the next morning when you take the left over home.

Went there for a friend's birthday in December and decided to have my birthday dinner and made the right decision. I had the Neopolitana pizza, a very good Cab Sav and the best tiramisu I've had in the long time.

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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby KeyserSoze » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:40 am

Topper wrote:Dine Out is a horrible waste of time.

Owners do it to put butts in seats in the dead zone between New Years and Valentines.

Front of the house hates it because they work their tails off running about to please a bunch of customers too cheap to eat on the regular menu and earn fuck all in tips. Kitchen staff is rushed cranking out volume 3 course specials instead of quality.

When I was in the kitchen, we did Dine Out once, realized what a pain in the ass it was and never did it again. Not doing Dine Out, we had increased business, each night was on par with a weekend night crowd and we were serving our regular menu at regular prices. The owners took home more $'s, servers brought in more tip money at the end of the night and us in the kitchen had no problem handling the flow so the customers received top notch food and service.

Your best bet is to find restaurants that are not participating in Dine Out, avoid the crowds and enjoy the evening the way it should be.

With something like 250 restaurants participating and another good handful doing their own version over the same time period (Ensemble, Novo, just to name a few) it is clearly worth while for restaurants.

This includes some of the very best restaurants in the city - Hawksworth, Boneta, Chambar, Cru, West, C, L'Abatoire, etc.

I have only been to restaurants during DOV three times before. Twice were great experiences in which the food and service was all spot on, we were seated on time, and never felt rushed. The other was a decent experience but one dish at the table was overcooked and the service was a bit on the slow side.

DOV is what it is...you are limited to just a few selections for each course, which no doubt has much to do with food costs, ease of execution, and pleasing the masses moreso than exciting/creative dishes that the restaurant is truely poud of.

By no means is it the best way to experience a restaurant, but from my (albeit limited) experience it is not nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

On a side note, what I do like is the fact that in recent years a lot more great restaurants in Vancouver seem to be offering prix fixe / tasting menus on a regular basis. I do not remember this being nearly as common 5+ years ago in Vancouver. I was in New York in 2007 and this was the norm, and I remember thinking that I wish more restaurants in Vancouver did the same. I love the idea of a chef putting together a seasonal set menu as an option for guests to really get a taste of what he/she is all about.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:01 am

KeyserSoze wrote:
On a side note, what I do like is the fact that in recent years a lot more great restaurants in Vancouver seem to be offering prix fixe / tasting menus on a regular basis. I do not remember this being nearly as common 5+ years ago in Vancouver. I was in New York in 2007 and this was the norm, and I remember thinking that I wish more restaurants in Vancouver did the same. I love the idea of a chef putting together a seasonal set menu as an option for guests to really get a taste of what he/she is all about.


I like seasonal tasting menus. I love seeing them more common in Vancouver for sure. In a similar fashion...what do think of some of the 'long table' series like the Irish Heather have done to change up the dining experience? It's almost like date night with 20 or so people. :)

I think with Topper and myself not really 'experiencing' DOV has more to do with he and I probably have tried out a good number of the restaurants in Vancouver and for the most part, it's not the full experience, but as most of the participating restaurants have said, it's a taste of what they have. Hopefully for them the impressions are positive.

I think I just don't need to be a part of the big hubbub. I got asked by a foodie friend why I am not doing DOV this year, and to be quite honest, I've been cooking a lot more at home and really enjoying it. With taking higher end culinary courses in March, I might be dining out less. Although when we do dine out, I'd like for it to be with a better echelon of a restaurant, than that of the norm, which at times I have to frequent for lunch meetings ..(Earls, CC, Joey's etc...)

To those that are doing DOV, have fun and yes, Novo is a must do at some point in your culinary journey's. If you say "Novo love twitter" your table receives these amazing meatballs for free as an appy. :)
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Potatoe1 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:52 am

I have been to a dine out a number of times and it's normally fairly good.

I expect doing a normal 3 course is probably better but it's also going to be almost double the price.

Even if it's a scaled down version I still suspect a "dine out" at West or Chambar is still better then a full price dinner at Earls or The Boathouse.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Topper » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:08 am

In Vancouver for Roundup earlier this week.

No DineOut

Diner at Cardaro's, rushed, drunk, crowded into the bar. Not much to say good or bad. (7000 folks at the convention next door at the Bayshore)

Walked out of Rodney's after a bottle of wine because of slow, rude and ignorant service. Won't return. Wandered down the street to Blue Water and feasted and drank. A nice experience.

Introduced a couple more friends to the joys of Ajasai. No one was disappointed.

edit: Oh yea, a fest at Stella's....how could I have forgotten.
Last edited by Topper on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby damonberryman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:56 pm

I am new to this thread and my questions have nothing to do with fine dining and everything to do with memory and comfort, First of all, last time I came home to Van I was stunned to learn the White Spot no longer served my fav of Chicken Pickens. One of the cooks there (on Georgia) told me one or two of the franchise would still do it. Any truth and if so which one? Next, and this is going back, do any of you remember Montie's Ribs downtown? Best baby backs ever or so my memory tells me. BTW. Love Belgian beer. Anyone aware of place serving Delirium Tremens on tap or Fin de Monde from Quebec on tap?
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby damonberryman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:04 pm

Farhan Lalji wrote:Meh,

This isn't anywhere near the best place in Vancouver, but I used to love TOPS Restaurant way back in the day (Kingsway/Rupert). The place used to be open 24/7 and it was a great place to go and sober up with friends.

I'd always order the perogies (24) with a Chocolate milkshake and would annihilate the shit out of it. :lol:

For old times' sake, I actually went there 3 weeks ago. It had been about 10 years since I had been. Although my body isn't used to junk food anymore (95% of what I eat is fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, and soup), I had the perogies (12) and milkshake just like the old days.

I used to go to Tops quite some time ago when I drove cab for Bonnies. Used to be full of night shift folks. Also used to be a wonderful workman's place near where I grew up on the Docks by Fishermans Wharf that served breakfast and lunch overlooking the docks. Probably gone. Used to like a place on Commercial called Il Corsair for Italian. Gone I am sure. Getting older is strange. I used to define my teen years with the old chick'n'bull on Granville and the Zenith cafe on the Corner. They are gone like they never existed. Just as well.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby cjc » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:34 am

How about schlocky, authentic Chinese close to Rogers for anyone who wants to grab a cheap meal before a game?

Head to Pender, close to Main and try New Town bakery. Authentic Chinese cafeteria type food and great pricing. Red bean freeze reminds me of my childhood but packed with calories. Don't get the Filipino "mais con yelo" because that's exactly what it is: corn with ice. Brother-in-law tried it and found it was canned cream corn with crushed ice.

Across the street is Jade Dynasty. Says it's a seafood restaurant but it serves everything including dim sum and some Chinese vegetarian. Used to be the old Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant which was one of the best kept secrets in Vancouver until a fire in the business above made it close down. Bummer.

My sister told me there's a place called "East" on the Pender St. side of Tinseltown. Supposed to be fusion food but she says it's full-on Chinese and has great noodles and congee.

As you can tell, I don't get to expensive, fancy restaurants any more. Funny how kids suck up every available dollar you have.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:35 am

cjc wrote:How about schlocky, authentic Chinese close to Rogers for anyone who wants to grab a cheap meal before a game?

Head to Pender, close to Main and try New Town bakery. Authentic Chinese cafeteria type food and great pricing. Red bean freeze reminds me of my childhood but packed with calories. Don't get the Filipino "mais con yelo" because that's exactly what it is: corn with ice. Brother-in-law tried it and found it was canned cream corn with crushed ice.

Across the street is Jade Dynasty. Says it's a seafood restaurant but it serves everything including dim sum and some Chinese vegetarian. Used to be the old Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant which was one of the best kept secrets in Vancouver until a fire in the business above made it close down. Bummer.

My sister told me there's a place called "East" on the Pender St. side of Tinseltown. Supposed to be fusion food but she says it's full-on Chinese and has great noodles and congee.

As you can tell, I don't get to expensive, fancy restaurants any more. Funny how kids suck up every available dollar you have.


Phnom Phen was once a fave. Their chicken wings are quite the treat. I haven't been there in years. Cambodian/Vietnamese comfort food. Cheaper eats but all I remember was the food was good.

New Town Bakery used to be fantastic. Mais con hielo is a cheap version of halo-halo, not sure why it's even on their menu. I feel the still have the best siopao in town, but I usually hit up the Cambie store for that.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Meds » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:06 am

Has anyone been to The Peacful Restaurant? I saw it on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and was thinking of checking it out when I'm in Van in a coupla months.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:17 am

Meds wrote:Has anyone been to The Peacful Restaurant? I saw it on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and was thinking of checking it out when I'm in Van in a coupla months.


Looking into that too Meds. He also went to a place called Meat and Bread. Looked good, if you're into that sandwich thing. I might make that a cheat day this week.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby KeyserSoze » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:47 am

LotusBlossom wrote:Looking into that too Meds. He also went to a place called Meat and Bread. Looked good, if you're into that sandwich thing. I might make that a cheat day this week.

Meat & Bread is slingin' the best sandwiches in the city, hands down...if it's your first time get the classic porchetta.

Their potato salad is amazing as well....not that weird yellow shit you get in a tub - real red skinned potatoes, grainy mustard, herbs, pickles, etc

Anyone had a chance to try a doughnut from Cartem's?
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