Vancouver Food Cart Fest 2013

If you’re at all familiar with the food scene in Vancouver, you’re probably aware that this post is long overdue, since the food cart festival is a summer event. (And obviously for good reason, what with all the rain we get). I actually visited the festival in September with Sam and Pickles, when all of us had returned from our summer travels, so this post is actually only four months in the making. What with school and work and life in general, it can be a bit difficult to keep on top of things…that’s my excuse, anyways.

Despite the burgeoning food cart scene in Vancouver, I often find it difficult to seek out the specific ones that catch my interest. Many of them are open for a limited time during the day, or only at a specific location that is out of the way of my usual commute. Well, thank goodness for the food cart festival, then, which conveniently gathers Vancouver’s most popular food carts in one area so that folks like me can get to pig out to our hearts’ content. In 2013, the festival was hosted in a lot right by False Creek, which made it easily accessible by SkyTrain for us car-less folk.

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The three of us split up to consider our options, and Sam ended up with a Sourdough Pepperjack Cheese Sandwich ($8) from Mom’s Grilled Cheese. She had tomatoes and double smoked bacon added to her sandwich for $0.50 and $1.50, respectively. She quite enjoyed her sandwich, as the bread was fried up nicely on the griddle, making it crispy but not too greasy. Meanwhile, the sandwich itself was quite hot, so the cheese had that perfected melted consistency that we all look for in a grilled cheese sandwich. The sandwich is also served with chips, which were stuffed at the bottom of the paper cone, making the chips themselves soggy. Sam noted that she’d had the sandwich and chips served on a plate before, which was much better, as the chips didn’t get soggy. Still, the tomatoes and bacon nicely enhanced her sandwich, making it an enjoyable meal. Sam also indulged in a Ginger Mint Lemonade ($2.75), also from Mom’s, which tasted mostly of ginger with only a slight tint of lemon. It also had a slight enjoyable fizziness, and was an enjoyable drink for the very hot day that we were enduring.

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Meanwhile, Pickles and I wandered over to Yolk’s Breakfast. I’d wanted to try Yolk’s for a while, but simply never had the chance to. I’ve now had their food twice, once here and once at the actual restaurant now open on Hastings Street, but there was a time when I used to drool over some other fortunate soul’s Instagrammed chicken and waffles or soft-poached egg sandwich.

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The wait was long and arduous, but we finally received our orders and, luckily enough, found a shaded table to sit down and munch. Pickles had the Chicken and Waffles, which didn’t look super pretty but definitely did the job. The chicken was crispy, juicy, and flavourful, and came in large pieces. I’m a big fan of fried chicken (and pretty much every other deep-fried food), and I often find that I get more batter than actual chicken, but that certainly wasn’t the case here. The waffle itself was nice and buttery, but a little too soft for her liking, although it might have been softened by the hot weather and the fact that it took us a while to find a table to sit at. But then again, Pickles was fresh from her trip to Belgium at this point, so perhaps her waffle standards were a bit too high.

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Meanwhile, I had an item that I’d longed for for quite a while, a Poached Free-Range Egg Sandwich ($7.50). They have a beautiful flowchart where you can customize your sandwich, and I had mine with hand-carved honey ham, fresh spinach, dijon, hollandaise, one poached egg, all on an English muffin. There were quite a few flavours going on here: the saltiness from the ham, the tartness from the hollandaise, and a nice, comforting savouriness from the egg yolk. The English muffin was soft to begin with, and only got softer once I broke the egg yolk. This resulted in a super messy sandwich to eat, although it wasn’t a huge problem once I decided to fork-and-knife it. Breakfast sandwiches are my favourite type of sandwich, and this one was certainly yummy, but I’m not really sure if this particular combination was worth the hype that often accompanies any talk about Yolk’s.

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It’s just not breakfast without potatoes, and at Yolk’s these come in the form of a Truffle-Lemon Hash Brown Skewer ($3.50). At first bite, my hash browns were quite tart, with a very strong lemon flavour, but after that, the flavour seemed to mellow out, which was good. I think I waited too long to eat mine, as they got quite soggy, but other than that, these potatoes did an excellent job.

After finishing our food, the three of us took a nice walk along False Creek and enjoyed the sunshine. This was back in September, mind you, when Vancouver was enjoying sunny weather rather than the dreary, foggy dampness that we’re enduring now. Summer is always a season I look forward to, but the food cart festival definitely adds to an already perfect time of year.

Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck
800 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck on Urbanspoon

Yolk’s Breakfast
Vancouver, BC

Yolk's Breakfast on Urbanspoon


Joey Coquitlam

Let’s set the scene for this one. It was the weekend before school started, with all of us both anticipating and dreading the start of term. This term was a little different for me. I was going to be working full-time instead of attending classes, and starting work a week after the start of classes. So while I still had a bit of my summer left, for Sam, Dolph, and Pickles, it was their last weekend of freedom, which is why we headed out to Joey Coquitlam before a night of hooliganing. (We actually just sat on a blanket in the park and blew bubbles. Who needs adulthood?)

I’d been to Joey before, although to the Burnaby location a couple years ago. I didn’t remember much about it…well, it was very dark, the waitresses seemed pretty but identical, and the food was mediocre. While I wasn’t impressed with that first visit, I wasn’t in the mood to go to the effort of discovering some new hidden gem in the area, and I was also not in the mood to revisit the many Korean restaurants in the Burquitlam area. Plus, the deal with a chain restaurant: while the food may not be fantastic, in general, most people will find something that they like there, making it a good choice for a group gathering.

Sam ordered the Ahi Tuna Club ($15.50 with skinny fries, +$1.75 for sub soup/salad/yam fries), subbing the fries for Chanterelle Mushroom Soup. The sandwich had grilled ahi tuna, red pepper relish, arugula, and panko onion rings, panko being a type of Japanese breadcrumbs. The bun was nice and moist, while the relish complemented it nicely. The tuna, meanwhile, was not too fishy, actually to the point that she couldn’t really tell that she was eating tuna. The onion rings were crispy and well-seasoned, but Sam chose to eat them separately from the sandwich. She personally thought that her sandwich was acceptable, but probably not worth what she paid for it. The soup was also quite average. Although the menu claimed it contained a splash of sherry, it tasted regular.

We all ended up choosing from the “Sandwiches” heading in the menu, with Dolph opting for the Lobster Grilled Cheese ($15), subbing the fries for Caesar Salad. The cheese was both Brie and cheddar, and the sandwich was served with cocktail sauce. Dolph was disappointed at the distinct lack of lobster flavour in her sandwich, but I thought that was only to be expected. (With $15, what could we really hope for?) There was nothing great about her sandwich, and she said she preferred the grilled cheese from Meat & Bread. The Caesar salad, meanwhile, was a bit bland; adding a bit of lemon (which she took from my plate) helped to enhance the flavours. She did like that the lettuce was fresh, though.

As a former resident of California, I’m always amused by “Californian” items on menus. What really makes something “California”? Avocados? So I was somewhat amused when Pickles chose to order the California Chicken Club ($13.75), subbing her fries for Yam Fries. Surprisingly, there was no avocado here, but instead aged cheddar, smoky bacon, and spicy mayo on a Portuguese bun. Pickles found it a tasty burger, but would have appreciated a toothpick to hold it together. Also, there was too much chicken in comparison to the other components, and the chicken itself was quite dry. The yam fries were average, but what she expected out of the meal.

Lastly, I had the Baja Fish Tacos ($13.50), which came in a trio without an accompanying side. The tacos consisted of fish and shrimp and guacamole housed in a white corn tortilla, served with hot sauce. These tacos were nothing memorable, and I definitely would have preferred just two tacos and a side of fries as opposed to three. I found the omission of fries odd, considering that all the other sandwiches were served with fries as the default. At least the tacos were easy to eat, and there was nothing terribly amiss about them. The tomatoes and lettuce appeared satisfyingly fresh, and the ratio of ingredients was perfect. I also didn’t see the point of including the hot sauce, as it didn’t really add anything to the tacos. Also, the sauce was one of those hot sauces that have no other flavour than spiciness, which I personally don’t enjoy. Although I got sufficiently full from nabbing yam fries off of Pickles’s plate, I wish that these tacos were served with some kind of side.

What did we get out of this visit to Joey’s? The food was acceptable but nothing spectacular. But in reality, the experience was definitely in line with my expectations. All I really wanted was a yummy, cheap Bellini and a night out with my friends. Expectations are everything.

Joey Coquitlam
550 Lougheed Highway
Coquitlam, BC

Joey Coquitlam on Urbanspoon


The Wallflower

I’m having trouble thinking of a decent, clever preamble for this one–so let’s just jump right into it. It was a typical July day in Vancouver (raining, dreary, cold)–Lamb was visiting from Korea, and Pickles had just returned from her trip to Europe. (So jealous!) Originally, GoddWong had wanted to eat at The Foundation for our lunch–but of course, we got there and the restaurant was full. Not wanting to wait, the four of us just walked across the street to The Wallflower. The Wallflower, too, was quite packed, but somehow the four of us managed to snag a table.

The restaurant was quite busy and the servers obviously overworked. It took us a lot longer than we’d have liked to be given menus and have our orders taken. The food also took quite a while, and while it was nice to enjoy each others’ company, it was a little stuffy inside and the tables were quite close together. Sometimes this can be a pleasant experience…and sometimes, it isn’t. Anyways, moving on to the food…

GoddWong, being the healthy person she is, had the Spinach Salad, which came with spinach, strawberries and balsamic vinegar. She chose to add grilled tofu, but opted out of the goat cheese. In the end, she didn’t really enjoy her salad, as the spinach was soggy and quite oily. To me, the vegetables also didn’t look very fresh. As far as a salad goes, I don’t care as long as the veggies are fresh–and this salad was disappointing.

 

Lamb chose the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, with a side of fries (you can also opt for soup or salad). The sandwich was served on garlic toast, with swiss cheese, onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Overall, she thought it was a good sandwich, but not something she would get again. The bread was hard, and the bread-to-filling ratio was off. Dipping the sandwich in the provided au jus softened the bread considerably, but made it a little too salty. She thought that the meat, cheese, and pepper complemented each other well, though. The fries were mediocre, being dry and neither greasy nor salty. They tasted baked, not fried, but were much too dry.

Pickles was debating between the eggs benny and the Shrimp Bacon Avocado Wrap, and eventually decided on the latter. In addition to the shrimp, bacon, and avocado, the wrap was served with a side salad and also included guacamole, lettuce, and tomato. The wrap was generic and quite bland, since it included no sauce. It was quite large, but very dry. The shrimp was rather disappointing, since it was the tiny, frozen, watery kind. Still, the bacon was crispy and the avocado soft and creamy. The side salad was fresh and not overdressed.

There were quite a few options for bennys, but I just opted for the classic Benny, with the typical English muffin, ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. It was quite a rainy, dreary summer day (oh, Vancouver) and I wasn’t feeling very adventurous. This version was nothing spectacular. The eggs were runny as they should be, but the hollandaise sauce was a little too thin and a little too bland. I enjoyed the side salad though, which was the same as Pickles’s above. The best part of my meal, however, was the hash browns. They tasted real and were satisfying crispy, but not too greasy.

In the end, I felt like I enjoyed my lunch at The Wallflower–although that was probably due to the excellent company I had rather than the food. The restaurant seemed severely understaffed, and the food was nothing spectacular. In fact, the four of us didn’t feel that the food was anything great–(obviously, since my favourite part of my meal was the hash browns). I think this would be a good place to go if you have a larger group of people, since there are quite a few options on the menu, and there are even vegan options to accomodate a variety of diners. However, next time, I would prefer to wait for a table at The Foundation.

The Wallflower
2420 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

The Wallflower on Urbanspoon


Lucy’s Eastside Diner

One thing I love about wandering Main Street is that you get to stumble upon so many little restaurants and shops that you’d normally miss if you were just driving or transiting by. On one of our Girls’ Day Out shopping excursions, we happened upon Lucy’s Eastside Diner on Main, about a block away from the Chevron on 12th. Unfortunately, it was quite late at night and so we’d already had dinner (up the street at Burgoo), but I thought I would like to make a visit here sometime.

Fast forward 4 months, and I’ve finally had the time to go. My lunch date for the day was Emo, who had actually just helped me move some furniture, so of course I had to treat him to lunch for being so generous. Lucy’s was a few blocks away from where we were that dreary day, so we quickly found ourselves some street parking, and made our way into the restaurant.

Lucy’s looks quite quaint and diner-y (or at least what I think is quaint and diner-y. I’m sure that differs from what you picture in your head). There are chrome tables with the tops painted a bright orangey-coral, the requisite breakfast bar area, and a few cozy booth seats in the back. We chose to sit at the bar on the turny stools, and even ordered some classic diner-y items so that I (we?) could get the full experience.

We started our meal off with a Strawberry Milkshake, which came with a refill tin. Since we were at the counter, we got to see our waitress make the shake; unfortunately, all we saw her put in was a few scoops of ice cream and a drizzle of strawberry syrup. Maybe my expectations were a little high (diners are typically known for their quickly-served dishes and not for their fancily-made food), but I was disappointed that they didn’t put any actual strawberries in it. I understand that strawberries and other fresh fruits may be on the expensive side, but I honestly wouldn’t have minded if it was just the stewed-in-syrup kind either. Oh well. Since there weren’t strawberries blended in, the milkshake was very smooth and creamy, but a little lacking in flavour– all I could really taste was the vanilla ice cream. It was also less thick than I prefer my shakes (I kind of like the struggle, and I’ll always remember Peter’s Drive-In in Calgary for their amazing shakes that one summer). For the price ($5), I’ve certainly had better, but I suppose it wasn’t too bad going down.

Emo and I each decided on a meal each– that way we could sample a bit more of what they offered. He chose Lucy’s Homemade Mac n Cheese, which was quite a decently sized dish for $6.50. Emo ended up adding bacon for an extra cost (I believe it was about $3) so that he’d have more than just cheesy carbs on his plate– not that bacon is really that healthy anyways, but who can hate bacon? I thought that the Mac was nice and creamy, and was on the milder side of the cheesy scale. I liked that it wasn’t a nasty, radioactive colour (a la Kraft Dinner), which made eating it much more enjoyable. However, I didn’t find the bacon, which was crispy and tasty, to be worth that much extra, but then there was still quite a bit of food for under $10. This was probably one of the better macs I’ve had recently.

For myself, I love a good omelette, and was pleasantly surprised by their extensive and eclectic filling options. I was stuck between the caramelized onions, mushrooms (!) and bacon and the Artichoke Hearts, Marinated Roasted Peppers, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese 3-egg Omelette, but I chose the latter instead. I liked the different choices available for the filling– no boring, plain old Denver omelettes for me! This omelette was packed full with ingredients, all of which tasted fresh (well, as fresh as a marinated pepper can be). The eggs were fluffy and the goat cheese provided a good salty kick to the plate, and it all just worked well together. Along with the omelette (not very nicely presented, but whatever) were some hashbrowns and toast. I’d have to say that the hashbrowns were a bit of a fail, as they were far too potatoey for my taste and were quite bland despite the seasoning you see– I had to use a ton of ketchup, which isn’t something I normally do. The toast was alright and well, toast-ish. I liked the main better than the sides in this dish, and I’d gladly come back to try their other omelettes too.

So this visit to Lucy’s was a hit-and-miss. I liked some aspects, and disliked others, but overall it was an ok experience. Perhaps if I find the time to go back (maybe during school, since it’s close to the 99 route) I’ll try a different drink and another omelette, or their other offerings of burgers, hot dogs and other diner-y entrees. It certainly helps that Lucy’s in open 24 hours, so if I’m in need of a place that is both meal- and allnighter- material, I have one more place to go.

Lucy’s Eastside Diner
2708 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Lucy's Eastside Diner on Urbanspoon


American Grille (Dine Out Vancouver 2012)

On a dreary winter’s night, the gang and I headed out to the faraway lands of Richmond to partake in one of DineOut Vancouver’s many offerings. Okay, Richmond isn’t THAT far away from where we live… but having to get there in the cold and wet just makes it seem that much farther. Good thing we were able to organize rides!

Since we were a little slow on the uptake this year, choosing a restaurant was a little difficult—we needed to find a place with a worth-your-money-menu (basically, a menu with seafood or steak) that could also fit our rather large group. And so we ended up at American Grille, which is inside the Marriott Hotel on the corner of Westminster and Minoru in Richmond.

With In Hye and me tonight were our friends Dolph, Yvonne, Hui, Angela, Jessica, Scottie, SB, David, Darek and Bruce. We were seated in our own section of the restaurant, which was great since we probably got a little loud (for a hotel-restaurant crowd, anyway) as the night wore on. Nevertheless, servers still came by periodically to check up on us, making sure that everything was going fine throughout the night—I think they came by with water at least 3 times. The $28 menu included an appetizer (Qualicum Scallops over Couscous, Flank Steak Salad or Garlic Soup), entrée (Lamb Shank, Ahi Tuna Steak or Butternut Squash Ravioli) and dessert (Peach Melba, Banana Walnut Cake or Calamansi & Passion Fruit Sorbet).

For starters, we had the requisite Bread Basket. This one included two different kinds of baguette and some sesame crackers. What can I say, it was bread—nothing spectacular, but I did like that it came warm and with loads of butter. And they brought over two for our table, so I could indulge in my pre-meal carbs. Yum. Bruce and I chose the Flank Steak Salad appetizer. The steak was cooked a perfect medium-rare (sorry about the bad picture quality, I had to use my phone), and the greens underneath were still cool and crisp despite the warmth of the meat. There was just enough vinaigrette covering the leaves, and it worked in complete balance with the steak, which definitely stood out in flavour. Nearly everyone else had the Jumbo Scallops Couscous (Darek had the soup), which consisted of two large scallops over some greens, figs and couscous. In Hye thought that the couscous was a little too moist, but they did not detract from the sweet, well-cooked scallops. The figs that I ate were sweet and (surprisingly) juicy, and I liked dipping it into the citrus vinaigrette as it added a different dimension to the fruit.

We didn’t have to wait too long after that for our mains. Being Asian, we ordered the meat and the seafood to get our money’s worth (pasta seemed like a boring choice, anyway). All the guys had the Slow Braised Lamb Shank, which came with parsnip puree (not mashed potato, to our surprise) and grilled onions. This was fall-off-the-bone tender, and there weren’t any complaints about it.

The rest of us had the Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak with Warm Potato Salad. I’m not that big of a tuna person, but I enjoyed the different textures of the tuna, which was grilled just right—it was only lightly seared, so that most of the fish was still pink inside. The warm potato salad was really just a bed of roasted vegetables in olive oil (not like the salad I had in my appetizer). Included were yellow and green beans, nugget potatoes, whole cherry tomatoes, and my favourite part, quail eggs!The beans were squeaky and crunchy, the potatoes were cooked just right, the tomatoes were squishy (in that delightful, pops-in-your-mouth kind of way), and the quail eggs were just the slightest bit runny.

For dessert, I had the Calamansi and Passion Fruit Sorbet in Raspberry Pepper Soup. Raspberry Pepper Soup, you read that right. The tartness of the calamansi was really all I could taste in the sorbet; I couldn’t pick out the passion fruit flavour at all. Nevertheless, it was refreshing and went along nicely with the lightly spiced and minty raspberry soup-sauce. The sorbet was surrounded by honeydew and cantaloupe balls, which really rounded out the dessert. I liked the mingling of flavours in this dessert; it was definitely something different.

I’d say this was a pretty good experience at the Marriott. The food was great, service was welcoming (Vanessa, the woman who took my reservation, was very accommodating) and the prices were quite reasonable– but then again, it was DineOut. Another thing worth noting is that there is free parking in the hotel; you just have to register your plate with the host at the restaurant. Despite its location in Richmond, I could see myself returning in the future if I was looking for a low-key, solid meal.

American Grille
7571 Westminster Highway
Richmond, BC

American Grille on Urbanspoon


IKEA Restaurant and Denny’s

I know what you’re thinking–IKEA and Denny’s are not really your idea of blog-worthy restaurants. But I’m not a food snob. To me, food is food. Sure, I probably enjoy a meal at, say, Guu more than a breakfast at Denny’s or a $1 meal at IKEA. But I think the key to enjoying your meal (or any experience, for that matter) is having realistic experiences. I never expect to be blown away by the food at Denny’s or IKEA…at the prices they offer, you can’t be expecting anything phenomenal.

My most recent trek to IKEA was to the Coquitlam location with a group of friends. I ended up taking a photo of only one of our breakfasts, since we all had the IKEA $1 breakfast (with various add-ons). The $1 breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, two sausages, and cubed potatoes. Like I said, there’s not much you can expect for a dollar. The sausages were pretty decent (they actually tasted like they were made of some kind of meat and had a bit of spice). The potatoes were fried nicely and were pleasantly crispy. However, the eggs…to be honest, I’m kind of an egg snob. My parents buy these amazing Omega-3 eggs from Costco which are delicious beyond belief. The IKEA eggs taste somewhat…mealy? They have a weird texture and don’t taste like anything at all. I peppered mine quite generously but I ended up just leaving them uneaten on my plate (as did a few of my friends). I also added a piece of French toast to my breakfast. It had been sitting around for a while and was very tough and impossible to cut. The bacon was very greasy (well, it’s bacon), and while not very crispy, everyone who had the bacon seemed to enjoy it.

Considering how expensive even a simple breakfast is getting nowadays, paying under $5 for a meal feels great. Of course there has to be compromises (those eggs, for example). But personally I like walking through IKEA and looking at all the cute furniture afterward anyway. It’s not a gourmet meal by any means, but it’s definitely good for what it is.

Now…Denny’s. Denny’s isn’t normally at the top of my list when thinking of restaurants to visit. But whatever, like I said, we can’t be eating at nice places all the time. This particular visit was to the location at North Road and Austin Avenue, to grab a quick lunch with my dad.

I stuck to the usual Denny’s menu and had a breakfast Grand Slam, with two sausage links, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and two buttermilk pancakes. It was pretty much what I expected from Denny’s, nothing more, nothing less. The sausages were disgusting. They didn’t resemble any sort of meat at all, just two finger-sized portions of grease and fat…the rest of the meal was nothing phenomenal, but nothing particularly to complain about. Although halfway through eating my meal, my dad suddenly goes, “Didn’t you order your eggs sunny-side up?” Oh yeah…I did. I didn’t really care and I was already halfway through my food anyway, so I didn’t bother telling the waitress, but it is kind of weird that she didn’t ever realize her mistake.

More notes on the service. For one thing, the waitress did not refill our water once during the entire meal and brought an almost-empty pitcher of maple syrup to the table. At some point, one of the older customers won a stuffed animal from the nearby toy claw machine and gave it to her–she took it and didn’t bother washing her hands before touching other customers’ food. I realize she is a waitress and not directly cooking anyone’s food, but I know how dusty it is inside those machines and I was a bit disturbed by how she didn’t bother washing her hands. I know she probably doesn’t score much tip, but still…

 My dad had the Western Skillet, which is part of their current Skillet promotion. The one pictured on the menu was with eggs sunny side up, while my dad had the scrambled eggs–not exactly aesthetically pleasing. I realize the idea of a skillet is just a bunch of ingredients tossed together, but could this look more messy? It consisted of hash browns, the eggs, ham, mushrooms, onions, and some sort of cheese sauce served on a hot skillet. My dad had been craving something warm and enjoyed it for that reason, but he commented that it was very salty and ended up drinking up a lot of water. Wouldn’t say he’d order this again if he could help it. So yeah, two mediocre breakfasts in one week! I would probably say I prefer IKEA breakfast over Denny’s–most of the items at Denny’s are around $10 and I definitely wouldn’t want to pay that much for what we had. My favourite breakfast place in Coquitlam is actually Jimmy’s Place on North Road…but more on that later.

IKEA Restaurant
1000 Lougheed Hwy
Coquitlam, BC

Denny’s
500 Austin Ave
Coquitlam, BC

IKEA Restaurant (Coquitlam) on Urbanspoon Denny's (Coquitlam) on Urbanspoon


Burgoo

This Reading Week I decided to document all my spending, since I’ve been trying to cut back. Turns out I only spent 60ish dollars! Funny thing is, the only real lasting purchase I made was nail polish–the rest of the money was spent on food…anyways, we (meaning me, Samantha, and co.) made it out to Burgoo, the Main Street location.

Burgoo is very…hm…cozy. By that I mean the tables are very close together, and the lights are slightly dim, but in a cozy way, not dark in that cool, trendy way (ie. Joeys, Cactus Club). I liked it, but it was slightly difficult to maneuver between the tables as we were being seated and as we were leaving. I was kind of scared I would knock over someone’s soup…since that’s what most people had (including myself).

That was a clumsy segue…but anyways, I had the French Onion Soup. I really like the way the dishes are presented here (looks like a piece of art!). This was a pretty generous portion at only $8. I figured for $8 it wouldn’t be enough to fill me up, so I also ordered the biscuits, but that turned out to be too much food. So technically I would have been content on a meal for around $10 at a nice restaurant. Sweet. Anyways, this had pretty much everything I want in a French onion soup: gooey cheese on the top, and a rich broth below with sweet onions and soggy croutons. (I LOVE croutons. Seriously. I eat them as a snack). By the time I was more than three quarters done though, the soup was quite salty and I couldn’t really make myself have many more of it. But that’s happened pretty much every other time I’ve had French onion soup, so no big deal. I really enjoyed this and wouldn’t mind having it a second time on my next visit.

So as mentioned above, I also ordered the Burgoo Biscuits. The menu describes them as warm Cheddar and parsley biscuits. They weren’t as warm as I would have liked them, and I didn’t really think the accompanying butter? margarine? was necessary. They were still quite pleasant to eat though, and definitely had that homey, comfort food quality that I’m sure Burgoo strives for. Yum!

Jeri had the Tastier Chicken Sandwich, which comes with a choice of salad (either caesar, spinach, or winter greens). She chose the greens. The sandwich consisted of roasted chicken, melted brie, apple, red onions, and other greens. She thought it was too bland. But then again, the only cheese  she can tolerate is cheddar…so she ended up scraping all the brie off her sandwich. Sam had the same sandwich and thought it wasn’t too bland. Her salad came dressed in a garlicky house vinaigrette (?). She ended up putting some of the vinaigrette on the sandwich to add some flavour.

Yvonne had the Soup and Sandwich combo with the Crab Bisque and the BLTCG (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheddar, and Guacamole), respectively. The sandwich was stuffed with ingredients and therefore a bit difficult to eat, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She found the avocado to be overwhelmingly creamy and thought the sandwich would have benefitted from the use of more salt. She let me try a little of the bisque and it was spicier than I expected. Again, there was an abundance of crab meat in the soup–they don’t skimp out on the ingredients here. We were all impressed with the size of the sandwich as well as the accompanying soup–definitely a good deal for $15.

Hui had the Macaroni and More. In addition to the usual mac & cheese goodness, this also included breadcrumbs, bits of bacon, and peas. This was quite a big portion and full of ingredients as well. I usually find that mac and cheese is one of those foods you get sick of pretty quickly, but Hui managed to finish this. (Very impressive for a girl her size!) There’s not much to say about this, except I guess I’m not so sure that it’s worth $13. It was definitely good and warm and comforting and all, but I wouldn’t say it was one of the better values on the menu, especially if you’re like me and get sick of mac & cheese very quickly. Plus for $15 you could enjoy both a soup and sandwich…also, all the sandwiches alone (which actually come with salad) were priced under $15, so if I had to choose, I think I would pick the sandwich instead. To each their own though, I suppose. To summarize, it was an enjoyable dish, but not as great a value as the other items on the menu, in my opinion.

So Sam had the Sandwich and Soup Combo with the Tastier Chicken (same as above) and the Boston Clam Chowder as the soup. The chowder was very filling and contained lots of seafood besides the clam, like baby scallops. There were also potatoes, bacon, and onions. It was not too salty and as a whole it was above average and again, a good value. She enjoyed the sandwich more than Jeri, probably because she kept the brie.

So to summarize! As a whole we enjoyed our experience at Burgoo and would probably want to try the other locations as well. The service was quite friendly and the bill was brought to us in one of those circular dim sum steamers, which was a nice touch. Overall, we found Burgoo to be a good value.

Burgoo
3096 Main St
Vancouver, BC

Burgoo (Main Street) on Urbanspoon