Ark Whistler Retreat

So I haven’t done a home-cooked meal review yet, mostly because I’m hardly home for dinner– and when I am, I’m so hungry I commit the Ultimate Food Blogger’s Sin and just eat the food without taking pictures or notes (shame on me). Early in May, though, I had the pleasure of going on a retreat with my church fellowship, and so I took advantage of the large amounts of beautifully plated food, and decided to write about it as my first home-cooking post.

That being said, because of some extenuating circumstances (I was too hungry, I couldn’t find my camera because it was hidden under a pile of blankets, et cetera et cetera), I wasn’t able to take pictures of all the food from our weekend in Whistler, so what I’m about to write about is really just a glimpse of what we enjoyed…

Anyways, most of my church group (21 of us) made it up to Whistler on the 1st weekend of May for a retreat, where we learned, grew and bonded with one another. One way we did this was by preparing meals, in teams of around 4, for the rest of the group. Our Friday night dinner was made by Kelvin, Joy, Felix and Michael, and I for one was super appreciative that they cooked up such a storm, even after a tiring drive. First, we were served French Onion Soup, which was finished with a toasted baguette with Swiss cheese. This slow-cooked soup was chock-full of onions and spices that were in a light but nevertheless flavourful broth. French Onion is one of my favourites, so I definitely enjoyed this (I had thirds).

The rest of our meal was served cafeteria style, so that everyone could get their food quickly.For our main, they had prepared Chicken Linguine with Bechamel-Red Sauce, and for the side they made a Roasted Vegetable Medley, which included a colourful array of asparagus, yellow and orange peppers and carrots. The chicken was surprisingly moist, while the linguine was prepared al dente, and didn’t get clumpy while in the serving dish.As if this wasn’t enough food, their team also cooked up a delicious Apple Crumble for us to enjoy later that night.

This dessert was slightly crunchy from the toasted oats, while the granny smith apples had baked into a nice texture. This was the first time I tried apple crumble (weird, because I love apple desserts), and it was pretty much everything I imagined it to be.

 

 

Saturday’s breakfast at 9am was made by Judith, Kirstie, Josh and Angie. Presented to us when we walked downstairs was a selection of Bagels (sesame, everything, blueberry), along with paired toppings of nutella + strawberry, peanut butter + bananas, and cream cheese + honey. My personal favourite was the unconventional cream cheese + honey combination– the honey adds a little bit of sweetness, and cuts the heaviness of the cream cheese to make for a very mildly flavoured bagel. They also put out Greek Yogurt and Granola, for those of us who needed a little extra fibre 😛

Now our second lunch is where I failed a little, only managing to capture 2 shots of our self-serve taco bar. Prepared by Rosy, Jelissa, Timothy and Julianna, they set out all the fixins for a Tex-Mex Wrap and Burrito Bar: beef, beans, and an assortment of veggies. They also made some Panko-Breaded Chicken and Bacon-Wrapped Chicken (not pictured), which I actually ate on the side because my wrap was already too full from everything else I put in it! For sides, there was a big bowl of homemade guacamole and tortilla chips, as well as an enormous fruit salad, consisting of pears, green apples, mandarins, strawberries, green and red grapes. This was definitely a very filling meal, giving us a ton of energy for the rest of the day’s activities.

Our second and final dinner was made by Andy, Briony, Nathaniel and Kristen. For starters, there was a creamy Cream of Mushroom Soup and a Spinach and Strawberry Salad. The soup wasn’t what I expected at all, even though Andy’s gourmet-ness is well documented– I thought we’d just be having a flat of Campbell’s soup, which wouldn’t have been terrible– but I was pleasantly surprised by the homemade version. This soup had a ton of sliced mushrooms in it (none of the little cube bits you’d get in canned soup), as well as a bit of green onions. As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of mushrooms, so of course I loved the soup (plus, it was soup. Who doesn’t like soup?!). The spinach and strawberry salad was drizzled with a light vinaigrette, which let all the flavours shine through; I liked the sweet and vinegary mix.

The night before, the team had marinated the Honey Miso Grilled Chicken Thighs (pictured is a blurry picture of Andy marinating the chicken, and the final product), which meant that it was bursting with flavour when we munched on them for dinner. They ended up barbecuing the chicken on the grill at the house, giving it a nice blackened skin and smoky flavour. For our sides, we had a choice of three:

Mashed Potatoes, Spanish Rice and Chili Corn. The mash had a good amount of pepper and spices (as well as butter) in it, and went well with the chicken.This was my first time eating Spanish rice, and I liked the different take on rice (I usually have it plain, or fried up Asian-style). The chili corn was my favourite, though– mixed with some Sriracha sauce, the corn looked deceptively plain. I liked the slowly permeating heat that complemented the sweetness of the corn.

The next morning, my team (Janet, Kenny, Jeffrey and Mitchell) woke up bright and early to cook up a storm (I wasn’t able to take any pictures though, simply because we were too busy). We decided on Waffles, Bacon and Sausages. Let me just say that cooking bacon is the worst thing ever. I have nothing against eating bacon, but I just don’t like having to deal with the splatter and grease and bacony-smelling clothing that results from it. Anyways. The lodge we rented came with a double Belgian-style waffle maker, and this definitely helped us save time. We ended up running out of batter after 12 or so waffles, so we decided to divide them up into fours; we also had some leftover bagels, so we just warmed those up again. For toppings, we had bought some frozen mixed berries, but we also chopped up some fresh strawberries, bananas and green apples, and for garnishes we provided chocolate chips and cinnamon. I definitely had a fun time making the food, even though our team was pretty pooped afterwards (the car ride back to Vancouver was all too short for my much-needed nap).

So in the end, we left Whistler with content stomachs, happy smiles and renewed spirits, and for that, I would like to thank everyone who was there who made it such a special time, and especially those who organized the event. I hope that everyone is able to experience something like this in their lifetime, be it with their extended family, their church group, or their friends– serving each other, in a world where most people only serve themselves, is a surprisingly great way to bond.

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Jimmy’s Place Restaurant

In an area as densely populated and ethnically diverse as Vancouver, there are bound to be certain areas known for certain kinds of restaurants. Maybe I phrased that a little vaguely, but you get my drift. The North Road area is commonly known as an unofficial Koreatown, with two large Korean supermarkets on either side of North Road, and a huge number of small Korean restaurants and businesses. I live quite near the North Road area, so my family eats a lot of our meals there. However, on one April morning when my parents suggested going out for lunch, I didn’t feel game for our usual choice of Hee Rae Dung.

Jimmy’s Place was my choice for lunch. It’s a little difficult to find, as it’s way in the corner of a plaza dominated by Extra Foods and Petcetera (and also Hee Rae Dung), across North Road from Borandsi Cafe. I do walk by a lot on my way to Petcetera to buy cat toys. Still, every time I’ve been here, there are a large number of diners as well as people who just drop in for a cup of coffee. I think it’s something of a local hotspot, with clientele growing due to positive reviews on Urbanspoon.

Anyways…Jimmy’s Place is a little of a cheat when I say we didn’t want Korean food. Although the restaurant specializes in diner fare and breakfast, the food is cooked by a sole Korean chef (whose blurry face you can see in my photo there), and the service usually consists of two middle-aged, very sweet Korean ladies. It’s a little cafeteria style–first, you go up to order your food off the chalkboard, pick your own seats, and pour your own coffee and water, with the waitresses bringing your food out to your table. I actually prefer this, as the waitresses are polite and friendly but no tip is necessary.

My dad chose the Jimmy’s Special Burger, which is their house burger. You can also order it with their house fries or a bowl of soup. My dad found the bun a little hard, and the burger was so big that he found it a bit difficult to eat (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, when you think about it). He did remark that the vegetables tasted very fresh, and that the meat patty was moist. I found the price to be quite reasonable considering the patty is handmade–after all, even a meal at McDonald’s is getting quite expensive nowadays!

My mom chose to make her own Omelette, where you choose up to three ingredients (she chose tomatoes, onions, and bacon). The omelettes are quite large and served with toast (your choice of either whole wheat or white) and hash browns. She found the food on the whole to be not too salty, maybe bordering a bit on the bland side, but still quite enjoyable. The hash browns were savoury and tasty, especially when eaten with pepper and ketchup. My mom also ordered a cup of coffee, which I didn’t get a photo of, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She remarked that the coffee was the selling the point of the meal (I did see a lot of people come into the restaurant just for a cup of coffee).

I went for the Two Egg Breakfast, which comes with eggs (any style, I chose scrambled), toast (whole wheat or white), and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausages. As you can see, I chose the sausage, which was prepared well–served hot and not overly oily. As for the hash browns and toast, they were the same as my mom’s above–and the eggs was a little bland, but fine once I peppered and ketchuped them. It was a large breakfast, especially for the price I paid (something under the $7 mark).

As I’ve said in previous posts, Jimmy’s Place is my favourite place for breakfast in Coquitlam. The staff are quite friendly, and all the food is freshly homemade, with low prices. I guess the main con is that the food is a little bland, but it’s nothing a little pepper and/or ketchup won’t fix. Oh, they also only accept cash and debit as forms of payment, so if you’re dependent on your MasterCard or Visa, make sure to drop by an ATM before you go!

Jimmy’s Place Restaurant
435 North Road
Coquitlam, BC

Jimmy's Place Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe and Pie Shop

I think that as a university student, April is one of the most dreaded months of the year, just because of…finals. This term, my exam schedule was quite packed (April 13, 17, 18, 20), with all the stress concentrated in one week. Usually I’m more relaxed than my friends during exam period, but this time, I found myself quite nervous and panicky the whole time. Happily I found myself with somewhat of a break after my third exam on the morning of the 18th, so Sam, Jason, and I went for an early lunch at Aphrodite’s. (Appropriate since we’d just finished our Classical Studies exam!)

I pass Aphrodite’s most days of the year on my way to school, but this was my first visit. It was decorated in a rather kitschy and homey way, with handmade pinatas (creations of a local artist, according to a plaque on the wall) hanging from the ceiling (including the Lorax!) and mismatched furniture. We arrived a little before noon, and decided to order mainly off the brunch menu, as it seemed unlikely we’d visit at brunch time again, due to school and other obligations. Of course, we ordered a piece of pie to share as well (how could we not?).

Sam also ordered a Chai to start. She’d never had a chai before (what?!!), so at least we popped her chai cherry! I took a sip of it and it tasted like it should, spicy with a nice helping of cinnamon and a good level of foam. The overall impression I got from it was that it had been made with care (this was reflected in the other items we had as well).

I don’t remember the exact price, but I remember thinking it was a little on the high side. That being said, the prices here are generally on the higher side. This is due to their practice of using local, organic ingredients (especially in the pies), as well as their location in Kitsilano, generally known to be a more expensive neighbourhood.

Jason chose the Turkey Pot Pie, accompanied by greens. He found the portion size a little too small, as he was still a little hungry afterwards. The pie crust was nice and flaky, with sufficient chunks of moist turkey, potatoes, peas, carrots, and celery. We liked how the pieces of turkey were a good size (sometimes the turkey is barely noticeable in a turkey pot pie, but not here!). The filling had good flavour, and overall he enjoyed his dish, although he would have preferred a larger portion.

Sam, a known mushroom lover, predictably decided on the Wild Mushroom Quiche, which was served with the same accompaniment of greens as Jason’s pie. She enjoyed how light it tasted, as quiche can often be quite heavy. Like Jason, she found the portion size a bit small for the price she paid. The greens were nothing special, but the dressing was nice and nutty. Sam also commented that it would have been better if they served the salad on a separate dish, as the salad touched the hot plate and wilted a bit. She found the quiche, which consisted of shiitake mushrooms and spinach, to be a bit bland.

Since my fellow diners both chose savoury dishes, I went for something sweet in the Stuffed French Toast, which was served with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream. As expected, this was quite sweet, yet I managed to finish a respectably large percentage of it (well, for my standards…I’m notorious for leaving food on my plate). The toast itself was a little spongey, soft, and pleasingly warm. The cream cheese (which changes depending on the season–for us it was blueberry) was a little too overwhelmingly sour for my tastes. I know cream cheese is meant to be sour, but it was a little sour beyond expectations. Still, I think the ingredients worked well together. The whipped cream in particular was light and complimented the other ingredients nicely.

Lastly, we couldn’t leave Aphrodite’s without trying a piece of pie. Sam recommended the Blackberry Apple, which she’d tried on a previous, undocumented visit with Pickles. We chose to have it with vanilla ice cream. Turns out it was a good choice as the warm pie and the cool ice cream tasted great together. There was just the right amount of sugar, making it sweet but not too sweet. Jason remarked that the ice cream tasted very natural–the vanilla was not overdone but still present. Still, we would have preferred bigger pieces of blackberry, as we could only really make out the seeds. The pie crust was flaky and buttery, but not overly so. We also appreciated the cinnamon hearts–a cute, personal touch!

So my verdict on Aphrodite’s? The bill came to about $22 a person, which is generally a bit more than I care to spend on lunch (well, I usually don’t have dessert with lunch, I suppose). Despite the high prices, I felt that I enjoyed my meal, both the atmosphere and the food, and the service was efficient yet friendly. One of my concerns is that one of the waitresses had these incredibly long, painted nails. While I’m quite obsessed with nail polish myself, I prefer waitresses to keep their hands free of nail lacquer, as it seems a little less than sanitary. I suppose that’s just personal preference, though. I probably wouldn’t frequent Aphrodite’s as I do my other favourites (even if I lived in Kitsilano), but the pie definitely did not disappoint.

Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe and Pie Shop
3598 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Aphrodite's Organic Café and Pie Shop on Urbanspoon


The Red Wagon

With nothing to do until 12 on a sunny Saturday morning, grabbing some good eats was a no-brainer! Three friends and I decided to go to The Red Wagon to try out that oft-talked-about restaurant. Unfortunately for Bruce, life intervened, and he wasn’t able to come with us; but no matter—nothing will stop me from eating food!

So I took the 135 down to The Red Wagon, a small diner in East Van that was recently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (I had actually heard about it from my friends Earl and Helena). Upon getting off the bus I could see how popular the restaurant was—it opened a mere half hour before I got there, and there was already a line out the door! I ended up having to wait for about 20 minutes for a table… good thing it was sunny out!

The incredibly friendly hostess sat us down, and we were immediately greeted by another waiter, who took our drinks requests. HT ordered a cup of Coffee, and we were taken aback by how small the cup was, since we didn’t know that refills were free til later in the meal. Taste-wise, the cup was pretty much what he expected it to be—nothing spectacular, but still pleasant to drink. The waiter came by with refills 3 more time during the meal, so HT did end up getting his fill.

I had the Orange Juice, and was also surprised to see that it came in such a tiny glass. I paced my drinking so that I wouldn’t be lacking a drink towards the end of my meal, so I don’t actually know if refills for that was free as well. Again, the juice was on the generic side—it was tart but sweet, and had lots of pulp, so I did enjoy my glass (even if it was rather dinky).

For eats, HT ordered the Pulled Pork Pancakes, which were featured on DDD. This was a 3-pancake tower with pulled pork sandwiched between the layers. The buttermilk pancakes were probably the best ones I’ve ever eaten—thick but still fluffy, these pancakes put IHOP to shame. I’m not really a pancake person, but these really made me rethink my stance in the pancake-waffle debate. Yum. The pulled pork between the pancake-y goodness had great texture and flavour; they were pull-apart tender, with a very light hint of spiciness amidst the sweet and barbeque flavours. This was all topped with a generous pat of butter and a ton of house-made, Jack Daniels syrup. However, we remarked that the dish would have been better if the syrup was on the side, since the bottom pancake soaked up most of the syrup. This was a unique and delicious offering (I’ve never had anything like it before), so I’m sad to say I got sick of the dish pretty quickly. I only had half of HT’s stack, but I found myself unable to finish all of it—I think the salty and sweet flavours got to be too overwhelming. I would definitely order this again, but would share it with a few more people (or I could get someone else to order it and take a bit from their plate… hmm…).

I chose the Spinach and Mushroom Benny, which was served with a large portion of homefries on the side. The English muffin base tasted homemade and buttery, and wasn’t too greasy tasting. The spinach and mushroom mix over top of it was cooked perfectly—flavourful, but again, not too salty or greasy—and the eggs were poached perfectly (for me), with the yolks only slightly runny. My favourite part was the hollandaise that was overtop all this: in terms of presentation, it was a pleasant light yellow colour (which let the runny yolks stand out), and there was enough of it so that every bite was flavoured by it. Taste-wise, it was creamy but light and only slightly lemony, and it’s definitely one of the better hollandaise sauces I’ve tasted. The homefries (translation: potato chunks) tossed with green onion were soft, mildly flavoured, and not too greasy, so it didn’t take away from the actually Benny. I liked that the potatoes were cooked like this, as it’s a nice change from regular old hashbrowns. My only complaint for this dish is that there wasn’t quite enough filling in the Benny… a few more pieces of spinach and mushroom would have really hit the spot.

Of course, you can’t go to The Red Wagon without also trying their housemade Pork Belly Confit. After seeing their feature on DDD I wasn’t too sure that my arteries could take all that fat… but oh well. I’ll just work out more, haha. Anyways. Because Bruce wasn’t there, we couldn’t order a third main (the two we ordered were almost too much for the both of us already!), so we just decided on a side order of Pork Confit instead. The piece we had had a healthy chunk of fat (ironic sounding, huh?) attached to it that gave it a ton of flavour and moisture. The meaty bits of the slice weren’t too salty, and though they were on the dry side, eating it together with the fat solved the problem. I’ll admit it was a little weird just having a slab of fatty meat on the side, but it went along great with my eggs benny. Whether it was worth the extra $4, though, I’m not too sure. If I get this again (I do like my fatty meats…), I think I would get it as part of a main to justify costs.

I really like the funky atmosphere of the restaurant. I’ll probably get flack for calling it a little “hipster”—not that it’s like, underground or anything, what with all the media exposure—but that’s honestly the feel I got from the place (maybe I just have a skewed idea of what “hipster” really is?). The staff were very chill, but they made every effort to make our experience great. I did get the sense that they were rushing us a little bit, but that was completely understandable considering the long lineup outside. Nevertheless, I think that The Red Wagon is a great place to meet up with friends; you do have to be prepared to wait quite some time for a table to free up, but the homey feel of the restaurant, plus the food and the service, really make up for it.

The Red Wagon
2296 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon


Chez Meme Baguette Bistro

The weather in Vancouver has been crazy lately–random snow, random rain, sudden bouts of sunshine. On Tuesday morning I woke up to snow piling up on my windowsill (with my cat alternately gazing out at it and slapping me in the face with her tail). But it would take more than snow for us to bail on food! So Samantha, Yvonne, Darek, and I met up at Chez Meme Baguette Bistro on Hastings St. for breakfast.

It’s a small place, with less than ten tables, and only one waitress was on duty. Still, she was very friendly (and authentically French!) At times the service was slow, but it was friendly and attentive enough that I wasn’t annoyed.

Darek ordered a coffee to go along with his breakfast. He wasn’t exactly descriptive when I asked how it was. (ie. “How’s your coffee?” “It’s good.”) But he did comment that it was not too strong and not too weak. I liked how the cream was served on the side, although Samantha did comment that this way, the cream would just be sitting out for a while, not being used. Ah well. Also I was a bit troubled by the not-too-clean surface of the coffee cup–I realize it’s just one waitress, but still.

Sam went for the Forestiere Omelet. All their omelets come with potatoes as well as freshly toasted baguette. The baguette was crispy and a nice compliment to the other items. I really liked the potatoes–they weren’t greasy at all like normal hash browns. I believe they’d been boiled and then pan-fried. Sam’s omelette consisted of assorted mushrooms (she could taste shiitake and button) as well as herbs. It tasted very earthy (well, mushrooms)–not much to say about this except that there were no complaints!

Yvonne chose the Montagnarde Omelet, with the same accompaniments. Her omelet was my favourite of the three that we ordered, and consisted of black forest ham, onions, potatoes, and Raclette cheese. You could really taste the cheese, which I liked. The potatoes and baguette were, again, excellent, although I guess her baguette was a little more burnt than Samantha’s. Still, it was a well-executed breakfast, with a good balance of flavours. Nothing was too salty. I love all the ingredients in this omelet (ham, onion, potatoes…what’s not to love?) so I enjoyed it (well, the bits she let me eat off her plate).

Darek had the Chevre Omelet, which consists of goat cheese, tomatoes, and pistou, which is a cold sauce made from garlic and olive oil (similar to pesto, I think). Like the Montagnarde above, you could really taste the cheese in this one. If you’re a fan of goat cheese (which Darek is), you’ll enjoy this. I’m not so keen on goat cheese but I still found it savoury and delicious, with a great compliment of flavours. Not much else to say about this–well, in Darek’s words, “it was good”.

I’ve never been much of an omelet person, so I went for something a little different in the French Toast Brioche. (Also, the man at the table beside us was having it and it looked delicious.) I chose to have warm banana slices and maple syrup (the other options being fresh strawberries and caramelized apple-raisins, respectively). This was definitely an overload of sweet. The brioche was soft and spongy. As long as I got a balanced forkful (some of the fresh whipped cream, warm gooey banana, and brioche in each bite) it was delicious. Although I’m usually not a fan of overly sweet food, I still managed to eat quite a bit of this. I also liked the presentation (powdered sugar!) of this as well as the other dishes.

We enjoyed our breakfast here, but if you’re planning a visit, you should keep in mind that it’s a very small place. Apparently the lineup gets quite long around 11am (we saw no lineup, but then again, it was snowing that day), so you might want to consider that as well. The service is slow but friendly, and the food takes a while, but I personally don’t mind waiting for good food. Next time I’ll have to try their sandwiches and soup!

Chez Meme Baguette Bistro
4016 Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC

Chez Meme Baguette Bistro 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