Grounds for Appeal

I thought that the name Grounds for Appeal seems a bit weird for a cafe, but that was before I found out that they were located at the Law Society of British Columbia. Clever. The cafe serves up a menu consisting of Indian cuisine, as well as sandwiches and pastries. The curries were premade and are served very quickly while the sandwiches take a couple of minutes longer. I had their Chicken Tikka Masala w Rice & Naan, which was off of their specials menu, as well as a Turkey & Brie on Cranberry Sandwich.

Chicken Tikka Masala w Rice & Naan ($9.50):


4/5
This was on their specials menu. The curry was quite thick, creamy, and had a great bit of heat/spice to it; it was a bit on the salty side however, and best not eaten on its own. The naan was relatively soft and chewy, although a tad crispy in some parts. The rice was firm and held up well to the curry.

Turkey & Brie on Cranberry Sandwich ($7.50):


4/5
In addition to turkey and brie, there were also slices of green apple and tomatoes inside. The bread as well toasted and crispy. The fillings were extremely flavourful, while the apples and cranberries provided a nice sweetness to balance the saltiness of the turkey and cheese. This was a bit messy to eat, but very tasty.

I really enjoyed the food at Grounds for Appeal. The prices were also quite a bargain. This is definitely worth checking out for a tasty and affordable meal.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Curry, Sandwich
Grounds For Appeal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery 101

I’ve got a soft spot for the current DC movies. Yeah, I get that most of their movies aren’t very good (Wonder Woman aside), but I still get a kick out of them. And I think that Man of Steel is a good movie and don’t understand those who complain about what happened to Zod in the end (seriously did anyone ever watch Superman II?!?). I still haven’t had a chance yet to see the new Aquaman movie yet; I’m probably going to go some time during the holidays. While waiting for the bus during a recent trip to Bakery 101 I found myself standing right next to a movie poster. On closer inspection, I couldn’t help but notice that there appears to be a lot of killer whales swimming alongside the sharks. Like seriously A LOT of killer whales:

dav
Can you spot all the killer whales?

But enough about DC. This post is about Bakery 101. They are a small cafe that’s part of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. All of their cakes & pastries are made by culinary arts students, and hence, are considerably cheaper than most other shops. Their offerings are always changing; during my most recent visit, I had a couple of their new cakes: Matcha Raspberry, Mango Coconut Caramel, “Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse” and “Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse” (I don’t know the actual names of the latter two as they weren’t labelled in the display case). I also picked up a Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant for my mom.

Matcha Raspberry ($4):

4.5/5
This consisted of layers of matcha cake sandwiching raspberry and chocolate mousse and finished with matcha mousse. The cake was soft and moist. I really enjoyed the matcha flavour, and the raspberry lent a nice tartness. Personally though I could have done without the chocolate (even though I do love chocolate) as it did overwhelm the matcha a bit.

Mango Coconut Caramel ($4):

dav
Mango Coconut Caramel

4/5
This consisted of coconut cake with mango mousse/jelly and caramel mousse on top of a crunchy wafer-like base. I really enjoyed each of the components separately: the coconut and mango were both very fragrant while the wafer had a great crunch and flavour. Personally though, I’m not really sure if the mango and the caramel/chocolate paired too well together.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4.5/5
I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (they accidentally mislabelled it in the store), but it consisted of a peanut mousse that contained some chocolate, and was on top of a crunchy peanut base. I really enjoyed this treat. The mousse had a wonderful peanut flavour while the base was crispy, fragrant, and slightly salty. It was a tad on the sweeter side so it might not be for everyone (especially those who’re allergic to peanuts).

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4/5
Again I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (it wasn’t labelled when I came into the store), but it consisted of hazelnut mousse with a chocolate centre that’s enclosed in chocolate. This was basically like a Ferroro Rocher in cake form. I did find that the hazelnut flavour was a bit too subtle at times.

Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant ($3):

dav
Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She really enjoyed it, but wasn’t a fan of the goat
cheese (she found it too gamey).

I really enjoyed my visit to Bakery 101. Their food is fantastic and their prices are a steal. This is easily one of my favourite places in Vancouver for some quality and affordable treats.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Raspberry, Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Bakery 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Angus Bakery & Cafe

I’ve never been particularly interested in danishes (unless they’re named Mads Mikkelsen of course). They just don’t seem to be a very interesting pastry. However, during my recent visit to Angus Bakery, I was surprised to see that the shop was apparently specialized in danishes, which they sell in probably over a dozen varieties. Seeing that there isn’t really much other options, I got a Cream Cheese, Almond, and Butterfly Custard danish. I also picked up a cheese croissant for my mom.

Cream Cheese Danish ($3.25):

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Cream Cheese Danish

3.5/5
The outer layer was tender and had a more chewy, bread-like texture and was covered in a sweet glaze. The cream cheese lent a nice bit of tang; I do wish there could be a bit more of the filling however.

 

Almond Danish ($3.25):

dav
Almond Danish

3.5/5
This was covered in a sweet glaze and contained ground almonds and was topped with almond paste. Again, the danish had a bread-like texture and was mildly sweet. I really enjoyed the almond paste, which provided a nice fragrance and flavour.

Butterfly Custard Danish ($3.25):

dav
Butterfly Custard Danish

4/5
This contained custard and strawberry/raspberry jam. The pastry, which was similar to the two previous danishes, contained some sugar, which provided a nice bit of crunch. I quite enjoyed the custard and jam.

Cheese Croissant ($3.25):

dav
Cheese Croissant

N/A

I quite enjoyed the danishes at Angus Bakery; while they haven’t exactly completely changed my view of the pastry, I do have greater appreciation for them. The prices are also fairly reasonable, and the staff I met was very friendly. This is a shop that’s worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Almond Danish, Butterfly Custard Danish
Angus Bakery & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bufala

I’ve really grown a greater appreciation for cheese over the number of years that I’ve been living in Canada. One cheese that I’ve heard quite a bit about but never had the opportunity to sample is burrata. That finally changed during my recent visit to Bufala. They are a pizza joint located on Blvd in Kerrisdale, just a couple of blocks away from 41st Avenue. They specializes in thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizzas, and also serve classic Italian appetizers and drinks. While I initially wanted their Meatballs, I really wanted to sample the Burrata, and ended up ordering that instead. I also had their Carbonara Pizza.

Burrata ($19):


3.5/5
This was served with roasted acorn squash and toasted sourdough. This is the first time that I’ve had burrata, so I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like. The cheese was quite creamy, although a bit bland. The squash was tender and sweet; I do wish that they could have cut it into smaller pieces however as it was a bit hard to eat with the bread. I really enjoyed the bread, which was nicely toasted.

Carbonara Pizza ($19):


4/5
This came topped with pecorino, pancetta, and an egg. The crust was nice and crispy, and not bland. Although there didn’t look like there was much topping, it was actually very flavourful. It wa a bit on the salty side: I actually quite enjoyed it, but I think that it might be a bit too much for others.

While the burrata at Bufala wasn’t mindblowing, I’m very glad to have been finally able to sample it. I also really enjoyed their pies, which are some of the better ones that I’ve had, although I do think that some people might find the toppings to be a bit too salty. Service-wise, the food was prepared relatively quickly and the staff are friendly, but not overly attentive. All in all, I do consider this to be one of the better pizza joints that I’ve tried, and I’d recommend visiting if you like Neapolitan-style pies.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Carbonara Pizza
Bufala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bawan Donair & Pizza

It’s a scientific law that whenever I remember to bring an umbrella with me, it does not rain, and whenever I do bring an umbrella, it rains. After a couple of days where I consistently carried an umbrella with me but never used it because it didn’t rain, the one day that I forgot to bring an umbrella it rained. And not just rained, but poured.

Feeling the need to get something hot and comforting, I decided to visit Bawan’s Donair & Pizza. They are a shop located on Broadway, near Granville, that, as the name suggests, serves up a menu consisting of Greek-style cuisine. The place is quite small and casual with a limited number of seating: I’d say that probably 50% of customers get takeout. I had their Lasagna w/Meatballs (small version) and Roast Lamb.

Lasagna w/ Meatballs, Small ($11.95):


3/5
This came with a slice of garlic bread. The noodles themselves were nicely cooked, being tender while returning some chew. The cheese on top was tasty and gooey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the sauce, which was a little too watery and not particularly flavourful. There were three small meatballs present, which were tender and had a nice bouncy texture. The garlic bread was fluffy and well-toasted, but a bit bland.

Roast Lamb ($17.95):


3.5/5
This came with rice, roast potato, greek salad, tzaziki & pita. The lamb itself was quite tender and well-seasoned, albeit a tad dry. I quite enjoyed the rice, which had a nice texture and fragrant. The pita was soft and fluffy. The salad didn’t appear to be dressed unfortunately, and was hence bland, although I did enjoy the feta.

I was a bit disappointed by the lasagna at Bawan Donair & Pizza, but I did enjoy their lamb. Their prices are very reasonable however, and although the service is minimum, the lady I encountered was quite friendly. This may not be the greatest place, but I still think it’s worth visiting for some decent Greek cuisine.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Roast Lamb
Bawan's Donair & Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chicha

I have to confess, I’m not the biggest fan of bacon. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say no to bacon, but I’m not going crazy about it either. I much prefer a nice, juicy slab of pork belly. How to make pork belly even better? How about deep fry it?

mde
*celestial choir*

I’ve recently had the fortune of trying this dish at Chicha. They are a small casual spot located on Broadway, near Main Street, specializing in Peruvian food. They used to be dinner only, but have recently started lunch service as well. I had their Chicharron (aka deep-fried pork belly) and Pollo Crema Empanadas off of their lunch menu.

dav
Lunch Menu

Chicharron ($12):


4.5/5
This consisted of three large pieces of crispy pork belly that’s served with yam puree. The pork belly was just fantastic: it was nice and crispy on the outside while tender and juicy on the interior, and was covered in a sweet glaze. I also quite enjoyed the yam puree, which was smooth and had a nice sweetness.

Pollo Crema Empanadas ($18):


3.5/5
This consisted of two empanadas filled with smoked chicken, and is served with a small side of salad. The empanadas had a quite flaky and tender crust, and a good amount of filling. The chicken had a nice smokey flavour; oddly I actually found it to taste a bit like salmon (if you didn’t tell me what it was, I might have thought that it was salmon). I did find it to be a bit dry unfortunately (I’m pretty sure that they use breast meat).

While I found the empanadas at Chicha to be a bit dry, their chicharron were a revelation. The prices are a bit higher, but not overly so, and the service is quite friendly. I’d definitely recommend checking this place out just for the chicharrons alone.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Chicharron
Chicha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Baguette & Co – Davie

I’ve previously visited the Broadway location of Baguette & Co last year, where I’ve tried their Chocolate Success and Lemon Tart, both of which were quite good. They apparently have another location on Davie. Similar to their Broadway location, they serve up a variety of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. I got their Quiche Lorraine and Apricot Almond Pie. I also asked for their Royal Chocolate Cake, but unfortunately the staff made a mistake (and I wasn’t paying attention) for when I got home, I found that I got the Chocolate Success again. Oh well.

Quiche Lorraine ($5.95):


3/5
This contained ham and eggs, and was topped with some herbs (I think it was rosemary/thyme). The filling itself was delicious, and was creamy with plenty of ham (and would have been 4/5 on its own). I really didn’t like the herbs however: they were dry and the flavour was very strong and really did not go well with the rest of the dish.

Apricot Almond Pie ($4.75):


3.5/5
This consisted of a crust that’s filled with almond paste, apricot, and almonds. The filling was very flavourful: they have a generous amount of almond paste and apricrots, and lightly sweet. The bottom crust was a bit tough and gummy, but the edges were flaky.

Chocolate Success ($5):


4/5
I had actually asked for the Royal Chocolate cake, since I’ve already had this one before at the Broadway location, but unfortunately the staff made a mistake and gave me this cake instead (oh well). This consisted of two thin layers of cake sandwiching chocolate mousse, and is coated in another shell of chocolate. The cake was moist and tender, while the mousse as luscious and rich. I do find the outer chocolate to be a tad waxy.

Although I was disappointed not to have gotten the Royal Chocolate cake, I did still really enjoy my visit to Baguette & Co. The food were fairly tasty, and the prices are very reasonable. This is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Chocolate Success
Baguette & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Melriches Coffee House

Normally, when it comes to cheesecakes, I like them to be as dense and thick as possible. I finally found my match at Melriches Coffee. They are a coffee house located on Davie, near Bute. In addition to various drinks, they have a pretty large menu of sandwiches and other breakfast/lunch items, as well as pastries and other items, which look homemade/rustic. I had their Blueberry Cheesecake, Sausage Roll and Carrot Cake. Unfortunately, they didn’t have prices posted for most of their items, but the total came to just over $16.

Blueberry Cheesecake:


3.5/5
The cheesecake was served with blueberry sauce. The filling was dense and very firm; I like my cheesecakes to be on the firmer side, but this was a bit too much even for me (I could hardly cut through it with my fork). It was sweet; I would have liked there to be a bit more tang. It had a nice fragrance; I think that there might have been some cinnamon or other spices in the crust. The blueberry sauce appears to be homemade and was filled with small berries.

Sausage Roll:


3.5/5
The pastry enclosing the sausage was a bit soft, but flakey; I did find it to be too salty however (and I actually like salt). The sausage itself was quite tender and juicy, with a nice bit of spice.

Carrot Cake:


4/5
The cake itself was quite moist, contained raisins, and had a great fragrance of spice. The cream cheese frosting was creamy and sweet, with a nice bit of tanginess.

I’ve never thought that I’d find a cheesecake that’s too dense, but I’ve found my match at Melriches. In general, the food was fairly enjoyable, but nothing outstanding. I don’t know the individual prices of the items, but they are fairly reasonable. This is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Summary
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Carrot Cake
Melriches Coffee House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Boulevard Coffee Roasting

I’ve taken up drinking coffee since beginning grad school. I only drink it for the caffeine however, and not for any taste. I really can’t appreciate a good cup of coffee: I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between something from a fancy artisinal shop and something from McDonalds (my boss on the other hand…). Thus, I’ve never been particularly interested in visiting Boulevard Coffee, a coffee shop at UBC that apparently roasts their own coffee beans. However, they do offer food in addition to their coffees, and recently, while running late with experiments, I decided to drop by the place for something to eat. I had their Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto sandwiches. Their sandwiches are all premade and reheated at your request.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich ($9.05):


3/5
This consisted of chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing in between apple bread. I personally didn’t care too much for the bread: I found it to be a little too soft and didn’t hold the fillings well. The filling was also a bit scarce: I didn’t really get much chicken or bacon. I did enjoy the ranch dressing however.

Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto ($9.05):


4/5
This contained prosciutto, mozzarella, cranberries, pesto and greens on a French baguette. I much preferred the bread here, which was nice and crispy, and held the fillings well. The sandwich was very flavourful from the pesto and the prosciutto, which is given in a fairly generous amount. It does get a tad salty, but I still really enjoyed it.

Although I haven’t tried any of the coffees, the food at Boulevard Coffee Roasters is decent. While I was underwhelmed by their Chicken Bacon Ranch, I did quite enjoy tehir Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto. I do find their prices to be a tad high compared to other spots: the sandwiches were relatively small and not overly filling. This won’t be my favourite spot at UBC for food, but it’s still worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto

The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My Home Cuisine

When it rains it pours. For the past 2 months or so, all of my experiments have been disastrous. My gene cloning kept on failing (which is one of the most basic protocols in the lab, and is something that I’ve been successfully doing for several years), and I couldn’t figure out the source of my problem. When I told my supervisor, he told me that I was “degrading” because I haven’t been doing enough cloning lately and has gotten sloppy from lack of practice (which isn’t true because I’ve actually been cloning up to until the point when my cloning suddenly stopped working out of nowhere).

Anyways, feeling pretty low, I didn’t really have the energy to travel out far to find a spot to eat. I decided to just stick to the vicinity of UBC, and made my way down to the International Village. I decided to check out My Home Cuisine this time. They are a Chinese fast food shop with a menu consisting of combos, which comes with your choice of rice/noodle and 2 or 3 of their pre-prepared items (also the staff speak Mandarin, which was nice, as I can finally understand them and not look like an idiot like I did at Cafe Gloucester recently). I had their 2 Items Combo with Fried Rice and Sweet & Sour Pork and Sesame Chicken.

2 Items + Fried Rice (Sweet & Sour Pork, Sesame Chicken, $8):


3.5/5
Their combos comes with your choice of 2 items and either plain rice or fried rice/noodle for an extra 50 cents (I went with the fried rice). The sweet & sour pork and sesame chicken were both very meaty, well-seasoned and coated in a sweet sauce. They weren’t crispy, but that is expected since it’s fast food. I did find that the two meats were very similar flavour-wise; apart from being different meats, they did taste almost identical. The rice didn’t have much flavour on its own, but was fragrant and paired well with the meat.

I was pleasantly surprised by the food at My Home Cuisine. For a fast food joint, I found their dishes to be quite solid. The prices are also more than reasonable. This is a pretty solid place at UBC for some quick and tasty lunch.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A (they only have combos)
My Home Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato