Aussie Pie Guy – Part II (the best for last)

Aussie Pie Guy is a food truck specializing mainly in savoury pies. They do also offer frozen versions of their pies to be baked and enjoyed at home. I’ve ordered their variety pack, consisting of 4 flavours (Aussie Pie, The Trifecta, Chook Pie, Shane’s Pie) for $26.99 through Spud. I’ve already sampled and reviewed their Aussie Pie and Shane’s Pie in my previous post, and will complete my review now today with their remaining 2 pies, the Chook Pie and the Trifecta.

Chook Pie


3.5/5

“Don’t be a goose, have a chook pie. Local, free run chicken and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce. “
At first glance the filling looked pretty pale and bland, and hence I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was actually very flavourful: creamy and savoury with large chunks of tender chicken. The crust was unfortunately still doughy and a little tough, but perhaps because I was prepared for it this time around, I wasn’t as bothered by it as I was yesterday. Although I rated this the same as Shane’s pie, I actually prefer this a touch more than the latter.

The Trifecta


4/5

“Indulge! Free range, B.C minced beef with chunks of BC double smoked bacon and layers of vintage cheddar all in a rich gravy. “
I’ve apparently saved the best for last. Unlike the Chook Pie, I could tell from the moment the cheese oozed out that this was going to be flavorful. And indeed it was. The ground beef was nicely seasoned and had a slightly tangy tomato flavour. Due to the drier filing, the crust was less soggy and considerably more enjoyable. I would have liked there to be a little more cheese. This is easily my favourite of the four.

Having now sampled everything from the variety pack, I will say that while I wasn’t blown away by anything, I did still enjoy the offerings from Aussie Pie Guy. I would recommend any pie lovers to give them a try, especially their Triefecta.

Aussie Pie Guy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aussie Pie Guy – Part I

The 2 people who read this blog may have noticed that I haven’t made any new posts for a while. This is in part because I’ve recently came down with possibly the worst episode of stomach flu that I’ve ever experienced. Considering that this is supposed to a “food blog” and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s appetites, I’ll skip all of the details and just simply say that it was ROUGH. For 2-3 days I was barely able to eat anything at all. It was one of the few times where a slice of tiramisu from Trafiq could have been placed in front of me and I’d have had no interest in eating it.

Thankfully, I was able to recover relatively quickly, and have gone back to eating. For this week, I decided to try out Aussie Pie Guy, a food truck which, as the name implies, specializes in Australian-style pies. They also offer frozen versions of their pies to enjoy at home. I was able to order their variety, which contains 4 varieties of their pies (Aussie Pie, The Trifecta, Chook Pie, Shane’s Pie) at $26.99 through Spud (which offer home delivery). For my first day, I’ve sampled their Aussie Pie and Shane’s Pie.

Aussie Pie

3/5

“A traditional Aussie pie made with chunks of free range BC beef and organic onion in a pepper gravy made with Howe Sound Rail Ale from Squamish, B.C.”

The pie had a decent amount of filling, including a generous amount of beef, which was relatively tender and well-seasoned, with a predominantly (though not overwhelming) tangy flavour from ketchup/Worcestershire sauce. Unfortunately, the crust (which in my opinion is the most important part of a pie) was somewhat underwhelming. The bottom base crust, due to the relatively wet filling, was quite soggy and doughy. The upper puff pastry crust was a bit better, but still doughy and not particularly enjoyable.

Shane’s Pie

3.5/5

“A signature pie created by APG’s friend Shane. Tender free range BC beef short rib and vegetables with a red wine au-jus and apricot hoisin sauce over mashed potatoes.”

The filling  had a slightly sweet flavour, making it distinct from the Aussie pie. There was a pretty decent amount of tender shredded shortribs. Perhaps due to the drier filling, the top crust of the pie was much flakier and more enjoyable than the Aussie pie. Although the bottom crust was still doughy, it didn’t bother me as much due to the layer of mashed potatoes.

Overall, so far I found the flavours of the pies to be okay, but not outstanding. The crust was a bit of a hit and miss. Even though the quality of the ingredients are probably pretty good (local, grass fed beef etc.), I’m not convinced that the overall taste is THAT much better than store-brand pies. Maybe the Chook Pie and The Triefecta will change my mind – I’ll be eating them (and hopefully writing my review as well) tomorrow.

Aussie Pie Guy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Andy’s German Bakehaus – Taking a 180 on cherries and cheese

There are quite a few Western foods that I’ve grown to appreciate over the years. Probably the most dramatic is probably pizza. I hated pizza the first time that I’ve tried it. Yes, you read that right. I used to HATE pizza, and my parents actually had to bribe me to get me to finish my portion. Another food that I initial disliked (and perhaps one of the reasons for my initial aversion to pizza) was cheese, including cheesecake. I also hated anything cherry-flavoured, mainly because they remind me of the cherry-flavoured cough syrup that I used to be forced to consume as a kid. Fortunately, my palate has changed and I now enjoy all three of the foods.

Which brings me to Andy’s German Bakehaus, a bakery on Commercial Drive that offers, as the name implies, German-style baked goods, as well as soem sandwiches and soups. The bakery itself is tiny and there was only a small selection of food on display. Going against my 6-year-old cheese- and cherry-hating self, I went ahead and ordered their Black Forest Cake and Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cake ($5):

dav

3/5

This was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment. While the cake was moist, it was also bland and severely lacking in sweetness or chocolate flavour. Fortunately, the layers of whipping cream and chocolate shavings helped lend a bit of sweetness. Ironically, my favourite part of the cake was actually the layer of cherry filling, which was tangy and didn’t have any of the horrible, artifical cough syrup flavour that caused me to hate cherries for so long.

Cheesecake ($4.25):

4.5/5

This was quite different from any other cheesecakes that I’ve had. The crust was more like a cake rather than the traditional bread crumb. The filling was firm, crumbly, and more sweet than tangy (I don’t think that it has any cream cheese). It had a really nice (vanilla?) fragrance. Overall, and interesting and quite delicious version of a cheesecake.

Although I am a little disappointed by the Black Forest Cake, their Cheesecake was well worth the visit. I really would recommend people to give it a try.
Andy's Bakery & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sweet E’s Pastries and Sweets

I’m generally not a big fan of miniature bite-sized desserts, the reason being that, by virtue of being bite-sized, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them for long before they are gone. Thus, I was initially a bit reluctant to try out Sweet E’s, which is a bakery that specializes in miniature cakes, cookies and tarts. Curiosity killed the cat however, and I have to say that I’m glad it did: the place turned out to be quite fantastic. For my visit, I’ve sampled their Mini Carrot Cake, 4 varieties of their mini tarts (Banana Caramel Cream, Vanilla Strawberry Cheesecake, Coconut Cream, Milk Chocolate Hazelnut with Salted Caramel) and their Toffee Chew Cookie.

Mini Carrot Cake ($4.5):

5/5

The cake was tender and incredibly moist and had a good amount of spice. It was topped with a generous amount of delicious, tangy cream cheese frosting. This is probably one of the best carrot cakes that I’ve had; I actually prefer it over the one from Creme de la Crumb.

Mini Tarts (Banana Caramel Cream, Vanilla Strawberry Cheesecake, Coconut Cream, Milk Chocolate Hazelnut with Salted Caramel, all $2.5):

dav

4.5/5

In general, I enjoyed all of the treats. My two favourites would be the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut with Salted Caramel (which elicious smooth chocolate filling, topped with a lucious hazelnut cream and salted caramel), and the Banana Caramel Cream (fragrant banana with bits of buttery, sweet toffee). I did find the Coconut Cream to be a tad bland and muted in flavour compared to the others.

Toffee Chew Cookie ($0.95): 4/5

Although the cookie didn’t look like much, it was actually filled with an incredible amount of fruit and nuts, and best of all, buttery toffee. I did find it to be a tad dry, however.

Overall, I’m very impressed by the offering from Sweet E’s. My only negative is that I do find their mini tarts to be a tad pricey at $2.5. The quality of their products however is top notch and you really can’t go wrong with picking any of their goods.
Sweet E's Pastries and Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dewan-E-Khass – Screw you dad

I love Indian food. Or maybe more accurately, for those food snobs that are obssessed about “authenticity” (a term that I personally disagree with), westernized Indian food. You know what I’m talking about: Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Meat Korma…just the thought of these dishes gets me salivating. Unfortunately, Indian food also happens to be possibly my dad’s least favourite cuisine. Not only does he insist that spices cause his skin to breakout (something that’s a complete load of bs since he gets breakouts regardless of whatever the hell he eats), but he is actually averse to the smell (in his words, it “stinks”)… Seriously, I can’t believe how we can possibly be related. Consequently, it isn’t often that I actually eat Indian food. But I can’t always cater to my dad’s tastes, and I was having a serious craving for something spicy (which is kind of odd considering that it has been quite warm in Vancouver these past several weeks), so after a quick scroll through the restaurants on SkiptheDishes again, I decided to give Dewan-E-Khass a try. The dishes that I got were their Grill Mix Combo (which contained Lamb Kabab, Chicken Kabab, Beef Boti, and Chicken Tikka), Butter Chicken, and Goat Karahi, all of which came with a side of Naan (or rice, although I don’t understand why anyone would opt for it over naan).

Grill Mix Combo ($15.95):

dav

3/5 (4/5 for the kababs, 2/5 for the chicken tikka)

The kababs were quite tender and juicy with a good amount of spice and heat. Aside from the heat however, I personally did find the meat to be a just a tad underseasoned, and I did encounter a few bits of bone/gristle. Unfortunately, the chicken tikka was quite dry, even for white meat. Moreover, it was coated in a layer of marinade/spice that as not particularly flavourful (other than heat), and also very dry.

Butter Chicken ($11.95):

dav

3.5/5

The sauce was aromatic and creamy. The meat, being white meat, was a tad dry but not nearly as bad as the chicken tikka. I would have preferred the sauce to be less sweet and more tangy/savoury. Overall, not the best rendition of butter chicken, but still pretty good.

Goat Karahi ($14.95):

dav

4/5

This is the first time that I’ve ever had goat or karahi, so I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like. This doesn’t change the fact that I quite enjoyed the dish, however, and it’s the favourite of all the food that I’ve ordered. The goat meat was fall off the bone tender, and didn’t have any gaminess that I’m always worried about when having lamb. Again, the sauce had a nice amount of heat. I would have liked a bit more seasoning on the meat itself.

Naan:

dav

4/5

I love naan, and theirs did not disappoint, being fresh, soft and chewy. And a pretty generous portion too. It was also the only food of all the dishes that my dad actually liked.

Overall, while I wasn’t exactly blown away by the food, I quite enjoyed all of the dishes (with the exception of the chicken tikka). This is a good place for decent curries/kebabs for those days when I just want to say “screw you” to my picky dad.
Dewan-E-Khass Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Black Rook Bakehouse – Molly, Chester, Doris, Marlow, Ashley…

I remember going down E. Hasting’s street every day in late August to work at my first job at PNE. The district is quite impressive in its offering of bakeries and casual restaurants, but unfortunately, being a broke high school/college student at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to try any of them. Since quitting my job at PNE (thank god, since I hated working there), I haven’t been in the district much. So what brings me back to Hastings? Cake of course! More specifically, Black Rook Bakehouse. They make quite an impressive variety of delectable looking cakes, of which a few rotating flavours are offered every day. I’ve visited them twice now. On my latest visit, I was able to sample their “Ashley” cake, which is actually a Devil’s Food cake.

Ashley Cake (~$7):

4.5/5

A sinfully delicious combination of chocolate and raspberries. Ashley is a chocolate devil’s food cake, filled with double fudge icing and raspberry crush, and surrounded by a rich pink cream cheese icing.

This sounded like just the cake for me, and, for the most part, it was. The cake was rich and fudgy, albeit a bit dry on the dry side. The fudge icing was smooth and creamy. It was a bit on the sweeter side, which was fine with me since I have a high tolerance, but might be an issue for some other people. The sweetness was somewhat balanced however by the tangy raspberry crush/preserves layers within as well as the smooth and also tangy pink cream cheese frosting.

On a previous visit, I’ve sampled their Molly cake (which is a Red Velvet Cake), as well as Bacon & Cheese Croissant.

Bacon & Cheese Croissant ($4.25):

IMG_20170604_112139.jpg

2.5/5 (4 if it wasn’t a croissant)

The first thing that struck me was how heavy the croissant was. Although it looked to be about the same size as a regular croissant, it weighted at least 1.5x as much. Unfortunately, as a croissant, it was not very good. It had a more bread-like texture, and was not flaky and buttery as a croissant should be. I did enjoy the taste; I just think that it should be called a “bun” rather than a croissant.

Molly Cake (~$7):

IMG_20170604_132355.jpg

5/5

The Red Velvet of your dreams! Molly is filled with gooey cream cheese icing and fresh raspberry crush.

I really liked this! The cake was very moist and tangy, with a perfect amount of delicious cream cheese frosting (and what appears to be bits of cranberry/raspberry). Yum.

While the cakes at Black Rook Bakehouse doesn’t quite measure up to the ones from Trafiq and Cadeaux, the bakery has certainly found a spot in my cake-loving heart and I’ll certainly be returning to try more of their delectable varieties listed on their website (Chester, Harold, Bill are at the top of my list). Besides, how can you dislike a place that gives their cakes people names? I don’t know if there’s any story behind this (i.e. were they named after people?), but I think it’s quite cute.

Black Rook Bakehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato