Rain or Shine Ice Cream

I’m generally not the biggest fan of ice cream. Don’t get my wrong, I certainly would gobble down a tub of ice cream if it’s there, but it’s not really my first choice for dessert. Thus, for the longest time, I resisted going to the new Rain or Shine Ice Cream shop that has opened at UBC. I mean seriously, how good can their ice cream possibly be to justify paying $7 for a small cup when I can probably get a full 2 Litre tub for the same price at a grocery store? But, after months of seeing a flood of people go past me every day, enjoying scoops of ice cream from the aforementioned shop, I finally caved. I stepped into the store today and…I ended up spending (and eating) $15 worth of ice cream by getting both a Sundae an a 2-Scoop Waffle Cone. Hey, go big or go home right? *I just have zero self control*

Sundae ($7):


4/5
The sundae consists of your choice of 2 scoops of ice cream, 2 toppings, whipped cream, and a cherry. I picked London Fog and Malted Milk Chocolate for my ice cream, and Candied Hazelnuts and Waffle Cone Pieces for my topping. The ice cream was dense without being overly hard, and very smooth. The London Fog had a great, assertive flavour of citrus and tea while the Malted Milk Chocolate had a nice fragrance an sweetness of honey comb. I really liked their waffle cone, which was fresh, and had a crispy yet at the same time tender, melt-in-your mouth texture. The hazelnuts were also fresh and crunchy.

2 Scoop with Waffle Cone ($7):


4/5
I picked Coffee Toffee and Peanut Butter for my scoops. The Peanut Butter was nothing short of fantastic, with a perfect balance between sweet and salty flavours and a wonderful fragrance from the peanut. The Coffee Toffee had a great fragrance of coffee, and a good bittersweet flavour; however, the toffee seems to be mia as I did not get any pieces at all. The waffle cone did get a bit soggy from the ice cream, but was still very tasty.

After having tried Rain or Shine Ice Cream, I must admit, I do understand why it’s such a popular shop. Even though their prices are steep, their quality certainly does justify the cost. This place is definitely worth checking out, especially during the relatively rare “shine” days in Vancouver. Hopefully you’ll have more self control than I do (I ended up having a bit of a stomach ache for the next several hours).

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Peanut Butter, Malted Milk Chocolate, London Fog

Basil Pasta Bar (Yew Street)

I’ve heard some mixed things about the portions from Basil Pasta Bar. There were some people who claim that their portions are relatively small, and that they are still hungry after a plate. Then there are others who swear that their portions are absolutely enormous, with one reviewer even stating that a single plate is “easily enough to feed two”. Now, I knew that the last statement is not true – there’s just absolutely no way that a single plate of food that’s not the size of a small table will be enough to make two meals – but I was curious to see if I could get full on one plate. Thus, when the opportunity arose, I made my way to their Kits location (they have another shop in Downtown, on Davie). They have a menu of “House Special Pastas”, as well as a Build Your Own option where you get to pick your own combinations of sauces, meat etc. I went with the latter option since it’s more fun. I ordered a plate of Fussili (with alfredo sauce, chorizo, broccoli, and parmesan) and Gnocchi (with pesto cream sauce, chicken, zucchini, and goat cheese). Now, I did notice the cashier struggle as she tried putting my order in through the computer, and when I received the receipt for my order, I saw that they charge me an additional $1.50 for extra meat/cheese/vegetable, even though I didn’t add that any of my dishes. I was, of course, way too cowardly to question them about the surcharge and decided to keep quiet. I mean hey, $25 is still a very good deal for two plates of pasta.

dav
Not sure what the extra $1.50 is for, but it’s still a good deal!

Create Your Own Pasta (Fussili, $11.40):


3.5/5
I had the pasta with alfredo sauce, chorizo, broccoli, and parmesan. The pasta was cooked to my liking, being tender without being mushy. There was a very generous amount of shave parmesan and chorizo present. I was a bit disappointed with the alfredo sauce however, as I found it to be a bit on the thinner side and under-seasoned, making the entire dish a bit bland.

Create Your Own Pasta (Gnocchi, $10.94):


4/5
I had gnocchi with pesto cream sauce, chicken, zucchini, and goat cheese. This was the first time that I’ve had gnocchi, so I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to taste like. I can say, however, that I quite enjoyed the dumplings here. They were soft, slightly chewy, and had a good savoury flavour on their own. The pesto cream sauce was considerably thicker here, forming a nice coating on the pasta, and had a nice fragrance of basil. Although it was also somewhat bland, since the gnocchi was already seasoned, that did not bother me too much here. Again, there was a good amount of goat cheese, which was creamy and tangy, providing a nice flavour to the dish. There was also a fairly good amount of chicken.

I must say, I was very impressed by Basil Pasta Bar. Although I did find their sauces to be a bit bland an underwhelming, I still quite enjoyed the pastas, and am very impressed by the very generous amount of meat and cheese they provide. The portions were quite generous. While they’re certainly NOT enough to feed two, a single plate is enough to satisfy a glutton like me, and since I ordered two plates, I had enough left over for lunch the next day. All in all, I was very impressed by Basil Pasta Bar, and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a tasty and affordable meal.

dav
Lunch for tomorrow

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Gnocchi
Basil Pasta Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gallery Cafe (and Deadpool 2)

I know that this is a food blog and not a movie blog, but I’ve finally gotten around to watching Deadpool 2 and HOLY F***ING S***!!! By no means was it a perfect movie, and it’s certainly not gonna win any Oscars, but man was it fun! I prefer it over the first one, and I really liked the first one. Seriously, if I had more time/money, I’d watch it again. I’d probably watch it ten times and still not get bored. Just a few random thoughts (with very minor spoilers):

1) I’m generally not into shipping but DeadpoolxColossus is now my OTP (just need to think of a good name for the couple since neither Deadsus nor Colopool rolls off of the tongue well). Not really sure of how Colossus’ anatomy works either since Deadpool broke his hand punching him in the groin in the last movie, but hey, if Deadpool can apparently survive getting literally ripped in half…I’m just going to leave it right there.

2) I get that Vanisher’s invisible, and that he either can’t or won’t turn off his powers unless he’s getting electrocuted, but is he also mute?

3) I’ve got a big crush on Cable right now, even if he might be a little “racist”. The dude makes fanny packs and lip balm look sexy/manly. And the look of horror/disgust on his face when Deadpool teabags him seriously cracked me up.

4) But seriously though, does Cable have actual superhero powers, or is he just a really badass soldier with advanced technology? Yeah, I know that he’s a mutant in the comics, but so is Vanessa. Speaking of which…

5) I know that I’m a heartless jerk, but I just did not care for the whole romance between Vanessa and Deadpool (and it’s NOT because they’re getting in the way of my Collusus and Deadpool ship). Romances in superhero/action movies are just horrible. To give credit where it’s due, the Deadpool one is probably better than 90% of all relationships that I’ve seen, but that’s kind of like saying that skin cancer has a much better prognosis than 90% of all cancers, which segways into my next point…

6) Melanoma apparently kills around 55,000 people a year, according to Wikipedia. Sorry, I just HAD to look that up. PETER!

7) One final point. I TOTALLY side with Russell. There needs to be more plus-sized superheroes! I want to see myself being represented on screen GOD DAMNIT!

But I’m not here to review movies, so here’s a review for Gallery Cafe. They are located right next to the Vancouver Art Gallery (which I’ve never been to since I don’t understand the appeal of staring at drawings/statues). They’ve got a good selection of casual breakfast/lunch items, but I was of course drawn to their desserts. I got a Mississippi Mud Pie, a Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake. I had the desserts to go, and unfortunately, my cakes did get somewhat battered during the trip back home.

mde
*Darth Vader voice* NOOOOOOOOOOO! (sorry to all the original Star Wars fans)

Mississippi Mud Pie ($5.25):


3.5/5
This consisted of a chocolate cookie crust filled with chocolate pudding, and topped with cream and pecans. I quite enjoyed the chocolate pudding, which was smooth and creamy. It was not of the highest quality, but definitely still tasty. The cream was fresh while the nuts were toasted, but I did find both to be a bit bland (I would have liked there to be some sugar/salt).

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake ($5.95):


4/5
Although the cake got battered during the trip back home, it still tasted very good. It was creamy and smooth, albeit a tad dry, with a mild tang and a fantastic fragrance of lemon. The blueberry sauce lent a nice bit of sweetness and tang, as well as fragrance.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake ($5.95):


4/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate chip cake sandwiching cookie dough icing. The cake was a bit on the drier side, though not overly so, and filled with a generous amount of chocolate chips. The icing was sweet, with a nice flavour of brown sugar. This is a sweeter dessert and while I really enjoyed it, I think that some others might find it to be a bit too much.

So in conclusion, Deadpool 2 was a great, entertaining movie that was just as good, if not better, than the original movie. And oh, also, Gallery Cafe’s got some pretty tasty and reasonably-priced desserts that are worth checking out. Seriously though, go see Deadpool 2 first!

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Cheesecake, Cakes (they have a rotating variety)

Deadpool:
As a movie (taking in account acting/story/cinematography etc): 8/10
As pure fun/entertainment: 12/10
Gallery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Marche St. George

So once again Yelp has helped me find a shop. Without the aid of the Internet, I’d never have been able to find Le Marche St. George. The place is located several blocks away from King Edward Street and Sir Charles Tupper Elementary School, in a residential area. It’s a small French cafe with a rotating menu of soups, sandwiches, quiches and crepes, a small selection of baked goods, and various groceries and other items, most of them locally sourced. I had a Croque Monsieur (with Ham, Gruyere, & Bechamel) and a Nutella Crepe, and also took an Croissant aux Amandes and Butter Tart to go.

Croque Monsieur (with Ham, Gruyere, & Bechamel, $11.95):


4/5
This consisted of two slices of toasted sourdough bread sandwiching ham and bechamel and topped with melted cheese, and was served with a small side of salad. The bread was thick and crispy around the edges and softer and chewier in the interior, and has a nice bit of tang. The bechamel was rich and creamy while the cheese provided a great gooiness. I also quite enjoyed the side of greens, which had a tangy but creamy dressing.

Nutella Crepe ($7.95):


3.5/5
The crepe was soft and slightly chewy, and was filled with a good amount of nutella. I did find it to be a bit plain however; I do wish that they could have offered some varieties containing banana or other fruit.

Butter Tart (around $3):


4.5/5
This may look simple, but it was by far my favourite of all the things that I’ve tried. Although the crust looked a bit blond, it was very tender, rich and buttery. The filling was sweet and had a wonderful toffe/caramelized flavour. Easily one of the best butter tarts that I’ve had.

Croissant aux Amandes ($4.10):

dav
Croissant aux Amandes

N/A
I gave this to my mom. She quite enjoyed it.

I’m quite glad to have found Le Marche St. George. Their butter tarts alone make them worth checking out. This also appears to be quite a popular local hangout, and while I don’t really understand the appeal of sitting at a cafe reading books/working on your laptop, if you happen to be one of these types of people, you might like this place. Be warne though, the cafe does get full, so you may need a bit of luck to get a seat.

Summary
Food: 4/5
Service: N/A
Price: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Butter Tart
Le Marche St. George Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goldstone Bakery

I’ve got no idea what Portuguese chicken is. No, not the Nando’s Peri-peri version, but the “Chinese” version that’s often on menus of HK restaurants. And apparently my mom doesn’t either, so I guess it’s more unique to HK vs. Mainland China. Well, I’ve had the chance to finally try out the dish at this week, when I visited Goldstone Bakery. They are a restaurant in Chinatown with a large menu of Chinese and HK-style cuisine. Although quite spacious, the restaurant does get very busy, and I had to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated during lunch time. I decided to get their “special” versions of their Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti and Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice, which are currently priced at $9.75 and comes with your choice of either coffee or tea.

Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti (Special Version, $9.75):

dav
Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti


4/5
This consisted of a generous piece of pork chop served over a bed of spaghetti and covered in tomato sauce. The pork chop was essentially like a schnitzel or Japanese katsu, and was pounded thin and breaded. It was very crispy and reasonably tender, although I would have liked there to be a bit more meat present. The spaghetti was cooked to my liking: tender without being too mushy. Although I’m not the biggest fan of tomato sauce, I did like theirs, which was not too watery and coated the noodles and pork chop pretty well.

Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice (Special Version, $9.75):


3/5
The dish consisted of chicken and taro baked in a yellow sauce. I thought that it was going to be served with rice baked together with the chicken (similar to the pork chop); instead, the chicken came in a dish that’s separate from the rice. Now I’ve never had Portuguese chicken before; I thought that the yellow sauce was curry but it did not have any heat or spice, although it did have a nice fragrance of ginger (and I think there might be some coconut as well). There were several large pieces of bone-in chicken, which was extremely moist and tender, as well as a few large pieces of taro. Unfortunately, I did find the dish to be overall pretty bland and under-seasoned.

I certainly enjoyed my visit to Goldstone Bakery. While their food does certainly have room for improvement, it is still quite tasty. Portion-wise, their “special” versions are considerably smaller (probably 1/2 to 2/3 the size) compared to the regular versions, but still reasonably large: while I could have done with a bit more food, it’s probably more than enough to satisfy an average appetite. The service is what you’d expect from a lower-end Asian restaurant: the staff is reasonably friendly, but not the most attentive and the food can take a while to arrive. They are currently cash only, so be sure to have some on you if you wish to visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti
Gold Stone Bakery Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

I love instant ramen. By far my favourite is that Korean brand Nongshim both for their great spicy flavour and their thick, bouncy noodles. I used to stock up boxes of their ramen. I’ve easily consumed over a thousand bags of ramen in my life.

As much as I enjoy instant ramen however, I’ve actually never been to be Japanese ramen shop. It’s not that I’ve got anything against non-instant, artisanal, “authentic” (a word that I personally don’t believe in) ramen, I’ve just never gotten around to it. Wanting to change this, I decided to visit the Broadway location of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (they have a 2nd location on Robson). I’ve had their Miso Cha-shu Ramen, which I upgraded to a large size for an additional $1.

Miso Cha-shu Ramen ($13.80 + $1 for Large):

dav
Large Miso Cha-shu Ramen


4/5
The bowl was filled with ramen noodles and broth that’s topped with cha-shu pork and vegetables (woodear mushrooms, green onions and bamboo shoots). The noodles had a great bouncy texture. I loved the broth, which was rich without being oily and very savoury, and had a nice fragrance from ground sesame. There were five generous pieces of pork, which although a bit chewy, was still reasonably tender and had a good ratio between lean meat and fat. While I did find the cha-shu to be a bit bland on its own, it tasted fine when eaten with the noodles and broth. Even though the bowl didn’t look particularly big, the rich broth and generous amount of noodles made it quite filling.

dav
I had to get all of that delicious broth

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ramen at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. Yes, you may shell out much more than the $1 you do for instant ramen, but the taste and quality does make up for it. The staff are quite friendly and attentive, and frequently call to each other in Japanese. The place does get busy however; being a single diner I was able to get a seat by the bar quite easily, but the tables do get full, so be prepared for a wait if you’re going in a group. All in all, I was quite impressed by this restaurant, and I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Ramen (duh!)
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Michele Cake Shop

I’m not the biggest fan of Asian/Chinese-style cakes. I often find them to be just too dry and bland. However, it seems that a lot of Asian bakeries have been stepping up their game in the cake department. I’ve quite enjoyed the desserts that I tried at Marui Bakery. More recently, my visit to Michele Cake Shop has further improved my perception of Asian cakes. The latter is a Chinese/Asian-style bakery in Kerrisdale that make a good selection of cakes, as well as buns and pastries. For my visit, I stuck to just their sweets, and got their Tiramisu, Michele Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, and Portuguese Tart.

Portuguese Tart ($1.75):


4/5
This is similar to a regular egg tart, except that the top is bruleed/caramelized. The crust was a bit bland, but quite tender and flaky. I quite liked the egg custard, which was smooth, mildly sweet, and had a pleasant eggy fragrance. I actually prefer this over the ones from Marui as it is a bit more flavourful (without being overly sweet).

Tiramisu ($3.99):


4.5/5
This consisted of layers of coffee sponge cake sandwiching coffee mousse. This is a fantastic rendition of the dessert. The cake was soft and light while the mousse was smooth and airy, with a wonderful bitter-sweet flavour. The cake also had a fantastic fragrance of coffee liquor.

Michele Cheesecake ($3.50):


4.5/5
This consisted of a layer of fluffier, Asian-style cheesecake on top of another layer of denser, more Western-style cheesecake. The top layer was light and fluffy with a nice citrusy fragrance, while the bottom was richer, creamier, and had a wonderful tang. This is seriously the best of both worlds.

Chocolate Cake ($2.75):


3.5/5
This was made up of layers of chocolate sponge cake and chocolate cream, and decorated with a small cream puff. Again, the cake was very fluffy and light. I personally found the chocolate/cocoa flavour to be a bit too weak. I also didn’t really care for the cream puff, which was bland and had a slightly oily texture, although it was quite a nice decoration.

I had managed expectations for the desserts at Michele Cake Shop and I must say, I was quite blown away by how tasty some of their cakes were. The prices are a bit on the higher side for an Asian-style bakery, but I think it’s quite reasonable given the quality of their desserts. Whether you like Asian-style sweets or not, I highly recommend giving this place a try.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Tiramisu, Michele Cheesecake, Portuguese Tart
Michele Cake Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Serano Greek Pastry

How the hell do you pronouce “Galaktoboureko”? That was the question that I was when I visited Serano Greek Pastry this week. As the name implies, this bakery specializes in Greek-style baked goods. Unfortunately, not being well-versed in the Greek language, I was just completely helpless when trying to pick the sweets that I wanted. The only dessert I knew was baclava. In the end, I resorted to simply pointing at the item that I wanted instead of making a fool of myself (even more so than I already am that is) and trying to even pronounce their name. The haul included the aforementioned Baclava and Galaktoboureko, Koke with Custard, Serano Special, Kasitina, and a Cake (whose real name is a Greek word that I cannot pronounce and unfortunately missed) with Custard Cream.

Baclava ($2.25):


3/5
This consisted of layers of pastry and chopped walnuts that has been soaked in sugar/honey syrup. Due to all the liquid, the pastry has a softer, chewier texture. The nuts were also a bit soft, and I do wish that there was more of it. I did enjoy the syrup though, which was not overly sweet and seemed to have a slightly citrusy flavour.

Koke with Custard ($1.95):


2.5/5
This consisted of two small cakes sandwiching some icing and glazed with chocolate. The cakes were fluffy and tender. I was a bit disappointed with the filling however: the description said that it was custard but it tasted like plain icing to me (like the type that you get on sugar cookies). I did still quite enjoy it though.

Galaktoboureko ($2.50):


3/5
This was phylo pastry covering a thick layer of custard and soaked in syrup. Like the baclava, the pastry has a soft, chewier texture. The custard was a bit stiff and starchy, but still enjoyable and had a mild citrusy aroma.

Serano Special ($1.95):


3.5/5
This consisted of layers of cakes sandwiching buttercream and topped with more buttercream and sliced almonds. The cake was soft, albeit a tad dry. The cream, while not exactly greasy, did not have the lucious smooth texture that I like (it was still enjoyable though). I quite like the toasted almonds, which provided a nice bit of texture. Even though the cake an cream were brownish, I personally couldn’t determine what flavour it is (it did have a pretty nice fragrance, however).

Kasitina ($2.25):


3.5/5
This consiste of layers of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and nuts that’s enclose with a layer of chocolate. The cake was tender and quite moist here. Again, I was not a huge fan of the cream, but I did find it reasonably enjoyable. The chocolate was just a tad waxy, but that didn’t bother me much. I quite enjoyed the nuts, which lent a nice crunch.

“Cake” with Custard Cream ($1.95):


4.5/5
I missed the actual name of this dessert (it’s a long Greek name that I cannot pronounce), but it consisted of layers of cake sandwiching custard cream, topped with buttercream and sliced almonds. This was great, and easily my favourite of all the desserts that I’ve tried. The cake was soft and fluffy while the custard lucious and creamy with a very nice fragrance (if only they had filled their Koke with this!). The toasted almonds provided a nice bit of crunch and fragrance. I seriously can eat half a dozen slices (and seeing that it’s currently less than $2, I could have actually done that too).

I don’t know if it’s the actual quality of the pastries or just personal tastes/preferences, but I was not the biggest fan of the pastry-type desserts at Seranos. However, I did quite like their cakes, in particular the mystery “cake” with custard cream, which was just fantastic. Their prices are also a steal. If you’re in the mood for some very afordable Greek-style baked goods, be sure to check this place out (hopefully you’re a better linguist than I am and can actually pronounce the names).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: “cake” with the custard cream (you’ll know it when you see it)
Serano Greek Pastry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Russet Shack

Let me tell you a tragic tale:

Once upon a time a struggling graduate student (who is definitely NOT me) attended a conference in the mountains in Washington. One day, she (or he, since it’s definitely NOT me) went inside the cafeteria to get lunch. They were apparently serving potatoes that day; large baked potatoes accompanied by a variety of different toppings. Being a great lover of potatoes, she quickly picked up a tray and got in line, salivating in anticipation as she imagined sinking her teeth into the soft flesh of a potato, smothered in a mound of creamy sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Unfortunately, that fantasy never came to fruition, for just then her supervisor/boss (who was also attending the conference) burst through the doors of the cafeteria. “Let’s go!” he barked, gesturing for her to follow him. “We need to leave right now!”

You see, there was a 5-6 hour break between lunch and when the conference resumes, and her boss (and the rest of the lab) wanted to drive up to the mountains to do some snowshoeing. Having no choice, the graduate student (who is definitely NOT me) was forced to grab whatever portable/packaged food was available, including a few gluten-free brownies even though she did not have a gluten allergy and knew that gf foods provides no health benefits whatsoever. She was forced to forgo her potatoes.

The End.

On a completely unrelated note, I recently heard about this shop called Russet Shack that apparently specializes in loaded baked potatoes. Having a tremendous desire to eat loaded potatoes (and NOT because I’ve had an incident where my boss got in the way between me and a loaded potato), I decided to pay their shop a visit. You can either choose from a variety of different toppings or go with one of their specials, which are either $6.50 for (mostly) vegetarian varieties or $8.99 for meat varieties. I sampled their Taco, Steak & Cheese, and Turkish flavours. Now, one thing that I’d like to mention is that during my visit, they had apparently run out of ground beef (which is supposed to be for the Taco potato) so they replaced it with steak. However, the staff did not inform me about this: I only learned after overhearing them talk. It’s not a big deal – their steak is certainly tasty – but I do wish that they could have checked with me first before making the modification.

hdr
The menu

Taco Potato ($8.99):


3.5/5
Disclaimer: The potato was supposed to come with ground beef, but they were apparently out and replaced it with steak instead.
This was filled with ground beef (which in my case has been substituted with steak), salsa, sour cream, green onion, cheddar cheese and taco chips. I quite enjoyed the sour cream and cheddar cheese, which provided great creaminess and flavour to the potato, which on its own was unseasoned and bland. The chips were also a nice touch, lending a nice crunch. I did find them to be a bit stingy with the meat – I only found maybe 3-4 slices of steak.

Steak & Cheese Potato ($8.99):


4/5
This was filled with steak, cheese and onions. Even though it was probably the most straightforward, it was also my favourite of the three. Unlike the Taco, there was quite a generous amount of steak present here, which was very tender albeit a tad salty. The cheese was gooey and provided a great creaminess and tang, while the green onions lent a nice fragrance.

Turkish Potato ($6.50):


3/5
This came with sausage, corn, pickles, ketchup and mayonnaise. I was a bit disappointed to find that the “sausage” was not real sausage, but rather hotdogs. It’s not a big deal per se, since I do like hot dogs, but I did find the description a tad misleading. I personally did not care too much for the corn and pickles, which I didn’t think added much to the dish. The ketchup and mayo were surprisingly tasty however, and went well with the potato.

Although I wasn’t exactly blown away by Russet Shack, I did quite enjoy my visit. While I do think that their food can do with some tweaking, it was still overall quite tasty and has certainly satisfied my potato craving. This is definitely worth checking out if you’re a tater fan or ever had some incident where someone got between you and the potato of your dreams.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Steak & Cheese Potato

 

Russet Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pad Thai Cuisine

I’ve been slightly put off of Thai food ever since visiting Jitlada a few months ago. While I didn’t hate the food there per se, I didn’t think it to be particularly good either, and more importantly, the portions were too small for me and left me hungry. However, after hearing about Pad Thai Cuisine, which offers (currently) $9.75 lunch specials that are apparently served in big portions, I decided that it was time to give Thai food another try and headed over to the restaurant this week. They have a pretty large selection of lunch options, and it was a bit of a struggle for me to choose what to get. In the end, I ended up ordering their Chicken Cashew Nuts and Chili Pepper Fried Rice (with Beef).

Chicken Cashew Nuts ($9.75):


3.5/5
This consisted of a generous portion of stir-fried chicken, bell peppers, onions, and celery, and was served with rice and a spring roll. While not exactly caramelized, it was still pretty well-cooked and not at all watery like the version I had at Jitlada. Although the vegetables made up the majority of the dish, there was still a good amount of chicken, which appears to be dark meat and was very tender and juicy. It was a bit on the saltier side, and I did find the flavours to be a bit one-note (I would have liked there to be some heat and/or sweetness). I also could have done with more cashew nuts.

Chili Pepper Fried Rice (Beef, $9.75):


3.5/5
The dish consisted of fried rice with chili pepper, onions and other vegetables and your choice of meat (I had the beef), and came with a spring roll. Again the portion was quite generous: you receive a heaping plate full of rice. The rice had a nice fragrance from the onions and pepper, but I personally found it to be a bit on the blander side. I would have also liked a bit more heat. I was very impressed by their beef however, which was quite tender and not at all dry.

Spring Roll (comes with lunch specials):


The spring rolls that I received was relatively fresh and still hot. It was very crispy, although a tad oily. Unfortunately it was mostly wrapper, with very little filling. Although I was definitely happy to receive them with my lunch specials, they aren’t something that I’d recommend ordering by themselves. This is the one dish that I think that Jitlada does better.

I was not disappointed by my visit to Pad Thai Cuisine. Their portions are indeed very generous, especially for the price, and since I had ordered two entrees, I had more than enough food leftover for lunch tomorrow (oddly, I actually found the food to taste even better reheated the next day). If you’re on the lookout for some affordable and relatively tasty grub, be sure to check this place out! The seating is relatively limited, so be prepared for some waits when it gets busy.

dav
Tomorrow’s lunch

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Lunch Specials
Pad Thai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato