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.

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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

Nelly’s Grill

What’s better than chicken and waffles? How about chicken and waffles topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce a la benedict-style and served with a side of delicious, crispy hashbrowns? Sound amazing? Well, I certainly think so. Which was why I headed to Nelly’s Grill today. They are a casual diner locate on 4th Avenue in Kits with a menu featuring a good variety of breakfast/brunch items, as well as some lunch fare as well. There was only one item on the menu that I just NEEDED to have though: their Fried Chicken Waffle Benny.

Fried Chicken Waffle Benny ($14.50):

dav
*drool*


4.5/5
This consisted of a generous piece of fried chicken on a small waffle, topped with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, and was serve with a side of panfries. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The chicken had a great, crispy coating, and although it appears to be white meat, it was still quite tender and juicy. While I did find the meat on its own to be a bit bland, it tasted fine when combine with the coating and hollandaise sauce. The waffle was also tasty: fluffy and slightly chewy, with a really great sweet fragrance. I had requested the yolks of my eggs to be on the medium-firms side, and they came out perfectly: firm on the outside but with a still slightly runny yolk. The hollandaise was thick, creamy and had a terrific tang. I loved the panfries, which were crispy and well-seasoned, possibly one of the best versions that I’ve had so far.

Coffee (complimentary):

dav
Free is always good!

I had high hopes for the Fried Chicken Waffle Benny, and fortunately, I was not disappointed. While I admittedly haven’t tried any of the other items on their menu, I think that the dish alone is worth the trip. The staff were very friendly and attentive, and the prices were pretty reasonable (and they also provide complimentary coffee, and free is always good!). Be sure to check this place out if you’re in the mood for some delicious week-day brunch!

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: Fried Chicken Waffle Benny
Nelly's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trafiq Cafe & Bakery

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you, go on

Okay, I’m not the biggest fan of Celine Dion. She’s definitely an extremely talented and established artist, but her songs are just not to my personal taste. But Deadpool 2 is coming out soon (SO EXCITED!!!), and that Ashes video…well, let’s just say that I never knew that I needed to see Deadpool doing a contemporary dance (in stiletto heels no less) to Celin Dion until now. Seriously, if you haven’t watched the video go and treat yourself! And now that I have Celine Dion in my mind, I’d like to dedicate her all-time greatest hit to my one true love: Trafiq.

Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we’re gone

I’m so sorry to those of you who now have the song stuck in your head (fyi, Titanic was very popular in China when it finally got released there, and I got the song stuck in my head from my parents watching it repeatedly on TV), but the lyrics just so perfectly describe my feelings for Trafiq. I am so in love with this bakery. They produce some of the most beautiful cakes that I have ever seen, and that taste every bit as good as they look. During my latest visit, I’ve picked up a slice of their Zen Matcha and Red Raspberry Chocolate cakes, as well as two minis (Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and Black Forest).

dav
My one true love

Banana Cream Pie with Caramel ($2.25):


4/5
The crust was tender and easily. The banana filling was thick and creamy with a nice fragrance. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t detect any of the salted caramel. It was still delicious however.

Red Raspberry Chocolate Cake ($6.95):


4.5/5
“Layers of red velvet cake, delicious raspberry mousse & swirls of 85% Columbian Single Orange dark chocolate pastry cream, finished in a white chocolate red glaze”
The cake was soft and very moist (I actually found it to be a tad too soft, and would have preferred a slightly firmer texture). The raspberry mousse was light and had a great, fruity tang. It was definitely a raspberry-forward dessert, with the chocolate flavours playing a more of a backup role. The white chocolate glaze was creamy and fragrant while the dark chocolate mousse had a wonderful, rich cocoa flavour, and both paired wonderfully with the raspberry flavour. Seeing that this cake is one of their new creations and probably won’t remain on their menu for long, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out before it’s gone!

Black Forest Mini ($2.25):


5/5
This consisted of a small piece of brownie topped with cherry mousse and marshmallow cream. The brownie was perfect: dense and incredibly fudgy (I seriously have to try their brownie now). The mousse was light and tangy, and paired perfectly with the richer flavours of the chocolate brownie. Personally, I didn’t think that the marshmallow added much, but they are a nice decoration.

Zen Matcha Cake w/ Yuzu Mousse ($6.95):


“Yuzu mousse envelops layers of matcha cake & matcha cream. Finished in a high gloss white chocolate glaze”
4.5/5
The cake was soft and moist, while the mousse was creamy, light and tangy, with a wonderful citrus scent from the yuzu. The white chocolate paired perfectly with the yuzu. I did find the matcha flavour to be somewhat subtle (which is the case for almost all matcha desserts that I’ve had), but that was not a problem; this is an absolutely fantastic cake.

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

I’m just so in love with Trafiq. If marriage between man (or woman) and bakery was legal, I’d be on my knee right now, proposing to Trafiq (I’m going to get rejected of course, but it’s worth the shot). Sadly, like practically every other place in the city, their prices have increased and their cake slices are now going for $6.95 (which is a $1 higher than they used to be). However, given the good portion and incredible quality, it is still well worth the price. I seriously cannot praise this place enough; if you like cakes and have never visited Trafiq before, head down there and treat yo self!

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Cakes!!!
Trafiq Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Fish Counter

Everything tastes better deep-fried in my opinion. Case in point: I typically don’t care for fish. At best it’s lean and boring, at worst it’s got some terrible, disgusting “fishy” smell. However, if you coat a piece of fish in batter, deep-fry it a golden-crispy brown and serve it up with a side of French fries and tartar sauce…well, let’s just say that you’ve got my interest.

Anyways, I was visiting my absolute favourite place in all of Vancouver this week, aka Trafiq (more on that in a future post), and I decided to make my way to The Fish Counter a few streets down for lunch. They are a small fish shop that happen to also have a kitchen serving up what many consider to be one of the best renditions of fish & chips in Vancouver. I got a 1 pc Halibut & Chips with an extra piece of Ling Cod.

1 pc Halibut & Chips ($14.95):

dav
Literally the ONLY time I’m excited about seafood


4/5
This was served with a side of slaw, tartar sauce, and a good amount of fries. The coating on the halibut was fantastic: light and crispy. The fish was meaty and flaky, and most importantly very fresh, without any off-putting smell. I did find the fish to be bland on its own however; I don’t think that they seasoned the meat at all. I personally didn’t really care for the slaw, which seemed to be dressed in some mustard and had a strong peppery flavour. Their fries were almost like actual potato chips as they were quite thinly sliced and very crispy (and tasty).

1 pc Ling Cod ($9.99):

dav
Lingcod

4/5
Once again, coating was incredibly light and crispy. The fish was juicier than the halibut, and again was extremely fresh and had no off flavour whatsoever. Again however, the fish did not seem to be seasoned and was a bit bland on its own.

Even though I’m usually not the biggest fan of seafood, I quite enjoyed the Fish & Chips at the Fish Counter. The prices are a bit high, but given their quality, I think that it’s worth the price. The seating is quite limited: there are only a few counters and benches available. I do wish that they could add some seats for their counter at the front of the room (currently you eat standing), but then again, I’m exceptionally lazy. All in all, this is a fantastic place for some quality, fresh and sustainable seafood.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Fish & Chips
The Fish Counter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna

I’m not the biggest fan of Greek food. While I haven’t gotten anything against dishes like souvlaki or roast lamb, they aren’t necessarily dishes that I crave either (I’m just not huge on lemon/herb flavours – they are just too “light” for my liking). I do, however, crave baked pasta. Baked pasta topped with loads of delicious, rich, gooey melted cheese. Thus, when I visited Stepho’s (Davie location) this week, I did not order their most popular dish, which is the roast lamb, but their Lasagna (large size of course). I also got their Moussaka to go (because even I am not crazy enough to try eating both dishes in one sitting).

Large Lasagna ($14.95):

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Large Lasgana – came with salad and pita bread


4/5
The lasagna came with a small side of rabbit food salad and a piece of pita bread. It was piping hot and topped with a good amount of delicious melted cheese that was crispy around the edges and gooey in the middle. The noodles were perfectly cooked and tender without being mushy. It was pretty “dry” in that there wasn’t much sauce (which I didn’t mind as I’m not the biggest fan of tomato sauce), but had a generous amount of ground beef. Personally, I did find it to be just a tad under-seasoned. I didn’t really care much for the salad, which consisted of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives dressed in a simple sweet vinaigrette. The pita, on the other hand, was delicious: soft and fluffy with a really nice chewy texture. Portion-wise, the dish didn’t look very big, but was very filling (probably because of all the tasty cheese) and I was actually quite stuffed after finishing it.

I took the Moussaka home (or more accurately to my work place, where I stored it in the communal fridge) and reheated it for lunch the next day. Unfortunately, either during the trip or the time in the fridge, the moussaka did end up falling apart a bit.

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My lunch for tomorrow

Moussaka ($15.95):


*disclaimer: I didn’t eat this right away, but took it home and reheated it for lunch the next day, and I don’t know how much that might have affected the flavours*
4/5
This consisted of layers of ground beef, potatoes and eggplants that’s topped with a thick layer of thick bechamel, and was again served with a small salad as well as pita bread. Unfortunately, since I took the moussaka to-go, it did end up falling apart a bit. Fortunately, what it lacked in appearance, it made up for it in taste. The ground beef was well-seasoned and flavourful, and the vegetables were tender. I did find the bechamel to be a bit bland and gummy, but still enjoyable. While not as filing as the lasagna, the portion was still pretty good.

While I haven’t been able to try any of their signature, popular Greek dishes, I really enjoyed the lasagna and moussaka at Stepho’s. Unfortunately, as with most other places, they have significantly raised their prices over the years, although their current prices are still fairly reasonable. The service differs a bit depending on which server you get. While my server was more than decent, there was one guy named “Clinton” who seemed to be just exceptional: he introduced himself to everyone he was serving, went over all of the daily specials (which my server didn’t), was attentive, and above all, was very friendly and cheerful. I’d highly recommend getting him, if possible.

Overall:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Lasgana, Moussaka, Lamb (if you like lamb)

Stepho's Souvlaki Greek Taverna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Salsa & Agave

I know that it is probably pretty weird, but I’ve never had a quesadilla before. In fact, I’ve never even had Mexican food until a couple of months ago, when I scarfed down a burrito at Vallarta’s and discovered how awesome those things are. And now, after my trip to Salsa & Agave earlier this week, I’ve finally had my first quesadilla. The aforementioned restaurant is a small, casual shop near the Yaletwon Skytrain Station serving a pretty good variety of Mexican fare. I was initially drawn the place after hearing on the interweb that they serve massive burritos. Of course I just had to get me one of these babies, so I ordered their large-sized 13″ Burrito with Carnitas. I also got a Quesadilla with Al Pastor.

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Complimentary chips and dip

13″ Burrito (Carnitas, $10.50):


3.5/5
The burrito was filled with pulled pork, beans, and cheese, and was serve with sides of sour cream and avocado sauce (which I was unfortunately unable to sample as I’m allergic to avocadoes). The pulled pork was quite tender and juicy; it was completely savoury however, and I personally would have preferred some sweetness. They were pretty generous with the meat: the pork probably made up over 50% of the filling. While I couldn’t really detect much of the cheese, the beans were creamy and flavourful. It was quite wet: a large amount of liquid/broth came out of the burrito when I cut it open, and it would probably have been quite messy to eat on the go. Portion-wise, I have to admit that I was initially a bit disappointed by the size: after reading some of the reviews from other patrons I was expecting something massive. Instead, the burrito I received was just of modest size, and not as big as the ones that I’ve gotten from Vallarta’s or Bandidas. However, at just $10.50, I really can’t complain.

Quesadilla (Al Pastor, $11.00):


4/5
The quesadilla came filled with pulled pork, pineapple, and cheese, and was again served with a side of avocado sauce. I really enjoyed this. The tortilla itself was hot, fresh, and had a great crispiness when it first came out (it did soften as it cooled, but was still delicious). There was a generous amount of pulled pork, which was tender, juicy and had a nice sweetness. The cheese, which I could actually taste here, provided a great gooiness.

In all honesty, I probably could have finished both the burrito and the quesadilla in one sitting. However, I’m currently doing my very best to take it easier on my wallet health, so going against all of my instincts, I forced myself to just eat half of each and save the remains for a snack meal the next day.

dav
It’s taking all of my willpower not to finish it all…

All in all, I quite enjoyed my trip to Salsa & Agave. Their food is tasty, and even though their portions aren’t huge, their prices are relatively low and more than reasonable. The food came quite quickly and the staff, while not the most attentive, were very friendly. I’d highly recommend checking this place out for some tasty an affordable Mexican food.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Quesadilla
Salsa And Agave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aphrodites Pie Shop

I’m not the biggest fan of fruit pies (I find them to be just too light and “healthy”-tasting), but every now and then, I do like going down on some cream pies…

*crickets chirping*

Anyways, dumb dirty jokes aside, I was craving some good cream pies so I headed directly to Pornhu- Aphrodites Pie Shop. They are the bakery part of Aphrodite’s Cafe & Pie shop and located right across from their cafe. They have a pretty good variety of sweet & savoury pies, as well as a small selection of sandwiches and pastries, most of them organic. I picked up a slice each of their Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Banana Cream pies.

Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie ($10.25):


4/5
The pie consisted of a crust coated with chocolate and filled with a layer of chocolate mousse, a tall layer of raspberry mousse, and whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Both the raspberry and the chocolate mousses were fluffy and creamy. I was quite impressed by the raspberry – in spite of having a very bright and artificial-looking colour, it tasted fresh and tart, and did not have any artificial flavour. The chocolate was of good quality and melted in my mouth, and was not at all waxy. The crust was quite tender, albeit a big soggy. Although it appears to be quite large, it was quite light and I had no trouble polishing the slice off.

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie ($10.25):


4/5
This pie consisted of a layer of bananas, a thick layer of chocolate mousse, and whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The bananas were tender and had a nice fragrance, although they weren’t as flavourful as the raspberry was. The chocolate mousse was creamy, light and fluffy. Again, the pie was very light and fluffy, and easy to eat.

I’m quite impressed by the pies from Aphrodites. Although the prices are pretty steep; however, the slices are pretty large (about 1.5 times that of those from most other shops), so it isn’t too outrageous (plus, they do use organic ingredients). If you’re like me and enjoy eating cream pies (I’m so sorry, I just can’t help myself), or any other varieties of pies for that matter, do pay this place a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cream Pies (the non-pornographic version)
Aphrodite's Organic Cafe and Pie Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vivo Deli

Potatoes are easily my favourite vegetable. You seriously can’t go wrong with them. Whether you fry them, bake them, roast them, boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew (LOTR’s one of my favourite movies fyi), they always taste fantastic. Heck, I even like potato salads. Considering my tremendous fondness for potatoes and all its different incarnations, it is a bit strange that I have never heard of knishes until recently. For those of you who don’t know, a knish is a Jewish dish consisting of a pastry that’s filled with mashed potatoes. It sounded amazing to a potato head like me, so I just had to try one (or, more accurately several) for myself. The only place in Vancouver that I could find serving this dish was Vivo Deli. They are a small shop located in Kerrisdale, right beside London Drugs. They offer several different varieties of knishes. I got a Chicken Mushroom, a BBQ Beef, and a Smoked Beef.

Chicken Mushroom Knish ($3.00):


4/5
This consisted of a pastry that’s filled with mashed potatoes, chicken, mushrooms, and fried onion. The pastry was soft and flaky while the potatoes were smooth and very well-seasoned and flavourful. I did find them to be just a bit stingy with the filling; however, the pieces of chicken that was present were tender and flavourful.

Smoked Beef Knish ($3.00):


4/5
This was similar to the chicken mushroom knish, except it contained smoked beef, egg, cheese, and fried onion. Again, I do wish that there was more meat and cheese mixed into the mashed potato. The small pieces of beef that were present was quite tender, and had a nice salty flavour. I could not detect any egg or onion however.

BBQ Beef Knish ($3.00):
N/A
I didn’t actually eat this myself: I gave it to my mom. It was completely, purely out of selfless, altruistic reasons, and definitely NOT because I was seriously stuffed from gorging myself on large heros and pizzas over the last few days. Anyways, she really enjoyed it, even though she did complain a bit about the beef being a bit “spicy” (she’s a whimp who can’t handle any heat).

I’ve really wanted to try a knish, and my visit to Vivo Deli has finally fulfilled my wish. Their prices are relatively reasonable: currently the knishes are going for $3 each (plus tax), but they do offer discounts when you buy multiple (I saved 50 cents by buying 3). They also offer bags of frozen knishes to take home. Be sure to check this place out if you happen to be in the area and are looking for a snack or lunch.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Knishes (whichever flavour you prefer)
Vivo at the Fair Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato