Pizza Garden – UBC

Probably the first food that I’ve had at UBC was pizza from Pie R Squared. A considerable number of new pizza places have appeared over the years. One of them is Pizza Garden, which is located at University Village, right next to an A&W. In addition to whole pies, they also offer premade slices, which they’ll heat up for you (they also have a few chairs available if you want to eat in; otherwise, they’ll pack your slices in a box for you to go). I had their Hawaiian, Pollo Eccllente, and Calabria slices.

Hawaiian Slice ($2.85):


3.5/5
This was topped with prosciutto and pineapple. Even though the pizza wasn’t hot by the time I got to it, the crust was still quite crispy. The outer edges were a bit too tough/chewy, however. The amount of topping was a tad on the sparser side, though still substantial enough to make the pizza tasty and flavourful. Although according to their website, the meat here is supposed to be prosciutto, I think it’s actually ham (it tastes like it at least). I quite enjoyed the pineapple (yes, I’m on that team) with provided a nice sweetness.

Pollo Eccllente Slice ($2.85):

dav
Pollo Eccllente Slice

3.5/5
This was topped with grilled chicken, spinach, red peppers and onions. the chicken was white meat, and was hence a bit on the dry side, but was at least well seasoned. I enjoyed the onions, which lent a nice flavour.

Calabria Slice ($2.85):

dav
Calabria Slice

3.5/5
This was topped with sausage, capicolla, and hot soppressata. This was probably the most flavourful of the three slices that I’ve tried. My favourite was the soppressata, which had a great bit of heat (be warned if you don’t like heat).

The pizza at Pizza Garden was fairly enjoyable: their crust were crispy even when cold, and while they weren’t overly generous with their topping, it was still substantial. The prices aren’t exactly cheap, but not unreasonable either. This isn’t my favourite pizza place, but it’s worth stopping by for a quick bite at UBC.

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

Mei Yee Bakery

Mei Yee, is a Chinese/Asian bakery located on the corner of Victoria and 41st. They produce a pretty impressive assortment of cakes, buns, cookies, steamed buns, and other goodies. I’ve visited the place once, a number of years ago, to buy a cake for my dad’s birthday. I decided to revisit the place recently. Unfortunately, when I tried taking pictures of their food, a staff member saw me and asked me to stop. Well, that’s fine (I understand that people may want some privacy), but since I don’t have photos, I can’t remember the exact names of some of the stuff I bought or their prices, so I’ll just put them in quotation marks. I had a Bola-Bola Steamed Bun, “Sticky Rice with Pork”, “Taro Bun with Crispy Topping”, “BBQ Pork Bun with Crispy Topping”, “Custard Bun with Crispy Topping” and “Pork Floss Onion Roll”.

Bola-Bola Steamed Bun ($2):


3.5/5
This contained egg, pork, sausages, chestnuts, mushrooms among other fillings. The bun was nice and fluffy. There was a pretty good amount of filling, which albeit a tad on the blander side, was still tasty and savoury, with a lot of different textures. This was very large, almost twice the size of other buns.

“Sticky Rice with Pork” (around $1.20):


3.5/5
This consisted of glutinous rice that’s stuffed with ground pork. The outer parts had a slightly nice bit of crispiness while the rice had a bit of sweetness. The filling was quite savoury and had a bit of a seafood-like flavour to it.

Taro Bun with Crispy Topping (around $1.20):


3.5/5
This was a pineapple ball that’s filled with taro paste. The bun was quite sluffy and soft; I really enjoyed the topping, which provided great sweetness and texture. The taro was creamy and mildly sweet; I do wish there could be a bit more filling, however.

BBQ Pork Bun with Crispy Topping (around $1.20):


3.5/5
This was the same as the taro bun, except with BBQ pork. The pork had a pretty unusual bright red colour, but was still tender, and had a nice sweetness. It was not as overstuffed as the one from New Town, but the amount of filling was still generous.

Custard Bun with Crispy Topping (around $1.20):


3.5/5
This was the same as the taro bun, but with custard filling. I quite enjoyed the custard, which was creamy and mildly sweet. Again, the filling was not well distributed throughout the bun, but there was a fairly good amount in the centre.

“Pork Floss Onion Roll” (around $1.20):


3/5
This was essentially a small swiss roll cake that’s topped with green onions and pork floss. The cake itself was quite soft and moist. Unfortunately, I did find the combination of the onion and cake to be a bit too weird/off-putting.

I really enjoyed my visit to Mei Yee. The food, while not as good as some other places like New Town, were still solid and the prices are a great bargain. I’d definitely recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Steamed Buns, Buns with Crispy Topping, “Sticky Rice with Pork”
Mei Yee Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Paul’s Sub Shop

Ever since the 49 got re-routed near Metrotown, I’ve been passing by Paul’s Sub Shop. They are a small casual joint that, as the name suggests, specializes in sandwiches, although they do also serve up various breakfast/lunch items. I had their Bacon Double Cheese Steak and Super Sub to go.

6″ Bacon Double Cheese Steak ($10):


4/5
This contained bacon, cheese, and ribeye steak, along with mayonnaise and barbeque sauce. I did have this to go, and unfortunately, the bread did get a soggy from being wrapped in foil. That was okay though, for I do actually like softer bread over crispy. Although it didn’t really look very big, it was quite heavy and loaded with filling. The meats were tender and flavourful, and I really enjoyed the barbecue sauce, which provided a great sweetness to accompany the salty meats.

6″ Super Sub ($10):


4/5
This contained steak, salami, capocollo and mushrooms. The sandwiches were seriously over-stuffed: I actually had trouble eating it since I’ve got a smaller mouth. The meats were all very flavourful and savoury, without being overly salty. Again, the bread did get a little soggy from the trip home, but was still tasty and actually held up well to all the filling.

I quite enjoyed the sandwiches at Paul’s Sub Shop. The prices were a bit on the higher side, but I do think that they are good quality and worth the cost. The food did take a little while to prepare, but I really can’t complain too much since there was just one slightly older lady (who was quite friendly) running the shop when I visited. All in all, this is a place that’s worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Bacon Double Cheese Steak, Super Sub
Paul's Sub Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Town Bakery & Restaurant

New Town Bakery & Restaurant seriously has an adorable store front. Unfortunately, the day that I visited it was raining somewhat heavily, so I wasn’t able to take a picture, but for those of you who don’t know, they’ve got a cartoon of a basket of steamed buns. In addition to steamed buns, they serve a good variety of Chinese baked goods, along with various Asian dim sum and other dishes from their restaurant section. I haven’t tried their restaurant however, I just stuck to their steamed buns and baked goods. I had their Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun, and Pork, Spicy Pork, Chicken Deluxe, and Chinese Sausage Steamed Buns.

Pork Turnover ($1.75):


4/5
This was glutinous rice that was filed with ground pork and has been deep fried. The exterior was nice and crispy. The glutinous rice had a soft, chewy texture and was slightly sweet while the ground pork had a nice savoury flavour. I do wish that there was a bit more of the filling however.

Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($2.25):


4/5
The bun was soft and fluffy; the meat was tender and juicy, and had a mildly sweet flavour. This was a very good amount of filling: I got meat in almost every bite. This may be a bit more expensive than other places, but it’s worth it for the quality.

Pork Steamed Bun ($2.50):


4/5
The bun itself had a great fluffy and chewy texture. The pork filling was very tender and juicy. I could have done with a tad more filling inside, but it was still sufficient.

Spicy Pork Steamed Bun ($2.75):


4/5
This was filled with what is essentially BBQ pork. The pork was very tender and juicy, and has a wonderful sweet flavour. There was also a pretty generous amount of filling.

Chinese Sausage Roll ($2.25):


4/5
This was basically an elongated steamed bun that’s filled with a Chinese sausage. The bun again was very fluffy, soft, and chewy; the sausage was what you’d get at Asian supermarkets, and is very tender, juicy, and flavourful. I would have liked there to be a slightly higher meat to bun ratio.

Chicken Deluxe Steamed Bun ($3.30):


4/5
Again, the bun was light, fluffy and slightly chewy. This was completely filled with all sorts of meats, including chicken, pork, and salted egg yolk. All of the meats were tender and juicy and flavourful; I particularly enjoyed the egg yolk, which had a great saltiness and oily flavour.

Although I haven’t tried any of the food from the restaurant part of this shop, I really enjoyed all of the steamed buns and baked goods that I’ve tried. Their prices are a bit higher than typical Asian places, but considering the quality of their food, I think it’s more than worth the cost. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Steamed Buns, Pork Turnover, Baked BBQ Pork Bun

New Town Bakery & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banh Mi Saigon

Have you ever had an incident where you’re eating something in public, and there’s someone there staring at you hungrily and you feel really awkward and a little guilty about it? It happened to me recently after my visit to Banh Mi Saigon. However, instead of a human, this time it was a crow.

dav
Well, this is a little awkward…

I encountered this guy during my trip to Banh Mi Saigon. The latter is a small Vietnamese joint located on Victoria, a couple of blocks from 41st Avenue. Their menu consists of mostly Banh Mi sandwiches and various drinks; they do have an oven inside and probably make their own bread and everything else from scratch. Their sandwiches all contain vegetables and mayo, with different meats depending on the variety that you chose, and currently range from $5-$5.50. I had their Heo Uop Xa (Lemongrass Pork), Ga (Chicken), and Dac Biet (Special) Banh Mi.

Carrying my baguettes, I headed over to a nearby bus stop and waited for the 20 to come an take me back home. This is where I encountered the crow showed up and began staring at me, or more accurately, the baguettes that were sticking out of the bag that I was holding. I guess I can’t really blame it too much since the sandwiches do look awfully tasty. Finally, I caved in and put a small piece of one baguette onto the ground for the bird before making my way home with the rest.

Heo Uop Xa, Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi ($5.50):


3.5/5
This contained lemongrass pork, mayo, and vegetable. The bread was quite crusty on the outside. It was a tad bit soggy on the interior due to the filling. The meat was well-seasoned and flavourful, albeit a tad on the dry side. I really enjoyed the mayo, which provided a great creaminess. I didn’t think the sandwich was as overstuffed as some reviewers say, but they were still quite generous with the meat.

Ga, Chicken Banh Mi ($5.50):


4/5
This contained chicken, mayo, soy sauce, and vegetable. Flavourwise, this was quite similar to the lemongrass pork, except with chicken instead. The meat here was more tender and juicy. Although the portion seemed a bit more stingy than that from the pork. Again, I really enjoyed the mayo, which was creamy and flavourful.

Dac Biet, Special Banh Mi ($5.50):


4/5
This contained ham, headcheese, meat ball, meat loaf, pate, mayo, soy sauce, and vegetable. This sandwich was certainly not short on meat. All off the coldcuts were tender and quite flavourful (quite honestly, I’ve got no idea of what I was eating, but it was all tasty). I do wish that there was a bit more mayo in this sandwich however: the flavour wasn’t as prevalent as it was in the two previous sandwiches.

I’m really glad to have checked out Banh Mi Saigon. The sandwiches didn’t blow me away, but were still very tasty, with a good amount of filling. They are also quite generous in size for the price. This is definitely a place that I’d recommend for a tasty and very affordable meal.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Banh Mi (which ever variety you prefer)
Banh Mi Saigon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Golden Ray Bakery

Living in Kensington region, there are quite a few Chinese/Asian bakeries around. One such joint is Golden Ray Bakery, which is located on Kingsway, near Knight Street. Although small, they do offer a pretty good variety of baked buns, steamed buns, cookies, and cakes. During my visit, I had their Cheese Hot Dog, Tuna, Curry Beef, Pizza, BBQ Pork Pineapple, and Dried Pork Buns, as well as a Pork & Egg Steamed Bun.

Pork & Egg Steamed Bun ($1.75):


4/5
This was filled with minced pork, Chinese sausage, and egg. The bun outside was fluffy with a nice bit of sweetness. There was a fairly good amount of filling inside, with the meats being tender and juicy and the sausage having a wonderful fragance (I do love Chinese sausage; I probably wouldn’t want to know what actually goes into them, but they are frigging delicious).

Cheese Hot Dog Bun ($1.40):


3.5/5
The bread itself was relatively soft with a slight bit of sweetness. The hotdog was just a standard hotdog that’s quite processed, but still very tasty. The cheese was also very tasty. I do wish there’s a bit more filling, however.

Tuna Bun ($1.40):


3/5
The tuna was quite savoury and had a great creaminess (probably from mayo). It was a tad bit fishy, but that’s expected. Again, I could have done with more filling.

Curry Beef Bun ($1.40):


3/5
The bread was quite fluffy and soft. I quite enjoyed the curry, which was fragrant and mildly sweet; there just wasn’t much meat, however, and I do find that they were a bit stingy on the amount of filling.

BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun ($1.40):


3.5/5
I quite enjoyed the “pineapple” topping, which provided a nice sweetness and a bit of texture. The filling was also sweet, and the pieces of pork were tender. Again, I do wish that they could have been a little more generous with the amount of filling.

Pizza Bun ($1.40):


3/5
This was filled with tomato sauce, peppers, hotdog and cheese. I wasn’t a big fan of the tomato sauce or peppers, which I found to be a little bland. The hot dogs (which was the same as the ones from the Cheese Hot Dog bun) were tasty however, and the cheese provided a nice creaminess.

Dried Pork Bun ($1.40):


2.5/5
This was topped with dried pork floss. In most versions, the bun would be split open, and there would be this clear, sweet glaze inside; this wasn’t the case here, however. The bun was still tasty, being fluffy and soft, and the floss had a nice savouriness. I do miss the glaze however, which is normally my favourite part of these types of buns.

The baked buns at Golden Ray Bakery are mostly just mediocore, but I did really enjoy the steamed bun. The prices are very affordable, however: most of the buns are around $1.50. This isn’t the best bakery around, but it is decent and worth visiting. They are cash only, so make sure that you’ve got some on you when you visit.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Pork & Egg Steamed Bun, BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun
Golden Ray Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Meinhardt

I’ve passed by Meinhardt a number of times while visiting Pacific Centre, and recently decided to check this place out. For some reason, I always thought that the place was some kind of cafe due to signs that they’d have outside advertising breakfast/lunch specials. Well, it turns out they’re actually a grocery store in the vain of Whole Foods. Oh well. They still have quite a large selection of tasty-looking cakes and other desserts, as well as various other items. After much hemming and hawing, I settled on a Pork Empanada, Chocolate Decadence Cake Slice, and Black Forest Slab Cake.

Pork Empanada ($3.99):


3.5/5
The crust was a bit tough and not flaky enough for my liking. There was a generous amount of meat filling however, which was quite tender and juicy, and had a nice bit of heat.

Chocolate Decadence Cake Slice ($4.99):


3.5/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate sandwiching chocolate mousse, and was coated in chocolate buttercream. The cake was fairly tender and moist, while the mousse/buttercream was a bit hard/stiff, but not greasy. I did find it to be a tad on the sweet side. This is certainly no match for the version at Trafiq, but it is still fairly tasty.

Black Forest Slab Cake ($4.99):


4/5
The layers of cake was very tender and moist, with a nice bit of chocolate flavour. The cream was fresh and light, while the cherry fillings provided a great bit of tang.

Although I was a bit surprised/disappointed to find out that Meinhardt wasn’t what I thought it was, I did quite enjoy their food. The prices for their premade foods are fairly reasonable; I do find their groceries to be expensive, however. While I personally wouldn’t go there for groceries, their cakes are worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Black Forest Slab Cake
Meinhardt Fine Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cadeaux Bakery

Asides from Trafiq, probably the best bakery in Vancouver is Cadeaux. They are probably best known for their five-layered cakes, which they usually sell in three varieties: London Fog, Carrot Cake, and a rotating chocolate variety. They do also have a large variety of other food as well, including tarts, croissants, cookies, and other pastries. Since it’s the holiday season, they were also offering some seasonal goods, including yule logs. During my visit, I had their Cheddar & Herb Scone, Cinnamon Croissant Swirl, Rum & Eggnog Yulelog Slice, Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake Slice, and also an Almond Croissant for my mom.

Cheddar & Herb Scone (?):


3.5/5
The scone had a slightly crispy top. It had a great tender and moist interior, and was quite flaky. I could have done with a bit more herb and cheddar flavour, however.

Cinnamon Croissant Swirl (?):


3.5/5
This was filled with a dollop of caramel/toffee in the center. The croissant, while not melt in your mouth, was still tender and had a nice buttery flavour. It was nicely caramelized and had a wonderful crispy texture and great fragrance of cinnamon. The toffee inside was thick and gooey, although it was slightly a bit too burnt for my taste.

Rum & Eggnog Yulelog Slice ($5.50):


2.5/5
This was off of their seasonal holiday menu. The cake was relatively tender and moist. I wasn’t a bit fan of the rum/spice flavour, but I think that’s just a personal preference. Unfortunately, I really disliked the frosting on the exterior as I found it to be quite stiff and greasy, and also bland.

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake Slice ($6.50):


4/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate cake sandwiching a caramel mousse and is surrounded by white icing. The cake was quite tender and moist, while the mousse was luscious, with a wonderful caramelized flavour. I did unfortunately find the white icing outside to be a tad too gummy and greasy for my liking.

Almond Croissant ($4.05):

dav
Almond Croissant

N/A
I didn’t have this; my mom did. She absolutely raved about it though, so it’s probably pretty good.

Having visited Cadeaux in the past and grown to love the bakery, I must say that my latest visit did leave me a tad bit disappointed. Nevertheless, their cakes are definitely fantastic and very reasonably priced for the quality. This is definitely a place that’s worth visiting if you enjoy sweets.

Summary
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cake Slices
Cadeaux Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Mexican

There were two things that came into my mind when I saw the specials board in The Mexican. 1. That’s the cutest mouse. 2. I wonder what the “Dear Trump: Mexicans will not pay for the wall” dish is like. I’m certainly no expert on Mexican food and I’ve never heard of the dish before; I’m sure that it’s a specialty that’s only served in Mexico and maybe some Central American countries. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the courage yet to try something that sounds so exotic. Fortunately, the rest of their menu contained mostly popular dishes that I’m more familiar with. I ended up getting their Cubana Torta and Burrito (with Carnitas).

dav
*tempted to order the last dish on the specials*

Cubana Torta ($11):


4.5/5
Their tortas are all filled with vegetables, cheese, chipotle mayo and usually guacamole (I had it omitted since I’ve got an avocado allergy); this version comes with turkey, pork sausage, and milanesa (breaded steak). I seriously loved this sandwich: the bread was soft and fluffy, and the filling was very flavourful, with the meat being tender and well-seasoned and the mayo and sausage providing a nice bit of heat. The sandwich was quite overstuffed: I had trouble eating it because the fillings were falling out.

Burrito with Carnitas ($12):


4/5
This was filled with beans, rice, cheese, and your choice of meat (I had the carnitas). The tortilla was soft and slightly chewy. There was a generous amount of filling inside. The meat was quite tender and juicy while the beans provided a great creaminess.

Although I wasn’t able to try the specials at The Mexican, I really enjoyed the food that I did try. The food was very tasty and the prices were very reasonable. Moreover, the server I had was very sweet and friendly. This is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Cubana Torta
The Mexican Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro – Kerrisdale

What is a baoguette? That was the question that I wanted to find the answer to when I visited Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro. They are a Vietnamese joint located in Kerrisdale on 41st Avenue (they have an additional place in Denman). They serve up a menu consisting of the usual popular Vietnamese food: banh mi, pho, and rice/vermicelli dishes. Unfortunately, to my great disappointment, I realised that their “baoguettes” were just regular baguettes/banh mi. Oh well. I ended up getting their house Special Baoguette and Com Cari Ga (with rice) instead.

Com Cari Ga with Rice ($10):


3.5/5
This was served with either a baguette or rice, I had the rice. The curry was very fragrant and had a nice bit of heat. I did find it to be lacking a bit of seasoning/salt however. There were four generous pieces of chicken, which were tender and juicy (by virtue of being dark meat); I did find it to be also a bit lacking in salt as well. The portion was quite generous for the price.

House Special Baoguette ($5.95):


4/5
This contained ham, cold cuts and pickled vegetables. The bread had a nice crispy texture on the outside while being soft and fluffy on the inside. The filling was very flavourful. I was surprised to find that it had quite a sweet flavour; it was a bit jarring at first, but it did grow on me.

I was a bit disappointed not to have gotten to try an actual baoguette. However, the food at Baoguette was still fairly good, with more than reasonable prices. The service was pretty minimal, and the staff weren’t really warm or attentive, although they weren’t mean or rude either. All in all, while I did enjoy my visit, I do think that there are much better joints available.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: 2/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: House Special Baoguette
Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato