Cavo Bar + Kitchen

I’m always on the look out for some good chicken and waffles. In most cases, the waffles are usually good but the chicken not so great. Recently, I learned that Cavo Kitchen + Bar was serving the dish on their breakfast menu. I decided to check them out. They are a joint that’s located on Granville. In addition to their drinks, they have a fairly large food menu consisting of Mediterranean dishes and various comfort food. I had the aforementioned Chicken & Waffles.

Chicken and Waffles ($15):


4/5
This consisted of two small waffles and three generous pieces of chicken, and is served with syrup and honey mustard. The chicken was luckily dark meat, and were by virtue, tender and juicy. It was also pretty well seasoned and relatively crispy. I quite enjoyed the waffles, which were soft and chewy and filled with crunchy pearls of sugar; they also had a nice fragrance.

I was pleasantly surprised by how good the Chicken and Waffles at Cavo were: they are easily one of the better versions that I’ve had. The price is also very reasonable. I definitely recommend checking this joint out while they still have the dish on the menu.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Chicken and Waffles
Cavo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Carlo O’Bryan’s

For someone who doesn’t like the taste of alcohol, I sure do visit quite a few bars/pubs. That is primarily because such places often also serve up fantastic food in addition to their drinks. My latest visit was to Carlo O’Bryan’s, an Irish pub located in Kits that has quite a good food menu in addition to an enormous drinks menu. They are probably best known for their Pachos, which are essentially nachos but instead with potato lattice-style fries instead of tortilla chips. They have two varieties, the regular and Extreme Pachos, which comes with extra toppings. I went with their Extreme Pachos, along with half a rack of their Big Hokin’ Ribs.

Extreme Pachos ($16.50):


4.5/5
This consisted of lattice-style fries with cheese, beef, onions, peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno, and is served with a side of Emerald Isle. The fries weren’t exactly crispy, but were well-seasoned and had a nice, slightly chewy texture. What really made the dish for me was the dipping sauce, which was sweet and slightly tangy, and went fantastically with the fries. Personally though, I didn’t feel that the other toppings added that much to the dish; I think that the regular pachos probably would have just been as good (for cheaper). Even though they have options for a double serving, I found that the single version was already quite generous, and probably enough for two if you’re having other dishes.

Half Rack Big Honkin’ Ribs, with hand-stuffed champ potato ($21.75):


3/5
This comes with your choice of rice, potato, or lattice fries; I had their hand-stuffed champ potato. The ribs were quite tender and came off the bone. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the bbq sauce, which was too tangy for my liking. The potato was tender and luckily seasoned; it was a bit bland on its own but went pretty well with the ribs.

The pachos at Carlo O’Bryans are seriously fantastic; I think that they are better than nachos. The ribs were just fine to me, nothing to really rave about. The only thing that could rival the pachos was the server I had, who was very sweet and welcoming. Though I haven’t tried any of the drinks, but the pachos are definitely worth visiting the place for alone.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Pachos
Carlos O'Bryan's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Cove

So I tried visiting NSCS Discovery Cafe recently. They are a spot located in Jericho Beach, which from all the photographs that I’ve seen online, appear to serve some seriously tasty comfort food. Unfortunately, the cafe was closed when I arrived (I don’t know if it’s permanent or a seasonal thing). Now, normally this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but I was out seemingly in the midst of nowhere, with no other alternative spots in sight. I ended up walking several blocks to a bus stop on 4th Avenue and travelling a couple of stops to Alma where a couple of joints were available. I headed into The Cove, a sports bar/pub. They have a pretty good food menu consisting of classic pub fare, including a couple of seasonal features. I had their Feature Flatbread and Pulled Pork and Grits.

Feature Flatbread ($15):


4/5
This was on part of their features menu and consists of four strips of bread that’s topped with sausage, cheese, and caramelized onions, and is served with a side of salad. The flatbread was well toasted and crispy around the edges. The toppings were very flavourful; I particularly enjoyed the onions, which provided a great sweetness that complimented the saltiness of the sausage and cheese. The salad was also quite nice and contained a fair amount of tangy dressing as well as pumpkin seeds, which provided a great flavour and texture.

Pulled Pork and Grits ($17):


4/5
This was served with a biscuit. The pulled pork was tender and juicy, and very flavourful with a really nice sweetness. I was a bit put off by the shredded vegetable (I think it was beets) that was mixed in with the pork however. The grits was very smooth and creamy; it was a tad bland on its own, but paired very well with the pork. The biscuit was also buttery and tender.

Although I was disappointed not to have visited NSCS Cafe, I did quite enjoy my visit go The Cove. The food was quite tasty and fairly reasonably priced. The service, while a bit slow, was also quite friendly. While I can’t say anything about the drinks (being a non-drinker), I think that this place is worth visiting for the food alone.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Flatbread, Pork and Grits
The Cove Neighbourhood Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chicha

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

mde
*celestial choir*

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

dav
Lunch Menu

Chicharron ($12):


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

Pollo Crema Empanadas ($18):


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

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

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

The Wolf and Hound

Wolf & Hound is an Irish Pub located on Broadway, near Alma. I’ve passed by the place several times on my way to and from UBC, but being a non-drinker, I’ve never had any particular interest in visiting the pub. Not too long ago however, my supervisor organized a research conference at UBC and he was looking for pubs for the attendees to hangout post conference since scientists appear to have a great penchant for alcohol (guess that’s why I’m never going to become a successful scientist). One of my co-workers (who is French) suggested Wolf & Hound, claiming that the food there is delicious. Seeing Wolf & Hound has a stamp of approval from a snooty French person (she’s seriously one of the nicest people I know), I was now interested in checking the place out. I’ve finally had the opportunity recently. In spite of being a pub, they have quite an extensive menu filled with classic comfort/pub food. I had a 1/2 Order of their Beer Battered Cod and Chips and Homestyle Meatloaf.

Beer Battered Cod and Chips, 1/2 Order ($11):


4/5
This came served with a side of tartare sauce. The batter on the fish (which is pacific cod) is wonderfully crispy. The quality of the fish was not the greatest – I did find the texture to be a tad mushy, but not fishy. I really enjoyed the fries, which were again wonderfully crispy while having a somewhat starchy interior. The tartar sauce was wonderfully thick and tangy.

Homestyle Meatloaf ($19):


4/5
This came served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The meatloaf was tender and well-seasoned, and had a nice sweet glaze. The potatoes were well-seasoned and quite smooth and creamy. The vegetables, which consisted of zucchini and carrots, were simple and nothing to write home about, but well-cooked and not overly bland.

I really enjoyed my trip to Wolf & Hound. Even though I haven’t tried any of their drinks, their food is absolutely delicious. Service-wise, the waitress I had was relatively friendly but a bit slow; I can’t really blame her though since she was the only person present and there were several tables that she had to manage. This is definitely a place worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Beer Battered Cod and Chips, Homestyle Meatloaf
The Wolf and Hound Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moose’s Down Under

So I’ve just learned a new expression: dry as a dead dingo’s donger. Can’t wait to start incorporating that in my every day conversation. And in case you’re wondering where I found the phrase, its Moose’s Down Under. They are a pub located in Downtown, not far from Canada Place, specializing in Australian-style comfort food (hence the dingo reference). Being a non-drinker, I stuck to their food. I initially wanted their meat pie, but unfortunately, they were out, so I got their Shepard Pie instead. I also got their Schnitzel Parmesan.

dav
Seriously, is this a thing in Australia?

Shepard Pie ($14.99):


3.5/5
This was served with a side salad with your choice of dressing (I had their house) and garlic bread. The shepard pie consisted of layers of mashed potatoes and ground beef smothered in gravy. The mashed potatoes were creamy while the meat was flavourful; I wasn’t a big fan of the seasoning used however, I did find it to be a tad on the pungent side. The garlic bread was also quite buttery and nicely toasted. I didn’t care for the salad: it seemed to be pretty under-dressed and was mostly bland greens.

Schnitzel Parmesan ($12.99):


4.5/5
This was also served with a side salad with your choice of dressing (I got ranch for this one) and garlic bread. I was very impressed with the schnitzel, which was tender and juicy, well-seasoned and quite crispy on the outside, with a good amount of cheese. Again the garlic bread was tasty, and I actually liked the salad more this time: there was much more dressing, which made the veggies muhc more palatable.

In spite of being as dry as a dead dingo’s donger (since I’m a non-drinker), I really enjoyed the food at Moose’s Down Under. Their prices are also very reasonable, especially for the quite generous portion sizes. The staff were also very friendly (with charming, presumably Australian accents). This place is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Schniztel Parmesan
Moose's Down Under Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bogart’s Bar & Restaurant

I recently tried to visit Back Forty, but sadly, the restaurant appears to have closed down. I don’t know if that’s permanent (it doesn’t say closed yet on the social media sites), but a board sign standing outside the restaurant read “Fin”, which does sound quite ominous to me. Fortunately, there were a good number of other eateries nearby, and I soon spotted Bogart’s Bar right across the street. They are a clean and comfortable sports bar located right next to the BC stadium. In addition to various drinks, they feature a menu of comfort food (they are apparently currently undergoing a menu change). I ended up ordering their Mac & Cheese, Baked Brie, and Chicken Potato Gnocchi.

Mac & Cheese ($13):

dav
Mac & Cheese

3.5/5
This was mixed with bacon bits, and is topped a garlic crumble. The noodles were nicely cooked, being tender while still retaining some chew. The cream cheese sauce was creamy and flavourful; I do wish that there was more of it as the noodles on top were dry and a bit bland in the absence of the sauce. I really enjoyed the bits of bacon however, which were salty and had a nice, smokey flavour. The bread crumb topping lent a nice bit of texture.

Baked Brie ($15):


4/5
This is served with candied pecans, honey fig jam, and toasted baguette. The brie was creamy, with a nice pungent flavour; the fig jam and pecans had a great sweetness that paired excellently with the cheese. The baguette was nicely toasted, being crispy on the outside and tender and chewy on the interior.

Chicken Potato Gnocchi ($19):


4/5
This consisted of chicken and gnocchi, and is served in a pesto sauce, along with two slices of toast. In the menu the chicken was described as pulled chicken breast, but it turns out to be just pieces of chicken. However, it was still quite tender and juicy (for white meat), and was flavourful. The gnocchi was nice, tender and slightly chewy; I did find them to be a bit bland on their own, but they were very tasty when coated in the pesto sauce, which had a wonderful garlicy flavour. I also really enjoyed the accompanying bread, which was nicely toasted.

Even though I’m quite saddened to find that Back Forty appears to be closed, I did quite enjoy my visit to Bogart’s: all of the food was quite tasty and the server I had was quite friendly. The prices are a tad on the higher side, though not outragerous. All in all, this is a place that’s worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Baked Brie, Chicken Potato Gnocchi
Bogart's Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banter Room

I know that it’s rude and probably a little creepy to eavesdrop on people, but sometimes I just cannot help myself. Recently, during a visit to the Banter Room, I found myself sitting next to two British blokes gentleman. In spite of my best efforts, I couldn’t help but listen in on them, and not just because they sounded just like Colin Firth, but also because they were asking the waitress for recommendations on the sandwiches. After hearing her response, I went with the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup (even though neither of my neighbours got that dish). I also got their Mac & Cheese Skillet with Shortribs.

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup ($13):


4/5
I loved the sandwich: the bread was perfectly toasted and very buttery, with a nice crispy exterior and a soft interior. It was stuffed full of cheese, which was rich and creamy without being too strong or sharp. It was very rich and I think that some people might actually find it to be a bit too heavy; I however, really enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of tomato soup, and I found this version to be just fine. It was smooth and thick enough, and had a nice tangy flavour. I do wish that they could have had a wider serving bowl to make it easier to dunk the sandwich in.

Mac & Cheese Skillet ($15 + $6):


3.5/5
You can have this with pulled chicken (for $4) or shortribs ($6); I added the latter. The noodles were perfectly cooked, and were tender while still retaining a good chewy texture. I personally found the cheese sauce to be a bit on the thin side however, and did not coat the noodles well. The dish was also a bit on the bland side. The shortribs were very tender and juicy, but also a bit underseasoned. I also found the price to be a bit high since the portion was not very big.

My visit to the Banter Room has been both and bad. While I did very much enjoy Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup, I did find their Mac & Cheese to be a bit too pricey. The service could also be improved: while everything was quite efficient, I did find the staff to be a bit cold and not very welcoming. All in all, this isn’t a place that I’d want to return to, but it’s not a bad joint either.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Banter Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bestie

After a pretty distressing and gruelling few days out in Chilliwack, I was very happy to be back in the privacy of my own home in Vancouver. The first thing that I did, after making up for all the sleep that I’ve lost during the lab retreat, was to practice my newly regained freedom of being able to dine alone and pay a visit to Bestie. The latter is a small casual shop located in Chinatown specializing in German food, specifically sausages (with various sides such as fries, salads and pretzels). The place was quite popular and crowded when I visited during lunch time: I ended up getting seated at the end of the bar, which was a bit cramped since the countertop space was smaller there (the place did clear up a bit over the next half hour). I had their Currywurst, which I added cheese sauce to for an additional $2 along with their All Natural Game Sausage (which changes daily – the one I got was Rosemary Lamb) for another additional $1. I also had a Sausage Roll.

dav
Sausages available today

Currywurst (Cheesy, All Natural Game Sausage, $9.50 + $2 + $1):


3.5/5
This consisted of fries topped with ketchup and curry powder, as well as your choice of a sausage. I decided to add cheese sauce to the fries for an extra $2, and got their game sausage, which happened to be Rosemary Lamb, for another extra $1. The sausage was quite tasty: tender and juicy, although I did find it to be just a tad on the bland side. I absolutely loved their fries, which were very fresh, hot and crispy on the outside, while tender and starchy on the inside. The curried ketchup also provided a great flavour. I did find the cheese sauce to be a bit bland however, and not worth the extra $2.

Sausage Roll ($6):


4.5/5
This consisted of a pork sausage wrapped in a flaky pastry. The sausage was nothing short of fantastic: tender and juicy with a fantastic spice. I did find the pastry to be just a tad doughy, although still tasty. The portion was also a little small: I think that it’s probably a better deal to just get their sausage on its own instead.

I’ve quite enjoyed my visit to Bestie; their food was quite tasty, in particular their pork sausages. The server I had was very friendly and quite attentive, although she does sometimes get confused and forget the order. All in all, this is definitely a place worth checking out.

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

Romer’s Burger Bar

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I do try to keep an open mind when it comes to people’s food preferences. There are exceptions however, and one thing that I just CANNOT get behind are lettuce buns. Like why? Seriously, why? I consider myself to be pretty relaxed when it comes to things like “authenticity” (a term that I do not believe in when it comes to food). I’m fine with people putting their own spins are different dishes. But lettuce buns are just a ten steps too far. A burger with a lettuce bun is just not a burger to me; its an abomination. If I were running the country, I’d have the practice of using lettuce buns banned. People who order burgers with lettuce buns should be stoned…okay, maybe that’s a bit too much, but you know what I mean. And I know that you can make the argument that it isn’t any of my business and that it doesn’t really “affect” me the way other people eat, but that’s not quite true: I honestly die a little on the inside whenever I see a burger wrapped in lettuce :(.

Thus, when I went to Romer’s Burger Bar, there was no question on what bun I was going with for my burger. The latter is a popular oint with several locations around Greater Vancouver; the one I went to was their Kits location located on 4th Avenue. Although they are a ‘burger bar’ they do also serve a pretty good variety of casual pub fare and snacks. I got their Righteous Rib Burger as well as Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts.

Righteous Rib Burger ($13.95):


3.5/5
In addition to a beef patty, this burger contained braised short rib, maple smoked bacon, sweet onions, gorgonzola cream, and fresh thyme. I was quite impressed by the patty itself, which was tender and juicy. The short rib was a bit uneven, being tender in some parts, but quite dry and hard in some others, particularly around the edges. I really enjoyed the gorgonzola cream, which added a great juiciness and flavour and the brioche bun (because a real burger has to have an actual bun and not lettuce) was soft and fluffy. I did find the overall flavour to be a bit one note: everything was savoury and I could have done with a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavour.

Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts ($8.95):


4/5
This consisted of 10 small donuts that were dusted in powdered sugar, and were served with a trio of dips: limoncello, maple whisky, and Kahula Nutella. The donuts themselves were fresh, warm and soft, reminiscent of the mini donuts that you can get at PNE. The limoncello dip was similar to that of the curd in a lemon tart, and was quite thick with a wonderful tanginess. In all honesty, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the other two dips, although both were tasty, except that one (the darker dip, which is probably the Khula Nutella) had a stronger liquor flavour than the other.

I quite enjoyed the food that I’ve sampled at Romer’s. While I didn’t find their burgers to be mind-blowing, especially for the pretty steep price (quite frankly, I actually think Red Robins is better), I did really enjoy their doughnuts. The server I had was quite friendly, although not particularly attentive. All in all, not a bad place to check out if you’re craving a burger or some other pub fare (Proven fact: a cute innocent puppy dies every time someone orders a lettuce bun, so keep that in mind when you’re ordering your burger).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts

Romer's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato