Au Comptoir

The only encounter I had with French was years ago in highschool, and I’ve never learned the language well. Currently, my entire French vocabulary consists of probably less than a dozen words. Whenever I go to a French joint, which is not all that often, I always wonder if I should try speaking French to the staff or if I’m just being insulting by butchering their language. Such as the dilemma that I encountered when I visited Au Comptoir. They are a small French bistro located in Kits, on 4th Avenue. I stopped by the joint during breakfast hours, which goes from 8:00-11:00 on weekdays. I had their Breakfast Au Comptoir, which came with a variety of breakfast items.

Breakfast Au Comptoir ($14):


3.5/5
This came with egg cocotte, your choice of bacon or sausage (I had the sausage), country bread, potato rosti, and a side of salad. The salad was actually quite nicely dressed. The baked eggs were tender and had a custardy texture; it was a tad underseasoned, but nothing some salt won’t fix. The sausage was tender and juicy, although I did find it to be quite salty on its own. I actually ate it with the potato rosti, which had a great crispness on the outside and tender on the interior.

I really enjoyed my visit to Au Comptoir. The food was tasty, and although the portion wasn’t very large, it was quite rich and filling. The server I had was very attentive and professional. He spoke French, and I think I probably embarassed myself trying to say things like “merci” and “au revoir” and completely butchering the pronounciation as a result. All in all however, this is a place that I’d highly recommend checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Breakfast Au Comptoir
Au Comptoir Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Harvest Deli

During my recent visit to Tera V Burger, I noticed Harvest Deli. They are a small shop located in Kits on Broadway serving up a large menu of sandwiches, along with various sides like soup and salad. I decided to go and check the spot out this week. I had their Classic Reuben and Back from Rome to go.

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Classic Reuben & Back from Rome

Classic Reuben ($8.25):


4/5
This consisted of pastrami, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese on grilled rye bread. The sandwich came with a very good amount of meat, which was tender, salty and flavourful. The sauerkraut provided a great bit of tanginess that cut through the richness of the meat and cheese. The bread was also perfectly grilled and crispy.

Back from Rome ($9.25):


3.5/5
This contained chicken breast, pesto, roma tomatoes, and boccocini on grilled ciabatta. The sandwich again has a good amount of filling. The chicken breast, while tender, was a little bland and underseasoned. The pesto had a nice, strong flavour, but was also not salty enough. The bread was again perfectly grilled and crispy.

I really enjoyed my visit to Harvest Deli. Although their chicken was a little bland, their pastrami sandwich was delicious. The prices are also very reasonable. I highly recommend checking this spot out for some good quality and affordable meals.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Classic Reuben
Harvest Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Butter Baked Goods

I love Butter Baked Goods. They are an adorable bakery located in Dunbar, several blocks from 41st Avenue. They serve a large variety of bars, brownies, cookies, and various twists on classic treats like Oreos and Wagonwheels. During my most recent visit, I had several of their bars (Bajillionaire, Hello Dolly, Coney Island), and Peanut Butter Sandwich.

Bajillionaire Bar ($3.50):


3.5/5
This contained caramel on top of a shortbread crust and is topped with dark chocolate and sea salt. The caramel was sweet, thick and gooey. The shortbread crust was tender and buttery. I did find this to be too sweet, however.

The Hello Dolly ($3.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of a granham crust topped with condensed milk, chocolate, pecans, and coconut. The cookie was tender and buttery. There was a great amount of topping; with the chocolate, nuts and coconut pairing incredibly well. It was a bit on the sweet side, but not as much as the Bajillionare Bar.

Coney Island Bar ($3.50):


4/5
This consisted of a brownie topped with marshmallows and coconut. The brownie was quite fudgey and dense, and had a perfect bittersweet flavour. I also quite enjoyed the marshmallows, which were fluffy and not overly sweet. I did find the coconut flavour to be a bit subtle.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich ($4):


4.5/5
This consisted of a peanut icing sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies. This was always my favourite treat form Butter Baked Goods, and I always have to get it whenever I visit. The cookies were soft and melted in my mouth, while the icing provided a great sweet and salty flavour.

I had a great time at Butter Baked Goods. Even though a few of the treats were a bit on the sweet side, their brownies were tasty and their peanut butter sandwich is worth visiting for alone. This is a bakery that I think is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Brownies, Peanut Butter Sandwich
Butter Baked Goods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Paris Bakery

When I hear a place named “Paris Bakery” I’d assume a fancy French patisserie. Not so for the shop of that name that’s located on The Drive. No, they are actually a Vietnamese Banh Mi joint in the same vein as Banh Mi Saigon, which I visited about a month ago. In addition to various Banh Mi sandwiches, they also have appetizers and drinks. Everything appears to be made on order, and I do think that they make their own baguette. I had their Salad Rolls, Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi, and Paris Special Banh Mi.

Salad Rolls ($6):


3.5/5
These are stuffed with vermicelli, veggies, shrimp and pork and comes with dipping sauce. The rolls have a nice texture, with the noodles being chewy and bouncy and the veggies providing crunch. They are bland on their own, but tasty when dipped into the sauce, which was slightly tangy and had a slight peanut flavour. They also appear to wrap the rolls on order, which is impressive.

Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi ($4.75):


4/5
This banh mi was filled with pickled veggies, lemongrass chicken, and condiments like butter and mayo. The bread was crusty on the outside and chewy on the interior. There was a pretty decent amount of chicken, which was tender and juicy, and had a wonderful fragrance of lemongrass.

Paris Special Banh Mi ($4.75):


4/5
This was similar to the lemongrass chicken, but with various cold cuts instead of the lemongrass chicken. I personally didn’t find the meat here to be as flavourful as the chicken was, but it was still quite a tasty sandwich.

Even though I’m a bit disappointed that Paris Bakery’s not a patisserie, I still enjoyed my visit. Their banh mis, while not as large as the ones from Bah Mi Saigon, are just as tasty in my opinion, and the prices are very cheap. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Banh Mi
Paris Bakery 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

Bakery Sate

I had a bit of an odd experience with the croissants at Bakery Sate. They are a popular bakery/cafe located on Commercial, a couple of blocks away from Broadway, serving up a pretty good variety of croissants, cakes, cream puffs, and other pastries. They hae several different and unique flavours for croissants; I had their Double Baked Coffee and Matcha (and also an Almond for my mom). I also got a Mont Blanc and Mango Puff, and their Raspberry Lavendar Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate cakes. Now, the funny thing about their croissant was that when I bit into the one with green, matcha paste on top, it tasted strangely like coffee. And when I bit into the one with the dark coffee paste on top, it turned out to be filled with green, matcha paste. I haven’t contacted the bakery to ask, but I’m 99% sure that they had made a mistake and got the two croissants mixed up XD.

“Double Baked Coffee Croissant” ($4.50):


4/5
This was filled with coffee-flavoured frangipane, and topped with matcha paste and flaked almonds. The croissant itself was crispy and flaky, with a nice buttery and slightly salty. The fillling inside was rich and mildly sweet, and had a really nice coffee flavour. I also quite enjoyed the matcha paste on top, which seemed to have some white chocolate flavour.

“Double Baked Matcha Croissant” ($4.50):


4/5
This was filled with matcha-flavoured frangipane and was topped with coffee paste on top. Again, the croissant was crispy and flaky, with a nice buttery and slightly salty. Unfortunately, as is the case with most matcha-flavoured desserts, I found the matcha flavour to be quite subtle, although the frangipane was still quite tasty.

Mont Blanc Puff ($1.95):


3.5/5
This was filled with cream and chestnut paste. The pastry here I found to be a tad overbaked, and had a slightly bitter flavour, although it did have a nice crispness. I also really enjoyed the chestnut, which was lightly sweet and had a great fragrance.

Mango Puff ($1.95):


3.5/5
I actually asked for the lychee coconut puff, but they appear to have mistakenly given me the mango (oh well, no biggie). The puff was less darkly baked than the mont blanc. The mango custard inside had a great fragrance and sweetness.

Raspberry Lavender Milk Chocolate Cake ($4.95):


3.5/5
This consisted of chocolate sponge cake sandwiching raspberry and lavender mousse, and is glazed in dark chocolate. The cake was quite tender, although I did find it to have a slightly grainy texture. The mousses were light and creamy, with the raspberry providing a great tanginess and the lavender being quite fragrance. The chocolate glaze was also good quality and not waxy.

Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake ($4.95):


4/5
This consisted of chocolate sponge cake sandwiching milk chocolate and caramel mousse, and is glazed in dark chocolate. Again, I wasn’t crazy about the texture of the cake. The mousses were delicious however; I particularly loved the caramel, which had a great fragrance and slight bit of saltiness that went great with the sweetness of the dessert.

In spite of the mix up in the flavours of the croissants, I still quite enjoyed them as well as the other treats from Bakery Sate. The prices are also very reasonable. Definitely recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake, Double Baked Croissants
Bakery Sate 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

Evelyn’s Cafe

I’m always on the lookout for some cheap eats. One such place is Evelyn’s cafe. They are a small shop located near the intersection of Broadway and Arbutus. Their menu consists of all-day breakfast foods, as well as Chinese dishes, with most of the items being under $10. You order at the front counter and they’ll bring the dishes to your table (if you’re eating in that is). I had their Cafe Hash and Honey Garlic Boneless Pork (with fried rice).

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Menu at front

Cafe Hash ($7.38):


3.5/5
This consisted of potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, sausage and ham, and is served with toast and two eggs. I was a bit disappointed that the potatoes weren’t really crispy; however, the hash was still very flavourful with all the sausage and ham. I had asked for the eggs to be over-medium, but the yolks were still quite runny (more like over-easy to me); it was fine though, I just ate them over the fried rice I also had. I also really enjoyed the toast, which was buttered.

Honey Garlic Boneless Pork with Fried Rice ($7.86):


3.5/5
This came with your choice of either chicken or pork and fried rice or noodles; I went with the pork and rice. The pork was fairly crispy when the dish came out and not overly battered; I did find the meat to be a bit overly grisly however. It had a pretty good, slightly sweet flavour. The fried rice went well with the pork.

I really enjoyed my visit to Evelyn’s cafe. The food wasn’t the greatest, but decent; the prices are a steal. Even though the service is pretty minimal, the staff are still quite friendly. I definitely recommend checking this place out for a decent and very affordable meal.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Honey Garlic Boneless Pork with Fried Rice
Evelyn's Cafe and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Salade de Fruits

Note to self: when going to a restaurant, don’t take up a table next to the door. Especially if the restaurant is a popular spot like Cafe Salade de Fruits. The latter is a small but popular French cafe located a couple of blocks from Broadway. When I arrived, the staff offered me either a seat by the door or one further inside the restaurant. For whatever idiotic reason, I decided to just sit next to the door. That proved to be a bad choice for people kept on entering and exiting out the door. I swear, every minute I had someone pass by me either on their way inside or out of the restaurant. One woman even almost tripped over the bag that I had placed on the ground on her way through the door.

Fortunately, my poor choice of seating didn’t discourage me from the food. Cafe Salade de Fruit serve a lunch menu consisting of a rotating variety of sandwiches, quiche, crepes and other items. I had their Poulet Cordon Bleu and Daily Sandwich (which was steak).

Poulet Cordon Bleu ($18):


4/5
This consisted of breaded chicken breast that’s stuffed with ham and cheese, and is served with a creamy mushroom sauce, fries, and salad. The chicken was quite tender and moist in spite of being white meat, and is very flavourful from the ham and cheese. The mushroom sauce was creamy and had a nice fragrance. I also really enjoyed their fries, which were thin and super crispy.

Sandwich + Soup ($14):


4/5
Their sandwiches vary; the one I had was steak. I’m generally not a big fan of steak, but I really enjoyed the version here: it was quite tender and juicy, albeit just a tad underseasoned for my liking. I really enjoyed the bread, which was nice and crusty, as well as the condiments, which included caramelized onions and mustard. The sandwiches come with either fries, salad or soup; I went with soup since the chicken cordon bleu was served with fries. The soup was a creamy clam chowder; I quite enjoyed it, even though it was a bit short on clams (which I didn’t mind since I’m not big on clams).

In spite of being distracted by fellow patrons every minute, I still quite enjoyed my visit to Cafe Salade de Fruits. The food was tasty and pretty good portions for the quality and price. The service was quite friendly, and the staff took their time to explain the menu to me. I do have one complaint however: they appear to have forgotten to serve me any complimentary bread. Even though I had ordered more than enough food, and was certainly not left hungry, I still couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous seeing all the other tables receiving plates of bread and butter. Bread aside however, this is still a great joint, and I’d highly recommend checking this shop out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Steak Sandwich, Poulet Cordon Bleu
Cafe Salade de Fruits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

SalaThai Restaurant

I’ve passed by SalaThai quite a number of times when visiting downtown. They are a Thai joint located on Burrard, not far from Robson. I’ve finally had the opportunity to check the joint out. I was quite impressed by the restaurant’s interior, whichwas very spacious, clean and nicely decorated. In addition to a regular menu, they also serve lunch specials in the afternoon. I had their Kwae-Teow Num Ped and Salathai Rice Special with Chicken.

Kwae-Teow Num Ped ($14):


3.5/5
This consisted of roasted duck in soup with rice noodles. There was a good amount of boneless duck present, which was similar to the Chinese bbq version, and was tender and juicy. The broth also had a nice fragrance and also a slightly sweet flavour. The noodles did clump together a bit.

Salathai Rice Special with Chicken ($12):


4/5
This consisted of fried rice topped with a fried egg, and comes with your choice of meat; I had the chicken. The rice was nicely fried and had a great texture and flavour. There was a good amount of chicken present, which was pretty tender. The fried egg was nicely runny, although it was a bit too bland/underseasoned. It came with a small bowl of vegetable soup, which was light and quite savoury.

I really enjoyed my visit to SalaThai restaurant. The food was tasty and generously portioned for the price. The staff weren’t the most attentive, although they were fairly friendly. This is definitely one of the better Thai restaurants that I’ve been so, and I’d strongly recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Salathai Rice Special

SalaThai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato