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

Artistry Coffee House

During my recent visit to Bangkok Cafe, I passed by Artistry Coffee House. I decided to check the joint out this week. They are a small cafe in Kits, located on 4th Avenue, near MacDonald Street. In addition to coffees, lattes, and other drinks, they have pastries, various breakfast/lunch items, and cinnamon buns from Grounds for Coffee. I had a Matcha Latte, Almond Croissant, Trail Mix Bar, and Morning Glory Muffin.

Almond Croissant ($3.95):


4/5
The croissant was quite flakey and buttery. The almond paste inside was a bit on the thin, watery side, but that didn’t matter as it was still very tasty, with a great almond flavour and sweetness.

Trail Mix Bar ($2.85):


2.5/5
The granola bar had a chewy texture and was mildly sweet in flavour. I found it a little too plain however; I could have done with a little more fruits and nuts mixed in.

12 oz Matcha Latte ($4.45):

dav
Matcha Latte

3.5/5
You have the option to have the latte with sugar or without; I had it without sugar as I wanted to taste the matcha. The latte was smooth and creamy, and a slight bitterness. I did find the matcha flavour to be a tad subtle, but still good.

Morning Glory Muffin ($2.95):


2/5
The muffin was quite tender and moist. It was quite bland however, and had a pretty overwhelming flavour of cinnamon. I also found it to be quite plain: there wasn’t much fruits or nuts mixed in.

The food at Artistry Coffee House is a bit of a hit and miss; I didn’t like their trail mix bar or muffin, but their croissant was tasty. Their latte was also quite good. All in all, while I wasn’t blown away by my visit, I think that this is still a decent alternative to the Starbucks across the street. At least they have lavender lattes.

dav
They’ve got a Starbucks across the street

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Latte, Almond Croissant
Artistry Coffee House & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bangkok City Cafe

I always prefer dark meat over white, but I have to admit, white meat does have one advantage in that it doesn’t have bones and are hence easier to eat using utensils. That was what I discovered when I visited Bangkok City Cafe recently. They are a small Thai joint located in Kits that’s, I guess, a sort of a sister restaurant to Eat Me Thai, a joint that I’ve previously visited. In addition to their regular menu, they have lunch specials that are currently priced at $11.50. I had their BBQ Chicken off of their lunch menu and a Thai Iced Tea.

B.B.Q. Chicken Lunch Special ($11.50):


3.5/5
The lunch specials came with rice, salad and two fried wontons. I was delighted to see that it was dark meat, consisting of a whole chicken leg. The meat had a curry flavour and crispy skin; it was a bit bland on its own but tasted quite good with the tangy dipping sauce. It was bone-in however and quite difficult and messy to eat; I actually had to use my hands. I really enjoyed the fried wontons, which was crispy and had a sweet filling inside. The rice was a little overcooked and mushy, but had a great coconut fragrance.

Thai Iced Tea ($3.25):


3.5/5
The tea came with a layer of condensed milk on top. It was not overly sweet and had a nice tea fragrance and flavour.

I quite enjoyed my visit to Bangkok City Cafe. Although I struggled quite a bit with their bone-in chicken, the food was quite tasty and reasonably priced. The service was friendly. All in all, this is a good spot for some more than decent Thai food.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: BBQ Chicken, Thai Iced Tea
Bangkok City Cafe 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.

dav
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

Cartems Donuts – Broadway

The first time that I’ve tried Cartem Donuts was at their location on Main Street. It did not leave a good impression on me: I found their donuts to be overpriced and not very good at all. I decided to revisit the joint again recently, this time at their Kits location, which is on Broadway. This time around, I had their London Fog, Honey Parmesan, and Special donut.

dav
Honey Parmesan, Special, London Fog

London Fog (around $3.50):

dav
London Fog

4/5
This consisted of a yeast donut that’s filled with whipped cream infused with London Fog tea, and covered in earl grey glaze and white chocolate.The doughnut was more cake-like than yeast to me, and had a soft, tender texture. The cream was lightly sweetand had a great flavour of Earl Grey. The glaze provided a great sweetness, although I couldn’t really detect much earl grey.

Honey Parmesan (around $3.50):


3.5/5
This was a cake donut that was glazed in honey, and topped with pepper and parmesan. The donut was moist and tender with a cakey texture. It was sweet, and had a peppery flavour, while the parmesan provided a bit of saltiness. It is a bit of a strange pairing, but I did quite enjoy it.

Special (around $3.50):


3.5/5
I can’t remember the exact flavour of the donut; it was a cake donut that was covered in what I think was a mango glaze and topped with coconut. The donut again was moist and tender. I really enjoyed the coconut, which provided a nice fragrance, but I couldn’t really get much of the glaze flavour.

My latest visit to Cartems has definitely improved my impression of the joint. The donuts were much better tasting on this occasion. The prices is still a little high, but it is good quality.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: London Fog
Cartems Donuterie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tera V Burger

I’m definitely not a vegetarian. I do love my meat. But I don’t mind trying vegetarian food now and again, as long as it’s tasty. My latest venture into vegetarian food was at Tera V Burger. They are a small joint located in Kits, on Broadway, best known for their meatless burgers (they have vegan options available as well). I had their Smokey No Bull Burger, to which I added Baked Yam Fries and a drink for a combo. While I was ordering my burger though, I heard another customer asking the man behind the counter something about a microwave, and he was like “We only use our microwave once every two years to thaw out some gluten free bun”. Not to mock anyone who’s actually got Celiac’s disease, but I thought it was funny.

Smokey No Bull Burger + Baked Yam Fries and drink ($14.49):


4/5
The burger consisted of a vegetarian pattie, and came with onions, swiss cheese, and barbecue sauce. With the combo, you get your choice of either a bottle drink or Jones soda; I went with the Jones. The pattie did not taste like meat, but was still very tasty for what was, and was flavourful, tender and juicy. The barbecue sauce provided a nice bit of sweetness and smokiness. The yam fries were crispy and had a nice sweetness; I did find them to be lacking in a bit of richness/flavour that fried fries have, but they were still tasty.

I quite enjoyed my visit to Tera V Burger. Even though their burgers don’t really taste like meat, they were still tasty. The staff was also quite friendly. This is certainly a joint worth checking out, even if you’re not a vegetarian.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Burger, Yam Fries
Tera V Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Simpatico

Simpatico appears to have odd hours. During most times I passed by the place in the morning/noon, I see that it’s closed; thus I assumed that the restaurant only had dinner service. However, recently when I was in the area at around 12, I saw that it was open. I decided to take the opportunity and headed into the restaurant. It was quite empty inside: there were only 1-2 other tables that were occupied. In addition to a regular menu consisting of popular Greek dishes, they also have a small lunch menu. I had their Small Canneloni Genovese and Souvlaki (Chicken Thigh).

Small Canneloni Genovese ($12.50):


3.5/5
This was filled with ground veal & pork and is served with garlic toast. The pasta was well cooked and tender, and had a great amount of ground meat. There was also a very good amount of tomato sauce, which was flavourful. I also really enjoyed the layer of cheese on top and the toast, which was well buttered.

Souvlaki, Chicken Thigh ($14.50):


3.5/5
This comes with your choice of either lamb, chicken breast, chicken thighs, beef, or pork (which they were actually out of), either pita or fries, tzatziki, and Greek salad. I had the chicken thighs and pita. The chicken was, of course, tender and juicy, and had a pretty good grilled/charred flavour. Unfortunately, I did find it to be a bit underseasoned and bland. The salad was well dressed and had a good amount of cheese; however, I’m not sure if it was feta that they used for the cheese was a little bland and not salty. The pita was fluffy and chewy; I do wish that they could have served the tzatziki on the side instead of on the pita itself, however.

I’m glad to have managed to catch Simpatico while they were open. The food wasn’t fantastic but still very good, and the prices were fair. Service-wise, the food did take a little long to come out, but the server I had was quite friendly and attentive. All in all, I definitely think that this is a restaurant worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Canneloni Genovese, Souvlaki

Simpatico Ristorante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Only Cafe

After my visit to Cafe Lokal for some food, I headed over to The Only Cafe, which was located just a few doors down. They are an Asian/Japanese-style cafe located in Kits, on 4th Avenue. In addition to serving up various drinks, both hot and cold, they have various sandwiches and baked goods. I had a Matcha Latte, Japanese Cheesecake, and Matcha Pound Cake.

Matcha Latte ($4.75):


4/5
The latte was actually not sweet at all, but was slightly bitter with a creamy texture. It had a pretty good matcha flavour, which was quite impressive seeing that most matcha-flavoured drinks tend to be a little weak.

Japanese Cheesecake ($4):


3/5
The cake was more light and yogurt like compared to NY cheesecake. The filling was creamy and tangy, but a bit lacking in flavour and gummy in some areas. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the crust beneath, which was a bit grainy.

Matcha Pound Cake (around $4-5):


3.5/5
The cake was a bit hard, but still tasty and had a mildly sweet flavour. The matcha flavour was a bit weak, but that is kind of expected from most matcha-flavoured desserts.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of their cheesecake from The Only Cafe, I enjoyed the pound cake and was impressed by their latte. The staff was friendly and the prices were fair. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Latte, Matcha Pound Cake
The Only Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Lokal

During my recent visit to The Only Cafe (review on that coming up) I decided to stop by Cafe Lokal first for a quick bite. The latter appears to be quite a popular local (no pun intended) hangout. The tables are often all occupied with people reading books or doing work on their laptops while drinking coffee/lattes. In addition to a drink menu, they also make various fresh-baked goods and sandwiches/salads for lunch. I had a Spicy Salami Panini and a London Fog.

Spicy Salami Panini ($9.50):


3/5
This was served with a small side of greens dressed in oil and vinegar. The bread was quite nicely toasted, and was crispy on the outside while being soft and chewy on the interior. The filling did have a nice bit of heat. Unfortunately, I found the flavour to be completely dominated by pickled artichokes, which I just did not care for.

London Fog ($4.50):


4/5
The drink came with a thick layer of foam. It was not overly sweet and had a really nice flavour of Earl Grey.

I wasn’t particularly fond of the sandwich at Cafe Lokal, but the London Fog was pretty good. While I’m not really into cafe culture and will not likely return, the place does seem a nice local hangout for those who do like cafes (if you’re fortunate enough to find a seat that is).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: London Fog
Cafe Lokal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Forty Ninth Parallel Cafe & Lucky’s Doughnuts (Kits)

Mmm…Donuts *drools*

dav

49th Parallel Cafe & Lucky’s Donughnuts is a popular shop with several locations in Vancouver. I’ve visited their Main St. location previously and have found their donuts fairly good (certainly better than Cartems imo). They’ve got another location in Kits that I’ve recently decided to visit. They had about a dozen varieties available when I arrived (I didn’t realise this but they had more in the back); I ended up getting a Maple Pecan Bismark and Salted Caramel Old Fashioned. Sadly, the donuts were put into paper bags, and the icing on the bismark got smooshed along the way home. Oh well.

Maple Pecan Bismark ($3.50):


4/5
Unfortunately, the icing on the donut got a little smooshed during the trip back home (paper bag not the best medium for carrying glazed donuts). The yeast donut was filled with maple cream and glazed with maple. I really liked the dough of the donut, which had a great fluffy and chewy texture. The icing had a great fragrance of maple; the filling wasn’t overly sweet. I didn’t get that much pecan flavour, however. The small pearls on top provided a really nice crispy texture.

Salted Caramel Old Fashioned ($3.25):


3/5
This was a sour cream old fashioned donut that’s glazed in salted caramel. The donut had a tender, moist texture, and a slightly tangy taste. Unfortunately, even though I could definitely see and smell the caramel, I really couldn’t taste it at all.

I quite enjoyed the yeast donuts at Lucky’s, although I was a bit disappointed in their old fashioned. The prices are on the high side at over $3, which is roughly twice the price of a spot like Duffin’s (whose donuts are equally as good imo). All in all, while I did enjoy my recent visit, I do personally find Lucky’s to be a bit overrated.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Maple Pecan Bismark
Forty Ninth Parallel Cafe & Lucky's Doughnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato