A&W – UBC

There was once a graduate student (who has graduated the previous year) in our lab who, for a couple of years, would always eat A&W teen burgers for lunch. Apparently, he has done some calculations and determined that the teen burgers at A&W gives the best calories per dollar out of all the fast food chains. Now I haven’t checked the calculations myself (personally, I’d assume that McDonals would have the better deal), but I was quite a big fan of A&W in highschool: my favourite things to get were their teen burgers and onion rings. Having not visited this place for years, I decided to check out the UBC location recently after finding that the international food court was completely filled and had no seats. I had a Teen Burger with Root Beer & Onion Rings.

Teen Burger + Root Beer & Onion Rings ($6.49 + $5.40):


3/5
The burger contained a patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, and various veggies. The patty was relatively juicy and flavourful. I couldn’t reallly get much of the bacon or cheese. It was also on the smaller side (I’m not sure, but I think that they might have reduced the size over the years). The onion rings were kind of lukewarm, but still had a good crispiness and was not overly battered. I quite enjoyed the root beer (the only type of beer that I enjoy).

I don’t know if they have changed their burgers or if my memories were flawed, but I found the teen burger to be considerably smaller than I remembered and quite skimpy on the bacon and cheese. The prices were also a bit steep for a fast food chain (I don’t know how our former grad student did the calculations but I’m 100% sure now that McDonalds have the better calorie per dollar value). Overall, I do feel a bit disappointed by my revisit, but it isn’t a bad spot in a pinch.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: N/A
A&W Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Running Chicken

Not too long ago I attended a Christmas dinner party with my lab mates. One of them was Korean and brought homemade fried chicken to the dinner, and someone brought up Running Chicken, which was a joint at UBC above the International Food Court that serves up Korean style fried chicken. Even though my colleagues didn’t really give the place glowing reviews, I decided to check it out anyways. In addition to the aforementioned chicken, which they offer in several flavours (plain, passion, honey soy, spring) they have a pretty good menu of popular Korean dishes. I had their Carbonara Tteokpokki with Cheese, Deep Fried Dumplings, and Half & Half (Passion and Honey Soy) fried chicken.

Carbonara Tteokpokki with Cheese ($9 + $1.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of rice cakes in a cream sauce with bacon, onions, and a few pieces of broccoli, as well as cheese for an extra $1.5. I really enjoyed the rice cakes, which had a great chewy texture. The sauce was rich and creamy, albeit a tad watery. It was oddly sweet however; I would have preferred the dish to be more savoury.

Deep Fried Dumplings, 5 pc ($6):


3/5
The dumplings were filled with a mixture of pork and chive. The skins on the exterior were quite crispy. The chive provided a nice fragrance. Unfortunately, I did find the pork to be a bit bland and one note.

Half & Half, Passion and Honey Soy ($24):


3.5/5
The chicken pieces were tender, juicy, and meaty. I quite enjoyed the Passion, which was flavourful and had a great heat. The Soy was a bit less exciting in comparison, although it was still flavourful. The main problem I had with the chicken, however, was that it was not crispy. In fact, if I wasn’t told that it was supposed to be fried chicken, I probably would have thought that it was stir fried. The whole portion was quite generous, and is probably good to share between 3-4 people (I had it all to myself though).

So I guess my colleagues were right in their review of Running Chicken: the food there were just mostly mediocre. The prices were fairly reasonable, and the staff I encountered were friendly. This isn’t a place that I’d necessarily recommend, but if you’re at UBC it is a decent option for some Korean food.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Passion Fried Chicken, Carbonara Tteokpokki
Running Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vera’s Burger Shack – UBC

During my recent to the UBC location of Pizza Garden, I passed by Vera’s Burger Shack and realised that it’s been some time since I’ve had a burger. Thus, I decided to visit the spot the next day. The place, for those of you that haven’t visited, serves customizable burgers as well as about a dozen “Hall of Fame” varieties, along with hot dogs and various sides (fries, poutine, onion rings etc). They do also have daily specials where, for $14.5, you get a burger (which changes depending on the day), fries, and bottomless drink. Since it was Friday, I had the choice between any of the burgers from Monday-Thursday specials. I got a Stinger Burger and also substituted my fries for Jalapeno Bottle Caps for an extra $3.

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The only hall of fame I care about

Stinger Burger with Jalapeno Bottle Caps ($14.50 + $3):


3.5/5
The burger came with jalapeno bottle caps & cheddar. The burger itself seemed relatively small, but was fairly thick and surprisingly filling. The patty was quite thick and juicy, and all the sauces and fillings made it quite flavourful. The jalapeno poppers were quite crispy on the outside, and had a nice bit of heat; it was a little lukewarm and mushy on the interior, however.

In the end, I do think that all the jalapenos might have been a bit too much (not going to go into details, but I did have regrets a few hours later). The burger was fairly tasty, although I do find their prices to be a bit steep for the type of restaurant. Personally, I do much prefer Red Robins, but I think that this is still a decent place for a burger.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Burgers
Vera's Burger Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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):

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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):

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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

The Boulevard Coffee Roasting

I’ve taken up drinking coffee since beginning grad school. I only drink it for the caffeine however, and not for any taste. I really can’t appreciate a good cup of coffee: I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between something from a fancy artisinal shop and something from McDonalds (my boss on the other hand…). Thus, I’ve never been particularly interested in visiting Boulevard Coffee, a coffee shop at UBC that apparently roasts their own coffee beans. However, they do offer food in addition to their coffees, and recently, while running late with experiments, I decided to drop by the place for something to eat. I had their Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto sandwiches. Their sandwiches are all premade and reheated at your request.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich ($9.05):


3/5
This consisted of chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing in between apple bread. I personally didn’t care too much for the bread: I found it to be a little too soft and didn’t hold the fillings well. The filling was also a bit scarce: I didn’t really get much chicken or bacon. I did enjoy the ranch dressing however.

Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto ($9.05):


4/5
This contained prosciutto, mozzarella, cranberries, pesto and greens on a French baguette. I much preferred the bread here, which was nice and crispy, and held the fillings well. The sandwich was very flavourful from the pesto and the prosciutto, which is given in a fairly generous amount. It does get a tad salty, but I still really enjoyed it.

Although I haven’t tried any of the coffees, the food at Boulevard Coffee Roasters is decent. While I was underwhelmed by their Chicken Bacon Ranch, I did quite enjoy tehir Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto. I do find their prices to be a tad high compared to other spots: the sandwiches were relatively small and not overly filling. This won’t be my favourite spot at UBC for food, but it’s still worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cranberry Pesto Prosciutto

The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My Home Cuisine

When it rains it pours. For the past 2 months or so, all of my experiments have been disastrous. My gene cloning kept on failing (which is one of the most basic protocols in the lab, and is something that I’ve been successfully doing for several years), and I couldn’t figure out the source of my problem. When I told my supervisor, he told me that I was “degrading” because I haven’t been doing enough cloning lately and has gotten sloppy from lack of practice (which isn’t true because I’ve actually been cloning up to until the point when my cloning suddenly stopped working out of nowhere).

Anyways, feeling pretty low, I didn’t really have the energy to travel out far to find a spot to eat. I decided to just stick to the vicinity of UBC, and made my way down to the International Village. I decided to check out My Home Cuisine this time. They are a Chinese fast food shop with a menu consisting of combos, which comes with your choice of rice/noodle and 2 or 3 of their pre-prepared items (also the staff speak Mandarin, which was nice, as I can finally understand them and not look like an idiot like I did at Cafe Gloucester recently). I had their 2 Items Combo with Fried Rice and Sweet & Sour Pork and Sesame Chicken.

2 Items + Fried Rice (Sweet & Sour Pork, Sesame Chicken, $8):


3.5/5
Their combos comes with your choice of 2 items and either plain rice or fried rice/noodle for an extra 50 cents (I went with the fried rice). The sweet & sour pork and sesame chicken were both very meaty, well-seasoned and coated in a sweet sauce. They weren’t crispy, but that is expected since it’s fast food. I did find that the two meats were very similar flavour-wise; apart from being different meats, they did taste almost identical. The rice didn’t have much flavour on its own, but was fragrant and paired well with the meat.

I was pleasantly surprised by the food at My Home Cuisine. For a fast food joint, I found their dishes to be quite solid. The prices are also more than reasonable. This is a pretty solid place at UBC for some quick and tasty lunch.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A (they only have combos)
My Home Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Petra Cafe

I know embarrassingly little about all the eateries that are around UBC. I’ve only been down to the Internal Food Court probably once or twice, and have never even heard of the existence of Petra Cafe until recently. The latter is one of several fast food places located in the aforementioned food court serving up popular Mediterranean dishes. I had their Beef Donair Wrap and Roast Lamb Plate.

Beef Donair Wrap ($6.80):


3.5/5
Taste-wise this would have been 4/5. The beef was quite tender and well-seasoned, the vegetables all tasted fresh, the pita bread was fluffy and chewy, and the sauces were flavourful. Unfortunately, my main complaint with this wrap is that it was pretty poorly made: it literally tore and all the fillings fell out when I tried to pick it up and eat it like a regular wrap (granted, I do have sausages for fingers, but still). I ended up just eating all the fillings and the wrap separately.

Roast Lamb Plate ($10.95):


3.5/5
All platters came with rice, potato, pita, salad, and tzatziki. The lamb itself was very tender and quite well-seasoned, and didn’t have any gamey flavour that usually puts me off. I did find there to be a bit too less meat (it contained a large bone), but for the price I really can’t complain. The salad was a bit bland and stingy on the feta, but the vegetables did taste fresh. The rice was a bit too soft for my liking, but flavourful, and contained beans and chickpeas. The pita was again soft and fluffy, and the tzatziki thick and tangy.

In spite of the mess from the donair wrap, the food at Petra Cafe. Their prices are also extremely reasonable. This is a spot at UBC that’s definitely worth checking out (I only wish that I had known about it sooner).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Roast Lamb Plate, Beef Donair Plate
Petra Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Great Dane Coffee

I’ve been going to UBC practically every day for many years now, but I really don’t know much about the campus apart from the handful of buildings that I frequent for my classes and now graduate studies. I didn’t even know about the existence of Great Dane Coffee until recently. The latter is a bakery/cafe located at a corner in UBC, next to the Gage apartments. They offer a small lunch menu of sandwiches, as wall as some baked goods and drinks. I had their Grilled Cheese and Turkey Sandwich, a Matcha Muffin, and a 12 oz Matcha Latte (which I actually received by mistake after the staff mixed up my request for a muffin with a latte), as well as a butter croissant for my mom.

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Baked goods

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($8.00):


3.5/5
This contained cheddar, monterey jack, and gruyere, and is served on house-baked foccacia bread. The foccacia was quite fluffy and soft; I would have liked the bread to be a bit more crispy. There was plenty of cheese, which were rich, gooey, and not overly sharp.

Turkey Sandwich ($8.50):


4/5
This contained roast turkey, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and chipotle mayo. Again the bread was fluffy and soft, and I didn’t mind it being not crispy this time. I really enjoyed the filling, with the vegetables being quite fresh and crispy and the mayo complimenting the turkey and vegetables very well. This was a simple sandwich that was done well.

12 oz Matcha Latte ($4.50):

dav
12 oz Matcha Latte

3.5/5
I actually didn’t order this: I wanted the matcha muffin, but the people made a mistake and thought that I ordered a latte (I ended up getting the muffin for free). The latte was quite creamy and mildly sweet, with a hint of bitterness and fragrance from the matcha. I did find the matcha flavour to be a bit subtle.

Matcha Muffin (Free, normally $3.50):


4/5
I happened to get this for free: I ordered the matcha muffin, but the people thought that I got the latte, and I ended up receiving both even though I only got charged for the latte. This contained matcha and white chocolate chips. The muffin was mildly sweet and had a nice fragrance from the matcha. It was a tad dry on the exterior, but relatively tender and moist in the interior. The white chocolate provided a nice sweetness and paired very well with the matcha.

Butter Croissant ($3.00):

dav
Butter Croissant

N/A

I quite enjoyed my trip to Great Dane Coffee. In spite of the small mishap with the mix up between the matcha muffin and latte, it did work out in my favour as I got the muffin for free. All of the food was good and fairly priced. All in all, this is a good spot for a bite if you’re on campus.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Turkey Sandwich, Matcha Muffin
Great Dane Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Delly

I’ve been going to UBC for eight years now (yes, I’m old), but I’ve honestly not tried many of the eateries there. The majority of the places don’t seem to be all that interesting, although in recent years, there did seem to have improved their eating options. One place that has remained the same however is The Delly. I’ve visited the place a couple of times back when it was still located in the old SUB building. It has now moved to the New SUB/AMS Student Nest (the names are so confusing). I’ve recently had the chance to revisit them. They serve up sandwiches, Indian food, and a good variety of pastries and other food. I had their Delly Chicken Sandwich and a Shahi Paneer.

Delly Chicken Sandwich ($8.50):


3.5/5
This comes with your choice of bread, vegetables and cheese (I had sourdough and cheddar). The chicken was very tender and juicy, and although not exactly crispy, it did have a nice texture from the breading. It was also well-seasoned. The rest of the sandwich was good; nothing to rave about, but still enjoyable.

Shahi Paneer ($9.50):


4/5
This comes with your choice of either brown rice or basmati rice; I went with the basmati. The rice was perfectly cooked and had a nice firm texture that stood up well to the curry. I really enjoyed the curry, which was creamy with a nice bit of sweetness; I would have liked to have just a bit of heat to it. There was a good amount of paneer cheese, which was creamy and tasty.

I quite enjoyed my visit to The Delly; the food there is just as good as I remembered. Their prices are fairly reasonable. All in all, this is definitely a good food option for those attending UBC (hopefully I will be finally out in a few years).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Shahi Paneer
The Delly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rain or Shine Ice Cream

I’m generally not the biggest fan of ice cream. Don’t get my wrong, I certainly would gobble down a tub of ice cream if it’s there, but it’s not really my first choice for dessert. Thus, for the longest time, I resisted going to the new Rain or Shine Ice Cream shop that has opened at UBC. I mean seriously, how good can their ice cream possibly be to justify paying $7 for a small cup when I can probably get a full 2 Litre tub for the same price at a grocery store? But, after months of seeing a flood of people go past me every day, enjoying scoops of ice cream from the aforementioned shop, I finally caved. I stepped into the store today and…I ended up spending (and eating) $15 worth of ice cream by getting both a Sundae an a 2-Scoop Waffle Cone. Hey, go big or go home right? *I just have zero self control*

Sundae ($7):


4/5
The sundae consists of your choice of 2 scoops of ice cream, 2 toppings, whipped cream, and a cherry. I picked London Fog and Malted Milk Chocolate for my ice cream, and Candied Hazelnuts and Waffle Cone Pieces for my topping. The ice cream was dense without being overly hard, and very smooth. The London Fog had a great, assertive flavour of citrus and tea while the Malted Milk Chocolate had a nice fragrance an sweetness of honey comb. I really liked their waffle cone, which was fresh, and had a crispy yet at the same time tender, melt-in-your mouth texture. The hazelnuts were also fresh and crunchy.

2 Scoop with Waffle Cone ($7):


4/5
I picked Coffee Toffee and Peanut Butter for my scoops. The Peanut Butter was nothing short of fantastic, with a perfect balance between sweet and salty flavours and a wonderful fragrance from the peanut. The Coffee Toffee had a great fragrance of coffee, and a good bittersweet flavour; however, the toffee seems to be mia as I did not get any pieces at all. The waffle cone did get a bit soggy from the ice cream, but was still very tasty.

After having tried Rain or Shine Ice Cream, I must admit, I do understand why it’s such a popular shop. Even though their prices are steep, their quality certainly does justify the cost. This place is definitely worth checking out, especially during the relatively rare “shine” days in Vancouver. Hopefully you’ll have more self control than I do (I ended up having a bit of a stomach ache for the next several hours).

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Peanut Butter, Malted Milk Chocolate, London Fog