Bento Sushi – UBC

During a trip to Boston a few weeks ago, I was walking through the Toronto airport looking for something to eat. One of the spots that I passed by was Bento Sushi. They are a fast food sushi place that’s apparently got a number of locations throughout North America. While I didn’t visit the spot at the aforementioned Toronto airport, there is another Bento Sushi that’s located at UBC, right next to the Sauder Building. I decided to check the joint out recently. The menu they have seem to be more limited: they have noodles, rice bowls, and of course, various sushi rolls. I got their Rice Bowl with Grilled Chicken and Pork Gyoza.

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Bento Sushi

Rice Bowl with Grilled Chicken ($8.99):

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Rice Bowl with Grilled Chicken

2.5/5
They have several varieties of rice bowls; I had their grilled chicken variety. I’m pretty sure that the food was already premade and reheated in the microwave. The chicken appeared to be white meat and was covered in a teriyaki sauce. It was fairly tender, and I did actually enjoy the teriyaki sauce; however, it just isn’t the same as freshly grilled, skin-on chicken. The rice was fairly good though.

Pork Gyoza ($4.99):


2/5
Again, the gyozas were premade and reheated in the microwave. The skin was, of course, not crispy and somewhat gummy in places. I wasn’t a big fan of the pork filling either, which had a pretty strong garlic taste.

I’m generally not particularly picky when it comes to fast food, but I really didn’t enjoy my visit to Bento Sushi. The food was just passable, and the prices weren’t really much cheaper than an actual restaurant with made-to-order fare. I honestly cannot recommend this spot to anyone: quite frankly, I think that McDonalds is a better choice.

Summary:
Food: 2.5/5
Price: 2.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 2.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
Bento Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Triple O’s – UBC

When I first started at UBC, there used to be a White Spot located near Sauder building, right next to Tim Hortons. It has since been remade into just a Triple O’s. Their menu seems to be a little more limited compared to other locations: they serve a small variety of burgers, milkshakes, and some other fastfood items. I had their Original with Cheese Burger Combo, which I upgraded to a small Cookies & Cream Milkshake for an extra $1.99.

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Menu

Original with Cheese Burger Combo ($7.69 + $4.99):


3/5
This comes with fries and your choice of drink; I upgraded to a small cookies & cream milkshake for an additional $1.99. The burger wasn’t bad; I found the bun to be a little dry, but the patty, cheese and condiments were fairly flavourful. I didn’t care for the fries however, which were soggy and dry.

Small Cookies & Cream Milkshake ($4.79 alone, $1.99 with combo):

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Small Cookies & Cream Milkshake

4/5
The milkshake actually contained small pieces of oreo cookies blended inside. It was a bit on the thinner side, but still creamy and not icy. It was not overly sweet, and had a nice blend of vanilla and cookie flavour.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Triple O’s. The burger was mediocre, the fries weren’t good, but the milkshake was very good. The price is on the higher side, and I’m not sure if it’s worth it for the quality. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a bad joint, but it’s not necessarily one that I’d recommend either.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: Milkshakes
Triple O's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

McDonalds – UBC

It is currently summer, meaning that McDonalds now has the promotion of summer drinks going, with many of their drinks being priced at $1, $2, or $3. Seeing that there is a McDonalds located at University Village in UBC, I decided to head there a week ago to get one of their Coffee Frappes, which is currently priced at $2. I also had one of their Sasuage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles ($4.19):


3/5
This is like a McMuffin, except with two griddle cakes instead of the regular English muffin. The cakes were a little tough and gummy, but had a nice sweetness. I quite enjoyed the filling, in particular their sausage patties, which have a nice bit of spice to them.

Small Coffee Frappe ($2 during summer):

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Coffee Frappe

3/5
This is currently on promotion during the summer, and is currently priced at $2. The coffee is a little on the sweeter side and didn’t really have all that much coffee flavour. It does also get a little icy. I much prefer frappuccinos from Starbucks, although this is certainly much cheaper.

On a separate visit, I got an Oreo McFlurry.

Oreo McFlurry (around $3.57):


3/5
This consists of vanilla soft serve that’s mixed with crumbled cookie pieces. The ice cream isn’t really the best quality, but is still fairly enjoyable; the cookie pieces provide a nice crunch.

I know that McDonalds doesn’t exactly have a good rap, but to be honest, I actually still quite enjoyed the food I’ve tried there. Sure it isn’t great, but I honestly don’t think it’s that much worse than fancier shops albeit being offered at a much lower price. This isn’t really a place that I’d recommend, but I don’t think it’s a bad place to drop by for some food.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: N/A
McDonald's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Booster Juice – UBC

Booster Juice is a smoothie chain shop with several locations in Vancouver. I have visited their UBC location, which is near the university village. They have a large menu of a few dozen different types of smoothies as well as some sandwiches and other food. I had their smoothie and sandwich combo, with a Bananas-A-Whey smoothie and BBQ Chicken Panini. The smoothie was pretty good; the panini was just fine. The prices aren’t exactly cheap, but aren’t bad either. All in all, this is a pretty decent chain for some slightly healthier food choices.

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Sandwiches and Wraps

Regular Combo, Bananas-A-Whey, BBQ Chicken Panini ($12.25):

Bananas-A-Whey:


3.5/5
This contained bananas, pineapple, skim milk, frozen yogurt, and whey protein. The smoothie was quite thick but not chalky or too icy. It had a nice sweetness; I did find the flavour to be a bit one-note.

BBQ Chicken Panini:


3/5
They have their paninis premade; they head it up for you on the grill. I wasn’t a big fan of the bread; it was a little too soft and didn’t have the greatest texture. The filling was quite tasty and flavourful however; I quite enjoyed the bbq sauce, which provided a nice bit of sweetness.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: Bananas-A-Whey
Booster Juice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Koerners Pub

With the school term coming to an end, we had a couple of undergraduates that were leaving the lab. To give them the proper send off, we went over to Koerners. They are a pub located near the UBC Rose Garden that’s quite popular among staff and students of UBC. They serve a pretty good menu of drinks as well as food. The rest of the group got a few pitches of beers. Being a non-drinker, I just stuck to the food. I just had their Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich (with fries) ($13.95):


4/5
This consisted of a brioche bun filled with fried chicken, kogi mayo, jalapenos and other vegetables, and comes with your choice of fries, salad or soup (I had the fries). The brioche bun was soft and fluffy, and had a nice bit of sweetness. The chicken had a great crispiness, and was tender and juicy. The mayo had a nice sweetness that paired well with the chicken. The fries were quite crispy.

I don’t like beer, so I can’t give any thoughts on the drinks at Koeners, but their food was great. The staff wasn’t the friendliest, but it might just be because we were such a large gorup, it’s more difficult for them to manage. All in all, this is a solid joint that’s definitely worth visiting.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich
Koerner's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Agora Cafe

While I keep on emphasizing on the fact that I’m quite the meat eater, but I don’t mind having some vegetarian cuisine every now and again. My most recent dallying into the world of vegetarism is at Agora Cafe. They are a spot tucked at the back of the Orchard Commons student residence on UBC. They’re open during the academic year (September to April), where they offer a small menu of sandwiches, lunch items, and baked goods, most of it appearing to be vegetarian and/or vegan. During my visit there, I had an Agora Sandwich and Granola Bar.

Agora Sandwich ($3.75):


3/5
This is filled with cheese, hummus, and greens, and comes on your choice of bread, I went with white. The bread on the sandwich was nicely toasted and crispy. I found the filling of the hummus and sandwich to be quite salty however.

Granola Bar ($1.25):


3/5
The granola bar was a bit too hard and crunchy for my taste, but did have a nice sweet flavour and was well-toasted. There was a good amount of chocolate chips, dried fruits and nuts mixed inside.

I enjoyed my visit go Agora Cafe. The food was fine, though not great; the prices are very affordable, however. This is definitely a great choice for an affordable campus meal.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Sandwich, Granola Bar
Agora Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pie R Squared

The time I’ve eaten at UBC, it was at Pie R Squared. Back then, they were located in the old SUB. The shop has now moved over to the new Nest. They serve up various pizzas by the slice or whole, pastas, calzones and various drinks. During my recent revisit, I had their combo 2, which consists of 2 slices of pizza and a pop of your choice. I had their Pulled Pork Pizza and BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Combo 2: 2 slices of pizza + 1 pop ($6.50):

Pulled Pork Pizza:


3.5/5
I have to say from the get-go, I was quite impressed by the crust on the pizza. In spite of having sitten under heat lamps, it remained quite crispy while the edges had a nice, chewy texture. The toppings were flavourful, with the pulled pork being tender with a slightly sweet and tangy flavour.

BBQ Chicken Pizza:


3/5
The crust here was also crispy, although I do find the edges to be a bit too hard and burnt in this case. The topping here was a bit on the bland side, and there was also a lack of chicken. It was still fairly tasty though.

Pie R Squared hasn’t changed much over the years. Their pizzas are fairly average; nothing outstanding but still tasty. Their prices are reasonable. There are definitely better choices available at UBC, but this isn’t bad in a pinch.

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

The Hungry Nomad

I work at the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, and every time I go out the building, I see the Hungry Nomad. They are a food truck with a small menu of sandwiches and fries. I finally broke down recently and decided to try them out. I had their Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich (which I added pulled pork to for an extra $3).

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Menu

Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Pulled Pork ($12 + $3):


4/5
This came with a side of fries and a slice of pickle. The bread was perfectly toasted, and was buttery and crispy on the outside. There was a good amount of cheese and pulled pork, which had a great sweet and savoury flavour. I did find the meat to be a bit dry, however. The fries were also very good, and were very crispy and fresh.

I was quite blown away by the food at the Hungry Nomad; the sandwich was fantastic and the fries were very tasty. The price was a bit on the higher side, but I think that it’s worth it for the food. This is definitely a good lunch option on campus.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Fries
The Hungry Nomad Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mercante

Ever since we started having lab meetings at noon, our PI started getting pizzas from Mercante so that the people wouldn’t have to sit through the meeting hungry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any photos of the pizzas in the middle of the meeting since 1) the lighting was usually terrible and 2) I didn’t want my fellow colleagues to question why I was taking photos. Thus, I decided to head over to the joint myself to write my review. The spot specializes in wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, although they do also have some pastas and other desserts. I had their Tortellini and an Al Pesto Pizza.

Tortellini ($7.75):


3/5
This was in a cream sauce and is topped with parmesan. The pasta itself was a tad overcooked for me and didn’t appear to have much filling, and was a bit bland on its own. I did quite enjoy the sauce, which was creamy albeit a tad bit underseasoned.

Al Pesto Pizza ($12.50):


3.5/5
This was topped with pesto, prosciutto, cheese, artichokes, and tomatoes. The crust wasn’t very crispy, although it was thin and flavourful. There was a good amount of topping. The pesto was very flavourful, albeit a bit on the salty side; I really enjoyed the tomatoes, which provided a great tanginess. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the artichokes.

Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the pasta at Mercante, I really did enjoy their pizzas. The prices are quite reasonable. While this is not the best pizza joint that I’ve been to, but definitely a good choice if you’re on campus.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Al Pesto Pizza
Mercante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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