food « Vancouver Bits and Bites Blog

By: Mary In Vancity  09-12-2011
Keywords: Restaurant, Frozen Yogurt

Posted: December 4, 2011 | |

Pinkberry had a special sneak preview on Thursday, Their store officially opened at Metropolis at Metrotown on Friday December 2nd.

The event (which included free yogurt), ran from 5-9pm and the line ups were constant. The staff worked the line-up by offering free samples of their most popular flavours.

Originally from LA, the popular franchise has only one other location here in BC and it’s located in Park Royal.

Pinkberry’s menu consists of Original, Green Tea, Chocolate, Mango, coconut, Watermelon, and Pomegranate  flavoured frozen yogurt  (Pomegranate is only available at the Park Royal location), and they come in 3 sizes: small (5 oz), Medium (8 oz), and Large (13 oz).

There are many toppings to choose from, cut fresh on-site: blueberries, strawberries, mangos, pineapples, the list is endless.

My favourite topping is called swirl pearls – they’re little bubbles that burst with either strawberry or peach flavour when you bite into them. Very unique!

They also have chocolate toppings as well as coconut and other nuts.

I tried 3 different flavours: The peppermint was delicious and very minty! They only have this flavour for December, so check it out before it goes. The coconut is delicious. I really liked it. And the chocolate.

I found the yogurt to be very creamy. It also has a distinct flavour that you can’t get from any other yogurt place.

Thanks to Sarah Wong for the event pictures!

Posted: December 3, 2011 | |

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar’s are a chain of restaurants located throughout the United States offering “good food to good people” with over 2,000 locations.  Applebee’s opened it’s doors in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980.  In 2010 Applebee’s decided to remodel all their restaurants and update menu’s and staff procedures in the hopes to be done with all locations by the year 2014.  All the restaurants have a very hometown feel, often displaying framed photo’s and memorabilia from local grade schools, high schools and colleges.  Walk around your local Applebee’s and you might see a familiar face or two in some of those photo’s.

Let me start by saying my dinning partner and I came for lunch during one of the busiest times of the year, the Thanksgiving shopping weekend and the staff and out waiter paid great attention to us.  The service was fantastic today.  This particular location in North Bergen, New Jersey is a new one so the atmosphere is clean and vibrant.  Right now they are running a great special “2 For $20.00″ which is a real bargain in this tough economy and around the holidays when everyone is spending lots of money trimming the tree and buy gifts for the family.

The “2 For $20.00″ menu offers you, your choice of 1 full appetizer and 2 full dinners from a special menu.  We had the Spinach & Artichoke Dip – Creamy spinach artichokes and melted cheeses with spicy chipotle lime salsa and tortilla chips.  Both of us decided on the Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger – Thick ‘n hearty with cheddar cheese and crispy Applewood smoked bacon which came with french fries.  The burgers were very tasty and juicy.  We also ordered the Chili Cheese Nachos – Tortilla chips covered with spicy chili, spicy Queso Blanco, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo and jalapeños for $8.99.  Very important, this restaurant does offer free refills.

The Appetizer Sampler – A platter to please everybody at the table. Must-have Mozzarella Sticks, our famous Spinach & Artichoke Dip, delicious Cheese Quesadilla Grande (contains bacon), and favorite Boneless Wings for $14.99 is a favorite and the Applebee’s Mudslide is too die for.  We both had one after dinner and it really hit the spot Blended with Kahlúa, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream also available without the liquor and just as flavorful.

For those of you who are watching your calories, Applebee’s offers a menu of dinners under 550 calories.  Entree’s such as Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp – Our 7 oz. sirloin grilled and topped with succulent shrimp in a light cream sauce and served with herb potatoes, seasonal vegetables, fresh bruschetta, sliced almonds and chopped parsley for $15.99 or the Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken – Spicy chili sauce meets tender grilled chicken and colorful Asian style vegetables in this skillet full of flavor. Served over rice with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for $12.99.

Applebee’s offers gift cards and a great dessert menu with the Triple Chocolate Meltdown – Moist chocolate cake topped with dark and white chocolate – plus a warm fudge-filled center for $5.49 being a popular choice.

Written by Michael Monteforte

Posted: November 27, 2011 | |

This is going to be a love fest right from the very beginning.  “5 Star Thai Cuisine” surely gets a 5 Star rating in my book.  Established in 2009 it’s the first Thai restaurant in Union City, New Jersey.  It’s a nice change to the dozens of Cuban restaurants that can be found in it’s surroundings.  I have been coming to this restaurant for a year or so now and it only gets better and better each time I walk through the their doors.  They do have a busy take out business, but you should visit this dynamo of a restaurant in person.

The atmosphere is inviting with dark woods for the furniture and warm reds and oranges for the walls, it’s a very cozy place.  The service is so amazing.  Usually handled by one host/server “Thai” who is on top of his duties.  Never have to wait more than a few minutes for anything.  Fantastic Thai Iced Tea & Coffee for $2.95 each and the best Lychee Thai Iced Tea this side of the Hudson also for $2.95 filled with real Lychee’s.  I was flying solo tonight and had a healthy appetite to boot.  I started out with Tom Yum Goong (Shrimp Lemongrass Soup) – Traditional shrimp soup in lemongrass, mushrooms, onion, chili, lime juice & kaffir lime leaves, this dish is filled with so much flavor a wonderful blend of delicate and pungent all at the same time for $4.95.

I then moved on to The Mixed Appetizer #5 which included – 2 Chicken Satay, 2 curry puffs, 2 Shrimp Rolls, 2 Spring Rolls, it was a nice way to taste a little bit of everything for $12.95.  This appetizer comes with a trio of dipping sauces one better than the other.  For dinner I had the Chicken Breast Tempura, you can choose 3 different ways to have this made, either with Pineapple Green Curry, Lemongrass or Sweet & Sour for $12.95.  I chose Lemongrasswith peanut, shallot, chili, ginger bell pepper & lime juice and it was delicious with two big chicken breasts full of flavor.  For dessert I had the Black Sticky Rice with warm coconut milk for $4.50.  And let me tell you this is a MUST have each and every time you visit.  It’s served warm and so full of different textures, smooth warm coconut milk, grainy black rice and the smooth palm seeds blend so nicely.  I have had and would highly recommend the Crispy Fillet Tilapia which you can order with Lemongrass or Chili Sauce for $13.95.

Written by Michael Monteforte

New Jersey Correspondent

Posted: November 27, 2011 | |

We started with The Prosciutto Marinato e Arancia (marinated Italian ham, with garlic, thyme, oranges and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil).

Image credit: Sean Neild

The Prosciutto was delicious! The ham melted in my mouth. And the flavour was exquisite. Great way to start our meal.

Each table is presented with delicious Foccacia bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil upon arrival. It’s very good bread. La Rocca also offers $10 off bottles of wine every Wednesday, so Sean and I shared a bottle of a lovely Italian Pinot Grigio.

Image credit: Sean Neild

We were feeling pretty good by now,and we were ready for our next course: The Fettuccine con Gamberi (Fettuccine Alfredo with large Tiger Prawns). The cream sauce was fantastic. So thick and creamy beyond belief. The prawns were succulent and juicy. A very good combination. This was my favourite dish of the night.

image credit: Sean Neild

Our next course was the Pollo Ripieno al Marsala (chicken breast stuffed with sundried tomatoes and basil, topped with Marsala wine sauce and served with a wedge of grilled Radiccio Rosso) The sweetness of the chicken and sundried tomato combination was perfectly paired with the bitterness of the Radiccio. Delicious! My only complaint was there wasn’t more of it!

Image credit: Sean Neild

 For our final course, we had the Homemade Tiramisu ( cake soaked in Espresso,  with a Mascarpone cheese mousse, topped with a dusting of cocoa and sugar). The Tiramisu came paired with a few chocolate covered espresso beans, it was a nice touch.

Posted: November 23, 2011 | |

Dunn’ s is famous for their Montreal Smoked Meat. The restaurant still follows Myer Dunn’s  unique recipes and standards, in keeping with the Dunn’s Famous traditions.

I came here for lunch on a Sunday, and the place was packed. I was sat promptly by a friendly hostess.

Their menu has a large variety of items: anything from burgers, hotdogs, and pastas; even all day breakfasts.

I decided to try out the Super Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich ($10.99) and for $3.50 I substituted the fries for the poutine Quebecoise. Sandwiches come with mustard, and a side of coleslaw with a dill pickle. You can order your sandwich with lean, medium or fat beef brisket. I ordered mine lean.

The sandwich came piled high with meat. The beef brisket was perfectly seasoned with black pepper. In retrospect, I should’ve ordered the sandwich with a little more fat on the meat, as the brisket was very flakey and a little too lean. Still delicious! Also the coleslaw was made of vinegar instead of the creamy variety, which I really liked.

The sandwich doesn’t come toasted, but you can ordered it that way if you like. Another thing I wish I would’ve done, as the weight of the sandwich made a mess out of my bread.

The poutine was very good. The fries were well cooked without being too oily. There was a lot of cheese curds and gravy. The portion was a tad small for $3.50, so I think it’s better to order a side of poutine instead if dining with another person.
There are many poutines to order from: The Dunn’s that comes with cheese curds, special gravy and Montreal smoked meat, The Italian, which is meat sauce and cheese curds, as well as a vegetarian version of the Montreal favourite.

Posted: November 20, 2011 | |

Do not be fooled by the humble appearance of this restaurant – the outside looks a little sketchy, and the restaurant is tiny, it seats maybe 20 people. But the food is good. Very good.

We were pleasantly surprised by the price. We ordered the lunch specials  -  $7.50 will get you a healthy portion of food, as well as salad and spring rolls. Most of their dishes are priced under $14. The quality is there! This is excellent Thai food.

We started with the Thai Salad Roll ($4.50). The roll was massive. Huge pieces of lettuce and cucumber as well as large prawns. The satay sauce was perfect.

Our lunch came with some delicious Sweet and Sour Soup - yum! This soup was spicy! So flavourful. Excellent start.

The service was only so-so. I had to ask for water refills a lot. Our waitress spent a lot of time checking out her phone behind the counter rather than taking care of her customers. There was only one other table aside from us, and they were being ignored as well.

Check out Thai by Thai next time you’re in Surrey. The food is so worth it.

Posted: November 19, 2011 | | Tags:, , , |

The American Cheesesteak Co. is a new restaurant concept by Celebrity Chef Anthony Sedlak. It is Vancouver’s first restaurant dedicated to creating authentic Philadelphia style cheesesteak, as well as speciality version of this American Classic.

The restaurant has a great vibe, from its modern stainless steel fixtures to the patio facing Davie St.  The food is ultimate comfort food: delicious, freshly cooked prime rib, smothered in savoury cheeses, all stuffed in their in-house baked rolls. The portions are huge! The sandwiches come in two sizes, regular and large. Trust me when I tell you that the regular is plenty. Sandwiches range from $8 to $22.

Anthony is no stranger to what Vancouverites want – he himself being a proud Vancouverite. One of his first jobs was as a busboy at Lupin’s Cafe on Grouse Mountain.

I was here for their media event and had a chance to try out a lot of their menu items: Let’s start with The Chicken Milanese (breaded chicken breast with sauteed mushrooms, onions, green peppers, fontina cheese in a roasted tomato sauce). The crispy chicken gives this sandwich a satisfying crunch, and the tomato sauce is tangy perfection. Loved the choice of cheese.

One of the most popular menu items is The Cowboy (shaved prime rib, crispy fried onions, homemade spicy BBQ house, bacon mayo and aged cheddar cheese). The meat was juicy and tender, and there was LOTS of it. The BBQ sauce is fantastic.

The New Yorker (shaved prime rib, sauteed mushrooms and peppers, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and roasted garlic mayo). This was a fantastic sandwich. Great mix of ingredients and the lettuce and tomato gives it a nice fresh taste. This one was my favourite of the night.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try The Good Earth - sauteed portobello and forest mushrooms with roasted red peppers, sauteed onions, crumbled feta and pesto mayo.

The American Cheesesteak Co. Also makes fantastic side dishes, like their ACC Fries (hand cut, double cooked fries, tossed with garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese), Onion rings and salads, as well as ice cream shakes and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. The milkshakes are fantastic! They are also licensed.

Posted: November 15, 2011 | |

Disclaimer: This is not a political post. This has nothing to do with my feelings or opinions about the Occupy movement. This is about a girl who likes to eat, who wants to help the food carts around the VAG site.

Most of these small businesses are dipping into their savings just to stay afloat. The owners are already working 14 + hours days just to make ends meet.

I want to help. I think all of us should help!

I hereby declare Friday November 18 Support the Food Carts Day. Between 11-3 pm, stop by for lunch, a snack, or take dinner home from one of the many Food Carts in the VAG area. Tag your tweets with the #supportYVRfoodcarts hashtag.

Even if they clear out Occupy Vancouver before then, It will take a long time for these small businesses to recover. Let’s spread the word and put our money where our mouths are! Let’s #supportYVRfoodcarts this Friday!! Spread the word!!!

Posted: November 13, 2011 | | Tags:, , , , |

Abigail’s Party is located in the heart of Kits. A block away from the water. It’s a lovely location. The restaurant has a sunken dining room, and huge windows. It seats about 20-25 people, so not so great for large parties.  It also has a patio for the summer. It was raining cats and dogs when we visited, so inside we went:

Abigail’s Party uses only organic, free range eggs and are members of Ocean Wise. The more I eat out, the more important these things are to me. It’s good to see more and more businesses caring about the environment. Also free range eggs look better, haven’t you noticed that? The yolks are brighter and they taste better too! Personally, I don’t mind spending a couple of more bucks for quality like that.

I found the staff here to be very friendly and helpful. It was my server’s recommendation that I ordered the mood swing, and I am glad that I did!.

All scrambles come with their homemade hash browns, (which are really more like homemade potato wedges) and large slices of multigrain toast. Lots of food.

So thanks again, Mr. Pang, for not steering us wrong. Abigail’s Party is definitely one of Vancouver’s must-try brunch destinations.

Posted: November 12, 2011 | | Tags:, , , , |

Gosh I love Burnaby Heights. This is a fantastic neighbourhood.  Most of the restaurants here have been around for a long, long time. One restaurant that stands out is Romana Pizza.

Romana has been in business for 38 years, and it has the distinction of being Burnaby’s Longest Running Single Family Owned & Operated Pizza/Restaurant Establishment.

Let’s start with the Kalamari ($10). This dish was deep fried, but not greasy, and it was coated in a special blend of spices and served with a generous side of Tzatziki sauce. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t place the spice mix. I’ve never tasted anything like it. This dish totally lived to the hype I’ve been hearing!

When Poppy talks about her family her face lights up – pictures of her daughters and grandchildren are all over the restaurant.

We had a fantastic time at Romana –  this was not eating out, this was an experience. When I asked Poppy what is the secret to her success, she simply said “it’s not about the money, it’s about the relationships you make along the way”

And she’s right.

The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Frozen Yogurt, Restaurant

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Looking at the menu we decided to order a few appies, a crape and some Taiwanese food, this way we could get a decent idea of what the food is really all about. This dish was deep fried, but not greasy, and it was coated in a special blend of spices and served with a generous side of Tzatziki sauce. Pinkberry had a special sneak preview on Thursday, Their store officially opened at Metropolis at Metrotown on Friday December 2nd.


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