Category Archives: Restaurant Review

The List

My sister lives in sunny California and you would think that she would have so much available to her there that a trip to (mostly) rainy B.C. would bore the daylights out of her… not so! She sent me a list of things that she was craving to do when she comes out for a visit this summer and I thought that I would share it with you all so you can join in on the Fraser Valley fun.

Whether you are a health-nut, vegan, peace-nik hippie or a scotch swilling, redneck, meat-eating man-child… or just a normal person… I think you’ll have fun doing at least one of these things.

1. pick berries.

I know, I know, why pick berries when you can hire someone to pick them for you? Come on, people. We live in the Berry Capital of Canada… or something… and berries are delicious. And when you pick them, you can eat them, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus fresh raspberry jam and homemade blueberry pie and strawberries with cream. Come on! Do it.

2. go to bard on the beach

This has nothing to do with food. Not everything does. But it’s so fun and if you go you can pick up a Japadog in downtown Vancouver. Worth it.

3. go to the fireworks downtown

There’s nothing quite like eating soft pretzels, drinking hot chocolate and watching the symphony of fire. Classic Vancouver summer.

4. go to cultas lake water slides

Slip sliding around downtown and, again, another reason to eat a hot dog?!

5. go to granville island and eat awesome tarts and oysters on the half shell

We live near the ocean. We can have fresh seafood whenever we want it. Oysters are a dream come true.Check out Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe. Also, there is an over abundance of delicious tarts on Granville island, stop by Terra Breads for an amazing peach-rosemary tart, you won’t be disappointed!

6. get a pie from Krause Berry Farms

Custard piled high with strawberries. So delicious yet, for some reason, it can’t be duplicated at home. Believe me, I’ve tried.

7. go for high tea

Serendipitea in downtown Abbotsford has a gorgeous high tea for any lady. Gentlemen, be warned, fine china, flowers and petite desserts may be enough to shake the manliest man to his core.Try either the ice wine tea or the strawberry fields. My favorite.

8. hang out in down town abby

I’ve talked about it before. I will talk about it again. I live in downtown Abbotsford and I absolutely love it. Small boutiques, used books, some of the best coffee that I’ve ever had. On a sunny day there is not much I like more than walking the short streets of my home town.. just don’t trip over a hobo while you’re doing it!

9. go to down town van and eat at a food truck and that place in gastown with the muscles and happy hour oyster bar!

FOOD! I love it.

And if you need help narrowing down your food truck choice… let me help you!

Re-Up BBQ: for slow smoked meat sandwiches

Fresh Local Wild: exactly what it sounds like with vegetarian options.

Eli’s Serious Sausage: Vancouver’s premium local sausage stand

Cartel Tacos: Korean fusion tacos

La Brasserie: A warm & cozy Franco-German bistro

Now be off. Go. Eat. Have fun!

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Fiamma Burger

My comrades and I headed down south for a real-deal American adventure last weekend.

 While wandering across the coast and around downtown Bellingham (aka hipster central) we stumbled across a small and incredibly busy burger joint: Fiamma Burger.

Fiamma burger has long wooden tables and a cool almost retro design to it. It’s front wall is a garage door that can be opened on a sunny day (I love that feature). You get into line and order off a huge menu of burgers, fries and hotdogs and then you pay and sit down. Personally I feel that all resteraunts should live by the “pay first, eat second” philosophy… all the stress of waiting for the bill is dissolved and you can feel free to eat and leave at your leisure.  Fiamma gives you a number and you have a seat and wait for your food. The line up at Fiamma was constant and un-ending, a testament to the good food and feel of this burger joint.

I had the BBQ Bacon Blue Ring Burger which was exactly as it sounds, BBQ sauce, blue cheese, bacon, beef and an onion ring. Other than not being blue cheesy enough for my tastes, it was incredibly satisfying. My comrades had the HAM burger (beef, prosciutto, fried egg, cheddar-jack, shoe string potatoes and smoky sauce) and the LAMB burger (lamb, olive tapanade, red onion relish, mint yogurt tzatziki, feta and spring greens) and we shared some fries.

The burgers were good, nothing out of this world, but what really blew me away was the fact that you could substitute any burger patty for beef, turkey, chicken sausage, chicken breast, bison, salmon, lamb or veggie. I also loved that in the condiment pumps along with your mustard and ketchup were spicy mustard, chipotle ketchup, curry mayo and BBQ sauce!

To plop a cherry on the proverbial cake is the fact that nearly all the containers, napkins and “garbage” are compost-able. They really encourage recycling and composting so you can feel good about ordering your food to-go.

If you’re ever in Bellingham, please give Fiamma a try, I think you’ll enjoy it. And, when in doubt, visit their website to see if you like the sound of the place.

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A Nice Cup of Rage.

I’m ranting today. It’s raining outside so I am officially ranting.

There is something wrong with Abbotsford, British Columbia. There is a vast majority of coffee shops around every corner of this city but for some reason, there are none with comfortable seating, good food and drink, nice atmosphere and good prices. You would think that when someone opens a coffee shop, these are the first few things they would focus on. Yet for some reason on Sunday night, a group of 6 girls spent an hour driving around the city looking for a good cup of coffee and a comfortable seat.

The evening had become cold so we all headed from Mill Lake Park to Aftethoughts (the most popular coffee shop in Abbotsford due to their delicious foods) and, of course, it was packed. Not a seat left. We headed to Starbucks with its icy air conditioning and uncomfortable seats… and although I am a fan of their high-fat high-sugar drinks and treats, the atmosphere is very get in and get out. We drove past Go Go Beans (closed) and Intercity Cafe (closed). I had also checked out a second Starbucks… CLOSED. argh!

The frustration peaked. We went to ABC Family Resteraunt (my least favorite place) where I had a good cup of Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea and an awful piece of apple-peach pie. DO NOT BE LURED IN BY THE PROMISE OF CRISPY, FLAKY CRUST!!! It is a lie. It is soggy and my pie was an uneven mix of lava hot and ice-cold. Gross.

So that’s it, I am opening up my own place one day. And until then, I am transforming my home into the new coffee lounge for my friends in Abbotsford. I will not have a night like that again.

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George.

Over the weekend I went into Yaletown for dinner and boy, was I disappointed. Usually I love food so much that almost all my restaurant reviews are raves. There is nothing I like to talk about more than great food! So I had some high hopes when I went to George.

While George did have an outstanding cocktail list boasting pages of delicious sounding drinks with nearly-affordable prices, the rest of their food was left in the dust. I ordered a kobe beef burger with fries which was on special that night and was quite disappointed. In all honesty, it could have been a regular ground-beef burger and I wouldn’t have noticed any difference. It was also pretty dry and the fries were just plain old, regular, hum-drum fries.

I was with a friend who is severely celiac and the only options on the menu for her were salads. She ordered an over priced, tiny portioned tomato-bocconcini salad and was left hungry and disappointed. The salad was delicious but could never pass for a main dish.

I was also with a friend who was a vegan. Not wanting to spend a lot on a little, he left to buy a falafel and when he returned, well fed and half an hour later… our orders still hadn’t been taken.

All in all I left unsatisfied and hungry. Lame.

If you do want to go to George, please only go for drinks and then satisfy your hunger at any other of the wonderful Yaletown restaurants available.

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You, Me and The Brie

We “Supper Club Girls” love our “business meetings.” Why the quotations? Because every casual get together turns into talk of food, restaurants, what to make or bake or craft, what to blog or host or invent. And when we plan a focused, get-down-to-business meeting…. we end up drinking wine and chatting about life and getting so extremely giddy and silly that whatever public place we’ve decided to meet in thinks we must be either extremely drunk or out of our minds when really… we just enjoy each other and the food we eat to an extreme amount. It doesn’t help that I talk with my hands and end up knocking over wine glasses in the process.

My lovely and hardworking husband went out-of-town to work and while he was gone I decided to spend some of his hard-earned cash on a delicious meal. So off the two of us, lovely and hilarious Supper Club ladies went to Vancouver.

We stumbled into The Twisted Fork on Granville and fell in love with it immediately. The decor is infused with a french meets hipster vibe. Dark wood, long benches, textured wall paper. We jumped straight into planning our imaginary restaurant out. Our favorite part was the long wall in the back of the restaurant filled with shelves which are filled with jars upon jars of preserves. Vegetables, fruits, relishes and pickles. All preserved in the restaurant and served up with different dishes. Who knew that this old-school hobby would come back into style? I’m sure glad it did!!

We shared a cheese plate, which was large enough to fill us completely, and contained cured musk-ox, brie, gorgonzola, ash coated goat cheese, olives (which tasted like root beer in the best possible way), the best pickled beets that I’ve ever had, pickled carrots, preserved pears, salad, AND toasted brioche. We mixed and matched every combination of flavors so if you go to The Twisted Fork (which I highly suggest you do!!!) then please don’t be afraid to ask us for our cheese plate combo suggestions.

We also each had a glass of wine, Alison’s was fruity while mine tasted boldly like… well… it tasted like dill pickle chips. To be honest, it was strangely enjoyable. We shared a plate of duck confit and a plate of scallops with bacon and adorned with corn relish. Although stuffed, we had to order dessert. We shared a napoleon which was so magnificent it made us both slightly emotional. That could have been helped by the glasses of wine. But it was a delectable dessert with chocolate, coffee, raspberry and caramel touches. It was garnished with a simple vanilla ice cream and it was perfect.

The only complaint I could come up with for this meal was that the rolls which came with our meal, although delicious, were cold. And, really, what kind of complaint is that?

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Joe’s Crab Shack

A big bucket of crab legs. Crazy multi-colored lights. Big wooden tables. Servers who have to dance to the song “love shack”. Joe’s crab shack is nothing but a rollicking good time. As long as you don’t mind working for your dinner (fighting through crab shells can be a bit of an ordeal) then you will love sitting near huge windows overlooking Newport Harbor while feasting on succulent seafood.

For those of you Canadians who can’t walk over to Joe’s, you might want to catch a plane cause the 2 dollar mojito’s and $1.50 pints will make you forget all about that $400 plane ticket over! You might even be lucky enough to go home with a t-shirt sporting an amusing yet disgusting slogan such as “down and dirty with crabs” or “talk nautical to me.”

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This is how we do it in Orange County

I flew into sunny California yesterday afternoon and am already excited about the amazing food scene down here. No wonder this has been where Jamie Oliver has been spending his free time! Be prepared for some upcoming blogs on restaurants, farmers markets (I’m talking edible flowers, zucchini blossoms and fresh seafood farmers markets) and a California inspired dinner I plan on preparing.

Last night we picked some fresh oranges, lemons and limes off the tree in the yard where we’re staying. We had a great snack of tortillas with fresh salsa, guacamole and juicy mangoes and grapes. I headed to a Pilates class (apparently Californians are into fitness and I am NOT bendy. Picture a slippery seal flopping around on a yoga mat and you’ll have a pretty good image of me trying Pilates for the first time.) And then… get ready… supper time arrived!

We went to Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. It’s a Zagat rated restaurant that serves Southern United States BBQ. Two words: amazing meat. We feasted on platters of baby back and St. Louis ribs, chicken and BBQ tri tip, smokey beans, honey roasted peanut slaw, sweet potato fries, chicken fingers and biscuits with the most delicious whipped apple butter that I’ve even tasted in my life. You also get enormous jars of whatever beverage you order, I had a muddy waters (half ice tea and half lemonade.) The jars are bottomless but I could barely get through my first!

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