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BonkaVancouverNoshing here, noshing there.Since July 23, 2007Favourite List (36)Try List (2)464 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.8)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service2.5 (2.6)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 101 - 120 of 464 Reviews Found
Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill1223 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Un-Yaletown like..
Submitted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 3:04pm [Dine in]

My gf was hungry and not wanting to eat at home, we ventured out into the depths of Yaletown. Upon approaching, I noticed a few doors down that S&A opened a 2nd location which was packed and looked much more in tune with the area (bar area, tvs, abnoxiously loud). We stumbled in to the lesser occupied front, confirmed with the waitress there about the other location as she assured us it was the same kitchen and then we made ourselves onto the makeshift patio area. The small restaurant is nothing to look at, with stacks of drinks occupying much of the interior space while being a little dreary.

Menu was varied choices but decisions were fairly easy. My gf's enchilada plate was nicely prepared. Tender pieces of chicken under a sweet and spicy mole sauce. The side rice was not bad while the refried beans was certainly homemade. I ordered the lengua (beef tongue) tacos. It came ungarnished but with chopped onions, cilantro, spicy hot sauce and a lemon for you to garnish. The tongue was not too lean yet not too fat and very tender. It needed more seasoning but the accompanying garnishes sufficed.

Basically one lone waitress tabling the lot, with an extra kitchen staff coming out to serve orders. She was friendly and on her toes and luckily for her, just enough tables around to manage the load.

The flavours of the food seems to cater to the local crowd. It's authentic but the flavours taste a little mulled perhaps as to not offend with brute. A welcoming sign..

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O'Hare's Pub5031 Steveston Hwy, Richmond
My kind of pub
Submitted Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 2:49am [Dine in]

A buddy and I did a quick stop here to take on a pint of Guinness. It's tucked away in a little corner of West Richmond and frankly it was exactly what I expected from what I saw on the outside. It's an Irish pub through and through, right down to the vibe. It's completely devoid of pretentiousness from staff down to customer and totally comfortable with itself. Patio action was close by but we glued ourselves to one of their flatscreens.

Along with our pint we opted for a share platter consisting of usual pub digs including dry ribs and hot wings. Regular pub fare that was right up our alley. The menu is extensive so chowhounds needn't worry about selection.

The waitresses there are on top of things but don't expect coddled service. These women can handle their own and in a pub like this it's what we're looking for.

Great find; shame that I'd have a long trek lumbering on home if I inhaled a pint too many. Will be back.

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Tandoori Grill Whistler4368 Main Street, 201, Whistler
Ethnic delight
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 5:30pm [Dine in]

There aren't too many ethnic dining options up on Whistler so when we knew there was Indian food nearby, off we went.

The decor is a little toned down but you wouldn't mistake it for something else. We arrived towards closing so things were mulled down some.

Menu choices are varied and all are tempting, but we opted for the butter chicken, lamb masala, palak paneer, pulao rice, raita and the always ubiquitous naan bread. Portion size always look small with Indian food but they always fill you up. Flavours are fantastic with special note to the masala and paneer, with a mild heat that accents rather than dominates leaving you with an assault of rich flavours instead.

Service was all business and lacks the easy-going pace of many Whistler dining retreats but you'd be hardpressed to find something to complain about.

With all the pubs and regular-fare options out there, give this spot a whirl.

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Black's Original Ristorante & Pub4270 Mountain Square, Whistler
Overcharged and underwhelmed
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 5:17pm [Dine in]

We were just looking for something to wet our whistles and decided to come here over Longhorn's across the walk. Upon entering we knew it was a mistake. Only a couple of other tables were occupied during a warm afternoon isn't a good sign.

Glossing over the menu and having trouble deciding on what to order, our friend decided on a chicken burger while my gf and I shared the fruit plate and omitting on drinks after going through what few choices they had. The burger was merely average with what our friend decribed as a chicken finger patty while our fruit plate was something else. A wilted grouping of grapes, over ripened cantaloupe, a bad honeydew and four of the thinnest (1cm thick) slices of mediocre watermelon I've ever seen occupied most of the plate. The halved strawberries were easily the best part.

Our server was friendly enough but was completely indifferent, and seemed a little erked from what little we ordered.

Sorry, but the only Blacks I'm stepping foot in from now on is the camera shop.

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Earls4295 Blackcomb Way, #220/221, Whistler
Late night action
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 5:08pm [Dine in]

After being kiboshed on other dining options, we settled for one of the few non-pub eateries that remained open at 11pm. Like every other Earls but this one has more of a kick to knock you out. It's loud, vibrant with an in your face decor.

Originally wanting other options elsewhere, most of us settled on the boring penne alfredo while my gf went with the spinach salad. While I thought the pasta was made well, both our friends complained about unsettled stomaches later. The salad was a nice touch with seasonal fruit tossed in a light dressing and goat cheese. What we were really impressed with were the cocktails. It must've been caipirinha season since it was proudly advertised on the menu so we ordered a passionfruit and a seasonal berry, both fantastic. My friend's blended margarita was a nice refresher too.

Our waitress was pleasant and on the ball and not unlike what you would expect from a chain.

One of the few places that are open later and they make a mean caipirinha too.

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Merlin's Lounge4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler
Borderline
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 5:00pm [Dine in]

We had to stop off to nosh of things after finishing up our Peak-to-Peak adventure. This pub was within earshot so in we went. The accents inside exude Whistler but we opted for the patio instead.

Service unforunately was forgettable and slow, but just about everything else was. We ordered the seven layer dip and the onion rings but spent the lot mostly on drinks. Most of their cocktails had a remarkable name with an unremarkable taste, specifically my gin and lime drink which included cucumber; improperly prepared with a sharp and bitter linger.

Passing on this spot.

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Hy's Steakhouse4308 Main St., Whistler
Rib-eye madness
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 4:52pm [Dine in]

A few of us spent the long weekend up at Whistler so it was necessary to jump into things by stopping by the local Hy's. This particular location, while retaining a lot of that classic steakhouse aura, is actually far more casual, catering towards the tourists and local crowd.

We all went with the fabulous bone-in rib steak with choice of potato. The cuts fell slightly below the DT Hy's but I'd be hardpressed to find as good a steak up there or at most places. We had to get the classic sides: fresh spinach, fried mushrooms, mac and cheese and the cauliflower gratin as the compliments which were all familiar to the palette though the mac and cheese lacked the gorgonzola punch we had experienced before. A bottle of red, a glass of ice wine and a creme brulee rounded off the feast.

Service is spry and efficient and entirely casual for the most part. We likened our server though others who come here may expect a markedly more formal setting but I digress.

Worth a stop if your in the mountains.

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Cow's4295 Blackcomb Way, #102, Whistler
Sugar rush
Submitted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 4:40pm [Dine in]

Walking underneath the sunny weather warranted a trip to the ice cream parlor. Their particular shtick is to offer ice cream alongside a host of "cow" merchandise. I can't see the connection between the two but I am a proud owner of some of their sleepwear so I suppose it works.

My gf and I shared the toffee crunch and maple walnut over a chocolate dipped waffle cone. The ice cream was exactly what we were looking for though they melted pretty quickly. I was a little overwhelmed by the sweetness of the waffle cone which made finishing the last few bites a bit of a chore - suppose we'll opt for the single scoop next time around.

Service was friendly from the teenage staff. We didn't experience the sanitary issues the previous reviewer had but it would cause concern if we were also unfortunate.

If you're ever in need of some apparel while craving a sugar rush, this could be the cure.

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Local Public Eatery2210 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver
Reinvented and rejuvenated
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 2:30pm [Dine in]

Remembering the old instution that occupied the space before, I wasn't expecting a 180 degree turnaround. It's a hotspot for the local Kits crowd, but a couple of buddies and I settled in here rather than braving the busy DT scene.

Patio action is apparently walk-in, and we lucked out with a decent table. The actual restaurant inside isn't half bad either, with a definite chain-like aura.

We ordered all sides: nachos, sliders and yam fries - the usual alcohol consumable compliments. Again, hints of chain influence here. The food didn't blow us out of the water but alas this is jazzed up pub style fare.

Service was fine, but our waitress had a certain hastiness which was a little annoying. A little slow on the ball too and all of a sudden it seemed as if her tip was in jeopardy. I would say for casual patio dining, service is par.

Other than the parking nightmare, it's not a bad place to be seen.

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Zhao Mah280 E Pender Street, Vancouver
Don't mind the surroundings
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 2:18pm [Dine in]

This little bakery looks like it sublets from the neighbouring space, a chinese butchershop. The window cases are dirty, with weirdo tube lighting that's a little unnerving and staff that seems to disappear in the back.

We went nearly day end so the choices were limited. Nevertheless the buns are far better than the first impressions of stepping inside here. I'd say their steamed buns are superior over their baked versions. I wouldn't go out of my way to come here but their day olds are cheap, cheap, cheap.

You're not here for the ambiance.

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Bridges1696 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Caipirinhas!
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 2:11pm [Dine in]

OK, so we finally made it here. It was Sunday evening and the day was dying down. Naturally an early nightcap was in the works for us.

Despite the tempermental weather the ambiance is quite appealing, especially the patio areas. Easily on of the best outdoor spots around town.

We stuck with the simple stuff, their thin crust pizza which was lightly dressed with toppings over a thin, slightly charred cornmeal crust along with restaurant quality hummus. You're mostly here for the drinks so we went across the board with caesars, caipirinhas, a malbec red and rounded it off with a pitcher of pimm's.

Service was good despite our waitress having to wait of tables both outside and in. It's definitely better than other outdoor seating situations we've had in the past.

With caipirinhas, patio action and decent food, this is one summer hotspot.

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La Belle Patate1215 Davie Street, Vancouver
Supposedly authentic poutine
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 2:03pm [Dine in]

I had driven past this place on Davie countless times before finally taking the plunge recently. Supposedly this is the place for the real deal whether you like it or not.

The space is rustic and casual and exactly what I'd imagine a poutine shop would look like out East. Service is spry and not unlike self-serve but the staff do bring out your orders as they prepare them to order.

The classic poutine was a must as to not dull the true experience. They use real squeaky cheese curds that do not melt which we were indifferent about while the gravy was thick and not too salty. The fries I thought were a little soft for my taste but I suppose done by design. Accompaniments included loaded steamie and Michigan dogs which were the perfect compliment but overpriced for regular sized weiners. This and a can of soda required a $20, which is pricey for this caloric altamonte.

This is the type of food which is disgusting yet good, it falls into the category of love it or hate it.

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Pho Quyen3916 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Mostly mundane
Submitted Monday, July 5, 2010 - 1:49pm [Dine in]

One lazy evening brought my gf, her mom and sister and I here for dinner. I had previously heard some favourable mentions here so I figured to sway from the norm and try it out.

A thin crust of dirt inside ensured us it was a predictable Vietnamese decor. Service is ultimately sparce with not much more extending past order taking and somewhat impromptu dish clearing.

The pho had a good broth and typical quality meats while our lemongrass chicken came on skewers that had good char flavour. The spring rolls were mediocre (again with the egg wrapper outside a vegetable filling) as was the salad rolls which was filled with diminutive day old shredded pork. Prices are on the low end but much of the quality is proportionate, unfortunately.

Didn't hate it but I'm not handing out accolades here.

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Fish House In Stanley Park, The8901 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver
Memorable Father's Day
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 4:08pm [Dine in]

We celebrated my gf's dad's special day here after painstakingly deciding on a desirable restaurant that served well prepared fish. We were not disappointed.

Service was nicely redeemed after a brief mixup at the beginning. The staff (minus the busboys) are amiable and talkative and offered well thought suggestions.

Everyone ordered fish except for me, who instead opted for the steak frites. We had arctic char, smoked cod, salmon and ahi (yellowfin) tuna. All of us couldn't remember the last time we had such well prepared and cooked fish while the beets, asparagus and mash potatoes complimented the fish without being second string. The smoked cod was unfortunately overseasoned too heavily in an otherwise delicate and moist piece and my steak frites, well, was a typical cut. The cast iron mussels were a nice surprise, with a fantastic brown butter sauce that required substantial sopping while the lobster oil again was a welcome favourite. The meal was rounded off with the rhubarb and berry crumble and the buttermilk pie, both having met with approval.

The restaurant is simply decorated and understated with a simple yet elegant feel. It would be a fantastic place to dine on a sunny day with the windows open.

The gf's family have already earmarked FH on their list to return, which is a short list to begin with.

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Okonomi Sushi26 4th Street, Unit A, New Westminster
Westernized rolls
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:54pm [Dine in]

A friend summoned us for dinner and they decided on this obscure sushi place in NW. The space seemed to be a former hotel and its surroudings spoke of yesteryears.

The menu is brightly coloured with pictures of many of the offerings, mostly rolls with a westernized twist - rolls douced in sauce, cheese, mangoes and the like. We went all over the place but were left with mostly rolls. The tempura was pretty good but the udon noodles were rather oily. The seafood pancake is always a good choice and it was pretty good with lots of filling. The rolls were as expected but the addtion of cheese and sauces really masked the taste and texture of the fish. The rice on the bottom had a slight pink hue but nothing that bothered us. Overall, the rolls can get pretty rich pretty quick but luckily for once we ordered less than we would usually.

Service was slow, albeit with only a few other occupied tables. The servers on the floor were friendly but a lot of efficiency was lost pacing from end to end from kitchen to the tables - it would make more sense to seat everyone in one area.

We were all pretty happy with the food but it's definitely something we would put second fiddle for vs. the regular rolls.

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La Taqueria322 W Hastings St, Vancouver
Authenic tacos, finally!
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:42pm [Dine in]

My gf and I finally had a chance to try out Taqueria recently, amidst all the glowing reviews. It's located in the seedest part of Vancouver but it compliments the overall experience.

The place is small and seemingly ratty, but kept neat. There's a chalkboard menu that offers various filling choices. The menu choices are tacos or quesadillas and what little choices are offered, they do it well, real well. We went with the first eight. Verdict? The best authentic tacos you'll find! Double wrapped with a generous heap of filling, my gf loved her mole with a soothing spicy with chocolate undertones flavour but we both agreed that the al pastor (chili marinated pork with pineapple) and the carnitas (pork confit) were the standouts, but in effect, they were all standouts in their own right. There's a small condiment station to garnish your tacos but we kept it simple.

It is a self-serve outfit but the fellows working there tidy up the small counter areas in between orders. They are passionate about the food they offer and thus it resonated to us and I'm sure the other customers coming in.

Finally, non-gringo Mexican food!

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Hy's Encore637 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Currently the best steaks in Vancouver
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:29pm [Dine in]

My gf and I celebrated another year and I opted for steaks. We would've liked to continue on with Morton's but they are no more so the quest for the next best thing brought us here.

The restaurant was a little hard to find on the street, easily blending in with the surrounding buildings. Inside, very much what you'd expect a classic steakhouse to look like: dark, lots of woodworking and pictures of what seemed like 1800 American dignitaries.

We came in with no expectations, but the food spoke to us immensely. Our rib steak and porterhouse really hit the mark in flavour and prepardness, especially the rib. It is not quite as good as Morton's but only just slightly. Our gorgonzola mac and cheese, spinach and fried mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment and between the available choices of potato with your steak go with the double baked potato - my gf raved about it which made my o'brien's potatoes (fried potato cubes with far too many pieces of bell peppers) look foolish. The cheese toast starter, albeit fantastic in it's own right, really was how we make our cheese toast at home anyways.

The service is a cross between casual and formal, easily distinguishable from your typical restaurant but without the pretension.

Though we felt that Morton's offered a better steak as an overall meal it would be difficult to discern between the two. Hy's is a definite recommend for the steak aficionado.

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Closed
Andales Mexican Restaurant3211 W Broadway St., Vancouver
Good for what it's worth
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:12pm [Dine in]

Craving something akin to Mexican with the clock ticking my gf and I decided to try out Andales. We've past by it many times and it never seemed to lure us in but we knew what not to get our hopes up and dove in.

It's dark, ultra dark with a lot of knick-knack items about. Some of the tables are inconspicuous and can easily be missed by servers.

The menu looked farily daunting, but we quickly settled with the mole and the beef burrito. Entrees come with chips and salsa which we found to be quite tasty and with some zing. The mole came with a huge unboned chicken breast which looked a little unnerving, but we care more about taste. The mole was actually pretty good, mildly spicy but with a sweet kick. My beef burrito was pretty decent also. The shredded beef was a little bland but the brown sauce brought a little something to the game. It came with some meager sides consisting of a spoonful of black beans and rice and a green salad.

Service was pretty sparce and our server seemed uncomfortable but was friendly enough. End result? Don't go to a Mexican or pseudo-Mexican resutarant for their service.

The food wasn't mindshattering but it'll do for pseudo-Mexicano cuisine in Vancouver.

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Anny's Dairy Bar722 6th St, New Westminster
Maple Twist indulgence
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:01pm [Dine in]

I had read about the fantastic soft serve with maple syrup served here and since I was in the area I decided to seek this place out. It's rather plain on the outside and the menu offers up fairly standard fair including burgers, dogs and poutine.

Served in either a plain cone or a cup, the soft serve gets a swirl of maple syrup and the difference is sublime. The soft serve itself is excellent - creamy and smooth and consistently made but the maple syrup takes it to another level, all worth the price tag.

Standard service that's niether offensive nor memorable and it's mostly self serve if you dine in.

I've already decided to try the other items on their menu, but my reason for coming here is for the maple twist.

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Terra Breads1689 Johnston St., #107, Vancouver
Amazing focaccia
Submitted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 2:53pm [Dine in]

We decided to forego a formal meal and stopped by Terra to pick up something tasty. We quickly went with the focaccia of the day which was still warm. Simply amazing with a crispy bottom with a soft top that resembled more like a mini pizza than focaccia. The pesto was muted between the slight tartness of the tomato and the saltiness of the mozzarella. Price bordered steep but are not unusual for Vancouver.

Service was orderly and friendly but they do bog down considerably especially with customers cutting in and barking orders.

Their artisan breads and the focaccia are easily the best items for purchase here and everything else is an afterthought.

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