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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 141 - 160 of 464 Reviews Found
Cactus Club Cafe4653 Kingsway, Burnaby
Getting expensive
Submitted Monday, March 22, 2010 - 5:38pm [Dine in]

Normally I try to avoid chain restaurants when only my gf and I are dining, but I had a craving for pasta during a late evening so we had to break normalcy and came here.

The vibe is good but not quite on par with the other Cactus Clubs around. Service is a no doubter and our server did all the right moves despite disappearing in the kitchen in spurts.

We started with the spinach dip with chicken and a caesar starter. Typical appetizers that won't offend nor excite, but seems expensive. My gf's teriyaki chicken bowl and my prawn/scallop spaghettini fulfilled our needs, particularly my pasta dish with al dente noodles and well cooked shrimps and scallops. Portions were rather abysmal (especially with the smallest pieces of chicken found in my gf's bowl) and served on fluted plates, but despite it's tastiness, at $15-20 it borders on pricey.

You get what you expect Cactus Club, but it sure is starting to get expensive eating here.

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Bubble World4300 Kingsway, #1, Burnaby
Good hangout if you like the deafening ambiance
Submitted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 5:46pm [Dine in]

The gf and I met up with a friend here. Initially wanting takeout, we decided to stay in.

Nice styling without the in your face colours, but the small is smaller than it appears. Surrouding tables are tight but because of the extra loud ambiance, you'll likely not be able to hear your neighbours. Talking loudly is a pre-requisite.

Our tab consisted of ginger tea, a milk tea and a slush. The ginger tea was well received while the milk tea and lychee slush lacked a strong presence. The slush was blended nicely and it seems the sizes are a little bigger than the norm, perhaps to coincide with the slightly higher prices.

Service is what you expect at a place like this so it's hard to complain if they drop the ball when they do. We didn't have any problems, however.

They seem to be open very late as we didn't leave until about 3am, so it bodes well for night owls like us, but it's not the drinks that would bring us back here.

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Nan Chuu8391 Alexandra Road, #1160, Richmond
Better elsewhere
Submitted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 5:38pm [Dine in]

People raved about this place eons ago so after driving around undecided on what to eat tapas seemed a righteous choice.

A small, narrow space with a subdued vibe it's more of an after work hangout rather than a party place. Even the dining patrons aren't quite as lively here.

No single dish stoodout, rather a medley of modest tasting offerings with too much sizzle than steak. The Shabu Shabu salad was a nice starting point but the thinly sliced pork was bland and boring. The ebi mayo was doused in mayo deteriorating the crispy tempura batter while the beef tongue was a poorer showing, the cut tasting and resembling that of brisket. The salmon sashimi was six thick slices of unfresh Atlantic with a disappointing marinade. The best dish was the chicken kabob and runny egg rice bowl but was at best average.

Service was slow despite the polite staff though I did like how they introduced each dish as they came.

Compared to all the other (Japanese/asian) tapas places, this one ranks below average.

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Motomachi Shokudo740 Denman Street, Vancouver
Superior starting point, but..
Submitted Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 9:35pm [Dine in]

The call for ramen noodles came again so the gf and I headed DT for a late evening meal. The wait wasn't too long and seems most patrons dine quickly. Space is tiny (no more than 24 capacity) but works efficiently. Decor is a mix of Japanese and modern but the excess use of black is a little dreary.

My gf opted for her usual miso while I had the charcoal. They boast of using organic ingredients, so they have a superior starting point but put together the results were somewhat underwhelming in terms of flavour and depth. The soft boiled egg was done absolutely perfect while the noodles (with strong yellow hue) had good bite. I found both broths lacking richness, but again they boast about its health benefits so it made us feel like we were eating medicinal ingredients - cleansing. I enjoyed the charcoal flavour but was fairly subtle and certainly not overpowering. All in all, it's not bland but it also doesn't have a strong notes of flavour. By design, perhaps? Of all the ramen places we've gone to, this one didn't leave us thirsty afterwards.

Service was spartan at best. Friendly staff but our server had pretty rough english so best be keeping orders simple.

Their ramen seems to venture on their own path. It's a good bowl of noodles, but it's hard to rave about them after one try.

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Menya401 West Broadway, Vancouver
Tan-tan Tasty
Submitted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 3:44am [Dine in]

My gf and I visited this ramen noodle place figuring the dinner rush would make for a lengthy wait with the ramen places DT.

A decent effort was made to make the place look authentic but as previous reviewers have mentioned the tree stump seats aren't particularly comfortable.

My gf's miso had a good broth with mild miso flavour. She opted for the thicker noodles which didn't seem much different versus the regular noodles. Compared to the same bowl at other ramen places it's definitely not as heavily seasoned, perhaps even bland for some. BBQ pork was tender though not fatty enough in my opinion, and lacked flavour. My tan-tan men was excellent, however. Rich, spicy broth that was soothing rather than sharp. Noodles were just a skant past firm but held up well in the broth. We ordered a side of gyozas were which had a good wrapper, but the filling was far too little to assess flavour.

Service was Japanese typical. Friendly staff and quick with dish clearing and we were able to get tea top ups without asking.

The tan-tan men is a great bowl of noodles; it might be the bowl to get here.

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Milestone's Grill and Bar1145 Robson Street, Vancouver
Par food
Submitted Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 4:47pm [Dine in]

We drowned our sorrows after Team Canada's loss to USA by heading up Robson for some grub. The space is pretty amazing with the refreshed look but first impressions were short lived.

We went with a variety of what ended up to be mediocre appetizers first. Yam fries were soggy, calamari fingers were bland and the chip and dip platter was paltry at best, using hard perforated flatbread to dip in oversized tomato tapenade. Entrees were a better result but my gf's sirloin was underdone and lacked tenderness and flavour - it tasted like an unaged, rushed cut of beef. My friend's chicken and mushroom with capellini and my chicken penne were standard chain quality and easily the best at the table.

Service bordered on decent to good. Our server spent time between servicing tables and bouncing back and forth with clean plates but he made pop ins when he could. Not great but not poor either.

If I did come back I'd be tempted to avoid the food entirely, and stick with the drinks only.

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New Town Bakery & Restaurant148 E Pender Street, Vancouver
Chinese bun supremacy
Submitted Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 4:32pm [Dine in]

I dropped on by before braving the DT crowd - it's my first visit in over a decade and I'm more confused now as to why I don't come here on a regular basis.

Buns are packed with filling; the apple tarts were a fresh batch so you could truly enjoy the flaky crust and warm apple filling. The filling in the pork bun was moist with a welcoming greasiness that melted in your mouth with each bite. You could easily satisfy your bun cravings with only one.

Service is a little disjointed. Even though they have signs at both ends of the counter telling customers to line up, it ends up much like a traffic jam with line cutters sneaking by, but the staff are efficient and deal with the rush with poise.

Decor is not their strong suite, it's through and through the classic chinese environment but the faces on the customers speak for NTB themselves.

I thought I had found the best buns in town before - these I believe rank supreme.

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Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The15180 32nd Avenue, Surrey
This Keg's a keeper
Submitted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 3:56am [Dine in]

With the Olympics quashing all my choices for Valentine's Day, I went against the grain and left Vancouver and walked into this Keg with my gf and friend in tow.

It was busy as expected and were given a wait time of 30-40 minutes, which ended up being no more than 10 minutes for a prime booth. We even received sampler finger foods for those waiting, a nice touch and a good start.

Red meat was the name of the game, so it was filet mignon and prime rib on our plates. We started off with a few appetizers which were average at best, especially the bland caesar salad. The escargot appie was not a typical find at a chain restaurant, actually it was quite good but overdone with the excess butter. The filet mignon was an average cut at best, but was cooked perfectly and it made the best of a less than ideal piece of meat. The slow roast prime rib was actually a lacking in flavour and required heavy dunks into the au jus and was only average in tenderness. Our brownie sundae really left us feeling full, it's quite a portion probably best shared between 4 people.

Service was a little less typical from a Keg. While our server was very friendly and kept on top of things, it nearly felt like he never visited us at all, though I suspect he must've been working at another section around the corner as well since we never saw him walking past us compared to the throngs of waitresses passing by our table.

I suppose with the sync of the evening, it wasn't quite as lively as Keg's tend to be, but it is everything else a Keg is.

Nothing over the top, but a good experience overall.

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Szechuan Chongqing Seafood1668 West Broadway, #205, Vancouver
Tea time and dim sum
Submitted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 3:38am [Dine in]

I picked up my gf from DT one early morning and ended up doing the early dim sum lunch thing at Chongqing after passing glance at their "$2.95 dim sum all day" window signage.

We arrived before the noon hour rush so they did a hybrid cart/order style system. Actually, there was only 1 cart on the floor since there were about 2 other occupied tables for a while. We ordered the staples without regret, which included the somewhat hard to find taro and minced pork dumplings. Shrimp dumplings are bite size, a little unusual nowadays but pack the same flavour. We even ordered a plate of gently wok cooked watercress, which was fresh and crisp.

Service was almost unusually attentive, which can be hit and miss when it's not busy, but they were all up to snuff without being overbearing.

The decor has some cosmetic updates but it had the feeling of a 15 year old apartment suite. The space itself is actually smaller than I remember and awkward for the carts to go between tables. Not an ideal spot for a large gathering.

There aren't too many dim sum places on the West side of Vancouver that's worth paying for regularly, however this one would be an exception.

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True Confections866 Denman, Vancouver
Rich desserts
Submitted Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 11:01pm [Dine in]

A late night sweet tooth craving brought us here. We've been to the other location many times before so it seemed to make sense to finally try this one out.

The quality is roughly the same as the other location, but $11 for a 2" (at the thickest point) slice of cake is absurd, considering the quality of these cakes compare with grocery store finds (I imagine you'd find the same shtick at the Alma one). The peanut butter frosting on the cheesecake was hard while the cake portion of the classic was dry and crumbly, good signs that these sat in the window for more than just a few days. Subsequently, the peanut butter cheesecake and the classic cheesecake we ordered had a heavy dose of buyer's remorse.

Service is minimal, just enough to meet all the prerequisites for a nice experience.

One of the most blatant restaurant gouging acts yet. Sans them altogether and get a cake from Safeway instead.

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Flying Beaver Bar & Grill4760 Inglis Drive, Richmond
Nice venue, but the food is hit and miss
Submitted Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 10:46pm [Dine in]

My gf and I met up with a friend here to catch the Canucks game. It was pretty packed but luckily our friend arrived first and snagged a seating facing a screen.

The menu has a few non-traditional pub items and tries to be a little outside of the box, perhaps with mixed results. Our friend who's been here before raved about the fish and chips, which I do agree looked good. My burger and fries was decent minus the rather small slice of cheese and the overly tangy grilled onions which, either intended or not for contrast did not bode well on my palette. My gf's ahi tuna salad was served up alongside with some shredded lettuce salad with some unripe mango cubes thrown in, taking up a good 3/4 of the plate. Our yam fries side was fraught with limp strands, but the peppered mayo was excellent. Our Caesar's were awfully bitter; I actually ordered it again to check if it was just a one-off...not.

Our server was on the ball considering the amount of patrons inside that night, so it's hard to fault on the small details.

There are lots of newer tvs around and the look really spoke to me but the food and drinks makes me second guess coming here again. It's also a bit out of the way unless you appreciate the planes in the background flying in and out while you're glued to the screen.

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Closed
Tea Team Bubble Tea4909 Kingsway, Burnaby
Decent addition to the Metrotown area
Submitted Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 4:23am [Dine in]

An after dinner dally brought us to Tea Team. Odd name but a funky little spot. Space is stylish and feels spacious, despite the available space and tidy to boot.

Our slush drinks are blended well, overlooking the lone ice cube in my glass which seems to be a blip. The hues unfortunately screamed artificial flavouring, and consequently the taste is brought down a little, notably my tangerine slush which had a bitter aftertaste. My gf's milk tea was the best of the bunch; I really liked the strong black tea undertones. We noshed on a few standard bubble tea dishes, the green onion pancake with beef running away from the pack. They have a varied food menu which neighbouring tables seemed to ring up. Prices are on the higher end, notably the drinks.

Servers are quick on their feet and like to mingle when they can, but are otherwise all business, if not on the minimal side.

If you overlook the physical surroundings, it doesn't stray from the pack. In the bloated bubble tea gas bubble, this spot is best described as middle of the road.

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Closed
Alexis Greek Restaurant3420 Cambie Street, Vancouver
When the effort is lost
Submitted Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 3:23am [Dine in]

My gf and I picked up our friend back from the airport and we quickly descended towards town center for dinner. We ended up here after another Greek restaurant nearby was too long a wait. Having been to the old location on Broadway before and was less than impressed we'd hope they would rectify themselves the second time around.

We ordered all the must have entrees and started off with a couple of appetizers. The homous was good but our tarama was mostly filler with the bulk of it being mashed potato, then lemon zing then roe - a tangy/sour mashed potatoes with the roe hue. Portions were good but 1 pita each was a bit cheap on their end. My friend and gf's roast lamb was fall off the bone dry. It appears these were made well in advance and consequently time ruined the meat. It was heavily seasoned with a rosemary rub crust but it ended up masking the natural lamb flavour. My lamb chops were overdone though still moderately juicy, but charred to the point where the fatty pieces were acrid. Sides were passable, the roasted potatoes looking and tasting like a regular wedge frie while the rice pilaf was on the cooling end. Prices are par as are portions but the rest is lost.

The decor was boring, a large downgrade from the original location which was nothing spectacular to begin with and only 1 other table occupied while we were there. Perhaps this may have affected the service as we felt rushed from beginning to end. Our waitress asked for drinks the moment we were seated and no more than a minute later asked for orders. There were constant checkups in between (2 of which were unnecessary) and which became interruptive, especially when our dinner plates were being cleared while we were still eating. Saving grace was that there was some mild friendly undertones, especially from the owner/chef.

I see their coupon ads in the local papers often but I suppose those 2 for 1 offers aren't helping considering what we saw.

Second chance was a bust; there won't be a third.

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Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant3388 Main Street, Vancouver
Main St. Mainstay
Submitted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 1:33pm [Dine in]

I met up with a friend for lunch here this week. It's been a long time since we've both been here and it seems to have maintained itself consistently over the years.

Pho and spring rolls again were our cards. Our larges looked bigger than what we actually got, but lots of meat was to be had, but of which was decent at best. It was on the tougher side but that was offset with the jaw gnawing tendon, despite having a few large pieces floating around, which many places are guilty of being stingy on. Broth was good with minimum MSG added. Spring rolls were good but the filling was bland.

You never come to a Vietnamese noodle joint for the service and there is no surprise here. Lone waitress was friendly but her mind was elsewhere. We didn't get any tea or water but that wasn't a dealbreaker for us.

The restaurant is actually pretty clean and has held up well over the years though it feels a little cramped despite the larger space.

The food didn't wow us, but it was comfort food nonetheless.

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Lakeview Restaurant150 Esplanade, Chilliwack
Exactly what one would expect
Submitted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 1:20pm [Dine in]

When you're in a small tourist town, and the bulk of any restaurants extend only to a maximum of one block from the hotel, you probably would be less discriminating. Actually, this what was my friends and I were looking for, a small, no frills, local area diner.

All of us ordered the mainstay breakfast dishes: french toast, corned beef hash and a couple orders with a little bit of everything. Homestyle touch with presentation but the food did the talking. Eggs were cooked right, crispy yet not greasy rough hash and complimentary beverage topup. It was our friend's order that seemed less bang for the buck but mostly because the rest of the dishes were ample.

Very small staff manned the floor and though we beat the morning rush, it started slowing down fast as more diners shuffled in. Friendly persona made for an easy going experience but they get bogged down easily.

Small town diner meant no over the top decor. The simple, effective, unpretentious and comfortable surroundings plays on the local ambiance and it's their simplicity that gets good marks.

Disregard the numerical ratings, as rest assured this is exactly what one should be looking for when you're out of town, and they played it to the T.

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Sumas Sushi Cafe2070 Sumas Way, #108, Abbotsford
Valley Mediocrity
Submitted Monday, January 25, 2010 - 8:07pm [Dine in]

We made an evening pit stop here on the way to a short weekend R&R in Harrison. It's nicely appointed and clean for a strip mall restaurant and the menu choices looked decent.

I went with the dinner bento box to go. It came with all the usual compliments in a bento offering, but it was especially nice to see them use wild salmon for their nigiri. Outside of that however, the rest were mostly misses. It came with a sunomono salad, a combination of rice noodles topped with prawns in a strong, sweet-tangy vinegar sauce which seemed too over the top in taste. It's meant to be eaten first to enhance your appetite, but none was to be had. The teriyaki consisted of 5 thin pieces of chicken with a chinese soup spoonful of rice bedded above a blanket of undercooked cabbage and bean sprouts that covered half of my large styrofoam container. At $19 tax included, it was an expensive experience. The rest of the menu looked much more reasonable however.

Whatever minimal service I received was adequate, so dine in patrons should be satisfied with what they're getting.

If this is the only Japanese restaurant in the area, I would probably come back and avoid what I ordered before to be safe.

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Pho Thai Hoa8328 Capstan Way, #1101, Richmond
Pholicious!
Submitted Friday, January 15, 2010 - 1:45am [Dine in]

My cravings for pho were answered when my gf and I met up with another hungry friend in Richmond for a later evening dinner.

The love boat themed decor seems really tacky, especially as you enter it virtually looks like any other mom and pop pho joint, but it is neat and tidy and fairly unobstrusive at no higher than eye level.

We savaged the menu with double large Pho Dac Biets and spring rolls, a grilled pork salad roll and a Vietnamese sub for the gf. Mind you, the sandwich and salad rolls are not what you're here for, as they were merely ordinary next to the fantastic pho. The dark broth is deep but strong, so strong that it nearly overpowers your tastebuds (a little heavy on the salt, in my opinion). While the overall portion is average, the generous amount of tripe, rare beef and flank is very tender while the tendon actually has bite without the gelatinous glop. The spring rolls are fantastic with an ultra crispy, yet not to thick wrapper. It's light and completely addictive.

The lone staff was friendly but service was rudimentary at best outside of taking and serving orders.

For a great bowl of pho, Pho Thai Hoa makes it happen.

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HML Seafood Restaurant5890 No. 3 Road, #200, Richmond
Service, repugnant
Submitted Monday, January 11, 2010 - 4:48pm [Dine in]

A planned dim sum gathering prompted a visit at one of our safe haven choices. I knew the name had changed but didn't expect a revamp but some glaring differences presented themselves.

Same furnishings but our table, aptly parked next to a large refrigeration/ac unit made for poor surroundings, but it was also situated next to the dirty plates station so we were never inconspicuous per se. We aren't picky with our seating but compared the rest of the room, there is a difference.

Menu appeared to be altered but much of the popular items remain including what looked like some newcomers. Overall, the dishes were slightly par with the previous incarnation but special mention goes out to their desserts (the flakey milk egg tarts and mango and pomelo pudding especially), which were all fantastic, enough to boost their overall food score on an otherwise 3 rating.

The service was the biggest contrast. Much of the old staff appeared to be gone and perhaps combined with the recent re-opening, kinks were to be had and probably made the problems more glaring. Service was best described as disjointed, confused and slow. We waited about 20 minutes before our first dishes arrived. We made 2 orders but never received an updated order sheet, so bussers always had to ask if the dishes they carried were ours. We never received our shrimp dumplings from the first order as it was backlogged so we kept asking on the status but received different answers from different staff. We are quick diners and even in our haste, I don't think we could've trimmed down on our almost 3hr escapade.

All of us liked it enough to be willing to come back so we'll tempt the vapid service but we're hoping it was a one off.

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Guu with Garlic1698 Robson St, Vancouver
Balk at the hype
Submitted Monday, January 4, 2010 - 7:10pm [Dine in]

We ended the holiday vacation with some Sunday evening Izakaya dining, and having already heard of all the plugs about this place at all angles we finally drummed up the courage to wait. Though we had to get our name on the list and get a callback it seemed to be a slow evening as a few couples were able to squeek by after a short wait.

Furnishings actually looked better from the outside then when you're actually sitting inside but it has the ethnic touches all over. I suspect the ambiance is only as good as the company you bring, so bring a good time if you're expecting one.

Despite all the buzz we've heard with the fantastic food, it was more sizzle than steak. While the dishes we ordered were solid enough overall, preparation lacked consistency and refinement. A few dishes we expected to order were already sold out, so we went with the second string choices, ordering nearly a dozen in total. The standout dishes were the soba grill mackerel which was beautifully cooked despite its appearance, the fatty grilled pork cheek and the oden mori thin stew. The ebi mayo and cartilage batter was too oily while the grilled squid was overdone and served with Japanese mayo, a conflicting and lazy combination. The great flavour from the Kukuni stew was ruined by it's main ingredient, the pork belly. While fatty, it was rushed and not rendered down slowly and made it entirely stringy. The rest of our dishes were merely par and easily equalled. What is attractive, and probably a main reason for the hype are their excellent prices. Dollar for dollar, it provides the best value among the local Izakayas.

Service was a nice surprise for an eatery of this type, but nothing over the top. Staff are very friendly and pleasant creating the illusion that they actually enjoy their work to some extent.

I would likely come back, but more for the prices rather than on their food. Maybe it was what we ordered, but many of their dishes are bush league being passed off as big leaguers.

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Kim Phung Vietnamese Restaurant5764 Victoria Dr., Vancouver
Good neighbourhood find
Submitted Saturday, January 2, 2010 - 5:16am [Dine in]

I had heard good things about this place so what better time to try it out than the start of 2010.

Decor is minimal at best and unappealing, but comforting at the same time. If this parallels a streetside restaurant in Vietnam, they could make a good case for it, complete with worn out plastic chopsticks.

My gf and I shared a few items. Our large pho had large slices of flank and rare beef and big pieces of tendon but I found the dark broth lacking in depth. Void of MSG it actually may have taken away some of the flavour. The springrolls were some of the best, a thin rice wrapper tightly wound up the finely minced filling. We were hoping for the crepe (banh xeo) but was no longer available, so we opted for the rudamentary banh mi, which used a disappointing sub-style loaf on an otherwise pretty good sandwich. Portions are indeed smaller than norm as are the prices are higher than norm.

Service is that of one very casually dressed young man. Polite and friendly but nothing to gush over. Kitchen speed is a little slower though in hindsight it is likely a family run operation.

It's a little on the expensive side but so I'm up in the air to come here more than sparingly, but not quite regularly.

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