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buffysummersEast VancouverSince June 10, 200918 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.9)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service2.5 (2.6)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3 (3.1)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 Reviews Found
Closed
Two Chefs and a Table305 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Surly and unprofessional
Submitted Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 8:28pm [Dine in]

The food itself was not memorable, which made my experience at this restaurant all the more infuriating.The hostess who answered the phone was incredibly rude, and gave me such attitude when I asked to make a Monday reservation. Their website clearly states "New Hours: Monday through Saturday", etc., and so imagine my surprise when she snapped in a surly voice that they did not have dinner service on a Monday. You know those conversations that get awkward because you think perhaps you misinterpreted another person's rudeness and give them a chance to make amends? Well, this was one of those conversations. I tentatively told her about the website and laughed nervously as she snapped again and said that it was wrong and then all but hung up on me. Confused, I left a short inquiry on their Facebook page: "Hello, I saw that you have Monday dinner service but was told on the phone that you do not? I am curious as I would like to come in for dinner this Monday." I went back 20 minutes later to find that they had erased my comment. That should have deterred me, but I kept thinking that I was imagining things, that no one could be THAT rude. I finally called back and tried to talk to the woman again, this time quite nervous, and she again lost her temper with me and said those were their WINTER hours, that they hadn't changed their website, her tone implying I was a dunce and a waste of her time. I finally did make it there, after debating whether this was a good idea, and the food was ... fine. It was straightforward, as one would expect, but I think I was more disappointed after having such a negative experience and then NOT having a lovely meal. It was ok. I'd rather go to another restaurant on Granville Street that has similar fare and warm, welcoming staff who make you feel like part of the neighbourhood.

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Meat & Bread370 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Typical for Gastown, but at least it tastes good
Submitted Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 12:33pm [Dine in]

I, personally, enjoy fatty, greasy food with lots of juice and sauce, so the trimmings and crisped skin in the porchetta sandwich are exactly what I like about it. It's not the single most amazing thing I have ever eaten, and does bear a strong resemblance to cheap Chinatown pork, but I still think it makes for a tasty sandwich. My only gripe is that their service is pretty variable, at times just fine and at others piss-poor, and I think they could really do with fewer egos and more pleasantries. I'm tired of Vancouver being filled with these holier-than-thou restaurants that are so image-conscious that they forget to be polite or professional.

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Diamond, The6 Powell Street, Vancouver
The perfect ambiance to gawk and whisper
Submitted Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 7:01pm [Dine in]

The drinks are often quite good, which is a huge plus for them, yet the menu is quite limited and simply ... okay. The gyozas are pretty much the only thing I would consistently order. The servers are either happy, spaced out, harried, or too cool for school, but they all more or less fall under the "hipster" category, so this place appeals to a lot of Vancouverites. The owner, Josh Pape, has an air of having done it all before -- shaking his drinks as though he could easily do it in his sleep, allowing his mind to drift back to what, judging by his constantly down-turned mouth, can only be a very unpleasant memory. (Still -- though he's not exactly the friendliest bloke to everyone, he isn't exactly rude, either.) This provided much fodder for story-telling, however, and my friend and I were able to entertain ourselves for hours trying to guess what would make the owner of one of Vancouver's hottest places look so bored with it all. For this reason, and because the atmosphere is fantastic -- the wallpaper, lighting, location, exposed brick, warm colours, secret doors, vintage glassware -- I consistently have a very pleasant time, indeed.

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Closed
Ensemble850 Thurlow St, Vancouver
The quality is there, the service is not
Submitted Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 6:47pm [Dine in]

I try not to let hype influence my reviews of a restaurant. I went to Ensemble thinking that it might be okay because it had great pictures on its website and some fairly interesting-sounding dishes. It is owned by the very well-respected Dale MacKay, so that piqued my interest; however, this is Vancouver, after all, and it's hard to find a decent restaurant that is consistent, let alone innovative.

So, the hostess experience was unpleasant right off that bat. Perhaps she was new? Smug hostesses do not make me feel like I want to sit down and have a pleasant dining experience. Thankfully, the other hostess was perfectly ... civil. My friend and I then waited for what felt like an eternity (more like 15 minutes) before a server acknowledged our existence. They were too busy chatting each other up and disappearing into back rooms to re-emerge empty-handed, then lean against something and smirk. We finally got water and ordered our drinks and dishes. It was a casual atmosphere, so I forgive our server for explaining things haphazardly, though it would have been nice if she hadn't forcefully interrupted us when we were deep in conversation, or if she'd come 'round when we tried multiple times to catch her -- or anyone's -- attention. The food itself brought up some conflicting feelings: the ingredients were fresh, the preparation can't be faulted -- but the food itself was quite boring. Perhaps I was expecting too much? I chose dishes that I thought would illustrate the chef's creativity and skill, and I was disappointed in that respect. I understood what they were going for, but I didn't want to order any of the dishes ever again. They included the crab in melon soup, the foie gras sundae, and the pork belly. The latter was the best of the three because it had the addition of Brussels sprouts, cashews, and pear, creating nice texture and a good contrast to the salty, fatty pork. The other dishes were slightly mismatched and uninteresting, the foie gras sundae having no discernible flavour aside from the apricot. All in all, I would give it a miss -- and it hurts me to say that!

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L'Abattoir217 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Can restaurants be compared to a spoiled teenager? Yes!
Submitted Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 6:33pm [Dine in]

I've visited twice now. I should explain that though I had a mediocre experience the first time, I miss the old Irish Heather and returned for the room alone. They converted it into a fairly decent space with some atmosphere. However, the first time I went, the food was surprisingly not good. It is their recipes that are the problem: the croquettes with oysters did not go together, as who puts flavourless, deep-fried food next to fresh oysters? The terrine was perfectly good, yet the raviolis were watery and overcooked with some sort of bland "sauce" (read: runny salsa) on top, and the chickpea crab mousse was perfectly nice presentation-wise but, as a server pointed out, impossible to eat without mashing it up into an unattractive lump. The drinks were consistently good, indicating that the majority of the skill was concentrated behind the bar. The service was pretentious that night -- well, downright condescending, actually. The servers were very interested in themselves and the owner does not like people who aren't yes men -- he struggled to not have a tantrum at us for remarking that we thought a dish was just okay. Instead, he gave a long speech about perspective and how ours did not reflect the general opinion out there -- which was fine, because the general opinion out there isn't worth much. The second night, I had dessert there and that was lovely -- an Earl Grey pot de creme which had a wonderful, intense flavour that wasn't artificial-tasting. The server was much nicer than the bartenders, if somewhat forgetful, but a breath of fresh air in an otherwise heavy-handed place. I just felt that the whole enterprise depended too much on image, yet the food and atmosphere did not live up to the standard they were trying to project. It is very reflective of the worst aspects of Vancouver culture: pretentious, self-congratulatory -- all talk with little to back it up. But boy, do they have an amazing PR machine going!

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Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro663 E 15th Ave, Vancouver
Not bad, but there are better!
Submitted Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 8:38pm [Dine in]

The food is authentic, but I wouldn't say it was properly prepared. On two separate occasions, the food was overcooked: sweetbreads were cold and tough, steak was overcooked, mussels on the rubbery side from being cooked too long. Yet, my friends -- whose taste I trust in food -- went on another occasion and enjoyed the salad with lardons. This leads to me to believe that if you play it safe and order small plates and avoid seafood, you should be okay. Either that, or it's just a case of it being very hit and miss, a problem that I don't have with other French bistros in Vancouver.

One thing I'd like to add: I made a reservation there for my friend's birthday, and even called back to change the number of diners to 2 and confirm the time. My friend arrived to find there was a reso for 4, for an hour later. They sat us at the bar, as they had no table for us, and claimed that I had made the change myself. Turns out, they had called the person above me in the reso book and that person had made these changes, and it had been written over my name. After all this, I would have expected that the next table coming up should be ours, or complimentary drinks while we waited, or SOMETHING. But there was nothing, not even an apology from the manager. And the server did not speak to me the entire evening, which made ordering awkward.

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Cactus Club Cafe588 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Rolling my eyes as I write this
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:47am [Dine in]

I used to go to Cactus when it first became popular. However, their mediocre food and whoring out of waitresses finally got to me and I stopped going. Then Rob Feenie got involved, and they opened a new place in Bentall 5, so I decided to give it another try on my birthday. BAD IDEA. The space and location and perfect for those useless business lunches between creepy guys in suits which, oddly, tells you a lot about the food. It is middle-of-the-road, not very tasty stuff that would satisfy a guy who didn't know any better and is too busy ogling a waitress in a short skirt to care. My spaghetti was sour and otherwise flavourless -- a flaw in the recipe, I'd imagine. The waitress was barely disguising how irritated she was at talking to us, unceremoniously clanking things down and breezing off before I'd finished ordering. Just another douchebag-y place in Vancouver -- surprise, surprise.

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Closed
Pen Cafe, The319 Governors Court, #101, New Westminster
Warm and friendly staff, great location
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:36am [Dine in]

This is one of those restaurants that you go to if you like spending a lazy afternoon with good friends having a pretty straightforward lunch or breakfast. Regarding the previous review, I think it's laughable that one would expect the staff to accommodate all of these ridiculous complaints. It's a place for families and regulars and not for people who gripe about people moving tables and perfect hollandaise sauce. It's burgers and brekky, for crying out loud! Yeah, I asked for a thick milkshake and she honestly told me that it depended on what the freezer came up with that day -- so it was runny -- but she was so nice that I couldn't complain. It's honest, no-frills food in a charming setting, and I've had nothing but great experiences with the place!

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Twisted Fork Bistro1147 Granville Street, Vancouver
Love this place!
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:29am [Dine in]

The staff are friendly, while the food is delicious and a pretty good value. The space, while narrow, is warm and inviting. Their brunches are great and inexpensive, and their Sunday dinners are a quite good and decently priced for Vancouver. I would highly recommend it -- absolutely one of my favourites.

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Havana Restaurant1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Lucky they have a patio
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:21am [Dine in]

This is one of the few places that is consistently busy on Commercial Drive -- on sunny days. It has a large patio and an interesting interior, but that's pretty much all it has going for it. There are about two dishes on the entire menu that are haflway decent, and everything else is just lousy and inedible. The crabcakes are rubbery and sit like a lead brick, but their pasta is sometimes okay. It's all extremely, extremely overpriced -- although I imagine the crowd it attracts wouldn't think so. Some of the staff are friendly, and the other half are horribly rude, so fingers crossed that you get the nice waitress who actually comes back to your tabel and takes your order within the first half hour.

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Revel Room238 Abbott Street, Vancouver
Cute little place!
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:11am [Dine in]

I go here one to two times a week and I usually have very good experiences. I agree that it's somewhat inconsistent -- the quality of my food varies wildly, from almost-raw burgers to well-done ones, and some days you can get what you want and others you can't. It depends entirely on whom you speak with and who's in the kitchen that night. However, their live music nights are fantastic and the staff is warm without being effusive or fake. The bartenders are frighteningly knowledgeable about cocktails and liquor in general, and so I highly recommend getting a little history lesson behind your drink if you get the opportunity!

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Sophie's Cosmic Cafe2095 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver
Mediocre Food, Even Worse Service
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 3:07am [Dine in]

The food here is pretty standard -- neither tasty, nor memorable. What was shocking was the price; while the dishes are a fair size, I still thought they were quite pricey. To top it all off, the staff can be unbelievably rude. I don't need a person to fawn all over me, but if I tell you there are insects in my salad, don't give me a dirty look and shrug and say, "Well, that's just more protein" and saunter off. I can't believe what passes for customer service in this city -- a simple smile and apology would have been more than enough, but giving me a condescedning sniff and walking away? And this is not the first time I've had this type of experience here. Blech.

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Chez Faye Cafe1168 Hamilton Street, Suite 101, Vancouver
Real Fresh Food and Good Service? Can't be Yaletown!
Submitted Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 12:25pm [Dine in]

... But it is! What I like I about Chez Faye is that it does everything I like and is the exact opposite of the places I despise in Vancouver. I love coming here for fresh sandwiches that taste like actual chicken or turkey. They are simple and tasty, not piled high with exotic, but ill-matching ingredients. I love their light, creamy soups which aren't over-salted or too gloopy.Best of all, I adore their service, as the owner is funny, accommodating, and quite genuine. Unlike other Yaletown locales, the service is neither simpering nor snotty -- wow!

If you like restaurants simply because they're "different" or over-hyped, then it's not the place for you. I argue that they need to give their palate a rest from the riot of overdone, over-dressed, over-seasoned food from other restaurants around the city (and especially Yaletown) and try some delicious, straightforward, and healthy food at Chez Faye!

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Closed
Refuel Restaurant1944 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
Unpleasant experience!
Submitted Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 1:25am [Dine in]

If you don't know much about food or trust whatever your friends or the newspaper tell you, then Fuel is fine. If you have expectations that your food should taste good, especially if it's expensive, then this isn't the place for you. Appetizers were bland -- basic salad, very strong beef broth, their charcuterie was fine but boring -- you get the picture. The main dishes: lamb that was mainly fat, one halibut overcooked so it was rubbery and tasted like thawed frozen cod, one solid mass of tuna undercooked, forgot truffle gastrique on three separate scallop dishes ... We didn't know each other well, just there for a common friend, but we all managed to be embarrassed about the food.

The server wasn't pleasant and when my friend e-mailed the owner, he said she was just nervous. Unfortunately, it came across as her being angry the whole night.

All in all, I can honestly say this was a really all-around negative experience. Service aside, the food really was amazingly mediocre and at times, even bad. I wish my friend had had a better birthday. Maybe just go there for their fried chicken Fridays. I get the feeling that's what they do best.

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Marcello Pizzeria1404 Commercial, Vancouver
Great pasta!
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:33am [Dine in]

I love their spaghetti alla vongole and their pizzas. The smell is intoxicating as you drift by the restaurant, and I feel compelled to go in every time I'm within two blocks of the place. I haven't ordered from their wine or drinks list, nor have I tried their desserts, but I do really like their pasta. I'm especially appreciative of the fact that the spaghetti is actually al dente, unlike most places that I've been to in the city where they either overcook it or re-heat precooked pasta.

I think a lot of people in this city know this restaurant's reputation for service, which isn't great, but it's not the worst I've had.

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Guu with Garlic1698 Robson St, Vancouver
How can anyone not like this place?
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:26am [Dine in]

I always have great food here. I love their tuna tataki, duck salad, mashed potato fritters, yaki udon, and the list goes on. I didn't like their drinks, as they are sort of weak and tend to be sweet, but the food there is just yummy. I do wish they had more specials, as I've eaten almost all of their dishes many times over, but I'll gladly keep on eating the same thing if it's always htis tasty. I love the fact that a dinnerf or two with a big beer comes under $40. My favourite dish is their salmon on rice in broth. Mmmmm ... brings a warm glow to my heart.

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Kam's Bakery & Restaurant2419 Main St., Vancouver
My idea of comfort food
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:22am [Dine in]

If I ever need some real comfort food, or I have a bit of a stomach ache. I always head over to Kam's and have their vermicelli with shredded pork and preserved vegetables. It' s so yummy, and the value is fantastic! It's not much in the way of ambiance, but it's a cheap Chinese restaurant, so I don't think that's a huge concern of theirs. I happen to like, it though: it's straightforward and no-nonsense, and I've converted a few people to their noodles and tuna sandwiches now!

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East is East3243 W. Broadway, Vancouver
Warm, fun and friendly!
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:17am [Dine in]

The food was yummy and fun to share, the server was just lovely, and the ambiance was terrific! Aside from the overwhelming scent dispenser, the place was pretty spectacular in terms of mood and atmosphere -- the live music is a special treat. Do try it if you feel like getting away from the buzz of city life for a while!

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