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CentauriVancouverSince July 21, 200733 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.5)
  • Food3.5 (3.7)
  • Service2.5 (2.7)
  • Value2.5 (2.3)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 33 Reviews Found
ABC Country Restaurant20110 Lougheed Highway, #101, Maple Ridge
What White Spot used to be...
Submitted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 3:46am [Dine in]

I'm really not that old, I swear! When I was young, I remember White Spot being a slightly upscale Denny's; a good place to take the family for an affordable casual meal. Well, as anyone in Vancouver knows, White Spot has turned itself into some attempt at a Keg/Earl's-like chain where "West Coast Fusion" has replaced family cuisine. I suppose I'm disappointed in that, if only for the reason that it's one less easily accessible restaurant for "basic food".

ABC is a great chain if it is indeed quick "regular" food that you're after. Decent breakfasts, lunches and dinners can all be had here at an affordable price. The food is by no means special, but it doesn't try to be, either. This is a place to come for a casual meal with friends or family when you just don't want to cook, and could use a more social atmosphere than your own kitchen.

Have been to this particular location at least half a dozen times, and never been disappointed. True, I haven't really set high expectations, but why would anyone come here with them? I love a 50$ steak as much as the next man, or heck, even a 30$ one at somewhere like Earl's, but sometimes I just want a basic meal at a good price that's filling and fairly tasty.

For anyone looking for that simple meal with good service, try an ABC.

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Waves Coffee House4250 Kingsway, #1, Burnaby
Yup - College.
Submitted Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 3:33pm [Dine in]

The previous reviewer seems fairly flummoxed by the fact that this location (and pretty much every other Wave's out there) is seemingly populated entirely by College/University people. Frankly, I think that's Waves' target demographic; many, if not all of Waves' locations are within short distance of a college campus, either by walking (as in the Coquitlam location) or driving (such as the North Vancouver location).

One also has to consider that many college/university people keep odd hours - many of them sleep in well past what most people would consider 'normal', and stay up very late to get assignments done; I should know, I only graduated six months ago myself! I suppose all I am saying is that this is really the kind of people Waves' attracts, so if you have an issue with students, don't go to a Waves'.

As to the actual coffee, it's pretty good. Given the atrocious garbage that is Starbucks, it's nice to see an alternative that is at least a little better in terms of quality. The coffee is all fair-trade and organic, which I like - I'm not the sort of person who wants to rip off others, and no doubt this policy of Waves' appeals to other socially-conscious people as well.

Service is generally quite decent - no worse than any other coffee chain I've been to, and certainly no worse. Even at three or four in the morning, the people behind the counter are pretty perky, which really helps on those all-nighters!

Food is so-so. I say so-so because 90% of it is junk - pastries, muffins, cakes - the regular coffee house stuff that will just make you fat. The nice thing, however, is that they do offer a few healthy alternatives such as salads and flax-bars, so that those of us who actually want to stay in shape don't have to suffer from nothing to eat, like we do at most coffee chains!

Overall, nice place, always open, decent ambiance. Anyone who has an issue with the demographic the franchise is almost certainly trying to appeal to, however, should probably go look for a more contemporary coffee house.

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Caffe Artigiano4359 Hastings Street, Burnaby
Not bad *shrug*
Submitted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

I'm going to more or less agree with all the previous reviewers in premise, if not with their actual words. Artigiano is supposed to be the premiere coffee chain in Vancouver, and up until I visited this location, I too believed that they could do no wrong.

Well... they can do wrong. And did. The downtown location is flawless - great coffee, great food. Peerless, even. The Park Royal location in West Vancouver is also on par. This one? It's almost as if this was the third-rate franchise cousin of Artigiano that just ripped off its name. The coffee does seem a bit off - not wholly awful, but certainly not up to the standards of the other locations. I don't know if this is due to anything other than what is likely to be poor-quality barristas, though, becuse I am certain the shop uses the same beans and machines as the other locations.

Food was the biggest disappointment, to me. I am not paying eight bloody dollars for a tiny sandwich, nor three dollars for a muffin. I am especially not paying this if they are bland, tasteless lumps of dough. I've always been very health conscious, so the last thing I tried at this location was a whole-wheat scone; it tasted like cooked whole-wheat flour, and that's it, I kid you not.

Something is just 'off' with this location. I'll attribute it to the 'newness' of it, which as of the writing of this post is a couple of months of operation at the most. That said, their grace period is wearing a bit thin, things have to improve.

Lastly, the previous two reviews made me laugh. Someone freaking out because a girl touched her skin a few times while making coffee? Give me a break, stop being a germaphobe. Also, the one who made the comment about 'bitter after taste lingering into the sunset' - you sir win 'most pretentious comment of the year' award.

If you're going to critique a place, try to provide some reasons that don't center around personal hang-ups or cliches.

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Village Taphouse900 Main Street, #1C, West Vancouver
Pretentious, expensive, no value.
Submitted Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 12:06am [Dine in]

Is the food good? Yes, sure it is. This place is a slightly upscale Cactus Club, but takes itself FAR too seriously. Small menu, over-priced, and the whole place has a very pretentious aura, from the decor to the 'hostesses'.

It's hard to say anything truly negative, though. The food is over-priced, but it is tasty. The decor is a bit ordinary, but it certainly isn't in bad taste. Service is acceptable, but it's clear that most hostesess were recruited more for the way they look than the way they perform.

Really, you could do a lot better than this. Go around the corner to Milestones - better service, better food, and better value.

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Rusty Gull Neighborhood Pub175 E. 1St, North Vancouver
Amazing food... and that's it.
Submitted Monday, May 26, 2008 - 9:49pm [Dine in]

For pub food, this has to be one of the best ones out there. They have some amazing chefs here who have whipped up award-winning recipes that will make you forget the greasy slop you have at most pubs. Wide selection, top-quality food. It's that good. Now of course we aren't talking 'haute cuisine', but I truly mean it when I say that this is the pinnacle of pub food - their burgers, especially, are to die for.

The rest of the pub? Not good. At all. Dead-slow service, the place is poorly set up, far too dark, and has a tendency to bring in loud and extremely awful bands.

During the daytime, this is a fantastic place for lunch - no annoying bands, and the large windows at the back bring in lots of natural daylight, making the place look quite nice. Couple with the fantastic grub, and this is a top-notch lunch spot. However, when night comes, and it gets dark... meh... over-crowded and noisy.

Go for lunch, the food is definitely worth it, and the less-busy lunch hour means the service is actually decent enough. Just don't go at night, it's just not worth it.

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Closed
Crumbs Bakery & Cafe22266 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge
Great food and solid service in a rather religious setting
Submitted Friday, May 2, 2008 - 3:27am [Dine in]

Maple Ridge isn't exactly known for haute cuisine, but one thing it does have are very decent mid-range cafes. This one has been around a long, long time, though ownership has changed hands once.

A definite hang-out for locals, the food here is superb, if a bit expensive. This cafe sells award-winning cakes/baked goods, with most awards coming from The Sun, The Province, and some rather prestigious baking competitions. That alone makes a stop here worth a shot, and the baked goods do not disappoint; if you don't care about your waist-line, this is a great place to go.

On the other hand, it does actually have quite a few healthy items, from organic sandwiches and soups to free-trade coffee, all of which are truly excellent, and fresh baked to boot - this place has a FULL kitchen in the back, and everything, right down to the bread sandwiches are served on, is made on premises.

Service is generally friendly, some servers being exceptionally so, others more restrained. All are pleasant and polite, and most are quite willing to help make suggestions (their menu and baked-good selection is huge).

The one odd thing about the place is the HEAVY Christian overtones. The owner is very openly Christian, as are a number of the people that work there. There's Christian imagery and signs all throughout the place, and even bibles and even MORE Christian imagery in the bathrooms! I can't really call this a negative feature, but the glaring religious paraphenalia throughout the place is a bit odd for a Cafe that doesn't directly market itself at the relgious crowd. I just come for the food and coffee!

P.S. - They have a great website.

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Rebellious Tomato2951 Lonsdale Avenue, Vancouver
This is 'health' pizza, you guys don't get it.
Submitted Friday, April 18, 2008 - 3:09am [Dine in]

I see comments like "almost no cheese" and "less toppings" and "thin crust".

Perhaps you fellows missed it, but this pizza is aimed at the health-conscious. Thin crust means less calories, and less starch. Fewer toppings, especially meats, means less fat. Less cheese means the same. Overall, it means a lot less grease, and a big favour to your waist-line. You really can't expect "health pizza" to compare to the 'no holds barred' calorie-fest of a regular place, and I think people are probably dissappointed because they are comparing RT's pizza to those sorts of places.

If this was a 'regular' pizza joint, and the pizza had problems like no cheese and a super-thin-crust-only option, there would be no excuse - I agree. However, when you take into this place's *express* statement on its menu that it is trying to be healthy - tell me, how else will you make pizza healthy, one of the highest-calorie foods there is, if you don't reduce the toppings and the thickness of the crust?

Not every pizza has to have a two-inch thick crust and three pounds of meat and cheese to be enjoyable, I don't think. However, if you disagree on that point, you can always go to a more mainstream joint, because this place really isn't aimed at your particular tastes, then.

If, however, you are health-conscious, and like the idea of eating organic, there really is no better option.

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Closed
Jabula Coffee Company19141 Ford Road, #101, Pitt Meadows
Extremely solid, everything you want in a coffee-house
Submitted Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 2:32pm [Dine in]

I used to live in North Vancouver, within easy reach of Cafe Artigiano amongst other snobby coffee shops. Now living in Pitt Meadows, finding any eatery of any kind above the quality of a White Spot is pretty tough. I certainly hope that the arrival of Jabula is indicative that suburban mediocrity (in terms of coffee especially) is becoming a thing of the past.

The food is largely made on site, which is great. The sandwiches are better than anything you'll find at the nearby subway, as are the wraps, and the baked goods are all baked on premises as well - none of this marked-up and store-bought garbage. The coffee is (of course) the most important thing. The beans themselves are great quality, sourced from JJ Bean, one of Vancouver's premier roasters. The Barista's are variable in quality - some know how to make an excellent cup of coffee (the owner, for one), others are sorely in need of some lessons. That's alright, though - practice and time will bring them around, I am sure.

Service is great. Both the owner and the rather attractive ladies he has working for him are all very friendly and sociable, differing greatly from the 'pleasant but stiff' service you'd normally find in many other cafes. Part of the attraction of a good coffee shop should indeed be the people working there.

Ambiance is very nice. Definitely going with the African vibe, it certainly works. It's noticeable inside, in terms of decor, but it isn't gratuitous by any means; a few pieces of African artwork, and a floor-scheme reminiscent of dusty plains certainly create the atmosphere.

Overall, while this place isn't on par with the absolute pinnacle of snobby coffee joints in Vancouver, it is a very close 'second place', and certainly carries none of that pretentious aura that the Artigiano's of the world do.

Highly recommended. Who'd have thought to find somewhere this good in Pitt Meadows?

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Waves Coffee House93 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Overall, it has a niche!
Submitted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 1:01am [Dine in]

As a recent graduate from university, and soon-to-be graduate student, I find myself living strange hours. I go to sleep around four AM, get up around noon. Love it while you can eh? My real problem has always been finding somewhere to go out, late at night, for food/coffee/somewhere to study that doesn't have the distractions of home. Waves fits the bill, and I'd wager 90% of its clientele (from the the looks of things) are fellow students, or ex-students.

The food is quite good, but not being an actual restaurant, it's hard to give it more than three stars. Good selection of junk food for those who don't care about their waist lines, but there are things like flax bars for health nuts like myself - that's a welcome departure from most coffee shops which won't sell anything not loaded with sugar or fat.

Service is... slow. Barristas vary widely in quality, and so I've never really had a consistently good drink there. It's never been bad, and it's always better than any Starbucks, but the real discrepancy in quality from server to server really does show. The actual quality of the coffee is quite high. I'd say 7.5/10 - it's organic and fair trade, and fresh roasted, which puts it ahead of most chain coffee stores (hint: Starbucks).

Ambiance is both nice, and not so nice. Nice is the modern decor, the comfy leather chairs, and relaxed atmosphere. Not nice is the drafty door, the crowded and often loud premises (many people clacking away on laptops and discussing subjects is never quiet). It's a bit claustrophobic - when busy, the place is really packed, and far too loud.

Overall, though, an outstanding package. Open all the time, with tasty junk and health food, quality coffee, and baristas who usually make a very fine drink. Hard to beat a solid coffee shop that never closes, especially for a coffee connoisseur and night-owl like myself!

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Burgoo3 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver
Has a real chef's endorsement
Submitted Sunday, March 9, 2008 - 2:45am [Dine in]

My brother is a Dubrulle graduate and international cooking competition podium-placer, and very much enjoyed his experience here, both in terms of food quality and service. That alone is probably a better endorsement than the one I am about to give here, but I figure that if someone as accustomer to haute cuisine as he is can enjoy a 'comfort' food restaurant, it's well worth mentioning.

The restaurant is very homely inside, quite comfortable. It reminds me of the inside of a ski-lodge, very rustic and warm, with a large fireplace and bedecked with old travel posters. It's perhaps a bit 'too' rustic in some ways, but it fits the food, so it gets solid marks.

Service is decent. The hostess was kind enough, as was our waitress, but likely due to the fact that the restaurant was extremely busy, we often had to wait a long time in between being 'seen'. Perhaps the best thing to say is that the actual quality of the server was excellent, but the restaurant really should invest in MORE servers, so that customers receive more attention.

Finally, the food. It's comfort food to be sure, stews and the like from the world over, from lamb tagine to Irish stew and half a dozen daily-made soups. Interesting salads, monthly specials, a wide and diverse liquor selection, and some fantastic desserts (try the English toffee pudding) complete the menu. Everything was... excellent. Really, it's best to experience the food to appreciate it, my lexicon can't really put it into words. The only thing stopping this from being a five-star food review is the fact that it *is* comfort food - nothing here is incredibly revolutionary or unusual, so the food loses a point for creativity... but arguably no one comes here for creative food, they come for quality, and it has heaps of that.

This place is *always* busy and has great reviews for a reason. If you want semi-classy 'home cooking' (I bet you didn't think 'classy' home cooking was possible, but it is), then come here.

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Closed
Prima Taste Restaurant570 Robson Street, Vancouver
The real deal, if you like that
Submitted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 4:33pm [Dine in]

I've been to Singapore before, for quite an extended period of time. It's an odd place where fusion food is very much the modus operandi, as Singapore does serve as a gathering place for almost all of the Southern Asian countries.

The food here is almost uniformly true to Singaporean form, and for that alone, it deserves note. Singaporean cuisine, being fusion, arguably requires a fair bit of effort and understanding in order to get the flavours right. Everything I had here tasted as good, or near as good, to what I was able to get in Singapore itself. Only one complaint - the chicken in the traditional Chicken Rice is always cold at this place - that's not the way I ever saw it done in Singapore. Curried crab, the Laksa, the roti... everything is as authentic as possible, and that's well worth appreciating.

Portion sizes vary widely. Some dishes, even those meant for sharing, are pathetically tiny, meaning that if you have more than two people, you're going to be racking up a big bill. This place is certainly not over-priced, but it's far from "a good deal" either.

Service is poor. Most of the servers I have had in past visits are clearly "ESL" or English as a second language. This seems to be the issue for many foreign restaurants, and while perhaps unavoidable, the awkwardness of communication in what is supposed to be a moderately upscale restaurant in downtown Vancouver is inexcusable. Service is also slow; dishes come out sporadically, with things arriving in a different order from which one ordered them (i.e. appetizers last). This has happened on multiple occasions.

Ambiance is dull, dry, and sterile. Almost entirely white, just a few pictures of Singapore around. If you like the trendy 'modern' look, you might get a kick out of it, but the place is neither warm, nor inviting.

Four stars for the food, which is indeed excellent, but everything else needs improvement.

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Closed
Lazy Bay Cafe & Bakery1151 Mt Seymour Road, North Vancouver
Good... and bad
Submitted Monday, December 24, 2007 - 6:18am [Dine in]

This place has been around for ages, now. It's an odd place, a cafe that aspires to be bakery, restaurant, and coffee shop all in one.

As a coffee shop, this place succeeds; prices are cheaper than Starbucks or some comparable chain, and the coffee is actually decent - no over-roasted garbage here. The assortment of baked goods for those who don't care a dime for their health is varied, and fresh-made on the premises to boot (it's quite good when I allow myself a cheat).

As a bakery, this place is also successful. Fresh artisan breads, cakes, pies, cookies, pastas, quiches... you name it, they probably are making it. Quality is high even by discerning standards, but prices are also high, which means that you're not going to find a bargain here. Still, so few decent bakeries exist that this one is indeed worth trying all the same - it's not a complete rip-off.

As a restaurant, this place fails. It fails horribly. They have recently started offering VERY expensive dinners - we're talking 30$ or more for a full meal at what really is no bigger or better appointed than an above-average coffee shop. I'm sure this 'restaurant' phase is just an experiment, and judging by both the price and lack of people actually forking out the ridiculous prices for meals here at dinner-time, I doubt it will last long. I was curious and tried dinner here, and while it WAS certainly good, it was by no means worth the price - low sales means they can't drop those prices I suppose.

Ambiance gets a "1" due to the cramped nature, the hard and uncomfortable chairs, and the fact that place is freezing cold 9/10's of the year... one of the draftiest places I've ever been in.

It's worth a visit as a coffee shop or bakery, but don't eat a meal here unless money isn't an object.

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Eighties Restaurant110 West 14th St., North Vancouver
White Spot Replacement
Submitted Monday, December 24, 2007 - 6:08am [Dine in]

Was no one else disappointed when White Spot went from a clean "upscale" Denny's to a faux West Coast fusion restaurant? I sure was. We have enough pretentious restaurants in Vancouver, I don't think an iconic chain like White Spot really needed to sell out... sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, but it does fit this review!

The 80's Restaurant is what White Spot *was* - an affordable family dining experience. I'm a recent university graduate, so money is still tight for me, but when I need a quick hearty meal that isn't going to be a grease-fest like Denny's, and isn't going to cost a fair bit like a Cactus Club, I come here. Service is quick and attentive, the menu selection is diverse and highly affordable, and the food is entirely edible and always quite decent.

For what you pay, there are few places that compare to the 80's Restaurant. If you're someone who misses the 'old' White Spot, like I know many do, I'd recommend trying this place - it has survived many years for a reason.

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Jagerhof Schnitzel House71 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver
Where else in Vancouver can you get authentic German?
Submitted Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 3:46pm [Dine in]

German cuisine is not exactly internationally renowned as being of exceptional creativity. I've been to Germany a couple of times, and while that does NOT qualify me as an expert, I found many of the things I ate there to be present at the Jagerhof. Cheeses, cured meats, schnitzel (naturally), meat-heavy dishes and breads and potatoes; what North Americans would call 'comfort food'. It is cooked very well here - everything has always arrived very hot, not at all greasy or oily, and the number of authentic dishes they have is a real delight. I took my good German friend one day, and he said it was a lot like what he had back home, and well done at that - so there's a positive endorsement!

The atmosphere is nice; it has a lot of historical pictures of the old Hapsburg rulers, military officers, and many traditional elements you might find in a German hunting lodge. Pair this with copious amounts of excellent German beer (both on tap and in a bottle), and it's very hard not to kick back and enjoy yourself.

Service is pretty solid; nothing fantastic, but waitresses have always been helpful and attentive, and fairly quick in getting everything done.

Perhaps most important to mention is the fact that there is nowhere (to my knowledge) besides this place that serves nothing but 'real' German food. If you want to diversify your palette, and experience what many North Americans would call 'good home cooking', definitely try this place.

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Cheshire Cheese Inn123 Carrie Cates Court, #218, North Vancouver
British food done right
Submitted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 2:24am [Dine in]

Well, there really isn't such a thing as "English cuisine", anymore than there really is "Irish cuisine", or "Scottish cuisine"; not many UK-area countries are known for epicurean delights.

Still, England did invent pub food, and this place faithfully recreates many favourite dishes, from scratch, such as shepherd's pie, toad in the hole, spotted dick, etc. etc. The food may be a bit pedestrian for those West-Coasters who are used to asian-fusion and all sorts of exotic ethnic-hybrid restaurants, but you don't go for pub food for fancy or interesting, you go for a filling meal and quality food with friends. That is what this place delivers, so it is unreasonable to expect otherwise.

Stick to ordering the British food, though, which by and large is amazing. Their regular pub food (i.e. burgers) is not terribly interesting, however, and the only reason they get a three for food rating - their British food deserves a four.

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Closed
Memphis Blues Barbeque House1629 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Solid BBQ!
Submitted Monday, September 3, 2007 - 1:53am [Dine in]

A good taste of the south, quick and fresh food, and really tasty meat. The pulled pork sandwich was absolutely loaded, very generous portions are provided for all items on the menu.

I found the waiter quite helpful in suggesting what was worth picking - he actually chose everything for my whole party, and no one was disappointed!

And to the person saying a nose ring scares customers away? Be less judgemental please, this isn't a five-star restauarant in downtown; good food is good food, lets not nitpick over how the people that cook it dress!

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Bean Around The World3598 Main, Vancouver
Some of the choicest roasts, anywhere.
Submitted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 8:27pm [Dine in]

Bean Around the World is a coffee shop for snobs; the type who know full-well what over-roasted trash Starbucks and other massive corporate chains produce.

With different varietal beans from all over the globe, small-batch roasted by professionals, any coffee you buy from them is about as good as it gets. I frequently buy my beans here to take home to make in my own grind/brew machine, and I have NEVER been disappointed. For those in the 'know' on coffee, this is the place to come.

Their food/ambience/service is about average for a coffee shop, though. Nothing terribly special is served, but it's tasty if you want to eat junk, and the service is never awful.

I gave the food a "5" based on the quality of the coffee.

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White Spot333 Brooksbank Ave, #1100, North Vancouver
Not what it used to be...
Submitted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - 4:53am [Dine in]

Whitespot isn't what it used to be, and it seems many people forget that. It used to be casual dining for the family, better quality than a Denny's, but not so expensive as a Keg.

White Spot has become more pretentious now, with delusions of grandeur; what started out as a good family restaurant/burger shack has become some sort of Keg-wannabe. Prices have gone up considerably, and food has become some sort of asian-influenced West-Coast fusion.

The food is good for what it is, service is still above average, and if anything, decor and ambience has improved. However, most people I know prefer Whitespot as the more moderate-scale casual place it used to be - and I'm not talking old people, we're talking mid-20's here!

All in all, a decent place to eat, but I think it has lost something by trying to compete with the Earl's and Keg's out there.

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Boathouse Restaurant, The6695 Nelson Avenue, West Vancouver
An excellent meal at an excellent location
Submitted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 4:00pm [Dine in]

The Boathouse has been around for a very long time; there's good reason for it. Nestled in Horseshoe Bay, out in the water, it is both far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown and sufficiently scenic to attract many visitors every night of the week.

The food is, unsurprisingly, geared towards seafood; from shark fin soup to rare fish-specials of the given week, everything is fresh and well prepared. Considering that I myself generally do not like seafood (it all has that "fishy" taste) I was surprised on my many past visits here to note that none of my dishes had such taste! I guess that's fresh seafood for you. Those who absolutely will not touch anything from the ocean are not out of luck, however. Steaks and poultry are indeed available, and are done remarkably well by a restaurant which specializes in everything *but* land-based food!

Service is average, and can slow down a bit on a busy night in what is a very large (two storey) restaurant; if you're not willing to accept this as simply a result of logistics, I'd recommend a smaller dining establishment. That said, servers are friendly and helpful, and were very good at suggesting something that even a non-seafood lover would enjoy.

All in all - well worth a trip. It's not a cheap place to eat by any means, but for a fairly "upscale" dinner with a view, this place is among the best.

And to the people that said they thought they were ignored (perhaps) because they were asian... I surely hope you don't mean that; many tourists (because of horseshoe bay and the nearby Island) come through the establishment all the time, and all that I've ever seen are having a good time!

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Old Spaghetti Factory53 Water Street, Vancouver
A tourist attraction, a decent meal at a fair price.
Submitted Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 5:22am [Dine in]

I seriously think that the relatively low reviews for this chain are coming from people who expect FAR too much for the very LITTLE that they are paying for their meals.

The pasta always tastes decent, fresh and hot, never mushy (not to my long experience). Service is usually quite good, and for a small sum, all the fresh bread you can eat, a salad, a main course, and ice cream and tea or coffee which is refillable. How many restaurants, let alone ones in "prime" areas, are able to supply this? Very few, to my knowledge.

I eat healthy, so pasta is a definite no-no for me, usually, but when I have a craving for Italian, and a "cheat" meal is ok, I can't think of many other places I'd prefer to come for simple food that is quite so affordable.

The ambience is also excellent - dark and be-decked with old posters and relics. Naturally, the massive (and authentic) trolley car is what makes the place quite different from your ordinary restaurant; it's not corny, it's actually quite... cute.

Regardless, for a good meal at a fair price, come here. If you want to be snobby about pasta, don't come here - what are you expecting for under ten dollars?

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