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hardcore harveyEast Vancouver, BCSince January 16, 201132 Reviews
Average Rating
2.5 (2.7)
  • Food2.5 (2.7)
  • Service2.5 (2.7)
  • Value3 (2.8)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.4)

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 32 of 32 Reviews Found
Red Wagon, The2296 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
dollars for details
Submitted Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 6:05pm [Dine in]

On my third visit to The Red Wagon, I opted for breakfast. Previously I had griped about the smallish portions for the price point at this cute little cafe on a bustling section of Hastings-Sunrise but was enthusiastic about the overall vibe and cheerful attitude I encountered. This day I ordered a standard breakfast of 2 eggs, sausage, h-browns and toast washed down with coffee. I couldnt quite finish the grub so portions are about right so far as breakfast goes anyway. The meal was a cut above what most greasy spoons serve up for half the cost. For one thing, the meal wasnt greasy and the ingredients are slightly better quality perhaps...IE free range eggs and locally sorced b-fast links. Their coffee IS quite good too. You pay for the little things here. The cool music, the better trained cooks perhaps,better ingredients, the spare but funky decor, cheerful, if slightly unfocused service etc. My meal with tip came to $15. That's steep in this hood. I tend to not mind paying extra for small details so I'll wander in again. Its licenced now and there's a small dinner menu.

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Carthage Cafe1851 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Succlent mussels, perfect pomme frites.
Submitted Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 6:05pm [Dine in]

Tiny Carthage Cafe has built up a loyal clientele these last few years, offering classic French cuisine along side some honestly prepared Tunisian fare. Commercial Drive doesnt have any other resteraunts doing French/Euro classics such as Coquille St Jaques or Chicken Zurichois so it seems to fill a niche. Homesick expats find solace in the hearty cous cous or tangine main dishes.

There are a half dozen mussel recipes to choose from. Splitting one of these is a wise decision. Under direction from our knowledgable and professional server we opted for a simple variation..pure French: Scallions, white wine and whole cream. They were superb. Served with baguette and perfectly executed french fries, the plump shellfish were among the finest I've ever had. An generous portion made it an absolute steal for $12

Next up, the mains. My friend chose one of 3 daily specials, the aforementioned Chicken Zurichois. Classic French bistro style, heavy on the whole cream and white wine reduction. Spiked with grainy mustard, the dish satisfied. It was served with roast potato and some mixed vegetables. My quibble would be the $25 price tag. At least $5 high. Note: Dinner specials here are pricey from what I can see. My cous cous dish was dubbed The Carthage. The dish consisted of a lamb shank, some chicken breast,Merguez sausage,(forgive my spelling!) combined with some root vegetables, some light tomato sauce served over couus cous and chickpeas. A monster portion that had me reeling halfway through. Sadly, I encounterd my arch-enemy...a turnip around this point. Phewy! Sorry, a personal problem and I digress. The dish is good value, incredibly filling. Best ordered after a day in the fields. We spilt a lovely and refreshing lemon sorbet for dessert.

Throughout the meal, our server was first class. Attentive, friendly but never pandering.

Turnip aside, I dig Carthage Cafe

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Charlatan, The1447 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Place gets a bum wrap
Submitted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 5:53pm [Dine in]

Since the Charlatan is a madhouse for Canucks fans, I'll quote a former member of the local NHL franchise, Todd Bertuzzi when I sum up the Commercial Drive hotspot..."It is what it is".

And its popular for a reason, people

The Char gets a general thumbs up from me because it delivers decent if not fantastic food and drink for a very reasonable price, especially if you keep an eye on their daily specials. Case in point: A pretty ok burger and a sleeve of beer for $14. Wedenesday nights wings are 50cents each. They're good too. Plump and tasty...and zippy on may last visit. Weekends they serve a very good b-fast (two eggs, sausage or bacon, h-browns and toast for $9.95. But get this: A decent caesar is INCLUDED! So you break your fast and get the first glimmer of a needed hangover-numbing buzz. At least in my case on most weekends...

Daily drink specials are reasonable. Sit up at the bar if Phil is working. He's a very friendly dude and a fine bartender. The service really is outstanding generally speaking when he's mixing 'em behind the high wooden bar. Its insanely loud when the game is on and service does fall off a bit when the staff is running off their feet on busy weekend nights. Where doesnt it? The girls are generally darn pretty and quite attentive. Ecclectic in appearence as you might expect on Commercial Drive.

More free advice:

Try the Tuna Bites....YES

Bennys are good value and well-executed

Avoid what appears to be more complicated menu items as they tend to be hit and miss in my experience

Bring some Raid...there's a fruit fly problem at the bar. Brings new meaning to the term "barfly"

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Poor Italian Trattoria & Ristorante3296 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Cant recommend it
Submitted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 7:06pm [Dine in]

Lord knows good ol East Van has been in dire need of a good Italian resteraunt for years. Seems strange that, though the area is still home to thousands of folks of Italian heritage, its tough to find decent Italian food here. The Poor Italian might remedy this situation. But my single dining experience there left me feeling much lighter in the wallet but not overly impressed with any facet of the evening. The prices are definitely West Side and the portions a little skimpy. My Linguine Vangole was tasty but skimpy for $17. My friends prawn and scallop dish was a decent size but was closer to $30, if I recall correctly.The shellfish was cooked simply and perfectly. Our shared caesar salad was too small however tasty. The room is a little cramped affecting the ambience. However, they've done a good job with what they have to work with. It wasnt long ago that the space was occupied by a shabby breakfast joint. Dinner for two with a half litre of house red swill came to $100, tip incl. Not crazy... but if I'm dropping that kind of cash I want exemplary food, service and ambience. We got satisfactory and I'm not rushing back, Tony

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Guu Otokomae375 Water Street, #105, Vancouver
Kooky fun
Submitted Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 5:12pm [Dine in]

I dont share quite the level of enthusiasm as some of the other Guu posting patrons but my friend and I did enjoy the quirky scene and much of the food at this popular gastown Japanese tapas joint. At 8:30 on a Sunday evening Kitanoya Guu was still hopping and there were no tables available. The two of us were able to secure some space at the bar while we enjoyed sake and beer whilst perusing the eclectic menu of small-plate offerings. An interesting mix of modern rock/house music reverberated around the dark interior. We started off well with the Popeye Salad, which was actually a handsomely executed mound of gomae. Delicious. A decent-sized serving of tuna tataki was next, a good deal at $7 and change. Tangy and fresh..another hit. Next came the enoki and bacon-wrapped scallops. Its an interesting dish though the texture of the mushrooms was slightly slimy each bite required some serious chewing. I wouldnt order it again but was appreciative of the creative level of chef. Next came two Chinese dim sum offerings that were barely passable. An order of har gow was tough and not heated through. The siu mai was bland and gelatinous. Some wonderfully fresh wild salmon sashimi was slapped down by our hipster waiter next which thankfully rescued our meal from sliding into the realms of the uninspired. Back on track. Finally we stuffed down some sweet, slightly spicy calimari rings...an excellent compliment to ice cold Japanese lager. The scene is loud, fun and casual. The service is laid-back and friendly. Nightly drink specials and reasonably priced tapas make this Guu a potential refueling depot for me. Its a busy spot though...no reservations accepted after 5

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Marina Grill1653 Columbia St., North Vancouver
Potential Unrealized
Submitted Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 9:27pm [Dine in]

Such an interesting setting for a resteraunt. Disappointing that the room and the food have not been updated in dog's years. Tucked away under the north end of the Second Narrows bridge, the Marina Grill has the benefit of a unique location on North Van's waterfront. Its nestled above a marina, a stones throw from the water's edge with a fine patio view of the massive structure of the bridge as a backdrop.

My neice Kayla, my mom, sis and I popped in for a late b-fast/early lunch on a fine winter day recently. We were seated quickly in the large dining room that was fairly bustling with customers. The decor is dated and the lighting is poor. Despite the spectacular backdrop, no effort has been made to open up sightlines to take advantage of the fact. However, the resteraunt does have a very large patio that is a real gem come summer. From there you can take in the marina, the inlet and the bridge while sipping a cold one. Service was slow, very casual but friendly. The menu matches the decor in its lack of inspiration, offering up tired stand-bys that were ho-hum 25 years ago. I had a bbq chicken burger with side salad. Decent burger...BUT...do not dare give me stale boxed crutons on my salad! Is it too much hassle to make them in-house?? A little melted butter, some olive oil, minced garlic, a dash of oregano and some salt and pepper...toast 6 or 7 minutes...Anyway, uninspired but passable. Mom's cheese omelette was huge and seemingly fine. Kayla's fish and chips got the thumbs up and sis' shrimp sandwich looked much like the shrimp sandwich you ordered back in 1977. So, while the food is boring, its done well enough I suppose. Still, with such a great location the Marin Grill could be a Vancouver institution. A reno and a radical menu update would make this place even more of a gold mine than it already is. Hell, it could potentially make up for the loss of the Cannery across the water in the right hands.

To sum up: Go in the summer and enjoy the great patio with a cold one and absorb your unique perspective of Burrard Inlet. Go ahead and eat. The food is insipid but not offensive.

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JB's Sandwich Bar1719 Franklin Street, Vancouver
Slightly weird scene had me chuckling
Submitted Friday, February 4, 2011 - 4:59pm [Dine in]

The evil vapors of the Hallmark Poultry plant and the nearby Westcoast Reduction facility enveloped me as I strode purposefully down Franklin St. to tiny JB's Sandwich Bar.No hookers out front...good! Just barely maintaining my appetite, I pushed open the door to the cafe located beneath a rooming house in a very industrial area of East Vancouver. Being past the "lunch rush" the joint was dead. Mike, the owner and cook,(and everything else) happily pointed to the menu items listed on the wall in homey, DIY felt pen and cardboard. Standard Chinese-Canadian fare is listed there at bargain prices. Mike limits his offerings to a few sandwiches (Roast beef, Denver, Reuben), a burger and a small selection of Chinese dishes (fried rice, stir-fry etc) and an all day breakfast.Oh yeah...JB's is also the home of the $1 fried egg sangy. Broke? There's your breakfast! Everything is homemade and seemingly prepared with pride. No frills, decent stuff in slightly weird setting. I wonder what previous incarnations this space has had. Has potential, if not for the wretched odors outside...Hmmm. Anyways, the food. I had the Super Deluxe Burger $5.75 incl homecut fries! Not bad at all. Good fries especially. Would order it again. I also ordered a BBQ pork fried rice to go. I watched him whip it together in a wok in the open front part of the kitchen. Happily, everything seemed pretty fresh that he added to the rice. He insisted I try some before he wrapped it up. Again, not bad. Not bad at all. I believe that dish was 6 bucks for a big portion. If you're in the mood for a cheap meal circa 1965, try JBs. Ol Mike a good guy and he's not half bad in the kitchen.

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Bao Chau Vietnamese Restaurant2717 E Hastings, Vancouver
The quick and reliable
Submitted Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 6:40pm [Dine in]

Bao Chau keeps me coming back to sate my msg/sodium jones. My usual- well-done flank pho(small order is plenty big) isnt generally too fatty and the condiment side dish of sprouts, lime wedge and basil leaves are always fresh. A key point here is the generous amount of basil they give you. Of course, with any pho joint, its the broth that the discerning soup lover key on. At Bao Chao I always find the broth to be clear, moderately beefy, slightly tangy and nicely balanced between sweet and salty.If I have one...um, beef... its that the broth could be a little hotter. However, its a consistently decent bowl of soup that satisfies on a cold, damp winter day. If I'm starved, I order a single spring roll in addition to the soup. They too are generally good. Bao Chao is also clean and the service quick, efficient and friendly enough. Even during a typically busy lunch rush, your pho will arrive in no more than 6 or 7 minutes. A Hastings-Sunrise stand-by.

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Closed
Bert's Restaurant2904 Main St, Vancouver
El Blando
Submitted Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 10:13pm [Dine in]

The special was Spaghetti Bolognese. The price wasnt too bad...something like 10 bucks incl garlic toast. Completely forgettable dining experience. A disgruntled looking cook labored behind the pass as I took in the balnd decor. The place has been here for half a century or more but has not retained an once of charm from the past. A hurtin' redoecoration in the 80s seems to have marred what might have been a cool space at one time. We sure dont preserve things in this town....Anyways, I digress. The spags was brought over and I could tell immediately it was going to have the same generic flave of Bert's interior design tastes. Could it have been jarred spag sauce? Funny thing is the place was pretty busy. As good as Vancouver's food scene is, I still think we dont have enough diners serving old fashioned, good quality tasty cooking. If the spaghetti is any indication, Bert's needs a tune up.

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Kalvin's Restaurant5225 Victoria Dr., Vancouver
Authentic vibe, solid nosh
Submitted Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 8:22pm [Dine in]

Finally made it to Kalvins after hearing about the hole-in-the-wall, family run resateraunt for many years. It was bustling so was glad I made a reservation even though there were only two of us. Its a small, extremely brightly lit but thankfully spic and span. Probably seats 30 people max. We were greeted by a pretty, efficient young woman who proceeded to translate the specials listed on the wall in Chinese-only. We opted for the squid in garlic and chili sauce, 3-spice chicken hot pot, handmade fried noodles with pork and seafood and the ubiquitous bucked of steamed rice. The squid was the star of the show. Just spicy enough. Tangy and slightly sweet. Delicious and hot as magma, straight from the wok. The 3 spice chicken hot pot was good too. Earthy and pungent flavored, deep ochre in color and served with roasted onion and garlic cloves. The chicken pieces were more or less bite sized but were a little awkward to eat since they were bone-in. We copied the way the patrons at a near-by table ate the same dish, spitting the bones out onto a plate with no apparent self-conciousness. Fun! The noodle dish was ok. A rather bland creation in hindsight. I was trying to balance spicy with something less zippy. The consistency of the noodles was first rate though. Dense and chewy as they should be. Service was prompt and efficient. Smiles were sincere. Total after tax and before tip..$34.25. There was enough leftover for a big lunch the next day. Will definitely go back

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Falconetti's1812 Commercial St., Vancouver
Dont call em hot dogs!
Submitted Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 6:35pm [Dine in]

I have coming to Falcon's since before it was licensed when the big, burly fella who is co-owner was glumly grilling sausages for a paltry few customers. I thought the place was doomed. Here we are, what....5 or 6 years later and the joint is bustling with beer-swilling 20 and 30-somethings and the sausages are still fly out of the kitchen every time I am there. Falconetti's fills a niche. Its got the long bar like a US-style tavern. Its dark and noisy and often has an appealing raucus vibe. However,there was a huge staff turnover there a few years back and the place has NEVER been able to regain it's old charm. The newer staff is much less friendly or capable and the music that they once provided has been replaced by less interesting stuff. There seems to be no beer special at times so you're dumping close to 6 bucks a SLEEVE for a rubbish brew. With your tip is close to $7. Unacceptable! Outrageous! Scandalous! And while the revered sausages can be decent (when they're not mouth-puckeringly salty) they're 7 bones a pop too. A little steep for my lead-wallet. The good news is that they book bands and they are reputed to be fair to the musicians. Its a fun space and a needed venue. I dont eat there much but others seem to belly up for the slightly adventurous pub menu. They do offer several items besides the sausage/bun scenario such as a variation on calimari, soft-shell tacos and a few salads. Havent heard much good or bad. My advice is go in for a beer, watch some local rock and roll and, if you must, eat. Just dont dare call the sausages hot dogs...

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Paul's Restaurant4621 Hastings St, Burnaby
Best old school burger in this town
Submitted Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 4:37pm [Dine in]

I have been to Paul's 5 or 6 times and have never gotten passed the Deluxe Burger. I have seen some decent looking Chinese food come out of the kitchen but the craving for that burger keeps me from stepping out. At $5.75 with fries, the burger is a steal. Lettuce, tomato,processed Swiss, special sauce and a trashy (good trashy) sesame seed bun accomany the freshest homemade beef patty in the city. The kindly older lady who takes your order claims she and her hubbie make the burgers fresh daily, grinding their own sirloin in house. Apparently she sells up to 50 a day to surrounding businesses. I can see why. Its served piping hot everytime and it tastes like a burger used to. Unfettered by spices, compotes, fancy cheeses or, heaven forbid, sprouts or whole wheat bun, the fresh beef is the star of the show. The fries are good..not house cut, but straight outta the fryer. Again, served blisteringly hot like they should be. Simple food. Cheap, solid and honest. Just like me

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