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3
  • Food2.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews31

Transcontinental Heritage Restaurant & Railway Lounge, The

601 W Cordova
Vancouver, BC V6B1G1
Tel: (604) 678-8000 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 678-3000
Neighbourhood: Downtown

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 31 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Did I eat a rock?
By bordercollie of north vancouver (268 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 29, 2008 - 2:16am [Dine in]

I have been wanting to try this spot, and heard from friends, service is slow and food was okay. I must have been in a coma, and didn't listen to good advice.

Ambiance, I gave 5, due to how beautiful this place looks, with the big windows, dark brown walls, Emily Carr paintings that are re-prints to blue floors. Its got a nice flow, bright, airy, comfortable and this is the only positive I got to say about this place.
Service, was non existant in the beginning, it was like watching wet paint drying. I had this thought, I should leave, but blame it to the nice looking place and the coma I had suffered, Lmao. It took about 15 minutes when my server did arrive, friendly and took my ordered. I could tell they didn't have many people working, if there were more, they must have been hiding in the kitchen.
Food, I think they knew I was going to order a cheese burger, it came running out in 5 minutes. I should have stopped, not taken a bite, and gone home, but my coma interfered with my judgement. The burger looked as someone threw & slop all the ingredients together, mismatching my burger with the bun. As I was eating my cheese burger it didn't taste as good, salty and I should have stopped eating my rock, but I was on a roll. I knew this burger was going to own me, even now still feel like I ate bowling ball, I know I chewed my food, and didn't swallow it whole like a seagull. I hope I don't have to wait a lifetime to eat again, but I promise I won't be back anytime soon, unless hell freezes over.

Can't recommend, unless you want to have rock in your stomach.

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Riding the mediocrity train
By chasiubow of North Van (675 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 28, 2007 - 3:51pm [Dine in]

I went for lunch with a friend based on the good reviews on this site. I wouldn’t say this is the greatest restaurant ever, but it is good enough. It is not cheap, but the rent must be huge for this location. I liked the nice décor and the excellent service. The food was only so-so. We had the prime rib burger which was juicy (my tie got the worst of it) but nothing remarkable. It came with a fresh but rather dry salad. I should have had the fries.

The location next to the Seabus terminal is convenient, and it is a good alternative to the SW restaurant across that way. They also have a parking lot nearby which is good for those who like to drive. All in all a solid but not amazing experience.

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Mediocre yet comfortable
By bozlee of Tsawwassen (102 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 2:45pm [Dine in]

Having been open now for 18 months this restaurant should have its act together. The manager seemed to spend more time telling us about the history of the restaurant than supervising his kitchen and waiting staff. Service was on the slow side and not attentive during the meal. The food was OK but that's about all, with such an excellent location and terrific design we expected more from the meal....could be better, that's for sure.

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A plus for the Ambiance
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 4:20pm [Dine in]

Went there for lunch and what a great space with the sunlight coming in from the big floor to ceiling windows. Great lunch selection and a but like a pub with your salads, sandwiches and entrees. Had the prime rib sandwich with yam fries. Very good and I like the way you can change to salad, soup or yam fries (small extra cost). Also tasted the salmon sandwich which was very good. Another person had the steak salad and it seem quite large and it received good comments.

Overall a great place for lunch.

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Going Downhill
By Barcelonaguy of Yaletown (48 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 5, 2008 - 1:30pm [Dine in]

I loved this place when it first opened. Amazing bison dishes, creative sides, and great service. With the name change its all changed. Pub grub like menu with a bit of polish. Service has gone down hill; lots of young inexperienced servers compared to day one. Saving grace the bar with entertaining and skilled barkeeps. Give the dining room a miss and enjoy your drink and mediocre food at the bar.

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Cool place but the gratuitity policy is an issue
By sushiman989 of East Vancouver (36 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 2:29pm [Dine in]

I went to the Transcontinental on and Olympic Saturday because every other establishment in town was full or had a lineup. It's actually pretty neat grabbing a beer inside the old Waterfront station and the place has a great environment. Three of us split a plate of nachos which were actually pretty good with a nice cheese/chip ratio but at $18 were probably the most expensive nachos I've ever had. The beer is Steamworks fare and definitely hit that spot and came in aroun $6.50 a pint. Service wasn't super attentive but our server made sure we had everything we needed. My main problem is the mandatory 18% gratuity. Gratuity is not a right and if the services is horrible, I reserve the right to reduce the tip. With the pending HST, you're looking at 30% on top of your bill so beware before you go.

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Lunch at Transcontinental
By sumiln of North Burnaby (34 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 4:38pm [Dine in]

I've just returned from a really relaxing, somewhat extended lunch at this venue. I've been here a few times since it first opened (my first visit was during the week it opened when the new manager made a point of chatting to each table to ensure we were happy and feeling well attended to). I must say that I've never been disappointed. I find the service to be most attentive. I've not been here at a time when it has been extremely busy as I'm sure it likely is when cruise passengers are to-ing and fro-ing (sp??) so cannot speak to service when it is. I find this a super spot to sit back for a nice chat with friends over a couple of glasses of wine. I love the openess of the space, the little alcoves for a wee bit of privacy and the fact that I have never felt rushed. I must admit my lunch today was something I almost never eat but it sounded so tasty that I could not resist. French fries with gorgonzola sauce. MY GOSH, crispy tender chips with a delightfully light cheesy sauce topped with fresh cracked black pepper. Really fine for such simple fare!

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This train is outta here!
By dlishusfood of Downtown, Vancouver (30 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 27, 2007 - 7:41pm [Dine in]

Just got back from having lunch at the new THR & RL. A little dissapointed to say the least. Everything was just "OK" - nothing special apart from the high pricing of the menu items to help pay for the reno's. I just hope Eli has a great plan for after the "lets rip off the tourist" season. The trouble is that there are so many places to go and spend $20 per person for lunch and come away far more satisfied. Try Saltlik for a great soft shelled crab sandwich and fries, go to Joe Fortes for their $10 lunch specials...the list can go on - but I won't. I do love the space inside - but for simple pub food (specially for lunch)you may as well go next door to Steamworks - don't worry I know the $$ end up in the same pocket but at least I won't be spending more on the same old burger, fries and a pint!

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Neat venue, terrible food!
By LovesCupcakes of Downtown, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 3:02pm [Dine in]

I would like to forget the lunch I had at the transcontinental today. The food was absolutely terrible, even when you factor in reduced expectations during the lunch rush. We waited 40 minutes for our meals, and I think someone forgot to tell the chef that you aren't supposed to put cheddar cheese or over cooked peppers in the clam chowder (which only had about 4 little clam bits in it). I have never been so disgusted with a bowl of soup in my life. The canned stuff is better! My friend's fries were ice cold, and her sandwich was horribly over sauced.

I had heard not so great things about the Transcontinental when it first opened a couple of years ago, but I assumed they had worked out the kinks...apparetly not. I can see how they survive, serving over priced bad food to tourists and the lunchtime business crowd, but if you like half decent food, skip this place!

All I have to say is...clam chowder...it's pretty basic, so come on!

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Totally upscale pub food!
By rhhm of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 1:22pm [Dine in]

Okay, I'll have to admit I love beer, and Steamworks does a great job of making it! I believe most of their beers are on tap here, and in my opinion, the great beer matched with the excellent food presents outstanding value...

I initially thought the House Salad at $9 had to be some kind of mistake... It arrived on a huge plate with plenty of goat cheese, almonds, dried blueberries, and really FRESH mixed greens. My partner and I easily shared it. This was followed by the Dijon Chicken Breast which was perfectly cooked and moist with a delicious demi glaze. The veggies were plentiful and all perfectly done al dente... perhaps amongst the best I have had recently. My partners Salmon Wellington was likewise cooked well with a nice tarragon cream sauce. For dessert, we shared a chocolate molten cake which was very good, especially when paired with Steamworks' Stout.

The service was okay... our waiter had some problems with bringing glasses of beer instead of sleeves. Although their beers are listed by the glass, he said they were not in the computer system. If one is to pair different beers with different courses, it is hard to make it through full sleeves, so I hope this is something the restaurant works out. It would also be great to see all of Steamworks beers in this restaurant. All in all, great value! I'll definitely be back...

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Nice room
By asianfusion of Seattle (15 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 12:37pm [Dine in]

Quick lunch here and enjoyable experience. We tried the Bison and Stilton burger, soup of the day, and a crab croissant. Nicely presented an plated. Tried a bottle of Poplar Pinot Gris from BC - very nice and paired well with thew crab. Wine list has alot of repetitive items and not broad enough in countries. Service was pleasant and friendly.

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Good choice on Olympics Friday night
By fiver of North Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 12:25am [Dine in]

I suggested this place after seeing the cauldron with some out-of-town friends and finding out they hadn't had dinner and it was already 9:30pm! Whenever I go by it, it's always only half full at best so I thought it was our best bet on an Olympics Friday night. Boy, were we glad we did! There were only 2 tables in line in front of us and the 5 of us got seated upstairs after 5 minutes. We ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, satay chicken skewers, yam fries, and nachos. We all liked our food. The yam fries were the type that had that crunchy light batter coating and the pesto mayo that came with it was a good match. I found the nachos expensive at $18 + $2 for guacamole but it was a very large plate. Neat "bin ends" concept on their wine menu: the last of the case of wines they'd stopped buying or were no longer available were all priced at $45. Tried an interesting Fess Parker pinot noir from Santa Barbara County, California. Our food came before our drinks, but our server apologized. Water service could have been faster but considering how busy they were, we understood. Our server asked if it was OK that she took a few minutes' break to eat dinner at as it was 10:45pm and we weren't in a rush, we said OK. I appreciated her asking and also for informing us of the 18% automatic gratuity unlike my lunch experience at the Library Square Public House 6 days ago. We were glad we picked Transcontinental last night.

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sit back and get cozy
By ishouldshouldi of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 2:50am [Dine in]

I find many people are too hard on this undiscovered hotspot. I've been a customer since last summer. After seeing this restaurant go through the growing pains of surviving in Vancouver's foody scene, I am quite Impressed. Their food and drink menu continually changes to accomidate cutomers needs (yet they still managed to keep my favorite, beef dip. on the menu). I find the service to the attentive and charming. The amtosphere, unmatched in this city. I give this cozy alove the highest of hopes.

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Great venue, poor food
By redmarch24 of london (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 9:42am [Dine in]

We ate at the Transcontinental last night and were very disappointed. It was our first night in Vancouver and we came across the restaurant, which looked fabulous, on our way to Steamworks. The waitress pointed out the $29 dollar three course menu which we thought was excellent value. However, the food arrived and the problems started. I had a salad with tomatoes and pine nuts to begin which was so saturated in dressing, it was inedible. My partner had asparagus soup with stilton which the stilton really overpowered. My main course of halibut was fine but a little bland with plain white rice served with it. My partner had a chicken dish which was fine except that it was smothered in cheese which spoiled it somewhat. My dessert of key lime pie brought back nightmares of school dinners long ago although my partner enjoyed his chocolate dish - well it was chocolate! All in all, thumbs down for the food and we wouldn't return. It was a shame because the venue is lovely and the wine was good but a really disappointing meal - possibly down to the chef being a little heavy-handed.

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Awsome food
By jester314 of Richmond (5 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 - 2:29pm [Dine in]

Dined at The Transcontinental last night and had a great experience!

The restaurant itself is quite large and feels spacious. The booth we were seated at was very comfortable.

After the manager seated us we found out that is was afiliated with Steamworks the Brew Pub next door. We noticed that there were a few beers that we were able to taste. And we tasted all of them. He also went out of his way to bring a sample of one of the beers that was only offered at Steamworks.

The food came out promptly and the Meatloaf wrapped in prosciutto is unbelievable!

I would only change one thing and that would be the lighting level its a little bright!

Thanks for a great night we will return!

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Absolutely Disgusted
By Mr_Andersen of The Valley (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, January 25, 2008 - 1:36pm [Dine in]

was at the restaurant lastnight for a "dine out 2008" experience and i can honestly say i will NEVER return to this restaurant.

Fisrt of all our waiter was incredibly rude, had his nose stuck up in the air and treated us like we werent worthy of being the scum on his over priced loafers. maybe he was having a bad day so ill cut him a little slack

one of the drinks we ordered ended up coming to our table with THREE flies in it.. after bringing this to the attention of a manager it was quite obvious that it was a reocurring problem for them. He told us that they were fruit flies. Which wasnt the truth at all, they were about 5x bigger than a fruit fly and are comonly known as DRAIN FLIES. these Gnats will breed in stagnant water that has been sitting for atleast a week. I cannot imagine the disorder of this restaurants kitchen. We were given a complimentary glass of wine to make up for this.....

The only positive thing i can say about the Transcontinental was that my steak was extremely fresh. Now does that make up for the fact that they have OBVIOUS SANITATION ISSUES.. Id say No, but everyone is entitled to make their own decision

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Service??? More like SELF service!!!
By 148jules of Quebec & 18th (33 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 9, 2007 - 12:43am [Dine in]

AMBIANCE: The room was well decorated and appointed. The only negative was the pop/rock music. Jazz or standards would be more suitable to eating in this elegant railway station restaurant to enhance the glamor and period of railroad travel. Our table was not the best setup for our party and we should have asked to move but we decided to stay put so that was our problem.

FOOD selection is great: something for everyone. Starters of ginger beef, sirloin tips, and yam fries were excellent. Entrees of Salmon Wellington, Ahi Tuna, Lamb Shanks were well prepared. Prices were reasonable especially the drinks! Retro classic drinks mixed properly were a nice surprise. Wines by the bottle were also very good value.

SERVICE started off okay but gradually descended to being non existent. There were so many small things like the server pouring wine in only 2 of the 5 glasses - we had to pour the wine ourselves; asking for cutlery, waiting a while and then having to go to another table ourselves; server spilling drinks on the table and not wiping it up so we had to use our napkins to mop up the mess; not asking everyone if we wanted coffee or tea with our desserts; waiting forever for the bill that we had to ask someone else to find our server ... oh yeah the Canucks game was on so most of the staff was in the lounge/bar watching the game on the TV; trays of glasses dropped and breaking on at least FOUR occasions!!! These small things added up to all of us shaking our heads in amazement at the amateurism of the staff. The manager was pleasant enough but the rest of the staff need to be better trained in the finer aspects of serving. On the way out we were asked how we enjoyed our evening and we did give the manager an ear full!

Sadly despite a well designed space and good food, I would not go back for a special occasion (as we did tonight). I would go again for lunch or a burger by myself but would subject my friends to such inferior service.

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Expected better
By pastamachine of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 5:57pm [Dine in]

I like the look of the place, its unique and different from most other restaurants. Went here for lunch the other day and was intrigued by a number of selections on the menu. After some tough decision making, decided to go with the crab cakes while my companion had the steak and stilton salad. The crab cakes were disappointing, it arrived in 3 mini discs. The size is not a big issue, quality always trumps quantity. However, these cakes were rather poorly made, the crust was soggy, not crisp at all, the cake itself was mushy. The flavour was okay and there was a good amount of crab in it (claw meat), but for $15, it needed to be better. The steak and stilton salad was alright, steak was tender and flavourful, and the blue cheese, well, lets just say its not the ideal thing to eat if you're on a first date. I would try other items on the menu if i'm in the area, but the food doesn't warrant making a trip just for it.

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beef dip a must eat
By theeater of westvan (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 2:21pm [Dine in]

HELLO BEEF DIP!
never had a better one! For Sure worth my $14...
short lunch meeting with a friend, will definately return.
Although they were almost at capacity, they took notice of our time constraint and provided timely service. Lucky I came with one friend, tables of 6+ are scarce. Took a peek at the dinner menu, can't wait to return...

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Great Lunch
By JazzyCat of Cloverdale (30 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 6:46pm [Dine in]

I tried out the Transcontinental last Friday for lunch. Had their signature martini (with fig!) which was quite good but still prefer my cosmos. For lunch I had the crab croissant sandwich which was excellent....loaded with crab and avocado with a really tasty mayo. I opted for the fries which were fabulous (no trans fats). Only comment here was they didn't have regular white vinegar! I think their lunch menu could still use a bit of tweaking....after the lunch crowd there is a separate bar and patio menu which looked really interesting, but wasn't available at lunch. Service was also quick and professional.

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