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  • Reviews48

Charlie Don't Surf

15011 Marine Drive
White Rock, BC V4B1C3
Tel: (604) 538-1988
Neighbourhood: Town Centre

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 48 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Meh...not the best
By hungryjo of Vancouver (175 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - 12:27pm [Dine in]

I go to Whiterock once a year so I'm not sure which restaurant is good or not. We wanted to try fish and chips so we decided on this place since other restaurants were packed and we didn't wanna wait. There were 6 of us so we sat at the back of the restaurant. We sat beside their "storage corner" which was not pleasant to see. The service was ok, I don't remember being bad, it's not outstanding either. My sibling wanted a drink so under the "virgin drinks", I ordered Pina Colada. To my surprise, they added alcohol in it, my sister is underage! Anyways, the food was average. Fish and chips was good but a lil overpriced. I guess we're paying for the view even though I couldn't see the ocean in back of the restaurant.

I'll try somewhere next time.

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Surfs Up ?
By diner40 of Vancouver (95 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 9:46am [Dine in]

Not sure about this place. Dropped by Charlie's about a week ago after a stroll down the White Rock main food drag. It was interesting checking out restaurant prices, some were very expensive while other's were very reasonably priced. We settled on Charlie Don't Surf.

Our server started out real strong. Tons of personality, the chatty man, etc. but it seems like after that first impression he felt that perhaps he had done his job. He pretty much left us after that first drink order, someone else brought our meals, he didn't check on us or actually pay any attention to us afterward. The place was not busy at 5pm, perhaps he was focusing on the dinner rush.

I ordered their burger, at around 10 bucks comes with fries and a pretty good deal. I also ordered a Stanley Park Larger served in what has to be the worlds smallest beer glass. It had the Stanley Park Beer logo on it so not sure who to blame for this, perhaps the beer maker but come on Charlie that is one small beer glass. Perhaps you should do something about it like charge less.

The burger was just fine. It was a fairly large portion with a ton of crispy fries on the verge of being overcooked. The burger patty had little real taste and I suspect was frozen at one time or another. Like I say it was fine, not memorable in any way.

My dining partner ordered the seafood pot with bits of fish, crab, etc. and reported that it was very very salty.
The portion looked just fine for the 12 dollar order.

I gave an outstanding for ambiance as we sat on the patio overlooking the waterfront, very nice on a sunny day. Actually never really checked out the interior of the restaurant but it looked very dark.

Next time in White Rock I believe we'll just stroll right by Charlie's and check out one of the many other options on the strip.

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Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover...
By foodCRITICAL of Surrey (14 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 24, 2008 - 6:01pm [Dine in]

Although this is consistently one of the busiest spots on the White Rock strip, don't judge a book by it's cover. Our overall experience was so substandard that we discussed it all the way home.

For food, we ordered a few appetizers and a salad to share. The bruschetta was listed as tomato, basil, garlic, and parmasan. What arrived was dried basil mixed with tomatoes doused in mozzarella and baked. Frankly, we expected something fresh and what came out resembled something you'd pick up the frozen food aisle. The goat cheese appetizer was nothing to write home about, which says a lot considering it is typically one of my favorite treats. In a crock, it has been covered with thick mozzarella and browned, served with 8 dry pita wedges not even a garnish to make it look remotely appitizing. The caesar salad had chicken that was way over seasons, and the salad dressing (although fresh) was glopped over wilted lettuce. We even had to pull some chunks out that were spoiled. All this can be yours for 35 dollars + tip.

Our server couldn't have cared less that we had chosen to dine there. The best description of her performance was "blah" and mostly inattentive, with the exception of one soda refill.

As for value, see my previous point on food quality. Ambience is interesting, but today was a cold day, and rainy, and we ended up moving to a different table because the draft was much too chilling.

Overall, Charlies looks like it MUST be good because of the pretty cover, but the ending isn't a happy one.

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Overpriced
By HeartOfSilver of Surrey (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 12:51pm [Dine in]

As much as the patio is lovely, the food here wasn't really worth the price tag. It's pretty standard fare for a diner, but at twice the amount that I think is reasonable.

There are better places along the boardwalk to go.

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A drink with a view
By SSFoodie of S. Surrey (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, November 16, 2007 - 4:46pm [Dine in]

In the summer on the deck with a glass of wine - if you can get service. The servers seem inexperienced and are clustered together surveying what is walking by on the street and not paying attention to patrons who might want a menu, drink, or food. Perhaps management is at fault here. To quote another submitter "it is what it is" and depending upon what you are looking for it may or may not be for you.

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Stay away from this place
By sjones of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 26, 2007 - 6:16pm [Dine in]

I had a chuckle reading the review from the person who said this was the "best" place on the strip. If it is then I might as well stay away from all of them.

Where do I start. Well how about the service. Most reviews say that it is poor. I couldn't agree with them more. It was in fact atrocious. The level of inexperience and attentiveness the servers showed resembles a fast food joint. They left us for about half an hour without checking on us. The food came at forty-five minutes in. It didn't look good and was hastily prepared it seemed. I had the crab balls served with salad. It was hardly warm and didn't taste good. The entrees are around $14. I would say if they charged $7 they would still be ripping me off.

Horrible.. never again will I visit this restaurant.

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Nice place for lunch
By JazzyCat of Cloverdale (30 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 10:16pm [Dine in]

I've eaten lunch here a few times over the last couple of years. The service has always been prompt and the food is pretty standard pub-style far. Today I tried the lunch special of chicken, cheese and lettuce on baguette with fries. The sandwich and fries were tasty. The drinks were okay, but even with an Entertainment coupon it seemed to be a bit pricey....I guess we're paying for the location.

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food is not good
By eater8899 of White Rock , B.C. (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, May 17, 2013 - 6:38pm [Dine in]

Went with four other people for the first time. We ordered the crab cakes, fish and chips, and burgers and it all was mediocre at best. To put it into perspective, White Spot is 100% better (and cheaper). We won't be dining her again. The service was great and the restaurant is more than charming. But it all comes down to the food and how it tastes in the final analysis.

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This was the last visit ever for us!!!
By sharpie of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 11:05am [Dine in]

I have never written a review but after our experience last weekend I felt I had to say something. My husband and I frequently head to White Rock beach to spend an hour or so on a nice sunny patio but this weekend that was completely ruined but the rude staff at this restaurant!! It was very busy at all the restaurants when we finally spotted an empty table at Charlie Don't Surf. We we sat down there were 2 waiters serving our area and they just kept walking by without even looking at us. After about 10 minutes of this we were considering leaving when all of a sudden menus were thrown (seriously) onto our table. Another couple of minutes the waiter comes over with glasses of water and takes our drink order. Another 10 minutes and he rudely brings our drinks. In this time, another table became open. Another couple entered the patio and starts to head to that table. The waitress stops them and tells them that they have to head to the other door at the far end of the resturant because there is a 1/2 hour wait for a seat. What the ????? Why didn't they just tell us that instead of treating us so rudely. We would have had no problem other than the fact that it would have been nice to put up a sign at that "entrance" saying to go to the other one. We would have left right then if we hadn't already ordered. We ordered an appetizer which took about 45 minutes to arrive and was cold. By then we figured out we were being "punished". In the time we were there about 5 other groups entered to sit at an empty table but the staff was "kind" enought to let them know that they have to head to the lineup. Never again!!! What a way to ruin a beautiful day!! Hope our waiter enjoyed his 25 cent tip.

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Worst in White Rock
By Yo Mama of Yo Mama (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 11:03pm [Dine in]

I had an absolutely terrible dining experience at CDS recently. I was there in 2009 for the first time and it wasn't impressive, but it's gotten worse since. I emailed the restaurant a few days after dining in, and it's been more than 2 weeks now....not a word from them at all.

Sent: September-04-12 9:54:47 PM
To: [email protected]

to the owner/operator/front of house manager/kitchen lead,

we had a coupon from the 2012 entertainment book so we decided to try your restaurant on aug 31 2012.

we arrived at the restaurant and was seated by a hostess within a few minutes. our server came by about 5 minutes later (too long!) with the menu.

we ordered the following:

pint of fat tug, fisherman hotpot, and halibut burger. our food did not arrive until 30 minutes later. i believe i actually saw my halibut burger was delivered to another table by a busperson/food runner, however, he was only told by the other patrons that they didnt order the burger.

the food runner took the burger back and re-appeared with it 5 minutes later along with my wife's fisherman hotpot. by then, my fries were cold and my halibut filet was lukewarm. my wife's fisherman hotpot was not fresh. actually, all of the ingredients in the hotpot appeared to be from a bag of frozen seafood one can purchase from superstore. the fisherman hotpot was also very bland and was not fresh in any ways.

throughout our dining service, our server never did once checked back with us.

upon getting the cheque from our server, i voiced concerns for the slow service and terrible food. he mentioned that he was "new". i am not quite sure what to make of his reply.

i did not feel that i should have even tipped him for such terrible dining experience, but i did anyway. i actually felt bad for him for working in this establishment with such poor training.

after payment, he did not thank us for our patronage either. I should not have tipped him at all.

I expect to hear from your restaurant via email and would like an answer for such poor service and terrible food.

I also noticed that your restaurant has been receiving extremely poor reviews on dinehere.ca. all of the reviews about the below par food and service echoed our experience last friday. please have a read at http://dinehere.ca/white-rock/charlie-dont-surf

very disappointed diners

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Worst Service I Have Ever Received
By Courdan of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, September 3, 2012 - 5:35pm [Dine in]

I wish I had read the reviews on Charlie Don't Surf before coming to eat here on the long weekend because if I had known about the service this restaurant offers, I would have definitely reconsidered another restaurant. I came for lunch with the girls on a Saturday afternoon around 2pm. The restaurant was not crazy busy but there were a few tables. Our waiter (who also turned out to be the manager) showed up a few minutes later with a nonchalant attitude and boringly asked us what we would like to drink, and if we had any questions about the menu. There was no enthusiasm in his tone whatsoever, and all of us recognized his poor attitude immediately. He dropped water glasses off for us at the table, and the water tasted horrible! It tasted as if it was dirty, or not filtered. He came back to take our orders and little did we know that it would take over half an hour to make our meal. We waited and waited, and waited some more. After 25 minutes we began questioning where our food was. Being a server myself, I know it does not take half an hour to make four dishes, 3 of them being quesadillas and one sandwich. After 35 minutes, we asked him what was taking so long, and if he forgot our meal. He said he knew it had been awhile and told us he had been yelling at the kitchen staff to hurry it up. I highly doubt that because we had seen him on the floor of the restaurant the whole time, chatting away to the bartender. Our food finally arrived and one of the girls asked for a coke because we had all been starving while waiting for our food, and when he dropped the coke off, he let us know that the coke was "on the house", as if he went over the top for us, and actually WAITED for us to say "thank you". A coke costs $3, it's not much to brag about. You're a manager who's given us terrible service and a terrible attitude. We couldn't care less if the coke was "on the house" because all we wanted was the food we had been waiting so patiently for.

He didn't apologize at all for the slow service, and the food was just mediocre. My friend ordered a quesadilla that had broccoli and snowpeas in it.. which did not say on the menu. Consistency is the key to a successful restaurant and Charlie Don't Surf definitely does not have it. The servers have no manners and are not polite at all. I would recommend everyone who reads the reviews on this restaurant NOT to eat here. There are a dozen other restaurants located on the beach that I'm sure can provide you with better service and better food.

We asked to speak to the manager about the poor quality our server gave us, but it turns out our server was the manager!!! We were all appalled at the attitude of this man, and were disgusted that we even had to give our money to the restaurant for their horrendous service. He rudely walked through us without even saying "excuse me" and attended to his other tables. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't earn many tips with his attitude, because I would never give him a single penny.

He definitely needs an attitude check because he did not give a crap about his customers and his attitude towards us was disgusting.

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I will never eat here again
By CourtChan of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 3, 2012 - 1:38pm [Dine in]

This restaurant has got to have the worst service I have ever seen. The food is just mediocre, but my girlfriends and I waited over 30 minutes for our food to arrive, when the restaurant wasn't even busy! To top it off, our server spent his time chatting to the bartender instead of serving us. He was rude, and didn't apologize for the horrible service he gave us. He rudely walked through us and did not even treat us like customers.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is not bad. Very beachy and if the service and quality of the food improved, I would come back. But to the owner of this restaurant, I highly recommend you train your servers correctly and teach them some manners.

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Charlie don't serve
By gmanchuckles of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 10:44am [Dine in]

This place provide us with terrible service. Long,long wait for anyone to take our order and then another long, long wait to be served food that was not noteworhty in portion or quality. They are missing out on a great opportunity to take adavantage of a good location for their business.

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Bad. Really, Really Bad.
By sapera of crescent beach (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, June 15, 2012 - 3:46pm [Dine in]

Not doubt charlie can't surf... He also can't run a service based restaurant either. While his hiring practices are "a la Cactus Club" he forgot to check to see if his team knows how to listen and be polite. Ooops... guess that doesn't matter to Charlie. Don't let the location fool you, the service and food is as bad as Charlie's ability to surf. Stay away.

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Don't Waste Your Time or Money!!!
By Kristy of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, May 7, 2012 - 12:48pm [Dine in]

Our dining experiance here was absolutly horrific! The slow service was a joke, 20 minutes waiting for our drinks to arrive, heaven forbide we would want to order another! Then another 50 minutes for our dinners to arrive, (we ordered an appetizer to only recieve it with our dinners). When the dinners did make it to our table, we couldn't believe the portion sizes! My puny salad for $12 was drowning in the dressing! My husband's cod & fries had only 12 fries, (yes we counted)... I shudder to think of the cleaniness of the staff as the washrooms were so dirty and even after I informed the management, no paper towels when I returned after my meal. To finish our experience, my husband suffered Food Poisoning from his meal, all night long! I called to warn the restaurant of the tainted meal, only to have the management focus on the slow service. I think their priorities are in disarray. Needless to say: WE WILL NEVER RETURN!!!

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Absolutely awful - service and food !!!!!!
By kevmel of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 1:30pm [Dine in]

This was the first and last time I will ever go to Charlie Don't Surf. !!!! What an absolute waste of our time and money. The waiter was just horrible, and the food was skimpy portions and cold when it FINALLY came.

Our waiter was the fellow with the unkempt "surfer" kind of hair. He thought he was funny and charming, but he absolutely was NOT !!!!! I get angry just thinking about how he spoke to us last night. He spoke to us like we were idiots. His reasoning for our way tooooo late meals, was we had ordered 1 lousy appetizer and for that reason it puts the meal order way back. Are You Kidding Me Buddy????? How stupid do you think we are. I told him that right there, that that was the lamest excuse i have ever heard. He also said, yeah I can go back and yell at the chef, but its not gonna do any good. Whatever happened to apologizing to your patrons and letting them know you will do whatever you can to speed things up. We also had to ask for cutlery, and water and refills for EVERY cup of coffee. He NEVER came over once to see if the food was okay for us. I had the fish taco for 15.00, what a rip off. Without a word of exaggeration, i had 3 tiny cubes of fish on each of the 2 tacos. They were flatter than a quesadilla. Terrible, terrible, terrible value here.

I left mad and hungry, and we like to dine out frequently and we tip well for GREAT service and food, which we got neither of. I will be telling EVERYONE I know to NEVER bother wasting their time at this dump.

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Charlie Don't Have Squid
By gastropod of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 1:12pm [Dine in]

t was the first sunny weekend so we couldn't pass out trying out Charlie's favourite (cod & chips). The portion of cod was good ($12.95) but didn't care for the fries. Should have opted for a salad or substituted for yam fries. Definitely had better fish & chips at "Go Fish". The calamari appetizer ($9.95) was disappointing. It was essentially a bowl of crispy batter bits with tomatoes and green onions topping - really pitiful. Not knowing the area, it was nice evening on the patio under gorgeous sunshine but the food really short.

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Absolutely Disgusting.
By snailface of White Rock (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, January 2, 2012 - 12:25pm [Dine in]

When the response to "what's the only restaurant open on New Years day on the beach?" is "Charlie Don't Surf", and the people with you say, "Oh no!!!!", you are probably doing something wrong.

The waiter hardly appeared for the 2 hours we had to endure this restaurant. Not because we wanted to and were enjoying ourselves, but because THAT'S HOW LONG IT TOOK FOR EVERYTHING TO ARRIVE. Every time we had to wave him over for him to refill our drinks, to take our order, to come back when he wasn't finished taking our orders.

When we finally ordered our appetizers 30 minutes into being there, the calimari came soggy, lukewarm, and in a small amount.

I was finished my tea for an hour before I had to flag down the waiter to get some water to drink, to which he sighed loudly, returned with a glass of tap water with no ice, and was like "There you are, a glass of our finest water" in an extremely sarcastic tone.

The food everyone had was mediocre. No one took anything home and there was a LOT left. When I asked our party of 8 what they thought of their food, no one even said "it's good". It was disappointing. The fish was soggy, the chips were cold, the pasta was less than appealing.

Me and 2 others had the Curry Chicken Penne. NEVER have I turned away food at a restaurant. This was the first time. The chicken was fatty and stringy and overcooked, the penne was overcooked, the snowpeas were brown from being steamed for god knows how long, and it's like they dumped an entire block of condensed curry mix into each bowl. It was 100% inedible. I got the manager to take it off the bill, which he didn't fight.

I was right to not want to go to this restaurant. It's always been a let down and every time I ask someone about this place, the response is usually "ewwww".

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first time here
By utonium of Surrey (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 1, 2011 - 11:27pm [Dine in]

My friend suggested we have dinner here while we were visiting the beach. It was my first time dining at Charlie's so I was pretty excited. The place is dark. Really, really dark. The booth we had felt like I was sitting at a booth at a night club. Haha, but it was nice! The interior is beautiful, and I loved the restrooms (mirrors-galore).

Service: Food took an extremely long time to come out. Our waitress asked if we wanted our appetizers before our mains, and we said yes. Well...the appetizers arrived at our table 1 minute before our other food came :S We had to ask for our refills for our drinks. Waitress only came back once to check on us and how the food was. And then once more to give us the bill and to collect empty plates. She was friendly though. Hostess was not very helpful when we wanted to pay our bill.

Food: Bruschetta was okay. I could have made that at home. Calamari was good. Spicy Italian Sausage Penne was.....meh. Ate about 1/3 of it. My Coke tasted like...Diet Coke?? :|

Overall, I have no idea what made me tip 15% (probably because I liked the restroom too much)... walked outta there thinking I will not come back. I think my friend liked it though.

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Good Service
By Andrea1421 of Surrey , B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, August 1, 2011 - 8:54pm [Dine in]

I went to Charlie Dont Surf, but I was hesitant after reading the reviews about bad service. We went and I saw no reflection of bad service anywhere. I thought the service was really good. We got a table on the Patio as requested. We had 3 drink refills without even asking for them. The appetizer came out within 10 min,. My husband had the Chicken Curry Pasta and thought it was one of the best he ever had. I had a chicken burger and it was also pretty good. We would definately go again.

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