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Archive for the ‘Casual’ Category

This year’s Dine Out has 4 menu price points: $15, $25, $35 and $45. Not many places offer a $15 menu but I was most intrigued by Popina on Granville Island. The restaurant concept is created by some of the most celebrated chefs in Vancouver. The space is made up of shipping containers, located right by the Granville Island Public Market.

Popina on Granville Island

Popina on Granville Island

The $15 menu is pretty straightforward. A sandwich + a side of fries and its signature puffcream for dessert. CC and I went there on the sunny Sunday afternoon, 3 hours before our dinner reservation. Luckily for us, because it’s just counter service, we were able to just order one set and share between the two of us.

Popina on Granville Island

Food

For the sandwich, you have the option of BC Beef Cheeseburger or Crispy Chicken Burger. We chose the Crispy Chicken Burger.

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For the second year, Juke Fried Chicken in Chinatown is participating in Dine Out Vancouver. I was invited to a tasting of its $25 menu.

Food

The appetizer includes two options. The Country Biscuits are to die for! They were warm, had a nice crispy crust on the outside, and soft, buttery inside. Combining with the herbed schmaltz (think butter), mmm it’s one of the best biscuits I’ve had in town. There was leftover from the tasting, so I brought some home. Even with reheating, my family was still marvelled by how delicious these biscuits were.

Juke Fried Chicken - Country Biscuits

The other option is Fried Zucchini Pickles. Since it’s home made, it’s not pungent and acidic like the typical pickles. There’s a bit of sweetness in them. The corn flour-cornmeal crust was thin, making the exterior perfectly crunchy. The honey dill dressing goes well with it, and I tasted a hint of heat too. I didn’t think much of it when I saw this option on the menu, but it’s actually some good munchies before the highlight of the meal.

Juke Fried Chicken - Fried Zucchini Pickles

Suggested by the restaurant name, obviously fried chicken needs to be on the menu.

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When I asked for restaurant recommendations for Las Vegas, most people suggested Eggslut. So we went. At 12:30am on a Friday night/Saturday morning.

Eggslut Vegas Late Night

It’s amazing to be in the sin city, where a restaurant would open at 12am. Yep, Eggslut opens at 12am on Saturdays, to cater to the clubbing crowd I assume. We flew in late that evening so we figured we would grab a late night meal. There was still a line outside Marquee, right across from Eggslut.

Eggslut Cosmopolitan Vegas

Food

We ordered the Slut, one of their specialty items. Coddled egg on top of potato puree, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. It’s cooked with an immersion circulator so the egg was in perfect consistency. (more…)

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While I’m on my quest to a tasty cup of brown sugar pearl latte, I’ve also noticed the increasing number of bubble tea franchises popping up in Vancouver. One of the latest addition is Onezo Tapioca in Burnaby, with its location only steps away from Metrotown.

Bubble Teas

Of course, I had to order its Dirty Tea Series to try its brown sugar pearls. For an apple-to-apple comparison, I chose the Brown Sugar Dirty Milk 脏脏茶. As usual, the brown sugar pearls are of limited availability. We caught it just in time, showing up at 3:45pm for the 3:30pm batch on a Saturday. Luckily, there was barely a line up, only a few people in front of us. The pearls were nice and warm when the drink first got into my hands. They had good, soft yet chewy texture. The flavour reminded me of creme caramel — the warm toffee, caramel flavour. Almost buttery.

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On March 21, Jugo Juice launched a revamped food menu with 4 new sandwiches and 5 new wraps.

The new sandwiches are served on heritage sourdough from local bakery Terra Breads or a brand new natural and preservative free artisan bun from Ace Bakery called schiacciata.

I was invited to a media tasting of the new items and got to try the 4 sandwiches:

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable on schiacciata bread

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable

Philly Cheesesteak on schiacciata bread

Philly Cheesesteak

Chicken Caprese on schiacciata bread (more…)

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Having done Dine Out Vancouver for so many years now, frankly I’m feeling burnout. To me, a lot of the menus are not very inspiring; or I question the value for the money. So this year, I set out to try to discover gems that don’t require you to pay $40 yet still feel hungry afterwards.

I was invited to bring a guest (guess whom I brought?) to sample the Dine Out menu of a Donnelly Group restaurant of my choice, including wine pairings. They are all $20 menus. After perusing them, I decided on the Granville Room. Why? I will get to that in a moment.

Food

There are two choices for appetizer. Naturally, we ordered one of each. The Coconut Fried Prawns were nice and crunchy. Mr. (ding-ding!) thought the coating was too thick to taste the prawns but I thought it’s okay. The prawns had good texture, a bit bouncy and not mushy. What’s intriguing is the dipping sauce. It’s a coconut hoisin sauce. When it said hoisin I expected the sauce to be darker in colour, but it’s just a tinted creamy white colour. It had a lot of coconut flavour but it’s not too sweet thanks to the subtle use of hoisin sauce. The prawns themselves did not have any coconut; it’s all in the sauce.

Wine pairing: Desert Hills Viognier – The fried prawns actually mellowed out the acidity in the viognier.

Coconut Fried Prawns

Beef Rib Empanada was also a hand-held appy. There were two pieces on the plate, served with a mole sauce. The sauce was rich, thick, and had some smokey flavour that didn’t overpower everything. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Keep scrolling past the delicious food pics for a meat-sweaty giveaway!]

Mechanical bull, southern BBQ, country music…do they all exist in one place in Vancouver? Yep, Yale Saloon.

I was invited to a tasting at Yale Saloon, featuring their southern style BBQ selections. Right away at the door I was greeted by a mechanical bull. Then country musicians, the front-end of an old Chevy pick-up, and a moose head mounted on the wall.

Yale Saloon Yale Saloon Yale Saloon

We got to sample a number of items on the menu:

  • Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Cauliflower “Wings”
  • Bite Sized Brisket
  • Texas Smoked Spare Ribs
  • Mac n’ Cheese
  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Potato Salad
  • Nacho

BBQ menu at Yale Saloon

My favourite bites were the Pulled Pork Tacos; the meat was flavourful and juicy. The Cauliflower “Wings” — which are supposed to be the veggie substitute for wings — were surprisingly tasty. They had a nice tang, spicy, almost reminded me of buffalo wings. On the other hand, the real Smoked Chicken Wings had a good coating of BBQ sauce, yet the skin remained crispy. The Brisket and Spare Ribs also had good flavours. 

Texas Smoked Spare Ribs Smoked Chicken Wings Pulled Pork Tacos

Bite Sized Brisket Potato Salad

We also got to take home one of their Jalapeno Cornbread and it was very moist, with nice crumbs. One of the best cornbreads I’ve had around.

The restaurant has a nice, casual atmosphere. It’d make a good hang-out spot with friends on the weekend.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t get on the mechanical bull. I heard it’s fun, though, especially if you’re tipsy. Not recommended for when you’re drunk.

So, would you like to check out Yale Saloon? Here’s your chance:

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