Pizza is Always Right

July 9, 2015

May 3rd, 2013. Pizza is Always Right!

panago pizza

panago pizza

 
 
 
 

In the end I couldn’t help myself….my tummy is a happy place for pizza to be!

Hope my car smells like pizza in the morning….lol!

April 27th, 2013. Spring Break in Vancouver!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

So what to do in Vancouver? Eat as much food as possible! Continuing on our food-cation in Vancouver: a bite in Yaletown at El Azteca Modern Tequila Lounge 😀

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Sure, Yaletown can be hit and miss in terms of actual good food and compared to how beautifully gussied up the interior is the service and authenticity of the cuisine can be a disappointment…but you can’t help trying.  Yaletown is like that really popular, pretty girl at the party that you just keep hoping is going to be your future wife, but then she opens her mouth and starts talking…and you realize that she thinks scalloped potatoes are made of scallops and that macaroons are the same as macarons…..

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

Anyways!! I digress.  With a preamble of cocktails, Robert and I started the evening with the Chicharron de Rib Eye; deep fried bites of rib-eye and guacamole served in a martini glass and a side of tortillas.  So, I really wanted to love this, and on paper it all sounded so good!  Not that it wasn’t good…the crunch on the rib-eye was great…but I think I’d have to say that rib-eye should just be left alone…not diced up small and that fried. Really ended up masking the flavor. But hey! It was still pretty yummy…just didn’t need to be made of rib-eye!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Robert went ahead with the Tacos Camarones of fresh Pacific shrimp, bacon, onion, peppers, and smokey habanero. The shrimp was plump, the flavors all worked together, and of course the true test of a taco is how much finger-lickin’ you do! I’d say this was a decent effort 🙂

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

I did my usual hemming and hawing over the menu and even picked our server’s brain.  In the end I ended up with the Cochinita Pibil. Pork slow-roasted in banana leaf (supposedly) and then served in a traditional peltre bowl served with a side of beans, pickles, and soft tortillas.

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

Did I enjoy it? YES! The pork came shredded, moist and smothered in a flavorful sauce that was sweet, tangy and had a little kick to it. 2 things I loved about this dinner: 1. It’s interactive. I get to build my own taco and play with ratio of ingredients.  LOVE THAT! 2. I was eating with a close friend whom I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about eating with my hands and having food juices dripping down my wrist. Hahaha!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

I would NEVER order something like fajitas on a first-date situation, so the fact that I can order anything with Robert is a sign of true food-friendship ;D

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun and playful touch to the end of our meal at El Azteca was the Jacob’s Ladder block toy that our check came in! Holy blast from the past!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

Don’t judge my love for Churros. Or donuts. Or anything deep-fried.  With a tagline like “served with white chocolate dipping sauce” there is NO WAY I could resist an order to take out with me. Midnight snack here I come~!!!  Crispy, sugary, cinnamon-y, hot doughy goodness.  Yes, heaven, I’m sure, is full of churros 🙂

 

In conclusion, El Azteca is warm and inviting and service with cute Latino accents is always a plus, but the food doesn’t stand out, the flavors don’t pop, and for what you pay the portions are pretty meager. Is great for maybe a drink and small bites pre-party, but wouldn’t want to sink my entire night here.

April 27th, 2013. Spring Break In The City!

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 

 

Good morning, Vancouver! It’s spring break!  It’s a typically rainy day, but that’s not going to stop us from making the most of it!

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 




Another reason why I love The Burrard Hotel is that it has this incredibly sweet café attached to the lobby that has Blenz coffee and tea, very delicious looking baked goods and treats and is licensed for wine! The white and wood interior and teal and yellow accents make it that much more chic 😀

the betty (the burrard hotel)

the betty (the burrard hotel)

 

 

 

 

In keeping with the rest of the hotel even the café offers cheeky little sayings and touches 😉  What’s not to love!  Makes starting the morning even more fun!

 

 

 

*Update (Jan. 22nd, 2015): The Betty has been re-vamped and is now The Container.

March 20th, 2013. Eunice’s Perfect Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡)~

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

People wonder why I never cook Korean food. Why would I need to when I have a sister who cooks it so well and lets me eat it ;D

Tonight I came home and Eunice was just about to make some Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡) and said that I was going to help. Yes, sister! At your command 😀

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 A traditional Korean side dish, these mini meat patties are like a Korean bite-sized version cross between meatloaf & meatballs.  Made with a ground pork and tofu base mixed with your base aromatics such as garlic, carrots, and onions, it’s crucial to have a perfect mixture if you want the perfect moist and flavorful bite!

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Not overworked and perfectly uniform patties just small enough to fit in the cup of your hand!

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

After a flour and egg coating the next important step is cooking it slow on medium heat in oil. Just like many grilling techniques flipping it over should be at a minimum.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Wait until the oil starts to bubble up and the bottom of the patties get that gorgeous yellow color from the egg wash, then gently turn them all over and do the same.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too brown and it’s dry and tough, but that beautiful golden yellow with a slight brown hue makes this my personal favorite Korean side dish!

Homemade Strawberry Pie-Cake!

December 24, 2013

March 5th, 2013. Lifegroup~ 

 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

  It doesn’t feel like a complete week without our weekly lifegroup evenings 🙂  

  Carmi is so sweet and always makes a point of having some sort of goodies when she and Evangel host.  Tonight she made this awesome Strawberry Pie-Cake!  Looks like a pie, but it’s cake inside~ 😀

 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

 

 

  Indulgent but light, delicious and fresh, hot out of the oven goodness!  I don’t know how she has time to do this after a full day of work, but she’s a super-woman!  Thank you~ 

homemade strawberry pie-cake

homemade strawberry pie-cake

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing life, shooting the breeze, praying together and eating delicious snacks?  All good things, in my book ;D

March 2nd, 2013. Yum Time @ Zakkushi!!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

 

After a bit of a social dry spell I was more than excited about an evening of eats with Richard to explore a place we’d heard so much about… Zakkushi on Denman!

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

Zakkushi is a Japanese Izakaya bar space that focuses on one main thing….grilling anything on a stick!  What’s not to love about that?  I love everything about it!  In true Vancouver style the main food station is right in the open with the delicious aromas of grilled meats wafting and filling up the small and cozy space.  With the house packed full Richard and I got seats right at the bar to start off the night.

zakkushi on denman

zakkushi on denman

 

 

 

After drooling all over the menu we finally put up a mass order and waited for the skewered barrage to start flowing in!  And the food kept coming ;D

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so the first trio of skewers to show up were the Kurobuta Pork, Wasa Beef and Uzura Maki.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Uzura Maki really was a no-brainer for us since it was what I had used as my bait to get Richard interested in coming here! Uh, bacon wrapped quail eggs topped off with a sweet and creamy mayo and seaweed shreds?  Yes, yes and YES!  The epitome of everything I enjoy including the fact that it comes on a stick!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Usually I associate Kurobuta Pork with Japadog and their Kurobuta hotdogs.  This was a different application and just as super tasty!  The char flavor coming through on that juicy pork with the sweet marinade was really the clincher here.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

The Wasa Beef is AAA grade slices of beef topped off with fresh wasabi and those seaweed ribbons.  Simple, clean, flavorful and that wasabi is just the right kinda kick!  Another winner 🙂

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

As indicators of the rest of the meal to come these first 3 were having us chomping at the bit and wanting more!!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

We also wanted to order some special items and the Charcoal Grilled Yellowtail with Oroshi (grated radish) and Ponzu Sauce sounded like just the thing!  Tender, light and melt-in-your-mouth fish with that light and refreshing touch with the ponzu and oroshi!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

The special of the day was also an Octopus Carpaccio with Spicy Sauce, which was actually kind of like a Korean Gochujang sauce.  The sweet Korean chili paste goes GREAT with fresh octopus and really highlights the natural sweetness and meatiness you get from octopus.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Back onto beef, we had the Oropon Beef, which was again AAA grade beef, this one topped with the grated daikon and ponzu.  Great for flavor and cutting the richness to add an underlying layer of sweetness and acidity and brightness.

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side dishes?  Yes, why not go for a trio of them!  Gomae, Chilled Tofu and some Pickled Veg!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

 

I told Richard he MUST try some tongue so I also went ahead and ordered the Negi Tongue.  Now, when you go to Asian supermarkets and see these gigantic frozen cow tongues studded with tastebuds you just kinda wanna keep walking…and walking…and walking.. until you are far far away!  But when done well they are actually super tender and yummy!  Japanese izakaya places seem to get it consistently right and I always like to order a portion!  This one with the almost caramelized onion sauce was no exception and even had Richard lapping it up!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

Who doesn’t love duck?  Fatty, rich, and full of amazing flavor!  We definitely had to order the Duck Breast with Yuzu Citrus Chili Sauce.  Rendered down just right with the signature duck texture and unctuousness.  Just gorgeous 😀

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm~~ P-Toro!  Just pure, simple crunchy, juicy pork served up with a slice of lemon.  So simple, but nothing comforts your palate like delicious pork belly!  Drool worthy, for sure 😀

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

 

And yes, I had to do it… Takoyaki!!  Delicious fried balls of light Japanese batter filled with bits of octopus and topped off with light and salty bonito flakes and that yummy yummy sauce!  I can’t help myself, I love this especially when it’s hot & fresh!

zakkushi on denamn

zakkushi on denamn

 

 

How happy were we with this meal?  So much that we were both on the verge of major food coma and delirious from the many many foodgasms!

Mmmmm~~~ Such yum and much happiness!!

 

September 1st, 2012. Indian Summer Fun 

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

I’d arranged to meet Anita (@PetiteFoodie) and one of her other foodie girlfriends, Tien (@distienct) for dinner at Sanafir.  It’s a restaurant I’d been wanting to try since it opened a few years ago….and as luck would have it here I was on the last day of their dinner service to finally try it.  Late for the Sanafir train much?  Part of the Glowbal group it was known for it’s oriental/multi-national flair with food, the low cushioned seating and opulent and risque evening entertainment.  We arrived earlier in the evening but the place was already pretty full..we were able to snag a little corner table on their tiny patio.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

 

 

Start with a round of cocktails?  Oh, why not 😀  They were a bit of a hit and miss, which was actually an indicator of our meal to come….but overall the drinks were stiff but not bad.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

 

 

Jamon y Manchego: shaves of serrano ham, a quince “slice”, some olives and manchego cheese.  Simple “charcuterie” starter.  Nothing really to write home about as Judas Goat Taberna and Salt Tasting Room both rule the arena for this sort of fare.  But good, classic, basic flavor combinations.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

Next up was the Scallop Ceviche with Tomato and Avocado: Refreshing and the scallops were okay, but definitely not enough avocado to add creaminess to the dish and the crostinis were way too hard.  Our complaint was that it just wasn’t a ceviche.  It didn’t seem that the scallops were marinated in citrus long enough and there wasn’t much of that acidic kick.  Just seemed like a lame ceviche.. 😦

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

Our first main was the Lobster and Duck Paella served with clams, mussels and chorizo sausage.  Again…a bit of a let down.  Despite being served with a lobster tail the flavor was just bland, which is funny because all the components are all known to be super flavorful.  The duck was tough and the lobster slightly overcooked, and everything else was just underwhelming.

We also had the Butter Chicken which I seem to have lost photos of…but don’t hold your breath, because it really wasn’t all that amazing either.  The best part may have been the accompanying pappadums and those probably weren’t even made in house, so, yeah.  Seems like Sanafir was more keen on getting the heck out than giving us all a memorable last dinner.  Oh well…. now they’re gone!

1AM 7-Eleven Run~

March 22, 2013

June 13th, 2012. 1AM 7-Eleven Run~

1am 7-eleven run

1am 7-eleven run

 

 

There’s no helping it..when you get that sudden self destructive cravin of donuts, chili cheese dogs, pop and chips….you just gotta go and get it!  Lucky for us when one person wants to go the others are almost relieved that they aren’t the only one with midnight cravings 😉

1am 7-eleven run

1am 7-eleven run

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello 7-Eleven~~!! 

That’s right, we never skimp on toppings 😉

 

1am 7-eleven run

1am 7-eleven run

 

 

 

 

 

Uh, excuse me…Maple Bacon Bar???!!  That’s a no-brainer!!!  Perfectly soft and airy donut with an ooey-gooey maple glaze topped wuth a generous amount of real bacon bits…this is criminal!  Foodgasm!  Satisfied both my sweet and savory teeth!

May 28th, 2012. grilled cheese, egg & spam sandwich!

grilled cheese, egg & spam sandwich

grilled cheese, egg & spam sandwich

 

 

 

Judge all you will, but there’s nothing more delicious than Grilled Cheese, Egg & Spam Sandwich!  Egg and spam fried first then sandwiched in between toast and cheese then grilled in butter…. OH.EM.GEE!

grilled cheese, egg & spam sandwich

grilled cheese, egg & spam sandwich

 

 

 

 

Gooey cheese, delicious egg with unbroken yolk, and that flavorful spam with the crunchy exterior of buttery toast…. It’s an instant blast to the past and a big mouthful of deliciousness!  The ultimate guilty pleasure food 😉

Pizza Cravings~!!

March 2, 2013

May 18th, 2012. Pizza Craving!! 

pizza craving (panago pizza)

pizza craving (panago pizza)

 

 

 

 

 

When I get cravings…I get massive cravings.  After a whole trip of Korean food I NEEDED some hot, hearty, cheesy pizza! 

 

pizza craving (panago_

pizza craving (panago_

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panago is my usual go-to for pizza.  Ahhhhh….the aroma of pizza filling up my car, permeating throughout the elevator…and finally getting through my door and just scarfing it down!  Yum~!

 

 

Nothing like hot pizza to make your night 😉