May 5th, 2013. Happy Cinco de Mayo~~~

Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
Holidays are a wonderful reason to enjoy food, and Mexican holidays are even better because we can get piggy with tacos!!  I actually discovered this super authentic Mexican hole-in-the-wall in New West and was chomping at the bit to try it out.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taqueria Playa Tropical is on 6th Street with a few other local gems. When I walked in there was a Mexican band playing, the small restaurant was packed full and decorations had been put up here and there to give it a festive feel.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The super friendly server sat me at a fairly spacious table with a menu and I proceeded to inspect the menu for my options.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obviously I had to order some Guava Juice. I love sweet tropical fruit!!  Guava and Watermelon. My favourite 2 fruit flavours 😉
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The tortilla chips came in this adorable stone mortar which was cool.  Salsa verde and rojo were both pretty legit, too!  I just love condiments ;D
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I ended up ordering a trio of tacos: Camaron, Carne Asada and Carnitas. The Carne Asada and Carnitas are my usual barometers for any given taqueria. I figure any self-respecting taqueria has to be able to deliver on these 2 staples.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
First, the Carne Asada. The brightness of the fresh cilantro, tomato and onion were a refreshing foil to the straightforward beef. I appreciated that the beef wasn’t over done, it had enough moisture so that it didn’t get stringy and tough. Good start!
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
Next, the Carnitas! The carnitas was slightly drier than I expected but it had the right amount of heat with the perfect amount of sweet undertone.  And of course the guac was just on point! Just like the toppings on the carne you could tell my just looking at the guacamole that it was fresh. Vibrant color and flavour with the sharp tang of onion and cilantro cooling the heat of the pork. I still enjoyed it 🙂
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
I went out on a limb with the Camaron. I usually don’t order shrimp because it’s so easy to over-cook it, get shrimp that’s not fresh, or too small. I have to say, my choice paid off big time! I think I actually almost liked this taco the most! The shrimp was cooked just right having the right amount of spring, crunch and tenderness. Sweet grilled onion with some garlic, celery and cilantro topped with melted cheese.  This? You should eat this. It’s not aggressive, but it’s this wonderful harmony in your mouth! And of course you can always add a little salsa on it to amp it up 😉  This one was so good!
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
I give Taqueria Playa Tropical my seal of approval and would come again. It definitely has moved to the top of my list for Mexican food in Vancouver!

April 28th, 2013. Sunday Lunch at Earl’s

coal harbout

coal harbout

 

 

After a lovely service at Coastal Church downtown Robert & I took advantage of the easy Sunday morning with a walk around Coal Harbour. With a view like this, how can you get tired of downtown?

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

 

We figured the best way to send him back off to beautiful SoCal was to recreate our first final meal with a meal at Earl’s and then Bubble Tea for the drive to the airport. Might as well make more memories on a proven thing!

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

 

 

Robert did not deviate from his original final meal and went with the Sirloin and Mashed Potato accompanied by a Bourbon Mushroom Demi Glace.

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

I went the seasonal route with a juicy Halibut topped with a Warm Tomato Salad complete with a side of Corn and Roasted zucchini topped with Feta and a mini casserole of smashed crispy Garlic Yukon Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives. Super moist fish, I loved all my sides, and was super satisfied.

Thanks, Earl’s for a delicious Sunday lunch!

Banana Leaf on Robson

January 22, 2015

April 27th, 2013. Banana Leaf Robson

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

So I felt like a bright lunch would be a great way to go so I had planned for us to go to the new Banana Leaf that just opened up on Robson.

I ordered the appetizer platter as my lunch and I was pretty pleased! I love love love options and this dish came with the Papaya and Pineapple Salad, Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Roti Canai and Calamari.

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

Finger food, check. Sauces, check. Flavor, check! The roti canai was stretchy but with a crispy crust, the calamari was a tad dry, but acceptable with a salty and crumbly crispy coating, the spring rolls were deep fried goodness and while the satay could have been punchier with the flavor, it was still not bad! As for the salad, the dressing was bright, sweet, acidic, and overall was fresh!

banana leaf robson

banana leaf robson

 

 

Robert, on the other hand, was very disappointed with his curry dish. Being well traveled and also being from LA he’d know!  He said it was bland and forgettable and he even left a scathing comment card! Yikes!

April 9th, 2013.  Pizza Buffet Pig Out!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet

When was the last time you’ve done all you can eat pizza?  That’s right, probably not in a long time 😉  We’d seen this sign come up recently and being the Pizza Hut die-hards that we are it didn’t take any arm twisting on my part to convince Eunice to come with me 😉  Besides, $7.00 for all you can eat?  Best deal in town!

 

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet






Pizza of our childhood, deliciously crispy soft crust, super hot ooey-gooey satisfaction.  And yeah, even the salad bar, plain as it is, holds a sentimental place in our hearts and our stomaches!
pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Howard came along for the ride, but obviously he is not as consummate as me and my sister.  I mean, come on, you are talking to some pizza fanatics 😉

We even ordered a pitcher of Coke.  Because even though neither of us are huge pop drinkers when it comes to Pizza Hut we know that nothing tastes better than  a tall icy cup of Coke ;D
pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet













The obligatory salad.

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet











We attacked that pizza buffet like nobody’s business!  We actually managed to power through quite a good amount of pizza and by the time we threw in the towel we were extremely happily stuffed and ready to pass the heck out!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Sure, artisinal pizzas, thin crust this and fresh herbs that are all the rage.  But Pizza Hut is in a league of it’s own.  Unapologetically rich and hearty and the cheese is piled on, it’s just sooooooo good~~~!!

pizza hut lunch buffet

pizza hut lunch buffet









Don’t try to get in the way of us Choi’s and pizza.  It won’t be pretty and we won’t be nice ;D

March 16th, 2013. Miura Waffle Milk Bar

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

Reunion brunch with Joyce! Since leaving Sylvan I haven’t seen Joyce, but we’ve been able to keep in touch through Facebook and judging by each others’ posts we both love food! What better way to reconnect than over Vancouver’s newest fad….Waffle sandwiches!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

Miura Waffle Milk Bar is a Japanese waffle joint that’s small but clean. Already gaining acclaim by being featured on hit foodie show “You Gotta Eat Here” it’s one of those places considered a hidden gem.

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

We couldn’t just choose between savory or sweet so we went for 1 of each and split them: First the Hoisin Sando! Sweet and savory hoisin ground pork sausage sandwiched in with bright and aromatic cilantro, refreshing and clear cucumber and a mildly tangy carrot and radish pickle. Reminiscent of a bahn mi but slightly milder. I found that the waffle was appropriately crispy and soft at the same time although bordering on that very thin line of being slightly more dense than I prefer. Delicious? Yes!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, And I also got a Maple Yoggy Milk. Because….I love maple and I what goes better with waffles than milkshake! Not overly sweet with a hint of maple. I would have liked a stronger maple flavor, but it was certainly refreshing and creamy!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

Next we had the Fruits and Cream Sando! Served between the same waffle with the season’s fresh fruit and cream, today’s fruit was strawberries! Okay, what’s more fitting than tart, sweet, juicy strawberries with a rich and creamy whipped cream against delicious waffle! The hoisin sando had filled us, but the fruits and cream sando put us over the edge 😉

Busy stuffing our mouths I’m surprised we got so much talking done in between! It was wonderful to reconnect and to see how much had happened in our lives since we worked together 🙂 Thanks for suggesting such a fun place, Joyce!

Chronic Tacos – New West

November 5, 2013

January 15th, 2013. Birthday Tacos!! 

 

chronic tacos new west

chronic tacos new west

 

 

 

Eunice and Howard asked what I wanted to eat for my birthday..I said: TACOS!  Hahaha!  I had lifegroup later that night so we went to Chronic Tacos in New Westminster for lunch.

 

chronic tacos new west

chronic tacos new west

 

 

 

 

I decided I wanted to go full out and got both the Carne Asada & Carnitas Tacos as well as Chips & Salsa!  The crunch of the chips were so satisfying with the tacos!  Yummy birthday lunch!!

October 23rd, 2012. Seattle Trip~!!

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

 

 

 

I love Portage Bay Cafe in the University District, so I suggested we go there for brunch before we started our day of errands and shopping.

 

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing like some down home organic grub to start the day! I mean…probably not something I’d be able to whip up at home…but you know…that’s what Portage Bay Cafe is for!

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also noticed this time that they actually have a little chicken farm (?) right by the restaurant as well! I guess that’s where they source their delicious organic eggs and chicken 😀

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

 

 

 

What with the great selection and the constant new daily specials going on here it’s always hard to pick what I want to eat…but today the Rosemary Lamb Sloppy Joe Burger won out! Now, I’m not the biggest lamb fan…but something about sloppy joe on a brioche bun… bring it on!!

 

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

Anderson Ranch Lamb and Painted Hills Beef Mix, served Sloppy-Joe style with spicy Rosemary tomato sauce, and kale on a brioche bun served with some goat’s milk cheese and beet salad. Messy, sloppy, juicy, and full of flavor! This burger is a handful AND a mouthful of goodness! Go try it!!

portage bay cafe

portage bay cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry went for the Organic Roasted Chicken Club Sandwich served with Herbed Organic Potatoes. It disappeared pretty quickly so I can only surmise that he enjoyed it! It certainly looked yummy 🙂

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm~~ Portage Bay Cafe never disappoints and always delivers on flavor, freshness and creativity!  Breakfast of the organic conscious, westcoast champions!

Lunching at Earls ;)

September 4, 2013

September 8th, 2012.  Lunching at Earls 😉

earls (langley)

earls (langley)

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the sun as I lunch on the patio at Earls in Langley.  What to order?  Why, some Fish Tacos, of course!

earls (langley)

earls (langley)

 

 

 

Grilled lime and coriander marinated wahoo with a mango & avocado salsa and a spicy crema over grilled flour tortillas served with a spicy roasted tomato soup.  Mmmmmm~~ blasts of flavor, ripe avocado and mango, great fish and delicious soup.  Satisfying and perfect on a sunny day!

 

August 22nd, 2012. Milestones Lunch 

milestones - robson

milestones – robson

20120822151657 - milestones

 

So, I clearly had a lot on my plate with just being back from a long business trip and my grandma just having passed…but I still gotta eat.

Yire and I had been estranged from the real world for so long…we figured we could use a day out so we hit up Milestones downtown on Robson with Eunice for a little lunch 🙂

 

The meal itself was fine, but what I really wanted to try (and talk about) was the Top Chef Canada inspired treat, the Apple Bacon Tart with Blue Cheese Cream.  Let me tell you: the tart? Dry, dry, dry.  Dry tart, dry apples, dry bacon; could have used some sort of glaze to liven it up…but the blue cheese cream?  Quite nice!  Fresh, light, whipped, and cool, I quite liked that component.  Lackluster tart, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it!  Come on’ya’ll….it’s apple, bacon and blue cheese!

August 11th, 2012. AllTV Korean Culture Caravan – Quebec City, Quebec

burgers in quebec city

burgers in quebec city

 

 

 

The rain followed us to Quebec City but that wasn’t going to dampen our mood!  With such an amazing venue centre stage at Place d’Youville, we were all seeing a diverse audience of tourists from all over the world!

burgers in quebec city

burgers in quebec city

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our huge tour bus sat atop the crest of the plaza and my team set up the grill and tables to assemble some bomb-ass Avocado Burgers for the team and staff 🙂  Freshly mashed up avocado, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes and BBQ sauce and a nice juicy patty all sandwiched between a sesame bun.

burgers in quebec city

burgers in quebec city

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we grilled up the tasty burgers we started attracting a crowd of our own. Bystanders and tourists were coming up to us and actually asking to buy our burgers…hehe!