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!

April 27th, 2013. Bubble World on Robson!

bubble world (robson)

bubble world (robson)

 

 

 

 

So, walking back up Robson of course we had to follow up with our regular ritual of bubble tea!  Street Fighter+Bubble Tea = The best!

bubble world (robson)

bubble world (robson)

 

 

 

 

 

This particular location is tiny and doesn’t offer food (no salty peppery chicken nuggets? sad!), but it has a game station that evokes all kinds of childhood nostalgia!

bubble world (robson)

bubble world (robson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, more than 10 years later I still suck, but the boys think I’m cute for trying so hard 😉

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 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.

April 14th, 2013. Baby Aiden & Destin’s 1st Birthday~!

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club





Flown in from Singapore, Yoonchan Oppa and Yong Eun Unni had brought their little family to Vancouver so that they could celebrate their twins’ 1st birthday with all the family and friends here in Vancouver!

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club






The Vancouver Golf Club was a really nice venue for them to hold the party and with the help of their friends they even had the whole place decorated with the babies’ photos, party favors, and pots of ballots for the traditional “what occupation will the babies choose” game 🙂

vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club

The food was buffet style and what a nice spread! Rivaling any nice wedding, the selection was wide and sumptuous and quite tasty as well!  Eunice and I definitely approved of all the delicousness 😉

It was our first time meeting our new twin nephews but with all the activity going on and with so many people there wanting to meet them it was difficult for us to get personal time.  I can say that they are quite the adorable pair and look nothing like Yoon Jai Oppa’s kids!
vancouver golf club

vancouver golf club






All in all we had a really fun time.  Any time getting together with family is a good time 😉

Posted by jenn c.
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Casa Del Pane Italian Bakery (Port Moody)

June 4, 2014

April 12th, 2013. Chaiyoung’s Getting Married!

casa del pane bakery

casa del pane bakery




My dear friend Chaiyoung finally met the man of her dreams and is getting married!  She had kept everything very low-key so it came quick and sudden, but after seeing her photos with her fiance and hearing her talk, you can’t help but see how happy she is 🙂
casa del pane bakery

casa del pane bakery




Only the best for my Chaiyoung Bebe, I got a pretty Black Forest Cake from Case Del Pane, and Italian Bakery in Newport Village in Port Moody. Delicously decadent with big, rich white chocolate shavings and sumptuously juicy cherries in abundance this cake was just as gorgeous to eat as it was to look at 😀
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Tagine-Inspired Moroccan Chicken Dinner

June 3, 2014

April 11th, 2013.  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken




So, I was looking through Epicurious and saw this delicious Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas and Mint recipe and thought to myself “I don’t have a tagine, but this looks delicious and somewhat do-able.  I’m going to make it!”
tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken








I got some chickpeas, a pack of chicken drumsticks, a bunch of mint, some chicken stock, ginger and grated lemongrass.
tagine-inspired moroccan chicken

tagine-inspired moroccan chicken









Sorry I don’t have a step-by-step this time around, but trust me when I say, this turned out REAL WELL!  I put mine over rice and it was delish!

For the Epicurious recipe go HERE 😀

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Pizza Hut Lunch Buffet

June 2, 2014

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
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Soirette Macarons & Tea

April 18, 2014

March 23rd, 2013. Soirette

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

A girls’ day with Anita calls for something special… Soirette!  On the West End at towards the end of Pender before you hit Stanley Park territory, this newish macaron and high tea place is tiny, but perfect for girly girls who love macarons!

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the coming of spring their cute window displays and sweet little décor details inside are just too cute not to take pictures!  Anita was running a little late, which gave me plenty of time to ogle the beautiful and dainty Macarons 🙂

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

All their desserts sweets are crafted in their baking kitchen in their back-of-house and every time the doors swing open you get tiny glimpses of the magic that happens behind the doors.

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tiny establishment is always booked full since there is such limited seating and limited time.  We had to do with just buying some to go.

soirette macaron & tea

soirette macaron & tea

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a dozen gorgeous little macarons of varying colors and flavors.  I can definitely say I prefer them to Thierry.  Light cloud of pastel colors imparted with dainty flavors.  I love how creamy and jammy  the centers are.  I was definitely impressed!

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