Friday, October 02, 2015

Delicious Beef Brothy Pho at Delicious Pho

Delicious Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Stopped in with family to try it out some Pho in Vancouver.  We had tried a few places that seemed to be lined up on a Friday afternoon for lunch.  With a small, but bearable line-up we chose Delicious Pho (255 Robson Street, Vancouver).

Delicious Pho, located mere steps away from BC Place, is a medium sized restaurant with a modern interior painted in a spring leafy green.

Upon entering, if there is a wait, customers are requested to add their names and number of people in their party themselves to a dry erase board.  The problem though is the dry erase board is only viewable if you are looking out the window as opposed to entering the store. So many customers miss this and staff, periodically stopping by to fill tables, constantly remind people to put their names on it.  Perhaps a small sign on the wall just above the first tables nearest the entrance might help resolve this issue.

Delicious Pho's Storefront on Robson Street
Delicious Pho's Storefront on Robson Street

We were seated within ten minutes of entering, adding our names and waiting to be seated.

I perused the menu and then ordered with a wait staff member.

Delicious Pho's Interior overlooking Robson Street.
Delicious Pho's Interior overlooking Robson Street.

The Order: 1 Beef Ball and Rare Beef Pho and 1 BBQ Chicken Sandwich.

Like most Asian restaurants, tables really don't have a set waiter or server. Instead, once needing service, someone at the table raises their hand or otherwise signals to one of the roving employees to venture forth to address the issue.

The food took a respectable ten minutes to arrive at the table after ordering.

Delicious Pho Small Rare Beef with Beef Ball Pho
Small Rare Beef with Beef Ball Pho

The Pho was a little different than what I was used to.  Sure there was the usual rare beef and beef balls in decent quantities along with the noodles.  But the broth was an interestingly beefier broth and darker in colour than normal.  Nothing wrong with this rendition, just a little different from most others.  As for quantity? I was decently full on a small bowl.

Delicious Pho Vietnamese BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Vietnamese BBQ Chicken Sandwich

The BBQ Chicken Sandwich was an interesting Vietnamese sandwich itself.  My only prior try of Vietnamese sub sandwiches was at Ottawa's Co-Cham.  So this was going to be interesting.   The Delicious Pho sandwich was served on a regular white french bread with BBQ'd chicken, shredded carrot, a type of unidentifiable sauce to may palate and other garnishes.  A nice tasting sandwich about the equivalent of a regular 6" sub in size for $4.50.

Service at Delcious Pho is pretty good most of the time.  Like most Asian restaurants with the service by committee set up, there is sometimes a lag of when someone is available to take your request instead of responding to others.  So be patient as sometimes it can get pretty busy.

Overall, Delicious Pho is a satisfactory modern style Asian restaurant with decent pricing and decent portion sizes.  Staff move fairly quickly to clean tables and get you seated as fast as possible.  When in Vancouver, I may return!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Was it an A&W Mama or Papa Burger?

A&W Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato With coupons in hand, I recently visited the A&W (450 Robson Street, Vancouver).  This modern interior looking A&W has a decent sized seating area for a downtown location with the counter near the rear of the store.

I waited for the customer in front of me to order and receive her food.  Problem was she was being offered options like cheese and bacon to which, English not being her first language, she did not understand.   Eventually the cashier gave up and asked for the money total.  Another round of confusion ensued about what amount of money was being asked.

A&W Storefront on Robson Street
A&W Storefront on Robson Street

Another employee came over to another cash register and asked if I was going to pay by credit or debit.  Cash was my sad answer and I rolled my eyes as he shrugged and left.  I waited another two minutes until, somehow, the customer ahead of me paid and I was able to provide my coupon and order.

The Order: 1 Teen Burger and 1 Mama Burger with 2 Fries and 2 Soft Drinks.

I waited as my order was quickly put together.  After obtaining my paper bag with the burgers and fries along with the two drinks, I headed for the door.   Not quite yet able to leave though.  I was called back saying I may have the wrong order.  I handed over my paper bag.  Was this a Papa burger instead of a Mama burger?  They scrolled through the order screen and the cashier skeptically looked at the kitchen burger assembler.  After much discussion (and sighs by me), the original sandwich was put back in my paper bag and I made quick work of crossing the real estate between the counter and the front door.

Back at the apartment, I double checked the order.  Yes, one Teen Burger and One Mama burger both with the same sized fries and two drinks.  Yes there was even ketchup packets, napkins and straws.  Everything was there.  Not sure why it needed a university level discussion group to figure out.

A&W Teen Burger
Teen Burger

The Teen Burger was average for A&W with nothing special or anything missing, just a little over exuberant on the lettuce. My wife's Mama burger went down o.k. as well.  Nothing new or special either.  Both burgers seem to be made to corporate specifications.

The fries were average taste and temperature with the usual amount of A&W oversalting provided.

Overall, the food was average A&W quality at this location.  The service was sub-par with nobody seeming to know what a basic Mama Burger consisted of.  This despite the corporate specifications probably being at the kitchen assembly area.  The lack of ability to ensure two tills could take cash to help bypass the customer in front of me was just plain annoying. For this A&W, I will not be back.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Triple Play at Triple O's

Triple O's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoAfter having a delicious burger at White Spot, later that week I decided to try out White Spot's "sister brand", Triple O's (700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver).  This Triple O's is located on the ground floor of the CBC building at the corner of Georgia and Hamilton Streets.

Despite being in an urban downtown area, the Triple O's is actually a spacious 50's or 60's diner inspired inside with a  service counter at one end.  Add to this a condiment and drink counter along another side the entire interior set up is like a McDonald's forced to combine operations with a diner.

Triple O's in the CBC Vancouver Building
Triple O's in the CBC Vancouver Building

Being 11:30 a.m., I walked up to the counter and ordered right away.

The Order: 1 Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger with Fries and Coke.

After ordering and paying, I was promised the order would be brought out to me but here was my soft drink cup that I could fill up at the fountain pop machine nearby.

Triple O's Interior
Triple O's Interior

I filled my cup up and found a seat nearby.  I logged into the free wifi to catch up on my usual rounds.  But before I get much further, amazingly my order was being brought out!  Who would of thunk it that ordering at a McDonald's like restaurant would let their customers go and sit with their drinks while their order was prepared and then bring it out them?

Triple O's Bacon Burger Combo with Fries
Triple O's Bacon Burger Combo with Fries

The burger was similar to Harvey's hamburger except a little more juicier.  Of course, the "Triple O's Sauce" added a little more to a usual burger topped with cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato. A decent burger experience.

Triple O's French Fries
Triple O's Fries
The fries were similar to the Harvey's & Swiss Chalet fries I've enjoyed in Ontario except a little thicker cut.  Pretty good temperature and taste wise pretty good with a small dose of ketchup.

Triple O's Original Hamburger
Triple O's Original Hamburger

Overall, Triple O's has been a favourable experience.  I've since been back a couple of times to this location to find friendly service a decent prices.  Tuesdays are the best days to go if you're looking for simple hamburger as they offer a Original Burger, fries and drink for $7 to $8 including taxes.  When in Vancouver, I'll return!

Enjoying the Smooth Waves at Waves Coffee

Waves Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato This morning I ventured down Robson Street to Waves Coffee (211 Robson Street, Vancouver) a location of a Vancouver area coffee chain.

This location is on a ground floor of a modern condominium building a couple blocks up Robson Street from BC Place.  The cafe features large windows and high ceilings to allow lots of sunlight in.   It was a pretty quiet 9:30 a.m. visit for us as there was only a few university or college students enjoying the free Wifi along with a few tourists enjoying their morning brews while studying their maps.

Waves Coffee Storefront at Robson & Cambie Streets
Waves Coffee Storefront at Robson & Cambie Streets

I ventured to the counter and ordered.

The Order: 1 Medium Black Coffee, medium blend.

The two friendly employees behind the counter worked as a team to quickly pour the coffee and collect payment of $2.20 (taxes included) from me.

I ventured over to a table to enjoy my coffee and catch up on my e-mail.  I connected to the free Wifi but had forgotten to write the free wifi connections password.  I returned to the cash and copied it down.

Waves Coffee House Medium Size Coffee
Waves Coffee's Medium Size Coffee

Back at my table I settled in with a few sips of the coffee.  A pretty smooth medium blend that I actually believe is better than Tim Hortons Original Roast they've been perfecting for fifty plus years. A fresh smooth blend that has a slight hint of chocolate taste. Size wise the coffee is about the same size as a Tim Hortons medium cup but a little more pricier.  It really comes down a better fresher tasting cup of coffee for a slightly higher price at Waves vs the regular Tim Hortons.

Overall, the service is friendly and fast.  This location has lots of seating to both people watch out the window or have a quiet conversation with others over a fresh brew along with perhaps a baked item or two.  If I was living in this area on a regular basis, I'd be sure to stop by on a regular basis.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Original Culinary Delights at Original Joe's

Original Joe's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Last night for dinner our family headed out to Original Joe's (294 Robson Street, Vancouver) a new west coast chain restaurant.  The location within the Rosedale on Robson Hotel at the corner of Robson and Hamilton streets, opened at the end of August 2015.

We arrived at 6:30 P.M. with stroller in tow.  We, like our previous trip to White Spot, were looking for s restaurant big and willing enough to bring our daughter along for the ride. Original Joe's was a great choice as they have, via the hotel, an accessible door with plenty of tables that a stroller or even a wheel chair can be accommodated at. The interior was quite roomy with a bar near the front area and restaurant tables scattered throughout over a bi-level (to take in the difference in elevation running along Hamilton Street) restaurant setting.

Original Joe's Restaurant storefront on Robson Street
Original Joe's Restaurant on Robson Street.

Our waitress came by quickly after the hostess seated us with the menus. She took our drink orders (1 Coke and 2 waters) and then left.  Shortly thereafter we saw her again serving a couple of other tables before leaving.  We were a little worried this chain restaurant, like so many other chain restaurants before them, was already suffering from a case of the forgotten customer.    It took ten minutes to get our simple drink order from our table to the bar and back again.  Not sure why as our waitress was only serving at most three tables and there was more than enough other wait staff on duty.

Once our drinks arrived we were ready to order.  My order....

The Order: Applewood Salmon Club (oven roasted applewood salmon, served on a toasted brioche bun with roasted red pepper aioli, lettuce, tomato, peppered bacon and fresh avocado) with fries and Caesar Salad sides).

The food arrived a reasonable 20 minutes later from the kitchen along with the waitress stopping by two minutes after we dug into our meals to check in to make sure we had everything we needed.

The Applewood Salmon Club sandwich was excellent.  Originating from the kitchen in half so customers could add whatever condiments they wish (e.g. ketchup, mustard, etc.), it was a delicious sandwich with adequately fresh lettuce, tomato and avocado.  Interestingly was the taste contrast with the red pepper aioli and the avocado commingling along with the bacon.  A great restaurant menu offering that is quite different from an average pub or bar.

The fries were straight cut fries, with the odd piece of potato skin on the tip, served at a respectable temperature. Great to go with the ketchup or the complimentary dipping sauce.  During this meal, I tried the Dill Pickel dipping sauce that proved a creamy tastiness similar to a regular dill pickle potato chip dip offered in stores.

The Caesar Salad came in a small bowl already premixed with bacon pits, shredded cheese and Caesar Salad dressing. A thoroughly good tasting Caesar Salad.

The only bump, we forgot to refill our drinks until halfway though the meal.  The waitress was hard to find while we were eating until we finished our meals and she was ready to clear the tables.  But hopefully this can be ironed out as the food was good.

Overall, Original Joe's is a welcome addition to the Vancouver area.  On the outside it may appear as an average bar or pub, but the menu begs to differ.  Sure the usual burgers, wings and other bar food is in there but dig just a little deeper and you will find a few chef inspired specialties like my dish plus a few Asian inspired dishes. Sure the service may have been slightly off on my visit but the food was excellent. Hopefully with a few tweaks, service and food will superb.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Grab a Book and Try Not To Enjoy Various Blends at Blenz Coffee

Blenz Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato One of my regrets of my time in Vancouver so far was not checking out the various coffee places. I guess being a born and bred Toronto area person transplanted to Ottawa, my loyalty to Tim Hortons is ingrained.

To make the most of my time, yet to remain fairly sane looking to passers by on the street, I decided to try a couple of different places spread out over a couple of days.

The first place I'd seen multiple locations of was Blenz Coffee.  At the Vancouver Public Library's Central Branch (345 Robson Street, Vancouver) there are a variety of small coffee and food places lining the library building's atrium. One of them is a Blenz.

Blenz Coffee Entrance at the Vancouver Public Library
Blenz Coffee Entrance at the Vancouver Public Library

I visited just before the Vancouver Public Library's Central Branch opened at 10 a.m. to find two Blenz employees behind the counter and a couple of customers gradually having their orders assembled or finishing up their coffees in the restaurant's seating area.

I was able to order right away but took a minute to review my options.  Blenz is similar to a Second Cup of Southern Ontario with different flavoured coffees available on top of their regular medium or dark roast offerings.

I settled on one of their special blends of the day, a Medium sized Columbian Sunrise which is apparently a "medium blend".

I waited for the gentlemen behind the counter to not only ask, in an up-selling way,  if: "would you like something to eat with that?" and my polite decline.  Next, he finally poured my coffee and brought it over to the counter.

I headed out to the tables in the library building's atrium where there are several tables shared amongst the stores and the library patrons.

Blenz Coffee Medium Columbian Sunrise
Medium Columbian Sunrise

The Columbian Sunrise coffee straight up (black) was a disappointment.  It was almost coloured water.  I went back later to add cream to it which help add a little more taste to it, but still for $2.25 it's not worth it and I would choose another blend.

But all is not lost, I've previously visited this Blenz location for a regular run of the mill black coffee.  It was a decent straight up coffee that rivaled a Tim Hortons Original blend but a little pricey again at $2.25 for a medium.

Overall, this Blenz Coffee location needs to watch it's coffee consistency.  Serving up flavoured water weaker than a green tea is not accepted in the coffee world.  Staff though were friendly but more interested in trying to up-sell rather than just getting the coffee and serving the customer.  I may try another Blenz Coffee to see if this is a continuing theme or I may not as there are several other coffee shops I'd like to try.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

All Star Disapointment at All Star Wings & Ribs

AllStar Wings & Ribs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato On a previous adventure up Robson Street I stumbled across something  I haven't seen in a long time, an All Star Wings & Ribs (808 Bute Street, Vancouver).  I bookmarked the location (corner of Robson & Bute Streets) in my head and decided to check it out later on.

Located on the second floor of the building on the corner, this is All Star Wings & Ribs' first location outside of the Greater Toronto Area.  Having been a repeat customer to their Richmond Hill location, I welcomed the opportunity to try them again.

All Star Wings & Ribs Main Entrance
All Star Wings & Ribs Main Entrance

 I walked up the exterior flight of stairs, entered and found a sign at the vacant hostess booth directed me inside.  I ventured inside thinking nothing of the vacant hostess booth as it was a light crowd inside with only two waitresses covering everything from the tables to the bar.  Later on Saturday I've walked by to find the same hostess booth as barren as I found it.  Odd, even on the busiest of days the hostess booth is not utilized to provide a kind customer welcome.

After following the directions on the sign at the empty hostess booth, I found my way into an almost empty sports bar with only two tables occupied by two couples.  The place was so desolate a tumbleweed could of rolled by without anyone noticing.

All Star Wings & Ribs Bar
All Star Wings & Ribs Bar

I was greeted by the lady behind the bar slinging drinks.  She asked if I'd like a table or a booth.  I said it was her choice and she showed me to a booth that I estimate could seat six average people. She handed me a menu. She asked if I would like anything to drink and she was off.

I reviewed the menu choices, skipping the other dishes knowing I wanted chicken wings.   With over 100 flavours it's hard to make a single choice, but I persevered!  I flagged down the waitress, who had already since returned with my drink and left, to place my order.

The Order: 1 single serving of Ranch Wings and 1 Coke.

All Star Wings & Ribs' Coke
The wings came within ten minutes of ordering.  The service seemed speedy and happy with both waitresses tending bar and waiting on tables as customers walked in, food arrived and tables were cleaned.  It worked like clockwork as each traded off tasks and kept moving.

All Star Wings & Ribs' Single Serving Ranch Wings
All Star Wings & Ribs' Single Serving Ranch Wings 

The wings were a disappointment.  Sure the ranch sauce was correct but that wasn't really hard to mess up considering this ranch sauce was probably just Ranch Salad dressing.  But underneath the ranch sauce, the chicken wings were the thinnest least meatiest I'd ever seen.  It was a disgrace to even serve these wings from a chicken who seemed to have graduated (with Honours!) from the school of Jenny Craig.

While eating, service took a turn for the worse. A large tour group of at least thirty students walked in to take over an entire section across the front.  On the way in the group leader even waved and smiled at the two waitresses like he knows them.  This means he probably comes by frequently with large groups who are touring the Vancouver area. So I suppose the restaurant knew he was coming and still short staffed the restaurant with two waitresses during this time period.

The bill took at least twenty minutes for me to find the waitress and for her to return.  At $15 and change the bill was a little much considering the wing quality I received. What took place next was a little weird.

I placed a twenty dollar bill with the receipt in hopes one of the waitresses would come back with or make change at the table.  Another ten minutes later and I was being asked by the waitress how much money do I want back?   For the slowly declining service and food quality I asked for three dollars
which left them two and change.

Overall, this All Star Wings & Ribs dearly needs a visit from Head Office in Toronto.  This is not the quality nor service level I've come to expect from them.  Perhaps the distance from head office and the fact this is the only non-Toronto area location is the reason proper head office management has not taken place.  I know for one I will not return to this place.

Popular Posts