For the Knights who say “Nee”, I have found your shrubbery!

Gallery Café & Catering

750 Hornby Street
604.688.2233
Vancouver, BC

 

If you are looking for that quiet place in the middle of it all grab a bite at the Gallery Café.  This often overlooked oasis in the middle of downtown is great place to sit and read a book while munching away at a gourmet sweet treat or a Panini hot of the press.  You may skip over it because you don’t intend to go to the gallery, but you don’t need to visit the gallery to eat here.  When the season is right you can sit outside on the terrace (which I did even last week).  The terrace is the perfect place to sit and read among the potted Japanese maples and the mossy smell of west coast shrubbery.  The background noise is a mix of classical music and the occasional city sound to remind you of where you are.  The house salad is worth skipping, and some of the food is just standard.  But what wins here is the variety of choices, lovely desserts, civilized setting, and wine by the glass.  It is a great place to sit alone and read, or join a friend for lunch or a few friends after work. 

 

If you have been to the Gallery Cafe share your rating using the stars below.

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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I’ve found my Vancouver pancake, avec real maple syrup!

Paul’s Place Omelettery 2211 Granville Street Vancouver, BC 604.737.2857

Don’t blink or you will miss it…If you turn your head to the right just before crossing the Granville Bridge and look very closely you might spot Paul’s Place Omelettery. The location is great because you can either fuel up before or fill up after shopping for furniture or artwork in nearby shops. Indeed I came across this gem because of my trip to the Reynolds Gallery and Urban Barn. There are very few clever things to say about this place as the service is friendly and attentive and atmosphere is nice but not distinct. We sat up at the bar, which is a great deal if you are one or two and don’t want to wait in line. From the bar you can see the whole joint and hear the steady hum of steamed milk and conversation. Probably the most exciting thing that this restaurant offers is a half order of Benedict! The only problem is they were out of hollandaise sauce (busy making more, but I couldn’t wait) so I can’t report on how good they are. What I can warn though is that the poached egg dish ordered by my friend came with hard eggs instead of soft. If it were mine I would have sent it back…but I had a bite of the hash and it tasted pretty yummy. In search of Vancouver’s best pancake I had to try their hotcakes (which can be ordered for 1.50$ each) and served with a generous portion of real maple syrup. They were yummy, fluffy, perfectly cooked circles of goodness. Their signature dishes are the omelets, but the menu has countless other options including sandwiches, burgers, porridge, and eggs. The prices are very reasonable, 10-12$ per person. Call ahead and get your name on the list, but make sure you stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. This place gets a “Very Good”.

If you have been to Paul’s Place share your rating using the stars below.

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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What kind of a restaurant has only 9 champagne glasses?

4th Avenue Keg
320 – 4th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
403.699.9843

In the land of Canadian black gold there is one place close by that is short on glassware, champagne, and fast service, so as long as you don’t have something to celebrate, and you’ve got lots of time to not celebrate it in…you are okay here. The trouble is that the location is ideal, the appetizers are good, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Most folks have been to a Keg restaurant and know that the food is a solid bet, so it doesn’t suffer from Calgary’s first major restaurant ailment, con’fusion’ cuisine, but it is not immune to the second ailment, bad service. I currently don’t know anything in the immediate area to suggest instead, but if you travel a bit further to 17th I would suggest The Livingroom.

If you have been to The 4th Avenue Keg share your rating using the stars below.

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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“The service here is better than Joey Potatoes”

Milestones

107 – 8th Ave. SE, 403.410.9521, Calgary, Alberta

 

If it is one of those nights where you are not sure quite what you want and you might even be thinking something like a salad I’d suggest heading over to Milestones. They have locations in BC, Ontario, or Alberta. There are three locations in Calgary, but the one I’ve visited is on Stephen Avenue (8th Ave). I’ve been here twice now, and so far I’ve only tried their “Big Salads”. There are six of these salads on their menu and you can add grilled shrimp, chicken or salmon to any of them making for a lot of options. I’ve been with others who would recommend the soups and lamb. Since Joey Tomatoes has discontinued my favourite ‘Evil Jungle Noodle Salad”, I’ve had to replace those cravings with Milestone’s ‘Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad’. A warning though is that this salad is not nearly as good as the evil jungle, and it slated to be served with feta cheese on top. If you’ve got any foodie self respect you will ask them to hold the feta cheese, because it has no business being on a Thai salad. However, as V.J. says the service at Milestones is way better than “Joey Potatoes” so for a casual night out with reasonable options on the menu for everyone you can drop by Milestones. I’d give this place a very okay and will go back again to curb my salad cravings.

If you have been to Milestones share your rating using the stars below.
Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Donuts with a little spice!

Aurora Bistro closes it doors :( thanks Annie and Alyssa for bringing it to my attention, but we are all sad to see it closed.

Aurora Bistro

2420 Main Street. Vancouver . 604.873.9944

This is the place where granola meets lulu lemon for brunch. From the outside it is unassuming, and from the inside it is muted colors and understated furniture.  The walls are plain wood boards; the lights are dim but add interest with their multi color blown glass shades.  I first ventured here when a friend advised that their fresh five spice donuts were a must try.  And indeed they are.  Fresh out of the fryer donuts with the alluring smell of five spice and maple syrup these hot nuggets of goodness are worth the trip.  The wait staff suggest them as dessert, but I say no way, order them as an appetizer to make sure you have room.  The egg dishes are all delightful, but if you are more in a lunch mood I suggest trying the sandwiches.  On fresh bread and served warm they come with your choice of soup, salad or pomme frites.  Today I had the arugula hazelnut pesto and white bean baguette which was garlicky but delish, and the carrot ginger soup that accompanied it was divine.  The birthday girl had the sablefish hash, which I’ve had and enjoyed on another visit.  The portions are just right, the ingredients fresh and local, the selection is limited, but the choices are excellent.  The service is attentive, but the food can be a bit slow coming to the table, so keep bring your yogic patience with you, because it is on Main Street after all.  The buzz of the busy restaurant and atmosphere make Aurora feel intimate, although I was sitting barely an elbow away from the couple sitting next to us.   I’ve not been for dinner yet, but if breakfast with the goddess of dawn is any indication I’d say dinner is a safe bet, and I’m hoping to try it soon. Mains around 13$, donuts 9$.  Reservations are recommended. 

 If you have been to Aurora Bistro share your rating using the stars below.

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (3 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
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Eating here is like bumping your funny bone…

The Elbow Room Café

560 Davie Street 
604.685.3628
Vancouver

 

If you need breakfast, it is in your neighbourhood and your feeling like being harassed by the waiters this is your place.  The signs outside boast famous breakfast, and I will agree it is solid, but it only gets a just okay in my books.  The busy walls are adorned with newspaper stories about the restaurant that ‘serves up breakfast with abuse’ and signed photos of less than famous stars like Rana Davis and Aspen Reign.  There are rules for eating there, but the best one by far is that if you don’t finish your plate of food you have to give a donation to the charity “A loving spoonful” an organization that provides meals to people housebound with AIDS.  There is no maple syrup to be found here; instead the dense, almost undercooked pancakes are served with table syrup that smells like Aunt Jemima.  The spinach soup was rich and too salty, and on another day my grilled cheese with tomato was just okay… My breakfast guests have been equally unimpressed, but for the life of me can’t remember what they ate so I can’t warn you away from it.  But with all that there is something about this eclectic, homey joint that will have me going back at least once more and I will keep you posted if the rating changes.  And in the mean time I’m going to keep looking for the best pancakes in Vancouver, so let me know if you have any tips…

If you have been to The Elbow Room Cafe share your rating using the stars below.

 

Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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