Breakfast just after the bend in the road on Dunbar

Jethro’s Fine Grub
3420 Dunbar Street, Vancouver
604.569.3441

I’d give their regular breakfast fare a very okay, but their French toast gets a very good.  Thick sliced challah egged up and with real maple syrup…  I love real maple syrup, but I’m disappointed to say I think they water down their syrup.  However, when I mixed it up a bit, it got a bit better, and I think I’d prefer water downed syrup to fake syrup…but I might just turn to the Seinfeld technique of taking syrup with me.  The service staff is friendly, there was a wait, but it wasn’t long.  The pancakes look great, and there are several kinds, but didn’t try them so can’t comment.  I had the huevos rancheros which was very okay, and the accompanying corn cake was cold, although the tomotilla salsa they used was quite good.  I’ll give it a very okay, but I’m going to try it again because if those pancakes stand up it will move it into a solid very good.

If you’ve been to Jethro’s Fine Grub rate it  here Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
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“Like a Tea Tray in the Sky” – High Tea in Vancouver

Bacchus
845 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1V1 
For Reservations: 604.608.5319

 

A great way to spend a hot summer afternoon or rainy one for that matter is high tea with your girlfriends, and there are several places in Vancouver that serve high tea. Annie and I were planning on going to the one at the Fish House, be we miscalculated the interference the Gay Pride Parade would play in that plan, and after an hour of trying to get there we abandoned our efforts and went to high tea at Bacchus.  Annie had already been, but it was my first time.  I’d say the tea sandwiches were just okay.  My favorites were the egg salad and the smoked salmon, but nothing too notable.  I grew up eating the most delightful tea sandwiches made by my great grandmother and her friends…colored bread, pinwheels, and interesting shapes, so perhaps the bar is too high.  The pastries were good, but the only remarkables were the Devonshire cream and the chocolate éclair.  The Pear Green Tea was dee-liocious!!  And the price point at $29.00 per person makes for a nice afternoon.  The seating at Bacchus is uber comfortable (Trivia: it appears uber isn’t a word, but I hope you understand what I mean).  I could have sat in one of those high back chairs all day!  I’ve had high tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs – it is excellent. 

 

If you have been to Bacchus for high tea share your rating below.  And if you have comments or suggestions on high-tea in general please share!  Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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lo·cus – noun {plural} pronounced /lo-kəs/ loh-kuhs /

Locus Café
4121 Main Street, Vancouver BC Canada V5V 3P6
604.708.4121

 

So I had picked Grub because I really wanted to try it, but they were unexpectedly closed so Lisa saved the day by suggesting Locus on Main. It has a great atmosphere that I won’t do justice by describing, but it is a bit edgy with unique lighting, intriguing artwork, and interesting installations around the ceilings and walls. The brunch/lunch menu has lots of great options, but we both picked the blackened snapper sandwich. Before our sandwiches arrived they brought some lovely bread to the table with an assortment of spreads – the simplest and most delicious of which was butter with cinnamon and sugar in it – brilliant! The snapper sandwiches were solidly good and the service was equally good. Price point is good, and it offers variety from the breakfast usual suspects.  Thanks Lisa for saving the day with this find!

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On Main Street just off West Georgia

Campagnolo Restaurant
1020 Main St, Vancouver 604.484.6018‎

Just a brief note on Campagnolo. Annie and I ventured here just after it had opened. I believe it is owned by the same folks that on Fuel (where I still haven’t been, and would love to go!). It is an understated Italian restaurant on Main Street. The food was good, but not exceptional. The atmosphere was a bit dark and bare bones. The food was fresh though, and the service was good. Prices moderate. So if you’ve been here and had a more outstanding experience please share!

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A stop before heading out on the town with friends

Trattoria Kitchen
1850 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
604.732.1441

Jumping with a club like vibe that feels a little late 90’s this West 4th venue is a better stop with a group of friends than an intimate dinner. Our evening was one with friends to kick off a weekend of fun so it met our needs. We started with Kobe meatballs appetizer for everyone and the bruchetta. The bruchetta was fresh and the combination of different colored tomatoes made it deelish! The meat balls were good – but I’d say only so so in my repertoire of yummy Italian meatballs. A couple of us at the table ordered the Kobe beef lasagna. Now is as a good a time as any to mention I think it is con’fusion to have Japanese beef on an Italian menu, but my bigger concern here is the ‘overkill’ as it shows up in several dishes. However, in the case of the lasagna…um…it was goooood. There was a section of other dishes gnocchi, carbonara’s and more all enjoyed. Our service staff fully engaged (with controversial opinions and all) in our conversation on countless occasions, ranking it very high on the bad service category. This place also has a tv at the bar – why oh why Vancouver do you need tvs in all your restaurant bars? A little class please. I’m giving the lasagna a Very Good, but Trattoria Kitchen, service accounted for, only gets a Very Ok.

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Trifecta of sports: Frisbee Golf – Golf – Tennis (well kinda tennis)

Rugby Beach Club Grille
#201 – 950 West Broadway, Vancouver
604.736.2438

 

When you’ve just finished a trifecta of sports or a day at the beach Rugby’s is a logical stop! The atmosphere is trendier than a Red Lobster (with an ocean theme but for the younger crowd), but not as ‘hip’ as say Trattoria Kitchen. The restaurant was packed on a Saturday night (woo hoo Saturday!), and with such reasonably priced cocktails and moderately priced mains it is no wonder. I’m not sure why I didn’t order the fish (which I will do next time I’m back)…but we both ordered beef…yes risky I know (that’s how I roll), beef in Vancouver. We had the Top Filet with westcoast rub and the Top Filet with blue cheese and bacon. My steak was solid but since I don’t eat pork I will simply relay that the top filet with bacon was ‘c’est pas bon’ (read: not good). I’ve been informed that they formerly had a Filet Mignon which disappointingly has been replaced by steak placed on top of a strip of bacon – looks more like a breakfast dish. So if you have any connections at Rugby’s suggestion is: bring back the steak wrapped in bacon rather than placed atop bacon.  Our app’ies, crab cakes and some kind of chicken something, were ok to good preference to the chicken. They have a great selection of sides from which I choose Petite baked potatoes (with caviar – weird), and skillet seared baby mushrooms (yum). I’m giving Rugby’s a Very Ok, but suggest if you’re looking for something casual and fun for a bunch of friends in Vancouver that it gets a Very Good.

 

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Happy Birthday Beautiful

Bears Den
254028 Bearspaw Road NW, Calgary
403.241.7611

 

This year my birthday was celebrated in style (finally finishing the bday posts :) . It seemed like when I’d finish one party there was another. From Mexican Martini throw downs, to golf extravaganzas, to an evening in the Bear Den. The Bears Den evening was my actual legit birthday evening and it was an experience to remember. After driving, and driving, and driving from downtown Calgary you drive through the gated parking lot to see a restaurant that while in view of the mountains has surprisingly no windows, not a one. Two beautiful women on their own could not have been more out of place in this dark restaurant with high ceilings and oversized furniture. Reminiscent of a hunting club this place was designed with 50 year old men that smoke cigars in mind. It was a Sunday evening and the restaurant was almost empty. The menu appeals to the locavores with an assortment of Alberta’s finest local game and meat. We started with the Alberta bison & elk crispy spring rolls with organic jalapeño aioli and the bison tartar. Both quite good, but not rock your world style. For our mains filet minion (obviously not mine) and the Alberta Game Trio. Word has it the filet was just so so, but I looved my Alberta game trio. Bison yummy, elk ok, venison yummy… Spätzel okay…but what a taste adventure! To be clear I had a really good main, and I loved the experience here, but against a very competitive bar of restaurants and all factors in including the price point (mains are $35 – $70) I’m going to give Bears Den a Very Ok.

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What’s the line up all about?

Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna
1124 Davie Street, Vancouver
604.683.2555

 

Usually the line up outside this place is outrageous…which leaves the passer by wondering what delights are inside. A couple of weeks ago at lunch we were passing by and there was no line up so wandered in. There is nothing really fancy about it, but it has a quaint atmosphere with a Mediterranean flare. The service is prompt and the prices are great! We enjoyed chicken souvlaki, but to be honest, didn’t blow me away. The meat was tender and delicious but everything else (fries, salad, tzatziki) was just Very Ok.

 

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Is field hockey really a sport?? Lucky number four

Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant
555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
604.669.2220

 

If you’re as lucky as me you’ll be treated to a landmark quiz of Vancouver from the Top of Vancouver Restaurant at 553 feet. A bird’s eye view into the life and times of a local and the meaningful landmarks a new resident should know. The restaurant is a bit dated with neon lights over the bar and dining room furniture circa 1985. The menu is slightly more up to date, but not significantly, with classic pasta and fish that are fairly over priced. However that being said I actually thought my spring salmon was good. Although I’m not trading my dinner here for anything in the world (more about the view and company) my suggestion is to go for drinks instead of dinner. In our two full rotations of the Vancouver skyline and landmark highlights included GM place (I knew that one!), Victory Square, Andy Livingston Park, Bentall 5 tower and more! So in short it is a great stop for new resident to gain their citizen button (or in my case celebrate my first vote in a BC election), good for visitors to the city (aka tourists) and despite the granny furniture the view does make it romantic.  And if you are looking for something  to do afterwards a great choice is to walk over the Railway Club to listen to some live bands and enjoy the people watching!

 

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“A country that dares to dream. That dares to act”

Bluewater Café & Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
604.688.8078

 

To celebrate our wildly successful half marathon we had dinner at the Bluewater Café. But overall I’d say it was solid, but not Great.  I’ve been before and found my main fish to be amazing, this time was no exception. But that experience wasn’t shared for every course or around the table unanimously. The appetizer I had was sushi, and it was just so so, as was the Qualicom scallop foam appetizer, and the artic char that were ordered. The service was good, the carrot cake dessert was amazing, and the wine selection was excellent. We went with a delicious bottle of chardonnay from Grgich Hills. The big open restaurant is well lit and they have a beautiful collection of decanters decorating the restaurant. The tables are well spaced and organized so you feel as though you have enough privacy even when the restaurant is packed. But for the price point I’d rather choose Coast, West, or the aforementioned Cioppino’s. Bluewater is probably worth a Very Good but given the price point it is getting a Very Ok.

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