Tag Archives: lunch

Photo Visit – MARKET by Jean-Georges – May 2013

26 May

Level 3 – 1115 Alberni Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 0A8

T: 604 696 1115
www.shangri-la.com

Brief Description: The first Canadian restaurant for well-known chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Located in the Shangri-La MARKET by Jean-Georges offers mid to high-end dining amongst beautiful surroundings.

It was with fond memories of their black truffle pizza and chocolate pudding, that B and I found ourselves at a reliable old haunt, MARKET at the Shangri-La, for lunch today. Considering our late start, it didn’t feel too extravagant to order the three-course $29 prix fixe menu. With a large range of options in both the appetizer and main course, I believe that the prix fixe will cater to almost everyone.

Some of the mains were more brunch-focused, such as the French toast and crispy bacon, yet there were plenty of options for those looking for lunch choices, such as the pasta course (below) or the hanger steak sandwich. I’d recommend weekend brunch here for a special occasion, such as Mother’s Day or a birthday, or simply for a splurge. The service was prompt and friendly and the food was well-executed.

Spring Pea Soup with Parmesan Foam

Frisee and crispy lardon salad

P1070253-001Tagliatelle with asparagus and shiitake

Chocolate pudding with crystallized violets

Selection of sorbets and ice creams

Market by Jean-Georges on Urbanspoon

Photo Visit – Diva at the Met – January 2013

12 Feb

645 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC
V6C 2Y9

T: 604 602 7788
www.metropolitan.com/diva

I recently went for lunch at Diva at the Met with a foodie friend of mine. It was my first visit to Diva as I generally don’t give much thought to lunching at hotel restaurants. I was easily persuaded when I saw their menu – any place that does a gourmet corn dog is worth a visit in my books.

Although this was my first visit, Diva at the Met has been around since 1996 – not a bad stint for a local Vancouver restaurant – and is located in The Metropolitan Hotel. With a heavy lean towards seafood, the lunch menu was a little limited for my liking, although there were the usual pasta, pizza, and burger options to choose from. The dining room was a little unusual as it is spread out over a few levels, rather than just one room, and the decor was unmemorable.

I started with their Diva Roll; which was a tempura nori roll with smoked black cod, shiso leaf, and ponzu, for $12. In a city with excellent sushi options, it was satisfactory but certainly not the highlight.

Diva RollDiva corn dog

I was more intrigued by the food truck inspired section of the menu and couldn’t look past the Diva Corn Dog, which was a gourmet sausage made with foie gras, sweet breads, and bone marrow. It was finished with truffle mayo, grainy mustard, home-made sauerkraut, and thrice cooked kenebec fries. I was captivated by the fact that they had a corn dog on the menu because, when I was a kid, these were my favourite carnival treats (although we called them dagwood dogs in Australia).

After only a few bites of Diva’s corn dog, my stomach was revolting at how incredibly rich the deep-fried sausage was so I only managed to finish half of it. But if your stomach can handle rich foods better than mine, then this dish would be worth ordering for the novelty alone. Admit it, you are now thinking “Huh, a gourmet corn dog?! I wonder what that tastes like.”

Diva at the Met on Urbanspoon

Photo Visit – Lunch at West – August 2012

3 Sep

2881 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
V6H 3J4

T: 604 738 8938
www.westrestaurant.com

Brief Description: One of the gems in the Vancouver restaurant crown. West is where local West Coast ingredients meet fine dining. Prices are high but for the service and the quality, it is not unjustified.

It’s a long weekend here in Canada, which means that I have been making the most of having an extra day off work by going out for meals with B, and catching up with friends for drinks. The inevitable result of drinks with friends is usually a late night, followed by a late start and a big feast to help ward off the effects of consuming too much booze the night before.

As you already know, B and I have made West our go-to Sunday brunch spot and we rarely miss a Sunday brunch there. This Sunday I was a little late out of bed (hey, no judgement, it’s a long weekend!) and so we weren’t really feeling like breakfast but more so like lunch. And that, my friends, is the beauty of brunch. Lunch we could have. We started with the unbelievably decadent West fries with truffle aioli. The aioli is heaven. Pure heaven.

Tower of West Fries – $9.50

Albacore Tuna Club with bacon - $17.50

Slow cooked Short Rib Orecchiette – $16.50

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Black Truffle and Spaghetti Squash – $19

I really am starting to sound like a broken record with my love for West but you really can’t go wrong with anything at West. Whether it is brunch, or lunch, or one of their well-executed dinners, West has got it going on.

West Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

Saving money and BYO lunches…yawn…

6 Aug

One of my 2011 foodie goals was to spend less money on lunches and save it for dinners out. Well…it’s mid-way through 2012 and I’ve only really started to take this goal seriously now. Ooops. Better late than never, right?

A few years ago, I used to be great at packing my lunch, aka as “brown-bagging” (I really hate that term so let’s stick with using “BYO lunch”). I used to be a great BYO luncher but laziness got the better of me and I soon found myself spending a lot of cash on lunch. Not only are these lunches pricey, they are also not very healthy (but they sure are tasty!). It may have taken awhile but I’ve been back on the BYO lunch train now for about a month (although I’m allowed one “splurge” day a week). I’m now hoping I don’t fall off the train again, as it is a hell of an effort to get back on board.

So what does a day in the life of Greedy Guts work-week food look like? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I took pictures of my lunch every day for the week (oh yeah, I’m THAT person).

I start almost every work day the same way – with homemade muesli. This cereal may, or may not, have been referred to as “horse food” by a friend. Regardless, it is extremely healthy, it keeps me full for hours, and it is pretty cheap. As another bonus, I know EXACTLY what is in my cereal as opposed to a name-brand box of cereal. Throw a bit of yoghurt on it and you have yourself some pretty tasty horse food.

Every Day:

Monday:

The salad veggies are fresh from the Farmers Market, which I paired with some creamy mozzarella (left over from Sunday dinner). A tin of tuna and some yummy crackers add some filler. Apricot is fresh from the market, grapes from my work kitchen.

Tuesday:

Leftover smashed pea and fava beans on sourdough and a side of mixed greens, with a (mangled) boiled egg. Grapes and bananas from the kitchen at work.

Wednesday:

Mixed salad, mozzarella, dollops of smashed pea and fava beans, and a side of homemade garlic scape pesto pasta.

Thursday:

It’s the final day for using up all the left over veggies before the weekend. A boiled egg and leftover piece of Pizzeria Farina’s baked bread round out the lunch.

Friday (Funday!!):

Could be anything from food cart lunches, to sushi, báhn mi, or ramen. Friday’s are most welcomed!

Chicken Wonton Ramen – Ramen Jinya

Pig on the Street Southern Piggy

So those are my typical weekday lunches hence why I go CRAZY for food on the weekends. As soon as Friday rolls around, it’s on! I eat whatever I want Friday through Sunday (I’m not really kidding anyone here, I generally eat anything I want all the time).

Although salads do make up most of my work lunch, I will often add something a bit heartier, such as some homemade fried rice, bean salad, or pasta, particularly if I’m exercising that day otherwise I’m starving by the end of the day. Full disclaimer: this is not all I eat in a typical workday. Some sweet treats have been harmed in the making of this post.

I don’t really know if this way is saving me any more money as when I buy my groceries for the week it is still quite expensive, but I figure I can control my spending more by not being tempted by other things whilst having lunch (like drinks, or snacks) and this way is MUCH healthier.

Araxi – Photo Visit – June 2012

3 Jul

4222 Village Gate Square
Whistler, BC
V0N 1B4

T: 604 932 4540
www.araxi.com

Brief Description: One of Whistler’s most popular restaurants. Araxi is a formal restaurant that prides itself on offering good, local food. Prices are in the mid to high range but well worth the price.

Happy belated Canada day! I was away camping glamping for the long weekend and, even though it rained the WHOLE time, we still had a great time up at Birkenhead Lake (past Pemberton). As seasoned glampers we are well-prepared to ensure that we eat really well whilst away. However, even we were unprepared for the epic start to our glamping weekend. The morning began innocently enough with freshly baked scones, strawberry custard danishes (oh hell, yeah!) and croissants from Cadeaux Bakery, before stopping by Revolver for a steamy hot latte to clear away the brain-fog.

In between bites of danish and scone (seriously, you gotta try the seasonal strawberry custard danish), and sips of coffee, I was scrolling through my twitter feed when I saw that Araxi had opened their patio for the summer season. What perfect timing! Knowing that I was sharing the ride up with other serious foodies, I happened to casually mention the tweet and with one shared look, we made plans to stop at Araxi for lunch. Yes, I’m a glutton. Oh, did you not know that already?

Araxi is easily one of my favourite Whistler restaurants and, having only been there for dinner, I was looking forward to trying it out for lunch. The menu appears slightly more casual for lunch than the dinner menu yet the Louis Lake Steelhead Salmon, with a side of lemon chives risotto, was still impressive. The fish, perfectly flaky atop the bed of creamy risotto, was a highlight. At $19.50 it was certainly well-worth the drive.

Louis Lake Steelhead

Other dishes at the table were the Halibut Tacos and the BC Albacore Tuna Tataki with daikon radish, shiso, cucumber pearls and ponzu. To me, although extremely tasty, the tacos seemed a little out-of-place for the refined Araxi.

BC Albacore Tuna Tataki with daikon radish, shiso, cucumber pearls and ponzu.

Halibut Tacos

Final Thoughts: Not only is Araxi open for dinner, but they also do a Sunday brunch and, for summer only, their patio is open from 11am to 3pm for lunches. Personally, I find the prices are actually quite reasonable for the quality that you get. My lunch, including a glass of bubbles and the steelhead came to $35, including tax and tip.

(As if all this food wasn’t enough, we also finished our day with amazing porcini sausages from Oyama, carrot cake from Cadeaux Bakery, and macarons from Bel Cafe – if this is the regular camping menu, sign me up every weekend!!)

Araxi on Urbanspoon

La Ghianda – Photo Visit – June 2012

5 Jun

2083 Alma Street
Vancouver, Point Grey
V6R 4N6

T: 604 566 9559
www.laghianda.ca

**Updated: April 2013 – La Ghianda is now closed**

Brief Description: This modest deli provides hearty, simple Italian fare at affordable prices. Dine-in and take-out options available. Limited seating. Closed Sundays and Mondays, open from 11am to 6pm.

It had been awhile since my last visit to La Ghianda and the reason for my hiatus was for no other reason than too many places to try, not enough time (we are so spoilt for food choices in Vancouver). I’ve always enjoyed visiting La Ghianda and when we went back on Saturday, we left pleased that things were as they have always been – affordable, comforting, and satisfying.

Porchetta panini

Linguine with beef cheek and potato 

The porchetta panini was loaded with pieces of pork crackling, thin slices of pork, and topped with salsa verde. Perhaps I am being particular, but I would have preferred the meat to have been warm. After indulging in many porchetta sandwiches from Meat and Bread, it was slightly disappointing to sink into cold meat.

As a carb-lover, I love the hearty servings pasta from La Ghianda, and their sister restaurant La Quercia. As usual, I found their pasta to be perfectly al dente and well seasoned. The potato was an interesting addition. Bravo!

Final Thoughts: An affordable and well-executed casual deli. You can’t go wrong with any of the three daily pastas and the generous-sized paninis will stretch your stomach to its limits.

La Ghianda on Urbanspoon

Cheap Eats – Robson Street Area – Seymour to Beatty

4 Jun

There is no denying that living in Vancouver is rough on the wallet but the good news is that tasty food doesn’t always have to be expensive. There are plenty of impressive mid-range restaurants in the city that offer value for money (I’ll be doing a post on that topic soon). But what if you are after something cheaper than that? Say you’ve only got $10 but you don’t want to eat at the usual suspects (Tim Horton’s, A&W, etc). Well, thankfully, Vancouver has you covered. Yes, you have to search for the cheap eats, but they are there.

I work close to BC Place Stadium and have done so for more than two years so I can tell you that that area doesn’t exactly have a bustling food scene but that hasn’t stopped me looking. I’ve done my research and have come up with a list of cheap eats (mostly under $10) that can be found at the far end of Robson Street (from Seymour to Beatty).

Viet Sub
Where? 520 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Bành mì sandwiches.

Viet Sub is a small, no-frills café that specializes in Vietnamese food. Service is fast and friendly. The attraction for me is the bành mì sandwiches. My favourite is the veggie sub – a warm, crispy baguette stuffed full of fried tofu, veggies, cilantro, and finished with a slightly spicy sriracha chilli sauce. The best part? The veggie sub is $4.20, including tax. I know – what a bargain!!

Veggie Sub from Viet Sub

JAPADOG
Where? 530 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? A Japanese-style hot dog of course!

JAPADOG needs little introduction. A local success story, JAPADOG sells Japanese style hotdogs (think toppings of seaweed, Japanese mayo, grated daikon, bonito flakes). Favourites would depend on your tastes but I like the Terimayo and the Oroshi. They are a little more expensive than other hot dog stands but still well under the $10 mark.

Terimayo Dogs from JAPADOG

Dunn’s Famous BC
Where? 827 Seymour Street (at Robson), Vancouver, BC
What to order? The 6oz Montreal smoked meat sandwich.

Dunn’s is a Montreal smoked meat chain restaurant on Seymour Street. Personally, I hate the restaurant-chain-vibe they have going on (TVs, a cavernous room, large menus) but they still do a decent smoked meat sandwich. I order the regular 6oz smoked beef brisket sandwich to-go and for just $8.95 (including taxes) it’s a pretty good deal. You get a choice of lean, medium or fat meat.

Smoked Montreal Meat Sandwich from Dunn’s

Grounds for Appeal
Where? 845 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Large servings of authentic Indian curry.

Hidden away in the lobby of the Law Society of BC it can be a little difficult to find but once you find the long, snaking line you’ll know you’ve found it. The people in the line are all waiting for the large servings of authentic meat and vegetable Indian curries. The butter chicken is the crowd pleaser and is only $7.95 for a large serving of curry, rice, and naan (which is more like a pita bread). Other curries include lamb, chicken, palak paneer, and lentil, to name but a few. Prices are even cheaper (about $5) if you order a half serving – often this is enough for me. The meat curries are slightly more expensive (around $8.95).

Butter Chicken from Grounds for Appeal

Fresh Sushi
Where? 909 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver, BC
What to order? The House roll and the Alaska roll are my favourites.

Fresh Sushi is a bit off the Robson map but still close enough and worth the slight detour. The name doesn’t lie – the sushi is truly fresh! I’ve been visiting Fresh about once a week for two years and have no complaints. The service is good and whilst this isn’t exactly a cheap eat (there are items on the menu over $10), I have included it because you can order a whole meal for under $10 depending on what you order.

Ramen Jinya
Where? 270 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Personally, I prefer the chicken based ramen over the pork ramen.

If a bowling of steaming ramen is more what you are craving, then look no further than Ramen Jinya. Arguably, this is not the best ramen in town but it will suffice when Denman street is just too far away. What I like is that they offer variations of ramen, not just pork. That means those that prefer chicken (me) and even vegetarians are catered for. A bowl squeaks in just above the $10 mark (with taxes $10.02) so with tip it is slightly over our $10 budget. I tried.

Chicken Wonton Ramen from Ramen Jinya

Beard Papa’s
Where? 548 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? I’m a big fan of simplicity, so I like the original cream puffs.

If you happen to have a toonie left over after you’ve bought your cheap eat and you are craving something sweet, drop into Beard Papa’s and get yourself a freshly made cream puff. So. Damn. Good.

Do you know of other good cheap eats in this area? Let me know if you have any other suggestions in this area!

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