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Photo Visit – Bo Laksa King – February 2013

15 Feb

You may remember that some time ago I was trying to uncover Vancouver’s best laksa. Well, let it be known that the search hasn’t stopped but it hasn’t been progressing as fast as I would like. Throughout my search I have sampled laksa from Freshbowl, Tropika, Cafe D’Lite, and Banana Leaf. I was still looking for other contenders and the place recommended to me the most was Bo Laksa King. Hell, I had to go! Bo is the LAKSA KING!!

Admittedly, this recent visit was not my first time to BLK (let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?), but it is just so damn far from my place that repeat visits are few and far between. BLK is a little hole-in-the-wall place on East Hastings (just after Kamloops Street) and is one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it places. Thankfully, I knew what I was looking for – a big, hearty bowl of laksa!

Laksa, minus the fish balls – $7.50Roti Canai – $3.99

Let’s get to the important stuff – the laksa! I found it to be very good and probably the most authentic laksa that I’ve had in Vancouver, although I felt it still lacked a little something. Overall, there was a good depth of flavour although I would have preferred a bit more heat to mine. I also found the soup to be quite thick, almost like a wet curry, rather than “soupy” – yes, me just being particular! The best part about BLK’s laksa was that they gave you a choice of yellow noodles or rice noodle – one of the things that makes a laksa for me, is the yellow noodles. I was pretty happy with the laksa and the roti was also very good – slightly crunchy and flaky on the outside. The sauce that was served with the roti was lackluster as it too watery and not enough flavour for my liking.

I wish that Bo Laksa King was a little closer because then I would visit it more regularly. The prices are wallet-friendly (cash only), the food seems authentic, and I’d say that their laksa is the best that I have found on my search, thus far, but I feel that there must be better out there. Any recommendations?

Bo Laksa King's Bubbles & Bits on Urbanspoon

The Red Wagon Cafe

31 May

2296 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
V5L 1V4

T: 604 568 4565
www.redwagoncafe.com

Brief Description: An incredibly popular neighbourhood diner, on East Hastings, just past Commercial Drive. They serve large portions of hearty breakfast to the hungry crowds that line-up outside.

Last weekend I FINALLY got into The Red Wagon Cafe. This is quite the feat, you must understand. I’ve been twice before, almost committed to the possible hour-long wait, and then decided against it. Therefore, on Sunday, when we discovered that the queue was just in the doorway, B and I jumped in the line immediately. It only took us 15 minutes or so – not bad for Sunday brunch at one of the most popular places in town.

It comes as no surprise that this place is busy. Not only is it one of few diners in an area with not much competition, but it is small inside with only about 10 to 12 tables and bench seating. Oh, and don’t forget that the popular Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” made a visit to Red Wagon last year.  All of these factors combined make it very difficult to get into Red Wagon.

So why the fuss? Well, it appears to me that Red Wagon takes something pretty simple – hearty diner brunch – and executes it better than most places. Keep in mind that I’ve only been there once (not my usual three visits) but I was surprised at the quality of the food. Yes, it was the usual suspects of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, but the bacon was cooked well, the scrambled eggs were decent (albeit slightly under-seasoned), and the pancakes were delicious. I love pancakes but it can be hard to find decent pancakes that aren’t doughy and tasteless – Red Wagon’s were surprisingly tasty. So not only is the food tasty and the portion sizes are very generous, but the prices are affordable. The most expensive thing on the menu costs $14.50.

Trucker Breakfast – $11.50

I ambitiously ordered the Trucker Breakfast which was so large that it proved to be an undertaking. B ordered the house-speciality of Pulled Pork Pancakes (he dove into them so fast that I couldn’t get a photo). He really liked the pulled pork nestled between the layers of pancakes and finished with Jack Daniels maple syrup but it was too heavy for me. However, I am probably one of the only people in Vancouver not overly impressed with this dish.

Overall, I did enjoy The Red Wagon but I don’t think I would rush back. Why not? I hear you ask. If the food is good and the price is right, why not? For me it comes down to the location and the line-up. Red Wagon is basically on the opposite side of the city to where I live so already that works against it. And I hate lining up for brunch. An hour spent in a line-up, before I have had coffee or food, is a big investment to me and it is one I’m not willing to make regularly. So, let me finish by saying, that if you live close to The Red Wagon or if you are willing to wait for your breakfast, for sure, it is worth the hype.

The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

Campagnolo Roma – Photo Visit (October 2011)

1 Oct

2297 Hastings Street East
Vancouver, BC
V5L 1V3

T: 604 569 0456
www.campagnoloroma.com

Campagnolo Roma on Urbanspoon