C-Lovers (Pine Tree)
108-2991 Lougheed Highway (location visited)
It is funny that, while this region is collectively called Metro Vancouver, everything is focused in Vancouver itself, specially the areas I call the “well known” ones, i.e., Downtown, Gastown, Yaletown, Kitsilano and so on. However, we know there are things around if you know where to look. Such was the case some days before the holidays when I was looking for a new camera bag (the old one was pretty beat up) and a local shop had a suitable one. But it wasn’t available in their Vancouver location. Looking at their other ones, I found out their Richmond location had it… But in a really odd colour: green. Nothing wrong with green but too… Flashy? However, I found out their Coquitlam location had it so a drive to Coquitlam was! Of course, it was way after work which meant early night and also meant… Food!!! The interesting thing is that there were several places I wanted to go but could only go to one. There was Matoi Sushi (not sure if related to the Matoi Sushi in Downtown Vancouver), Chada Thai (which is supposed to be a good Thai places, though not certain it would have been a good idea to go by myself) and some Vietnamese restaurants like Pho Huy and Pho 99. However, I wanted something “different” and that ended up being, out of all things, fish and chips in the form of C-Lovers (and that is despite it is a chain with several locations!).
1063 Davie Street
202 – 1184 Denman Street (location visited)
Sherman: “U working today?”
Me: “Yes, working today. Wait, do you know what that is??? ”
Sherman: “LOL, Rich Guy and I are going for lunch in Downtown, if u want to join us”
Sherman: “Not sure, was gonna go to Toyama… Do you want to join us? I can pick u up to give u more time”
Me: “What time are you guys planning to go? PO might join us; however, he has a call until noon”
(Couple of minutes later)
Me: “How about Kadoya if not all-you-can-eat? English Bay”
Sherman: “Have u been there?”
Sherman: “The one in Denman right?”
Me: “They opened a second location in English Bay, across Raincity Grill”
Sherman: “Rich guy says he can make it around 12:30 p.m. Is that too late? Do we need a reservation?”
Me: “12:30 p.m. is fine. So Tomoya or Kadoya? Given the party size and despite I don’t like it, Tomoya might be a better option”
Sherman: “No, Kadoya is fine. I’ll make a reservation for 5?”
Me: “Sure, English Bay location, right?”
Once again, if you wonder how some of us food bloggers get together for a meal, more or less this is how it works. One day, Sherman, dropped me that text message and that’s what ended up in Kadoya’s location in English Bay. Next question?
430 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA
On our first night in San Francisco, after the FoodBuzz welcome reception street food fare, we were driven back to a hotel near Union Square. While everybody was walking back their to the hotel, I noticed a restaurant that I thought “just for kicks, this might be interesting for us to try!” The following night, while waiting for the gala dinner and seemingly seemed to be taking forever, I was telling the “gang” (as in TS/JS, Mijune and Sherman) that if dinner didn’t star by 8:00 p.m. (officially the invite was for 7:00 p.m.), I might as well go back to the hotel as I was tired already, a bit grumpy (OK, grumpier than usual). Wait! What about the food? Hey, food is always in the radar and Katana-Ya, that said restaurant, was on the way back to the hotel! Given I wrote about the dinner, that means we were let in before 8:00 p.m. which means we had to see if there was space/time to go there. And, actually we did! Since our flight back to Vancouver was in the late afternoon, I agreed with Sherman to meet way past the lunch rush crowd for a last lunch before taking the BART (hence, to the airport) and back to Vancouver…
Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA
So, now into the final stretch of the trip! (Well, sort of!). So, after our Vancouver food blogger dinner at Incanto with TS/JS, Mijune and Sherman, we were making some final plans in San Francisco. However, despite they were good sports in some things I wanted to do, on this last half day before our flight back to Vancouver, I was a bit selfish and went to do some things by myself, agreeing on meeting before our flight. But, in the usual family Chinese way, “breakfast first”!
Actually, we didn’t have a real breakfast plan considering Sherman and I already had dim sum in Dol Ho (and our initial plan was Yank Sing). So, instead, we agreed to meet and go from there. At first, we wanted to give Dottie’s another chance (the original attempt failed and we ended up going to Taylor Street Coffee Shop) and when we arrived, another 1 hour queue. Seriously??? ARGH!!! So, we started wandering around, going back and forth, including some places closer to Union Square. However, all of those had extremely safe breakfast menu (read: omelette, pancake, hash, sausage, bacon, etc.; basically the same stuff you would be able to get at Denny’s). Then we went to the opposite way and ran into more interesting options, including pho for breakfast (interestingly, with a help wanted sign… In Spanish?!). When we were walking near Polk Street, Sherman’s previous experience in San Fran kicked in: Brenda’s French Soul Food which he had visited previously but was still good for a revisit. Considering this wasn’t the “usual suspect” dishes, I was more than eager to give it a try!
1550 Church Street
San Francisco, CA
Earlier this year, fellow blogger Chris of Eating is the Hard Part visited San Francisco and wrote of Incanto, the restaurant of celebrity chef Chris Cosentino. To those who do not know, Chris Cosentino’s, aside form rustic Italian cooking, has also participated in different TV shows, including his won Chef vs. City. However, what I care more is about *what* he cooks: in his menu, he includes offal dishes. Yes, cooking from head to tail and almost everything in between! So, when the FoodBuzz Food Festival was announced, restaurants plans were flying going back and forth. While JS/TS and Sherman had quite an extensive list, I had only two places in mind: Hamburgers (Sausalito) and, you guessed it, Incanto!
Update: Sherman’s post is here; Mijune’s post is here.
Taylor Street Coffee Shop
375 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA
Ah, San Fran, San Fran… After FoodBuzz Street Food Fare Welcome Reception, Sherman, JS/TS and Mijune, each one of us called it a night. However, since we didn’t necessarily planned to attend all FoodBuzz events for the morning, we decided to tag along for some other activities. In my case, Sherman and I agreed to meet for breakfast and go from there, which included looking for some good eats outside of the San Francisco area. But, that is jumping ahead so, for this post, breakfast.
Here is a bit of a curve ball: while the hotel did offer continental breakfast, how exciting that would have been as blogging material? I guess not much. So, we decided to look for nearby options and option #1 had a somewhat ridiculous queue… At 8:00 a.m.! How bad it was? Imagine a breakfast version of Stepho’s… 1 hour queue? For breakfast??? While walking around, Sherman mentioned Taylor Street Coffee Shop (TSCS) as an option. Sure, why not!
1300 Robson St
Sometimes, there are restaurants that might be in front of us but, for some reason, we just choose to disregard and/or skip them for no good reason. That’s what has happened in a way to me with O’Doul’s. Not sure if it is the fact that can be considered “fancy” or some other similar reason but I have walked countless amount of times but have just kept on walking rather than stopping and give it a try. But, while check with PO about dining options in the area, I casually mentioned it (which was, interesting enough, another restaurant suggestion before we went to Town Hall) and we agreed in “sure, why not!”. So, to O’Doul’s it was!