Happy Good Friday! Hope you all have a great long weekend!
Trattoria Italian Kitchen in Burnaby is right across from Crystal Mall inside Element Hotel. The Glowbal Group bakery Nosh also has a location in the lobby of the hotel. I’ve driven past before and it wasn’t obvious to me that it was a hotel though. I also noticed there was a new Dinesty next door!
We started with the Beef Carpaccio served with grainy mustard aioli, grana padano, arugula, pickled onions and forno bread. Beef was tender, not chewy and the acidic flavours brightened up the dish. Continue reading →
Campagnolo is on Main Street just before Chinatown and very close to the new Torafuku! I’ve been wanting to go to Campagnolo for a while since I had pasta cravings but when I was actually there, we ended up ordering no pasta and had risotto instead.
They give you some cheese, chili pepper flakes and some kind of herb on a side plate so that you can use it on your pizza or pasta. Continue reading →
My co worker had heard about the Brown Paper Packages ice cream sandwiches available at Pazzo Chow so we decided to pick up some take out for lunch along with an ice cream sandwich. It’s on the corner of Quebec and Keefer street on the side of the big parking lot for Floata Seafood restaurant if you know what I’m talking about…They had really nice looking pictures on Instagram so we were excited to try it out.
Their menu changes daily so you’ll have to go there and check what they have. This was the menu on the day we went and it was all vegetarian food.
I’ve heard that Pronto Cafe also makes a porchetta sandwich similar to the one at Meat and Bread. Pronto is a small Italian cafe with limited seating but they have a nice outdoor patio at the back of the restaurant. They serve pasta, sandwiches and paninis .
So on my lunch visit to Pronto, I ended up not ordering the porchetta since I wasn’t thaaat hungry and the Proscuitto Paninialso sounded appetizing so I settled for that instead.
This is made with sundried tomato mayo, sweet Fabri cherries, arugula and provolone cheese. I thought the panini was a bit on the small size since it was $8.50 but I guess the price is similar to Meat and Bread except I feel like Meat and Bread would be more worth it but I’m just biased. The panini was good with nice stringy cheese but I wish the proscuitto was more spread out in the sandwich rather than just being on one side of the panini. It was so packed in that when I bit into it I ended up pulling a lot of it out in one bite. The only other thing was that I had no idea what sweet Fabri cherries were before ordering. I thought it might be dried fruit? However, it had this really weird flavour like cherry medicine and I didn’t like it…
My friend had the Gnocchi with Pesto and Pancetta. The gnocchi had a nice chewy texture that contrasted with the crisp pancetta. The creamy pesto sauce with the cheese brought everything together. They also have daily specials written on a chalkboard.
While the food was not bad, I’m not in a hurry to return anytime soon. Maaaaybe for the porchetta?
Ask For Luigi has been one of the most talked about restaurants in town for a while and it was high time that I tried it out. They only take reservations for time slots between 5:30-6pm so we did not end up getting one. I got there around 6:20pm and was told that the wait would be about an hour and they were pretty spot on with that. The interior is pretty small I think there were only 12 tables that seat 2 or 4 people.
We shared an appetizer which was the Crispy Polenta with Taleggio Cheeseon some marinara/tomato sauce. The outside looked a bit like fried tofu covered with cheese. The outside was crispy and the inside was soft with some mild flavour from the cheese.
The special of the day was Gnocchi with Rabbit. The gnocchi was pillowy soft and slightly chewy and while the rabbit meat was tender and had that pulled meat texture.
My friend came back from Toronto and we had a get together at Basil Pasta Bar. You can customize your own pasta and choose the type of noodles, meat, vegetables, sauce and toppings! Or you can choose some of their house specials too. The interior is quite small though but kinda cozy?
My friend had fettucine with carbonara sauce, bacon, chorizo, broccoli, mozzarella cheese and parsley.
This had fussili, bolognese sauce, chorizo, some vegetables I’m not sure of, no cheese and parsley.
Mine had penne, pesto cream, parsley, spinach, corn, zucchini, red onions, mozzarella cheese and parsley. The pasta was al dente and there was a good amount of sauce and ingredients. Yum! All of the DIY pastas are only $7.95!!! That’s a super great deal! The portions were pretty big and filling and you can make anything you want! I’m definitely coming back again. All my carb and pasta cravings were satisfied and there must be something you like here! It’s nothing fancy but there’s a lot of variety! Apparently you can also order online.
For my friend’s birthday, we decided to go somewhere fancier and we went to Italian Kitchen. Yes this is what I consider fancy and I know not everyone will agree haha It was my first time here. We were seated upstairs by the window and it was much quieter upstairs compared to downstairs because that’s where their open kitchen is.
We started by sharing the Bruschetta Sampler. It had three kinds of brushchetta (from left to right): pesto with fior di latte (fancy huh?), tomato basil, and chickpea. The flatbread was served slightly warm and the texture was just right, not too soft or hard. I was not particularly fond of the bruschetta and I don’t have much experience with it. With that being said, I found it a bit…boring? The flavours were just not exciting or special. It was alright for an appetizer meant to be shared and the only problem I had was with the tomatoes which completely fell off. >.> They should probably make some sort of paste so that the tomatoes will actually adhere to the flat bread. The chickpea one was the best. The pesto was not bad either and the fior di latte which I assume is some kind of cheese was mild in flavour.
I also decided to order a non-alcoholic drink. This is the Lychee Rosa with some lychee, strawberry and bubbly soda.The flavours were nice and the lychee was evident but there was a lot of ice so the drink was diluted quickly. =(
For our entrees we had the Pappardelle with lamb sausage, potatoes, cabbage peperoncino and olive oil. This was really good! There was a bit of spiciness in the sauce and the noodles were al dente and the portion was not bad. However, this dish was super oily from the olive oil though and it made the noodles very slippery!
Our other entree was the Veal Milanese. Despite the size and the delicious looking breading infused with herbs and spices, it actually did not have that much flavour. At least it wasn’t dry though. Under the slab of meat were some veggies like carrots and string beans and potatoes to balance out the meal. The veggies were bland as well but it must be healthier that way right?
We were super full after, especially from the bruschetta! I wouldn’t get the bruschetta again though and maybe I’ll stick to their pastas. Service was good and they even have a coat check too.
My BFF <3 from Toronto came back so we met up for lunch at Anton’s! Thankfully there was no line up at 1pm and the restaurant was only half full. My first visit to Anton’s was over two years ago now so I can’t quite remember what the food tasted like. The only thing I remembered was the giganormous portions and that’s what they’re famous for. Anton’s is in North Burnaby and it took me an hour to bus there! The decor inside had a homey feel to it but it was nothing fancy.
Excuse my horrible yellow photos, apparently my camera was on some kind of weird setting I didn’t know about. Oops! ><
We were given some free bread to start off with but neither of us touched it since we knew we were going to be really full from the pasta. We had intended to eat it after but we had room so I can’t comment on the bread. There is also a minimum charge of $8 per person so we decided to share a pasta and a dessert to fulfill that requirement.
All pastas are $12.75 for lunch unless otherwise specified. The pastas are divided by the type of sauce used in it such as red sauce, white sauce, clear sauce etc. They also have a selection of stuffed pastas and vegetarian pastas We chose the Penne Mezza Luna with Italian sausage & pancetta in an olive tomato sauce. I’ve always preferred red sauces and who doesn’t love anything with Italian sausage right? Our server asked if we wanted any pepper on our pasta and we said yes. She kept going for longer than we expected before we realized we had to ask her to stop. First of all I thought that the penne was really thick and a bit chunky. It was also on the soft side and not quite al dente either. Otherwise it was alright and the sausage gave the pasta a bit of a kick or it could have been the black pepper we had sprinkled on top. The pasta was rather mediocre due to the noodles they used so I think this is somewhere you would go for quantity over quality.
Then we had our Tiramisuwhich turned out to be huge too! It also came with copious amounts of whipped cream. I was so glad we were sharing this. The cake was moist and spongey but the bottom layer was soaked in waaay too much espresso. It was pretty much soggy. =S I’m not too picky with cakes but this was probably the worse tiramisu I’ve ever had. They probably didn’t make the cake in house though and they’re not known for desserts anyway so I shouldn’t complain too much…
Anton’s is somewhere you go for quantity over quality. It’s definitely a good spot for a cheap lunch or dinner but you can get better quality pasta elsewhere. Also I don’t think it’s worth the hype and lineups at night either. If you want to try it, go during lunch times and skip dessert!