Last week I went for lunch with my co workers at the Tap and Barrel right by False Creek. It has a fantastic view of the water, Science World and BC Place Stadium on their patio. When we arrived around 1pm there was a long line but it turns out that it was for the patio. We didn’t really care where we sat as long as we were seated so we were seated relatively quickly. It was a beautiful day and it seemed like no one wanted to sit inside except us. There menu items were standard pub fare such as burgers and pizza and a couple of snacks. They also had a lot of beer of course and they said they don’t do pitchers.
I know this might sound weird to some of you… or a lot of you. But I had the PB&J Burger served with chipotle peanut butter and bacon jam. The peanut butter and bacon jam was actually quite tasty and smooth. On the other hand, I did not taste any chipotle or bacon though. Otherwise, the only issue I had was that the oil from the peanut butter made the burger a drippy mess and difficult to eat. However, the flavours went surprisingly well together. The sea salted fries on the side were came hot and crispy but many of the pieces I had were small and ended up being really crunchy when fried. They lacked the starchiness that fries are supposed to have. Although I enjoyed my burger despite the mess, the fries need to be improved. Guess what the crispy thing on top of the burger is? It’s actually a deep fried pickle! It was wonderfully crunchy and not sour at all. It was a LOT better than the deep fried pickles I had at the PNE.
Deep fried pickles from the PNE
These were dill pickles and the batter was just really greasy and thick.
It was interesting that all the burgers were served in a shallow metal pan and covered with something similar to parchment paper. All my colleagues seemed happy with their food and the poutine burger seemed to be a hit. Despite the fact that we sat indoors, we still enjoyed the view through the open doors and large windows in every direction.
I was super excited this year to try the adult pirate paks from White Spot! Every year they have a special day in the middle of August where adults can purchase the pirate pak and White Spot will donate $2 from each meal to the Zajac Ranch for Children. I visited the Oakridge location at lunch and the line up was about half an hour long so it wasn’t too crazy thankfully. My parents never really took me to White Spot when I was eligible for for the pirate pak so I’ve only had it twice before. I kept that cardboard ship for many, many years after though much to their chagrin.
The pirate pak menu is limited to four items but they all come with endless fries, coleslaw, pop, a chocolate gold coin and ice cream! All for $13.99 or less. My friend and I both chose the Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger. The word bacon was enough to entice us. If you’re not interested in pirate paks, all of their regular menu items are still available.
Here’s my burger! It really was very big especially compared to the space available in the ship. Even the slice of pickle was big. The bun was soft while the patty was thick, moist and juicy. It’s like the archetype of a classic bacon and cheddar burger. Completely satisfying. I couldn’t even finish it. The coleslaw and fries were standard. Since fries and pop are refillable, you will be very full afterwards.
I was totally saving room for ice cream. Available flavours are chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. No need to say what my favourite flavour is!
White Spot is the place for classic Canadian comfort food for families but don’t expect anything fancy! They also seem to be innovating more with their menu items. I wouldn’t mind coming back next year for another pirate pak too.
PS. I kept my pirate ship and put my minions in it. =)
Previously I was sold on the hype that surrounded the opening of the new Cactus Club at Coal Harbour. I have yet to visit though so I settled on the Burnaby location which is right across from Metrotown. You can probably guess what I was doing before dinner now. We just felt like going somewhere slightly more upscale that day. We should have made a reservation though because they did have a short wait during dinner time.
Their Signature Sangria seemed good so I decided to try it. What won me over was that the description said there would be a splash of bellini.
My friend had The Burger with bacon, cheddar cheese and sauteed mushrooms along with a side of yam fries. The burger was a good size and juicy so there were no complaints. Yam fries were nicely done too addicting as always.
I had trouble deciding between all the options since I don’t frequent Cactus Club much. I finally decided on the Jambalaya Rice Bowl. This rice bowl had shrimp, chicken, sausage, veggies and black bean salsa. I found the chicken to be too dry but I loved the flavours of the rice bowl. There was just the right amount of heat to it and the portion size was very good. I also liked that they give you a choice of white or brown rice. I chose brown rice and it tasted so good I almost couldn’t tell it was brown rice! They also offer a chicken teriyaki rice bowl and also a salmon rice bowl as well. Overall, I thought it was better than I expected. Might go for the short rib sandwich next time!
We had a nice experience here and I really don’t see anything wrong with visiting chain restaurants. The service was pleasant and our food and drinks arrived promptly.
I paid a visit to Five Guys last week during lunch time and they had quite a line up going and the restaurant was packed. Thankfully the line moved quite fast. The burger concepts were quite simple. They served hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bacon burgers and bacon cheeseburgers. They also had “little” versions of these burgers too as well as grilled cheese sandwiches. I wasn’t that hungry so I just had a Little Bacon Burger. There was a lot of hype surrounding the opening of Five Guys so I was excited to see what it was like.
At Five Guys, you can have a lot of free toppings to choose from which is the best part. I was trying to save calories so I decided not to get everything. I had pickles, fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes and BBQ sauce. I should have got more toppings though because I found the burger to be dry and lacking in taste and flavour. It was just really boring. ALSO I think they might have missed the bacon… I was busy analyzing my burger and didn’t even notice that earlier! Unfortunately I had already left because I ordered it to go and it was too late. =( I am 99.99% sure it was missing. If it was there I would have enjoyed the burger more right?!
I thought that Five Guys was similar to Vera’s and I don’t have any other burger joints to compare it too. Maybe I will get more toppings next time but overall it seemed average to me.
After watching Les Miserables (the singing was really good!!!), we went shopping on Robson and eventually ended up at Moxie’s for dinner. I haven’t been to Moxie’s in like 2 years but I remembered that I really enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant and their cushy purple booths.
We started off by sharing a Hawaiian Hunny margarita! This was made with blue curacao? bellini slush and pineapple juice. Quite tasty and I loved the blue colour!
The pineapple taste was lost halfway through the drink though. Maybe we should have mixed it first. They made this really fast and this cost $5.99 for 1oz.
My friend got the Red Thai Chicken curry which had chicken and veggies with lots of pieces of naan bread. This curry seemed pretty sweet to me and didn’t seem to have many spices to it but it was still tasty.
I got the Ranch-House Chicken burger and the chicken was surprisingly soft and super tender! Although size-wise it seemed a bit smaller than other burgers that I’ve seen but the fries made up for it so I didn’t mind too much. The fries could have been crispier though. It was funny that the pickle on top was so cute and small.