Lucy’s Eastside Diner

Another weekend, another brunch!  We headed to Lucy’s Eastside Diner for a few brunches of late, and have been very happy with what they’ve had the offer – good comfort food in (or in spite of?) a hipster setting 🙂

On Main near Broadway

The restaurant is located just sought of Broadway on Main – we’ve lucked out with parking a few times on nearby streets.

Very funky decore

While it is a bit small inside, there’s usually quick turnover.  There’s cute touches all around to look at – from the old school back-lit menu board, to a series of retro fans.  Enough about the decore – on to the food!

Three Little Pigs ($10)

First up, they have pretty great eggs benedict – and instead of having to choose from the ham, bacon or chorizo versions, you can have ’em all in the Three Little Pigs!  Served with chunky hashbrowns, this is a big meal.  The only problem I’d say is with the small slices of chorizo, which don’t really sit as nicely on the benny.

Down South Breaky ($8.50)

On my first visit, I ordered the Down South Breaky thinking it would be a nice scramble/skillet, featuring rice (!), but was surprised but still very happy with the plate – the baked beans weren’t too sweet or smokey, and everything worked well together.  “Southern” I’m not so sure about, but tasty indeed.

Uncle Ev's Chorizo Hash ($8.50)

On another visit we got Uncle Ed’s Chorizo Hash which featured the same crispy chunky hashrbowns, and pieces of chorizo.  While the individual components were good, there wasn’t a real “hash” aspect to this dish.  The poached eggs, which have been featured in the above dishes, are totally perfect – poached freestyle, there’s clearly someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen!

Breakfast Burrito ($8.50)

My last breakfast item is the Breakfast Burrito – piled densely with scrambled eggs, some black beans, cheese, and some rice, the whole thing gets grilled, which is a very nice touch.  The only thing I would love to add to this dish would have been a side of salsa – it would provide a bit of moisture to the burrito.

Service is always fast and attentive, and your retro cup is quickly refilled with coffee.  While we haven’t had lunch or dinner (or any midnight-snacking given that they’re open 24-hours a day!) there’s an awesome special of a burger, fries and milkshake or beer for $10 – awesome!  Definitely coming back to try that!

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Posted in 24-hour, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, Diner, Food, Restaurants | 1 Comment

Meishan Restaurant (Crystal Mall)

Crystal Mall is a crazy place – from high tech home appliances to an indoor open market, some really bizarre clothing shops, and some pretty great restaurants!

We were there after the regular lunch rush, so the place was pretty quiet.  We got to choose from any of the tables, which, with their plastic peel-away tablecloths, seemed to cheapen the rather nice look of the dining area.

We looked over the limited menu while enjoying some crazy-hot tea.  It took a little while to get checked in on, and I am pretty sure there was some miscommunication during the interchange too 😦

Shredded Pork with Garlic & Chilli Sauce on Rice ($6.99)

I was surprised by how the Shredded Pork with Garlic & Chilli Sauce on Rice looked when it came out.  The strips of pork had a strong vinegary sauce, and with a lot of bamboo shoots and black fungus, it wasn’t really what I was expecting.  The flavours were good though, and the plate was a large serving (though not quite easy to share).

Dan Dan Noodles ($5.99)

Our other dish was Dan Dan Noodles, which I was excited to share with Chris for the first time.  I was quite disappointed with this version.  There was a lot of broth which was thin and vinegary (!?) and sprinkled throughout were burnt-tasting Schezuan  peppercorns.

Dan Dan Noodle closeup

The ground beef was also kind of burnt tasting, and there was no real peanut aspect to the dish either.  This was definitely not a good introduction to this normally awesome dish. 😦

So while the portions and price were good, I can’t say I truly enjoyed this meal.  There are lots of other choices at Crystal Mall that I’d prefer to try rather than rush back to Meishan again.

Cash only.
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Las Vegas – Carnegie Deli @ The Mirage

On our recent trip to Las Vegas I asked friends on Facebook what their food recommendations were for places on the Strip; Jessica from Yum-O-Rama strongly recommended the Carnegie Deli a Las Vegas version of the New York institution.

Carnegie Deli in the Mirage

Located in The Mirage (and surprisingly not New York New York) the deli is opened nice and late with a full menu available.  We were seated right away, and presented with a free dish of pickles to start!

Free pickles! Cloudy brine & regular kosher dill

These were quite yummy, and a great way to get our meal started.  We decided to get a bunch of things to split – a good move for anyone I think given the epic proportions this deli is known for.

Matzo Ball Soup ($7.99) (half shown here)

Our first shared dish was the Matzo Ball Soup – an incredibly rich chicken broth with huge, fluffy, matzo balls nearly floating in the bowl – amazing.  We shared this order – so, consider that there were two matzo balls in the normal dish!  Look at that spoon for scale!

Latkes ($12.99)

Next up, we got some Latkes.  Fried golden brown, these were quite well prepared, and it was nice that they were served with both sour cream and with apple sauce.  However, they were a bit plain and I felt that the $13 price was a bit much for this particular dish.

Corned Beef Sandwich ($15.99) (half shown here)

For our final dish – our piece de resistance – we ordered one of the Carnegie’s famous sandwiches.  Pilled high, this was a very very generous Corned Beef Sandwich!

Me vs. the Sandwich!

Here is a crazy picture for scale! 🙂

What I ended up doing with my half was to divide up the sandwich into a more manageable-sized version and a side plate full of meat too!   The corned beef was really good – it had that great elastic texture and was cut just a little thick so it was toothsome.  I also appreciated that while warm and hefty, it wasn’t greasy.

A more sane-wich! 🙂

I got to give a shout-out to the amazing mustard served at the Carnegie – it was a perfect.  A slightly grainy, brown mustard, not too vinegary – I wish they sold it in bottles!

Service was pretty good – our waiter was a little “attitude-y” in the right way to add to the ambiance of the restaurant, but in no way that would be construed as rude, and definitely attentive.

Carnegie Deli (Mirage) on Urbanspoon

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Big 6

The first time we tried to find Big 6, we ended up in New Westminister!  Tucked away in the corner where Edmonds street suddenly ends, this old school Chinese-run western diner.

On 6th Street south of Edmonds

Inside its definitely a little worn down, but I don’t mind!  The loud, yelling waitress (in Cantonese) is a bit jarring, but meh, that’s not the end of the world.

We’ve only been around breakfast time, but they do have a full lunch and early dinner menu (they close at 7 PM daily).

Eggs Benedict ($5.95!)

I chose Eggs Benedict on a recent visit – a crazy low price for a big plateful of food.  The hashbrowns that come with most of their breakfast items have a lot of griddle-borne crispy edges, pretty great.  As for the eggs benedict, I was a bit sad to see the mould-shapped poached eggs, but…

Perfectly poached!

… when the result is such a perfectly medium poached egg, I can’t complain.

Steak & Eggs ($6.99!)

Another great value is the Steak & Eggs – a little 5 oz sirloin is cooked, again, perfectly to order (you can actually see the steak juice on the plate – yum!)

So far, everything we’ve had has been solid, honest, and really well priced.  Oh, and, unlike other tiny diners we enjoy, this one does take debit and credit card.

Big Six Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Au Petit Chavignol

On a recent sunny weekend morning, I decided to treat Chris to a fancy brunch at what I overheard someone on the #20 bus call “the city’s best cheese & wine bar.”

On Hastings near Heatley

Its unassuming storefront is a bit hard to spot unless you know what you’re looking for – paired with Les Amis Du Fromage, Au Petit Chavignol is modern, luxurious, but still fun and quirky inside.  I especially enjoyed the chandelier-print feature wall and the fire-engine red vertical meat slicer placed proudly next to the bar.

We were seated right by the window (lovely sun!) and were given menus.  Our waitress was fantastic at first to tell us about specials and get us drinks.  My order of a big dry cappuccino was a welcome jolt of caffeine, made all the more special with a little vanilla meringue on the side.

Double Cappuccino ($3.50)

First up were some brunch appetizers (so decadent!) we got an Arugula & Pecorino Salad, and the Duck Liver Parfait with toasted brioche.

Arugula Pecorino Salad ($8)

The salad was very lightly dressed, so much (little?) so that it seemed like just lettuces and shaved cheese on it 😦

Duck Liver Parfait ($10)

Duck Liver Parfait ($10)

In contrast, the “parfait” which was really a very airy pate with a gelee of muscat wine.  Super flavourful, it paired perfectly with the toasts.  I loved this a ton!

Next up were our main courses; Chris order the Corned Beef Hash which featured homemade corned beef.

Corned Beef Hash ($10)

Big pieces of corned beef along with potatoes were topped with two perfectly poached eggs; this was an elevated version of the diner classic.

Crocque Madame ($12.50)

I was really looking forward to ordering the Crocque Madame – a heavenly combination of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, topped with more cheese and an egg.  Chris wisely suggested that I cut the sandwich down where the yolk was, so that the protein-y goodness would sort of baste the layers.


And speaking of layers, the thinly sliced ham was stacked high on more of that great brioche, and tons of gruyere throughout made it super cheesy and amazing.  Just looking at this picture makes me want another!

I have to say I was a bit disappointed that our originally great waitress seemed to have forgotten us at the end of the meal (perhaps the view to our table was blocked by the new group who sat at the bar), however that won’t stop us from coming back again!

Au Petit Chavignol on Urbanspoon

Posted in Bistro/Brasserie, Breakfast & Brunch, Food, Restaurants | 4 Comments

Radio silence

Sorry folks. No post for a while until this carpal tunnel syndrome eases up.

Many more posts to come from Vegas and around Vancouver.

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Tim Horton’s “New & Improved” Croissants

So I do admit that unlike the old sandwich bread at Tim Horton’s – I did think there was something lacking in the croissants.  They tasted of butter-flavoured shortening and were ridiculously flakey as to cause a mess.  Enter a new advertising campaign (timed along with Roll Up the Rim time!) and potentially a “new & improved” croissant?

Aardvark-shaped croissant

First – it does look better than the old, squashed-down croissant.  Mine was a bit less crescent-shaped and more aardvark-shaped, but no matter, it was quite nice & “tall”  with a dark sheen to it.

Inside - fluffy

Looking inside, the croissant is definitely less flakey than the inside of the old croissant… It is almost more like a crescent roll in that it is quite bready.  The layers were discernable though, which is alright.  As for flavour…

Better, but not awesome

It definitely tasted better than the old croissant, a more natural butter/pastry flavour for sure, but it didn’t really taste like a bakery croissant.  Again, this reminded me a bit more of a crescent roll.  The only difference seemed to be the flakey crust layer.

Less mess!

Overall, it was less flakey (as evidenced by the smaller mess of crumbs on my desk).  I still think it could be improved (maybe using real butter through and through is the key).  It’s definitely better, but not amazing.  I am surprised because the danish pastry is quite good at Timmies…  An improvement is a good thing I guess!



Posted in Breakfast & Brunch, Canadian Food, Chain restaurant, Food styles, Restaurants | 2 Comments