Posts with tag "vancouver restaurant"

The Red Wagon Cafe

There’s only a few places in Vancouver that makes me crave to go back and try every single item on the menu: Red Wagon is on that list. This old school, no fuss, friendly diner is backed by a chef with quite the local pedigree. His name is Chef Brad Miller and he was worked at notable local kitchens like Bistro Pastis, West, and Au Petit Chavignol. He had a stint in serving food goodness in Paris and you could tell that experience influenced his menu. Red Wagon is simple French cooking with a simple approachable comfortable dining experience.

When you step in, it really feels like your neighborhood diner that has stayed around since the 1950s. But when you take a closer look at the menu, it tells a different story. You can see the French influence with dishes like confit pork belly and croque madame. And pretty much the whole menu shouts gourmet.

I ordered the very fancy sounding country pate sandwich with celery root slaw, apple mustard
cornichon on baguette with side of fries.

Country pate is, in short, a fancy meatloaf of mostly ground pork mixed with lots of spices and sometimes there’s liver in it. A country pate can be quite dense and heavy to eat but the celery root slaw and apple mustard gave it a nice tang and freshness that cut into that density. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not as heavy as it looked and easily inhaled the whole thing.

My friend ordered the very gut filling The Croque Madame with a side salad

It’s a grilled ham and swiss sandwich, béchamel with a sunny side egg on top. If you ever want a decent breakfast sandwich, this would be it. You got your protein, dairy, and more all in one gooey bite.

The prices here are of course more than your greasy spoon diner. But if you want simple inspired high-quality food, then this Food Network gem is definitely worth checking out.

The Red Wagon
2296 East Hastings Street
The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

Hubbub Sandwiches

It was a cold evening in downtown and we were looking for a quick bite before catching our movie. We wanted to do a proper sit down but should have known that on a Saturday night everywhere would be packed. After walking around for a bit deciding where to eat, we found ourselves at the charming Hubbub Sandwiches.

It’s a small comfy shop near Robson Square. And because of it’s prime location and good reputation, it’s been getting quite the lunch time line ups

I’ve heard about their famous pulled pork sandwiches so of course I had to order that for dinner. Their sandwiches are simple and yet filled with different flavours. Their sandwich starts with pickled jalapenos, creamy garlic sauce, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and crunchy caramelized onions atop a toasty baguette. Then you get to choose your protein like the pulled pork, turkey sausage, chicken, prawn…and there’s a veggie option too. And if you’re feeling really hungry you can also a side of either corn, quinoa salad, chips, or colesaw. I just went for the straight up pulled pork sandwich.

The pork is marinated for 24 hours to get that spicy flavour and tender meat then slow roasted. The baquette is from a local bakery so can taste that freshness. However, I found the bread to be too crusty and chewy for me. So after eating half the sandwich I de-assembled and finished it with a knife and fork. It didn’t matter as the pulled pork was the star: it was tangy, juicy, greasy, saucy, and slightly sweet.

So for those who want to go for a gluten free option, you can have your protein as a salad. My friend ordered the prawn with the salad option

It was a definitely a big bowl of salad with a generous serving of the white tiger prawns. The prawns have been basted in a margarita-style marinade and sauteed to order.  The salad was not of the ‘boring’ type at all: it was a mix of romaine, peppers, corn, jalapeno, and olives with a light vinaigrette.

If you want a hearty sandwich that hits the spot and not your wallet (most sandwich are around $8.50), make a stop at the cute Hubbub Sandwiches.

Hubbub Sandwich
859 Hornby St
Hubbub Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

Save On Meats

Everyone has seen and heard the stories of Hastings Street: the once bustling hub of Vancouver deteriorated to a neighborhood of poverty. And amidst the destitute, was a remaining bright beacon of the glory days: the iconic neon Save On Meats flying pig sign. The sign dimmed its light 2 years ago when the owner retired.

Save On Meats was brought back to life this past month by well respected restauranteur, Mark Brand. It took over a year but he brought back Vancouver’s beloved meat shop to its glory.

The revised cafe is simple and clean, and the decor is a clear reminisce of a 1960s diner with a touch of modern.

The menu was also throwback to the simple comforts of an old school diner. For nostalgia sake and reliving my childhood, we had to order the milkshakes.

It was good thick milkshake like the type where you have to suck instead of sip through the straw. I really don’t remember the last time I had a milkshake and it felt good having one again.

I picked their Clubhouse Sandwich as my main

The sandwich was made of focaccia stacked with their house-made fresh rotisserie chicken, bacon, tomato, lettuce and bacon. Even though the ingredients were fresh, unfortunately it was pretty dry and bland. The chicken was pretty dry and not seasoned well. It was a hearty sandwich but needed more flavour. The side coleslaw wasn’t too exciting either.

My dinner partner in crime ordered their ‘everyone’s been talking about it’ burger

The very affordable $6 burger comes on a toasted brioche bun, a homemade beef patty with mayo, topped with lettuce, tomatoes,bacon and cheese. It’s an old school greasy burger at its best: the bun with a slight sweet taste to it with the savoury juicy beef patty and the crunch of the vegetables. Of course with the burger, you got to have the crispy hot fries.

Kudos to Mark Brand and his team for bring this restaurant back with environmental friendliness, sustainability, and local economics in mind. I think it’s safe to say that everyone, including me, welcomes Save On Meats back and hope it sticks around for many years to come.

Save On Meats
43 W Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V6B
Save on Meats Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon