[Vancouver, BC] Frying Pan Flies Fries & Chicken Fast and Furious

Frying Pan
505 Burrard St
Vancouver, BC 

Hours: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Phone: (778) 927-1477

I make no clucks about it. This hungry bloke is spreading his wings, and when I’m at Fan Expo Vancouver 2018, I’m not interested in those sponsored/recommended stops. This year’s guide had restaurants advertising discounts for going there. One interested me, but I let my nose be the guide. After a long day at this event just how far I have to go for a meal depends on how worn out I feel. Not all of this show’s recommended stops are located conveniently nearby.

As I recall, The corner of West Pender and Burrard used to host Japadog. These days, it’s Frying Pan, a neutral name for what? Well, it’s chicken of course! The portions are perfect for lunch, and one order is enough to fill me up. There must be an oven and deep fryer inside the truck. I found the taste sweet (because of the sauce; I tasted a hint of citrus, a beautiful touch) and the texture not all that crispy hard. The coleslaw addition just made for a beautiful contrast. The chicken meat was not dry, and I feel they can give the Korean Fried format a run for its money.

A joke can be made: why did the chicken cross the road? to avoid being caught and cooked up at this operation.

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Cravin’ the Bacon at Shunzee Biscuit

Shanzee’s Biscuit Cafe
529 Pandora Ave
Victoria, BC 

Hours: 8am to 3pm
Phone: (778) 433-9089

The fact you can see your meal made fresh in an open-air kitchen at Shunzee’s Biscuit (formerly Bitchin Biscuit) says a lot towards this operation’s success. If the scents of bacon crisped on the spot do not wet your appetite, then the other tantalizing delights of pork on the grill will. The reason behind the change of name is obvious for those who are from the Pacific Northwest; In Seattle, Biscuit Bitch is the queen of Capitol Hill. Technically the area is actually Downtown Seattle (i.e. Pike Place Market). When I’m staying nearby, I make this place my go-to breakfast stop. Back home, Shunzee won me over. If she was a person than an operation, I’d most likely be courting her.

Her warm biscuits are soft and worth nuzzling. With the cold months ahead, I can certainly find a lot of comfort here in these digs, and in the food they offer. The eggs can be prepared any way you like. They taste farm fresh. When I’m savouring free range, I’m cock-a-doodle doodling in approval and have to wonder how much of this operations product comes from local farms.

I should find out where they get their Louisiana sausage. The jalapeno kick certainly nailed a lot of my pleasure centers. The meal itself is not too big. I have to make comparisons. When I was in Seattle, the meal I bought for breakfast was more than enough. I saved half for lunch. For Shunzee, the portion is just right. I wolfed it all down and still had an appetite for more.

I can easily visit this place for brunch. After more than a few visits, this operation certainly satisfies for morning or afternoon meal. They don’t do dinner for obvious reasons. Although should one show up later in the day, the possibility exists to might miss the bacon train. They usually use Hertel bacon (very renowned throughout the Canadian side of the Pacific Northwest). The day I went, they had to rush to the nearest market and obtain a different brand to keep up with demand.

The scents of bacon still drew me in, but when it’s not the right kind of pork, maybe it’s better to say sorry, “we’re sold out.”

4 Blokes out of 5

Always Wanton for J & J Wonton Noodle House

J & J Wonton Noodle House
1012 Fort St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 11am to 2pm,
4:30pm to 8:30pm

Phone: (250) 383-0680

When an operation touts their specialty is with wonton, my craving for this wonderful dumpling is better served at home, here in beautiful Victoria, BC than going to the mainland. The shrimp & pork style is the best. For those craving one protein than both, the single variety can be ordered. This operation was very accommodating by taking my order while I was waiting for a seat. Like a ramen shop, I easily popped in for a bite even though other people were here for dinner. When people are opting for the latter, I recommend making a reservation!

Wor style is preferred over traditional. Not only are the dumplings bigger, but you get more bang out of your buck. In this visit, I opted for simple and it’s my fault for not realizing how hungry I was. Even on a quiet day, to see this place is always busy is very good.

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[Vancouver, BC] Not So Wanton for Neptune Wonton Noodle

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Neptune Wonton Noodle
4405 Central Blvd,
Burnaby, BC

Hours: 10am–1am
Phone: (778) 379-0639

There is more to the Neptune franchise name than just their Seafood Restaurants in downtown Vancouver and Coquitlam (to name a few). Yes, I’ve been visiting Vancouver quite a bit, and it’s tough for me to not say a thing about many an established chain on the mainland.

For regular Asian customers, it’s a place to hit (especially in Burnaby) and the staff treats them more kindly than Caucasians. I’m sorry, but this detail was particularly jarring when I suggested to my friend that we check this place out. We were in the area for a book signing at Chapters. Instead of a bite in Metropolis in Metrotown (Burnaby, BC), we opted for an establishment close to our hotel. While behaviours from the older generation never change in regards to other cultures wanting to come in to explore ethnic tastes, I question whether they should be working in the dining / public service sector or not. Continue reading

[Vancouver, BC] Don’t Cry for Me Memphis Blues BBQ

memphisblueslogo_400x400Memphis Blues BBQ House
430 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: 11am to 10pm
Phone: (604) 682-6220
Multiple Locations in Lower Mainland

One criticism people raised down south (from the States) around Louisana often make when they see an establishment that’s not from the region and based out of another country is if the food is authentic, or are they trying to go for a schtick to get folks not from the region in?

Memphis Blues BBQ faces that challenge. Can they convince a West Coast boy like me or cajole friends of mine, who are from the South (but moved here for a cooler climate or other reasons), that they truly did bring the tastes of the region up to the Pacific Northwest so they can be reminded of home? I know two: one born in Texas (she now lives up island) and a Facebook buddy who was from there. I discovered this place while in Vancouver for a concert and did not want to wander far from my hotel to sate certain cravings. I love ‘gator, crawfish and gumbo. This diner has one out of the three. Maybe on another visit, I can try Le Crocodile, a really expensive upscale place to make comparisons between budget and trendy. I’m okay with this franchise operation. I went to their lunch stop on Robson.

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Victoria Fringe Festival 2018: Quick Bites & Where to Find Them

 

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Runs Aug 27 to Sept 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Even active Fringers need a moment to snack in between shows. With the long weekend coming up, that may be tough to do as the time in between shows is at most 30 minutes. Where can folks go to refuel? Unless a timeout is used for a proper meal, nibbling in line is what I tend to do instead of sitting for a spell.

The official event guide offers three places to hit. By showing your button, a 10% discount is applied, but one of these stops is for dine-in than take-out. Hardly many eateries are mentioned in this year’s booklet.

I offer an expanded list for those looking for quick meals to have while waiting in line. This list is organized by close proximity to the venues. Sadly, not a lot of options exist within a short walking distance of Langham Court (Venue 5). Bubby Rose’s (1022 Cook Street) can satisfy with their pizzas and pastries, but on evenings when most of the shows take place during the weekday, they are closed. Cook St. Village proper is approximately 10 minutes away and not many folks are willing to run.

Venues One (Victoria Event Center) to Four (VCM Wood Hall)

For sweets like macaroons, La Roux Patisserie (519 Fisgard St), Fol Epi (732 Yates Street, they serve sandwiches too) and Empire Donuts (736 Yates Street, inside the mall) are worth the diversion to stop into. They provide ample recharge options for performers too if they have yet to find these two operations.

Superbaba (1325 Blanshard), Efes (788 Yates) and Brickyard Pizza (784 Yates) are also viable options for warmer meals. All of them offer delicious toasted bites. My personal preference for Middle Eastern food is with Efes. Their döners always tickle my fancy over Superbaba’s shawarmas. As for falafels, the jury is still out.

Sakura Grocery (1213 Quadra) is closer to The Metro on Quadra and VCM Wood Hall for those not wanting to venture far. While their sushi prices are mildly high, the extra cost is worth it! Standard staples like California, spicy tuna or salmon rolls are available can be found. This operation is under new management and the quality has vastly improved since my visits from years ago.

Another option is a sandwich or pastry from the Deli in The Market on Yates (903 Yates). I always stop here for a drink as they have a huge variety to choose from.

Venue Six (Roxy Theatre)

Part and Parcel’s (2645 Quadra) many delectable take-out options are made fresh and orders hardly take over 10 minutes to make. This place always gets busy during the Fringe Festival season, so it is often best to arrive earlier than usual to avoid disappointment. Dine in options include 5th Street Bar & Grill (1028 Hillside Ave)

Venue Seven (St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall)

When bouncing between one side of town to another, a stop by The Dutch Bakery (718 Fort Street) for their pies is a must. These buttery delights are the reason why I’m rotund! The crust is oh so wonderful, and the window display of their many tarts … Oh my! Although this secret is mostly known to locals, Noodlebox (818 Douglas Street) has been the top pick for take-out for many an event in town—especially near the Inner Harbour. Their quality is great, and options include no spice to the extreme. Plus, you can dine-in too! This establishment is just one of two franchise operations worth mentioning. Beavertails (602 Broughton) for fried bread (with your choice of cinnamon or Nutella) or poutine is worth a stop.