Tag Archives: dinner

Grand Villa Casino and Ebo Restaurant in Burnaby

4 Jan

I had the pleasure of being invited to sample some of the fabulous cuisine and try my hand on the slot machines at Grand Villa Casino. Being the fairly veggie eating, music loving West Coaster that I am, I actually had never been to a casino before. I was curious, so I decided to see if I would be a lucky winner and made my way out to Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby.

First stop, Ebo Restaurant. I have been hearing a lot about this restaurant lately and was excited to see what all the hype was about.

We were greeted with a very friendly hostess who took us straight to our table which was a cozy booth in the back.I noticed some larger circular tables in the back which were sort of tucked away and looked perfect for larger groups or birthday parties.

Our server, Sarah quickly came to let us know a bit about Ebo and ask us if we had any special dietary concerns or if we would like recommendations. I mentioned that I don’t eat meat, or gluten and Sarah immediately brought over a special celiac friendly menu! She also suggested that perhaps I would like to try a 3 course tasting menu featuring something that was not on the menu with some items that were. How could I refuse?

We ordered some lovely BC cabernet/merlot  and were brought some gorgeous olive bread and some house made rice flat bread (which the chef later told us is actually a pizza dough) to start us off. This flat bread was a standout! It was covered in oil and garlic, the bread was somehow flaky (which is not something you tend to find with gluten free) and the flavour was just amazing. I could have just eaten that bread and wine all night. Another rice flour bread came out which was more of a typical, less appealing rice bread that was quite dry, as is typical with most gluten free breads.

She started me and my wonderful company off with the Beetroot and Goat Cheese salad. This was truly the standout of the meal! The salad features local Marinated Baby Beets, Goat’s Pride Camembert, Textures of Orange (an orange foam and orange pearls) & a Pine Nut Granola. The flavours were really wonderful and this is something I would definitely get again.

We each had a different second course. I had these gorgeous corn cakes (an off menu item) with mozarella and pineapple, my company had the Roast Scallops which came with Vanilla Scented Cauliflower Puree, Jamon Serrano, Capers & Raisins & squid ink Aioli. Both were standout items. The corn cakes were completely vegetarian friendly and gluten free!

The final course for me was a smoked tempeh and vegetable risotto (off menu item), and for my guest, steak!

The risotto was nice and so was the tempeh but it was nothing terribly special. A bit bland but still had some good flavour, just nothing that stood out and no melting in my mouth.  The steak was served with Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms, Asparagus, Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, Truffled Herb Compound Butter, Dijon Mustard and was also perfectly cooked. The only criticism is that the potatoes the steak came with were a very over salted.

All the vegetables were from Hazelmere Organic Farm in South Surrey and the goat cheese from the salad was from Goat’s Pride Organic Dairy in Abbotsford.

We were also served some unbelievable truffles to finish off the evening!

The prices were very reasonable and the food was great. Ebo is a great place to visit for a birthday, date or special occasion. It is a bit of a trek for me (I live in Downtown) but I would definitely head out to Grand Villa again for a special occasion.  The atmosphere is nice but does still have a bit of a ‘Hotel Restaurant’ feeling. Their fabulous chef, Daniel Craig came out to say hello at the end of the evening! They have something to most certainly be proud of at Ebo.

After dinner we headed over to the casino and played some slots. I have never done it before and it was fun but your money will go quickly! I think next time I’d like to try some of the other games (will have to learn some card games I guess!).

It was like night and day being in the Casino and in Ebo. The casino staff didn’t seem as friendly and it was a very tense room (as one would expect with so much money flying around). Ebo was relaxed and the staff were so knowledgeable and friendly!

If you have a chance to head out to Burnaby I would recommend trying out Grand Villa & Ebo! It is a really fun experience and Ebo is a great place to try if you want to experience some great local cuisine.

See the full Ebo restaurant menu by visiting their website.

Learn more about the Grand Villa Casino  by visiting their website.

Please note that my meal was paid for and all views expressed are my own. I was not paid to write a positive review.

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Miko Sushi on Robson St.

12 May

If you are a veggie sushi fan the way that I am, you will love Miko Sushi on Robson Street.

I was living only a block away from Miko for over a year and I never even noticed it! Nestled near waffles, bubble tea and Don Guacamoles it can be easy to miss.
I am so glad that I finally discovered this little gem!

When you walk through the door you are greeted by everyone in Japanese! Its like a hum of multiple Japanese voices all coming together. I was excited to sit down and opted for a booth rather than at the bar (they give you the option). The walls are covered with autographs, mostly from sports dudes who have visited over the years
The waitresses have the most amazing traditional outfits, and I was kind of obsessed with the big bow on the back.

As I mentioned, and in every other post, I am vegetarian. I always stick with avocado roll which is my most favorite. Having a large soft portion of avocado tucked in to a thin layer of deliciously fresh rice is such a treat! Most of the time either there is too little avocado or just TONS of rice. Miko sushi finds the perfect balance. I also ordered a yam roll (not on the menu but just ask) and was pleasantly surprised receiving a freshly fried piece of yam with a delicious asparagus. YUM!
Watching the chefs prepare the rolls was awesome. There was another Japanese man eating at the bar who was talking to the chefs. I really felt like I was in Japan for a moment.

Miko Sushi is amazing! For just $10 I was stuffed! I also have to mention that the wassabi is SO fresh I have never tasted anything like it! Make sure to make a stop Miko sushi when you’re craving some great sushi while you’re shopping! Also, they have two TVs and are always playing the Canucks games!

Miko Sushi Japanese Restaurant
1335 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 1C6
(604) 681-0339

Bandidas Vegetarian Taqueria on Commercial Drive

30 Jan

I have been dying to try out Bandidas on Commercial Drive for quite awhile. Since I am a vegetarian, trying to find yummy places to eat can sometimes be a challenge. This place makes it easy for vegetarians and vegans alike.

I stumbled in to Bandidas around 1:30pm on a Saturday for Brunch. I was in dire need for food by this time after opting for a Saturday morning sleep in (which I rarely allow myself to do!) and was so excited to see a seat wide open when I arrived.

We got seated right away and made a decision on what to have pretty quickly. There were two of us and we ordered The Breakfast ($8-Free range eggs, pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes, purple cabbage salad, and fresh salsa, served with cornbread and honey butter.) I added the guacamole ($1.75) and had it made vegan style which means instead of eggs, a mash of butternut squash and tofu. And we also ordered the Huevos Rancheros ($11-Free range eggs on hand-made corn tortillas with our ranchera sauce, sour cream, pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes, and purple cabbage salad.) and two coffees ($2 each and refils are FREE!).

It took about 15 minutes for the coffee and the food to come. It was pretty busy, but I was still a little put off how long it took to get the coffee, nevertheless it came with the food (the food was fast I just would have liked to get my coffee a bit sooner), and they even thought to bring me some soy milk for my coffee without me asking.


The Huevos Rancheros was good, but not amazing. It did the job of filling you up, but the flavours just weren’t that amazing.


The Breakfast was also just OK. It was a big slosh of stuff, all tasted good, but none blew me away. I did really enjoy the potatoes. They had a little but of rosemary and also had a big piece of roasted garlic which is not something you see everyday. It was a great touch and I adore roasted garlic. The cornbread and honey butter was delicious and the coffee was nice and strong. It filled me up on my lazy Saturday and what more could I ask for?

Would I come here again for brunch? Not likely. I would like to try them out in the evening though, some of their dinner items looked like they were worth trying out. If you are a vegetarian or vegan try this place out. It may be just what you are in to. The prices are good and the french toast sounded like it was worth a try.
Brunch is served from 10am-3pm daily.

Bandidas Taqueria
2781 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC
V5N 4c5
Phone: 604.568.8224
http://bandidastaqueria.com

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday
10am – 11pm
Friday and Saturday
10am – Midnight

Charm Dine Out Vancouver Menu Preview

13 Jan

I was lucky enough to be invited to experience a preview of the Dine Out Vancouver menu at Charm Modern Thai in Yaletown. This is already one of my favorite places to go, so I was eager to check out the menu.
NOTE: I am a vegetarian, and unfortunately they do not offer a veggie menu for their Dine Out Vancouver, but the fine staff at Charm were nice enough to bring out a veggie and tofu Panang Curry for me! I was able to get some photos (and some feedback from the Food bloggers in attendance) of the menu items.

They started us off with some delicious red and white wine and a white wine sangria (I sadly did not get a photo of that)

then came a tower of their appetizers! There are 3 to chose from, Tiger Prawn Satay Marinated prawn satay sticks, Duck Sticks Fried duck confit spring rolls served with a wok roasted chilli sauce or Rock Pepper with Garlic Prawns Spice rubbed rock pepper with garlic prawns.

Next we moved on to the main dishes which all looked amazing! There are three choices and they are: Green Tea Chicken Pan seared green tea and lemongrass marinated organic chicken breast with orange and ginger glaze served with sautéed vegetables, Coconut Cream Scallops Grilled Japanese jumbo scallops drizzled with coconut cream sauce served with seasonal vegetables or Salmon Linguine Pan seared salmon with linguine in a medium spiced Thai green curry. The consensus was that the Green Tea Chicken was delicious with really yummy skin, and the Coconut Cream Scallops seemed to be everyone’s favourite.


@DennisPang and @Followmefoodie digging in!


@tinhead pondering over the menu


Here is a photo of my delicious veggie panang curry! It is always amazing! Spicy and sweet and creamy all at once. leaves you wanting more.

We then had dessert (the best part in my opinion and a part which I could take part in). The three choices were: Chocolate Chilli Torte, Vanilla Bean Tapioca or Homemade Thai Tea Ice Cream. The chocolate chilli torte came out with sweet wontons and it was very delicious. The dark chocolate hits you right away and then the chilli comes at you afterwards. The Vanilla Bean Tapioca was warm and lightly sweet. This is a good choice for anyone who wants a light dessert. My favorite was the Thai Tea Ice cream which was amazing! I could have kept eating it!

Dine Out Vancouver runs from January 24th to February 6th, 2011
You can make reservations HERE

Charm Modern Thai and Bar
1269 Hamilton Street Vancouver 604-688-9339
http://www.charmmodernthai.com/

The Tapa Bar, Victoria BC

30 Dec

I am often in Victoria as my family lives there. I normally eat out a lot when I’m there but have a tendency to visit the same places. My friend suggested the Tapa Bar to me and at first I wasn’t sure, but I agreed since I love trying new things and wanted to veer away from my usual spots for a change.

Walking in to The Tapa Bar in Victoria makes you feel immediately cozy, with the smells wafting at you as you enter, you can’t help but be lured in. The dimmed lighting, Spanish music, sounds of people talking and laughter all add to its charm. This Spanish themed restaurant is centered around its mantra of “Food to Share”. It features the gorgeous artwork by Mexican/Canadian Artist Luis Merino which you can see all over the restaurant. I was lucky enough to enjoy some of what The Tapa Bar has to offer on a chilly night in
December and I was blown away by the experience.

We started the evening off with a bottle of VQA wine at the reasonable price of just $28, their small selection of wines really does have something for everyone without breaking the bank. I can’t remember the name of the wine unfortunately but it was a delicious red medium body jewel! After enjoying a few sips we looked over the menu and decided on some vegetarian tapas (as I don’t eat meat). They were all AMAZING.

We enjoyed their Mixed Olives first (which are marinated in house). At just $3 this is a treat not to be missed! They come served in olive oil, fresh basil and include some roasted garlic. All that is good enough, but throw in the foccacia that is included and its perfect for soaking up the yummy oil and basil afterward! The flavours were so rich I wanted to order more… but I didn’t! I had to save room.

Next we tried their Chile Relleno (roasted poblano pepper, stuffed with cheese & salsa fresca on a corn tortilla topped with sour cream $8.50 ) the heat from the pepper paired with the fresh salsa, salty cheese and creamy sour cream was a taste sensation!

We then moved on to the Tostada (crisp corn tortilla topped with salsa verde, mushrooms & goat cheese $8.50 ) which was my favorite! The earthy mushrooms were flavored just right and made me savor each and every bite!

Last but not least we decided to go for some dessert and splurged with their Crème Brule Trio! $8. It featured a vanilla, chocolate and coconut brule, each bursting with flavor and crunchy/creamy texture!

After all this amazing food, I most definitely opted to skip the cab and walk (well roll) myself home. You must try this place if you make your way down Trounce Alley in Victoria! It is a great place for a date, dinner with friends, or a place to take the parents/in laws alike!

The Tapa Bar
620 Trounce Alley
Victoria, BC V8W 1K3
(250) 383-0013
www.tapabar.ca

*photo credit: http://www.tapabar.ca