Tag Archives: Vancouver

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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Charm Modern Thai Closes it’s Doors

15 Nov

One of my favorite places to get panang curry has closed! I didn’t even get to say goodbye! Owner Desmond Chen, announced today that Charm Modern Thai has been sold. The restaurant’s last day of service was Sunday November 13, 2011.  The new owners take over on November 16 and the room will reopen on a later date with a totally different concept.

“It’s hard to believe that it was only three years ago that I opened CHARM Modern Thai,” said Desmond Chen.  “Although located on a notoriously difficult stretch of Hamilton Street, we developed a loyal following. Although the restaurant was not on the market, the new owners recognized CHARM’s success as an asset and they presented an excellent offer and quick completion.”

Key staff and management from CHARM will find employment within the Thai House Restaurant Group. CHARM executive chef Samnan Kamonroek will make the move to Pink Elephant Thai joining chef Parichat Poomkajorn in turning out traditional Thai favorites and innovative Thai creations.

I will have to just stick to Pink Elephant Thai which is really delicious so I don’t mind!

#FF Feature on…@Phanyxx

26 Aug

I have been privileged enough to get to know and work with (www.gopopcorn.ca) the very talented @Phanyxx as he is known in the twitterverse. mHe is known to the local Vancouver community as a Social Media King, fabulous graphic designer and great guy who refuses to smile in photos. Take a read and learn a bit about him.

1) Twitter handle?
@Phanyxx

2) Real Name?
Nick Routley

3) How long have you been on twitter?
A couple of years.

4) What do you like most about social media?
Meeting awesome new people in my city. And infographics. Oh, and people’s random food photos.

5) What do you typically tweet about?
Honestly, I’ve never been able to answer that question. I guess I just tweet about whatever’s interesting to me at the moment. I get a kick out of sharing my day-to-day experiences with other people.

6) Best place to meet new friends in Vancouver?
Definitely Twitter/tweetups! That answer’s too easy though. Many people say Vancouverites are unfriendly, but that’s only true on a superficial level. Get involved in an activity, meetup or class with like-minded people and you’ll see how fast you make friends.

7) Favorite place to grab a late night bite in Vancouver?
Fritz! What’s better for late-night food than poutine?

8) Favorite summer activity in Vancouver?
Walking around Vancouver. Love to just stroll and randomly hit restaurants and coffee shops.

9) Best Sunday Brunch?
The Five Point (on Main St). I love their hash and you get mini-doughnuts with your meal! 100% win. I also love eating pho for brunch.

10) Name another tweep we should all be following and why.
If you’re not following @AY604, then do it. He’s pretty hilarious.

Nick is a great guy, has some great tweets and will always give you ideas of new places to go in the city. Follow him for your #FF FUN!

#FF Feature on…. @AspiringMedia!!

19 Aug

@AspiringMedia is one of the first “Twitter Peeps or Tweeps” I ever met! He is an inspiration man, having survived cancer, and he is truly a kind person. I wanted to let people know (if you don’t already) that this is a great person to follow. He does a lot of great work and you should know about it!

His twitter bio says: Vancouver based artist | Photographer | Railfan | Fuck Cancer

I wanted to know more about him… check out his answers to these HARD HITTING questions!

What’s your twitter handle? @AspiringMedia

Whats your real name? Stephen aka StevieG

What do you like to talk about on “the twitter”? Almost everything. Music,News,Cancer related events

What part of Vancouver or surrounding areas do you live in? Surrey,shhh tell everyone EastVan. Yeah

Favorite thing to do in the city? Photography,The seawall,ahhh Vancity

Favorite hole in the wall restaurant in the city? Bon’s off Broadway. $2.95 breaky and a great place for people watching.

Best place for a weekend getaway? Victoria. The Ferry Ride will blow you away. Instant stress reliever

Best place to make a new friend in the city? This is a trick Question Amy..sheesh. any good club with a vibe such as the Anza. because everyone loves music

Fav thing about twitter? meeting interesting people.

Someone we should all follow? Fav tweep is actually @letsfcancer because they are a great bunch of people out raising awareness of Cancer detection

Make sure to check out StevieG’s profile and follow him on this gorgeous Friday!

Adult Pirate Paks are back on August 17 & Giving Back! ENTER TO WIN!

15 Aug

Last year, White Spot launched the special edition “Adult Pak” to give guests of all ages a chance to indulge in a childhood favourite to raise money for a good cause, and they’ve decided to do it again this year.

For each kids and adult Pirate Pak sold on August 17, White Spot will make a $2 donation to longtime B.C. charity Zajac Ranch for Children, an organization dedicated to giving children with life-threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities an unforgettable summer camp experience. With more than $105,000 raised over the past three years, White Spot has sent a total of 50 kids to camp since 2008.

All adult pirate packs include creamy coleslaw and ‘endless’ fries plus a soft drink, White Spot’s famous chocolate coin and a scoop of their new premium rich ice cream.

In celebration of the Adult Pirate Pak day on August 17th, White Spot has graciously donated 3 gift $10 Gift Certificates! I am going to do things a little differently, you have TWO WAYS TO WIN!

1) I am going to give 2 to the person who posts a comment on this post telling me why they love the adult Pirate Pak at White Spot below (worth 1 entry towards 2 $10 White Spot GCs)

2) Retweet the following on twitter: “I entered to win an Adult Pirate Pak from @White_Spot & @VancityAmy to celebrate Pirate Pak Day Aug. 17th http://ow.ly/633aW RT to enter” (worth 1 entry towards one $10 White Spot GC)

Learn more about Pirate Pak Day on August 17th and be sure to stop in to help show your support for the Zajac Ranch Children’s Charity

NOTE: I will be doing the draw on August 15th at 6pm, all winners must be able to be reached by August 16th at 8am or a new winner will be selected.

#FF Feature on… @vanessadtam

12 Aug

It’s #FF and I wanted to do a little feature on one of my fav girls, Vanessa Tam! This girl is amazing and has great tweets worth following! She will let you know what’s hot in the city and give you a giggle at the same time.

What’s your twitter handle? @vanessadtam

Whats your real name? Vanessa… Tam. Haha.

What do you like to talk about on “the twitter”? I talk about fashion, beauty, art, design, travel, tech, food, stupid things that happen to me during the day… You know, the usual.

What part of Vancouver or surrounding areas do you live in? Richmond, city of good food and bad drivers.

Favorite thing to do in the city? Eat, shop, and chill with friends.

Favorite hole in the wall restaurant in the city? Au Petite Cafe is a little place on Main owned by an old Vietnamese man that serves the best Vietnamese subs in the city! (in my opinion).

Best place for a weekend getaway? Tofino! Because it’s so quiet there and you can either do active things like surf, or posh things like the spa. Also, anyone can appreciate the beach.

Best place to make a new friend in the city? I don’t know if this counts… But tweetups! Because everyone is so nice and open to meeting new people.

Favorite thing about twitter? I love how open and helpful everyone is on twitter! I think out of all the social media tools I use, and there’s a lot of em, my best connections and friendships are have come from Twitter.

Favorite Tweep to follow? My favorite tweep to follow is definitely Natasha (@nneale). She is an amazing chick who does it all! I admire her ability to connect with amazing people, do amazing work, and still manage to share what she does with us on Twitter. Follow her!

Thank you Vanessa and Happy Follow Friday EVERYONE!

Gastown Shopping Tours with Jessie Carlson Wardrobe

27 Jul

Let veteran stylists Jessie Carlson and Michelle Addison of Jessie Carlson Wardrobe take you on a three-day private shopping experience. Gain expert advice, solve your wardrobe dilemmas and learn expert style advice while rediscovering shopping in Gastown.

When:
Dates: Sunday, July 24, Sunday August 7, and Sunday August 14
9:00am-12:00pm
Boutiques: The Block, One of A Few, Obakki
Fee: $145 per person
Registrants must email jessie@jessiecarlson.com.
www.jessiecarlson.com

** The shops will have drinks and treats for guests.

About the Principals:

JESSIE CARLSON has dressed Vancouver’s most stylish women for the past 8
years. With experience as a buyer and retail stylist, she began the company as a
part-time business, which quickly grew into a full-time venture. She is obsessed
with Chloe and Mulberry bags, j brand jeans, and the perfect t-shirt.

As a teenager, MICHELLE ADDISON gave her mother styling tips and found her
passion after friends and family began asking her for fashion advice. Her career
blossomed when she worked as a stylist and accessories buyer for boutiques
including The Block and One of a Few. With over 10 years of experience that
includes film industry work, Addison has become one of the city’s top fashion
experts. Her favorite designers include Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, and
Marc Jacobs.

Post by Nomfundo Dlamini AKA @MizReAdY FOLLOW!

Bombay Brow Bar- NEW KITS LOCATION!

28 Jun

I had the opportunity to head over to Kitsilano after a long day in the office to try out the new location of Bombay Brown Bar. I had been to their Yaletown location before and loved it, so I knew I was in for a treat! One of the BBB creators and owners, Ravy was on hand to tell us all about the store.

The store is gorgeous! Located at 2206 West 4th Ave it is close to everything. I brought my friend Laura along with me so I could see the whole process! At Bombay Brow Bar they use threading which is a process where they use thread to take away the unwanted hair. It’s less and less painful the more often you go. It almost feels like they are shaving your brows, but they always come out perfectly!

I also go my brows done of course and they are looking fabulous two weeks later! A few plucks of unwanted hair and I am doing great!

Learn more about Bombay Brow Bar and book your next appointment by visiting their site www.bombaybrowbar.com

*ALSO note that Bombay Brow Bar has graciously donated a $25 Gift Card to my July 6th Tweetup at Calabash Bistro!Just one of the many great prizes! I hope to see you there! RSVP

Secret Locals Illuminated By “Green Lantern” Symbol

11 Jun

In celebration of the June 17th theatrical release and big-screen debut of “Green Lantern,” Warner Bros. Pictures will electrify 11 North American cities including Vancouver on Monday, June 13, encouraging people to Join the (Green Lantern) Corps.

To Join the Corps, fans will be invited to decipher local clues leading them to a secret location where the “Green Lantern” symbol will be projected from dusk until midnight. Those attending the events, sponsored by Kodak, will have the chance to win fantastic prizes, including an opportunity to be among the first to see the film at local preview screenings, limited edition T-shirts, light-up “Green Lantern” rings, “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” Blu-ray combo packs and more. And some people who are photographed with the projected symbol behind them will have their photos posted on the movie Facebook page

Watch closely as the clues will be revealed by the following media people/companies/stores etc.:

The Beat 94.5 FM (thebeat.com), CityTV, Fairchild Radio, Thick Magazine, Miss 604, Chapters Indigo on Robson Street, New Balance and Subway. Local comic book stores include: Book and Comic Emporium, Golden Age, Four Aces Comics, Imperial Hobbies, Gray Haven Hobbies, Tazmanian Comic Connection, Lucky’s Cards Music Comics, Rx Comics, The Comicshop, Metropolis Comics & Toys, Central City Comix Co, Hourglass Comics, Big Pete’s Sportscards,

Each will disclose one clue each day (for the week of Monday, June 6 until Friday, June 13) to help fans identify the “Green Lantern” symbol’s secret location. The first 17 fans to uncover the secret location and get their photo taken with the symbol at the location will receive passes to the advance screening, two days before the film’s nationwide theatrical release, plus other fantastic prizes.

“Green Lantern” opens in theaters nationwide in 3D and 2D on Friday, June 17, 2011
www.greenlantern.com

Check out the Trailer

June Happenings in Vancouver

3 Jun

Summer is here Vancouver! There are going to be A LOT of fun things going on this month and I cannot wait to check some of these things out!

JUNE 3rd
Cliffwalk opens at Capilano Suspension Bridge

The much anticipated Cliffwalk is going to be opening up the first weekend in June. It’s going to be sunny so why not head over to the North Shore and be the first to try this out. Looks scary! But fun!
MORE INFO HERE

JUNE 3rd & 4th
Free Outdoor Movies

It starts again! There are some outdoor movies returning to the city, and it starts in Richmond on the 3rd and 4th of June.

June 3, 2011:
Peter Pan (2003) @ Richmond, BC
Garry Point Park

June 4, 2011:
The Goonies @ Richmond, BC
Garry Point Park
Follow Follow @OutdoorMoviesBC on twitter for more info

JUNE 4th-SEPTEMBER 5th
Birds up Close at the Vancouver Aquarium

Starting this weekend as well, be the first to enjoy this amazing aerial show of some of the most powerful birds. This outdoor show features charismatic and peculiar birds including the bald eagle, Harris’s hawk, peregrine falcon, turkey vulture and gyrfalcon – each with their own impressive abilities.
LEARN MORE HERE

JUNE 5th
Italian Day on Commercial Drive

This aint no Jersey Shore! Enjoy some amazing Italian food, friends and culture at this year’s Italian Day on the Drive!
Sunday 12-8pm
CHECK THE SITE for details

JUNE 8th
Douglas Coupland at the Waldorf

Artist Douglas Coupland hosts an interactive presentation on YouTube at The Waldorf Hotel. If you missed the May event this is your chance!
MORE INFORMATION HERE

JUNE 11th
AndrewPalooza

This charity concert features Behind Sapphire and Bodhi Jones and will be MC`d by the Peak`s Carmen Cruz! All proceeds of this event are going towards ANDREW who needs treatment very badly for his MS. Taking place at the Red Room Ultra Bar on Richards St.
FIND OUT MORE AND GET TICKETS

JUNE 11-12th
Dragon Boat Festival Vancouver

Recognized as North America’s biggest and best, the 23rd annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver will be a true celebration of our diverse and beautiful city, attracting over 100,000 people and close to 180 dragon boat teams from across the Lower Mainland and around the globe.
LEARN MORE HERE

JUNE 13th
Hip Hop Karaoke at Fortune Sound Club

Hip Hop Karaoke (HHK) offers the chance for people to pay homage and respect to their favourite Hip-Hop artists and properly represent their tracks in a ‘karaoke’ style format. While initially an underground event, HHK has proliferated around the world, spawning nights in countless major urban centres and growing a huge rep as the only true spot to throw down a real karaoke track. HHK embraces the raw ‘show n prove’ nature of emceeing, allowing people to kick their favourite jams over proper instrumentals (no thin-ass re-worked typical karaoke beats) on stage with a real sound system and DJ.
MORE INFORMATION HERE

JUNE 15th
#VCAmyBday Come Tweetup with me at Calabash Bistro

I am having a tweetup to celebrate my birthday and to support an amazing charity called Vancouver Street Soccer.
Happening from 6-9pm at Calabash Bistro, there will be door prizes and food and drink specials! FUN!
RSVP & MORE INFO HERE

JUNE 19th (AKA My Birthday!!)
Car Free Day on Commercial Drive, the West End & Main St.
Back again car free day is taking over several neighborhoods in Vancouver. Lots of food, vendors and fun in the sun.
Check carfreeday.org for more details

JUNE 29th
The Refinery’s Cocktail Kitchen with Bartender Simon Ogden
Bartender Simon Ogden graces the Refinery at their weekly Cocktail Kitchen series. Simon is from Veneto in Victoria BC where I had the pleasure of visiting recently and was truly amazed with their gorgeous cocktails and elegant decor.
Cocktail kitchen pairs 3 cocktails with three small plates for just $30. It is a truly amazing experience that must be tried.
MORE INFO AND TICKETS HERE

This is just a taste of what is going on this month! Don’t forget about WICKED and BARD ON THE BEACH
Have a fun June everyone!