Driving from Seattle to Coquitlam, BC
Any good places to stop for lunch? I don't want to get too far off the beaten path (ie, Route 5), but I'd rather not eat awful highway food either!
And then I'll be in Coquitlam for a week or more, so any local suggestions would be appreciated. I'm on a budget ($50 US per day), so cheap eats are welcome, although I can always skimp one day to splurge the next.
I'm sure I'll make it to Vancouver eventually, but mostly I'll be based in Coquitlam, so both locations are game.
La Casita in Mount Vernon has excellent Mexican. Maybe 5 minues off I-5 but you'll definitely want to Mapquest or GPS for directions.
The Rhododendron Cafe a little farther north is very good too. If you're not in a hurry, you could take Chuckanut Drive from there into Bellingham for some spectacular views. Others will have to advise re: restaurants in Bellingham.
Check out Mui Garden on North Road at Lougheed. It's right near Insadong, with easy access to the skytrain. Their beef brisket coconut curry is excellent, and it's only like $8, drink included. Don't bother with their Hainanese chicken rice, which is quite mediocre.
Some of the best tasting meals can be eaten at Joey's in Coquitlam (Lougheed Hwy just east of North Road). A group of us had dinner there last night and from appetizers to dessert we were happy. Great flavors, good drinks and the service is wonderful. It's always fun to people watch and it helps too that the servers,both male & female, are hired for their looks & service skills!
It can get very busy & parking is sometimes an issue . Prices are very reasonable and taking in to consideration the atmosphere,food and service you'd expect to pay more.
A BC tradition is White Spot Restaurant so a White Spot burger is a must while in the area!! Personal fave, the Monty Mushroom with fries or Spot salad.
You'll have a great time here!
I went to Joey's a few months ago for a work-related lunch. I thought the food was okay -- nothing spectacular, but nothing bad either. A solid meal, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.
And I agree 100% about the female servers, whom were a bit of a distraction(in a good way). There were no male servers during my visit. Or maybe I was just too distracted to notice.
Insadong in Coquitlam, I think has the best Korean food in the GVA - a region not known for good Korean food (Coquitlam has a few good Korean places). Cheap Chinese noodle houses, cheap sushi, and a large number of chains (as Meghan has already alluded) are all over the place for your skimp days.
Coquitlam is kind of the land of chain establishments, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Joey's up on Lougheed, Milestones and Earls are BC chains that are pretty good casual dining. I would reccomend Pasta Polo, handmade pasta, interesting menu, cheaper at lunch but still pretty cheap at dinner. If you want to stop on the way, Bombay Bhel on Hastings in Burnaby has lovely Indian. For a nice view, the Westwoon Platuea Golf Club has a pretty decent and reasonably priced menu, that is up from Coquitlam Centre. T and T supermarket has loads of cheap and good sushi and take away dim sum- honestly I think its just as good as anywhere and convenient .for lunch if you want that to be a "skimp." Hope this helps a bit.