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Dinner downtown tomorrow night (Vancouver)

grayelf Dec 1, 2009 06:25 AM

Hey Hounds! Any ideas for somewhere sitdown but not too splurgy near Robson and Thurlow? Having Japanese tonight so any OTHER cuisine would reign supreme. Thinking Don Guacamole's, what else is good and not a chain? TIA.

  1. s
    selena03 Dec 1, 2009 07:52 AM

    These are some ideas, most of which I haven't been:):
    Chau's Kitchen-I think I remember you writing that is wasn't that great though?
    Joe Fortes-haven't been for a while hit and miss
    Salaam Bombay-it's been a year but I really enjoyed it especially the paneer naan mmmm
    Tropika-heard it was good
    Cafe il Nido-rec'd by a ch before-still haven't gotten around to it
    I like Don G but not the larger dinner plates....my fave is the chile rellenos.....

    14 Replies
    1. re: selena03
      grayelf Dec 1, 2009 08:34 PM

      Thanks guys -- I wish Corner Suite was open as that would have been perfect! I think Fortes is a bit outside the price range/ambiance we are seeking. La Brasserie would be great but our dogs may be barking too much to walk that far by then post shopping. I think it was fmed that wrote about Chau because I haven't been -- tempting to try their porc au caramel for myself though. Salaam Bombay could work as my friend really likes Indian. Tropika was a neighbourhood haunt when it was on Broadway -- may have to check and see if they have sambal bunchies on the menu :-). Cafe Il Nido could work but I must check prices. Thanks for the tip on avoiding the larger dinner plates at Don G's -- when we went in the summer we ordered the corn based snacky things and it was quite decent. Will let you know where we end up...

      1. re: grayelf
        grayelf Dec 2, 2009 08:48 PM

        Well, we went to Don Guacamole's and I think that will be the second and last time I go. It wasn't terrible but it really wasn't very good either. We had the titular guacamole which felt overpriced and underseasoned at $8.50 for a martini glass full. The 4 tacos were okay, but the pork was gristly. And the biggest disappointment was the flautas: instead of six small ones as promised on the menu, there were three giant tubes (and I mean dinner plate sized) of FLOUR tortillas. The server told me they were a mix of flour and corn but I dunno. I've never heard of flautas with anything but corn. And to top it off, the chicken filling tasted stale. We left a whole one untouched. With a drink each, this repast came to $48. Meh.

        1. re: grayelf
          a
          anewton Dec 3, 2009 06:18 AM

          I agree with your assessment, Grayelf. I found it to be disappointing when I went in October. Then again, with a name like Don Guacomole's....

          1. re: grayelf
            fmed Dec 3, 2009 06:59 AM

            It's off my list then.

            1. re: grayelf
              s
              selena03 Dec 3, 2009 07:02 AM

              Did you enjoy it the first time? I had a similar experience with Salsa and Agave (now closed or name change?). The first time I dined there it was fresh, the chicken quality was ok, and the food was good. After it became really popular, the same thing happened: lower quality ingredients, and gristly chicken....that's too bad, we were planning on going there tomorrow but will go somewhere else now. Just a heads up Cafe Barcelona opens tonight!

              1. re: selena03
                grayelf Dec 3, 2009 07:08 AM

                There was a fair bit of buzz about "authenticity" etc when it opened and we did enjoy it quite well when we went in the summer with out of town visitors, but I think we ordered better then, and there were still slip ups (my tostada lettuce was wet, for example). It seems like it's an "attention to details" problem -- with a bit more focus, it could be good to very good, as it seems the basics are there. But if I have to have Mexican in this town, I fear I will have to make the schlep out to Dona Cata, which is still putting out pretty decent offerings based on a recent lunch visit that I haven't written up yet. I just wish they would prep their meat drier (one thing that Don G's does better, minus the gristle, IMO). And of course I've always hated the name, anewton :-).

                1. re: grayelf
                  fmed Dec 3, 2009 08:27 AM

                  I like Dona Cata for its tacos which (along with the selection of salsas) are quite good....but that is about it. The rest of the menu isn't very good, IMO. In particular was the alambre where they served it with cubed supermarket ham - just bad.

                  I still haven't made it out to La Taqueria which is getting good buzz for its authenticity.

                2. re: selena03
                  fmed Dec 3, 2009 08:21 AM

                  Salsa and Agave is gone? I had a few good meals there.

                  1. re: fmed
                    peter.v Dec 3, 2009 08:54 AM

                    I think a local food blogger just ate at Salsa and Agave, so I think it's still there.

                    Grayelf, have you tried La Taqueria? The one time I went there was fantastic. I'm no expert on authenticity but they were delicious.

                    1. re: fmed
                      s
                      selena03 Dec 3, 2009 09:52 AM

                      I walk by there a lot and saw a different sign. Unless my eyes we deceiving me and it was a new restaurant beside SG? I will pay more attention next time......
                      La Taqueria is so tasty-it's too bad they close at 7 though because it makes it a hard one to get to for dinner.

                      1. re: selena03
                        el_lobo_solo Dec 3, 2009 10:50 AM

                        La Taqueria is delish with an interesting menu, including horchata. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, they said they've extended their hours to 10 from Thurs to Sat. (??) I'm sure though it's longer than the original 7 closure. Wish they'd update their website.

                        adios Don G.

                        1. re: el_lobo_solo
                          s
                          selena03 Dec 3, 2009 01:53 PM

                          that is great news-thanks for the update

                          1. re: selena03
                            grayelf Dec 3, 2009 03:38 PM

                            I haven't tried the alambre at Dona Cata (I've only ordered things I've seen in Mexico) but I like the tacos, and I had a very tasty huitacloche quesadilla there. I think they had horchata though I didn't try it as I'm not a fan. And I know Don Guac's has it 'cause the guys at the next table were drinking it.

                            I've been to La Taqueria twice and thought it had potential but it's still not what I think of when I think taqueria. But I'm unlikely to find THAT outside of Mexico, though I've encountered closer approximations in San Francisco :-). Still, I'd say it's worth trying if you're in the neighbourhood.

                      2. re: fmed
                        grayelf Dec 3, 2009 03:43 PM

                        I've had one good meal at S&A and one not so good one. IIRC, they have a nice pozole there but the tacos were nothing to write home about.

              2. b
                bdachow Dec 1, 2009 07:27 AM

                Well, last time I was back in Sept, had a wander down Granville near Robson and there were all sorts of places that looked intriguing, sadly I was not in "eat" mode otherwise it would have been to try out some places. Not sure if they're any good but hey, always an adventure!

                1. fmed Dec 1, 2009 07:02 AM

                  La Brasserie?

                  1. v
                    vandan Dec 1, 2009 06:57 AM

                    is Fortes too splurgy?

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