Suggest a food crawl
A couple of friends and I are planning a foodie afternoon for next Sunday, and I was thinking of a ramen crawl, but the weather's supposed to be quite nice still, and I'm told Santouka's lack of AC is pretty much unbearable in hot weather. We've done Richmond food courts in the past (though we could certainly mine that for a lot more treasure!)
My ideal would be someplace where we could arrive on transit or park and then walk to 3-4 different places and try some small dishes over the span of a few hours, but I'm open to suggestions that are more involved driving/transit-wise. Anyone have any favorite groups of places to hit together in Vancouver?
Off the top of my head that would meet you criteria. I think you can be ok for ramen if you go in the evening:
Ramen Crawl - West End (Near Robson & Denman):
-Santouka, Kintaro, Marutama, Motomachi
Izakaya Crawl - West End (Near Robson & Denman):
-Guu with Garlic, Kingyo, Hapa, Kobachi Guu, Zakkushi
Gastown Rally / Gentrification Way - Gastown (You will be walking in the DTES a bit so if you are skiddish this may not be for you or plan your route to avoid Hastings as much as possible)
-Cartem's Donuts, Wildebeest, Pidgin, Tuc Craft Kitchen, FOR DRINKS: Bambudda, The Diamond & Alibi Room
SoMa Walk - (Main & Broadway):
-Burdock & Co, Chicha, Eight 1/2, Lucky's Doughnuts/49th Parallel Roasters Café, Cascade Room for Drinks
Wonton Noodle Mania - Richmond (Mostly on Alexandra Road)
- Max Noodles, Tsim chai, Michigan
Chinatown crawl: (also Near the DTES but will mainly be between Prior & Pender and you can walk back into the downtown core quickly and safely on Keefer if you go west)
-Mamie Taylor's, Bao Bei, East Of Main, Campagnola, Pizza Farnia, Bestie
If you want something more specific like a particular cuisine, let us know.
I'm sorry I didn't see your requirement for Sunday & Afternoon. I saw the words "Food Crawl" and went a little crazy, my bad.
Unfortunately most of the places I listed are not open for Lunch.
You can still do the ramen and the wonton crawls.
I like YVRCHOW's Vietnamese Crawl On Kingsway as they would be open for lunch.
Food Courts at the Asian malls are still an option.
The Foodcart festival is still on when you are here, that might be an option. Here's their link: http://www.foodcartfest.com/#home
There actually quite a bit in Chinatown:
-The Pie Shoppe
-East of Main
-Dunlevy Snack Bar
There's lots to choose from. My only lament is that there isn't more Modern Chinese in Chinatown. I think a Cantonese version of Bao Bei would work. Wish Bambuddha had open in Chinatown instead of Gastwon.
What about a Vietnamese crawl on Kingsway? You could include Cafe Xu Hue, My Chau, Mui Ngo Gai, Hai Phong, Thu Hien Deli, and Tung Hing Bakery.
Or a Korean food crawl on North Road? You could include House of Tofu Soup, Myung-Ga Sonmandoo, Wonjo Bbq & Noodle Restaurant, Kimbap Cheonguk, Good Friends, and Hanahreum H-Mart.
Or a Taiwanese food crawl in Burnaby? You could include Accord Food House, Ali Shan, The One, Lao Shan Dong, and wrap up in Crystal Mall.
Just some thoughts.....Have fun!
I think we're aiming to do the Taiwanese in Burnaby option.
Any specific suggestions for these places? Near as I can tell, we should be looking for Taiwanese Beef Noodles at Accord, dumplings at The One and Lao Shan Dong, and whatever looks good at Crystal Mall because the vendors there may change over time? I couldn't find much on Ali Shan here on Chowhound, and the recommended dishes are all over the place on UrbanSpoon.
The salty peppery chicken nuggets at The One are decent, and I really like their fried rice (sausage, or vegetarian)
Green Bamboo Vietnamese Noodles at Crystal Mall (entrance on Willingdon: http://goo.gl/maps/sAJGg) has great soup noodle bowls. They are owned and operated by Taiwanese, and many of their dishes are not Vietnamese.
No. 1 Beef Noodle House in the plaza at Willingdon & Moscrop (parent of Beefy Beef on Main @ King Edward) does a surprisingly good curry beef brisket. Their salty peppery chicken ain't bad but I like The One's, or Kalvin's Szechuan (Victoria Dr) better. No.1 also does a good deep fried squid.
I was lucky to be included in this crawl. We hit The One and Ali Shan for sitdown Taiwanese, plus tried a braised dish from the Taiwanese stall at Crystal Mall (and also xlb from Xu's plus a plate of chicken from Ipoh). The One is well named -- they had outstanding chicken nuggets as they are called there, complete with my bench-mark deep-fried basil leaves, a coating so thin as to be almost not there and lots of juicy chicken meat. The Taiwanese sausage fried rice was also on the money, very moreish. And they had the somewhat elusive sour plum and green tea drink I love, though no mango stars: coconut jelly picked up the slack nicely. The one sorta miss for me was the boiled dumplings. The skins were really thick and the one I had tasted a bit javexy. The slush drinks here are epically tall, so much so that they invert a large cup and snap the tops off for you so that you can eat them.
Ali Shan was less successful, though their drinks were very well done with real fruit (we tried mango, avocado and kiwi). The food ranged from not good at all -- the red fermented pork belly -- to okay -- the second batch of nuggets, the spicy TBN -- to good -- the pork chop.
The xlb had great broth but the skin was thicker than I like and the whole thing was far to big. I'd rather have 8 small than 5 large, so size does matter ; -).
The braised beef from the Taiwanese stand was fine but boring. The Ipoh chicken had a lovely sauce but the chicken itself was more than 60 per cent bone and skin, so not good value.
Will try to post a few pix soon...
Grayelf covered off the details of what we ate pretty well, so I'll just add that I think all the ideas could have worked really well. We settled on Taiwanese for the combination of location and novelty, but other things could work in the future. I like the Idea of trying Korean a lot, and those restaurants were well clustered to visit a bunch.
We also tried the BBQ meats from the food court at Crytal Mall, because I bought a pound each of roast pork and BBQ pork to take home to the family for dinner, and I thought they were pretty decent. None of the meats was dry and the BBQ glaze was good - a little salty, but not too salty, and also not overly sweet. Nice crust on the roast, too.
Somewhat amusingly, I told the waiter at The One he could just throw the leftover dumplings and rice in the same container, and when I got home, I thought he had forgotten the dumplings. But as it turned out they were just buried so neatly in the rice, that no matter which way you held the container to open it, you couldn't see them.
We also tried to include Accord Food House, but it doesn't seem to be there anymore.
I should clarify a bit.
"The tendon factory is closed." is what the friendly man who sat me down and took my order told me when I ordered the beef tendon noodle soup. I didn't know tendons had their own factory. I can only imagine what it must look like. Perhaps it is good it is closed. But then again, it isn't - because I couldn't get my tendon craving satisfied!
The broth of the beef noodle soup was extremely flavourful, not greasy at all, and didn't taste overly salty or MSG laden like it does at many other spots. I really loved the broth. The noodles were cooked perfectly so they still had some chew. The pickled veggies were also a treat - they were still a bit crunchy, slightly sweet, and not salty at all. The beef was a little bit chewy to start - but got much better as I let it soak in the broth and it softened up nicely. I didn't get any fresh veggies on the soup, but I think in addition to the tendon factory being closed perhaps the fresh veggie farm is shut down as well! I think they normally do provide fresh veggies too from what I understand.
The wontons in chili sauce were a tender wrapper that was perfectly cooked surrounding a generous filling. They were topped with a spicy chili sauce that gave my brow a nice sweat as well as crunchy green onions to round out the flavour. Nice dish!
Overall a really nice version of Taiwanese Beef Noodle, and I looked forward to returning when the farm and tendon factory were back in business! But now it looks like that won't happen!