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Nov 9, 2013 04:46 PM

Non-Asian near Main & E. Pender?

Going to see a show on E. Pender and Main and need something nice-ish nearby. I know Chinatown is close but we are looking for something more continental or even a nice pub. Any ideas?

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    Note that the hipster quotient in the places as linked is far too high for my plebeian background- this isn't a personal recommendation.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Sam Salmon

        in all seriousness - is there "pedestrian" (non-hipsters welcomed) anywhere greater downtown ----

        this always in a somehow way reminds me of great Ogden Nash quotes about food - (also the one about the peripatetic salon (Riding on a Railroad Train poem)

        1. re: Georgia Strait

          Hi Georgia Strait, I hate to hear that someone was made to feel unwelcome at any restaurant. Which greater downtown restaurants specifically made you feel unwelcome and how did they do so?

          Just so I know not to go there myself nor recommend them.

      2. Too late for the OP but the original Campagnolo is nearby and worthy. Nibbles at Bao Bei can be quite tasty also. Didn't love the food I tried at the Union but that was last year. The Parker is tasty but pricey, good drinks.

        11 Replies
        1. re: grayelf

          I've tried a few things from The Union, some fall flat with a dud but the one thing I always go back for is the Sweet & Sour Fried Fish Banh Mi for $9. Don't let them upsell you with the fried egg addition -- it sorta overpowers the fish. It's the one "upscale" banh mi in town that I can endorse.

          1. re: flowbee

            Thanks for the tip. I'm not a fan of sweet and sour but I'll pass it on to my peeps in the area!

            1. re: grayelf

              It's not like the scary, radioactive gloopy sweet 'n sour sauce in bad Chinese takeout. More subtle I guess. Here's a pic of the sandwich with a fried egg.

              1. re: flowbee

                ".... scary, radioactive gloopy sweet 'n sour sauce...."

                Or the lemon chicken sauce, which to me looks like antifreeze !

                1. re: flowbee

                  That does look good, thanks for posting the photo.

                  There is one place I routinely order lemon chicken -- Foo's Ho Ho makes a fine one.

                  1. re: flowbee

                    Fried egg looks a bit overdone IMO. I'm wondering if together with the fried fish, that the combination is quite heavy and overpowers the other ingredients (cilantro, pickled daikon & carrot) ? Was there fish sauce in it too ?

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Yeah, agreed about the egg. I've opted out of the egg since that time. I didn't taste any fish sauce.

              2. re: grayelf

                yes, we older people have experienced and if necessary (cuz we are in the area) would go back to Campagnolo on Main near Pacific Central Station -- I know we have talked here amongst ourselves - the former portuguese restaurant - and i always forget the name (but I remember the climbing plants all over the walls)

                  1. re: el_lobo_solo

                    Drat, now I want green soup for dinner :-).

              3. How about Bestie, or Oyster Express ? Just one block east of Main, on Gore St.



                1. Hi all, forgot to reply with the place we ended up visiting. As my girlfriend is vegetarian, The Parker seemed a natural choice. It was also very close to the venue where we saw a show after.

                  While yes, I agree it does have something of a hipster feel, it was actually a nice dinner. We opted for chef's choice menu (something I don't usually do when a place was as busy as that night), and had a wine paired with each course. For $29 each I actually thought I go decent bang for buck with four shared mains, an amuse, and two large desserts. Beyond just feeling full, the food was flavourful, very noticeably fresh, and prompt. The wine pairing was very competent and the bartender was knowledgable and obviously loved what he did.

                  I particularly enjoyed the shallot pesto cavatelli and was very surprised with the tofu quenelles. The tofu was very crispy on the outside and well seasoned and soft on the inside with a lovely savoury light black bean sauce that was more like a broth underneath.

                  I do recommend it if you are looking for a nice vegetarian meal in that area. The service was attentive and unpretentious, the wine list quite expansive for one that only featured BC, Washington, and Oregon wines.

                  I enjoyed myself and I know my girlfriend was very happy. Thanks for the responses everyone!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Tgravy

                    Thanks for posting on the Parker, as there's not much recent about in on here. My one visit was with a vegetarian too. We all thought the flavours and combos were great but the plates did add up. Would deffo try it again, especially after your recommendation.

                    1. re: grayelf

                      FWIW I was in Harvest yesterday buying a loaf of Chris Brown's bread and the service was fast & friendly and the place was packed.

                      Dressed as always in ragged winter cycling clothes I have had staff members there actually shrink away from me probably thinking I was a neighbourhood denizen intent upon mayhem & worse-some of them it seems don't get out much

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