I don't get a lot of chances to eat breakfast with Maria, but luckily, she decided to accompany me to the states while I pickup packages. We stopped over by Peace Arch City Cafe for our breakfast. I think this placed used to be a house, and they transformed it to a restaurant. There were stairs leading upstairs and downstairs, but it was either blocked off or sealed. It was weird at first, but I guess this is what makes it hip / hipster. The menu was very basic, and they didn't have Eggs Benedict, which Maria wanted. The waitress was super awkward, as if it was her first day. We knew she was trying her best, and we tried to make her day easy. We ordered the Three-Egg Omelet; (A) Spicy Poblano Verde Salsa, Roma Tomato, Avocado, Pepper Jack and (B) Bacon, Avocado, Roasted Tomato, Pickled Red Onions, and Brie. The meal was good. Maria had (A), and it had a small kick from the salsa. I had (B), and it hit the spot. All the ingredients were fresh. It tasted like it was picked from their backyard; maybe organic too. Their hash brown was addicting; it tasted like it was cooked with chicken stock. The hash brown had a great flavor to it. It was soft and fluffy, almost like congee consistency. It was not crispy in other words. The omelet was a bit runny but I think it was from the tomato. Other than that, I thought it was decent. It is worth a try.
Happy BIRTHDAY to me!!! =D The original plan was to go paintballing with a huge group but that turned out to be harder than expected. I had to pre-book the place and confirm numbers. It's hard to confirm numbers when the majority is a maybe. So, I went with option B, and kept it to a small group. I decided to go to Exit. Do you remember those flash games back in the 00's (wow that made me sound old) where your character is trapped in a room, and your only objective was to escape. The same principle was Exit's concept. We were all trapped in a room, and our goal was to escape within a pre-defined time limit. Surprisingly the success rate was 1%. I came into the facility determined to win and become part of the 1%. It was fun and also frustrating. I was surprised how quick time ran out.
* FAIL! Damn that photo bomb *
Afterwards, Maria and I headed to Hakkasan. They were closed for a period, and now they're back. I did a review of this restaurant some time ago and nothing has change. Their quality hasn't changed, and I still think their chicken is one of the best. We ordered the Wonton Soup, Honey Roasted Pork Cheek, and Hainan Chicken. The Wonton Soup was clear, and the broth was delicious. The wontons were huge, and the shrimp was diced very fine that gave the wonton a nice elastic crunch. The Honey Roasted Pork Cheek was delicious. I couldn't get enough of that Pork Cheek. I love Pork Cheek; it's softer and fatty. It reminded a lot of the Chinese BBQ Pork. The Hainan Chicken is to die for; I could eat this every day, and I wouldn't get sick of it. It was soft, tender, and the flavor was remarkable. This would be my go to dish every time I'd come back. Try it and tell me I was wrong.
* Wonton Soup *
* Honey Roasted Pork Cheek*
* Hainan Chicken *
For my birthday dinner, Tinnie and I combined our birthdays once again, and we decided to go to Black and Blue. I had always wanted to try Black and Blue after hearing great raves about the restaurant; especially their Japanese Wagyu steak. The occasion had to be special or else I couldn't justify spending $50+ on a piece of meat. The decor and the layout of the restaurant were amazing and fancy. It was classy and upscale. For some reason, it felt like we in a taping of The Real Housewives of Vancouver. The service was very slow; it had taken about 45 minutes before we ordered our first rounds of drinks and another 20 minutes before the server came back to take our order. We order Kusshi Oysters, Crab and Spinach Dip, Beef Wellington, Prime Rib, Japanese Wagyu and a Porterhouse. Maria had the Kusshi Oysters, and she liked it. It was fresh and juicy. The Crab and Spinach Dip was amazing. I think I got overwhelm at the fact that they used real crab in the dip. It made a huge difference, and it brought out the flavor. I would switch the Pita Chips for Naan Bread. Paul had the Beef Wellington, but I wasn't a fan of it. Paul enjoyed it. Maria had the Prime Rib, and she liked it but didn't love it. She didn't find it better than The Keg, even though we paid more for it here. The Japanese Wagyu was out of this world. It was super soft and fatty. It melted in my mouth and was easy to cut. It was like chewing cotton candy. I then had the Porterhouse, and it was totally different from what I just had. It was tough and hard to chew. My jaw felt tired and sore for a bit. My brain was still stuck on that Japanese Wagyu. It took some time to adjust but when it did, I didn't find anything special with the steak. The portion sizing was decent, but the pricing was just ridiculous. Was it worth the money? Yes and no. Steak wise, no but drinks and appetizers I thought it was well worth it. The Japanese Wagyu costed me $115, but I had to try it. Did it taste better than other steak houses? I didn't think so. You would think that the amount of money spent at an establishment like this would blow you away, but it didn't. The steak was nothing out of the ordinary. It didn't set the bar any higher for me. I would honestly spend my money at The Keg when it came to steak. At least, I would know that I am getting my moneys' worth, and the quality is constant. There goes $400.
Would you believe me if I could get you a hamburger for $2.85 + tax out on the streets? Would you believe me if I could get you a cheeseburger for $3.50 tax included out on the streets? Well, I can. There's a nameless food truck parked on Granville and Pender Street that sells burgers for a low price. It looks sketchy at first, but that quickly disappears as a line up starts to form around this food truck. I ordered the hamburger and cheeseburger to compare the difference. I couldn't tell the difference. They both tasted the same. I think the cheese they used is like any other cheese you could find in the grocery store; nothing memorable about it. The burger consisted of iceberg lettuce, and a fat slice of tomato. The burger looked like any other burger that came out from a BBQ grill. What makes this burger so distinctive compared to others? The sauce. I think the patty is coated with teriyaki sauce. Also for that price, it made it taste extra sweet for some reason. Hands down the best cheapest ordinary / simple burger you can ever get.
I know I say this a lot, but this is another restaurant I have always wanted to try; Meat and Bread. I see it on my FB / TW feed a lot. Luckily, I had a lunch date and decided to roll with this. The restaurant is another grab and go style. The menu is super limited, and that is how they move the line so quickly. I ordered the Corned Beef sandwich. It contained Corned Beef, Sambal Gherkin Mayo, Pickled Cabbage and Dijon. The pricing was decent, and the portion size was a bit smaller than I imagined. Maybe it was because it didn't come with any sides. I could have eaten two of these bad boys. The sandwich was particularly savory and seasoned remarkably well. All the ingredients worked well with one another and produced a well-balanced taste. Overall, it was delicious; I can't wait to try the others.
Not quite a full weekend wrap up, but let’s call it "Sunday Fun Day". To kick things off, Maria and I decided to spend the day on Commercial Drive. Our first stop was at St Augustine's. This restaurant has been on my list for a long time. I see it every day on my way to work. The restaurant had a lovely open concept. A lot of space and with the patio open, the restaurant caught a fresh breeze. The decor resembles a bar but with a modern twist. I felt extremely welcomed to dine and drink at this establishment. Our waitress was very generous and friendly. The menu selection wasn't that big, but it had all the essential food items. We ordered the Sicilian Pizza and Pulled Pork Benny. The Sicilian Pizza wasn't bad. It was a thin crust pizza. The crust was crunchy, and the pizza dough was airy. It wasn't greasy, and it didn't weight you down. It was a terrific dish to start off the day. Maria loved the Pulled Pork Benny. I think she said it came close to her all-time favorite. The pricing and portion size were decent. We left satisfied. I would come back for the night atmosphere.
Next stop was Belgian Fries. Paul kept on raving about this place, and I had to try it. I'm a massive poutine fan and ever since Montreal nothing came close. The restaurant was more of a grab and go. We ordered a medium Deluxe Poutine. The poutine came out piping hot with goodness dripping off the bowl. After the first several bites, I came to the conclusion that this does not beat what I had in Montreal and I don't think anything will. Although, what I love about this restaurant is that they don't cheap out on ingredients. They focused more on the toppings then the fries and gravy itself. The fries were delicious but could have made some adjustments. The gravy was too watery, and I would have preferred something more thick. Overall, this wasn't bad. I wish this was closer to Surrey so I would have a new after hours place to grab a snack.
* Order #81 *
* The Deluxe Poutine *
Last and final stop Uprising Breads Bakery. A lot of places was closed for the long weekend, but luckily we found Uprising Breads Bakery. From the outside, it looks a bit run down, but you would be surprise what kinds of hidden gems they offered inside. We ended up grabbing a bunch of assorted baked goods, but there was one thing that caught my eye, Chocolate Bundt Cake, or what I like to call it "Doughnut Cake". This cake was delicious; it's hard for me to describe it, but this is a must try. To me, it was almost a clash of a doughnut and cake. The texture was very cake like, but the icing came from the doughnut. Maybe this Sunday Fun Day should be called Fatty Sundays.
I'm so glad I got a pair of the Jordan 11 Low "Concord". A lot of people went nuts on this pair. I'm just glad that NIKE didn't mess this pair up. As far as I can see, the quality is there, and it looks exactly like original Jordan 11 "Concord". I think I'm more excited that this completes my concept of little brother, big brother. This set has a surprise guest; nephew. I wish the Jordan 11 "Infrared" that is releasing next month was the Jordan 11 "Space Jam"; I would have completed another set.
I don't usually buy Nike Air Max 90s, but I do own two pairs; laser blue and infrared; classic colourways in my opinion. This colourway to me was a must cop, Nike Air Max 90 Atmos Tiger Camo. How can you say no? It was unfortunate that I slept hard on it. I totally regret not jumping on this sooner. Now, I had to pay that premium price. All the material used on this shoe was premium. I love the leather lining inside the shoe. Quality on this shoe was on point. Now I just need to find a way to grab a pair of Nike Air Max 90s.