I cannot believe I have never eaten at Central City Brew Pub + Restaurant. It has been here for years. I could have visited during my university days, but I don't know why I didn't. Paul, Angie, Maria and I couldn't make up our minds on where to eat and stumped upon Central City Brew Pub + Restaurant. The restaurant was comfy and had a little upscale look; it still had its' bar appeal. Our server was friendly but sometimes hard to reach. We ordered the Nachos, Squid Diablo, Daily Soup, Parisian Gnocchi, and a Brew Burger. The nachos were OK, but I didn't like the baked beans. To make matters worse, the beans were infused with bacon. If you want bacon, beans you must eat. The Squid Diablo were impressive. It wasn't chewy, and it had that snap when you bit into it. The Diablo was not deadly but hot enough to give it that kick. I highly recommend ordering the Squid Diablo. The daily soup was Chicken Corn Chowder. I personally don't like corn chowder. It reminds me of the ones that come from a can. Maria liked it enough that I tried it. It wasn't bad. It was sweet from the corn, shredded chicken scattered around, and the soup had a good thickness to it. It wasn't clumpy or gloppy. It was do-able for me. I'm also not a big fan of Gnocchi. I find it extremely heavy and filling. I had a taste of the Parisian Gnocchi, and I loved the wild mushrooms. I kept on picking out the wild mushrooms and leaving the Gnocchi for Maria. The Brew Burger was a bit of a let down. When the burger arrived, it had a horrible smell. It was coming from the bacon. The bacon was burnt. The outside edges were black. The bacon was super crispy because it got overcooked. I like my bacon crispy and soft. I enjoyed the fresh relish and rosemary aioli on the brioche bun. I think that saved the burger for me. I forgot to order an egg to go along with the burger, but that wouldn't have changed the outcome. Not bad of a restaurant, I would come back for their beer and Squid Diablo.
Paul, David and I headed to Craft Beer Market after work to kick start the weekend. We had to wait 2.5 hours before we got seated. I had no idea how we made it through waiting for that long. This place was unbelievable and humongous. It was like a playground for adults. It was definitely worth the wait. Our server was very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was outstanding. We sat on the second floor, and the view down onto the main floor was lively and entertaining. They offered over 100 different beers from around the world, and it was exceedingly hard to choose. I settled down for a taster of "Around the World". We also ordered, Crab Cake Sliders, Phillips Beer Can Chicken, Dark Beer Braised Beef Brisket, and 20 Napkin Burger. The Crab Cake Sliders were awesome, but I thought it tasted better without the burger fixings. The Crab Cake was very soft, moist and flavorful. It wasn't dry or doughy. The Phillips Beer Can Chicken was incredible. It was super soft and moist. The cajun spice on the chicken was fantastic. The gravy was in the beer can, and it added another kick to the chicken. I had a bite of Paul's Dark Beer Braised Beef Brisket and it moist and flavorful. The Braised Beef Brisket broke apart remarkably easily, and wasn't hard to chew. It was soaked in its "special sauce" and was delicious. David ordered the 20 Napkin Burger, and we understand how it got its name. You literally would go through 20 pieces of napkins to finish off this baby. It contained two 8oz beef patties, 4oz beef brisket, 6 slices of bacon and all the burger fixings. It also had a mini burger on top of the monstrous burger. That's 20oz of meat. It felt like a "Man vs Food" type of an evening. The only thing missing from the burger was probably the chicken. I didn't dare to attempt it, and David managed to finish the whole thing. It was well worth his money. I need to try that next time along with supreme nachos. This restaurant is simply astounding and magical. The whole time we were there, I thought I was in a different part of the world. I have never seen a restaurant like this in Vancouver. I'm absolutely coming back.
I almost forgot about the UFC fight with GSP vs Hendricks. Luckily Aloha didn't have work and we popped over to our regular spot and caught the event.
* Dream come true? *
We were having dinner at Warren's tonight but before all that we had to give Paris a bath. I thought giving a dog a bath would be easy. I was in for a surprise. Paris was being fussy and give Maria and me the hardest time. I was in charge of watering him down while Maria scrubbed him. I made the mistake of getting water in his eyes, and he freaked out. *sigh* He kept on running around and wouldn’t stay in one spot. He looked like a rat with his wet fur. It took us a while to get it done but he turned out very soft and fluffy after we dried him off. Mission Accomplished.
I decided to bring over fried chicken for dinner, but I didn't want Church Chicken. I stopped over at King's Chicken (formally known as Lee's Chicken) to pick an order. I think the previous owners were Chinese, and now a Korean couple owns this shop. They kept everything the same. The pricing is more expensive than KFC and Church Chicken, but it's worth the difference. I ordered 20 pieces of mixed chicken. Everything was fried perfectly, but some pieces were dry (one or two pieces out of 20). It was a bit crispier than Church Chicken. It tasted better than KFC and equally good as Church Chicken (or better). They had a whole whack of deals going on during the week and they also offered 50% off cold chicken; chicken they couldn't sell during "x" period of the day. I can never get sick of fried chicken.
* Getting Paris ready *
* Halu loved Paris and Paris got along with Hanna without any issues. I think we need another doggie play date. *
I didn't have much planned for this long weekend expect for the A$AP Ferg concert on Monday; I'm super excited. I'll be free of my air cast in two weeks, and I can't wait. Target had a deal on videos games, so I was in my own little world for the rest of the night.
Time to get ratchet! Alyssa was celebrating her birthday at Society, and it was loud. Alyssa arrived at the restaurant drunk and we kept the party moving. We ordered bottle service for dinner, and I was certain this bottle wasn't going to last the night. I was thinking about ordering another; good thing we didn't. We pre-drank before arriving, and we got the bottle service before any of our food arrived. I was sure this was going to be a fucked up night for me. Surprisingly, we had the hardest time finishing the bottle. I keep on dishing out drinks to whoever and by the end of the night, we barely finished it. I'm glad that we did, and I wasn't drunk or buzzed, which was a good sign. I didn't want to wake up the next morning with a hangover. It is a fun and entertaining night when it involves a cotton candy penis.
* Everyone has to try the cotton candy drink at least once *
* Who orders bottle service at a restaurant? *
* Happy Birthday Alyssa!!! Enjoy that blowjob *
Maria and I haven't been out for dim sum for a long time, and every time we try to go, Top Gun was always busy. I was smart for once and called ahead to make reservations. We got seated when we arrived. One thing about Top Gun I love so much is their individual tea sets. They give you the tea leaves, and you brew it in your individual set and pour it out onto your cup. It takes a while to master but I love this experience so much. The food is a bit more expensive than other restaurant, but if you have their loyalty card, then it makes it worthwhile. If you come for dim sum before 11 (I believe), you can get 40% off your bill with their loyalty card. The food was on point, and I wanted to order more but that would've been a lot of leftovers. I left the restaurant stuffed and satisfied. I’ll be coming back more often because of their loyalty card and discounts. Also, the card works at all their other locations.
* Top Gun *
* Tea *
* Chicken Wing stuff with sticky rice *
* Chinese Doughnut wrapped in rice noodle *
* Deep fried tofu *
* Shark fin soup *
* Chicken rice set *
* Shrimp dumplings *
* Shrimp wrapped in rice noodle *
* Chicken feet *
A$AP Ferg concert was on tonight, and I couldn't wait. There was only three songs I wanted to hear; Work, Shabba and Hood Pope. Bo, Tinnie and I arrived late on purpose to bypass the opening acts. The opening DJ was sick and got the crowd in a good mode. When A$AP Ferg came out, the whole crowd went nuts. A$AP Ferg did a quick intro and the A$AP Mob took over. I didn't like the concert at this point because I didn't know any of the songs they performed. We didn't see A$AP Ferg for more than ten minutes, and he went off stage. I had no idea how this concert would turn out. When he finally came back on stage, he performed Work and Shabba. The floor shook when he performed Shabba. It was insane. He wrapped up his show and started to head off stage when the crowd started to chant "One more song!” I was hoping he would do one more song. I was hoping for Hood Pope. He asked the crowd which song and immediately responded with Hood Pope. I thought I was the only one that wanted to hear it. I won't forget the moment when he was shocked to hear that and responded with "ya'll want to hear that song" and did that song. I was happy. The song ended, and he wasn’t satisfied with ending the show with that song and played Work again. It was crazier the second time around. The concert was sick and totally worth it.
I haven't done a weekend wrap up for several weeks, and I have a reason for that. I fractured my ankle the week before Thanksgiving and I have been home ever since trying to recover. I had a cast on my left leg and had to use crutches for the first week and a half. I had limited movements and going out was difficult hence no updates. The healing process has been slow, but I got cleared to remove my cast and use an air cast instead. This allowed me to go out with ease. I'm so glad I can wash my leg again. I should be fully recovered by the end of November.
Since I was somewhat mobile again, it was time to start the weekend. All I need was a couple of beers and some good company. =)
I wanted to attend the Parade of Lost Souls for two years, but something always came up or the weather was shitty. I imagined the Parade of Lost Souls to be similar to a night market with displays, entertainment and food. I was looking forward to the food than anything else. I also thought we would be strolling down an alley looking at decorations, displays and acts off to the side while surrounded with people in costumes. I day dream too much. What I thought was not what I experienced. The event didn't reveal their location until the day of, and it was at Britannia High-school; it was in their schoolyard. There were a lot people at this event, and it took forever to make it down to their schoolyard. There were several displays and acts, but none of them looked attractive. They had a center stage full of dance performances. I didn't understand why there was a center stage. Normal carnival food stands filled the food area. I thought it would be packed with food trucks or stands from the Richmond night market. I was super disappointed. I covered the whole schoolyard in last than thirty minutes, which, was less than the time I spent on the road. I thought there would be more than this. At least I got to see some costumes. I think I'll aim for Oktoberfest next year.
Maria has been looking at engagement rings for quite some time, and I thought it would be a grand gesture to go look with her. We had the day planned, and we knew which jewelry stores we wanted to check out. Our first stop was at Spence. She has been there before, and she showed me exactly which ring she loved. We grabbed a sales rep and proceeded with the diamond knowledge transfer. It was neat getting a quick 101 about diamonds and the different tools they use to grade. I thought it was interesting that they allowed us to use the tools to see the quality of the diamonds up front. I selected the best diamond and started to talk about payment options and such. They took my information down, and I thought that was it. I thought we were going to walk away with our quote and think about it. The sales rep would do a follow up with me, and we would either order it or tell them we weren't interested. Next thing I know, we are at the front counter, and I paid the deposit. I got blindsided, but Maria really wanted it. I felt used, and I thought this day was for looking, not buying. At least that's the end of that.
Maria was happy, and I was hungry. We went out for dinner at Nao Sushi Japanese Restaurant with Paul and Angie. Maria and I had never been to this restaurant before. This was a decent sized restaurant, and it was full. We had to wait ten minutes before we got a table; not too long. The restaurant looked a bit outdated, especially with the carpeted floors. The found the chefs amusing because they didn't wear the typical sushi chef attire. They looked like dim sum masters. The service was okay and slow due to the packed house. The menu selection was superb and priced decently. We ordered the Ebi Sunomono, Sashimi Salad, Spider Roll, Ika Mauryaki, Salmon & Tuna Sashimi, Beef Tataki, Toro Sashimi, Tuna Tataki and Chopped Scallop Cones. Everything we ordered was good but not amazing. It was simple and exactly what we ordered. The Sashimi Salad was a deal. It had more Sashimi than salad. I wouldn't recommend ordering the Spider Roll. I thought it was a waste. It was mushy and not crispy. The roll was smaller than compared to other restaurants. The Ika Mauryaki was stunning. It was tasty, priced well and grilled perfectly. This was a delightful spot for decently priced Japanese food.
I always found choosing a new restaurant to try in the states the hardest, especially if involves another 20+ minute drive to the destination. Luckily there were several options near the Seattle Premium outlet. I needed to refuel after shopping throughout the day with Bo, Tinnie and Nikko. The four of us stepped into RAM Restaurant & Brewery. The restaurant was a clean modern sports bar; something like BP but a step higher. The waitress was slow, monotone and rude. I felt sorry for the waitress that Nikko didn’t tip. We ordered the Beer Sampler, Loaded Waffle Fries, Wild Alaska Salmon (Oven Roasted), Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Santa Fe Rodeo, and Ram Grand Reuben No 504. The Beer Samplers were magnificent. A whole vary of different selections and seasonal beers to try. I wanted to order another round but had to hold off. The Loaded Waffle Fries were addicting. They were just like nachos but waffle fries. I wished the dish had more toppings, but the waffle fries hit the spot for me. Bo had the Wild Alaska Salmon and said it was okay. Tinnie had the Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos and said it was decent but was not the best. Nikko had the Santa Fe Rodeo and liked it a lot. I had the Ram Grand Reuben No 504, and I was a bit disappointed. It tasted like roasted pork from a Chinese butcher shop. I’m not saying that roasted pork from a Chinese butcher shop is terrible, but I was expecting more a dry smoked meat sandwich. The Ram Grand Reuben No 504 was moist, sloppy and was not the taste I was looking for. I would not come back here for the food but for the beers I would.