Friday, March 27, 2015

Lunch at Ramen Butcher

The ramen business in Vancouver is very fierce; one bad review and it may cripple your business. At launch, Ramen Butcher had great reviews, but as weeks passed by, it started to decline. However, there were still long lineups out the door. I wanted to try it regardless and form my opinion. Maria and I arrived at the restaurant around 3pm, and we didn't have to wait for a table. The service was attentive and quick. The menu was simple and had a short list of items to choose. The dons and chicken karaage were not available from the menu which was unfortunate. The ramen selection was broken up into different colours; each colour highlighted the difference between the other selections. We ordered the Classic, Black and a side of Okonomiyaki Gyoza. I had the Black, and I found the flavor to be watered down. I like my broth bold and heavy on flavor. The portion size was smaller when compared to others, and I was not satisfied. Luckily, there was a solution, one free noodle refill; just remember not to drink up all the soup. The noodles from Ramen Butcher were awesome. It didn't have a great bounce / al denta or whatever you want to call it, but it was plain simple and delicious. The type where you can eat continuously and a lot. I want to think this noodle was produced in house, which deserves another thumbs up. The cha siu comes in two flavors, lean or fatty. No matter which one you choose, you only get one slice of it. A lonely piece of meat. I felt ripped off. The marinated egg was okay, nothing special. Overall, the Black ramen was meh. On the other hand, the Okonomiyaki Gyoza, was great. The blend they used in the Gyoza was different and addictive. The Okonomiyaki toppings made the Gyoza a bit more unique. It's one of the better Gyozas I had. In my opinion, this doesn't beat out any other ramen restaurants I had tried.

Verdict: I have been to Ramen Butcher twice, and I had never waited in line for a table. If I'm in the area and wanted ramen, then yes I would recommend Ramen Butcher, but on second thought why not spend another extra five / ten minutes travelling into downtown for something better.

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* Nailed it *
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* Okonomiyaki Gyoza *
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* Black *
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* Classic *

Ramen Butcher on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Encyclopedia of Air Jordans

This must be one of the best Kickstarter campaigns I ever funded. Is this an Encyclopedia on Air Jordans? You must be kidding me. This was only available via Kickstarter. You can't purchase this anywhere else. In other words, it is limited. The book is still wrapped up, deadstock condition. I don't see myself opening the book up anytime soon. I'll probably go through the 600 page Encyclopedia of Air Jordans when I move into my new place. I might call up some sneakerheads over too.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jordan 4 LS Oreo

Another Saturday, another pair of shoes. This time, it was the Jordan 4 LS "Oreo". I believe the LS stands for lifestyle hence the missing netting? Obtaining the originals were out of my reach. I didn't think this pair would release again. This was the second Jordan 4 out of the remastered series. I didn't dig the first colourway (Columbia), but this pair (Oreo) was a must have. I wish the netting didn't get removed, but the tumbled leather is on point. I'm content with my first Jordan purchase of the year.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Dessert at Soft Peaks

While I was in Korea, I discovered a wonderful dessert from Milkcow. It was a soft served ice cream with honeycomb. It doesn't sound like much, but it was beautiful. I was excited to hear something like that was coming to Vancouver. I took my mom, sister, and Maria out to Soft Peaks. Even though this was not the same company that Maria and I had in Korea, but we hoped it would taste the same. NOPE! Unfortunately, everything about this ice cream aka Honeycomb Peak from Soft Peaks was different. I think it is because we had the real thing, and this can't compare to it. Let's start with the soft served ice cream. The ice cream was organic which was good, but to me it tasted like soy and had a very grainy texture. It wasn't smooth and was not enjoyable for me. It didn't go down well, and it left a milky aftertaste. I also felt that they cheaped out on the honey and honeycomb. There was barely any honey drizzled throughout the serving, and the size of the honeycomb was small. It was hard breaking the honeycomb as it was already cold, so it harden. The honeycomb was sweet but too waxy. The way I remembered this in Korea was that the honeycomb was warm, and as soon as it touched the ice cream it would slowly turn hard. It was unique, tasting the difference in soft and hard honeycomb. Soft Peaks offered a lot of different varieties as well, but I was too disappointed in the Honeycomb Peak that I didn't order the others.

Verdict: I would come back to try other items but not Honeycomb Peak again.

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* So many choices *
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* Where's the bees? *
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* Honeycomb Peak*
Soft Peaks Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saucony Grid 9000 Tiffany

I never thought I would ever own a pair of Saucony in my collection. They never grew on me while I was growing up, but they are now making some impressions on me. I'm starting to see myself shift away from Nike / Jordan / Basketball shoes and pay more attention to runners. Like everything else I post, I'm a sucker for something, and the Tiffany blue colourway is one of them. That colour is my weak spot. I couldn't think of a better colourway to cop for my first Saucony. When the Saucony Grid 9000 Tiffany Blue first start popping up online, I thought they were going to sell out quick. I think Europe and Asia got them first, and I was waiting for the NA release. Luckily there wasn't a lot of hype attached to them, but they were slowly gaining attention. I got them way low below retail, and the quality stacks up against most of my other shoes and if not better. When comparing this to the Nike SB, my mom loves the colourway on the Nike SB more. For me, I'm torn. I love them both. Which one do you prefer?

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Lunch at Pajos

Year after year, I always forget to check out Pajo's. I'm ashamed I had never eaten at Pajo's, home of the best Fish and Chips. Spring was just around the corner, and Pajo's was open for the season. Maria and I took the opportunity since it was a beautiful day. There was a ten-minute wait to order when we arrived. We ordered the One of Each (Halibut, Cod, and Salmon) and Crab Cakes. It was worth the wait. The crab cakes were delicious. It was more of a crab / salmon / bread mixture. It wasn't doughy or dry. It was a great moist mixture of all three ingredients. Each of the fish had their distinct flavor, but the batter seemed to be a bit soggy and fell apart easily. The salmon was alright, only because I prefer salmon not fried. The Cod and Halibut were amazing. A great portion size for each fish. The Cod locked in some serious juiciness flavors. While the Halibut was not mushy and flaked right off. The tartar sauce made it extra special because I hate using generic tartar sauce that anyone can get from the grocery store. We didn't get to enjoy the food piping hot, and we were quite upset that it started to get windy when we began to eat. I enjoyed every bite, down to the last chip.

Verdict: Despite the cold brisk wind, I would come, here again. Maybe I'll try the Albacore Tuna Burger.

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Pajo's *
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* Crab Cakes *
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One of Each (Halibut, Cod, and Salmon) *

Pajo's Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 6, 2015

Concepts x Asics Gel Lyte V "Blow" aka "8Ball"

Another drug inspired shoe collaboration. I missed out on the Pusha T collaboration with Adidas, and that execution was money. The shoes wrapped in a ziplock bag was crack. Concepts took their spin on the Asics Gel Lyte V with inspirations from the movie "Blow". When I first saw pictures surface online, I thought it was a great colourway, a great choice of materials. The blood splatter on the insole reminded me of Kill Bill. What sold me about this pair, was the red top vial tube. It reminded me a lot of The Wire. Then there was a kicker; only Concepts will be selling the pair in a special packaging. I had no clue what that meant, but anything special or limited, I had to have. The special packaging turned out to be saran wrap and duct tape to make the package look like a brick. It had a limited effect on me. I would've kept the package untouched if there was a way for me to get to the shoes without wrecking the packaging. In my opinion, another solid pair. No business like snow business.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dinner at Back Forty

Back Forty is located across the street from the new Boston Pizza on Betty Street near Rogers Arena. At first glance, you wouldn't think Back Forty of much; probably another sports bar. I didn't have any high expectations for this establishment. I believe I have seen this restaurant undergo name changes twice. When I arrived, the Canucks game were on, and the restaurant barely had anyone inside. I guess the majority of the patrons went to the game and grabbed a pre-drink at Back Forty. More people began to fill in as the game progressed and by the time the game ended, the restaurant was packed end to end. The restaurant looked a lot bigger from the outside, and the service was great until it got packed. The restaurant carried the same pub style food choices as any other restaurant, and their beer selection was a bit limited. What caught my eye about their menu was their Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles. I'm a huge sucker for this dish; I can't wait to hit up LA for Roscoes. I don't know if it was the alcohol talking, but this was one of the best Fried Chicken and Waffles I have tasted. The waffle was cooked to a golden crisp. The waffle was airy and held its integrity. It wasn't soft or soggy. Each pocket was filled with delicious maple syrup. The Fried Chicken had a great golden brown colour to it. The skin wasn't crunchy but had a small crispiness to it. It was moist and flavorful. The maple syrup drizzled on top of it made the flavours jump out a bit more; sweet vs. savory. I tried to take my time to enjoy the meal, but it was too good, and I devoured it quickly. I could've ordered another, but I would've looked like a monster.

Verdict: I'll be coming back again for the same dish, and maybe for their smoked chicken wings special on Wednesdays.

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* Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles *

Back Forty on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lunch at koala kebabs donairs

Koala Kebabs Donairs is a small joint tucked away on West Pender. I walked past the donair shop trying to find it; it had minimal signage, so it was easy to miss. I order the chicken donair. The donair was heated up by a panini press. The wrap was warm, and it had a nice crisp to it. I could hear it with each bite. A good crunch sensation. The donair was not overloaded up with meat, which I liked. The donair had a good balance between meat and vegetables, but extra meat could be added for an additional charge. I believe all their sauces we were advertised as homemade. I choose the garlic mayo, and everything tasted fine, but I don't think I would be able to tell what is homemade and what is not. I was surprisingly full after this meal. I could easily eat two of these before I'm satisfied, or pair it off with something else. I guess one was enough to satisfy my stomach and taste buds. Good job Koala Kebabs Donairs

Verdict: I can't say that this was the best donair I ever had, but it was one of the best-balanced donairs I ever had. I would come back again.

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Koala Kebabs Donairs on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 1, 2015

33 acres

Vancouver is booming with craft beers. It seems like a new brewery is opening up every weekend. With this new market emerging, I thought I would take the time and explore it. This isn't my first micro brewery I had visited; Parallel 49 was my first. In fact, I have been to 33 Acres twice before deciding to write about it. I love the layout of 33 Acres. The all white decor does make it a bit hipster-ish, but the craft beers make up for it. Seats are limited. The drink menu does tend to change around from time to time. They also sell beers by that jar! Another plus about this micro brewery is that they have a small food menu to satisfy your munchies before heading out for your next destination. On Sundays, they have waffles and usually during dinner time they have a food truck that rolls through. To top it off, easy free street parking access.

Verdict: I'm coming back again. Hopefully next time I will be able to catch a food truck with my beer.

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* Where the magic happens *
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* By the jar, then fill up the growler *
33 Acres Brewing on Urbanspoon