Monthly Archives: July 2010

Memphis Blues Barbeque House

I am no stranger to Memphis Blues, in fact it is one of my favorite local spots. They are located throughout Greater Vancouver with one restaurant in Kelowna. I have had a link to their website on this blog since day one so if you want to know exactly where they are you should check it out. Let me start by saying if you are a vegetarian this is not a place you will enjoy. Memphis Blues is all about authentic southern barbeque, which is the art of smoking meat for hours at low temperature over hardwood. The result is the most tender meat you will ever eat. Ribs and pulled pork are the most common types of southern barbeque but I have to say that my personal favorite is brisket. Brisket is generally considered a poor cut of beef but when smoked properly is it amazing.

Oh ya, I love me some brisket!!!! I had the large sliced brisket sandwich with pork and beans and coleslaw. The bun was very fresh and the brisket was great as usual. It’s a pretty basic sandwich, bun, beef and BBQ sauce and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The beans are really tasty as well however I’m not too fond of their coleslaw, it always seems like it’s a day old which I hope isn’t the case.

So what is a place like Memphis Blues doing on the Canadian west coast? The whole story is on their website which I strongly urge you to check out. The short version is that the founder had a stop over in Memphis, tried a pulled pork sandwich and fell in love. How could you not fall in love with food this good?

If there is anyone out there who hasn’t been to Memphis Blues and you happen to like meat then you have officially dropped the ball. You have let me, your taste buds and everyone you know down. I’m not even sure why I still call you a friend, seriously. There is only one cure for your social and gastronomic screw up and that is to surrender to the gods of slow cooked meat. Make an appointment for some “me” time and get your pork on (or beef or chicken…) and then spread the joys of  southern barbeque with everyone you are “friends” with on Facebook or who follow you on Twitter or however you talk to your friends these days (I’m @whatsforlunchbc on twitter if anyone was asking…).

You can thank me later.


Great coffee and a walk along the waterfront

Downtown Vancouver on a beautiful day with your two favorite people, is there anything better? Of course there is and it involves one of my favorite places, Michi Waffle and Espresso House (which may or may not be changing its name to Cafe Michi Premium Espresso). I’ve written about it before so for those of you who haven’t read about it here’s the link

This time Lyndsey, Hayley and I were joined by my Mom and Dad for a Sunday morning brunch. It was terrific as usual and I left with a sweet cafe Americano caffeine high and a belly full of delicious waffles. My Mom and Dad departed for the burbs and the ladies and I set off on a little walk.

We headed for Coal Harbour and the Sea Wall and I whipped out the camera. Nothing beats playing tourist in your own city. Harbour Green Park is great and is often over looked for the more trendy spots in English Bay and Kitsilano. The waterfront has grown immensely over the past ten to fifteen years and is truly modern and beautiful.

We headed down towards the convention center and over to Canada Place, I took a picture of Lyndsey and Hayley in front of the Olympic Cauldron. Hayley was born 8 days before the 2010 winter games began and Lyndsey didn’t get to see the cauldron when it was lit. It was nice to have all three of us there as a reminder of what we were going though while Vancouver was the center of the worlds attention.


We headed for home, which will soon only be a short walk from where we were. I love this city.


Assinis Greek Restaurant

Oh man, where do I begin. Lyndsey and I have ordered from Assinis before and it has always been good. I usually order their pizza and Lyndsey has the chicken souvlaki, but this time we both decided to try something different. What a big mistake.

I ordered the Fresh Tiger Prawn dinner pictured above, and Lyndsey ordered the Greek Style Stir fry. I’ll start with the stir fry. I’m not sure what part of it was “Greek Style”. the chicken had no flavor and there was nothing Greek anywhere else in the dish except for the pita bread and tzatziki that came with it. Very strange and very disappointing because the idea sounds pretty solid but it wasn’t even close to being done right and came across as a poorly done regular stir fry.

The Fresh Tiger Prawn dinner was just as disappointing. The “Tiger Prawns” were not tiger prawns, they were shrimp. Peeled, de-veined, tail on, frozen shrimp that were over cooked and rubbery, soaked in enough butter to make me drop dead from a jammer on the spot. I’ve never really liked Greek roasted potatoes so all I will say is that they were what I expected. The rice was bland, the Greek salad was creamy (?) and soggy. Again the only thing that was good was the bread.

This is my first review of a restaurant in the burbs and I was hoping to be wowed so I could tell my suburban peeps that all was not lost if you don’t get downtown all that often, however all I can recommend from Assinis is the pita bread and the pizza, which is actually really good.

If you feel like trying it for yourself you can find Assinis at #109 – 15551 Fraser Hwy in Surrey, I wish you better luck then I had. I find it a little sad that you can find better Greek food at a shopping mall food court franchise then at a stand alone restaurant. They also have takeout (which is what we had) and delivery, the staff is very nice and our food was ready when promised.

Until next time…


Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant

Located at 385 Burrard street, Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant occupies part of one of Vancouver’s most beautiful heritage buildings, the Marine Building. Completed in 1930 and standing at 21 stories it is an art deco masterpiece that is sadly overshadowed by more modern glass high rises that surround it on all sides. If you have never seen it I urge you to do so and while you’re there you might want to have a bite to eat?

I remember eating at Elephant & Castle with my parents when I was young and I recall it being a little boring, with traditional British pub food and a lot of murder mystery theme nights. Thankfully that is no longer the case. The decor is a sort of art deco mixed with clean modern lines which I really enjoy. It easily fits in with the rest of its surroundings within its historic address. I could see myself making this a regular stop for me for a beer and a bite.

The bar is quite long with the prerequisite beer taps sprouting from its top and there is a large drink menu above the shelves of hard stuff. What a fantastic idea! Never again will you need to ask what’s on tap or what wines or scotches they serve, it’s all there in nice big print and bright spotlights. Brilliant.

I ordered the fish and chips with a choice between cod and halibut, I ordered the halibut as it usually  makes the best fish and chips. It cost $4 more ($13 vs $17) but halibut is worth it. When my food arrived I was a little disappointed that there was only one piece of fish that wasn’t that big given the price, especially given the fact that two of the people I was with ordered the cod and got two pieces? The fish was good and the chips were too, really nice beer batter and perfectly cooked. The tarter sauce had a little horseradish or something similar in it and was interesting…I wasn’t a huge fan. I like horseradish but this just didn’t work and it “stayed with me” all day.

The service was friendly and fast and the atmosphere was relaxed. There was a World Cup game on at the time and the only other customers were some Paraguay fans. I’m sure the music they normally play would be better than the Vuvuzela’s that drone in the background of every World Cup game, so annoying that I haven’t been able to watch a whole game this year.

So aside from a few little issues I enjoyed lunch at the Elephant & Castle. I think I might even take my wife there on a date night, plus any excuse to visit the Marine Building…