Monthly Archives: September 2010

Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar


I love beef, almost as much as I love scotch, and those of you who know me know how much I love scotch. Beef is richer than chicken or pork and depending on the cut has a better texture as well. At the recently revamped Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar they have shifted, under the direction of new Executive Chef Erik Heck, to a more “beef-centric” menu that offers 6 different cuts of beef in grades ranging from AAA to Canadian and USDA Prime including an $18 an ounce Australian Kobe Waygu Ribeye that sounds amazing if not a little unattainable to the average Joe.

Lyndsey and I visited Glowbal with my oldest friend and his lovely wife before heading off to the Queen Elizabeth Theater to see Harry Connick Jr. I had been working in Kits that day so I arrived a little early for our reservation and grabbed a seat at the bar. I was looked after by Fraser the bartender who kept the beer glass full and the conversation light and entertaining, very impressive for someone who had only been there for a couple of weeks. A few beers later and the other three in my dinner party arrived. I held back the tears as I said goodbye to Fraser and wandered over to our table.

Our waiter arrived and brought us some water and a little bread to snack on while we checked out the menu. Lyndsey and I ordered a few satays, the prosciutto wrapped asparagus, the Kobe meatball (which was incredible), the panko breaded Ahi tuna with tobiko aioli and the braised short rib with truffle aioli. You can order a satay platter and sample all of these one or two bite treats as a meal or to share, yum.

After the satays were finished and half of my spicy Ceaser had disappeared our main courses arrived. I ordered the 16 ounce bone in Canadian Prime Ribeye medium rare with a lobster, bacon and Gruyère baked potato on the side. The steak was perfectly cooked with a nice compound butter on top and a side of smoked salt that when used sparingly added a unique taste to the beef. If you don’t often eat steak with the bone still attached you are missing out on the extra flavor that cooking the bone infuses into the beef. The baked potato was gigantic in the typical steakhouse fasion but it tasted like no other steakhouse potato I have ever had. Big chunks of lobster meat, salty little pieces of bacon, creamy melted Gruyère cheese and a dollop of sour cream to balance all of that richness out, there was a bit of background heat that gave it a nice kick, easily the best baked potato I’ve eaten in a long time. Lyndsey had the 8 ounce AAA Tenderloin and a side of wild mushroom risotto. I didn’t try her steak as mine was big enough but I did try the risotto and I am sorry to say I think it was finished with cream…I hope I’m wrong as that is the easy way out when making risotto.

There was an off menu item called the Tomahawk that was intriguing to me, a 4 pound piece of beef served family style. Unfortunately our waiter was not forthcoming with the price or exactly what part of the cow the Tomahawk comes from. After finishing my steak and almost finishing my baked potato it was time to go to the QE to see HCJ. Great show, great food and great friends, what could be better?

http://www.glowbalgrill.com

Scott.

New Adventure!!


I have started writing for Examiner.com as their Vancouver Restaurant Examiner. This blog will continue as it has since May because I need an outlet for my rants and non food related topics. I will still be reviewing restaurants here as well. Examiner.com is more of an editorial style of writing and I still really enjoy writing from my point of view as opposed to writing in the third person. You can check out my first few articles here http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-vancouver/vancouver-s-top-5-dives Let me know what you think!!!

Scott.

Voya Restaurant & Lounge


Located at the incredible Loden Hotel at 1177 Melville in Vancouver, Voya Restaurant & Lounge offers culinary creations from Executive Chef Marc-André Choquette. Choquette has served as Executive Chef at Vancouver’s Lumiere and worked at New York’s famous Gramercy Tavern. My wife and I spent the night at the Loden over the weekend as we were both participating in a wedding at the Vancouver Rowing Club in beautiful Stanley Park. The guys all had lunch at Voya before getting into our snazzy tuxedos and heading for the limo for the quick trip to the venue. I had the watercress salad with shaved Granda Padano and citrus vinaigrette. Perfect amount of dressing and just light enough to avoid feeling full before all of the activities of the rest of the day. I also enjoyed a couple of bottles of Innis & Gunn oak barrel aged beers from Scotland, they were fantastic and have earned a lifelong fan.

The wedding was amazing, held on the deck at the VRC with Vancouver’s amazing skyline in the background. The weather forecast looked grim calling for lots of rain but miraculously the sun was shining for the entire ceremony and all of the pictures. Once we moved inside for the reception the heavens opened and it poured rain all night.

In the morning my wife and I headed down to Voya for breakfast before checking out and heading for home. We both had 2 free range eggs, over medium for me and scrambled for Lyndsey, that came with roasted potatoes, bacon, toast and a little fruit bowl. My eggs were perfect but Lyndsey’s were a little runny, the bacon was really good with not too much salt and just the right thickness. The potatoes were slightly over seasoned for both of us, too much rosemary, but were cooked well and not dry which is sometime a problem with roasted potatoes. The fruit bowl was a welcome change from the usual fruit salad from a jar that comes with most breakfasts. It had strawberries, kiwi and blueberries plus the usual melon and pineapple. It’s not that often that I get to eat breakfast at a restaurant of this quality and it was a nice change from coffee shops and cheap cafe’s.

You can check out the Loden Hotel and Voya at the links at the bottom of this post and they are both on twitter as well! The Loden left me a nice little note and some tasty treats in my room as we follow each other on Twitter. Never underestimate social media, you never know when free chocolate will come your way!!! Back to the grind tomorrow…

Scott.

http://voya-restaurant.com/

http://twitter.com/voyavancouver

http://www.theloden.com/

http://twitter.com/LodenHotel

A Taste of Vietnam


Vietnamese food is awesome. If you have never had it you really are missing out on one of the best cuisines in the world. It can be spicy, savory, sweet, salty, or all of the above at the same time. Most people are familiar with phở, especially if you’ve ever driven along Kingsway, it is a soup made with chicken or some rather sketchy pieces of  beef like tripe and tendon and has rice noodles. The customer adds in things like bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime and as many types of peppers and chili sauces as they can handle. It may be the most perfect soup ever made and has a very strong reputation for bringing people out of a deeply hung over state.

A taste of Vietnam is located at 1016 W Broadway in Vancouver surrounded by residential buildings and other ethnic foodie treasures. We walked by it earlier today and decided it looked like a good lunch stop for a Friday. When we arrived for lunch the place was full except for one table which we took to be a good sign. After being seated I ordered some water and had a look at the menu which was very traditional with a lot of real Vietnamese items.

I ordered one of the lunch combos that came with fried rice with peppers and chicken, 2 beef skewers, a spring roll, green salad with carrots and Thai basil and a little bowl full of fish sauce. Fish sauce is a very subtle flavor that has a hint of sweetness and needs to poured over everything on your plate whenever the opportunity presents itself. The rice was amazing and cooked perfectly with the chicken and peppers adding a little substance. the salad was good with the fish sauce used as a dressing and the beef didn’t suffer from the dryness usually associated with meat on a stick and it had a nice flavor with a hint of soy sauce and of course drizzled with fish sauce. The winner of this plate was the deep-fried spring roll. I’m not sure what was inside it but I’m fairy certain it was awesome. The crispy outsides covered in yummy fish sauce and the inside full of pork and veggies…i figured it out.

The second best part of lunch was when the bill came. Under $9 including a 15% tip. Full belly, full wallet and satisfied taste buds. That’s a win in my books.

Scott.

The Longest Weekend


This was supposed to be a relaxing weekend spent around the house doing a whole lot of nothing. Most of my friends were out of town at an annual drinking event know as Twiggfest put on by the Twigg family but with Hayley being so young we decided to bow out until next year. Instead we went to a BBQ at our friends place on Saturday night which turned into a fun-filled, trampoline front flip kind of night. I would also never hear the end of it if I didn’t mention Ryan’s kabob’s, they were great which leads me to think he didn’t actually make them…just kidding.

Sunday was the day that had a gong-show guarantee from the minute the “plans” for the day were made. First a Vancouver Canadians game at historic Nat Bailey Stadium. I haven’t been to a Canadians game since I was 10 and I really enjoyed it! Great venue, Nathan’s Famous foot long hot dog, sunshine and lots of yummy ice-cold beer. Kevin, Brad and I took the train there which pretty much guaranteed that things would get out of hand seeing as we didn’t have to drive and boy did it ever…but not until much, much later. The Canadians were soundly beaten by the Everett Aquasox but it didn’t matter, I will definitely be back.

After the game it was back on the Canada Line to head downtown. We stopped at The Charles Bar at 136 Cordova st in Gastown at the base of the Woodwards mega development. Having just opened only 2 days earlier it wasn’t the busiest place I’ve ever been but the room was nice, very modern with lots of contrasting wood tones. One small issue I had was the washroom setup. There are no separate Mens and Ladies rooms, instead there are 5 or 6 single person bathrooms and while I understand the desired effect I think the ladies my have a problem with it in the long run. We had a few more beers and some food, Kevin the Pulled Pork Poutine, Brad a chicken burger and me the Fully Loaded Fries.

They were made with Kennebec Fries, which seems to be the standard these days, and had all the fixins’ of a fully loaded baked potato, hence the clever name. They were good, not great. Next time I think I’ll try the poutine although pulled pork is showing up a little much these days and is danger of heading down the path of Mango Salsa and Wolfgang Puck, too much too fast and then one day nobody remembers you. That is where the night started to go off the rails.

Someone, whose name may be Kevin, suggested we go to the Blarney Stone. It sounded like a really good idea at the time and for a couple of hours it was. Then the patio closed, we went down the street to Rogue for some half price pizza and then headed back to the Blarney to soundly punish our livers. Our new friend Mack with the sweet vegan John Fluevog boots welcomed us back with some free shots. Our waitress who is from my second favorite country, New Zealand, stopped by to talk to us about the worlds longest toothbrush fence which I have come to understand is not actually in New Zealand…oh well. We watched young men 10 years younger than us try to pick up women 10 years older than us and fail in hysterical fashion.

Having taken in enough alcohol to down a small elephant we headed for the Skytrain which apparently stops running from Waterfront Station at 12:15am on Sundays and holidays, awesome. I tweeted about it and it ended up in Metro, the free local paper, which I didn’t get a chance to read, that’s my first published work!! $75 of Brads money later our nice cab driver dropped me off at my front door in the burbs safe and sound.

So after all was said and done I probably had a crazier weekend then I would have had the family headed up to the Okanagan, who knew. Never under-estimate a long weekend.

Scott.