Monthly Archives: October 2010

Movember, fighting prostate cancer with the power of a moustache.

This Movember, the month formerly known as November I’ve decided to donate my face to raising awareness about prostate cancer.  My donation and commitment is the growth of a moustache for the entire month of Movember, which I know will generate conversation, controversy and laughter.

I’m doing this because 4,400 men die of prostate cancer in Canada each year and one in six men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. This is a cause that I feel passionately about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to Prostate Cancer Canada.

This year my cousin Kurt and I are stepping it up a notch by not shaving our heads, which have a cul-de-sac appearance, for the entire month leaving us with a sweet horseshoe up top and an even sweeter moustache warming our upper lip.

To help, you can either:

*  Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
* Write a cheque payable to Prostate Cancer Canada, referencing my name or Registration Number 31977 and mailing it to: Prostate Cancer Canada, Suite 306 145 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1E3, Canada.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit:

Thank you in advance for helping me to support men’s health.


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Coffee

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, are they still around? The answer is yes, but it seems they’re only hanging on by a thread. Brought to the Canadian market riding on a publicity high in 2004 followed by a quick move into bankruptcy protection in 2005. Out of a planned 32 Canadian locations there are only 4 that are still operating in this country. The only BC location is in Delta at 7153 120th Street (Scott road) and is the only location west of Mississauga, Ontario.

So what went wrong? There are a few things that Krispy Kreme did wrong when entering the hotly contested Canadian coffee/doughnut market. Tim Horton’s and Starbucks control a staggering percentage of the coffee market sitting somewhere in the 70% range combined. When Krispy Kreme came to the party they thought selling doughnuts would be the marketing strategy that would bring Canadian success, this was most certainly not the case. Coffee sales drive both Tim Horton’s and rival Starbucks with any additional product being a spin-off of coffee sales. In Tim Horton’s case they have greatly expanded their product line in recent years but coffee remains the key metric in their business plan and without it they would sell very few doughnuts, or anything else for that matter.

Krispy Kreme sells coffee as well, but know one knows if it’s any good because that’s not what they’re there for. The doughnuts are as good as advertised though and are 50% of if you buy a dozen after 9pm. There is a red neon sign that gets lit up when there is a fresh batch of glazed original doughnuts fresh off the line but rumor has it that it doesn’t get turned on very often these days. The only thing that really sets Krispy Kreme apart from the competition is that they make their tasty treats on site, which Tim Horton’s stopped doing a few years ago, opting to truck in pre cooked frozen doughnuts and reheat them on site.

If you like sweet, airy doughnuts that are almost as addictive as crack (not scientifically relevant or proven) then head over the Alex Fraser bridge and have a doughnut, before it’s too late.


Dougie Dog

A very wise man named Anthony Bourdain once said that food is at its best when served in tube form. This is especially true when it comes to meat. Sausages and hot dogs have been a staple of western cuisine for ages and have evolved from foods that were inexpensive and easy to prepare into something more than their humble beginnings. The evolution started in the culinary hot spots of New York, Chicago and Minnesota….??? There is a place in Minneapolis called The Weinery that has been doing dogs that are both classic and a little out there at the same time for years, check it out on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on The Food Network if you get a chance.

Vancouver’s hot dog scene floundered in the “cart” era for many years until someone decided that the carts needed to serve dogs with a Japanese twist. They were good but there was a whole area of hot dog excellence that this city didn’t even realize it was missing. That all ended when a man named Dougieluv decided to open Dougie Dog

Located at 1011 Granville street (Granville & Nelson) Dougie Dog is in a great location to serve all kinds of customers. The late night party animal who is sick off pizza can grab a dog until “late”, the weekend boutique shopper can grab a bite on the go and the weekday business lunch crowd is also nearby.

Serving many varieties of the common hot dog, Dougie Dog sets itself apart from other hod dog purveyors by offering a wide variety that a cart simply can not compete with. The all natural, nitrate free wieners are made locally and have a nice snap to them from the natural casing similar to a European style wiener.

The original Dougie Dog is very tasty, with horse-radish, Grey Poupon mustard, Italian pastrami and cheddar cheese is a nice combo of rich flavor and heat, The Mac n’ cheese is creamy and rich and with over 10 varieties of root beer there should be one for every taste. You can check out the rest of their menu here. There is a vegetarian option as well and rumor has it that the vegetarian Trailer Park Dog (processed cheese and crumbled potato chips) is awesome.

Late night hot dogs on Granville after a night of partying sounds like a winner to me. They deliver in the downtown core and have a cool phone number, 604-HOT-DOGS. So will a place selling $7 hot dogs survive? The answer is yes, as long as the quality stays where it is and the clubs on Granville keep serving booze.


Royal Oak Restaurant

I have lived in the beautiful and diverse city of Surrey BC for 23 years. Surrey is the fastest growing city in British Columbia and will overtake Vancouver as the largest city in BC by population in the next 10 to 20 years. There has always been good pizza joints in my city but never one that was close enough to me to order from on a regular basis that wasn’t just cheap, or so I thought. I have lived in the Fleetwood neighborhood for almost ten years and there has been an amazing food spot only 6 blocks from my front door the whole time!!!

Royal Oak Restaurant is located at 15336 Fraser Highway in Surrey and has been operating for over 30 years. Serving a diverse menu including pizza,  pasta, steak, chicken and Greek food it was the place where my friend Doug used to take his dates in high school because it was the nicest place he could afford, how Dutch…Anyone offended by Dutch jokes should know that Doug is Dutch and is proud of being able to pinch a penny so tight it turns into copper wire.

The real draw for me was hearing from a co-worker who has lived in the area for 42 years that Royal Oak had the best Pizza in Surrey. That was all the encouragement I needed. I looked up their menu online a couple days later and decided to order some takeout! There was a combo that had 2 pizzas with 2 topping each and 25 chicken wings and seeing as I hadn’t been to the pub for wing Wednesday in far too long it was declared the winner and I placed my order. I split the wing order in to 2 flavors, hot and teriyaki. My pizza had Italian salami and hot pepperoni and Lyndsey’s had ham and pineapple.

The pizza was everything I was promised, hand made crust, lots of cheese baked to an amazing dark golden brown with stringy melted goodness hidden below. The sauce was almost undetectable due to the over powering heat of the hot pepperoni, which wasn’t a bad thing. The pepperoni could have stood alone without the Italian salami, which was a little lost behind the cheese, crust and pepperoni. The ham and pineapple looked really good too but I was too enthralled with my pizza to try it.

The wings were good, nothing to brag about though. A little too saucy with not much flavor. The hot wings had no heat at all especially after eating the hot pepperoni. Teriyaki wings aren’t my favorite but they were much better than the hot wings.

I’m very happy to say that the pizza is the best pizza I have ever eaten in my home town. The best part about it is that it’s so close to home, and that they also have a lovely restaurant that the family and I can walk to for a sit down dinner. My pizza prayers have been answered.

Check out their menu here


Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Five Guys Burgers & Fries has 2 locations in Greater Vancouver. One is in West Vancouver at Park Royal Mall and the other is in South Surrey at the sprawling Morgan Crossing development. Famous for the 2 things mentioned in their name there is nothing else on Five Guys menu but burgers, fries and things to wash said items down. I visited the Park Royal location a few months before I started writing about food and I thought it would be a good idea to check out the newer location out in South Surrey.

The inside of Five Guys has a very sparse red and white theme the reminds me of an 80’s pizza shop. The South Surrey location is a little larger than Park Royal but retains the feel of a burger and fries only fast food factory, in a good way. There are bags of potatoes stacked on the floor, plain wooden furniture and a very energetic staff ready to make you a fresh meal as soon as you walk in the door.

The menu consists of  4 burger options, burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger and bacon cheeseburger. The standard burger has 2 patties but they are all offered in “little” form with 1 patty. There are 16 toppings to choose from which are all included in the price. The fries come in regular and large size and are offered plain or Cajun and are cooked in peanut oil.

I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, mayo, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce and jalapeños with regular Cajun fries and a regular drink. There are 2 drink sizes but both are free to refill so I’ll let you do the math. My number was called and I headed up to the counter to retrieve my grub. The brown paper bag was filled about 3/4’s full with fries and I had to rip the bag open to find my burger. The fries were very good and the Cajun seasoning was excellent, nice and spicy.

My Burger was amazing, juicy, fresh and spicy. The jalapeños are raw and not from a can so they had a little extra kick. There are no freezers in any 5 Guys restaurant because they believe in fresh beef cooked to order and it pays off in their tasty burgers. I have read a few other local reviews of 5 guys and they generally all have 2 identical complaints, price and calories. To put the price into perspective my meal was $15.76 which may seem a little on the pricey side but if you order a single patty and you are there with someone who you can share fries and a drink with the price would come in at around 10 dollars each which isn’t much more than other fast food burger joints that aren’t half as good. The calorie comments are ridiculous as burgers and fries aren’t supposed to be healthy. If you want lower calories eat a salad and if you want a lower price go to the supermarket and make it yourself.

Would I recommend 5 Guys Burgers and Fries? Let me put it simply, this burger is the best non sit-down restaurant burger in town. That is a bold statement but I will stand by it. These burgers stand above Vera’s, Fat Burger and all of the big fast food chains. There is also free roasted peanuts in big boxes for you to crack open and snack on while you are waiting for your food. There aren’t too many meals that I haven’t been able to finish in my life but this was one of them, so if you’re going to 5 Guys bring a friend and prepare for an awesome burger and fries!!


The Sandwich Nazi, La Charcuterie Delicatessen

To say that the nickname “The Sandwich Nazi” doesn’t really suit owner Salam Kahil is a loaded statement. The “Nazi” part is in reference to the Soup Nazi character from the 90’s sitcom Seinfeld and was most likely given to Salam due to the sign on the door that says something to the effect of if you don’t have a sense of humor please go somewhere else. I guess that might seem similar to the Soup Nazi’s strict ordering system but once inside La Charcuterie Salam couldn’t be farther from the classic TV character.

The sign is, however, very accurate. If you don’t like swearing or dirty talk bordering on the incredibly uncomfortable then stay away, but if you find sex jokes and Salam telling you the he loves you full time amusing, and if you want the best sandwich in town then the Sandwich Nazi is going to become your best friend. Located at 19080-96th Avenue Unit 8 in Surrey’s Port Kells neighborhood there is nothing for miles in any direction that comes anywhere close to being as awesome as the sandwiches Salam makes. Surrounded by industrial buildings as far as the eye can see the only other food choices are a couple of pubs with food that’s average and some fast food joints which makes La Charcuterie  a food oasis in a desert of mediocrity.

This may be the biggest sandwich I have ever seen. It’s definitely the biggest sandwich I’ve ever eaten, and it’s not just big it’s awesome. There is a menu on the wall but I don’t know anyone who orders from it, Salam simply creates for you whatever you would like and when he’s done you are given a sandwich measured in pounds and almost as tall as a pop can. To finish one of these sandwiches is a feat in itself and you probably won’t need to eat for the rest of the day. My sandwich had ham, salami, smoked meat and turkey with Gouda, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayo and hot sauce on a sourdough bun. The picture is real, it is that big and it tastes great. Salam cuts all the deli meats to order for every sandwich and isn’t shy when he’s piling it on, and for around $7 it’s one of the best food deals in town too.

There is also an incredible selection of Danish, Dutch, Finnish and Norwegian specialty products available. Everything from cheese to canned seafood, candies, chocolates, cookies, coffee, condiments and much more, this place is more than just a fantastic sandwich.

The next time you’re out for a drive, unless it’s Sunday, point your ride in the direction of La Charcuterie and prepare yourself for the best sandwich you will ever eat and for Salam to make you laugh until your jaw hurts, and bring cash as there is no plastic option here. You can find more info here.

If you want to see what Salam does when he wins some money on the lottery you can check this out, it’s pretty funny but be warned that you may see his “salami”…seriously, he does the windmill…

Sorry if you didn’t believe me and you just saw “it”…I warned you.