Category Archives: Restaurant

Be’wiched Cafe


You guys know I like Surrey so it’s no surprise that when I find a hidden gem here I have to tell you about it. Be’wiched Cafe is a nondescript looking sandwich shop in a typical suburban strip mall, the same strip mall that houses Big Ridge Brewing Co. It’s modest appearance is in no way a reflection of the food.

I had heard about Be’wiched from a few people but mostly it was my cousin Kurt (author of the Bibo post) who kept telling me I had to go. I did and I’ll definitely be back. I ordered the Cubano Caliente, a spicy twist on the classic Cubano. It had roasted pork, ham, Swiss Cheese on pressed ciabatta. The classic Cubano has pickles but they were replaced by banana peppers hence the “caliete” (spicy) annotation. The pork was great, so was the ham. The bun was crisp and fresh, pressed just the right amount and just soft enough to not fall apart. The peppers added a nice little kick to this classic sandwich, it’s REALLY hard to find a good Cubano in the GVRD, this one might be one of the best.

The sandwich came with a side of Orzo salad which is made fresh, actually almost everything Be’wiched sells is house made, even their meats. The salad was a great version of a traditional pasta salad. I’m seriously impressed with this place.

I’ll be back soon to dig deeper into the menu, stay tuned for another post!

Twitter – @bewichedcafe

Facebook – facebook.com/be.wiched.cafe

Scott.

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Pho Tao Bay – Langley


Pho is a source of heated debate among those who love it. People will swear up and down that their favourite Pho place is better than your favourite Pho place and it quickly escalates into a “my dad can beat up your dad” school yard shouting match. Pho Tao Bay in Langley is probably one of those places I’m going to argue with people about. It’s a contender for top Fraser Valley Pho, right up there with Pho Tam in Whalley, one of the best Pho joints in the GVRD.

I realize this opens me up to great amounts of criticism from the Pho elitist community but I can take it, plus I had my Pho Jedi Master, Sheldon, with me to back me up. I had a large bowl of the rare beef/well done beef with the usual plate of bean sprouts and herbal goodness, I added a TON of hot sauce and chili oil, probably a bad move on the hottest day of the year (sweaty). The beef was tender and awesome, the broth is out of this world, it’s some damn fine Pho yo!

I also had a spring roll, pretty average to be honest but I’ve had way worse. The restaurant itself is that magical kind of “almost unclean” that makes you feel right at home, the service is pretty good for a Vietnamese place and the prices are average.

Go check it out and tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

Scott.

Pho Tau Bay – 5790 203 Street, Langley

The Park at English Bay


Ya ya I know I said I wasn’t posting any more but when Bodhi Jones asks you to come check out the place he works at you don’t say no! The Park at English Bay is located in the Best Western Sands Hotel on Davie St. just off of Denman in a space formerly known as Checkers. There are few similarities between The Park and Checkers apart from its location, the renovations have transformed an out of date room into a very contemporary space.

The beer list is probably the best in the West End and it is still evolving with manager (or “Park Ranger”) Jamison Prystay at the helm. I had a Driftwood Farmhand Ale and a Howe Sound Devils Elbow IPA. Jamison and his food and beverage team are always looking to add new and interesting beer to the list which is great to see in an area not known for craft beer.

I sampled the Charcuterie plate ($15), it was awesome and could easily be on the menu for $18-$22. The quality of the pate, meats, bread and olives is very high. The ingredients are sourced weekly from the Granville Island Market by the chef and are always changing. Charcuterie always pairs well with craft beer so make sure you explore the beer menu while you enjoy this dish.

Next up I tried the Park Sliders ($7.50), 2 house made Angus beef sliders with horseradish mayo, Jalapeño jack cheese and banana peppers. Normally I’m not a fan of sliders but these were great. They had a nice amount of heat to them and the Angus patties were very flavourful. According to the menu “They’re a little spicy, so you’ll probably want to order another beer.” Those are wise words, beer makes everything better.

Last but most certainly not least was the Georgia Straight Fried Chicken ($15). This dish looked like it was going to be heavy and greasy due to the dark colour of the batter but it was quite light. The batter is thinner that it looks and the chicken is VERY tender. The fact that it’s boneless is a plus for me, I’m not a huge fan of chicken on the bone. There’s a honey drizzle that adds and nice sweetness to this savoury dish and it’s complimented by some garlic mashed potatoes with crispy onion straws and steamed veggies. Overall a very good dish.

I have to say I’m very impressed with The Park at English Bay. The food and drink menu are a perfect match to it’s beautiful location. For all of you die hard Checkers fans fear not, THEY STILL HAVE KARAOKE!! There’s now live music as well and it would be a great place to catch your favourite sporting event!

Scott.

For the record my meal and beers were provided by The Park at English Bay but the fact that it was free didn’t change the way it tasted 🙂 Go Check it out!!

Twitter – @ParkVanCity

Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheParkVancouver

Texx Big Burger in Surrey!


Finding new places to eat in Surrey is always awesome! Texx Big Burger is located in a nondescript  strip mall on the corner of 148th street and 108th ave in Bolivar Heights, right between Guildford and Whalley. It was recommended to me by one of my Twitter followers, thanks Anthony! This place is only a few months old and when I visited it was pretty empty, time to give them a little press!

You order by grabbing an ordering sheet and a pencil from the counter, you check off what burger you want, what you want on it and what sides/drink you want. Bring your filled out sheet back to the counter and start your countdown to a very full stomach.

I ordered the double bacon cheeseburger with red relish, mayo, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, lettuce, green peppers and pickles and a “regular” sized order of fries. This is a damn good burger, VERY similar to Five Guys. The beef is hot, fresh and juicy, the bacon is fresh and cooked just right, the toppings are awesome and the bun is great!

The similarities between Texx and Five Guys carries over into the french fry department, they fill the regular sized container up and then pile a bunch more into your brown paper bag making you dig for your burger. The fries are hand cut in house and quite good.

The food is where the Five Guys comparisons stop though. I found the customer service to be a little…lacking in enthusiasm, ahem. I asked the woman at the counter how long they’d been open and she snapped back “over three months or something” and walked away. I found out later she’s one of the owners! But the food is good enough to bring me back despite the unfriendly staff.

Go check this place out!

Scott.

Suika Izakaya #SuikaPunch Package with VANEATS.ca!!!


The team at VANEATS.ca know how to make people happy. They team up with your favourite restaurants and bring you amazing dining experiences for a great price and their latest package with Suika Izakaya is one of their best. It’s called Suika Punch!! (#SuikaPunch if you’re looking for it on Twitter) and it packs a 6 course wallop, 5 food courses and 1 beer course, for only $25! Don’t be fooled by that beer course, it’s a FULL PITCHER of Sapporo! Get ready to drool, this is pure food porn.

Course 1, a full sized pitcher of Sapporo. That’s my kind of course. If this was Yaletown the pitcher itself would’ve been $25… True story.

The first food course is “Chinese Poutine”. Fries topped with spicy ground pork gravy, mozzarella, chilli oil, sansho and minced cilantro. Eating fries with chopsticks is weird, but good weird. The spicy pork gravy with chilli oil is delicious, the cheese has that awesome slight browned colour from being baked in the oven and the fries are nice and thick. A cool twist on a classic French Canadian dish.

The next three courses came together on a platter and looked delicious. SPOILER ALERT, they were as delicious as they looked.

Course three is Yellowtail Carpaccio, thinly sliced Yellowtail with tobiko and sesame soy dressing. Very fresh and light with just the right amount of salt from the dressing. Very nice.

Course four is Tomato Kimchi, Tomato slices marinated in kimchi with cilantro oil and Chinese chives. So simple, so fresh, so tasty. The tomatoes were still firm too, I was worried they’d be a little soft after being marinated but they held up!

Course five is Tuna Tataki, slightly smoked high grade tuna with house made chilli oil on a bed of thinly sliced red onions. This dish was so good that I ordered more after I had finished the 6 course meal. Unreal tuna, so fresh. You have to try this.

Last but certainly not least, course six, the Hellz Chicken. To quote VANEATS.ca, it’s “deep fried and tossed with the hell sauce”. The hell sauce is a devilish concoction made from jalapeño, hot sauce, lemon, garlic, vinegar & Tabasco. A spicy combo to say the least, but the flavours are worth the face punch, it’s a pleasure/pain thing. The Hellz Chicken is damn good.

Like I said, all of this is only $25, get your package NOW at VANEATS.ca, you can thank me later.

Full disclosure, my meal was complimentary but I would’ve paid $25 for this. I actually would have paid a lot more but it’s a great deal. Get it, get it now.

Scott.

Pumphouse Pub Bacon and Beer Dinner!


Another Longtable dinner at the Pumphouse Pub in Richmond has come and gone and this one was a doozy! A five course bacon themed dinner, each course paired with a beer from the Beerthirst portfolio, bacon and beer? Yes please!! This dinner had the added twist of being a fundraiser for local golf phenom Nathan Leonhardt with all proceeds going to help his dream of playing on the PGA Tour.

Course one was a bacon, caramelized onion and goat cheese quiche paired with Odin Brewing Co‘s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale. The Quiche had a nice flaky crust with the bacon and caramelized onion giving the filling a salty richness with a slight tang from the goat cheese, very tasty. The Kolsch pairs well with any food, which is what Odin’s main goal is when they make a beer. It’s a nice light palette cleansing beer.

Course two was fried plantains with a spicy Thai bacon salad. It was paired with the Trailhead ISA from Two Beers Brewing Co. The plantains were great and complimented the Thai salad very well. Throw a little bacon in the mix and you really can’t go wrong. The Trailhead ISA was a nice pairing for this dish. It is a very sessionable beer that doesn’t over power the delicate flavours of the plantains. another winner.

Course three was prosciutto wrapped chicken with beurre rouge sauce. It was paired with Odin Brewing Co’s Odin’s Gift Ruby Ale. The chicken was cooked perfectly, quite an accomplishment when cooking for 60-70 people. The prosciutto was a nice salty pork jacket hugging the chicken, delicious. The beurre rouge sauce was good but the dish could’ve used a bit more of it and it could’ve been a little thicker. The Odin’s gift Ruby Ale pairs well with salty meat so it was a hit with the pork snuggled chicken.

Course four was a slow braised pork shoulder with apples, onions and bacon with a few pieces of roasted potato. It was paired with Tenaya Creek Brewing Co‘s Calico Brown Ale. The pork shoulder was well cooked and very tender without being dry but it lacked seasoning. The apple and bacon were a great pair but the dish needed more of both and the potato seemed a little out of place. This dish was a few small tweaks away from being incredible. The Calico Brown Ale paired well with the pork. It’s a hoppy brown ale and I have to say that it’s one of my favourites from the Las Vegas brewery.

The fifth and final course was a warm chocolate chilli brownie with chocolate bacon ice cream. It was paired with Elysian Brewing Co’s Peste Chocolate Chilli Ale. WOW! The brownie was moist and rich and had a great chilli kick to it, incredible. The chocolate bacon ice cream was perfect to balance the heat from the chilli in the brownie. This dessert was outstanding. The Peste Chocolate Chilli Ale has mellowed some since I first tried it but this beer was meant for this dish, it was an unbelievably good pairing.

It was great chatting with Nathan about his ambitions in the professional golf world and I’m happy that Beerthirst and The Pumphouse could raise some money to help him on his quest. Nathan plays on the Canadian Tour and has had success as an amateur and attended Northwood Texas University on a golf scholarship. Few people realize how expensive it is to play professional golf so every penny counts! Good luck Nathan, we’ll be watching your career and cheering for you!

Scott.

Craft beer and chicken wings? Sharkey’s in Ladner has them!


Chicken wings are amazing, craft beer is amazing and putting the two together makes me want to weep tears of joy. The people of Ladner probably don’t realize how lucky they are to live near Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille. Where else can you get terrific craft beer, fresh oysters and a great riverside patio experience in the lower mainland? Now that they put chicken wings back on the menu it’s almost a perfect storm.

Their new wing line up consists of 6 wing flavours, each with it’s own recommended craft beer pairing. I have some friends that live in Ladner that will be pretty happy to hear Sharkey’s has wings again. I’ll be going to check them out for myself very soon, expect a FULL breakdown (and stomach) from yours truly. Go to Sharkeys.ca for the full wing menu!

Scott.