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Archive for February, 2018

Restaurant Review: Cactus Club Cafe

Location:  101 – 6070 200th Street, Langley BC

For the longest time I’ve wanted to return to this restaurant.  The first time I went was many years ago with my family, but the Raincoast Greens made such an impression on me that I’ve always wanted to return, especially since I had now developed a palate that could discern “good” from “bad.”

We had tried going back in Calgary when Julia visited for wedding dress shopping, but the restaurant was so full, we weren’t able to get a seat.  It was kind of the manager on duty to offer his business card, stating that the situation could have been handled better and would call us to invite us back.  However, as kind as the sentiment was, we never received a call back.  While I was disappointed, it did not diminish my desire to try this place out.

After much delay, we finally got to go!  As we were running some errands in the Langley/Fort Langley area, we decided to stop in at the Langley location for lunch.  We made it at about two, so it wasn’t quite happy hour, but no matter.  We were going to eat here regardless.

After a quick perusal of the menu and calculation regarding our course of action, we decided on an all appetizers lunch.  We ordered the Tuna Stack, Calamari, and Ravioli + Prawn Trio (we ended up adding one so we each got two).  I, again, was starving and the kitchen was pretty quick in getting our dishes out to us.  All three appetizers came out at the same time.

The Tuna Stack was essentially a tuna poke, using ocean wise™ albacore, citrus tamari vinaigrette, nori, sesame, avocado, micro cilantro, and wonton chips on the side.  One bite and I was in love.  Maybe it was because for the last little while we had been having fairly greasy food and this fresh, citrusy dish was a bright and welcome change to what we had we been having the last few days.  Everything was well seasoned, the flavours were balanced and complimented one another beautifully.  If I could, I would eat the entire thing on my own, despite not being able to handle raw fish all that well.

The calamari was the most disappointing of the three dishes.  With ingredients like peppers and jalapenos, I had not expected much because that was pretty much the norm.  Tzatziki sauce is pretty common as an accompaniment to calamari, but the chipotle aioli was something different.  Unfortunately not a good different.  Both sauces, with their creaminess, exacerbated the deep fried oiliness of the calamari.  Most of the calamari was well cooked, but there were a few that were overcooked, dry, and hard.   I had thought that the addition of dill would have been a saving grace, but the dill did not provide any additional flavour to the overall dish.

In contrast, the Ravioli + Prawn Trio was a masterpiece.  I have never been more impressed by a pasta as I have been by this.  The ravioli was a butternut squash and mascarpone ravioli, lightly accented by a truffle butter sauce, each ravioli topped with a single sautéed jumbo prawns exquisitely seasoned and sprinkled with pine nuts.  The dish we ordered was the appetizer size, but now I know, I would gladly order the entree size and guiltlessly consume the entire dish.  Even with the price being slightly over $25 for the entree size, I would still order it.  The richness was done just right so that it wasn’t heavy and did not leave me feeling bloated or sick.

All in all, this was great experience.  The wait staff were very attentive and ready to help whenever necessary.  They didn’t act like the staff at the Calgary location we had originally gone to (haughty and snobby).  I would 100% return to this restaurant.  This was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had the pleasure to partake in.  I’d give this restaurant a 4.5/5 and would definitely recommend this place to all those who wish to indulge.

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Cactus Club Exterior

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Cactus Club Interior (behind)

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Cactus Club Interior (in front)

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Tuna Stack (front), Calamari (top left), and Ravioli + Prawn Trio (top right)

Restaurant Review: Bobby Sox 50’s Diner

Location: 22596 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge, BC

This was unfortunately another instance of where the menu looked better than the chef’s execution of the dishes.  Like the night before, I would be disappointed yet again.

We took a short walk from Julia’s condo to the restaurant, uphill in the blustery cold (nothing compared to Calgary, but when you’re not completely prepared for the weather, it is a bit chilly).  We entered the restaurant and were greeted with a choice: the booth seat or the table in the back corner.  Richard made the executive decision to sit at the table.  As I had no preference, it didn’t matter…or so I thought.  The booth was generally avoided because they had placed a broom and dustbin right next to the table, while the one in the back corner was situated right next to the other door, which would blow cold air at those unfortunate to be sitting there.  We, of course, had the misfortune of experiencing that.

Since we were self-seated, my concern was the same as it often is in these kinds of restaurants: how long would it take for the staff to notice the arrival of new patrons?  Luckily, we were noticed quite quickly and menus presented to us.  While they don’t have a website, places like zomato had images of the menu that patrons has uploaded and I had taken the time to look through to decided what I wanted.  Even so, I still had some difficulty at the restaurant what I wanted.

It took some time before our waitress returned to take our drink order.  All three of us ordered milkshakes; Julia and I had the cherry chocolate milkshake, while Richard ordered the butterscotch milkshake.  For a cherry chocolate milkshake, it didn’t have very much of a cherry taste.  So, it was essentially a chocolate milkshake.  Richard, for reasons unknown, decided he was going to add pancake syrup to his already, very sweet butterscotch milkshake (while I did not try this, in my experience, butterscotch is sickeningly sweet).

Another waitress came by to take our lunch order a short time later.  Julia got the French Toast, Richard the Tuna Melt, and I ordered the Mac and Cheese Burger.  Julia’s was the first to arrive:  three massive slices of French toast smothered in a strawberry sauce and whipped cream (which Julia had upgraded to, she had the choice of BBQ pulled pork or the strawberry sauce with whipped cream, she chose the latter).  It was followed by Richard’s, which was somewhat ordinary.  Mine, as per usual as of recently, arrived last.  The fries appeared somewhat lackluster, limp, pale, and unappealing.  For a mac and cheese burger, I expected something more innovative than the regular burger fixings (lettuce, tomato, red relish, mayo, cheese, and pickles) and mac and cheese just laid down between two buns.  My first thought was “maybe they’ll make the buns out of mac and cheese.”  To my disappointment, they did not.  The burger did not hold the mac and cheese well and the moment I picked up the burger and took my first bite, practically all the mac and cheese had fallen out.  The taste of the mac and cheese was so unnoticeable that had someone else ordered it for me, I would never have known that that’s what made this burger unique.  Normally, I would say that looks aren’t everything, but when it came to the fries, they really were everything.  They were unsalted, so bland and limp just exactly as they looked.  Luckily, I was able to find a few salvageable crunchy pieces. Julia’s French Toast was delicious, especially the strawberry sauce (which I’m sure Braeden would have loved), but it was so sweet that there was no way that I would have ever been able to finish the thing.  One bite was all I needed.  Especially considering the fact that our milkshakes were already pretty sweet, this took it a little over the top.

Based on today’s experience, I can’t see myself coming back here or recommending it to others to try.  I’d give it a 2/5.  My final gripe is that the apostrophe doesn’t belong there. (50s not 50’s)

Bobby Sox

Bobby Sox Interior

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Bobby Sox Interior

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Bobby Sox Interior

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One of the signs on the wall above the pass (where food comes out of the kitchen)

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Cherry Chocolate Milkshake

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French Toast

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Tuna Melt

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Mac and Cheese Burger

The Great Gatsby: Facebook Edition

Staring at the green light
Blinking in the distance
Thinking about her

But she doesn’t know
Doesn’t care
As I sit here pining
For a love I cannot have

It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do
To watch that light blinking
To watch that light fade out
To watch that light vanish forever

It was my choice
But yet I can’t bring myself to stop the pain
Never have I experienced something so excruciating
So exquisite that it drew out my very soul

It’s not that I cannot live without you
It’s that I do not want to

I thought the years
Would put some distance between us
But a hundred years would not
Could not
Change the love I have for you

Though I see not a blinking light
At the end of my pier
Your green light still remains
Taunting me

You’re there
But I cannot reach you
My love cannot reach you
Across the water
Across this electronic plane

You are my Daisy
My Daisy


She was all dressed
In silver and gold
The finery of nobility
Her manners were a lady’s
And she carried herself with class

She even had herself
Her very own Prince Charming
He was perfect kindness

But even Prince Charming was only human
And human are so easily fooled
And he couldn’t resist the lure of the witch’s magic
From the moment they met
She had transfixed him

Though he was not that kind of man
She was that kind of woman
Who didn’t care whose life she ruined

Without his knowledge
He hurt his lady
Abandoned her
Betrayed her love

And she kept thinking
“Was it something I did?”
“Was there something more I could have done to keep him by my side?”

And one day she saw him
Through a glass standing with the witch
Holding her close
It broke her heart

The tears came freely
But what surprised her was that the witch was crying too
She lifted her hand to her face
And the witch followed suit

She turned
And there he was
By her side
As he always had been

All these years
When she thought he had left her
For the witch

It was her
It had always been her

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