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Restaurant Review: Villa Firenze

Location: 610 1 Ave NE
Website: villafirenze.ca

Although this is not my first time at this restaurant, it’s my first time coming here that isn’t a work function.  I do apologize for not uploading this in a timely manner, but with the weekend I’ve had it’s been hard.  I’ve been trying to battle this cold/flu, finished off a rotation in litigation, started a rotation in corporate, and went to a wedding.

Every experience I’ve had here has been a pleasant one, this was no exception.  After work, a friend, Carmen, and I set off to the restaurant.  It was a short 10 minute walk from her law firm.

We were promptly seated and presented with menus.  We decided on two appetizers: their famous Portobello Mushroom and a Caesar salad.  I decided to try the Gnocchi Pesto alla Panna and Carmen had the Linguine con Vongole.  The Portobello Mushroom was absolutely delicious.  With it’s mild grilled flavour and a texture that was slightly reminiscent of steak, smothered in a cream sauce.  There wasn’t a speck of mushroom or sauce on the plate when we were done with it.  The Caesar was more classic.  It was a little more aggressively dressed than I would have liked, but the amount of garlic was just perfect.  Sure some may say it was too garlicky, but as you guys know, there’s no such thing with me.  By this time I was actually almost full.  I probably could have just done with a calamari and called it a night, but no, our entrees came.  Gnocchi, being potato and pasta, is a lot of carbs and therefore, is very filling.  I barely got in more than five bites before I had to call it quits.  It was good, but it wasn’t exactly what I had expected.  It was clear that the pesto was made in house, which I appreciated, but I wanted a little more olive oil and a lot more garlic.  While I don’t know exactly what Carmen’s linguini was like, clams in white wine is a classic combination and based on the fact that she cleared her plate, I knew she had really enjoyed it.

Based on this experience and past experiences I would definitely come back.  Although next time I do hope that I won’t be sick and that I’ll be able to better appreciate the intricacies of the flavour profiles that each dish has.  Next time I would want to try the calamari and perhaps even a dessert…say a tiramisu?

I would rate this experience a 4.5/5.

Appies

Appetizers: Portobello Mushroom with a Cream Sauce, Caesar Salad, and complementary bread with olive oil and vinegar

Gnocchi

Gnocchi Pesto alla Panna

Linguini

Linguini con Vongole

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Restaurant Review: OEB Breakfast Co.

Location: 110, 222 – 5 Avenue SW
Website:  https://www.eatoeb.com/

I vaguely remembering seeing OEB from when it used to be next to Diner Deluxe on Edmonton trail.  I remember both breakfast places didn’t take reservations so the line ups were ridiculously long.  This morning I took the express bus from my community in preparation for my upcoming practicum and met Valerie downtown for breakfast here.

As per usual, I looked at the menu weeks before to finalize what I wanted.  Val had come here before with a friend and knew exactly what it was she wanted: Tuna Crudo.  The Tuna Crudo is an item under boxed, which is to say, a self-contained bowl having everything in it (or I guess could be boxed up easily and taken on the go).  It consists of ahi tuna, avocado, sesame, pomme Gaufrette, cilantro crema, and two poached eggs.  Having had it before, she knew how heavy the potatoes could get and ordered it with half spinach, half potato (I think she did that the last time, or a 2/3 spinach, 1/3 potato).  After much deliberating, I finally settled on the Water Fowl Eggs Benny with a side poutine.  The Benny consisted of smoked Peking duck breast, porcini mushroom-truffle ragu atop an English muffin and a brown butter Hollandaise.  Seeing as they allow the option of ordering a whole avocado as an extra and they charged $3.85 for one (I saw them for $1.85, same brand at Safeway and thought it was expensive), I expected a small poutine even though I was adding $4.95 for that substitution.  I was pleasantly surprised when it came out and was actually a decent size.  Val’s Tuna Crudo reminded me very much of a Westernized, breakfastized interpretation of a poke bowl and now thinking about it, having raw fish for breakfast is a little weird (not unheard of or frowned upon in any way, just seems more like a lunch or dinner thing, but then again I’m the kind of person who has steak for breakfast, so who am I to judge).  Also, Asian seasoned Tuna with fries…bit of a strange combo.  Despite my apprehension, it was a delicious dish and while I probably wouldn’t be able to eat it on my own (too much raw fish), I wouldn’t be opposed to ordering it again and sharing it with someone.

The same can be said about the Water Fowl Egg Benny and poutine.  As I mentioned, the poutine was an additional add on and while expensive and huge, it had a rich heartiness to it, a richness that would prove too much as the meal progressed.  Combined with the creaminess of the egg yolk and Hollandaise, I was full for hours.  The preparation of the duck threw me off though.  When I saw “Peking,” my first thought was of the Peking duck style of preparation with a crispy (rendered) skin and juicy, rich, tender meat.  This was not that.  As described on the menu, it was smoked.  Like a ham.  It even had the criss-cut lines that were reminiscent of ham.  Even the texture of the meat had me questioning whether it was duck or ham that they had in fact given me.  The Hollandaise was a lot lighter than some of the Hollandaises I’ve had in the past.  It’s still thick enough to mop up with the English muffin, but not so thick that it made me feel bloated while eating it.

The potatoes in the poutine were seasoned like the potatoes in Val’s Crudo.  Like many of the things in this meal, it was delicious, but with time became unbearably salty.  The cheese curds, which I assume are the Saint Cyrille curds they use in other dishes are no squeaky Quebec cheese curds.  They’re delicious enough, but I want to find a place here that offers those squeaky curds that seem so hard to come by.

egg booth

Egg Booth

seat

View from our seat

tuna crudo

Tuna Crudo with Mango Juice

water fowl egg benny

Water Fowl Eggs Benny with Poutine and Chocolate Milk

Something I learned going out to breakfast places: soft vs medium vs hard for egg temperatures.  I had always thought that soft was a runny, golden yolk with a firm albumin, medium a slightly firm around the edge with a still runny, creamy yolk with a firm albumin, and hard as a both firm yolk and albumin.  But apparently, soft means that the albumin is still slightly runny and that’s not what I want.  However, sometimes I find when I order medium I get what I thought was a medium and other times I get what I thought was a soft.  So now I’m really confused and am not sure how to order eggs…

While there wasn’t a line up when we arrived, they were certainly running out of seats, so we ended up sitting at the bar facing the interior of the building it was located in (fifth avenue place).  I liked that at the bar the was a bar for me to rest my feet (because those chairs are tall and frankly, I’m pretty short) and a ledge to put my bag on.

Overall, I’d say I would come again.  While the food itself is a little heavier than what I like for breakfast, it is still some of the most delicious food I’ve had.  Next time I hope to go early enough to get a table.  Based on my experience, I’d rate this a 4.25/5.

 

Restaurant Review: Wami Ootoya

Location:  130, 3820 Brentwood Rd NW
Website:  http://wamiootoya.com/

On this cold miserable day, I had a rare day to myself and since Val had an appointment in the afternoon, and the restaurant we originally decided on didn’t open until 12, which would be cutting it close, we decided to come here.

We arrived when it just opened so there wasn’t exactly a line up or need for a reservation as the website suggested.  At first, we were seated at a table for two, but after seeing how much food we ordered, the waiter asked if we wanted to move to a larger table, which we did.

The dishes came out with surprising speed.  First was the wakame, which was pretty standard, followed by the beef tataki.  The tataki was also quite ordinary, but was covered with a lot of onion (2 varieties, both raw, one green, one white) and fried garlic.  Instead of a ponzu sauce, it had tataki sauce (whatever that is, it was milder than ponzu sauce and more like a soy sauce).  I don’t usually eat beef tataki, so I don’t have as seasoned of a palette when it comes to it, but in Val’s opinion, it’s better with ponzu.  She also made an observation that I agree with.  While I love onions, there’s such a thing as too much onion.  Shortly after, the takoyaki arrived.  There was an inconsistency in size and texture.  Val got some with a crunchy exterior and soft interior, while mine kinda just fell apart.  Next the Ika Geso Age came.  Like I’ve said in many reviews, squid/calamari/octopus is my favourite thing in the world.  So of course we had to get something squidy.  The tear shaped bowl was a perfect choice for presenting the dish.  The portion size was also pretty good because deep fried food can often be heavy and greasy.  The chili mayo was a little different from most of the chili mayos I’ve had in the past, there was more of a tangy note to it which definitely helped with the greasy heaviness.  The sashimi and tuna poke tower came at the same time.  Val was really impressed by the thick cut of the sashimi.  She described the tuna as being toro-esque, meaning it had a visible grain and had an almost melt in your mouth quality, but not quite as good as toro because well…toro is toro (toro=tuna belly).  The tuna poke tower was the biggest disappointment (although not the only one, it was the first of many to come).  First off, there was a serious lack of sauce.  Pokes usually have soy sauce and sesame oil and a blend of seasonings that are unique to different restaurants that make them appealing.  Rereading the menu, I realized that it was supposed to come with a wasabi dressing, but that apparently never happened.  This was honestly just a stack of avocados, tomatoes, ahi tuna (that was pretty hard to find), and a “brick” of imitation crab topped with an ebi sliced in half.  There was some kind of onion and tomato salsa served on the side with 6 triangle shaped wontons that reminded me more tortillas.  Overall, the tower was bland and boring and I wouldn’t order it again.  I didn’t know/notice this, but on the sign out front, if we ordered more than $50 worth of food, we would get a complimentary katsu don.  The curry, though not Japanese, was delicious.  The rice was cooked on the drier side, so that you could make out the separate grains when you ate it, which is the way I like it.  I could honestly eat a bowl of rice with just the curry sauce (which had coconut in it) with no need for the katsu.  Finally the rolls came last.  The Hip Hop Roll had spicy tuna, fried onion bits, spicy imitation crab, tobiko, cucumber, and mayo.  Whatever it was they added to make the tuna spicy left it tasting really weird.  I didn’t like the overall taste it left in my mouth.  The Sakura Blossom Roll looked really pretty with the mango, avocado, scallop, masago, salmon, topped with key lime thyme pepper aioli sauce, but taste was a completely different matter.  First off, I didn’t even see that there was scallop in there, which I don’t particularly like raw anyways. The key lime thyme pepper aioli…I don’t even have words to describe.  I’m sure it would be delicious on anything else other than sushi, but on sushi…no, just no.

At the end of the meal, they presented us with a complimentary dessert: coconut jello.  The wooden spoons were so cute!  But the choice to serve it in a shot glass was an interesting one.  It made it hard to get out of the glass to eat.  Coconut jello is coconut jello.  Regardless of which restaurant, it’s prepared from the same mixture, so it all tastes the same.

The table settings were very cute.  The dish for the soy sauce was a little fish, the cast iron teapot (though very heavy) was very intricately designed, and the metal chopsticks (slightly modified from the flat Korean chopsticks) were very sleek.  And although I couldn’t see it, I really love open concept kitchens.  It gives me something to do while I’m waiting for my food, and also, allows me to see when my food is coming.

While my dad had a disgusting experience when he came to this restaurant, nothing in this visit indicated that to me.  I would definitely try their ramen the next time I come because in a short conversation Val had with our waiter, they make the ramen in house, so that would probably be their primary focus (and what they want to be known for as their specialty).  In addition that, they have a cafe upstairs serving bubble tea, snacks, etc.

Based on my experience today, I would rate it 4/5 and would come back.

open kitchen

Open Kitchen

tea pot

Cast Iron Teapot and Table settings

wakame

Wakame Salad

beef tataki

Beef Tataki

takoyaki

Takoyaki

ika geso age

Ika Geso Age

sashimi and tuna stack

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi; Tuna Poke Tower

katsu don

Wami Katsu Don

hip hop roll

Hip Hop Roll

sakura roll

Sakura Blossom “Roll”

coconut jello

Coconut Jello

 

 

Restaurant Review: Cactus Club Cafe

Location:  101 – 6070 200th Street, Langley BC
Website:  https://www.cactusclubcafe.com/

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.

cactus club

Cactus Club Exterior

cactus club 4

Cactus Club Interior (behind)

cactus club 3

Cactus Club Interior (in front)

cactus club 2

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

Bobby Sox 2

Bobby Sox Interior

Bobby Sox 8

Bobby Sox Interior

Bobby Sox 3

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

Bobby Sox 4

Cherry Chocolate Milkshake

Bobby Sox 5

French Toast

Bobby Sox 6

Tuna Melt

Bobby Sox 7

Mac and Cheese Burger

Restaurant Review: State and Main

Location:  129, 6455 Macleod Trail SW
Website:  https://www.stateandmain.ca/

Today was a ridiculously busy day.  In the future, I would never recommend trying to hit up three bridal shops in one day.  Before we even finished our first shop, some of us were starting to feel hungry, so by the end of the second shop we, or at least I wanted to cannibalize some of the bridal party.

We stopped at one restaurant before this one, but it couldn’t accommodate a group of seven at that time.  Since we were ravenous, we looked for the next best alternative and since we were going to be stopping at Chinook to see if we could find some wedding stuff we thought State and Main would be the best option.

As it is the holiday season, parking at the mall was scarce, but we were lucky enough to find somewhere relatively close.  Since we didn’t want to be turned away from another restaurant, we had called ahead to see if there was space and they reserved a table for us of their own accord, which I thought was really nice.  The others in our party weren’t so luck in finding a parking spot, but they eventually all made it.

We were the first of our party to arrive since we had the good fortune of finding a parking spot.  We started with an appetizer, calamari, of course.  I love calamaris that have all the “extras.”  State and Main choose to serve theirs with a medley of jalapenos, onions & bell pepper with a roasted red pepper aioli.  This is one of the better calamaris I have had, but that may be because my opinion is influenced by the fact that the jalapenos, onions, and bell peppers helped to balance the greasiness that is characteristic of fried foods.  Compared to Boston Pizza, which has pretty much the same medley, State and Main is a little more refined.

The majority of the party ordered tacos, three ordered the Long Beach Fish Tacos with the Ginger Cilantro Slaw, and I ordered the Gogi Tacos with Fries and a dill dip.  As per my food ADD/ADHD, I love trying multiple things so Julia and I planned to swap a taco so we’d have the chance to give more than one menu item a try.  The fish tacos consisted of lightly spiced mahi mahi topped with avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, green onion, chopped cilantro, fresh lime, and a salsa.  After eating many fish tacos, I have learned that I do not like mahi mahi.  There’s something about the taste of the fish that is off putting for me.  Besides that, this taco was rather ordinary.  It’s like every other taco you have ever had in your life.  A taco is unique only in its toppings and seasoning and these are the basic.  There was nothing special about the Long Beach Fish Tacos, but the Gogi Taco on the other hand was phenomenal.  My protein of choice has never been pork.  I’m not saying that I won’t eat it or that it can’t be prepared deliciously (ref: crispy suckling pig), but if there’s the choice of beef or chicken or sometimes even fish, I would choose them over pork.  The problem is it is usually overcooked which makes it dry and tough to eat and some places there’s either a freezer burn taste or a very strong porky taste.  You may think, what the heck, of course it tastes porky, it’s pork, but it’s not what you think.  It’s a very distinct unsavoury flavour that reminds me all too much of raw meat.  But the Gogi Tacos were nothing like that.  The meat was succulent and flavourful.  The Gogi Tacos consist of Korean inspired pork topped with ginger cilantro slaw & sriracha mayo on the side.  The sriracha mayo isn’t totally necessary, but it’s still nice to have a little for dipping since it provides a little bit of heat.  The ginger cilantro slaw, though there was very little of it (I mean, you can only fit so much into a taco), it packed a punch.  It provided the refreshing bright notes that the Long Beach Fish Tacos lacked.  Now I don’t normally rave about fries, but I think these fries were worth raving about.  They are the perfect thickness, balancing the satisfying crunch of the exterior with the smooth softness of the interior.  Paired with the dill dip elevates it to the next level.  It’s creamy, but not heavy because the dill provides that touch of zinginess to prevent it from being just another fatty mayo dip.

The others ordered a Burrito Bowl, California Chicken Wrap, and an Eggs Benedict.  I’m not sure how they liked it, but based on the fact that they finished it all, it was good.  The Burrito Bowl looked pretty big and was probably really filling.

Since we wanted to get on with shopping and save some money on the bill, we didn’t have dessert, so next time I’ll definitely have to come back for that.  Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to split the appetizer between everyone, so I ended up having to pay for the entirety of it, making my bill seem ridiculously expensive, but I guess if I took it off, it would seem pretty reasonable for a lunch.

The hostess and our server seemed a bit distant.  At the end, she didn’t even come to pay out our bills, she had another waitress come by with the machine and collect for her.  She nearly missed one of us, until we pointed it out to her.

I would certainly return for the food, but I’m not sure about the service.  I’m willing to give them another chance since it could’ve just been an off day for her, but based on my experience that day I’d have to say my rating would be 3/5, but I would recommend this place for the food for sure.

State and Main

State and Main Interior

Calamari

Calamari

Fish tacos

Long Beach Fish Tacos with Ginger Cilantro Slaw

Gogi tacos

Gogi Tacos with Fries and Dill Dip

Restaurant Review: RE:GЯUB

Location: 625 11th Ave SW
Website: http://www.regrub.ca/#home

Since the day my sister showed me their over the top milkshakes, I have wanted to try this place out.  I’m not one to go into a restaurant just to try one thing on the menu; all aspects have to appeal to me in some sense.  As per usual, I perused the menu before hand, pegging a few items of interest that I would want to try.  I liked that even though they had many experimental and over the top items, there were still some classics on the menu.

We arrived just as the restaurant opened, but it was clear that they had been open earlier than the posted hours of operation.  Clearly, this was a very popular place, as we would find out later, this place fills up quickly.  Our first order of business was to commandeer a table for our party of four.  Despite having chosen a few stand out dishes and milkshakes, I was still overwhelmed by all the choices I had.  It ended up being that Val was stuck between choosing the Eureka Burger or the Space Case Burger, both of which I had expressed a desire to try, so we each got one of them and split them in half.  Brae went with a more traditionalist approach, or so we thought till the burger came.  We thought that Cheeseworld was going to be a cheese bun.  No, the “buns” turned out to be full sized grilled cheese sandwiches sandwiching a succulent patty.  The last of our party, my cousin, Yulin, ordered the vintage deluxe, another traditional choice.  We also ordered an onion ring for the table.

Of the two burgers, the Eureka Burger was more ordinary, but that did not make it any less tasty.  The Space Case Burger was from their list of experimental burgers. The Eureka burger, like almost all their burgers consisted of a 6 oz Alberta grassfed beef patty, but this one had been butter spiked.  It was then topped off with smoked gouda, thick cut bacon, brioche breaded onion rings, butter lettuce, and tomato relish.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t discern all the elements that were listed, in particular the tomato relish, which I could possibly have mistaken as ketchup.  The onion ring in the burger was the same as the ones we ordered as side for the table.  Both were greasy and after one or two became very heavy and difficult to finish.  When the onion rings first came, we thought that it may have been honey drizzled over the rings, but as it turned out, they were pools of oil which detracted from it appetizability.   The Space Case Burger was a crab cake patty with space tortilla chip, coleslaw cabbage, citrus aioli, pineapple salsa, and arugula.  Unlike the menu, the burger didn’t come topped with a mighty pineapple star.  I definitely wasn’t disappointed by this burger.  Sure it was hard to eat because of how easily the crab crumbled and it looked funny with the tortilla UFO-esque protrusion, but taste wise it was one of the better burgers.  The coleslaw, aioli, and salsa helped to balance out the burger, ensuring that it didn’t feel too greasy or heavy.  Both the Vintage Deluxe and Cheeseworld came with cheeky sauce.  Besides the interesting name, it was pretty tasty.  For those wondering what cheeky sauce is, the easiest description I can give is a garlic aioli and who doesn’t love garlic?

Between the four of us, we only ended up getting one milkshake.  And it’s a good thing we shared.  Milkshakes have a tendency to be incredibly sweet and this one was.  Of all their shakes, we decided to order the Cookie Monster which consisted of a chocolate (I think) shake topped with Oreo cookies and a glazed doughnut.  This was definitely more about the experience than the taste.  The taste was fine, normal, nothing special.  I wouldn’t order it again, but I’m glad that I can at least say I’ve tried it.

Overall, this place is a nice gathering place for a casual outing with friends.  This place is always busy with people trying out these new and extreme “concoctions.”  I would definitely recommend trying this place out, especially if you are adventurous with your food (or with anything really).  I’m not sure I would come back as often as I go to somewhere like Vendome, but I would come back.  Based on my experience here, I would give this place a 3.25/5.

 

 

Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster

Onion Rings

Onion Rings

Space Case Burger

Space Case Burger

Eureka

Eureka

Cheeseworld

Cheeseworld

Vintage Deluxe

Vintage Deluxe

 

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