Friday, October 24, 2014

Pho Hoa Hong - Beside Pho Tam!

  Last week after eating at Pho Tam, I noticed another Pho restaurant a few doors down! I peeked inside and the place was pretty dead LOL...not hard to see why, given the popularity of Pho Tam!! Nevertheless, curiosity got the best of me and I was determined to try this place out just so I could compare it to the almighty pho tam LOL! I was curious to see how they would fare in comparison, because if you're operating beside one of the best pho restaurants in the GVR, you're facing some serious competition!! I wouldn't be gutsy enough to do that haha, it would be like opening a bubble tea store beside Bubble Queen LOL!! It would be virtually impossible to compete!

SIGNATURE DISHES
    Pho Hoa Hong offers up all your staple pho dishes like Pho Dac Biet, Bun Bo Hue, Bun Rieu, Lemongrass chicken! They don't have any ban mis though! The menu is pretty simple, with most of the noodle dishes being the same price.

SERVICE 2/5 stars
   When I walked in there was only one other party! I was seated at a large 4 person table, and was quickly handed a menu. I got my pho 2 mins after ordering. They totally mixed up my order lol, because I told the waiter that I wanted the "medium" size pho but he gave me the large size instead! Oh well haha!

AMBIANCE - Casual
  The decor is pretty typical of a pho place. Utilitarian tables and chairs, with simple paintings decorating the walls. It's alot cleaner than Pho Tam, because of the lower turnover rate haha. It's not as dark or dingy either, and the tables/utensils are much cleaner.

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
   All of the large soup+spring roll combos are $10! The rice dishes start at $8.50 and go upwards to $10. Priced in line with Pho Tam next door.

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
    Value wise, it was just okay. Considering you can get soo much better just a few doors down, I wouldn't bother coming back here. The portion sizes are smaller here and the food just isn't as good!


#5 Large Rare Beef, Beef Brisket, Tendon, & Tripe $10 Combo
2/5 stars
  This was alrightt. Nothing mindblowingly amazing, but honestly, it wasn't all that bad. Compared to Pho Tam next door, Pho Hoa Hong definitely falls short. The broth isn't as beefy or fragrant, and lacks any substantial depth. I read reviews that said the broth was too light tasting, but they must have changed the recipe, because it was pretty salty! I wasn't excessively thirsty afterwards though, so msg usage was definitely at a minimum. The noodles were decent, cooked al dente, but personally I thought it was disconnected to the broth. The first thing I noticed when the bowl first hit the table was that none of the beef slices were rare! They were all fully cooked, which was pretty disappointing. The pieces had a decent lean:fatty ratio, so the meat wasn't too dry.

Spring Roll
1.5/5 stars
  What a sad looking springroll! Look at how thin it is LOL! Pho Tam's version is twice as thick, and packed with twice the amount of meat! While the exterior was crunchy, it wasn't flaky enough for my liking. The interior was rather void of flavour, so fish sauce was definitely needed.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Hub Restaurant - New West Skytrain

  Soo lately I've been really into exploring New Westminster LOL...it's just somewhere I haven't really gotten the chance to scope out, and I've just now discovered that there's actually a ton of awesome restaurants in New West! I've been slowly eating my way through every restaurant on the new west skytrain platform, I still have a few on my list: the Spud Shack (I've heard their poutine is ah-mazing!!) , Pizza Garden, Togo Sushi, Extreme Pita, and Inn Noodle House!

  Sorry if I sound tired in this post and not as "peppy" as I usually am LOL...that's because I'm really burned out from school haha! Essay writing does that to you! DARN YOU ESSAYS!!! 

  For a restaurant located on a skytrain platform, The Hub is actually pretty nice LOL! It's really large inside and overlooks the water! Since there weren't that many people, I was seated at a large booth table and I had the couch all to ma self hehe!
 Peppercorn Burger $15
3/5 stars
  This was decent burger, but really not worth $15! I definitely wasn't thinking properly when I ordered this because I didn't even want a burger at the time LOL...so I'm not sure how that happened haha. The burger also came with two onion rings which were nicely battered and crunchy! The entire patty is covered with peppercorn which added alot of extra flavour. The buns were glazed with a pesto sauce which added another dimension of flavour which made the burger more enjoyable. The patty was reasonably tender, albeit a bit a dry.
  Just wondering...am I the only person who eats burgers with a knife and fork? LOL!! It's just cleaner that way haha, I'm a really messy eater, so it would impossible to eat with my hands without getting food all over my face! 
Yam Fries $2
4/5 stars
  These yam fries were solid, really solid! Definitely the highlight of my meal! Every sandwich/burger combo comes with free fries or salad, but you also have the option to swap it out for yam fries, onion rings, or poutine! I tried to be semi healthy and I got the yam fries LOL! These were awesome: crispy, not soggy, with just the right amount of seasoning! The fries also came with a side of chipotle mayo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Old Spaghetti Factory - New West

  You guys may find this suprising, but I've NEVER been to the Old Spaghetti Factory before LOL...despite having lived in Vancouver my whole life! Yess, I'm a failed Vancouverite *hangs head in shame* But hey, I have my reasons LOL! My parents tried bringing me here when I was a kid but I broke out in hives just from touching the tabletops because they had been contaminated with traces of butter/milk LOL! Which also explains why I've only eaten at White Spot once (last year) despite the fact that I'm a BC kid LOL! Which also meant that I could never go to birthday parties at Boston Pizza or Red Robbin hahaha, so after a while kids just stopped inviting me...yep, I suree was popular.

  Anyways, the day before I went to the Old Spaghetti Factory to live out my 2nd grade dream!! LOL! Yes, I vividly remember when I first heard about the OSF in the 2nd grade, my mom went to eat there with a friend, and she came back and told me about it! Alas, the OSF was so close, yet so far. I've heard so much about this place. Mainly bad things, but hey, this place is a classic! Needless to say, I was really excited about trying out the infamous OSF!

SIGNATURE DISHES
    The OSF is infamous for their spaghetti LOL! No, it's not real Italian food, but who's expecting an Ask for Luigi anyways? Admit it, you don't come here for the spaghetti, you come here for purely nostalgic reasons LOL!! ...that, or the unlimited sourdough bread ;)

SERVICE 4/5 stars
   The service I received was great! The waitress was genuinely nice, attentive, and came back to ask multiple times if I was enjoying my meal! After I had ordered I was brought bread immediately, which kept me preoccupied for 10 mins while I waited for my spaghetti LOL! My soup came shortly after, along with my tea, and my spaghetti came last!

AMBIANCE - Casual
  The decor in here is really dated, but comforting, in a weird way LOL! It's like visiting your grandma's house haha! They have a huge train in the middle of the restaurant, with tables inside, which I thought was really neat!  Since the restaurant was pretty empty the waitress let me sit at a booth table and the chairs were really comfy!

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
   The OSF is pretty cheap! Most of the spaghettis range from $11-13! Unlimited bread, an entree, dessert, and a drink for under $12 is a rarity these days!

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
    Okayy, it's not authentic Italian food, but you to admit this place is pretty good value for the money LOL! Unlimited bread just seals the deal LOL!  It's unpretentious and predictable, which makes it a great place for families!
Complimentary Sourdough Bread w/ Garlic Butter + Regular Butter
Bread: 3/5 stars
Garlic Butter: 2/5 stars
  So this is what they're famous for eh? For complimentary bread, it's not too shabby! The loaf was huge, and I managed to polish off the whole thing LOL...oops! The bread came out warm, the inside was really fluffy and soft with a strong sourdough flavour, and the exterior was really crunchy! 
  It also came with a side of garlic butter and regular butter! The garlic butter was actually pretty tasty, the garlic flavour wasn't too strong, which I liked. 
Managers Special - Brown Butter + Miritzia Cheese (Left) Clam Sauce (Right) $12.25
Brown Butter: 3/5 stars
Clam Sauce: 1.5/5 stars
  Since I wanted more of a variety, I got their managers special, which lets you choose two types of sauce for your spaghetti! I went with the brown butter and the clam sauce! The brown butter was my favourite out of the two, it was really well seasoned, and heavy on the cheese. The clam sauce was alright, flavour wise it was a bit weak and  too gloppy and starchy in texture. The noodles were kinda overcooked and not al dente at all LOL...I like my noodles to have bite! ;)
Milestones Soup
3/5 stars
  This was actually pretty decent! You have a choice of soup or salad, and I went with the soup! It had a ton of veggies in it, and little bits of pasta! The soup was predominately tomato flavoured, heavy on the pepper, and rather sour.
Tea
2/5 stars
  Every meal also comes with a hot drink, and I got their tea! It came in this really cool looking lightbulb shaped glass LOL! The meal also includes icecream for dessert but I didn't want to risk an allergic reaction in case the icecream had modified milk ingredients in it haha, so I passed!

The Old Spaghetti Factory on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hanwoori Korean Restaurant - Burnaby

   I always look forward to visiting my grandma on sundays after church, because we go FEASTING! LOL!! She's my partner in crime when it comes to trying out new restaurants! For an old asian lady (no offense to you if you're old LOL) she's a pretty adventurous eater! Most (if not all) of the retired asian folks that I know always go to the same restaurants, week after week haha. According to my grandma this is partly due to the fact that they can't really read English so they don't know what to order and because they were never exposed to food from other cultures growing up, so they're only use to eating chinese food. 

  When I go out with my grandma we rarely eat chinese food, because I'm the only person she knows that can introduce her to new, exotic, *sparkly* foods LOL! I've been wanting to try this place out ever since I read on Urbanspoon and Yelp that Hanwoori is supposedly the BEST Korean restaurant in Burnaby! 

SIGNATURE DISHES
    Hanwoori Korean is one of three Korean restaurants in Burnaby that specializes in Korean tabletop BBQ! The other two are Potter's Garden (which is across the street from them) and Cho Sun! They also have a ton of other staple Korean dishes like bulgogi, bibimpap,  naengmyeon, even fried rice!

SERVICE 3/5 stars
   Service was really quick, but not particularly friendly by any means. They did their job, they fetched us extra plates at our request and were quick to fill our orders. Our food came fairly quickly and all at once, about 10 mins after we had placed our order! What's neat about Hanwoori is that they have a service call button on each table so you can press it if you want to get their attention!

AMBIANCE - Casual
  The restaurant itself is modestly decorated with wooden panelling throughout. They have large booths along each side of the restaurant, and tatami rooms in the back for larger parties! The place is heavily ventilated with ventilation above each table for BBQueing! It's also really bright in there because they have windows spanning the entire room!

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
 Let's face it, Korean food ain't cheap in Van LOL! Especially Korean BBQ lol! Hanwoori isn't the cheapest Korean place out there, but it's not the most expensive either. Small soups start at $10, larger dishes like their seafood pancake or noodle dishes are about $20, and BBQ combos start at $45!

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
    We were really pleased with everything that we had! The portion sizes were huge, the food was well made, and reflective of the money that we had paid. They definitely don't skimp on the quality of their ingredients and it really shows!
Banchan!
3.5/5 stars
  Even though the banchan they serve you at most Korean places are relatively the same, there's a noticeable difference in the taste and quality at different restaurants. I really liked the banchan at Hanwoori! The sweet potatoes weren't sickly sweet, and the kimchi wasn't overly spicy, and more on the sweet side! The bean sprouts were well flavoured and the radish dish was seasoned with a savoury-sweet soy sauce!
More Banchan!!

Haemool Pahjun - Seafood Pancake $20
3.5/5 stars
  Everything table had a order of this haha! Definitely a crowd favourite, that's for sure. This came on a sizziling iron plate, which kept the contents hot for a long time. The pancake was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and not doughy at all! They didn't skimp out on the seafood either, there was a ton of crab, lobster, squid, and clam in there! It was modestly seasoned, which let the natural taste of the seafood really shine through.
Gori Gom Tang - Oxtail Soup $12.50
3.5/5 stars
   I read in a couple of other people's reviews that they thought this was bland but since my grandma wanted to order it we did! I think they changed the recipe because we both thought this was really well flavoured and we didn't think it needed any extra seasoning at all, even though it came with a side of salt! The broth was really fragrant, with a strong oxtail flavour, livened up with green onion! The oxtail itself was tender, but I had trouble picking it off LOL because it was stuck to the bone!
The soup came with two huge pieces of oxtail! :D
Japchae $17.95
4/5 stars
  This was a great interpretation of japchae! We wanted to order a smaller size but this was the only size they had, and it was HUGE! No seriously, the picture doesn't due the size justice. It could have easily fed 6 people LOL! We ended up packing 3/4 of it home! The noodles were delightful: cooked al dente, bouncy, with bite! The entire dish was well seasoned with a sweet-savoury japchae sauce!! 
Samgyetang - Chicken Ginseng Soup $22.50
4/5 stars
  This is something I probably wouldn't have ordered myself LOL, because I'm too much of a cheapskate! ;) But my grandma wanted to order it so we did! The broth was lovely: smooth, heavy on the ginseng, with an underlying chicken flavour. Although modestly seasoned, it was perfect the way it was, no seasoning required!
Congee that came with the Samgyetang
  Apparently this is suppose to go in the samgyetang, because when the waitress brought it over she explained to us that the chef had forgotten to put this in!
Rice and condiments
  The bowl that the rice came in looked deceivingly small, until I dumped out the contents into a larger bowl! There was soo much rice in there that I couldn't finish it (which is a rarity for me LOL!) We also got some condiments on the side for our seafood pancake. The salt they gave us was the coarser kind, with pepper mixed in! The soy sauce was really sour and a bit sweet!




Hanwoori Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taqueria Playa Tropical

  I've been seeing pictures of this place on Instagram, so I've been dying to make a visit! Instagram does that to you haha!! Scrolling through my insta feed is half torturous, because you're seeing all the delicious food people are eating...and you can't have any LOL!! Does anybody else feel the same way? ;)

  On saturday I made the trip out to Taqueria Playa Tropical in New Westminster!! Wow, it's been SO long since I've been in the area (Sixth street!) Growing up I use to go to New West every week because my grandparents lived there! I even made a visit to my old stomping ground Royal City Centre LOL and that place hasn't changed one bit! Going back was definitely nostalgic!

SIGNATURE DISHES
    Taqueria Playa Tropical is famous in New West for authentic, homestyle Mexican food, made with fresh ingredients! They're especially well known for their tacos, their monster burrito (which is HUGE!) and their enchiladas!

SERVICE 4.5/5 stars
   Service was great! I was served by two young girls, and they were both super polite and friendly! They came around to ask me how I was enjoying my food, twice, and if everything was okay! When I stopped drinking my horchata she looked concerned and asked me "You don't like it?" And when I left, silly me forgot my jacket! The waitress rushed out to find me and handed me my jacket, which was really nice of her!

AMBIANCE - Casual
  The restaurant itself is actually quite large and spacious, separated into two rooms by a wall. None of the tables are close to each other which makes eating much more pleasant haha! There's nothing worse then being cramped in a tiny space and awkwardly having your back against someone else's chair LOL!

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
 This place is definitely one of the cheaper Mexican restaurants in the city! Relatively affordable with tacos priced at $2.50, Burritos for $8, Tortas for $7, and house platters starting at $11!

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
    You can tell they use wholesome, fresh ingredients because everything I had tasted super fresh! The portion sizes are on the smaller side though, but I'm willing to sacrifice quantity for quality!
Complimentary chips to start!! 
3/5 stars
   They were generous with the portion size, but if you want a refill, it's an extra $1! The chips were nice and crunchy, and seasoned with salt. One thing that I didn't like was that some of the chips didn't have any flavour, while other pieces were overly salty. 
Horchata $2.50
3/5 stars
  You can't have tacos without a big cold glass of horchata can you? The rice flavour was definitely stronger than other versions I've had. It wasn't too sweet but I found the cinnamon flavour to be a bit weak.
Pescado - Fish Taco $2.50
3.5/5 stars
  This was the best out of the bunch! The fish was really soft and well flavoured! The cheese was completely melted and really brought the flavours together! The taco shell was soft without being overly flimsy, and held the contents of the taco without sagging! These tacos are actually pretty tiny LOL, you can probably finish them in 2 bites!
Camaron $2.50
2/5 stars
  This was similar to the fish taco, but it was a wee bit spicier, and had less cheese on it! The shrimp was juicy and exhibited a nice snap when I bit into it!
Barbacoa and the Pastor
Barbacoa 2/5 stars
Pastor 3/5 stars
  The al pastor had a nice, smokey flavour from being marinated and had just the right hit of spices. The pork was moist, stringy, and a bit wet in texture.The barbacoa was subtly spicy, and garnished with a generous amount of onions and cilantro, which added a bunch of flavour. The meat was tender and there was plenty of it.
Carnitas
2.5/5 stars
  The guacamole on this was the perfect consistency: not too thick, but not overly slimy either. It was nice and tangy, but didn't overwhelm the flavours of the meat.  The meat was tender, and had a generous amount of seasoning to it.
They also give you salsa and some sauces on the side for your chips but I didn't try any LOL!


Taqueria Playa Tropical on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crepe Des Amis - New Westminster

  Yesterday I was lurking around New Westminster after eating at Taqueria Playa Tropical hehe...and before heading home I decided to make a visit to the Quay! Woww, this place has changed SO much! Now it's pretty much been gentrified/hipsterfied LOL!! I remember coming here 6 years ago and I don't remember it being like this (or maybe I just wasn't that *aware* back then LOL...I was just an ignorantly delusional highschool kid afterall!)

  I checked out the "food court", okay it's not really a food court, it's a bunch of restaurants in an open area lol...and it's freaking awesome!! Think Granville Island Market, but smaller! I think I've found my new go to place guys! I'll definitely be frequenting this place over the next few weeks, which means I'll have reviews for you all to read! :D

  Everything looked so good but since I was still pretty full from lunch, I wanted something light, and sweet haha. No, I didn't end up with dessert haha! I ended up with something savoury, so I technically had a *second* lunch LOL!  

 They even have a health food store similar to Whole Foods there too! Now I don't have to go all the way to the West End for health food!! I also bought some yummy organic hot chocolate there lol! When I got home I was so excited (I haven't had hot chocolate in a year lol) and I made some right away in the microwave with almond milk (professional I know) and it was delishh! :D

 
SIGNATURE DISHES
    Crepe Des Amis specializes in French style savoury and sweet crepes! They're run by a french husband and wife team! Their two most popular flavours are their Mediterranean and Quebec (maple syrup, ham, and cheese) flavours!

SERVICE 1.5/5 stars
   There's only one person taking orders, running the store, and making orders! When I was scanning through the menu, the lady just stared at me blankly. I was a little indecisive, she assured me to take my time, but I could tell she was impatient LOL because it totally showed in her face haha! When I was ordering a couple of other people also came up to order, and she was ALOT friendlier towards them haha! She was laughing and smiling with the other customers but when it was my turn she turned cold again :( Guess she just didn't like me? haha

AMBIANCE - Casual
  This place operates like a food court, they only have 2 bar seats so if you want to sit down, you have to go over to the communal seating area in the food court! It would be nice if they added more bar stools since their counter is pretty long haha cause I like sitting on high chairs LOL!

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
   The cheapest crepe is around $5, with the savoury crepes starting at $6! Kinda pricey for what it is, it's basically just a wheat crepe wrapped with ingredients LOL. Not really worth the money but it's still really fun and novel! Not really filling enough for a meal lol, so you'll probably be hungry afterwards!

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
    This place is around the same price as other crepes place in the city. Value wise, it isn't that great. Not really sure if I can really justify spending $7.25 on a crepe since I can probably get a meal for the same price. But I do have to commend them for using fresh ingredients though, it really shows!

The Mediterranean $7.25
3/5 stars
  Even though I was craving something sweet I decided to get their mediterranean crepe because it's their most popular flavour lol! The mediterranean consists of roasted chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheese and mediterranean dressing!
 The crepe itself was really well made: soft, and paper thin! The outside was perfectly toasted and not soggy at all! The crepe came out warm with the cheese completely melted. There was a substantial amount of ingredients and everything tasted really fresh. The chicken was really lean but still moist nonetheless! Flavour wise, it was a bit lacking. There was sauce on the crepe, but not in the filling, so half of the crepe was completely bland. The sauce was really good though, I wish she would've put more! On the up side...I did feel really healthy eating this LOL!!
They have sweet crepes too! :D (Click to Enlarge)
Here's a look at their savoury crepes!

OMG...they even have floats!! Vegan floats!! :O


Crepe Des Amis on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pho Tam

  It was raining so hard yesterday...you know what that means right?!! To me "rain" translates into 3 things: PHO, RAMEN & HOTPOTS!!! Since I wasn't near any ramen or hotpot places, my only options were pho haha. With the abundance of pho restaurants in Van, I could've gone to any ol neighbourhood pho place, but since I had some extra time yesterday, I decided to hop on the skytrain to Surrey Central to visit the legendary PHO TAM in Walley! Word around town is that Pho Tam has the BEST pho in the GVR!! Not going to lie, I was pretty stoked. My expectations were high. Good thing I was starvingg because the portion sizes here are huge! If you're wondering, I did manage to finish all my food (without difficulty) LOL!

  Oh, and this place is conveniently located right across from the Surrey Central Station in a little plaza beside New Town Bakery!

SIGNATURE DISHES
    Pho Tam is known for their pho...more specifically for their broth!! The broth is the most important aspect of pho (other than the noodles) after all! Pho Tam's broth isn't your typical msg livened up broth, it's beefy, meaty, and oh so fragrant. I also saw a ton of people ordering their bun bo hue and their lemongrass chicken!

SERVICE 3/5 stars
   Service is really quick here. Quicker than a food court. Everything is premade, so they just scoop out your order so you literally get your food in under 2 mins flat. The spring rolls usually come first, followed by your sprouts, and then your pho. The girl who took my order was polite, but she didn't smile or thank me when I paid. They don't bring you your bill so you have to go up to the counter to pay (which is literally a box shaped hole in the wall LOL!) Get it? ;)

AMBIANCE - Casual
  This place is definitely hole in the wall worthy. It's dingy, grimy, and pretty ghetto looking LOL, borderline sketchy. The restaurant is actually quite large, with communal seating for about 50 or so people. The place gets quite packed during lunch, so if you arrive around 12 chances are you're going to have to share a table or wait in line. The clientele here are mainly neighbourhood folks, SFU students, business people, the retired crowd, people from all walks of life.

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
   Pho Tam is priced in line with most of the Pho restaurants in Vancouver, with a small Pho being $8, and a large only 50 cents more! A large combo + spring roll can be had for as little as $9.50! Other rice dishes like lemongrass chicken or shredded pork are priced reasonably from $8.50 - $10.

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
   In comparison to other pho joins in Van, Pho Tam is great value! The portion sizes are about 15% larger than other places, and you get alot more meat! Get the large, you get so much more food LOL! If you can't finish it just take it home haha, it'll probably last you two meals! 

Spring Roll
4/5 stars
  I didn't really have high expectations for the spring rolls, I've never really been particularly impressed by any of the spring rolls I've tried at pho restaurants. But this was an exception! If I wasn't so full already I probably would have ordered more haha!
  First off, this thing was huge. Larger than your typical spring roll. It was packed to the brim with meat! The shell was crispy and exhibited a nice crunch when I bit into it. The meat filling was moist, and jammed packed with flavour. I didn't even add any fish sauce lol! It was already really well seasoned on its own!
Pho Dac Biet + Spring Roll $9.50 Combo
4/5 stars
  At pho places I've never been to I usually get their pho dac biet! It's usually a reliable testament to how good their pho is. The broth was great! Not "excellent" but certainly better than most places in Van! It was robust, beefy, with lots of depth, without being overly salty. MSG usage was definitely at a minimum. There was so much noodles in this haha! The noodles were great as well, al dente, with bite, and connected to the broth. 
  It was also packed with a ton of meat: rare beef, beef balls, tripe, beef brisket, and beef tendon! There was so much beef brisket in this LOL! The beef brisket was semi tender and fully cooked. The rare beef had a healthy pinkish colour and the broth was hot enough to cook it. The beef balls were okay, rubbery, and a bit lacking in flavour.
  Was it the best pho in Vancouver? Erm, hard to say, given that I haven't tried every pho place there is LOL! But compared to the places I have been to, Pho Tam is definitely up there!
They don't blanch your bean sprouts here, so you have to cook it in your pho!

Every person also gets their own mini teapot LOL which I thought was adorablee! Where can I get one? ;D

Pho Tam on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 17, 2014

Taco Luis

  Sooo guess what happened yesterday guys?! I FAILED MY DRIVERS TEST. Yes. I failed. I KNEW I was done when the guy put down his clipboard and just continued watching me drive LOL. He actually had to take control of the steering wheel at one point when I was trying to make a right turn at an intersection, but halfway the green turn signal turned red LOL...I knowww, I'm such a fail. Wahhh, I waited 3 months for this test (I booked it in August) and I blew.It. My dad got mad at me because now we'll have to waste more money on the test fees LOL! 
  Anyways...I went to Taco Luis after my driving test at Landsdowne to cheer myself up haha...food makes everything better, right? No really, I felt better after eating LOL!!

SIGNATURE DISHES
    Taco Luis specializes in...tacos LOL! What else? They're famous around town for their yummy tacos made with fresh ingredients, at super low prices! They actually have two locations, one in Oakridge Mall, and this one, in Landsdowne!

SERVICE 1/5 stars
   Service here is...meh. Really meh. I guess business is so good that they don't bother being nice to their customers lol. When I went to order the guy looked impatient and he (jokingly) mocked me when I was going "Uhh..." LOL. The other two girls working there looked bored, and didn't smile or thank me when I paid.

  When I went back to ask for a take out box, I said "Can I have a box please?" the lady slanted her eyes and said "You mean a...container?" The way she said it and her tone of voice, just really threw me off, like she was trying to correct me, and looked really annoyed that I was asking for something extra.

  I also couldn't locate the straws because the counter was pretty cluttered, and when I asked, the girl just half pointed at the straws with a dull expression on her face.

  On the plus side, I do have to commend them for being so quick with the orders though, it only took 2 mins to get my food!

AMBIANCE - Casual
  It's a food court, nothing much else to say lol. The landsdowne foodcourt is really showing its age, the tables and neon signs look pretty dated. One thing I do like about their foodcourt is there's always seats available, so you're not stuck with a plate of food with nowhere to sit!

PRICE - $/$$/$$$
   Taco Luis is as cheap as it gets haha! A 12 inch burrito combo can be had for as little as $8, a single taco for $2-3! Talk about a deal! Taco Luis does a great job of filling you up on minimal change lol.

VALUE - Poor/Okay/Good/Great
   In comparison to the other taco joints in Van, this place is a great deal! However...authenticity definitely isn't the main draw here, Taco Luis is "Mexican fast food" and not the real deal. But you don't really expect that here anyways, and I'm okay with that lol.
Super 10 - Taquito Meal $5.85
 Tater Tots 4/5 stars
  The tater tots here are solid...really solid. I would come back just for the tator tots lol! Compared to Taco Time's (another "Mexican" food vendor) these are leagues better!! They're super crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, crunchy, and never soggy. They definitely have their frying technique down because these things have zero oil on them!
Beef Taquito
 3/5 stars
  I didn't think I was going to get full on the taquitos, but I did haha! These things were pretty long, about 20 cm each. The outer layer is thin and super crunchy, and like their tators, not oily at all! The inside is filled with a moist, subtly spicy beef filling. Yummy and really satisfying!


Sprite
Something you guys may not know about me is that sprite/7up is the only kind of pop I drink LOL! I'm not a big fan of coke or pepsi haha!


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