Toulouse Petit – Ranked Favourite Restaurant in Seattle

Grabbed an early lunch at one of my now favourite joints in Seattle,Toulouse Petit. It was chosen as the 5th favourite restaurants in the U.S. on Trip Advisor in 2012. It’s ridiculous how this restaurant could maintain it’s quality yet get so wildly popular, I mean 2400+ reviews on urbanspoon is insane.

We opted for the daytime pre-fixe, 2 courses for $17. It is an absolutely steal.

Coffee
Coffee

First Course

Yellow Beets, Haricots Verts, Toasted Walnuts, Olives and Stilton Bleu Cheese. It had a balanced amount of tang and saltiness. Overall, a refreshingly light salad.

Yellow Beets
Yellow Beets

Crispy Fried Pork Cheeks Confit. The meat was extra lean and yet still very tender. The batter was not thick but, it was harder than I would have liked.

Crispy Fried Pork Cheeks Confit
Crispy Fried Pork Cheeks Confit

Second Course

Crispy Fried Chicken Gumbo, they are famous for the crispy chicken. They must have so much spice in their batter, the chicken skin was out of this world. The gumbo had quite a kick, so half way through this dish my mouth started to burn. I’m not a spice wuss either, I can take spice but, this is a different kind of heat, the kind that heats your entire body up.

Crispy Fried Chicken Gumbo

Housemade Ricotta Gnocchi with braised pork shoulder. Ooo lordy, melt you’re your mouth gnocchi, it was uber soft yet it still had a bit of resilience. Pork had so much flavor and was so tender that no utensils were needed. Both mains were slightly seasoned more than I would have liked. It got too salty near the end of our meal.

Housemade Ricotta Gnocchi with braised pork shoulder
House made Ricotta Gnocchi with braised pork shoulder

They also have one of the best happy hours, dishes range from $4-8. Between 4-6PM and late night 10 – 1AM, daily.
Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Buckstop – Rustic Brunch In Vancouver’s West End

Buckstop

Buckstop is a casual little rustic bar and restaurant in the West End that specializes in BBQ meats. A tiny restaurant with dark rust colored walls and long wooden tables.

We headed to Buckstop for brunch. Brunch prices are one of the cheapest that I have seen in town, let alone downtown. You can get a classic breakfast for $6 and ranged to $12 their most expensive brunch item, smoked brisket breakfast sandwich.

She sat us down handed us our menus and left. We ordered the vegetarian cheese scramble fresh tomato, avocado, cheddar with a side of hash and toast. I changed it up and requested for egg whites only.

Vegetarian Omlette
Vegetarian Omelet

Everything including the chipotle ketchup and chutney was made inhouse. A simple dish with simple flavours but, very fresh. The eggs were not over scrambled and the inhouse made ketchup went amazingly well with the lightly seasoned hash, giving it a nice kick.

Cornbread Waffle & Pulled Pork Sliders $9, whisky maple syrup (alcoholic in me was dancing), whip cream and candied bacon. Now if you don’t have a sweet tooth then I would advise you to order something else. This was diabetically sweet and heavy. The waffle was soggy and swimming by the time it arrived to our table, I suggest you order the maple syrup on the side. The pulled pork itself was delicious, nice smoke and a bit of crunch.

Now my biggest pet peeve. When this happens your dining experience would go from gastronomically stunning to train wreck within seconds. I absolutely abhor it when they fail to disclose additional costs to dishes when I order. I feel like I’ve been swindled.

Never assume people know that there are additional costs to substituting any part of their dish. What pissed me off even more was her attitude and response to when I questioned why my omelet was $3 more, that’s a 43% price hike. She gave me a look like I was stupid and snarled, well it always is. WTF?! How was I supposed to know that? This is my first time here and after my experience it would be my only time here.

 

 

Buckstop on Urbanspoon

The Fish Counter- Sustainable Seafood in Hipsterville

The Fish Counter

The Fish Counter is a new small joint that opened up on Vancouver’s own  Hipsterville, Main Steet. Opened by Oceanwise co-founders Chef Robert Clark and Marine Biologist Mike McDermid . Clark was behind the brilliance of C restaurant.

They’ll only serve seafood that’s available in season and sustainable.

Sustainable fresh fish market
Sustainable fresh fish market

Think of this place like a standup only cafeteria/ market. There are only two benches, no tables.

The Fish Counter

I wanted something light; I figured I wanted to go restaurant hopping on Main St, so I ordered their dairy free seafood chowder.

The broth had a powerful punch, amazingly fresh and flavourful.  However, where is the seafood? I think I found pinky-nail pieces of clam, probably 7, and a sliver of salmon.

Dairy Free Seafood Chowder
Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

I was eyeing the seafood bouillabaisse and that looked delicious and hearty. Damn, should have gotten that instead.

The fish counter daily menu
The fish counter daily menu

I really wanted to love this place. It isn’t really far of me to judge The Fish Counter on one dish, although underwhelming as it was. I will be back.

The Fish Counter on Urbanspoon

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

Lift Bar and Grill Happy Hour Menu Preview

lift bar happy hour
lift bar happy hour menu preview

For you lucky slackers not chained to their desk from 9-5, you get to take full advantage of happy hour specials.  Lift Bar and Grill recently launched their Happy Hour Menu. The entire food bar menu is half priced, every day, between 3 – 6PM. For more, check out my list of happy hour specials.

Don’t forget to take advantage of their buck – a – shucks during happy hour. I absolutely recommend pairing oysters with a brew or wine. It’s the perfect palette marriage, one without the other is just not the same. I also have a list of current buck a shucks promotions.

The bar menu could be compared to an English Language School, a mish mash of different cultures. The menu went from Japanese to west coast to Italian.

My night started with a glass of prosecco and Japanese inspired bites. Vegetable and prawn tempura and dynamite and tuna rolls.

I have an aversion to ordering sushi rolls at posh western restaurants. They are ridiculously overpriced and, you are paying a premium for their fancy plates and cutlery. That being said, the dynamite roll was damn good. Would I pay $6 for it during happy hour? Yes.  Regular price at $12? No.

As the night rolled on I got to sample their crab cakes, which was drizzled with almond lemon mayonnaise and crispy capers. Delicious. Serrano and burrata flat bread with artichoke puree, baby arugula and aged balsamic. It’s very hard to go wrong when burrata and serrano are put together.

If you want the best bang for your buck I recommend the truffle fries $4 and the charcuterie plate $6. It’s scrumptious and one of the best deals in Vancouver.

 

 

 

Author: Caroline Lau

Mancakes – Cupcakes Made For Men

chocolate wine cupcake
chocolate wine cupcake

I love a man that can cook and bake but they seem to be as rare as blackberry’s lineup of buyers. So instead, I happily turn to Mancakes, cupcakes with a distinctly manly twist, which doesn’t mean girls won’t enjoy it either.

Unique flavours that screams of Sunday football, buffalo wing cupcake with a swift kick, is what comes to mind. Cupcake was topped with hot sauce butter cream and crispy chicken sprinkles. There are 10 varieties to choose from including tequila pineapple, whiskey lime, and my ultimate favourite chocolate red wine.

You can purchase them individually at the store on Robson or buy them in a pack.

Mancakes - night pack
Mancakes – night pack

Day Pack – Buffalo Wing, Breakfast, Apple Brie, Pink Peppercorn Grapefruit, King Kong and Bacon Chili Chocolate.
Night Pack – Buffalo Wing, Breakfast, Rum & Coke, Whiskey Lime, Tequila Pineapple and Chocolate Red Wine

They also deliver, a man delivering boozy cupcakes to my door! Yes, please can I have some more!

ManCakes Bakery on Urbanspoon

Eat Chicken Wraps – Mouthgasm of Epic Proportions

chicken wraps food cart
chicken wraps food cart

Eat Chicken Wraps is a fairly new food cart hanging outside the open patio on Robson Square. Bringing in their Chinese cultural background and marrying it with multicultural inspirations in Canada, the husband/wife duo, Dan and Sammy, have created fusion menu that focuses on wraps, rolls, and hotdogs.

Based on the pictures and the name of the cart, I’ve skipped past the cart a few times thinking that it wouldn’t be unique – Chinese people making wraps? Didn’t sound like a winner to me.
Well, I got an invitation to try their more Asian-inspired dishes, the Hoisin Chicken Roll and the Kung Pao Chicken Wrap, and left impressed!

I received the Hoisin Chicken Roll ($7) first. It consisted of “crispy Chinese pancake, five spice chicken, Asian salad, pickled radish, green onions, and hoisin sauce”. The brilliance of this wrap is the fact that they use a Chinese pancake as the wrap instead of pita! This totally changes everything.

Hoisin Chicken Roll
Hoisin Chicken Roll

Not only was it a great idea to use a Chinese pancake (like the kind used in Taiwanese beef onion pancake rolls), theirs was amazingly crispy and not crazy oily. If you’ve tried the beef rolls from places like Wang’s Beef Noodle House or Beefy Beef, you’ll probably know what I mean by oily beef rolls.

Fantastic pancake, I would just eat it on its own! The hoisin sauce was good; it wasn’t too salty or too bland, which means they used the good Asian stuff. While the salad in the roll wasn’t anything amazing, it added freshness to the whole roll and added even more crunch. The five spice chicken had a nice grill taste to it and was very tender.

The Kung Pao Chicken (2 for $7) was not bad. It didn’t impress me as much as the Hoisin Chicken Roll.

It had chicken, kungpao sauce, sesame chilli oil, and more on iceberg lettuce. I really liked the little fried bits of noodles. It added a nice crunch and texture that isn’t typically found in Asian lettuce wraps. Besides that though, there wasn’t much flavour that I could really make out besides the sesame chilli oil (it was a bit on the spicy side!).

Kung Pao Chicken Wrap
Kung Pao Chicken Wrap

Eat Chicken Wraps also has a ‘secret’ menu item for their social media followers – the Poutine Al Pastor (7$). I highly recommend this one!

It’s a poutine with the toppings found in their Al Pastor Chicken Wrap: Mexican roasted chicken, pico de galio, guacamole, grilled pineapple, cilantro, lime juice, lettuce, and onions. In other words, a mouthgasm of epic proportions!

Poutine
Poutine Al Pastor

The fries were good nice and crispy, but the toppings really made this poutine stand out. It’s a pretty huge poutine and it’s bang on delicious. I loved the guacamole sauce they put on this!

If you’re in the area, definitely try them out. They’re one of the few food carts that actually stay late enough to serve dinner (they’re there seven days a week from 11am-9pm, which means that you can grab a delicious Hoisin Chicken Wrap after a heavy session of dancing at the Robson Square Dance or after work!

Blogger: Chris Yeh, Our Food Adventure,

Twitter @ourfoodadvent

 

Eat Chicken Wraps on Urbanspoon