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 scramblefresh tomato, avocado, cheddar with a side of hash and toast. I changed it up and requested for egg whites only.
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 $3 more, that’s a 43% price hike. She gave me a look like I was stupid and snarled, well it always is. WTF?! How was I supposed to know that? This is my first time here and after my experience it would be my only time here.
I dub this the next neighborhood gem in the West End. Their restaurant front is inconspicuous and can be easily overlooked. Their menu is very varied, from traditional Bibimbop to 12 hour braised beef tongue and chicken gizzards. Everything looked delicious. It is a smaller restaurant. We went there around 8PM on a Tuesday and, about ¼ of the restaurant was filled.
Now the food..
We started off with the 12 hour braised beef tongue –$ 7.85, garnished with radishes and green onions. This was out of this world. It is the best beef tongue I’ve had in Vancouver so far.
Seafood Waffle, it was good although drenched in soy sauce which made it very salty.
Chicken Gizzard was good but, the portion size was too small.
Hot Stone Beef Bulgogi Bibimbop, assorted veggies and egg came with 3 side dishes and a soup – $11.95. It also came with a choice of white or multigrain rice, we choose the multigrain. It was very flavorful and there were a few pieces of crispy rice.
Side dishes, seaweed dressed in sesame, potatoes and I believe crab cakes, don’t quote me on the last.
Another of the popular dishes dbok kalbee $12.95– eight beef meat balls. It comes with a side of rice, and 3 small side dishes, mentioned above. We really enjoyed this, no wonder it is a popular item. The meat was so juicy. If I really want to be a superhero, I will try to re-create the recipe, so I can enjoy it every day.
Overall, it is now one of my favourite Korean restaurants downtown. The value and the quality of the food was superb. I am persuaded.
From the team that brought us the recently closed and long-time downtown community hot spot Tapastree brings us Nook, a neighborhood gem that focuses on fresh local products and simplicity. Nook, a cozy restaurant is quickly gaining a rep for being a new local hotspot known for their simple and affordable menu. They have a short and simple menu and wine list so don’t come in expecting a culinary smorgasboard, like truffle infused, red wine reduced…
I had the orecchiette pasta $17 with Italian sausage, fennel, rapini and chilies. A simple but well done dish, the pasta was cooked andante, the way I like it. My friend had the spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, tomato based sauce with beef. Both dishes could have used a little less salt but, the pasta was not swimming in a pool of oil as seen at many other Italian restaurants. I give them extra points for their noticeable effort in the quality of the ingredients.
As compared to the growing list of Italian restaurants popping up through Downtown Vancouver, Italian Kitchen, Trattoria Kitchen, Cibo Trattoria Restaurant is comparable, not only in the quality of the food but, also the value. The pasta dishes at Nook range at $14 -$17 versus Italian Kitchen at $16-$18.
The one thing that sets Nook apart when compared with the other schmoozey Italian restaurants downtown Vancouver, is the neighborhood restaurant vibe, lacking of pretense, lambo’s valet in front or conversations on their next million dollar venture. I truly believe it is the patrons that create the atmosphere and here people were laid back and generally friendly.
Tip: As an up and coming local hotspot this place gets packed fast. I went on a Thursday at 6pm and a half an hour later there was already a 20min lineup.
Yet to try their pizza’s but, have heard rave reviews, so if anyone has tried it, let me know what you thought.