Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck

A long, long time ago, my spuddy Potato had given me gave me the inside scoop on Nordstrom’s VIP BFF premiere event; I had booked facials, bra fittings and makeovers for my bestie KitKat and I (all free of cost). And after a whole morning of being pampered, picking off the delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, recieving mountains of free samples and enabling each other to make purchases (portion of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation), KitKat and I hit the streets of downtown Vancouver with our high spirits and radiant post shopping glow. While we strolled around as advertising agents of Nordstrom with our gazillion shopping bags, we came across Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck and KitKat suggested we get a sandwich to share as we haven’t officially had lunch yet (though we’ve been munching throughout the morning). I couldn’t resist, so we split a sandwich before the two of us split.

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Mom’s Grilled cheese Truck has daily specials and classic grilled cheeses which you can customize.We ordered a classic grilled cheese on sourdough with havarti cheese ($8) and made it a super-deluxe with double smoked bacon and avocado (+$1.75 each). If avocado is available as an add on, you can count on KitKat ordering it.

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Just look at this beauty gleaming in the sun. It was ooey gooey goodness. The slices of toast were nicely buttered and the avocado added a smooth creaminess that mellowed out the saltiness of the cheese. The only complaint I have is that I don’t eat fast enough as cheese cools down and congeals too quickly, but that’s no fault of Mom’s of course.

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

JOEY

I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the sign for Joey Tomato’s (Coquitlam location) whenever we drove over to my grandmother’s for a visit. However, I never dropped in and gave it a try until it was renamed JOEY.  This time, my family decided on JOEY for dinner to celebrate my older sister’s birthday. From the outside, JOEY looks pretty unassuming. Inside, it’s like the typical dimly lit restaurant; nicely decorated with a lively atmosphere.

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As soon as we were seated, our waitress asked if we were celebrating anything special. We told her we were celebrating a birthday and she surprised us all with lemonade slushy in shooter glasses. The lemonade tasted a bit too sour and a little artificial to me so I ended up giving mine away to Baby-Paca to finish, but I appreciate the gesture.

For starters, we ordered the yam fries and ahi tuna tacos to share. For the entree, Mama-Llama, Baby-Paca and I ended up ordering the steak frites, my older sister got the lobster and prawn ravioli while my mom’s boyfriend got a burger (which I did not get the chance to photograph or taste).

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Yam fries with truffle lemon aioli ($8.50): The yam fries came sprinkled with grated Grana Padano (a cheese that tasted like parmesan) and were delicious with the aioli that it came with. The slight tang from the lemon made the aioli less heavy than other mayonnaise-based sauces. I love the decadent earthy aroma of truffles. Truffles just makes (almost) everything taste better.

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Ahi tuna tacos ($12.50):  The seared rare ahi tuna was served on a flat little deep fried tortilla with coleslaw, and a light wasabi aioli. The shell was crisp without being oily or greasy and it was nicely salted.  The tuna was complimented well by the coleslaw, which had an acidic ginger dressing. You could tell that the vegetables in the coleslaw were fresh as the sweetness in the cabbage comes through. The only downside is that the aioli didn’t have that kick you’d expect from the wasabi. It only tasted faintly of wasabi, it wasn’t spicy at all. Eating it was also a little messy because the taco shell was piled pretty high with coleslaw and the shell crumbles on you.

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Steak frites ($20): The CAB prime sirloin is topped with parsley butter, with a side of rocket greens and fries. My sister and I added blue cheese butter on the side (additional $3 each) as the flavor of the parsey butter is kind of mild and lacked a bit of sodium, we preferred something stronger with more richness. The steak came like we ordered it, medium rare. It was juicy and pink on the inside, but it was still a little chewy. Prime sirloins are known for being the most flavourful cut of meat, but it is also not the most tender cut of meat. The steaks were considerably small (5oz) compared to the steaks we’re used to seeing, but honestly, for $20 it’s still a good deal and the portion on our plates were definitely enough to fill us up. The rocket greens (arugula) were wilted by the balsamic dressing and had a shiny sheen to it that off putted me slightly, but it was tasty without that bitterness that arugula usually comes with. They were also super generous with the fries, which I enjoyed. Some people may prefer them more crispy, but I like the mushy kind of fries (they were kind of like McDonald’s mushy fries but less salty).

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Lobster and prawn ravioli ($22): The ravioli pasta is stuffed with lobster and crab meat, topped with grilled prawns, lobster cream sauce and fresh dill. My sister also added an extra wedge of garlic toast ($2.25). I love pasta, but I generally avoid ordering ravioli at restaurants because I don’t like the mushy filling. The grilled prawns were nicely done, but the ravioli would’ve tasted pretty one-note and bland if not for the dill.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Mamallama mentioned that her piece of steak was chewy when our waitress came by to ask us how the food was tasting and she apologized and sent it back to the kitchen even though it was already half eaten (Mamallama was originally gonna let it go and just finish her meal). She replaced it with a peppercorn steak that was noticeably juicer and more tender and she had taken it off of our tab altogether. Talk about great service!

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Cozmos Cafe

After being MIA, having neglected my blog for all this time, I gotta say that getting back on it is a bit of a struggle. Right this moment, I’m actually at Fondway staring at my laptop, drawing a blank while my baes, Kitkat and Jujube work away on their own projects. Dropping from being the 15th ranked blog on Zomato to whatever it is now during my absence has really depleted my motivation to write. Where do I even begin? I guess this is a start.

MamaLlama, BabyPaca and I have been distant as of late since our schedules don’t match up. Wanting to squeeze in a little family time before MamaLlama left for work, we decided to go out for a quick bite to eat. Being tight on time, we decided on a place close to home. After much debate, we decided on Cozmos since we’ve never been and I needed material to blog.

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Upon being seated, Babypaca and I promptly noticed that they had a special festive drink offering up on the wall; BUTTER BEER. Yes, you read correctly. Obviously, it was a must order, being the Potterheads that we are. They also have a boozy adult’s butter beer, but we just got the regular because BabyPaca’s not of age yet. The concoction was a mixture of cream soda, whip cream and butterscotch syrup. I liked the bits of crushed fine ice in it, but I felt like it was lacking that buttery flavour and richness that you’d expect, it tasted too much like cream soda, it probably would’ve benefited from more butterscotch syrup.

MamaLlama didn’t think she could finish a plate by herself so we decided on 2 appetizers; curly fries and zucchini sticks  and 2 mains to share.

The zucchini sticks were just sad, there was no presentation, just a few measly strips of fried zucchini on a plate with some tzitziki on the side, close to a dollar a piece. It made me miss the zucchini sticks I’ve had in LA at The Hat. Those were the bomb.

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The curly fries were done right, well seasoned and tasty, but we couldn’t help but notice that our plate was significantly smaller than the table’s next to us.

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I ordered the spicy lamb gyro, it came with a Greek salad that I didn’t fancy very much. The flavour of the balsamic vinaigrette tasted a little off to me. I would’ve preferred it with just feta. The wrap itself wasn’t bad, granted it wasn’t good either. The red onions were a little overbearing.

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BabyPaca got the tuna melt benedict. Overall, this was just mediocre as well. The potatoes were dry and BabyPaca mentioned that her egg was slightly overcooked. I could’ve made this at home with canned tuna and shredded cheese and it probably would’ve tasted the same, if not better.

Overal, Cozmos was alright, it’s one of those places I’d never suggest I’d want to eat at but would go if someone asked.

 Cozmos Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

e.b.o Restaurant

Last Sunday, the girls and I went to dine out at e.b.o Restaurant. Dine out was just an excuse for us all to get together and catch up over yummy food. The interior was classy and contemporary but didn’t require you to dress up. We were given a large table in the corner with a veil for privacy. Service was very slow, it took about an hour after our starter for entrees to arrive at the table. Trying to flag down our server was difficult as we were situated in the back of the room, but we still had a good time sharing laughs and indulging in food together.

The dine out menu was set at $30.

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We all started off with the maple cured pacific provider pink salmon. The cured salmon was accompanied with smoked sour cream, sunchoke, compressed Asian pear and apple pearls. This dish was incredibly fresh and invigorating. It tasted like Spring on a plate. I loved the sweetness of the juicy Asian pear, it complimented this savoury appetizer wonderfully. This dis was very balanced, textually and flavourwise. The only thing I didn’t like were the apple pearls. They were gelatinous and the flavour was dull. They’re like those beads you put into vases to soak up and hold water. You know, those beads that prevent spillage while providing moisture to your flowers?

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I ordered the pork duo for my entree. It’s actually a trio, there’s slow cooked pork loin, crisp pork belly and smoked ham hock samosa accompanied with some apple miso mostarda and cauliflower puree. The pork belly and pork loin was too fatty for me, I had to trim off some of the fat. The pork was very tender, but a little salty. I thought the samosa was random, and the shell could’ve been crispier, but i love the presentation and the brightness of this plate.

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For dessert, we all got the Vietnamese coffee” in a jar. It consisted of espresso mousse, condensed milk ice cream, cocoa nibs, coffee pearls, chocolate brownie bites, chilled strawberries and topped with a biscotti. This dessert was exquisite. The condensed milk ice cream was very refreshing, and not too sweet. The expresso mousse was tantalizingly bittersweet with a lovely hint of Kahlua. The biscotti was nice and crumbly. But again, I didn’t like the pearls, they were a strange texture and had a dull taste, but scooping then off wasn’t a problem.

We didn’t think we’d be full from the meal, Maweiner had commented that she might have to find more food to eat afterwards, but we were all surprisingly stuffed. While the portions weren’t big, our entree was very rich and filling, so our bellies were satisfied. But somehow CoCo got brought into conversation and we just had to make a final stop for bubble tea before we headed home.

e.b.o Restaurant & Lounge - Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

e.b.o RESTAURANT
+1 604 453 0788
Central Burnaby
4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby

Reflect Social Dining + Lounge

Reflect Social Dining + Lounge was the first dine out I went to this year. I looked into it pretty late and most restaurants were already booked solid, especially since Penguin and I wanted to go during the weekend. I browsed through the endless listings of restaurants and was able to get a reservation at Reflect. Their Dine out menu was offered at $40.

Penguin was over at my house showing me the joys of Game of Thrones earlier that day, as the time of our reservation approached, we got ready and made our way down to the restaurant. Reflect Social Dining + Lounge is located inside Hilton Metrotown.

The lounge was pretty peaceful and quiet. The black granite tables were accented with red candle light. However, I found the the lighting inside the restaurant a little too harsh, I would’ve preferred if the light was a little dimmer and warmer in colour. Service was friendly and attentive.

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For starters, I ordered the sake Infused Octopus Carpaccio Salad. The thin slices of octopus were tender, but my favourite component of this dish was the octopus bits that were marinated in a wasabi sauce. There’s also kelp, tobiko and radish on the plate. Everything tasted fresh. I couldn’t find the sake anywhere, but the zing from the wasabi and the citrus notes from the ponzu vinaigrette made this a very appetizing starter.

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I got the duo of ½ atlantic lobster thermidor and sesame ahi tuna loin for my entree. The portions were on the smaller side and the flavours were underwhelming. The ahi tuna tasted like roasted sesame and tuna and the lobster thermidor tasted like cooked lobster meat mixed in a cream sauce that’s been placed back in its shell. Everything on this dish lacked sodium and seasoning. The red kuri squash puree did not go well with the rest of this dish and the greens under the lobster were in dire need of some sort of vinaigrette.

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Penguin has never been to dine out before, ironically, he decided to order off of the regular menu. He got the 10oz. AAA ribeye steak ($30), which was a very good call because it was delicious. The steak was nicely charred on the surface and remained juicy and tender on the inside. There were also a medley of veggies under the steak, the only thing he didn’t like was the artichokes which had a strange sourness. Unlike my entree, Penguin’s steak was very flavourful and filling and he was quite satisfied with it.

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For dessert, I opted for the salted caramel cheesecake. The cheesecake was like a new york style cheesecake with a layer of what tasted like melted Werther’s original candies on top. very rich, smooth and decadent, a tad too sweet for me though. The macaron on the side was also too sweet. I thought it’d be a strawberry flavoured macaron but it was just a plain almond one.

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Penguin got the dulce de leche cheesecake ($8.50), which was essentially the same cheesecake as mine but in a different cut with slightly different garnishes. His cheesecake came with a chocolate ganache and mango puree while mine came with strawberry syrup. It was a little too sweet for me, but not for Penguin, who thoroughly enjoyed it.

 
Reflect Social Dining + Lounge - Hilton Vancouver Metrotown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

REFLECT SOCIAL DINING + LOUNGE
+1 604 438 1200
Central Burnaby
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, 6083 Mckay Avenue, Burnaby

Dinesty Dumpling House

I have heard a lot of about Dinesty Dumpling House so I was estactic to hear that a new location opened up near Metrotown. Mamallama and Totoro wanted to go eat at Dinesty on Monday without me, but upon arrival, they found out that they weren’t open. Luckily for me, Mamallama and Totoro decided to try again with me the next day.

There were plenty of open tables, yet there was a lineup at the door. You could tell that the front of house was severely understaffed. In contrast, the kitchen was like a factory with a thousand people churning out orders, so service was very slow but our food arrived almost instantaneously once we were able to put our order in with the waitress.

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Chinese fried donuts wrapped in egg pancake ($3.95): the Chinese fried donuts were soft and doughy. The egg pancake is actually more like an egg crepe and it was topped with a sprinkle of pork floss. This dish lacked seasoning, it needed a sauce to go with it.

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Bean curd mushroom roll ($8.50): The bean curd roll was crispy and wasn’t greasy, but again, it lacked seasoning. Apparently this comes with a sweet and sour sauce but the server had forgotten to bring it to our table until a lot later when we had already eaten half of it.

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Stewed duck leg in brown sauce ($7.50): The duck meat was a little dry and tough, the  sauce was a little too sweet and the flavour of the sauce did not seep into the duck so the dish was quite bland.

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Steamed pork soup dumplings ($7.50): There are 8 soup dumplings in one order. They were bite sized pockets of soupy goodness. The skin wasn’t too thick and the pork was juicy.

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Noodle soup with beef ($8.95): The noodle soup had a clear broth that lacked the distinct concentrated braised flavour that this type of beef noodle soup should have. The noodles were a little overcooked and soft, on the otherhand, the beef was tender and flavourful.

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Pan-fried radish slice cake ($3.95): There are 3 radish slice cakes in 1 order, though I think it’s more accurate to call them pastries. The warm flaky pastry was filled with julienned daikon and a tiny bit of bacon and dried shrimp for added flavour.

Overall, we were disappointed with Dinesty. Shanghainese food should be very flavourful, however, the dishes we tried were bland. Other than the pork soup dumplings and the pan-fried radish slice cake, everything lacked seasoning. We probably won’t be back any time soon as there are better Shanghainese restaurants in the area.

Dinesty Dumpling House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DINESTY DUMPLING HOUSE
+1 604 439 0009
South Burnaby
4501 Kingsway, Suite 104, Burnaby

Pho Tan

Yesterday was the second day of immersing Penguin in the wonders of animated movie magic. The previous hangout we watched How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me. This time we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Kung Fu Panda. Having discovered that he hasn’t seen most of the popular moving pictures, I couldn’t let him go without showing him some of my favourites. (Yes, I’m a child 🙂 I could probably watch these over and over again and not tire of them. After “Netflix and chill” in the most literal terms, Penguin and I were both hungry, so he suggested we go for Pho before we head off to UBC for badminton drop ins. Or so that was the plan. The gym for badminton was full so we ended up derping around with some ping pong instead.

Pho Tan is a small restaurant, but we went for an early dinner so they had seats for us right away. After briefly skimming over the menu, Penguin got the #7 rare beef pho and I settled for the #8 rare beef and brisket pho (S $7.00).

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Our pho came with the standard side of bean sprouts, basil and lime wedge. Our food came literally just minutes after we ordered. The thin slices of brisket had a nice lean to fatty ratio and both cuts of meat were tender and fresh. The noodles were cooked right and the broth was flavourful, It had little to no msg so it didn’t leave me reaching for water. Overall, it was a good bowl of pho, and the small was the perfect portion for me.

Penguin and I took our time and got carried away with conversation, so it took me even longer than usual to finish eating. Curious, I had to ask Penguin whether he was deliberately eating slower so I woudn’t feel awkward because he was eating pretty slow himself. He was obviously pacing himself. Lol. Sorry, Penguin! Shortly after we finished, our waitress had asked us for the table back as the restaurant began to fill up quickly. Having some time to kill before badminton drop ins, we frolicked off to DQ for ice cream, because why not!? We both agreed that there’s always room for dessert. Desserts aren’t even a question. I love hanging out people who share the same thought as me (: <
 

Pho Tan's Vietnamese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PHO TAN
+1 604 606 0688
Kerrisdale
2076 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver