Monday, February 17, 2014

Vancouver: Poised Nail Lounge + Spa III

three times a charm

So good, I said it thrice. Once, twice, this makes me three times the lady:

Final Report on Poised Nail Lounge - Yaletown 

I say "final" because unless things change - this place has been and remains to be my go-to. It's been almost a year and it's consistently awesome - amazing group of women doing their thing, professional and skilled services, great products, lasting manis and pedis, and all at a great price point. Best in Vancouver. 

Final Grade: A

Click HERE for Grading System.

Please "like" them on Facebook. One like brings you one step closer to their $250 giveaway. I'll make it real easy: hit it here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vancouver: Cartems II

let me count the ways

At their "permanent" location - bigger, brighter, better, safer.
One of the first things that made my best I ever ate list was Cartems.  Here we are a year later, and I'm still on the love train and making stops to fill the seats. I added a lot more today when I showed up at work with three boxes of these bad boys:

Clockwise from top left: citrus dust, mexican mole, salted caramel, classic
In honour of Aquifoli's upcoming birthday I brought in a selection of the best of Cartems, including earl grey, salted caramel and Canadian whiskey bacon:

Earl grey

My coworkers enjoyed them. I enjoyed them. They disappeared. Fast. Even if you don't love doughnuts like I love doughnuts, you will appreciate a well-made nut. How can you not? And Cartems makes a good doughnut - inspired flavours, tasty and not tooth ache sweet. They also have service with a smile and an easy pre-advance order process. It's painless and almost* perfect.

When you're this awesome, being lucky doesn't even factor. See what I did there?

* They packed up four of the wrong doughnuts but when brought to their attention it was quickly addressed. And that ladies and gents is customer service. I can go in and pick up the right four, at no cost. Mmmmmm..quadruple happiness.

Cartems Donuterie on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vancouver: The Patty Shop

mi miss yuh
:Arbutus Ridge:

You realize how spoiled you are when you no longer have access to the things you take for granted. And by spoiled I mean a gluttonous pig and by things I mean food. This is how I feel about Toronto street meat and dem Jamaican patties. Yes, the weirdly yellow-orange ones with the not-so-flaky shell. They were never gourmet but they're beloved by eastcoasters everywhere. Patties - whether from a store in the subway or the ghetto Coffee Time just off campus or the local shop in Kensington or the stores on St.Clair or Eglinton - hit the spot every time. 

Jamaican food has a strong presence out east, here in Vancity, not so much. But remember (here), I'm really looking at ways to embrace how it is here. It's a day to day struggle and some days I feel like I'm failing but I keep trying.

Monday was a success. I like the patties here, more specifically, here. A while back I heard The Patty Shop has the best patties in town. Nonetheless I relegated it to the back of my list because I know myself, MacDonald and King Edward is too far a trek. How lucky am I that I have Ceecee?!? She seems to care about the happiness of my belly as much as I do. Must be our mutual admiration for Julia Child...wasn't it Julia who said "people who love to eat are always the best people". Oh Child, don't we know it.

Ceecee went to get her family some patties and by association I benefited. She got me six spicy beef patties and they were delish.

Frozen and baked fresh.
The baked up lovely in my oven. A flaky, buttery, delicious crust. It actually reminded me of the best patty I ever ate, handed to me by a Rasta who has been making them with his mother for years out of a broken down shack on a little corner of Seven Mile Beach. 

The filling was smooth and had a bite, but it wasn't the flavour I missed. I think I'm going to take the opinion of my fellow bloggers and try the curry chicken next time.

The Patty Shop is local, loved and lucid. A little hole in the wall that has became an institution for doing one thing and doing it right, over and over again. I'm just happy to know I can fill this craving if I need to. That's what cabs are for. If I could ever hail one in this city. 

Dirt cheap good eat. The Patty Shop is pleasing patty eaters (as in everywhere here, because I'm not sure it'd get as much love in Tdot). Nyam up.

The Patty Shop on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Vancouver: Sura II

eat like a king

Baby I swear it's deja vu? Well, not quite. But remember I'm a queen bee and Sura has a lunch special that was calling me.

For once I had a place in mind to take Momma GG when she came to spend a few days with her girls. Trying to find places to please her is a weekly challenge, one the sister and I are holding at 50 percent success (or failure, depending on whether you're an optimist or pessimist).

One-third of the full set
Top to Bottom: Bossam (boiled pork), green salad, squid salad, muk (jelly or as Papa GG called it Korean jello)
The lunch special is served between 11 and 2 and there are two choices. We opted for option 1 ($15 per person) as opposed to 2 ($20 per person) because it had fewer dishes and we weren't sure we could finish everything. It was a wise decision. They serve you a lot of food. Of course I looked around and the table of annoying Korean women next to me had asked for take out packages and started filling them. Smart and tacky and oh so Korean.

The lunch course is an awesome deal and the food is good. A few dishes were just okay, but for the most part it impressed. I was happiest with the bossam and bulgogi.

Tangsooyuk - Korean sweet and sour pork
Momma GG liked everything but the doenjung jigae (soy bean paste stew) and dessert, shikhye. She said the latter was "no good" so she picked out the pine nuts and left the rest. Shik-what? That's probably where you're stuck, so let me enlighten. Phonetically it's shik-hay and it's a traditional sweet rice beverage, generally served as a dessert. 

It's a refreshing way to clean your palate and rid you of what I like to call Korean fire breath. 
Start to finish their lunch course is a nice treat. Easy on the wallet, heavy on the belly.

Eat on my royal family.

Sura Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon