Toren’s Resto Rants: El Santo

“A Rip off” – Mom

El Santo (Mexican Restaurant)

Their blurb:  Contemporary. Social. Fresh. A restaurant experience that’s uniquely New West. This is a place for you to unwind. … And most importantly, to leave satisfied and happy.

MENU

Address: 680 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC
Open 11:30am – 10pm
Booths? Yes.
When I dined: 6:30pm on a Thursday
Noisy? Very
Candies with your bill? Tiny spicy marshmallows
Lives up to it’s name? El Santo translates to “The Saint.” So…no.

My dear old Ma floated in to town on a cruise with a bunch of old folks. Her submarine parked in New Westminster and she asked me to come out for dinner. I skytrained out and met her at her hotel, which has a Boathouse Restaurant attached. The Boathouse got crap reviews so I polled my facebook feed to see what other dining venue we might explore. The top two suggestions were Re-Up BBQ and El Santo. I was warned Re-Up was not a sit-down restaurant so Mom opted for El Santo.

Entering the restaurant, it looked nice. They had big green booths where I wanted to sit. They did not sit us there. They had smaller tables isolated from other patrons where I wanted to sit. They did not sit us there. They sat us next to a couple who were ignoring their churros.

The menus were a bit of a chore to get through, especially if you don’t know Spanish – with the additional confusion of having a bunch of French words mixed in. The menus come on a clipboard with three sheets. To get to page 2 and 3 of the menu I had to unclip them all and suddenly I now have to clean up the table. More tragically for me, as I don’t really drink, those pages were all booze. Oh, I should probably say that part of the recommendation from my friends were the drinks. So maybe those would have been great…if I had come to New West to get drunk with my mom.

There was a starters section on the menu AND a ‘shared plates’ section AND a “to share…or not to share” section. Without looking too closely Mom assumed the $26 pollo a la granada (chicken & corn bread) plate would be ok for two people, not a terrible unreasonable assumption since the word “share” was used on the menu, and it was more than 15 bucks. I suggested ordering something else and Mom said we can order more later if we’re still hungry. When the entree showed up it clearly was not suitable for two people. The food was all prepared well and tasty. But while we were waiting the 20+ minutes for our dish a trio of musicians set up and started playing. We couldn’t hear each other. If ordering more food meant waiting another 20 minutes without being able to carry on a conversation, we couldn’t wait to get out.

BUT I had already ordered dessert, which came promptly. The chocolate empanadas were outstanding. $8 but worth it. Also could have been a bit bigger but maybe that was because the entree was so meager. Tough luck for you if you want to try this dish, as I was warned they’d be off the menu by the time you read this.

The single person bathrooms were fine and welcomed as always, except I couldn’t tell if the door was locked when I was in there, as there did not seem to be any visible mechanism. Luckily since I was only there to wash my hands after touching every clammy metal bar on the skytrain, there was no chance of Jonny Rando busting in on me with my knickers down. The downside of the single person bathroom is that after you have to put your freshly washed hand onto the doorknob to escape. Did you know that according to some probably flawed data I found on the Daily Mail site, 62% of men don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom? I couldn’t even use a paper towel as a makeshift glove to open the door, since the method of hand drying there is the space-age air-blowing dealio.

The service was very pleasant and efficient. Water flowed freely. The food while expensive was good, but this dining experience just didn’t work for us. As we walked back to my Mom’s hotel we passed Re-Up BBQ, which was just about to close up. We could have had some $10 beef brisket and enjoyed the ample seating and quietness. Next time.

Biggest Rave: Besides the dessert… the paper napkins were stellar. Firm, sturdy, and pleasant to the touch. We got three and Mom pocketed two of them. True story.

Biggest Rant: I don’t mean to single out El Santo for this, but why when there are five tables in a row does the hostperson have to sit me next to the one table that is already occupied by a couple? I don’t want to hear their conversations, and I’m damn hell ass sure they don’t want to hear mine. Put me at least one table away so I don’t have to suffer from conversational overflow. Also…restaurants with live music – cut it out.

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Toren’s Resto Rants: Sal y Limon

A sauce for each life of your gato

Sal Y Limon

Their blurb: Sal y Limon is a gathering place for sharing food and ideas in an organic way that is significant. Yes, it’s casual dining but we feel the experience should be fun and inspiring..

MENU

Address: 701 Kingsway Street #5, Vancouver, BC
Open 11:30am – 9pm
Booths? Half-booth along some walls.
When I dined: 3pm on a Tuesday
Noisy? Not really
Candies with your bill? No
Lives up to it’s name? There was salt on the table. I didn’t see any limes. Where are they?

Mexican food! This is the kind of place where you order at the counter and they give you a number on a tiny flagpole, then you find a table for yourself. In fact most of the restaurant is self serve with sauces, cutlery, water, etc. They have a Taco Wars best taco award on the front counter.

I ordered four tacos – beef tongue, slow roast chicken, slow roast lamb and pulled pork. Cheese on your tacos is extra (to the tune of 25-40 cents) and I decided to opt out. Next time I’ll add the cheese. How long should it take to prepare 4 tacos? It wasn’t busy when I visited but it still took 15 minutes. That seems like 5 minutes too long.

Horchata is available and it comes in different varieties, including rum-chata! I had the coconut horchata and it was very nice, if a bit small.

The size of the restaurant is decent. The tables are small…and too close together in places. The ambience was fine. The music was mostly but not exclusively Mexican and it was at a reasonable volume. For some reason they had baseball on the TV above the counter. The decor is a lot of Day of the Dead paintings and wooden folk art. There is a children play area/stage but luckily there were no kids while I was eating, since the table I chose was directly adjacent.

Most of my tacos were delicious, but I would skip the beef tongue. I will definitely go back and try some more selections from the menu. And this time I’ll find those pesky limes!

toastBiggest Rave: I got 10 cents off because the clerk didn’t have change. Woohoo! At first I didn’t see the selection of sauces at the back. It’s not a bad place for them (clears up the front area) but I wish someone had pointed them out to me, as I had to search. There were nine sauces and all the ones I tried were delicious.

Biggest Rant: The lineup to order is super awkward. As soon as you enter the restaurant there’s a little cubby hole to the right where they’ve cordoned off a line, but as soon as you get through the door you’re already blocking the line. The first time I came in, I saw the queue and got in it, and I was the only one. Before I was even acknowledged by the staff, a pack of four crowded in right behind me and I immediately felt like I was at an Iggy Pop concert (note: I’ve never been to an Iggy Pop concert). I browsed the menu but it wasn’t an enjoyable feeling and I fled the scene, coming in a couple weeks later to try again.

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Toren’s Guide to Star Trek Voyager: Season 5

Click here for Season 1
Click here for Season 2
Click here for season 3
Click here for Season 4
Click here for Season 6

NIGHT

The guys who seem evil are good, and the guys who seem good are evil. Janeway becomes a seclusive weirdo who won’t come out of her ready room or see any of the crew. That seems like grounds for dismissal but luckily I’m not a counsellor or doctor so yeah, go nuts Janeway. Also did you know that space can be polluted with radiation? 5.5/10

DRONE

Ensign Mulcahey, Seven’s nanoprobes and the Doctors mobile emitter have a baby. Bit of a rehash of “I, Borg” from TNG with Seven in the mix. 6.9/10

EXTREME RISK

B’ellana feels dead inside and only extreme sports can make her feel alive. Tom designs the Delta Flyer. 5/10.

IN THE FLESH

Species 867-5309 have taken human form and recreated Starfleet Academy so they can infiltrate and destroy humankind. This episode saps any interesting aspects away from the Borg’s arch-nemesis and nullifies the previous work to establish them as truly alien. 3.5/10

ONCE UPON A TIME

Neelix has bad dreams about his family being atomized and becomes overprotective of Naomi Wildman when her mom gets caught in a space storm and may be lost or dead. Naomi’s Flotter doll looks terrifying. 6/10

TIMELESS

This episode started out promising with an interesting premise. Some unfortunate acting and usual time travel nonsense – I especially like the part where Janeway says “when it comes to time travel paradoxes, it’s best not to think about it.” Special guest appearance by Captain LaForge. 6/10

INFINITE REGRESS

In this episode there’s a borg device that is causing terrible problems and nobody thinks to shoot a torpedo at it. Also Seven of Nine tries to run in her dumb space heels and we are treated to aliens who wear cool 70s transparent jumpers with christmas lights. 5.5/10

NOTHING HUMAN

The Cardassian Josef Mengele, or a holographic recreation thereof, can save B’elanna from a giant space bug that can fly through force fields. Very interesting, with a great performance by David Clennon as Crell Moset, but the whole giant space bug thing was sloppy. 7.5/10

THIRTY DAYS

Did you know that Tom Paris loved ocean exploration? So much so that he joined Starfleet. Luckily years later he could disobey direct orders from his captain, save an ocean world, and then spend 30 days in solitary confinement. Well, solitary except for all the people he sees. 6/10.

COUNTERPOINT

Janeway falls for a “defector” from a telepath-hating fascist alien organization, even though he is obviously playing her for a sucker. Good performance from Mark Harelik as the guy who’s name is almost the same as the Wookiee homeworld. 7/10

LATENT IMAGE

The Doctor chooses to save his friend instead of a random crewmember we’ve never seen before and don’t care about. His crisis of conscious goes on for way too long and isn’t resolved. 5.5/10

BRIDE OF CHAOTICA!

Interesting premise, where photonic aliens think that holograms are real and organic life is the illusion. They could have got anyone on ship to play Queen Arachnia, for example maybe someone who was studying acting? But I guess Janeway was convenient and cool in a tight spot and looks good in black and white. Not terribly compelling, but a fun ride. 7/10.

GRAVITY

Some crew members are sucked through a space anus and crash-land on a hostile planet. Then we are supposed to accept that Tank Girl (Lori Petty) – who is provided with no backstory whatsoever – falls in love with Tuvok despite having no chemistry with him. 6/10

BLISS

A giant space monster that eats starships manipulates the minds of the Voyager crew so they don’t resist it, and only Seven and a crotchedy old man can save everyone! Weird ambiguous ending. 6/10

DARK FRONTIER

Remember when a cube was the only kind of Borg ship? Now there’s spheres, rhombo-hexagonal dodecahedrons and all sorts of shapes that you might find in the science education section of a toy store. Anyway, Seven returns to the Borg collective, meets her dad, and the Borg queen, who is not played by Alice Krige. Also when the Borg display a 3D holographic projection of a human being they choose white male with underwear – I guess the Borg assimilated modesty somewhere along the line. 7/10

THE DISEASE

Is love a condition or a disease? This episode doesn’t answer that question but it does give a space STI to Ensign Kim while still managing to keep his character boring. 4.75/10

COURSE: OBLIVION

We learn that the crew are all simulacrums of the actual crew, originating from the Demon Planet from last season. So, why should we care about them? Still, an interesting exercise. 5.5/10.

THE FIGHT

Strange space phenomena are back, this time as “chaotic space.” There are aliens in it and they can only communicate by making Chakotay hallucinate about boxing.  4/10

THINK TANK

George Costanza is smarmy while he double crosses the crew of Voyager and alien bounty hunters. 6.6/10

JUGGERNAUT

Members of the crew go in a heavily irradiated space ship without hazmat suits or even gas masks. A monster stalks them, a la the movie Alien. B’elanna is angry. 5.8/10

SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME

Seven of Nine lets her hair down and goes on dates, just like Data did in that TNG episode “In Theory.” Meanwhile, Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall in a forehead prosthetic is kind of funny? 7/10

11:59

Usually when Janeway does stuff that isn’t bossing people around I get bored and eye-rolly, but this was pretty good! 7.6/10

RELATIVITY

More of the usual time travel hand-waving when it comes to story inconsistencies, as Seven is recruited by the Temporal Police to discover a saboteur that wants to blow up Voyager. 5.9/10

WARHEAD

Is there really no higher rank officer than Ensign Kim who can command the ship while Janeway sleeps? Although he states that he’s a senior officer, Ensign is still the lowest rank of Starfleet personnel. Anyway, an intelligent talking bomb, much like the intelligent talking bomb from Dark Star, really really really wants to go off. Spoiler – it blows up in the end. 6/10.

EQUINOX

Gosh if you think it’s a small world wait until you visit the Delta Quadrant. Voyager’s been going in a line for only a few years and they’ve already encountered human beings THREE TIMES. At least these ones are interesting, what with their violating the Prime Directive and murdering aliens to power their ship. But they should have beards. What will happen in part two? 7/10.

 

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Toren’s Guide to Star Trek: Voyager Season 4

Click here for Season 1
Click here for Season 2
Click here for season 3
Click here for Season 5
Click here for Season 6

SCORPION PART 2

The Borg send a drone that just happens to be human to work with the Voyager crew on a weapon that can defeat their nemesis, Species 8472. Despite the fact that they are from another dimension, Kes communicates with them telepathically. The Voyager-Borg alliance prevails but the borg double-cross forces Janeway to destroy all but Seven of Nine. 6.5/10

THE GIFT

Once stripped of her human identity by the borg, Seven now has her borg identity stripped by Janeway. This causes an ethical dilemma for The Doctor but luckily not for Janeway. Meanwhile Kes’ mental powers are blossoming dangerously and we finally get a conversation between Neelix and Kes about their mysterious breakup. Kes explodes into who-knows-where but not before sending the ship out of Borg space with her powers. 6.5/10

DAY OF HONOR

Paris and B’ellana get mushy in space suits while marooned in space. 5/10

NEMESIS

Chakotay becomes involved in a war but it’s really an illusion to condition him to be a soldier. 5/10

REVULSION

The Doctor and Torres have to fight an alien holographic slave that hates biological life. 6/10

THE RAVEN

In this episode we learn that Seven can do the Vulcan nerve pinch on a Vulcan and hey, why not? We also learn that Voyager just happens to be on a course that intersects with Seven’s parent’s spaceship that was assimilated by the borg. That kind of makes sense since they are heading back to the Alpha Quadrant, but the idea that “Annika Hansen’s” half-assimilated ship was dragged by the Borg from Romulan space to Borg space is a bit much. 6/10

SCIENTIFIC METHOD

An invisible alien race performs Joseph Mengele-level experiments on the crew. 7.7/10

YEAR OF HELL (2 parts)

Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) is totally obsessed with mucking around with time so that his family doesn’t die. Voyager goes through many hardships until it’s all undone at the end like it never happened! 7/10

RANDOM THOUGHTS

An alien society of telepaths has learned to purge all violent thought. Right? No, of course not. Torres is charged with thought-crime and sentenced to brain-purging, which I guess is bad. Tuvok finds out there’s a black market of dark thoughts. Kind of cool! 6/10.

CONCERNING FLIGHT

John Rhys Davies is a holographic Leonardo Da Vinci that an alien burglar steals from Voyager. Janeway enlists Da Vinci to thwart his new alien patron “prince” so that they can recover Voyager’s main computer, also stolen. Ridiculous and annoying. 5/10.

MORTAL COIL

Neelix dies and has to come to terms with the fact that there’s no afterlife and his dreams of seeing his dead family there will never come true. Genuinely touching. 8/10.

WAKING MOMENTS

The crew are trapped in a communal nightmare by a race of aliens that exist in dreams. Well that doesn’t really make sense, but at least the aliens have a good reason for what they’re doing. Oh wait, no not really. 5/10.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

For some reason sending the holographic doctor is more successful than sending a message along a network of alien sensor stations that lead into the Alpha quadrant. Of all the millions of alien ships they could find in the alpha quadrant they manage to find a Starfleet vessel. But not just any Starfleet vessel – a brand new experimental warship! But not just any brand new experimental warship – one that’s been overtaken by Romulans! Now the Doctor and Andy Dick must face a ship full of Romulans. Luckily the Romulans are super dumb! 7/10

HUNTERS

Some Predator knock-offs have a communications network that Voyager uses to communicate with the Alpha Quadrant. 6/10

PREY

The predator knock-offs hunt Species 867-5309.

RETROSPECT

The Doctor convinces Seven that she’s been assaulted by an alien merchant. But it turns out she probably hasn’t. An interesting look at faulty memories and human bias vs proper scientific study. 6.4/10

THE KILLING GAME (2 parts)

The Hirogen take over the ship and use holodeck tech to run endless hunts, which leads to civil strife among their ranks. 6/10.

VIS A VIS

Tom Paris has a fear of commitment with B’elanna and then his body is swapped with an alien. Pretty dumb. 5/10

THE OMEGA DIRECTIVE

Janeway is obligated to neutralize a subspace-destroying particle, but Seven wants to study it. The particle comes from aliens trying to harness power for their collapsing society. Janeway screws over the aliens and then there’s some B.S. about ‘perfection.’ 5.5/10

UNFORGETTABLE

A stealth woman loves Chakotay. She can’t be remembered or recorded for more than a short time. I guess they can’t take a snapshot or a drawing of her? Ridiculous. 5.6/10

LIVING WITNESS

The Doctor is reactivated to a future alien race who believes that Voyager was evil. Setting things right causes civil unrest. 7.8/10

DEMON

Voyager crew and then the entire ship goes down to a planet that will kill any crew and destroy any ship, but they are not killed or destroyed. Then Tom and Harry become cloned by the planet that has gained sentience because of reasons. 5/10.

ONE

To survive a month-long trip through a death nebula, Seven must keep the ship running for a month while the crew is in suspended animation. Then she gets the crazies. 6.5/10

HOPE AND FEAR

An alien whose people has been borgified wants revenge on Voyager so he makes his ship look like a starfleet ship. Lazy plot but love the acting from Ray “Twin Peaks” Rise. 7/10

 

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Toren on the Storm Crow Podcast

toastEpisode 3 of the Storm Crow Cast features Toren Atkinson talking about The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, Spaceship Zero the album and the roleplaying game, Star Trek, cartoons, and Star Trek cartoons. It all happens in the Storm Crow Alehouse on Broadway in Vancouver.

Listen and you could win a Spaceship Zero CD and signed copy of the SSZ roleplaying game!

Listen to it on google play or on iTunes

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Too Many Reboots: My Answer To The Claim “Hollywood Has No New Ideas”

Go watch more movies.

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New Miniature Design: Bat-Rider

Here’s a thing I worked on that I’m excited about: Interloper Miniatures has made available the bat-rider miniature that I designed. Here first is my drawing:

Riding Bat for Interloper Miniatures

and here is the link to the finished (unpainted) product!

Bat Face

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Top 3 Star Trek: Animated Episodes

A few facts about the 1973-1974 Star Trek: The Animated Series:

  • All the original series actors returned to voice their characters except for Walter Koenig, who was not asked for budgetary reasons. James Doohan did several ancillary characters.
  • It was produced by Filmation, the same studio that brought us He-Man and Fat Albert.
  • It was the first Star Trek series to win an Emmy Award.
  • The animated series introduced the concept of the Holodeck, best known from ST:TNG and introduced Kirk’s middle name as Tiberius.
  • Two new alien crew members were introduced (to replace Chekov) – the feline Lt. M’Ress and the orange, six-limbed Lt. Arex.

toastThe Slaver Weapon

Season 1 episode 14

Written by Larry “Ringworld” Niven, who I kind of interviewed on my podcast Caustic Soda. He incorporated his own “Known Space” mythos including the cat-like Kzinti. Spock, Sulu and Uhura are captured and have to prevent an ancient weapon from falling into the hands of the Kzinti. Rather unfortunately, in my opinion, instead of having the characters wear space suits on the inhospitable alien planet, the series uses the very cheaty “life support belts.” The only Kirk-era episode of any series to not include Kirk! Alan Dean Foster adapted this episode into a full length novel.

toastYesteryear

Season 1 episode 2

Spock uses the Guardian of Forever – which was introduced in the classic series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” – to travel back in time to when he was a child on Vulcan and prevent his own death. Written by Dorothy DC Fontana who wrote many great original series episodes, and Mark Lenard reprises his role as Spock’s pappy, Sarek. Keep your eye out for the Enterprise’s Andorian first officer and the introduction of the Vulcan animal sehlat which they brought back for the ST: Enterprise episode “The Forge.”

toastThe Survivor 

Season 1 episode 6

A missing Federation philanthropist is found on a damaged spacecraft and reunited with his old flame aboard the Enterprise, but he is not what he seems. Also he has a crazy space moustache and cravat tie. Here we get an idea of the kind of alien they could do in a cartoon but never in the original live action series. Carter Winston was voiced by Ted Knight (Mary Tyler Moore, Caddyshack)

 

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Resto-Rants: Seasons In The Park

If you didn’t enter this restaurant with a reservation, you’ll have plenty of them by the time your meal is served.

Seasons In the Park

Their blurb: none, thankfully.

MENU

Address: West 33rd Avenue and Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Open 11:30am – 10pm
Booths? No
When I dined: Victoria Day (Monday) at 2pm
Noisy? No
Candies with your bill? No
Lives up to it’s name? Seasons? The service made me think of a long cold winter, and the food had all the freshness of autumn. Spring and summer were not present.

I came here with a friend and her family, four adult diners. When we arrived on time for our reservation the hostess was expecting 3 adults and a child, but that got sorted without difficulty and we were seated by the window overlooking the park and with a view of the city. This is the selling point of the restaurant I suppose, and luckily the staff can’t fuck that up short of pulling some blinds down.

It wasn’t very busy when we arrived and it became less so as we waited. It was some time before our server showed up and while he was very pleasant, his presence was frequently missed. Throughout the visit I pined over my oft-empty glass of formerly water.

We ordered the vegetarian tasting board, which was the only item to arrive promptly. Everything on the board was listed on the menu but it was mostly very sad. The grilled asparagus, as lifeless as it was, was still probably the highlight of the dish. A tiny bowl of mixed nuts and tiny salty pickles made me shake my head. There were only three small pieces of bread that came with. If it weren’t for the complimentary bread that came some minutes afterward, we would have had to dig in to the mediocre camponata and hummus and eat it off our cutlery or filthy fingers. That complimentary bread, by the way, was good and warm, but the butter that came with was cold and hard, prompting me to tear open the bread and bury a chunk of butter inside the bread in a vain hope that the butter would at some point become spreadable.

The QE Burger, according to my friend, was ok – not great. I tried one of his fries and they were nothing to write home about. The brunch pizza with roast potatoes, egg, bacon and onions sounded and looked promising, but a bland, floppy crust neutered it. Only the zesty dill cream cheese offered any redemption there. Apparently the seafood linguine carbonara was the winning dish of the meal, but since I don’t eat seafood I didn’t touch it. My loss.

My own food consisted of two items.

Firstly, cauliflower gratin, which was reasonably priced for brunch but was seriously underwhelming. I left half of it uneaten.

The lowlight of the meal was, for me, easily the stir-fried chicken with soy sesame sauce. Friends, I am here to tell you, this dish was an insult to my mouth, my pocketbook and probably all Asians everywhere. You know that hole-in-the-wall Chinese fast-food joint Buddha’s Orient Express at the Commercial/Broadway skytrain station? The place that is basically mall food fair Chinese “cuisine” but not as good as most mall food fair fare? Season’s was a quarter step above that. Now I don’t consider myself a food snob – maybe you like Buddha’s Orient Express and if you do, more power too you. But I ate there once. ONCE. And Season in the Park’s stir-fried chicken with soy sesame sauce is some low budget sloppy-ass prison food.

DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Biggest Rave: Now that I have experienced the view and the lackluster food here I can look forward to a bright future of never having to come here again.

Biggest Rant: The menu here is more expensive than I’m used to, so I hoped that the food and service would match the cost. My hopes were drawn and quartered. Before I got my food, I held great resentment for the couple next to us who arrived well after we did and were served their food well before us. After I got my food, I held great resentment to everyone else.

Enjoyed this review? Check out all my Vancouver restaurant reviews at http://www.thickets.net/toren/category/resto-rants/

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Resto Rants: Red Wagon

They say the signature dish is the pulled pork pancakes with Jack Daniels syrup, so naturally I ordered something else.

Red Wagon

Their blurb: “A neighborhood joint”

MENU

Address: 2296 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
Phone: (604) 568-4565
HOURS: All over the place. Look it up.
Booths? Tragically no, since this would be the perfect place for them.
When I dined: Saturday afternoon
Noisy? Yes.
Candies with your bill? No
Lives up to it’s name? I didn’t look very hard but I didn’t see any wagons, red or otherwise.

There were no tables available when my group of three arrived so we elected to take a seat at the bar vs waiting for a table. I’m not a fan of sitting at the bar but it’s definitely the lesser of two evils since waiting for food is never preferable. Once there, the stools were fairly comfortable but there was no room for my bag and I sat next to a pile of menus. Fair deal, I suppose.

I had the 3-egg omelette with mushrooms, smoked brie, caramelized onions and arugula. The omelette was fine, the sourdough toast was good (hard to screw up), and there were lackluster homefries (all one word on the menu).

Overall, not impressed but I would absolutely give it a second chance. They seem like they’re trying hard. The website says Red Wagon Restaurant but the URL is redwagoncafe.com – what’s the deal Red Wagon? WHAT ARE YOU???!!?

Biggest Rave: I liked that when I asked for peanut butter they didn’t give me a tiny disposable plastic tub but rather a steel bowl with a scoop of PB from a giant jar. The other best thing about this restaurant is that there’s a bubble tea cafe on the same block that makes an excellent matcha slush. This bubble tea place also offers passport photos.

Biggest Rant: The ‘homefries’  did not taste good. I’m not sure what it was, but I recognize the flavor of not-good potatoes. It’s very distinct. I don’t know what causes it but I suspect freezer burn. I had to pour a fair amount of ketchup on them to disguise it. Sadness prevailed, since potatoes are usually the best part of a breakfast.

This photo comes from Yelp. Yelp allegedly has atrocious business practices so I allegedly feel okay about stealing the image.

This photo comes from Yelp. Yelp allegedly has atrocious business practices so I allegedly feel okay about stealing the image.

Enjoyed this review? Check out all my Vancouver restaurant reviews at http://www.thickets.net/toren/category/resto-rants/

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