49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

 

49th Parallel Latte

49th Parallel Latte

 

Ah, it is Friday, and since my plans to do a giant experiment today at work went down the drain due to …. [my laziness], I will write about…. coffee!

Today was a decent coffee day: I went to the Starbucks at work and was happy to find pretty much all my favorite baristas to be present. So, as per usual, I put down my mug without saying a word and I got my Americano made perfectly to my specifications – without my mug being all dripping with coffee on the outside and that little piece of white sticky note with my order scrawled on it still stuck to my mug, and room still remaining. (That, of course, would constitute a bad coffee day, and that happens when that one Least-Favorite Barista Boy – LFBB – is present. I swear he does it on purpose because he dislikes me for some reason.)

Anyway, yesterday though, was a good coffee day: I didn’t have my Starbucks.

I went instead to 49th Parallel Roasters – this is a coffee house not to be missed – their espresso is excellent, their lattes pretty, their couches chocolate brown, and their cups sky blue. This is, indeed, a chic little cafe sitting on Vancouver’s 4th Ave. 49th Parallel Roasters are founded by the same guys who created Caffe Artigiano,  so naturally, their coffee scores high points with me. It’s too bad I don’t live or work in that neighbourhood. I really like their Americano.

If you can’t get down to their cafe, their locally roasted coffee can be found at markets like Meinhardt, Whole Foods and Capers, as well as some other coffee places. I have a bag of their organic Ethiopia Yergacheffe Konga. 

 

49th Parallel Roasters

2152 W 4th Avenue, between Arbutus and Yew

604-420-4901

Advertisements

Panini’s @ Neptune Bistro

I don’t know how long Neptune Bistro has been opened, probably because it’s in that back corner of Coppersmith Place Mall that I never pay attention to, although I shop frequently at the Kin’s Farm that just a few feet across the parking lot from it. (And Coppersmith Mall – I didn’t actually know it had a name – I thought it was just Ironwood Mall’s other side… I guess not!)

Anyway, I wanted to check this place out so I dragged NF here with me. (NF didn’t realize there was a cafe at the back of Coppersmith, either.) On the menu are panini’s, donairs, salads, sandwiches, wraps coffee, soup, hot entrees like tandoori chicken and pasta, various pastries… lots to choose from. There are also things like sandwich/soup deals for something like $6.99. 

The service is pretty nice, neighbourhoody. We ordered, took a seat inside (there are two tables outside) our sandwiches came in about 10 minutes.

 

NF ordered the chicken turino panini, and a coffee:

Chicken panini

Chicken panini

 

And I had the roasted veggie panini, with an Americano:

veggie panini

veggie panini

 

The ciabatta they used had a thin crispy crust and very soft fluffy crumb, it was pretty good, light bread. They didn’t use a panini press though, seems like the bread is just toasted. The veggie panini I liked- I think it was like this pepper relish that dressed it and that tasted really good. The portion sizes aren’t huge, but just good for me, though larger appetites may need something more.

This is a nice spacious spot and pretty cozy. There is free wireless access and a big screen TV with several couches in front of it, but the TV wasn’t on. It was lunch time so it was obvious that a lot of customers were from surrounding offices.

I’d definitely come back to try out their other menu items. For a fast, good, casual lunch spot, the selection and quality sure beats the other similar choices in the mall (Tim Hortons, McD’s etc). At least they’ll have decent coffee!

 

Neptune Bistro

Coppersmith Place Mall

#100 – 11331 Coppersmith Way, Richmond
604.277.6647

Steveston Series III: Cimona Cafe

If you are feeling like a casual, down-to-earth meal, and pretty generous-sized, value-for-money deals, this is the place to go. Cimona Cafe makes the kind of food you can probably make in your own kitchen, so don’t expect anything fancy, but the quality will not disappoint. This place is like a homey diner. It is in a second floor/elevated log house, with a patio where you can watch the Steveston hustle bustle on Bayview Street from above. They’re really friendly here, and it feels like it is a family owned and operated little cafe, but don’t count on super speedy service, and on weekends they tend to be quite busy during brunch/lunch and there tends to be lineups. Have a little patience.

Many healthy options are offered on the menu: whole wheat wraps and breads, low fat dressings, egg white omelets, vegetarian dishes. It’s a casual spot with casual food but there are a lot of more “exotic” options too, and for a good price – Veal. Lamb. Sole. Halibut. Salmon. I’ve come here for dinner which I have enjoyed, but definitely find that it’s an awesome lunch/brunch place. Probably because breakfast is served till 3pm.

W and I came here for lunch recently, so I figured I will throw this post into my Steveston Series. We grabbed a menu and luckily found a table outside in the patio, which was almost full, and had a nice, relaxing time watching the …er… action… on Bayview:

cimona view

cimona view

Looking around I noticed that many people order the wraps here. W chose the chicken wrap with pineapple curry sauce. I tried a bit of it. It was pretty big and stuffed with tons of lettuce. The sauce was good too (you can choose from 3 different ones) – It wasn’t so heavy that W ate the whole thing (when usually she can only eat half a big wrap).

 

Cimona chicken wrap

Cimona chicken wrap

 
 

I was feeling like a lighter lunch so I had the tzatziki and grilled pita:

Pita and Tzatziki

Pita and Tzatziki

 

With a green salad:

 

Green salad

Green salad

I thought this was a pretty big size for the “small” portion. Veggies were quite fresh and crisp. The pita bread I liked – it didn’t seem like crappy quality packaged pita thrown in a toaster (though I am not sure exactly what type it was). The tzatziki was pretty standard tasting, but not bad. Couldn’t tell if it was homemade. You can also get hummous if you wanted.

Overall, both W and I were happy with our lunch. I still have to try a lot of the other stuff on their menu so I am going to keep coming back (on days when I have time to spare and relax though)!

Oh, and I’m not sure if this is an “issue” for anyone, it is for me on thirsty days when I down literally gallons of pop, because I would go to restaurants and get refills until my server gives me funny looks and offers me a jug since they get so tired of coming back every few minutes to refill my glass. Since this place is a cafe/diner, the pop you order will come in a can, and you won’t get refills.

 

Cimona Cafe and Catering

#201-3791 Bayview Street, Steveston

604-275-3753

Caffe Artigiano 06.28.08. Betty’s 86th.

I think there was a new guy at the Artigiano I go to at Kerrisdale. Well, whether or not he is new, he made a pretty nice heart the other day. Then again, everybody seemed to have gotten the same heart…


artigiano latte art

 

This day was special: it was one of E’s old neighbor Betty’s 86th birthday. We didn’t know this – we had drove by to see E’s old place in the neighborhood, and happened to see Betty’s niece in the garden and were invited in to say hello. E hasn’t seen Betty for over a decade and Betty’s starting to suffer from dementia but still remembers E fondly. After we found out it was her birthday that day (and after having said latte at Artigiano), we went down to Michelle’s Cake house on W. Boulevard and got her a tiramisu. Too bad I didn’t take a picture of it, it looked quite pretty. I would have chosen the fresh mango cake but Betty seemed more like a Tiramisu kind of gal. Anyway, Michelle’s Cake House is an Asian bakery, and makes fabulous cakes and pastries. There was a gigantic lineup when we were there; they take numbers.

We brought the cake back to Betty’s place just in time as her friend told us she was just about to call and order a cake for Betty. ^__^

 

Michelle’s Cake House

6033 West Boulevard, Vancouver

604-261-3284

An entry I don’t want to make: Gogo Tea Cafe

I have been M.I.A. for a bit. I’ve just been lazy – it’s not that stuff at the food-front has been boring, I have been stuffing myself and gaining the pounds and eating out – so I am terribly backlogged for posts! ;D

Anyway, I don’t really like to blog about restaurants I don’t like, so this post has actually been sitting in my drafts for a while now. It is a bit mean to give bad reviews, though at the same time wouldn’t it be cruel to not spread the word about places that are not worth dining at?

Anyway, so here it is, Gogo Tea Cafe – a tea house in Richmond that have waitresses in Cosplay. If you live under a rock, then it doesn’t really matter that you don’t know what Cosplay is – this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. Unfortunately, it is worse if you are into Cosplay, because this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. And not Cosplay. Whatever. When it first opened it was like the “have you been there yet?” “we have to check it out” type of it place. Trendy? Not really. Oh they try. But I expected more from a so called  “maid” cafe.

I will say though, it’s nice that the cafe is upstairs (though the view is not all that spectacular), and the place looks pretty slick:
Gogo tea

Unfortunately, there is a very bad stench from their bathroom, and unfortunately, their bathrooms are located right at their entrance, conveniently killing whatever appetite you have as you walk in.

Again, I will say this: their menu is quite big, and varied, so there are endless choices: fried snacks, noodles, hotpots, sizzling hot plates, all kinds of meat. Not bad. Typical tea house stuff.

First up, chocolate, and mango milk tea. They come with the set lunches, which is good. Unfortunately, the latter tastes just like this instant bubble tea powder mix I bought once at some Taiwanese tea house:
Tea

Tomato rice with an egg on top:
Tomato rice

Vegetable hot pot. There are quite a few things in here, which is good I guess. Although, this is not vegetarian – their choice of soup base is either chicken or pork, or beef. They did not have a vegetable soup.
Vegetable pot

Rest of the hotpot sides: more of what’s already in the hotpot – tofu, mushrooms, cabbage etc. There was also a bowl of white rice. Soy and spicy sauces for dipping, as well as minced ginger and green onions. And I guess it is pretty thoughtful of them to give you a little lychee jelly snack as a dessert:
Veggie sides

Herb Chicken hot pot. They’re not skimping on the chicken, I guess:
Herb Chicken Hot pot

The sides, same kind of stuff, but with (ugh) SPAM:
Herb Chicken sides

I will say I always like little heated pots you get all to yourself for a meal. One of their stoves didn’t really work though, so the pot of stuff never boiled up or even stayed warm. (We ended up just switching the pots mid-meal, nobody bothered to replace the stove.) Neither the drinks nor the food was great enough to have me going back ever again. It was also very empty for a weekend lunch. Despite this, the service was slow and rather unattentive.

Ugh. And I am so done with this post.

Gogo Tea Cafe

2170- 8188 McKim Way, Richmond

604 244 7336

Worst. Bagel. Ever.

worst bagel ever

I got sucked into this little place called Bagel and Coffee, it was across the street from my (very Japanese) hair stylist, and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Bagel and Coffee is located on the south side (ie. side facing McKim Way) of Pacific Plaza – on the corner of Cambie and Garden City in Richmond. It’s the giant words Coffee and Bagel that lured me in, because – well, it’s coffee and bagels, why else?

It was a rainy day, almost lunch time, there was one guy sitting outside and I think another customer inside the little shop. The decor is quite pleasant and warm, and it was clean inside.

The woman working there gave a very friendly welcome as I walked in. She speaks Mandarin, although I don’t. Anyway, today’s bagel was whole wheat, she touted (at least twice as I can remember, I think it’s because whole wheat is soooo good for you). So I got one. It was still warm. 

From the looks of it i should have known better. Or at least I should have when I sniffed at it. Of course it smelled like that very characteristic smell of whole wheat, which isn’t the problem, but it smelled so doughy and underbaked that I should have known better than to sink my teeth in it. 

Of course I did. And it was just… ugh. Gross. It wasn’t really underbaked, but it felt like it. The outside was not tough, it wasn’t even bagel like. It was heavy but it wasn’t the right kind of bagel-dense. It was like somebody’s first ever attempt at making bagels and they forgot to boil it or something. I just. Ugh. I’m sorry. I can’t continue on with this post.

 

I didn’t try their coffee. Maybe it’s better. Maybe somebody else would like to try it and tell me what it’s like, because I’m not going back soon.

 

 

Bagel and Coffee

Pacific Plaza- 8888 Odlin Crescent, Richmond

Weekend’s Happy Latte

Saturday AM. Caffe Artigiano Kerrisdale. Happy grande latte.

Happy Latte

 

I bought a 1/2 pound of their Columbia El Castillo. I don’t have an espresso machine, or I’d have gotten their Private Reserve. I’ve also grown to like espresso more than drip brew, but at home this is much better than drinking instant stuff. And on weekends I guess I have time to brew a little coffee. This Columbia turned out to be excellent- mildly sweet, not at all bitter, low acidity. Just the way I like my coffee. (Actually, I like this better than the Americano that I typically have at Artigiano, which has a more sour aftertaste.) 

Columbia El Costillo