July 16, 2013
Thai Express, Richmond BC
Shrimp Spring Roll
Tofu Pad Thai
Ever since Thai Express landed in Richmond Centre a few years back, my faith in food courts had been restored. It is seriously a great little stall with fresh, made-to-order generic Thai dishes. The flavours are usually pretty good, though!
The Shrimp Spring Roll was like one of those from Vietnam, with vermicelli, lettuce, carrot, bean sprouts, and shrimp inside, wrapped in rice paper. The peanut dipping sauce was sweet and lovely.
The Tofu Pad Thai had great flavour. No, it’s not real tamarind and instead, was more of a ketchup-based sauce. Still, it was good, and I did not really expect authentic. The portion was decent. I could have used more vegetables and the tofu did not really stay crispy but rather had soggy batter. The noodles were not overcooked though and it was still pretty good!
Now that Richmond Centre has built the Dining Terrace food court, the dining environment is so much more elegant, with comfy booth seats, high seats, group tables, couches, and convenient trash stations. This is certainly one of the best food courts I have been to, especially thanks to the decor.
July 13, 2013
Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria BC
Cod Fish + Chips
Tomato Basil Chilli Cod Tacone
Each day just got hotter and hotter but I had to leave Victoria soon and I was not about to do so without having tried the most popular fish and chips in the city from the establishment of Red Fish Blue Fish, housed in a cute little shack on the edge of the water. I waited for around an hour on a sunny Saturday but my hard work paid off – the food was fabulous!
I started with Cod Fish + Chips. The batter on the cod was thick, crunchy, not too greasy, and had just wonderful flavours and texture. The fish was flaky and moist. The chips were fresh but the fish was fresher. The tartar sauce was nice and tangy, and the coleslaw was crunchy and by no means overdressed.
The Tomato Basil Chilli Cod Tacone was a daily special. The seasoned cod was grilled to perfection with the fish still flaky and moist but also very flavourful. I loved the coleslaw with the fish and the soft taco shell. The lime pickle aioli added another layer of flavour, making it tangy and fit for summer.
The Seafood Poutine, with shrimp, fish, and tuna belly bacon bits in a light, creamy miso-clam gravy, garnished with green onions and crispy shallots. It was quite salty but the texture was great and it was decently rich.
It is no wonder that there is always a long line down the dock outside Red Fish Blue Fish. They honestly need to speed up their ordering and cooking process as the line is just ridiculous. Very inefficient, if you ask me. The food, at reasonable prices, though, is just fantastic!
July 13, 2013
Sammich, Victoria BC
Pea & Mint Soup
It does not seem like the west coast has really caught on the sandwich and panini craze as much as back on the east. So, I was excited to stumble upon Sammich, this cute little sandwich shop on the outskirts of The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria. The owner was so nice and the little cafe was just such a happy, uplifting place with yummy treats freshly baked and displayed behind clear glass cases.
My Pea & Mint Soup was lovely on a sunny day but one with a chilly sea breeze. It was refreshing yet with a touch of creaminess and sweetness. The peas were mushy but it had a great thickness. I really liked that it was not overly minty.
The Goatabella Sammich came with goat cheese and spinach, grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, and portobello mushrooms. The vegetables were nice and sweet and the focaccia airy with a crispy crust. I could have used more vegetables as the goat cheese was melted and strong in flavour. For those who like goat cheese but want a lighter meal, this would be idea.
I would definitely come back here for a nice light lunch. It is hard to find a fresh sandwich at a reasonable price these days and the combinations are by no means generic.
June 14, 2013
Richky Cafe, Philadelphia PA
Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Hot Ham Egg Cheese
No longer are breakfast sandwich choices limited to bacon and sausage. Even turkey bacon, ham, and sausage roll are too common at Richky Cafe food truck on Drexel’s campus very close to 30th Street Station.
The Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese was a little greasy with slits on the long, juicy sausage allowing the grease to seep out. However, it was really spicy and was perfect with the sweet and tangy ketchup, the gooey cheese, and eggs.
The Hot Ham Egg Cheese did not have as much of a kick so was not as good. However, it was still a good sandwich: slightly salty, spicy, tangy, sweet, cheesy, and quite chewy. This is so much better than regular ham, with a lot more flavour.
The guys working on the food truck were all very nice. The prices were very low as well compared to other similar food trucks. If I went to 30th Street Station every morning, I’d definitely be getting breakfast here often.
June 7, 2013
Bobby’s Burger Palace, Philadelphia PA
Sweet Potato Fries
I met up with a hall-mate from freshman year at Bobby’s Burger Palace. Somehow, I had never eaten there before. Since I started watching Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” a lot, I had meant to give his burgers a try sooner or later.
To start, I tried the Sweet Potato Fries. They were such a deal – a small bucket with chipotle aioli for only $3. You never see this at a more formal restaurant. They were crispy on the outside and sweet and mushy on the inside. The aioli had a hint of spice and was very creamy. This was a perfect way to start a burger meal.
I had my Dallas Burger ‘crunchified,’ which is adding a small stack of crispy potato chips inside the burger. It was so difficult to eat, having to press everything together. I had juice and the barbeque sauce all over my hands afterwards. The medium (pink throughout) beef patty was very juicy and not too greasy. The Monterey jack cheese was all melted and the coleslaw and pickles added some acidity. The bun was nicely toasted and overall, it was not a bad burger. Sure, it is not as creative as some I would get on the food trucks, but with such a nice atmosphere and not any more expensive, I’ll take it!
June 3, 2013
Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, Philadelphia PA
Steak and Yucca Burrito
Thinking I should try Honest Tom’s Taco Shop now that I have been to Tampopo since they are beside each other, I went the next day for one of their famous burritos.
The Steak and Yucca Burrito was incredibly satisfying. At $8 plus tax, it was huge and included not only the regular rice, beans, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, and cheese, but also creamy avocado. It really provides a smooth texture for the filling, binding everything together. The steak cubes were a little tough and the yucca cubes a little bland so next time, I would probably get chicken or sweet potato instead. Still, the quality was great and it was incredibly filling as well.
May 29, 2013
Guerilla Ultima, Philadelphia PA
Sesame Broccoli Salad
The Ultimate Patriot
Guerilla Ultima was a relatively new food truck specializing in BBQ that I had never seen around Drexel’s campus or anywhere else. The menu looked interesting with a lot of choices of protein. However, I do think it’s important to specify a burger and not call it a sandwich.
The Sesame Broccoli Salad was a little too sour for my liking. I had a lot of broccoli as well as napa cabbage, carrots, and spicy jalapenos. It just had too much acidity to the salad and it was a little overdressed. However, I did like the crispness of the fresh vegetables. Still, for $4, the portion was quite small.
The Outsourced Patriot was in actuality a smoked curry chicken burger topped with coconut crema and guerilla slaw. The chicken was a little dry but still decent. It also had a smoky flavour but I had a hard time tasting much of the coconut crema. The burger was just a tad too dry and slightly bland, especially once you have the two pieces of the bun with the chicken breast.
I think this food truck has potential but really needs to carve out its niche, figure out the tastes of its customers, and set a price that will generate a lot of business. Striking up conversations while customers are waiting is also not a bad idea.
May 28, 2013
SpOt, Philadelphia PA
Yosemite Sam Burger
National Hamburger Month continues with a visit to SpOt, the best burgers off a cart you can ever find. The Yosemite Sam was the weekly special: a regular, juicy beef burger with bacon, grilled onions, provolone cheese, jalapenos, BBQ-sriracha, and a teriyaki-horseradish mayonnaise. I love sweet grilled onions on everything, especially balancing out the kick from the jalapenos. The sauces mixed together nicely as well – two types of sweet and spicy.
The Umami Burger had lettuce, pickled daikon, gilled onions, mushrooms, gochujang, and teriyaki. The lettuce and daikon gave it a nice crunch and I love the sweet and spicy from the onions and the two sauces. The mushrooms did not add flavour or texture but were great nonetheless. Overall, a very satisfying, juicy burger.
May 23, 2013
Local 215, Philadelphia PA
Local 215 is one of the few food trucks using local products and making gourmet meals out of a truck. Their brown truck may not seem as pretty but their food cannot be found elsewhere in University City. However, the taste to me does not justify their higher prices. It was not bad by any means, just not as outstanding as I had expected.
The Pork Fritters were fried to the perfect crispy texture on the outside. Inside were, besides shredded pork, pistachios and capers. The fritters did not have any pronounced flavour. I did like the hoisin sriracha dipping sauce that had a touch of sweetness but was very flavourful with a small kick.
The famous Duck Buns were decent, with juicy, tender pieces of duck. Sandwiched in between the pita-like flatbreads were pickled veggies, cucumber, and a sesame chili aioli. The aioli lacked a little flavour and the buns overall were a little greasy. They were also messy to eat and got soggy quickly.