July 19, 2013
Ivar’s Seafood Bar, Bellingham WA
Fish ‘n Chips
I was shopping by myself in Bellis Fair Mall while my parents headed to Costco. Deciding I have had enough after 20 minutes and not wanting to wait for my salad from Costco, I went to the food court and settled for Ivar’s Seafood Bar.
The Shrimp Cocktail was simple yet refreshing. The shrimp were tender and sweet and the cocktail sauce tangy. The celery made it crunchy and light.
The Fish ‘n Chips were not good, though. Everything was freshly fried so the French fries were crispy on the outside and piping hot. However, they were still frozen fries. The fish was also not the best. The cod was not great, though. It was flaky but not moist enough. The batter was more like a powdery mixture and very thin. It was not sticking together either, just way to thin. The pieces were small and skinny as well.
I guess fish and chips is best left to piers and docks. Only then will there be quality and quantity combined for the best value.
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 11, 2013
Opa!, Victoria BC
Summer Salad with Shrimp
Not wanting Burger King, I chose to go to Opa! in the food court at the mall next to our hotel and get a Summer Salad with Shrimp. It was a refreshing Greek salad, with dressing on the side. The shrimp skewer was juicy and very tender, almost undercooked but still made for a light lunch.
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.
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.
May 22, 2013
Chewy’s, Philadelphia PA
As part of National Hamburger Month, I paid a visit to Chewy’s, a food truck that had not been around recently and just came back to serve University City full time again. This colourful truck is known for its burgers and chicken and waffles.
Preferring something a little sweet and unique, I decided on the Brie Burger with caramelized onions, honey grilled apples, arugula, brie cheese, and black pepper mayo. The beef burger patty was so juicy and the sesame bun was nice and toasted. I loved the sweet onions and apples, one soft and the other a little tart. The brie was creamy and provided flavouring contrast while the arugula added a touch of bitterness. The mayo did not quite stand out but I just loved those apples!
May 3, 2013
Pitruco Pizza, Philadelphia PA
Finally, I managed to track down Pitruco Pizza at The Porch. They are now coming to University City more often, which is delightful news. I can finally get more freshly made, delicious, and creative pizzas!
The Eggplant Pizza was just wonderful. I love roasted eggplant. LOVE IT! It was savoury and sweet, both a little bland and having loads of flavour at the same time. That’s the magic of eggplants. I also liked the marinated peppers. They were covered in a little too much oil, which I did not like much. However, the whipped ricotta and the fresh basil were very refreshing, offering a nice contrast. The dough was also decently chewy but I wanted a little more tomato sauce for the places where there were not too many pieces of eggplant or peppers.
May 2, 2013
Farm Truck, Philadelphia PA
Artichoke Pesto Sandwich
Pesto? Check. Mozzarella? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Freshly pressed or toasted bread? Check. Thank you, Farm Truck, for a wonderful lunch, and for throwing some artichoke in there, as well!
The Artichoke Pesto Sandwich was absolutely delightful. The sourdough bread was rustic and quite nice. The mozzarella was fresh and light while retaining that bouncy chewiness. The artichoke pesto was just delightfully aromatic, and the roasted tomatoes were sour and had a deep flavour, that of a good quality tomato. This sandwich made me a very happy girl.