One of the more enjoyable rituals after returning from a trip is: the restaurant debriefing. I sit with my pals, usually at some restaurant or other, and start listing the places I went and the things I ate.
The Marketplace: (Burrard and Nelson) I used to have breakfast "out" when away. And let me tell you I'm a breakfast fiend. I love bacon, eggs, toast, sausages, pancakes, hashbrown and a cup of tea almost better than any other meal. Sadly, I can only do that once a week nowadays, maybe twice. Instead, I left the Sutton Place and went next door to the Marketplace (for east-coasters it's like Sobeys only much smaller and much trendier). I got myself some milk and Raisin Bran and my breakfasts for the week were pretty well taken care of. [He wipes away a tear.]
SteamRollers: (Robson and Bute) When I was staying at the Sylvia on my first trip out three years ago, SteamRollers' steamy windows beckoned on those cool February evenings when I walked to and from our story meetings. But that first trip was heavy on itinerary and I didn't have a chance to go. But my next trip... and every trip after... For those of you who don't know what a SteamRoller is, their slogan isn't much help: "They're steamed...and rolled". Basically, it's a steamed burrito filled with rice, beans, meat, cheese, veggies and sauce, in endless variations. And hot sauce... Hot sauce which they can add on the burrito or you can take away in a little cup and drizzle into every bite. Oh, baby.
Royal Thai: (Robson and Bute) Right beside SteamRollers, is my favorite Thai place. This is usually the first place I stop after the hotel tells me my room isn't ready yet. The lunch specials are under $10 and delicious. Favorite dishes: Cashew Chicken, Garlic Beef and Brocolli, Hot and Spicy Prawns. I ate there twice this trip.
Shanghai Chinese Bistro: (Alberni?) Although it is deservedly famous for it's Dim Sum it's the General Chow's Chicken that keeps me coming back. Sweet and Spicy.
Kamei Royale: (Burrard and Alberni) I'm not a sushi aficionado so I can't really speak to the quality of the sushi here (although the people I was with liked it) I did enjoy the tempura shrimp and veggies and the noodle soup. The Chicken Teryaki didn't do it for me though.
Earl's: Earl's is a big chain out west. It's a nice-looking restaurant staffed with pretty girls and boys and serves fancy pub food. I had the Jeeri Curry. It was all right.
Savory Coast: (Robson) My first visit to this place. The location is great and it has a very nice patio area that overlooks Robson. It's moderately priced (especially when compared with the delicious but expensive Cin Cin across the street). The people I was eating with all ordered salads which led to my declaration: "I didn't travel all the way across this country to have a freaking salad!" I got the peppercorn steak and garlic mashed which was tastey... and/but in european portions.
Subway: On our last day, we started out feeling cocky. We broke two stories by lunch the day before and thought we had this last one sewn up. But lunch time came and went and we didn't get past our act one turn. It's wasn't pretty. The boss went out to Subway and brought back a couple of subs for everybody (I had the Cold Cut Combo) and some cookies. They were good, but didn't help. Eventually, the four of us went for a walk and just dumped the story we were working on and picked up one that was just mentioned in passing the day before. By the time we got back to the room, we had the story mostly broken down. Le phew.