CACAO 70 Dip Shop

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I’ve been wanting to try CACAO 70 for a while now, but the other locations were a bit out of the way for me. So when I heard the dip shop opened in Steveston Village in Richmond, I was excited to go check it out. The shop is quite small with only a few seats, so it’s more of a grab and go spot. Love the cute decor inside the store though! You can get waffles, drinks, and of course their famous dipped ice cream.

 

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There are a variety of melted chocolate or dips to choose from. The ice cream itself is a vanilla soft serve that comes from the machine. The ice cream is then inverted and dipped into your dip of choice. I found the dip to take a while to really harden though.

 

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Sesame Dipped Soft Serve

I chose the Sesame Dipped Soft Serve and like I said, I found the dip to take too long to harden. Even after getting my pictures, the dip didn’t really harden to a shell. You would need to wait quite a while if you wanted that texture. Instead, it’s a soft flexible shell. The sesame dip has a white chocolate base so I also found the dip to be too sweet for me. However, S didn’t seem to mind it. The ice cream itself was creamy but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to go crazy about.

Overall, the soft serve is decent and if you have a sweet tooth, then this is a nice option if you’re looking for something other than Timothy’s at Steveston Village.

Pros:
– Unique twist to traditional soft serve
– Soft serve is creamy and smooth

Cons:
– Some flavours are on the sweeter side

Price Range: $5-10 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free and paid parking in Steveston Village Overall: 3

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Shipyards Night Market

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media event, but all opinions are my own.

Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver is one of my favourite spots to visit every summer. S and I try to visit once a year and the best time to visit is when the Shipyards Nights Market is going on. If you are coming from downtown Vancouver, the easiest and quickest way is to hop on the seabus which operates roughly every 15 minutes in the evenings. It takes only 12 minutes to arrive in Lonsdale Quay and only a short 5 minute walk to the night market.

 

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The Shipyards Night Market happens every Friday from 5pm – 10pm until September 28, 2018.

 

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To find the start of the night market, look for the yellow crane next to Tap & Barrel. The best part about the night market is that there is no admission fee to enter. Your only cost is the food and beverages you’ll purchase. So feel free to come by to just walk around if you already ate. A great date night spot!

 

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If you come early around 5pm, you’ll avoid line ups and the crowds. By 7pm, the place is quite packed. There over 40+ food trucks from all over metro Vancouver parked at the night market. This is your one stop shop if you’ve been wanting to try a food truck but it’s too far for you!

 

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As part of our media tour, our first stop was the famous JJ’s Hot Cobs. Perfect for children and the family!

 

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Corn on the Cob is $4 and includes butter and your choice of seasoning.

 

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There is a selection of seasonings at the truck and you can choose as many as you want as it’s self serve once you get your corn. We went with the garlic salt which added some saltiness to the corn. The corn itself is already good enough on its own though because it was sweet and piping hot!

 

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Moving on, we tried Disco Cheetah which I first came across 3 years ago at this same night market. It was a tiny truck back in the day, but this has become one of the most popular trucks at the event. The menu has also changed a lot since then, but it continues to serve Korean fusion dishes.

 

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The dishes at Disco Cheetah are so colourful and appetizing to the eye! S and I shared the K.F.C. Fries which translates to Korean Fried Chicken with French Fries. The boneless chicken is topped with a sweet chili glaze, pickled red radish, scallion and garlic mayo. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was not overpowering. Other dishes you can find at this truck include rice bowls or fries with various proteins and pulled pork sliders.

 

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Moving on to a different cuisine (because there are so many to choose from), we checked out The Reef Runner which features Caribbean street food.

 

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I had the Jamaican Beef Patty which was new to me. The flaky pastry shell was filled with ground beef and various spices. It reminded me of a curry pastry I had in Japan. Really enjoyed this and will be getting it again!

 

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Getting a bit thirsty, we tried Kics Lemonade for some homemade lemonade. There are various flavours to choose from and I chose the Mango Lemonade. If you’re looking for something sweet and sour, then this is perfect refreshment for you.

 

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Of course we had to end our meal with some dessert. This was actually my favourite food truck of the night. Chouchou Crepes features some delicious French crepes all run by one lady! She works on three crepes at a time to make sure the line moves as quickly as it can!

 

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S and I shared the Nutella Banana Crepe and it was the perfect way to end our night. The edges were crispy with the center having a nice chew. The food truck also has crepes that are served with a splash of rum and apparently they’re really good! You can find both sweet and savoury crepes at Chouchou Crepes.

 

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And if you’re 19+, then you can head over to the Beer Garden which serves local craft beer, ciders, wine, and highballs. The beers were literally on tap from the side of the truck, which I thought was a pretty cool concept. Drinks are affordable and they give you a generous pour.

 

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Entry in the beer garden is again free, so you just need to purchase your drinks and have a good time! There is live music every night featuring local bands.

 

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After you have filled your bellies with some food and drinks, head over to the pier which extends 700 feet over the Burrard Inlet. Turn back and check out the new developments by the Quay including a third hotel coming in 2019.

 

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Or get to the end of the pier and enjoy a stunning view of the Vancouver skyline. To be fair, we went on a smoggy day, but imagine what a view this would be on a bright sunny day!

 

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There have also been many new developments in the area, including the Polygon Gallery, cool new public amenities such as the 48-metre-long Megabench, a water feature for splashing in and cool off, and a brightly painted alleyway, appropriately titled ‘Fun Alley’. Each year, there is also an artisans market where you can shop locally made goods!

 

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Overall, the Shipyards Night Market is a fun Friday night activity whether it be with friends or family. With 40+ food trucks and vendors, a 19+ local craft beer garden,
artisans market and live music, you’ll be sure to have a good time!

 

Boba Boy (Kerrisdale)

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media event, but all opinions are my own.

Boba Boy opened up their Kerrisdale location earlier this year and also recently opened one in Burnaby. The boba shop started back in Ontario and has expanded to Vancouver. They are known for their freshly made tapioca balls.

 

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The Kerrisdale location has a few two seaters up front with more seating in the back for larger groups. The space is modern and clean and lit with natural light.

 

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Who can resist the cute logo of the Boba Boy! Guess where the funny hair style comes from? Of course, it is inspired by the tapioca balls!

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The shop has a variety of drinks from smoothies, teas, milk teas, and fruit teas. As for their freshly made tapioca balls, you can choose from original, taro, matcha or sesame. The original balls are clear instead of black.

 

 

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Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls

The first drink I tried was the Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls. The smoothie was creamy but I’m pretty sure the taro was powder as the colour was too purple. As for the tapioca pearls, they are quite different from the ones from other chains because they are handmade. The pearls are more chewy and can get a bit tough if they sit in the cold drink for too long. They also stick together more but I actually don’t mind them knowing that they are hand made. They probably don’t have as many additives or preservatives so it’s much healthier. The matcha flavour is also quite strong and has a bit of a bitter taste but I like that strong tea taste.

 

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Strawberry Milk with Pearls

T got the Strawberry Milk with original pearls. How pretty is this! I didn’t get a chance to try this one though.

 

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They also offer two containers – one is a plastic one-time use cup and the second is a reusable bottle. You are required to pay an extra $2 for the bottle, but if you bring it back, you get a discount on your bubble tea. Not sure how often you’ll remember to bring the bottle though as I usually get bubble tea spontaneously, so not sure if the bottle is that worth it. But this is great if you need to carry your bubble tea around.

Overall, the drinks itself are nothing too special compared to other bubble tea chains. However, their tapioca balls which are hand made is what sets them apart. I think the chewiness is a personal preference since some people may find them on the harder side. But, overall, still a very unique feature and great that they are healthier than the usual pre-packaged tapioca.

Pros:
– Handmade flavoured tapioca balls are a unique feature

Cons:
– Some people may find the tapioca balls to be chewier than usual

Price Range: $5-10 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

 

Boba Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linh Cafe

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Linh Cafe serves French-Vietnamese cuisine in the Kits area. The cafe has been around for a few years now but I never ventured out here until recently. In addition to lunch and dinner hours, the restaurant is open for brunch as well!

 

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Nem – Cha Gio – Spring Roll

On my first visit, we came here for dinner and ordered a variety of dishes to share. The first were the Spring Rolls which were filled with shrimp, pork, wood-ear mushroom, and glass noodles. These had a good amount of filling and were crispy on the outside.

 

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Banh Mi Cay Hai Phong

One of my favourite appetizers were these Bahn Mi Cay Hai Phong. They are baguette sticks filled with chicken and pork live pate, topped with some hot sauce and fried shallots. The pate was smooth and creamy and deliciously seasoned. Although it has hot sauce, this dish was not too spicy.

 

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French Escargot

Another appetizer was the French Escargot. The snails sat on top of some bread which was soaked in tomato and garlic butter. Very strong in butter flavour so of course it tasted great.

 

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Braised Short Ribs

A main we shared was the Braised Short Ribs which is slow braised with peppercorn sauce and honey glazed sauce. The short ribs were tender and fell apart easily. The dish was served with a side of bread but the bread was not warm. It would have been much better warm, but the bread was still great to soak up the sauce.

 

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Pho(Phở) Bo

Lastly, we had my favourite! The Pho Bo which is a Hanoi style beef noodle soup with braised flank and rice noodles. The rice noodles in this pho are wider than the usual ones I get. But wow, the broth in this pho is unbelievably good! It’s so hearty and tastes almost like Taiwanese beef noodle soup. The flank is also the best I’ve had. The meat just falls apart and you get huge pieces.

 

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Pho(Phở) Bo

The pho was so good that I came back again with S a few weeks later. This is the large size but you can get a mini pho if you’re a small eater. The pho here is not cheap at $14 for the regular bowl but I think it’s well worth it. The amount of meat you get is generous and the quality is what makes it so worth it. The mini pho is still $8 so definitely not cheap. I highly recommend trying this if you enjoy pho!

 

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Britanny Breakfast

On this second visit, we were here during brunch/lunch hours, so I chose to try out something from their brunch menu. The Britanny Breakfast features two scrambled eggs, shrimp, ling cod, fish veloute, all served in a cast iron pan. The dish also comes with a side of fries, salad and bread. The salad is tasty with a light vinaigrette sauce. Fries were nice and crispy and bread was great to soak up the sauce. The seafood with eggs were seasoned well without being too salty and made a great breakfast.

Overall, I really enjoyed the food at Linh Cafe both visits. The pho is a must order but many of their other dishes were just as good. This is a great spot if you love Vietnamese food but want a hint of French food. Service is quite mediocre as I find it a bit cold with few smiles or words. On our second visit during brunch, we also waited over 45 minutes for our food which is quite long! I feel like they forgot to put our order in because people after us all got their food. I was quite disappointed since I really like their food, so hopefully this doesn’t happen again!

Pros:
– Hanoi-style pho is delicious!
– Good selection of French-Viet dishes which are well executed

Cons:
– Services is a bit cold

Price Range: $15-20 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 4

 

Linh Cafe - French Cooking Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

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Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie has been around for many years now and has won many awards. I’ve hear many good things about the restaurant, but for some reason, I was hesitant to try it because I knew it wasn’t authentic Chinese food. Bao Bei is situated in the heart of Chinatown and is known for their modern Chinese dishes and cocktails. I had my hesitations going in, but honestly came out loving the food.

 

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The restaurant is good for small groups of 2 to 3. They do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait or come right at opening. We arrived at 6:30pm on a weekday thinking the wait wouldn’t be long, but we still waited around 45 mins to one hour. Luckily, the Keefer Bar is nearby so we could go enjoy some drinks. They take down your name and number and will call you when the table is ready. The interior is modern but has the traditional Chinese vibes.

 

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Dominion Cider

I ended up going with the Dominion Cider from Summerland, BC and this was refreshing and light. I will definitely come back to try some of their cocktails though!

 

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Beef Tartare
The menu consists of sharing style plates, so I’d suggest having 2-3 dishes per person. We started off with the Beef Tartare which was absolutely delicious! The tartare featured Cache Creek petite tender, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot, ginger, a quail egg, watercress, burnt scallion oil, and taro chips to scoop the tartare.

 

 

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Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings
They have a variety of homemade dumplings on their menu, but I suggested to try something a bit more unique. The Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings caught my eyes as we usually won’t find scallop or rockfish in our traditional dumplings. The filling was delicious and elevated to a more fine dining experience but I felt the wrappers were a little too thick. Unfortunately, these didn’t wow me.

 

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King Pea Tips
Time to get some veggies in so of course we all suggested to get the King Pea Tips. Pea tips are usually a favourite among the table and these did not disappoint. Simply flavoured with garlic and shoxing cooking wine, these were fresh and had a nice crsip. Portion was actually decent for $9 too given a lot of their other dishes were on the smaller end.

 

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Seasonal Vegetables – Squash and Fried Lotus

We chose another veggie dish and this was one of their Seasonal Vegetables. The Squash and Fried Lotus was flavoured with a curried black bean and salted duck egg yolk sauce. Lotus root is commonly used in Chinese dishes, but I have never had lotus root that looked like this! I believe these are called lotus rootlets and they are like baby lotus roots! Narrow cylinders compared to the usually ones we see, but just as crunchy. They paired nicely with the squash and asian flavoured sauces. Highly recommend ordering this!

 

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Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice

Moving on to some larger dishes, we had the Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice. To be honest, when I saw the dish arrive, all I could think of was how small this lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice was for thirty something dollars! But once I started digging in, I fell in love with this dish! The sablefish was so buttery and moist and the Japanese oyster mushrooms added a nice texture. This is definitely a next level lotus leaf sticky rice with the sablefish and well worth the high price!

 

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Crispy Pork Belly
Last but not least, we had the Crispy Pork Belly which features radish, cucumbers, pickled ginger, mint, and crispy potatoes. This is topped with a  Vietnamese cilantro root dressing. The pork belly had a nice portion of fat to meat and was very moist.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my meal at Bao Bei and would highly recommend it. Just keep an open mind that you are not coming here for traditional Chinese food, but the food actually tastes good and the fusion works! Despite the high prices, the quality is great here and I’d suggest coming here with a few friends so you can try a variety of dishes.

Pros:
– Well executed modern Chinese dishes
– Good selection of cocktails and drinks

Cons:
– Be prepared to wait even on the weekdays
– Seating is a bit cramped

Price Range: $40-60 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking or paid parking lots Overall: 4

 

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Faubourg Paris

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media tasting, but all opinions are my own.

For a limited time, you will be able to get a taste of the lavvender field of Provence France at Faubourg.

 

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Faubourg has launched their summer lavender menu which features products including lavender earl grey macarons, lavender and strawberry pastries, lavender mixed berry smoothies, lavender lattes, lavender tea lattes, blueberry and lavender chaussons, and more. The menu is already available now and will be available until early to mid September.

 

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These desserts were sample sizes of the actual for the media tasting, so the actual dessert is much larger. My favourite had to be the Lavender and Strawberry Pastry (the circular one). This dessert features a lavender honey and sage mousse paired with a sweet strawberry gelee and a lavender vanilla sponge cake. I especially loved the sugar crystals on the rims! Not overly sweet but very strong in lavender flavour.

 

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All items at Faubourg are handcrafted and prepared fresh daily using traditional French recipes and high quality ingredients with no preservatives added. To demonstrate their commitment for quality, the pastries are prepared every morning and the viennoiseries are baked throughout the day ensuring the freshest products for the customers.

 

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Products are available starting June 4th, in the following locations:

Downtown: 769 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1S2
Kerrisdale: 2156 W 41st Ave Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z1
Park Royal: 792 Main Street, Park Royal S West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Le Café: 175-628 East Kent South avenue Vancouver, BC V5X 0B2

 

Faubourg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Salt & Straw

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A trip to Salt & Straw is a must when visiting Portland. Now that they opened a location in Seattle, I guess that makes it more convenient for us to visit as well. After lunch at The Waiting Room, we walked by Salt & Straw and of course a line up had formed.

 

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The line moved a bit slow this time so we probably waited 30 minutes before we got our ice cream. The nice thing is that you can try as many flavours as you want once it’s your turn.

 

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The waffle cones are freshly made and smells delicious throughout the store. They have classic flavours but also seasonal flavours that switch up every month.

 

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Honey Lavender and Smoked Sea Salt with Chocolate Covered Feuilletine

The last time I visited, I had the Honey Lavender and I loved it. So of course, I had to get it one more time. Both the honey and lavender are sourced in Portland. If you enjoy floral flavours, then this is perfect for you. As for the Smoked Sea Salt with Chocolate Covered Feuilletine, this was part of their limited edition flavours. The ice cream features a cherry-wood smoked sea salt-base with chocolate-covered feuilletine folded into it. The feuillentine are light and crispy! Love the sweet and salty pairing of this ice cream.

Overall, Salt & Straw did not disappoint once again! Worth the wait and a must when visiting Portland!

Pros:
– Great flavours and well executed

Cons:
– Be prepared to wait in line!

Price Range: USD$5-7 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free street parking on weekends Overall: 4

 

Salt & Straw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Waiting Room

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On our last day in Portland, of course I had to do a trip to Trader Joe’s to do a haul. After my purchase, I suggested we visit the Alphabet district to look for some food. My initial thought was to check out Boxer Ramen, but after taking a look at their menu, we thought it was on the pricier side compared to what we could get in Vancouver. Next door was The Waiting Room, and after taking a look at the menu, we decided to have brunch here. The restaurant is inside a Victorian house and it has a super cool patio. Honestly, it feels like you’re eating at someone’s house!

 

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Even the interior is warm and cozy like someone’s dining room! Super cute spot.

 

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I also love the plates and serviettes! So aesthetically pleasing!

 

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When we asked for our bill, it came in a book which I thought was really cool! I love these subtle touches at restaurants! The restaurant was surprisingly not too busy during brunch on Sunday, but that also means no need to wait in line like many other spots! Plus, the neighborhood is really interesting with all the historic buildings and definitely a spot to hit up!

Pros:
– Delicious fried chicken!

Cons:
– Brunch is only available on Sundays

Price Range: USD$3-8 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free street parking on weekends Overall: 4

 

The Waiting Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato