Li’l Cheese Steak Spot

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Li’l Cheese Steak Spot recently opened up in Royal Centre’s food court. Since I was nearby for work, I headed over to grab take out. The food takes a little longer to get prepared since they make the sandwich when you order. You can wash the cook grill your steak and veggies on spot. They also have other sandwiches and soups to order.

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Cheese Steak Sandwich

I went for their signature, which is the Cheese Steak Sandwich. It doesn’t look appealing because it was all wrapped up and the sauces got all smothered, but this was delicious! If you love steak and cheese, this is for you. The beef was tender and you actually got quite a lot of it. It was also filled with onions, melted cheese, banana peppers, tomatoes, and a white sauce. Only downside is that the sandwich is quite pricey at $9. Nevertheless, it’s filling and the quality of steak is great.

Pros:
– Steak is tender
– Sandwiches are made to order

Cons:
– Pricey sandwich for food court

Price Range: $10

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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Amsterdam Cafe Pub

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Canadian Beef Dip

I actually didn’t try many new restaurants this time around up at Whistler since I wanted a relaxing trip where I could just eat and enjoy my food without needing to get pictures before. We did end up trying Amsterdam Cafe Pub for an early dinner. They have a patio area outside with heated lamps, so great since we were up on the mountains on a rainy and chilly weekend. The pub has minimal service, with you going in and looking for your own seats and a waitress coming to take your order. We shared two dishes including the Canadian Beef Dip, which featured a roasted beef inside a toasted baguette and a side of au jus for dipping. It also came with a serving of fries. At around $12, this was a relatively reasonable price knowing that Whistler can be quite expensive for average food. I like it when my roast beef is medium rare, but this was definitely well done, so it more rough and dry than I’d like. The good thing is that you get the au jus to dip in, so it moistens the beef. However, the au jus was overly salty. Fries were average.

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Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

The other dish we got were the Honey Garlic Chicken Wings which came with a ranch dip. The wings were dressed heavily in sauce and topped with chopped green onions. I thought they were okay and would’ve gone great with beer. Wings were crispy on the outside and moist in the inside.

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Overall, based on the items we tried at Amsterdam Cafe Pub, I thought it was average. Your typical pub food, so don’t expect too much. Service was also a bit slow since it was basically one waitress running around to serve all the tables. Good spot if you want food at Whistler that’s priced reasonably though.

Pros:
– Reasonable prices
– Decent eats but not amazing

Cons:
– Service can be a bit slow

Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 2 Parking: N/A Overall: 2.5

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McDonalds’ Great Canadian Taste Adventure

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Yes, I am extremely behind in my posts… and it has been more than a month since McDonalds’ Great Canadian Taste Adventure ended… Anyways, in June, McDonalds in Canada had a limited time offer where they promoted 5 of their Canadian menu items for each province. The big one being the McLobster, which I had been dying to try and I had made it my must try if I went to the east coast. Well, luckily we were able to try it at home here, so off we went to grab take out at the first McDonalds in Canada – the one on No.3 Road in Richmond…(who knew, right?).

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McLobster

Not the most glamorous picture here, but the McLobster is their feature for the East Coast. The sandwich is a bit different here as it is in a roll, and it is filled with lobster chunks, lettuce, and a mixture of celery, lemon juice and mayonnaise. We actually had a decent amount of lobster, but I heard that others had experienced less in their lobster rolls. The lobster was actually pretty good with a nice chewy, bouncy texture to it. However, the sauce had way too much lemon juice to it and I didn’t like that celery flavour. It’s also quite pricey at $7.49 for just the sandwich and it is literally the size of my hand… More like a snack, but a pricey one.

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To feature Quebec, they had the maple and Bacon Poutine.

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Maple and Bacon Poutine

I’ve actually never tried their original poutines, so I was surprised when the fries used for the Maple and Bacon Poutine were the exact same fries from their original menu. The only difference is that there is bacon, cheese curds, and maple gravy on top. This was okay, with the sauce being sweet and salty at the same time. However, I’d much prefer the fries on their own. It was also quite pricey at almost $5 for a small box.

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A&W

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Sriracha Burger

If you haven’t already heard, A&W had been offering coupons to redeem their new Sriracha Teen Burger for free. Unfortunately, the coupons have run out, but if you were lucky to get the coupon, but didn’t redeem it by their previous deadline, July 31, 2015, they extended it until August 9, 2015! The Sriracha Teen Burger features a sesame seed bun, filled with a pure beef patty, processed cheddar cheese, bacon, sriracha aioli, roasted red pepper, tomato and lettuce. It really tastes just like a teen burger but has the roasted red peppers and a hint of that sriracha aioli. I was expecting it to be more spicy, but it really wasn’t. I did like the roasted red peppers in it though.

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Onion Rings

When you sign up with A&W online, they also post various coupons in your account. One of them was upgrading to Onion Rings for free when you purchased fries. So for $2.50, we got onion rings, compared to around $4.50 normally. Not bad! Their onion rings are also always crispy and sweet.

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Chubby Chicken Strips

The must order for S at A&W are the Chubby Chicken Strips. They claim that they use 100% chicken breast from chicken raised without the use of antibiotics. I did think that the chicken tasted much more like real chicken without other random ingredients. They batter and bread the chicken with toasted wheat crumbs, wheat flour and spices. Quite crispy indeed, but I personally think they are quite pricey at around $8 for 5 small strips.

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Poutine

On another visit, K brought take out home and I got to sample their Poutine. This was another deal where she used a coupon to upgrade her fries to a poutine for free. The poutine features Russet thick-cut fries with cheese curds and a poutine gravy sauce. We thought these were just average. The fries were a bit soggy and I would choose New York Fries over these for sure.

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Overall, A&W’s new Srircha Burger is worth a try and I would probably order it again. I also like how when you dine in, your food looks pretty fancy in their little fryer baskets. Seems like a bit of an upgrade compared to your typical fast food restaurants. You don’t get this at the food court though, and we noticed that the food court’s quality was not as good as their restaurants with the food being cold and fries being fried in old oil.

Pros:
– Sriracha Teen Burger and Onion Rings are good
– Good deals when you sign up for their online coupons

Cons:
– Can be a bit pricey for fast food without the coupons

Price Range: $10-15

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

Food: 3 Service: N/A Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3
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Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

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The Flying Beaver can be a bit out of the way as it is situated on Inglis Drive near the YVR airport. However, during summer, their patio is the perfect place to chill since you can watch the planes take off and land and also get some views of the Islands. We decided to check their Wings Wednesdays deal after work which begins at 5:00 pm. The place was bustling when we arrived! You look for your own seat, so there was a bit of standing around stalking for a seat, but we luckily found one within 15 minutes.

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Coke Zero, Sleeman Honey Brown Lager

Their Wednesday drink deal was the Sleeman Honey Brown Lager for $4.56 a sleeve. We were also told that to get the wings deal, each diner had to purchase at least some sort of drink, even if it was non-alcoholic.

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Honey Garlic

On Wednesdays, the wings are 49 cents after 5:00 pm. They have a decent list of flavours, including Honey Garlic, BBQ, Teriyaki, Thai Chili, Hot, Salt & Pepper, and Lemon Pepper. Our first flavour was the Honey Garlic. It was lathered with honey, but I found it to be slightly flavourfuless. I wished it had more garlic flavour to it.

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Salt & Pepper

Next up were the Salt & Pepper, which was probably my favourite. Seasoned with simply just salt and pepper, these were crispy and tasty. The meat was also for the most part moist. You get one or two that are a bit dry.

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Teriyaki

Lastly, we got the Teriyaki which had a good amount of sauce.

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Overall, Flying Beaver is a nice choice for a bar in Richmond. Most of our pubs don’t have the best patios, so this is great without needing to go downtown. Not the cheapest deal for wings, but still a pretty good deal. Service is your typical pub service, but it was quite attentive. They also have a large menu for other food and drinks.

Pros:
– Wings are decent and reasonably priced on Wednesdays
– Awesome views out on the patio

Cons:
– Extremely busy
– You have to look for your own seat

Price Range: $10-15

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

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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Uncle Willy’s

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Uncle Willy’s brings back memories when you were a kid and buffets were the  best things ever. And that’s exactly why K and I were craving it… I mean it’s still around, so we decided to go check it out to see if the food has improved or what.

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Arriving on a Saturday night, the place was actually decently packed with 80% of the tables filled. Dinner on a weekend goes at around $17 after tax, so it’s not exactly the cheapest thing ever to get a meal for dinner, but quite a good price for a buffet.

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I had read reviews beforehand that pictures were not allowed in the restaurant, so I had to sneakily get these at my table. The choices are quite your typical and basic. I started off with some chicken noodle soup, corn, pasta salad, lasagna, lamb curry, mashed potatoes, ham and their famous fried chicken. I mean, everything was just average or below average. The fried chicken was decent, but the skin wasn’t very crispy. The ham is sliced when you ask, and I found this to be too salty for my liking.

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My second round was a different type of pasta salad, some more mashed potatoes with gravy, the roast beef, and fried chicken again. The mashed potatoes here are done quite well and the gravy is also not too salty. The roast beef was much better than the ham, and this is also sliced when you ask the server to. All in all, everything was mediocre. You could try to fill up on the roast beef and fried chicken to get your money’s worth.

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The main courses were pretty average, so I decided to go for their desserts. Most of their desserts look either overly sweet or just did not look appealing. Looked like they had sat there for quite a while, so I skipped the cakes and pastries. Instead, I went to another favourite of the regulars here which is their soft serve ice cream. I also got a bowl of jello, which of course is a no brainer to make. You can also get chocolate sauce on your soft serve. This was pretty good with the soft serve being quite thick so it wasn’t watery.

Overall, Uncle Willy’s is what it is. It’s a place to go back because it’s nostalgic, but K and I have both agreed that it’ll probably be our last time. Unless you can eat tons of roast beef and fried chicken, you’re better off spending that $17 elsewhere. Plus, the ambiance wasn’t the prettiest thing. I almost felt like it was a bit dirty…

Pros:
– Fried chicken and roast beef are pretty good
– One of the cheaper buffets around town

Cons:
– Rest of food was mediocre or below average
– Ambiance isn’t nice and felt a bit dirty

Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 2 Service: 2 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 4 Overall: 2

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Hog Shack Cook House

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Hog Shack has been around for a long time, and it’s probably the only barbeque meat restaurant we have in Richmond. Finally, I decided to make a trip to Steveston to get a meaty dinner.

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The interior gives you that all American feel with white and red checkered tablecloths and wooden decor. They have a lot of long tables as well so it’s great for large groups. Their menu is basically for the meat lovers, with all meats smoked in house and all the rubs and sauces also made in house. It’s the place to go if you want some Kansas City style BBQ.

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Smoke Lover’s Combo

Since S and I were not that hungry that day, we decided to just share a combo. The waitress said that the combos are quite large and would be sufficient for two people. When it came, I thought it looked rather small, but we were actually quite full by the end of it. The Smoke Lover’s Combo comes with beef brisket and pulled pork. With the combos, you can then choose two side dishes. We went for the potato wedges and hand-cut fries. The beef brisket had a nice crisp on the outside and was super moist and tender inside. The pulled pork was very flavourful and it wasn’t dry. The meats are definitely really good here! As for the potato wedges and fries, they are just quite average. They were crispy but I found that they were too golden brown, which meant that the oil might’ve been a bit old.

Overall, we were quite pleased with Hog Shack. If you’re looking for smoked meat in Vancouver, this is a great option other than the famous Memphis Blues. Service was subpar though. Felt like it wasn’t attentive enough although it was really one girl running the whole restaurant.

Pros:
– Great smoked meats
– Perfect place for large groups to share platters

Cons:
– Service was lacking a bit

Price Range: $20-40

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

Food: 3 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 4 Overall: 3

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Earls (Broadway)

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The Royale with Cheese

Earls is currently having a limited time menu for their new gourmet burgers. For lunch, we decided to head down to Broadway and Fir and most of us ended up giving these burgers a try. StevieD got the Royale with Cheese, which features a freshly baked brioche bun with a certified Angus beef patty topped with dry cured bacon, caramelized onion, lettuce and tomatoes. The cheese is a mix of smoked applewood cheddar, regular cheddar and Monterey and the sauce is a mushroom ketchup. It comes with a side of fries which are very crispy.

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Fish and Chips

And of course S got the Fish and Chips, which is always his go to dish. These are beer battered Icelandic cod and comes with a side of house tartar and coleslaw. As always, he says they are delicious.

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The Forager

E and I each got the Forager, which is perfect for vegetarians. It features a hand-chopped mushroom burger with crisp red onions, mayonnaise, cheddar, fresh lettuce and pickles. The mushroom patty is tossed in olive oil, parmesan cheese, rolled oats, and oregano. Again, it came with a side of crispy fries.

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The Forager was very delicious and a good alternative to the meat patty. The mushroom patty was very well seasoned. The burger was quite messy to eat but was very delicious. Overall, it’s a great time to try out these new gourmet burgers as they are only available for a limited time from April 22 – June 16, 2015. They are also running a social media contest where you can win burgers for four! Check out their website or in store for more information!

Pros:
– Limited time gourmet burgers
– Good service

Cons:
– Food is consistent but average

Price Range: $20-30

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

Food: 3 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

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