Maison Antoine – Brussels

IMG_7634

Some claim that Maison Antoine has the best fries in Belgium and the world, but of course this is all based on personal taste. They have been voted as one of the best and have been all over the media. The fritterie is now operated by its fourth generation so it’s been around for a long time! After C and I took a quick walk to the EU building and the arc, we headed over to grab some lunch here. Yup, we eat fries for lunch. But apparently, a bunch of other people do too! We got there at around maybe 11:15 and there was already a small line up! We quickly lined up too, and later found out they open at 11:30 am. Wow, people actually line up for this place! It was a mix of locals and tourists, and there were several local families as well. The kids were so excited to get their fries! The gates rolled up, and the line began to move quickly on two sides.

IMG_7635

They have an extensive menu! Apparently, when they first started, they only had fries and two sauces though! Now, they have their fries in two sizes, and a whole menu of sauces! The Tartare Maison (House Tartar) still seems to be the most popular. Other than that, they also have a huge menu of snacks and even sandwiches. What surprised me was that many people also ordered items other than the fries. Shows that the rest of their food is also pretty good! However, I can say that pretty much everyone left with some fries!

IMG_7636

When in Belgium, get the Belgian fries. So of course we did. Since it was only ,30 euros more to get a large size and we were sharing, we got the large. It was huge though! We probably would’ve been fine just getting the small. Belgian fries are extremely popular because they are thought to have originated from Belgium, although some say that the French did, hence the name French fries. Belgian fries are cut a bit thicker than French fries though, as French fries are known to be skinny. They are also deep fried twice, therefore it’s soft in the middle and very crispy on the outside. I loved how they continued the tradition to serve the fries in a “cornet de frites” where your fries are wrapped in cone shaped paper. And you get the small plastic forks so you don’t need to get your fingers all dirty. Were the fries good? Yup. Were they amazing? I don’t know if I would say they were amazing. After a while, we both agreed we were sort of sick of the fries and they weren’t that special.

IMG_7639

Oh and of course, we got the sauces. These are for additional costs, and we decided to try two. We got the Maison Tartare and I think the one in the back was the Chili (since we asked the lady which spicy sauce was recommended). The Maison Tartare was our favourite. The Chili was just okay, and it wasn’t even really spicy. Belgian fries always seem to be eaten with some type of sauce. The most popular ones are actually mayonnaise and ketchup. However, today, friteries have come up with a variety of sauces.

IMG_7640

Since we lined up, we also decided to try some of their snacks. We got the Lucifer and the Loempia. The Loempia, which is pictured as the darker brown one was sort of like a sausage roll. Loempias are really spring rolls, so it was a thin outer layer deep fried with some meat inside. It was just alright and nothing too special. The Lucifer was what we liked! It seemed like a new product and they had some advertisements on the windows of it. We weren’t exactly what a Lucifer was but it looked like a matchstick! I did a quick search and still, I’m not sure what it is. It seems like a name that Maison Antoine has just come up with since Lucifers in Belgium usually refer to the beer. Anyways, it’s this crispy coating around some meat like thing, and on the red part, it’s this spicy sort of sauce that is kind of dried up. Not very descriptive I know, but just think of it as some spicy deep fried meat! Pretty good!

Anyways, Maison Antoine was a nice shop to grab a snack, although it ended up being our lunch. The fries are pretty good, but I wouldn’t metro all the way here just for the fries if I wasn’t going to tour around this area as well. I hear there are also great friteries elsewhere in the city, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to tell much of a difference. Still, the line up here was constant and longer once it got later in the day. Good thing we came a little earlier!

Chambar

Iced Tea Infused with Rose Petals

Carpaccio de Chevreuil

Charred venison carpaccio, sesame soba noodle salad, pickled radishes, white soy & red wine reduction, garlic chips

L’omble de l’Artique nicois

Crispy Arctic char, sea asparagus, pea shoots, bacalao, lemon & grana padano concasse, tapanades

Moules Frites Vin Blanc

Mussels, white wine, butter, braised celery & leeks, coarse black pepper

Salted Chocolate Caramel Bar

Lemon Curd, Toasted Meringue, and Shortbread

Alright! Finally have my last post from Dine Out Vancouver 2012 in! I was so excited when I got reservations for Chambar since I’ve been hearing really good things about it! I guess it lived up to the reviews, but then again, I think I went in with too high of an expectation, so I only came out “satisfied”. But nonetheless, very good food! The Ice Tea was actually a special drink that wasn’t on the menu. I wanted an ice tea but they didn’t actually have it on the menu, so the bartender basically mixed up something for me and it was actually really good since it was rose infused! Something I hadn’t had before and pretty cool and of course good! Next, for appies, we got the carpaccio which was very fresh, and the soba noodle with the carpaccio was an interesting complement! It was of course presented very nicely too! The arctic char had a very nice texture and the fish was cooked very well. The sauces, like the olive sauce were kind of weird though. Wasn’t something I preferred. The mussels were pretty good, although they were overloaded with cilantro, and I have to say I dislike cilantro a lot, so it kind of ruined the dish for me. The mussels were really small, but extremely sweet, so that was good. Fries were just okay, nothing too special. Lastly, for desserts we had the caramel bar and lemon meringue. The caramel bar was kind of salty (well it was supposed to be), but I guess it’s just that I don’t extremely like salted chocolate. When you try to break it on the plate, it’s extremely hard and difficult to cut, but when you put it in your mouth, it just melts apart! And the good thing is it doesn’t stick to your teeth! The lemon meringue dessert was probably my favourite dish of the night. It almost tasted like a deconstructed lemon meringue pie. So delicious and you don’t see it on many menus around. Overall, I was quite satisfied with Chambar! For $38 for a 3 course meal, it was definitely worth it. It is quite pricey normally without dine out though, so perhaps I will only go back for a special occasion!

Chambar on Urbanspoon

Pit Burger Bar (UBC)

Waffle Fries

Barbeque Wings

Went to the Pit Burger Bar to grab some snacks to share with my foodie bff, Steph again. This is like our go to place for snacks during our long breaks now. I kept hearing from other friends that the waffle fries are really good, so I had to try them. They reminded me of the curly fries back in high school. So oily and unhealthy, but yet so good! We also decided to try the wings, but we both thought they were just average. Nothing too special, and not the best we’ve had. Mmmm… more to come from the Pit Burger Bar! We’ll be trying more of their foods in the future for sure!

The Pit Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

The Pit Burger Bar (UBC)

Belgian Fries with Garlic Mayo

Mozza Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Decided to get some snacks at the Pit Burger Bar in the SUB at UBC the other day, and ended up trying their Belgian Fries and Mozza Sticks. I actually didn’t know what belgian fries were, but I decided to give them a try anyways. Both my friend and I  found that there was too much seasoning, and therefore was actually really salty! The garlic mayo was really good though. So perhaps, just fries without seasoning plus the mayo would have been perfect. The Mozza Sticks were not bad, but they were probably just frozen and heated up. Being curious what Belgian Fries really were, I actually quickly googled it and found that Belgian Fries are different from normal french fries, because they are freshly cut, cut thicker than usual, and are baked twice! Now I know!

The Pit Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

The Edge Social Grill and Lounge

Hot Chocolate

Sweet Potato Fries with Parmesan Aioli

Honey Garlic Wings

BBQ Wings

Mac & Cheese with Caesar Salad

Eating at The Edge was actually by random as we were planning to go to The Twisted Fork, just very close by, except they didn’t take reservations and was very full by the time we got there. Can’t say it was anything out of the extraordinary, but it’s not bad for the price and service. Food, did however take extremely long to be served. The yam fries were great, but maybe it was because I was hungry. The wings are just average – I didn’t really like the honey garlic ones as it almost tasted bland. Mac & Cheese is one of my favourite comfort foods, but this one was definitely not up to par. It didn’t have that cheddar taste to it, and tasted almost like alfredo. I really only enjoyed the crusted top, but it still wasn’t that great. I could get a better Mac & Cheese at Boston Pizza or somewhere else. Service and ambiance was great, although it was very empty, but maybe it was because it was a weekday. I just wish the food would’ve came out a little quicker. Okay food at a decent price, but probably wouldn’t go back again.

The Edge Social Grille & Lounge on Urbanspoon

JapaDog (Robson Store)

I Love Meat & Terimayo

Shake Fries

Another trip downtown means getting some Japadogs! This time, I tried the I Love Meat, and it was real cheesy. I still prefer the Terimayo though. Most original! And also grabbed some shake fries. I forgot what the name of these were though, but much better than the butter-shoyu I had last time. I found that one too salty and soggy. This one was dry with some sort of flavouring powder. Delicious!

Japadog (Robson Store) on Urbanspoon

The Works Poutine

This is now the third poutine I have tried at New York Fries. This time I went for something more original, and got The Works, which is just bacon bits, sour cream, cheese and usually green onions but I asked to opt out for that. Really delicious, but everything fatty is delicious!

New York Fries (Richmond Centre) on Urbanspoon

The Naam

Gold Dragon Dragon Bowl – mix of Naam fries, cheese, miso gravy, steamed veggies, sprouts, carrots & deep fried tofu

Tempeh Reuben – Marinated tempeh with melted cheese, grilled mushrooms, mustard, sauerkraut & grated beets, on a whole wheat burger bun

Always heard about the Naam, but never got to try it till now! The Naam is a very busy vegetarian restaurant, and you can tell just by the lineups outside. Our wait was around 15 minutes I guess – not too bad. It’s located in the Kitsilano district on Main St, and is open 24 hours everyday! They say they only close on Christmas. That’s pretty crazy! Around half an hour after we got in, live music was also going on. We later found out that there is live music of folk, jazz, and blues every night from 7-10 pm. Not a huge fan of that type of music, but definitely an interesting and lively experience. The decor inside the restaurant is also very funky with wooden furniture and flooring. The restaurant has been given awards from Best Organic Restaurant to Best Vegetarian Restaurant, so definitely well known and worth a try. And the food is really full of veggies, and lots of it! The portions are huge and you can actually get full from all those organics. The burger that my friend tried had tempeh, which was basically a slice of tofu-like patty that is made of soybeans. Pretty interesting! So if you’re craving some veggies or just want to eat healthy, this is the place to go! Open anytime except Christmas, so no excuse to not get some vegetarian food!

Naam on Urbanspoon