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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Wildebeest

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This year, the firm’s end of busy season tax party was at Wildebeest and I was extremely excited since has been on the list of restaurants I wanted to visit. Located in Gastown, Wildebeest is known for their meat-centric dishes. Many of their dishes are served family style, and you’ll find some not-so-typical meat dishes here.

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Our firm booked up the entire top floor, which featured wooden ambiance with long tables and wooden swivel chairs. They have a bar and an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs in action. Service started very slow in the beginning. We probably sat around for at least 30 minutes with no snacks or drinks being served. It might be because we arrived earlier than they had expected us, but we were all hungry for food. As the first dishes began to roll out though, things picked up and we got our food fairly quickly and there were no further complaints by the end of the night.

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Freshly Shucked Oyster

We had a set menu ready for us with canapés to start. First came the Freshly Shucked Oyster, which was topped with a shallot mignonette and black pepper. This was delicious with the oyster being sweet and fresh. The second item was the Albacore Tuna Tataki, but this ran out by the time it got to our table. I was quite disappointed with this as I thought they would have enough to serve each person one. Some people at my table also didn’t get the oysters. You would think they had made enough for each guest to have at least one.

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Angus Short Rib

The third item was the Angus Short Rib, which seemed to be the favourite item for most people. This had a brown butter jus and was topped with bonito flakes. The bonito flakes gave it a Japanese flare and the meat was cooked to a medium rare. Extremely tender and we all wanted seconds!

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Bjorn Borg

Our cocktails finally came around and I started off with the Bjorn Borg, which is like a slurpee. The ingredients included earl grey, pear, honey, premium Vodka, lemon, and London dry gin. You got that hint of sweetness from the pear and I liked how it was in a slurpee type of form. It reminded me of a Bellini and was very refreshing.

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Pork Rinds

Our set menu also included some snacks to share between around 4 guests. The first were the Pork Rinds. These were crispy and slightly seasoned. StevieD said that they were quite average and tasted like the ones you get off the shelf at the supermarket. Nothing too special. I also agreed and also disliked the fact that the rinds stuck to your teeth.

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Pork Schnitzel

Next were the Pork Schnitzels, which were a favourite at my table. The pork were deep fried to golden brown and the batter was very crispy. It came with a caraway-spiced beer mustard.

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Spiced Hazelnuts

The last snack was the Spiced Hazelnut. These were roasted and seasoned with spices. I didn’t find these too special. They were nice to snack on while waiting for our food, but they didn’t wow me.

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Gaston Collins

Since we were still waiting for our food, we went for another cocktail. This time we chose the Gastown Collins, which has London Dry Gin, Amaro Montenegro, lemon, honey, and IPA. This was a very bitter drink mostly due to the Indian pale ale. None of us really enjoyed this drink.

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Spring Beet Salad

Then our appetizers came. BG got the Spring Beet Salad, which he commented had endless beets. There were both red and yellow beets, along with shaved cucumber, compressed apple, a ricotta salata, miner’s lettuce and a beetroot sorbet.

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Bison Carpaccio

Most guests at my table got the Bison Carpaccio, which featured kalamata olive and soy vinaigrette, pickled shimieji mushrooms, puffed wild rice, and micro arugula. I tasted this as well, and really enjoyed it! You can roll the ingredients with the thin layer of bison, which I thought was a great concept. The bison had a more gamey flavour than your typical beef carpaccio, but all the ingredients worked well together. StevieD commented that he didn’t really like the puffed wild rice as you got that unexpected crunch. S on the other hand like that pop of crunch.

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Bone Marrow

For myself, I decided to try the Bone Marrow. It came with butter leeks and oyster mushrooms on top. It was topped with a crimini mushroom vinaigrette. Grilled country bread accompanied the dish and I was told to spread the bone marrow onto the bread. The bone marrow was very jelly and oily like. It’s definitely not a dish for everyone, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.

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Pan-Seared Halibut

Onto the main course. S got the Pan-Seared Halibut, which came with butter braised potato in a wild mushroom broth. It also came with some Shanghai bok choy and grilled scallions. The halibut was moist and the broth was very flavourful. A dish with many Asian flavours.

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Angus Striploin

For myself, I got the Angus Striploin, which came with roasted fingerling potatoes and cipollini onions, smoked salt, and hay jus. This was served medium rare and you could see it was cooked perfectly with the pink meat. I liked how it was served all cut up already, making it easy to eat. The meat was tender, although I got a piece with a huge piece of fat still stuck on. The potatoes were great and the sauce was addicting. Everyone cleaned up their dish!

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Wildebeest Cheesecake

For dessert, StevieD didn’t want his dessert, so I ended up getting to try two! First was the Wildebeest Cheesecake, which came as sort of a deconstructed cheesecake. It was a whipped cheesecake, with strawberry sorbet and pastry crumble on top. As it was a whipped cheesecake, it was very mousse-like. Definitely not in a cake form. Many of my coworkers enjoyed this, but I could taste that hint of blue cheese in it, which I’m not a fan of.

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Anjou Pear

The second dessert was the Anjou Pear, which I enjoyed much more. It had dark chocolate honeycomb and chocolate ice cream. I loved the honeycomb as it gave it a nice crunch. The pears were candied and I loved this texture.

Overall, Wildebeest was great and I would highly recommend it if you are adventurous and ready to try some exotic meats. Their regular menu even has horse tartare! Everyone agreed that the food tasted great. Service was a bit slow in the beginning, but it definitely picked up by the end of the night. Jason, who was our table’s server for most of the night was also very friendly and knew all his drinks and food very well. Perfect one to ask for suggestions. As food was comped by the firm, I cannot comment too much on the prices. I can say that you do get full from a three course meal, and the portions aren’t as small as you’d expect.

Pros:
– Lots of exotic meats
– All dishes were executed very well

Cons:
– Service was very slow in the beginning

Price Range: N/A (~$30+ per the regular menu)

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

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

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Meat & Bread

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Finally! I can finally say I’ve tried Meat & Bread! I swear literally everyone has been here, and sadly, I have been too lazy to make my way to this awesome sandwich shop. M and I decided to go check it out, and we arrived shortly after noon on a weekday. And of course, we saw the line up that everyone talks about.

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They mainly serve their signature sandwiches, and their infamous Porchetta Sandwich which made its appearance on Diners Drive Ins and Dives. However, they also have a daily sandwich everyday. I guess because their menu is so limited, they can focus on doing their best on those few and therefore they are consistent in their food.

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The owner or co-owner also came out to greet us and she explained to us the menu since we told her it was our first time. Extremely friendly and awesome service! She also assured us that we would find a seat quickly even though the spot is small, but people usually eat and leave right away.

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The line moved along quite fast. They’re efficient in taking orders and making their sandwiches, so we probably only waited for around 10 minutes. Not bad at all.

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You can see how busy it is, but they get the line moving quick!

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And I had to get a picture of the man chopping up the porchetta.

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And here, he’s creating my sandwich! A decent amount of meat and topped it with some pork rinds to add crispiness as well.

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And lastly, he topped it with some salsa verde, which is essentially green salsa (I guess my Spanish class is paying off). The salsa verde totally made the sandwich. The hint of tanginess was perfect!

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Porchetta Sandwich

And here our M and I’s Porchetta Sandwiches! It comes with a glop of mustard as well, which is so delicious! Dip your sandwich in a bit of the mustard, and mixed with the salsa verde, it’s just perfect!

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The bread is surprisingly not too tough. I always assume that this type of bread would be a little tough, but this wasn’t at all. Extremely easy to chew, but it definitely gets a little messy with the overflow of meat. Whenever you bite into the pork rind, you get the crispy texture as well which is awesome!

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SIP Rosemary Lime Soda

Lastly, I finished it off with a SIP Rosemary Lime Soda. M and I both ended up getting drinks because they had such interesting drinks that we thought were pretty “hipster”. Okay, yea they look pretty cool, but we both agreed they didn’t taste as amazing as we imagined. My Rosemary Lime Soda definitely had a hint of rosemary and lime, but it also reminded me of detergent upon first taste… I guess the flavour grew on me after, and it wasn’t so bad in the end. M got the Lemonade and it was extremely sour. But again, he said it was alright after a while.

Now I know why Meat & bread has such great reviews and craze. They know how to make a good sandwich and they stick to the ones they’re good at. I’d actually love to try their other sandwiches as well, and for a gourmet sandwich, the price isn’t too bad for the amount you get. I was genuinely full by the end of my meal. They’ve also opened up another location to cater to all the business people.

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4 Stones Vegetarian

Ground Veggie Meat Sauce with Rice

Curry Fried Rice

Veggie Chicken Cutlet Noodles in Soup

Veggie Chicken Cutlet

My friend brought me to 4 Stones Vegetarian Restaurant and I was really amazed at the dishes they were able to make! I’ve had vegetarian food before, but haven’t tried this place yet, and people had given 4 Stones great ratings. They have a large variety of choices and the fact that they could make chicken cutlet vegetarian was pretty cool. All their rice dishes were also made of brown rice, which made it really healthy. So if you want to try some healthy vegetarian food, or if you’re vegetarian and wanting some variety, this is the place to go!

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