Chachi’s

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary. Opinions are based on personal experience.

Thanks to Sherman, a group of food bloggers and I were invited to a menu tasting at the new Chachi’s located in the food court of Metropolis at Metrotown.

Chachi’s goal is to “make mall food better” and this is their first location in BC with plans to expand to other locations in BC. The focus is on sandwiches, but they also have a variety of salads and sides. All ingredients, including cheese, meats and breads are locally sourced. The bread is fresh from a bakery in Langley daily.

You can choose from the set sandwiches on their menu, or build your own.

They also have three of their own lemonades and iced teas.

Freshly made cookies are available as well. The ones we tried were quite healthy with oatmeal and raisins.

Other than their homemade drinks, they also have a select few bottled drinks. Surprisingly, my favourite was the Cherry Iced Tea. It had a light cherry/raspberry flavour to it. Their homemade drinks are overall slightly on the sweeter side, but not bad.

Asiago Caesar

We also tried two of their salads, including the Asiago Caesar which features crisp romaine, bacon garlic crostini, Asiago, Caesar dressing and topped with turkey.

Arugula

My favourite was the Arugula, which had arugula, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, red onions, goat cheese, and a balsamic sauce with turkey. You can choose your type of meat or have it without. I loved the sweetness of the artichokes along with the acidity of the balsamic. The salad was slightly overdressed though, so a little less dressing would have been perfect.

Cali

Onto what we really came here for – the sandwiches! We tried almost all the sandwiches on the menu, inclduing this Cali, which was filled with chicken breast, double smoked bacon, house made guacamole, cheddar, tomato, romaine, and spicy mayo. I really liked how the bread wasn’t too tough.

Bahn Mi

The Bahn Mi was Chachi’s take on the Vietnamese sandwich. It was filled with beef brisket, asian marinade, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic aioli. The beef brisket was very soft and tender, but the sandwich was slightly too saucy.

Hot Philly

The Hot Philly is not for the weak as this is one of the spicier options. Filled with rib steak, bell peppers, onion, jalapeno, provolone, garlic aioli and spicy mayo, this is a delicious spicy sandwich.

Smoked Bacon Breaky Sandwich

They also have some Breaky Sandwiches, including this Smoked Bacon Breaky. I didn’t try this but it looks quite similiar to a McMuffin.

Pork with Mac

My favourite sandwich was the Pork with Mac. This is filled with tender pulled pork, sweet chili, BBQ sauce, and topped with loads of mac ‘n cheese. The pulled pork was so tender and sweet, and the mac ‘n cheese was savoury with a slight spice. Amazing creation!

Dill Chips

They also have homemade chips with a variety of flavours. We tried the Dill Chips, which had a nice pickled flavoured. The chips are kettle cooked and reminded me of Ms. Vickie’s. Addictive!

Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese with Capicollo, Mac ‘N Cheese

The Pork ‘N Mac Sandwich was good, but I would actually just skip the sandwich and order their side of Mac ‘N Cheese. These come in two versions: the original or the spicy with capicollo. These were so smooth and creamy and some of the best mac I’ve had! If you enjoy a bit of spicy, I would highly recommend the Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese with Capicollo.

Overall, Chachi’s is a great addition to the food court by offering a more gourmet sandwich option with quality ingredients. The sandwiches are priced slightly higher at $8-$12, but I can understand since the ingredients are all locally sourced.

Chachi's Metrotown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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Liquids & Solids

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Liquids & Solids is just a few blocks away from work and is perfect whenever you feel like some soup and sandwich. You can grab lunch, which will fill you up for around $10, which is pretty decent around the Broadway area. The shop is bustling at lunch time and you need to first line up to order. They then call your name and you can grab your order to go or to dine in. They offer mainly soups and sandwiches, but also quiches. They change their menu daily, so you may see some daily specials.

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Heavenly Pesto Chicken and Salmon Chowder

On the first occasion, D recommended I try the Heavenly Pesto Chicken. This was delicious! The sandwich was filled with slow roasted chicken topped with aged cheddar, spinach, tomatoes and their popular pesto aioli. This was grilled up on sourdough, which was toasted perfect. The sandwiches are around $7.95, and you can add an extra $2 for soup. I chose the Salmon Chowder, which was filled with salmon pieces and vegetables. Very flavourful!

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Cheesus Crust and Chili

E got the Cheesus Crust, which features a blend of cheddar, provolone, Parmesan and blue cheese. It is topped with a cilantro pesto, roasted red pepper antipasta and a touch of sour cream. She said it was very cheesy and had a slight heat. She also added the Chili to her meal.

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Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork and Chili

On another occasion, I had the Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork, which featured slow roasted pork cooked for hours in Jack Daniel’s sauce. It was topped with carmelized onions and served grilled on Yukon gold, scallion foccacia bread. I also had the Chili which was filled with beans and shredded meat. The chili wasn’t too spicy, but full of ingredients and flavour.

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The pulled pork was very moist and was slightly sweet. You couldn’t really taste the alcohol in it. Overall, great sandwiches and soups and reasonable prices. Not much service, but they are still friendly.

Pros:
– Great variety of sandwiches and soups
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Not much service
– Not too many seats for larger groups

Price Range: $5-15

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

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

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Smokehouse Sandwich Co.

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It’s almost a ritual for N and I to take each other out for our birthdays and this year N suggested we try Smokehouse Sandwich Co. I’ve briefly heard about this spot, but I honestly had no idea where it was. Driving down Westminster Highway, I still could not picture where it was. Between No. 1 and No. 2, there is tiny little plaza and there hides these sandwich company. Such a hidden gem. We arrived early for lunch, but soon after, the place was absolutely packed!

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They have a fairly simple menu board with sandwiches, sides, and drinks. I love how each sandwich has a name to it. You order at the front and they call you when it’s ready. You can then choose a seat to enjoy your meal.

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The interior is rustic and cozy. Tall chairs against wooden tables, with sofas, books, brick walls and rugs. It almost feels like you’re at someones home.

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Iced Honey Ginger Lemon Tea, Iced Strawberry and Mint Tea

We decided to try their only two drinks. Both drinks come as hot versions as well. They are definitely following the current Mason jar trends here. Most of the ingredients have sunk to the bottom, so we were told to shake it well before drinking.

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Iced Honey Ginger Lemon Tea, Iced Strawberry and Mint Tea

N got the Iced Honey Ginger Lemon Tea, which was surprisingly full of ginger flavour. Almost a little too spicy for me! I can imagine the hot version to be perfect if you have a cold. For myself, I had the Iced Strawberry and Mint Tea. Mine was more bland than N’s, but still had a good amount of strawberry flavour. Very refreshing!

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Samson

N got the Samson, which came with coffee crusted strawberry glazed beef brisket, butter leaf lettuce, red bell peppers, and aioli. She said it was delicious! It definitely looked really good! Tons of beef brisket for sure.

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Billie

For myself, I went for the Billie. First, the bun itself is toasted perfectly! It’s crispy on the outside, and soft in the inside. I also liked how none of the ingerdients made the sandwich soggy. Inside the Billie, it was filled with salt-cured pork belly, butter leaf lettuce, tomato salsa and aioli. Something about that tomato salsa and aioli made this sandwich absolutely delicious! The flavours just worked so well together. A little spicy, but not overwhelming. The pork belly also had a good ratio of fat and meat. A must try!

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Crisps

We decided to share a side of Crisps, which are basically like potato chips. They are thin cut potatoes fried in olive oil, so I guess it’s more healthy? The potatoes are so thinly cut! It’s so airy and light. They are already lightly salted, but we were told to try it with their two hot sauces if we like a bit of spice. The red one is made with chilis, smoked garlic, onions, red peppers, and vinegars. I don’t remember what was in the green sauce, but it was definitely much more spicy! Super addicting!

Overall, we were extremely satisfied with the sandwiches we had. The service was also extremely friendly. I loved how the lady asked us what we thought afterwards. It’s always a good sign when restaurants value customer opinions. A hidden gem!

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Coup d’Etat – Paris

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After a few days back in Barcelona, we were off again to our next destination: Paris! I’ve been to Paris when I was in high school for a penpal exchange, so it was great to be back after several years. I guess Paris didn’t change much, but it was weird that we were off to wander the streets ourselves this time. On my last trip to Paris, I had an Italian teacher who taught us French and knew Paris by heart. She was able to recommend us food at cheap prices, but of good quality. I found it to be a struggle this time without a local. Anyways, we had finished checking out the Louvre and we needed lunch so we wandered the area and ended up near the Rivoli metro stop. Many people were eating outside at Coup d’Etat, but we found it a little chilly and headed inside. The atmosphere is pretty hip and cool.

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French Onion Soup

We decided to share two appetizers and one entree. First, we got the French Onion Soup, since we were in France! This was so delicious and filling! Their appetizers are huge! The soup was really thick, with loads of onions, bread soaked in the soup and topped off with lots and lots of cheese. If you love cheesy food, this is the perfect item for you.

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Caprese Salad

My sister was still craving her Caprese Salads, so of course we ordered one. This was presented beautifully with tomatoes layered at the bottom. A few greens on top, and the buffalo mozzarella in the middle. It was topped with a chip that seemed to be a vegetable. Not quite sure what it was, but not bad! The mozzarella was fresh and another cheese dish meant we were completely filled up!

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 Croque Madame

Last but not least, when in France, order a Croque Madame (or Monsieur). It took us a while to figure out what the difference was between a madame and monsieur, but apparently a madame is the same as a monsieur but topped with a sunny side up egg. Both sandwiches have ham and cheese. There was so much cheese on this that we didn’t end up finishing it. Three dishes of cheese. Not exactly sure what we were thinking. However, it tasted wonderful and came with a side of salad to lighten things up.

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And here was our lunch! Overloaded with cheesiness! Also to note is that in Paris, tap water is quite drinkable. Therefore, when you ask for water, just let them know you want tap water. Finally a city where water is free again!

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And we’ll finish the post with a view of the Louvre!

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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Burgoo (West 4th)

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My 3rd year of school is officially done! For now at least… until summer school begins again. This called for a celebration dinner! Since N and I finished our exams at the same time, we decided to meet up for dinner and J joined along. We went to Burgoo on West 4th since I’ve been craving some comfort food and have been seeing too many of their delicious pictures on Instagram these days. Continue reading

Leisure Tea & Coffee (Revisit)

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Crispy Chicken Sandwich

I’ve revisited Leisure way too many times by now. But there still seems to be items that I haven’t tried. I always tend to go for my favourites, but this time I decided to try some other menu items. These are actually two separate visits, but I’ll just put it in one post. The first item was the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. I’ve heard great things about their Club Sandwich, but I was curious to see what a Crispy Chicken Sandwich was. So glad I got this because it was really delicious! They come in a plate of four triangular sandwiches in white bread. Each sandwich has three layers of bread, so it makes it quite large in size. With the crispy chicken inside, which is really their famous Taiwanese chicken, the sandwiches are too big to take a whole bite of. But I didn’t mind that. Inside was also tomatoes, cucumbers and mayo. I would definitely recommend this.

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Crispy Chicken Waffle

Then, on Christmas night after my Christmas potluck, I joined some friends to go to Leisure again… Only Asian restaurants are open on Christmas, so the place was surprisingly quite packed. With all Asians of course. Sadly, I wasn’t too satisfied with my potluck dinner, so I was actually craving some more food by then. I’ve had their Ice Cream Waffle before, but what was a Crispy Chicken Waffle?! I decided to give that a try and it was oh so delicious! It’s really the same thing as the Crispy Chicken Sandwich but in a waffle form. The waffle also had a lot more chicken than the sandwiches. It wasn’t too salty and all the ingredients just worked well together with the vegetables giving a refreshing feel.

Overall, extremely satisfied with both visits again. The food never seem to disappoint!

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