Archive for October, 2009

 

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante (Downtown)

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante (map, website, menu, 970 Smithe Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-408-0808) offers Italian pizzas and pastas in a sophisticated and airy modern atmosphere. The candle-lit dining room with double-height ceiling and balcony is a popular spot for a gourmet pizza before or after a movie. It’s located right next to the Scotiabank Movie Theatre in downtown Vancouver (near Burrard and Smithe).

Formerly a pizza place called Lombardo’s (which still has a location on Commercial Drive near 1st ave), Pacifico continues Lombardo’s practice of serving pizzas with inventive and complementary ingredients. We tried the “Salmone” ($25 for large, pictured below), made with smoked salmon, capers, and red onion. A delightfully chewy crust was brushed with extra virgin olive oil, and topped with lots of cheese.

We also tried their desserts. The Mud Pie ($6.00, pictured below) was fairly run-of-the-mill (still frozen solid) but the restaurant’s house specialty Tiramisu ($7.00, also pictured below) was heavenly.

Some higher-end restaurants have picked up a trend of serving “deconstructed” Tiramisu – a mix of mascarpone cheese, custard, coffee, and some liquor in a cocktail glass, with maybe a few biscuits hidden at the bottom. This mode of presentation may be satisfying in a different way from a slice of cake on a plate – consuming the cocktail glass version is sans fuss and trendy too.

Irashai Grill, an Asian fusion restaurant in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, serves their Tiramisu in a sleek porcelain tray, dusted with a dangerously thick layer of powdered chocolate. Both Irashai’s and Pacifico’s realizations of Tiramisu are worthy of a sweet discovery!

Large smoked salmon pizza ($25) from Pacifico Pizzeria Restorante, a great pizza restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Large smoked salmon pizza ($25) from Pacifico Pizzeria Restorante, a great pizza restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Mud Pie dessert ($6.00) from Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Mud Pie dessert ($6.00) from Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Tiramisu dessert ($7.00) from Pacifico Pizza Restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Tiramisu dessert ($7.00) from Pacifico Pizza Restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante on Urbanspoon

15,785 views - Posted Saturday, October 17th, 2009

 

Little Thailand Restaurant (Port Moody)

Little Thailand Restaurant (map, visitor reviews, 1-2335 St Johns Street, Port Moody, BC, Canada, phone: 604-939-9962) is an authentic Thai restaurant on the ground floor of a quaint house-turned eatery overlooking St. John’s street.

My friend A.C. lives in the Port Moody area, and I asked him to give me a before-dinner tour of this quiet suburb of Vancouver.  We walked down by the railroad tracks north of the restaurant into Moody Centre, an eclectic and historic shopping district. Many small independent shops and several art galleries can be found, living up to Port Moody’s reputation as a city of arts and culture.

The city is also situated in a beautiful natural environment, perfect for outdoor activities. Visitor information about the city of Port Moody can be found on the official web site, which says:

Port Moody has something for every member of the family. With over 27 kilometres of waterfront, water sports such as boating, sailing and kayaking are popular. We also have trails from easy boardwalk strolls to strenuous mountain hikes.

Little Thailand Restaurant has been getting excellent reviews on the website Dinehere.ca, including mapia who writes (click here to read review):

We started with the fresh lemonade and loved the cool and sweet/tart taste. We ordered spring rolls, a small tom kah gai, and (the main event) chicken and prawn pad thai. Hubby (a pad thai virgin) enjoyed every bite. The soup was spicy and delicious. The spring rolls were crisp and not too greasy. The portions were plentiful enough to feed us both to the brim.

We also ordered the Pad Thai (pictured below, $12.95). It was a generous portion and had a great combination of flavors: sweet (as some sugar is added), spicy (chili pepper), salty (fish sauce), and slightly tart (lime juice). The large prawn placed on top was an appealing way to present the dish.

Another dish we ordered was an Indian-influenced Thai curry with chicken and potatoes ($12.95, pictured below) which went well with a bowl of rice ($2.00). For a refreshing drink, we tried the mango juice ($2.50) – a bit watery, but good nevertheless.

If you are lucky to live in the Port Moody area, I’d definitely recommend checking out Little Thailand Restaurant. But visitors to Greater Vancouver without a vehicle may find it difficult to get out to the area from downtown (it’s about a 30-45 minute drive). It is possible to take transit (via the skytrain to Lougheed Mall station and then the 97 B-Line bus up North Road).

Hopefully our local and provincial governments will make the Evergreen Line a reality. It’s the proposed Skytrain transit line which will link Vancouver and Burnaby with Port Moody and Coquitlam. According to the Provincial Government’s web site:

Construction of the Evergreen Line is anticipated to begin in late 2010 and be completed in 4 years.

The proposed Port Moody station on the Evergreen Line is very close to Little Thailand Restaurant.

Happy travels, and keep enjoying Greater Vancouver’s restaurants!

Geoff Peters

Indian Thai Curry with Potatoes and Chicken ($12.95) from Little Thailand Restaurant in Port Moody, BC, Canada.

Indian Thai Curry with Potatoes and Chicken ($12.95) from Little Thailand Restaurant in Port Moody, BC, Canada.

Pad Thai ($12.95) - a national dish of Thailand, served at Little Thailand Restaurant in Port Moody, BC, Canada.

Pad Thai ($12.95) - a national dish of Thailand, served at Little Thailand Restaurant in Port Moody, BC, Canada.

9,805 views - Posted Thursday, October 15th, 2009

 

Andale’s Mexican Cuisine (Broadway, Kitsilano)

Andale’s Mexican Cuisine (map, 3211 W Broadway St., Vancouver, BC, 604-738-9782)

Andale’s has been serving up quality Mexican and Spanish cuisine in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver for as long as I can remember. Fifteen years ago (when I was still a kid), I used to make trips here with my grandmother, a big fan of flamenco dancing. At that time Andale’s had regular live music and flamenco dance.

The flamenco shows took place after my bedtime in those days, but recently I attended a flamenco performance at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (an annual festival of independent theatre in Vancouver). I can understand how my grandmother was enthralled by the rhythm, motion, virtuosity, and inherent danger of the physically demanding dance. Check out this beautiful flamenco video by Polish guitarist Przemyslaw Haluszczak (musician’s bio):

While Andale’s may not be putting on flamenco shows these days, the restaurant is still the same as I remember it – decor complete with white stucco walls, sombreros hung cheerfully amongst pinatas and neon signs for Dos Equis, and colorful handmade blankets fashioned as tablecloths.

The menu has stayed relatively constant over the years with items such as the taco salad (enormous!), enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and fajitas. Vegetarian options are available, and there are plenty of non-vegetarian items as well.

Pictured below is the Seafood Quesadilla ($14.95), a large flour tortilla filled with chili, cheese, and assorted seafood, then grilled and served with ranchero sauce, sour cream, beans, and salad. It was a satisfying and generous meal.

If you head over to Food Vancouver, you can print out a coupon for Andale’s that will give you a half price entree (“buy one item, get 2nd one at half price”).

Seafood Quesadilla ($14.95) from Andales Mexican and Spanish restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC Canada.

Seafood Quesadilla ($14.95) from Andale's Mexican and Spanish restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC Canada.

Andales Mexican Restaurant (Broadway) on Urbanspoon

47,645 views - Posted Friday, October 2nd, 2009