Fast Food - Vancouver Restaurants

 

H-Mart – Korean food fair downtown

H-Mart (wikipedia, website, map, 200 – 550 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada) is a Korean-American grocery store chain with many locations throughout North America. In Vancouver they are on the second floor at the corner of Robson and Seymour – a prime spot in the downtown shopping district.

From a recent press release by H-Mart Online:

As you enter the store, your eyes are greeted with a foyer full of small electrics, including rice steamers and griddles. From there, you enter a world of household necessities including ‘Joy Gloves.’ Which brings up a point. Some product names just don’t come through translation to have the same impact in English as they did in their native country’s language.

[…] The prepared foods are tasty as well. The kim-chee from the refrigerator case is top notch, as are the fried beef and sesame chicken. In the freezers are everything from squid and octopus to red bean ice cream. Try some of the gyoza or steamed dumplings for a treat. There are also frozen ducks in the case labeled ‘duck, parts missing.’ It’s best to not think too hard about which parts are absent.

I really like their gyoza and kim-chee, as well as their prepackaged sushi which becomes discounted near the end of the day.

But a little-known feature of this grocery store is the food court that is at the north side facing Robson street. Here you can get a variety of popular Korean dishes such as the spicy tofu soup, spicy beef broth, seafood pancake, and many more (menu shown below).

I tried the Item #5 which is described as “Mixed Vegetables and Rice in a Stone Hot Pot” ($8.50, pictured below) – it is called Bibimbap in Korean.

The ingredients are arranged artfully on rice in a super-hot stone bowl, and it’s up to you to mix them up and wait a couple minutes for everything to cook.

In the photos below I’ve shown what the dish looks like before and after mixing the ingredients. It tasted fabulous – the combination of rice, egg, vegetables, and meat was quite filling and satisfying but also was non-greasy and seemed healthy.

The stone bowl remains piping hot for a long time; after resting my chopsticks on it for a minute the wood became almost too hot to touch. The dish is served with some kim-chee (spicy Korean pickled cabbage) and a warm soup broth with green onions.

After enjoying Item #5 for a second time, I’ve decided to make the H-Mart Korean Supermarket one of my regular dining spots. Visiting the food fair is like taking a mini vacation to Korea – most of the other patrons seem to be talking in Korean, and many of the signs are in both Korean and English.

Bibimbap Korean food ($8.50) from H-Mart Market in Vancouver BC Canada - before mixing the ingredients.

Bibimbap Korean food ($8.50) from H-Mart Market in Vancouver BC Canada - before mixing the ingredients.

Korean Bibimbap dish after mixing the ingredients in the hot stone bowl.

Korean Bibimbap dish after mixing the ingredients in the hot stone bowl.

H-Mart Korean Food Fair Menu, located on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

H-Mart Korean Food Fair Menu, located on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

Beyond Robson has a review of the H-Mart food court from 2007.

33,749 views - Posted Monday, June 22nd, 2009

 

Cafe Crepe (Downtown, Granville)

Cafe Crepe (map, 796 Granville St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-806-0834) is a restaurant that serves freshly made French style crepes, sandwiches, and Foot Long hot dogs.

The crepes are made in front of you, by smartly dressed chefs, at round grills at the restaurant’s front window. They are made sweet (try chocolate, or apple and cinnamon) or savory (pick from ham, cheese, or a bunch of other ingredients such as mushroom or spinach). Crepes (such as the ones pictured below) cost in the range of $5 to $8 depending on the ingredients. I really like the rich Emmenthal cheese and spongy crepe batter. For the Foot Long hot dog (pictured below, around $5) be sure to try their French mustard and maybe even mayo if you’re a fan.

There are two locations of Cafe Crepe very near to each other on Granville Street downtown. The smaller one (796 Granville, Cafe Crepe “express”) is located next to Future Shop just north of Granville and Robson. The larger one, further down Granville near the Commodore Ballroom (map, 874 Granville St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-806-084), has more sit-down tables and even a private room for parties in the back.

Sometimes they get pretty busy and there might be a bit of a wait, especially if you want to eat-in. Take out orders are usually quite fast.

The other locations of Cafe Crepe in Vancouver are:

Robson Shopping District (map, 1032 Robson St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-488-0045)

South Granville (map, 2861 Granville St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-488-1326)

UBC Campus (map, 103-2151 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-221-1142).

French Hot Dog from Cafe Crepe (yum) - click photo for larger version

French Hot Dog from Cafe Crepe (yum) - click photo for larger version

Ham and Cheese Crepe from Cafe Crepe in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ham and Cheese Crepe from Cafe Crepe in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Cafe Crepe logo on a take-out bag with a glass of wine.

Cafe Crepe logo on a take-out bag with a glass of wine.

Another photo of the crepe from Cafe Crepe restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Another photo of the crepe from Cafe Crepe restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Cafe Crepe on Urbanspoon

Cafe Crepe on Urbanspoon

21,603 views - Posted Monday, February 16th, 2009

 

Ebi Ten Japanese Fast Food (Downtown)

Ebi Ten Japanese Fast Food (map, 388 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-689-9938) is a bright, bustling take-out restaurant across from the Vancouver Main Library downtown that serves inexpensive sushi, teriyaki, tempura, and other tasty Japanese food selections.

The restaurant is run by mostly Japanese students who are very efficient at serving big lineups quickly. Fast food is the name of the game here – Ebi Ten seems to have taken a cue from McDonalds and if there is a big line, someone might take your order while you are still in line, so that when you get to the cashier your food will soon be ready.

Pictured below is some of the ready-made sushi that is available in the refrigerated display case at the entrance to the restaurant. A roll such as the ones pictured costs in the range of $1.75 to $3.00 depending on the type. I really like the Ebi Ten Roll (pictured below) and the Tuna Avocado Roll (also pictured below). Other fun treats to try are the Takoyaki, the battered and deep fried octopus balls which are served with a topping of mayonnaise (not pictured), and the green Seaweed Salad (pictured below) which has a delicate, slightly salty flavor and is a little bit chewy.

Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant is within walking distance of the major theatres such as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Playhouse, as well as the sports stadiums (GM Place Stadium and BC Place Stadium), making it a good place to go to grab a quick bite before a concert, theatre play, or game.

Don’t expect haute cuisine here – the food is simply cheap, fast, filling, and can satisfy a sushi or teriyaki craving.

For more photos and info please view: Part 1, Part 2.

Tuna and Avocado Roll Sushi from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tuna and Avocado Roll Sushi from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Ebi Ten Roll (around $3) from Ebi Ten Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ebi Ten Roll (around $3) from Ebi Ten Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Seaweed Salad from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Seaweed Salad from Ebi Ten Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Ebi-Ten (Robson) on Urbanspoon

22,000 views - Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2009