Category Archives: expand your cultural taste buds

Cook with your Kids & Family- eat real food 

Happy Monday great foodie friends.

The more I see what people consider food (especially the young and young families) the more I realize that we as a society need to get back to the basics. 

Don’t get me wrong, fast food every once in a while should be ok but making it the rule vs. the exception  begs the term “You are what you eat”.

I fully realize how busy life is and that time is short and a rare comoddity for most families but in some way or another through the generations one could always say the family is busy. 

Let’s look at this way, planning and learning are the keys to what I am proposing.

  1. Stay to the outer 4 walls of the grocery store.
  2. Watch cooking shows or look through cookbooks and plan out at least 5 meals for the week. 
  3. Go to farmers markets 
  4. A lot of foods or meals freeze well so you can make it ahead.
  5. Reduce refined sugars, salts and msg loaded seasoning. There are easy recipes to create your own seasoning, sea salts and healthy herbs that will make your foods taste much better.
  6. Do all of this with your kids! 

When you cook with your family it brings us back to our roots. Think about the “family” meal and sitting around the table with friends. It’s what connects us as people and what feeds our soul as well as our bodies. 

Teaching the young that hamburgers and French fires are not the healthiest way to eat but rather roasting a fresh chicken and serving it fresh vegetables are the “norm” will pay off for the future. 

Please don’t take this as a lecture but rather a friendly nudge to remember to learn where your food comes from. Make things fresh ahead that you can incorporate in your weekly meals (pasta sauce, chicken, beef or vegetable broths) and watch how you reconnect with your family and friends as you sit together, cook together and laugh together.

You gotta try this! 

My Shanti – by Vikram Vij 

Happy Tuesday great foodie friends. Just an update to a wonderful newer restaurant in our South Surrey community. 

There is no mistake that the outside of My Shanti will catch your attention! The outside is proudly sparkling and those “sequin” like discs move with the wind and glisten with the sun or light. 

My Shanti means “my peace” and that is defined as soon as you enter the door. 

The beautiful tapestry filling the main wall tells a story of peace and friendship. Now that you are literally in Chef Vikram’s and Bena’s dining room / living room settle in for a dining experience of a flavor ride thorough India with a twist of having My Shanti and Chefs twist of dishes from yesteryear growing up. 

The beginning of your flavor experience starts hours before entering the dining room. 

The magic starts in the kitchen where the chefs are creating fan favorites as well as new dishes with a twist and house made from the freshest ingredients possible. Some of the fun is seeing it all beginning from the spice pallet and then what shows up the table to tingle your tastebuds. 

My shanti is now open for Lunch Thursday – Sunday and now that the summer weather is settling in the great patio is also now open. 

We really need to be thankful for the diversity of culinary choices that are now in our community and take advantage of them being in our back yard. 

We shouldn’t just “eat” and I think you know what I mean. Rather you should eat real food and take the time to experience the diverse flavors that dance across your mouth and warm your tummy.  The measure for me is if I have a great and quality meal made from real food and seasoned with true spices that create flavors rather than the known flavor enhancers that aren’t healthy, and go home not feeling bloated or God forbid guilty then I know I have just had a quality dining experience. 

Bena and her team have created a perfect summer lunch menu including this flavor packed Naanwhich – yes I said Naanwhich filled with wild boar, lamb and topped with masala paneer and pickled onions, tomatoes, spinach and mint yogurt and accompanied with cassava fries! 

A perfect measure of restaurantuers that care about your experience is coming around your table and truly asking of your are enjoying your dish. You will see either Bena or Vikram walking through the dining room doing just that. Taking the time to honor those who grace your doors is something that we deserve! We work hard for our dollar so shouldn’t you enjoy what you spend it on, and feel let alone be appreciated by the restaurant? That is what you can expect at My Shanti.

Let’s get out and enjoy the summer and support our great new restaurants in our community! 

This is my first write up in what will be a series or short posts celebrating the restaurants on the South Surrey / White Rock Peninsula. We are so fortunate in the lowermainland with top restaurants and fantastic chefs, we also should not forget that many of them have looked and our community and come to feed us! 

You gotta try this! 

My opinion is my own and Soley based on my experiences. This review was not previewed by the restaurant nor influenced by anyone other than me. 

Cinco De Mayo 

Happy Cinco De Mayo ! 

Although most of my Mexican friends say that Cinco De Mayo is really a day to celebrate created by the rest of North America and not really the same celebration in Mexico (though it is a day off from work!) it is a good reason to enjoy good food, good chocolate (thank you to the Mayan Culture for Chocolate!) and great coffee with friends!

Enjoy the fantastic celebrations & libations of the day but be safe safe and take care of your friends! 

Look for the special treats offered around Vancouver and share with us the great treats that you find! Pictures would be great and I will share them with a follow up post! 

Here are a few pictures of great things to search out:

And don’t for get the chocolate terrine or cafe! 

Have a great day! happy Cinco De Mayo! 

2016 Golden Plates – people’s Choice awards 

2016 golden plates


Happy Wednesday great foodie friends. It has been some time since my last post but life just sometimes hops in front of passions. That said my family is my passion and I would t change a thing.

This years 19th Annual  Golden Plates awards are out and what I love about them is though we are all not necessarily food critics, we do know what we like and what we don’t! We all spend to much of our honestly made $ to throw it away so we do pay attention to what we like and what we don’t.

This years awards notably have many of my favorites but there are also so many that no one person could ever try them all in one year (well I suppose it’s possible but not probable)

I hope you enjoy!


Golden Plates 2016 Winners


Cuisines From Around the World


Entertainment & Drinks

All Winners

Best restaurant overall

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Forage, 1300 Robson

Best fine dining

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Le Crocodile, 100-909 Burrard

Best mid-price restaurant

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro, 2741 W. 4th

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best budget restaurant

La Taqueria, Various locations

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best hotel restaurant

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

YEW seafood + bar, 791 W. Georgia

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, 845 Burrard

Best hotel café

Bel Café, 801 W. Georgia

giovane cafe + wine bar, 1038 Canada Place

Beyond Coffee, 1015 Burrard

Best resort restaurant

The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane, Tofino

The Great Room, Long Beach Lodge Resort, 1441 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino

The Wildflower Restaurant at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, 4599 Chateau Blvd., Whistler

Best casino for eats

River Rock Casino, 8811 River Rd., Richmond

Edgewater Casino, 760 Pacific Blvd. S

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, 2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam

Best view restaurant

Seasons in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Park (West 33rd Avenue at Cambie Street)

Cactus Club Café, 1790 Beach

Salmon House on the Hill, 2229 Folkestone Way, West Vancouver

Best restaurant considered a Vancouver legend

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

White Spot, Various locations

Best restaurant interior design

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Best restaurant atmosphere

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best restaurant service

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Best use of local ingredients

Edible Canada, 1596 Johnston, Granville Island

Forage, 1300 Robson

Fable, 1944 W. 4th

Most romantic restaurant

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Adesso Bistro, 1906 Haro

Best kid-friendly restaurant

White Spot, Various locations

Old Spaghetti Factory, Various locations

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Best place for food on campus

Biercraft Westbrook at UBC, 3340 Shrum Lane, UBC

Mercante Cucina Italiana, 6488 University Boulevard

Doughgirls Comfort Kitchen & Bakeshop, 3322 Shrum Lane

Best catering company

The Lazy Gourmet, 1605 W. 5th

The Butler Did It Catering, 620 Clark Drive

Emelle’s Catering and Westside Kitchen, 177 W. 7th

Best chain restaurant

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

White Spot, Various locations

Best restaurant for people-watching

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Chill Winston, 3 Alexander

Best restaurant for a birthday celebration

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Nomad, 3950 Main

Best restaurant for lingering over dinner

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Bauhaus Restaurant, 1 W. Cordova

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Best restaurant patio

Dockside, 1253 Johnston, Granville Island

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Bridges Restaurant, 1696 Duranleau, Granville Island

Best restaurant in which to hang out on a rainy day

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best restaurant in which to hang out on a sunny day

Local Public Eatery, 2210 Cornwall

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Best restaurant for a first date with somebody you met online

33 Acres Brewing Company, 15 W. 8th

The Flying Pig, Various locations

Torafuku, 958 Main

Best restaurant for a 3 a.m. meal

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Denny’s Restaurant, Various locations

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

Best restaurant to cure a hangover

Denny’s Restaurant, Various locations

Yolk’s Restaurant & Commissary, 1298 East Hastings Street

Joe’s Grill, Various locations

Best all-you-can-eat restaurant

Shabusen Yakiniku House, 202-755 Burrard

New India Buffet & Restaurant, 805 W. Broadway

Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant, 201-1128 W. Broadway

Best hole-in-the-wall

Hawke’rs Delight, 4127 Main St

Bon’s Off Broadway, 2451 Nanaimo

Bao Down, 12 Powell

Best food truck

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Vij’s Railway Express, Mobile locations

Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mobile locations

Best food court

Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby

Pacific Centre, 701 W. Georgia

Richmond Centre, 6551 No 3 Rd., Richmond

Best takeout/delivery

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Next Noodle Bar, 560 Robson

Bob Likes Thai Food, Various locations

Hon’s Wun-Tun House, Various locations

Best Burnaby restaurant

Anton’s Pasta Bar, 4260 E. Hastings, Burnaby

The Pear Tree Restaurant, 4120 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Hart House Restaurant, 6664 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby

Best North Shore restaurant

Arms Reach Bistro, 107C–4390 Gallant Ave., North Van

Olive & Anchor, 6418 Bay St., West Van

Canyon, 3135 Edgemont Blvd., North Van

Best Richmond restaurant

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond

Best Surrey, Delta, White Rock, and Langley restaurant

Tasty Indian Bistro, 8295 120th St., Delta

My Shanti, 15869 Croydon Dr., Surrey

Central City Brew Pub + Restaurant, 13450 102nd Ave., Surrey

Best New Westminster, Port Moody, Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam restaurant

Pajo’s, Various locations

Cockney Kings Fish & Chips, Various locations

Thai New West, 424 E Columbia St., New Westminster

My Greek Taverna, Various locations

Best Whistler restaurant

RimRock Cafe, 2117 Whistler Rd., Whistler

Red Door Bistro, 2129 Lake Placid Rd., Whistler

Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar, 4222 Village Square, Whistler

Most vegan-friendly

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

The Acorn, 3995 Main

Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W. 12th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best gluten-free dining

The Acorn, 3995 Main

The Wallflower, 2420 Main

Panne Rizo Bakery & Cafe, 1939 Cornwall

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best organic dining

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

The Acorn, 3995 Main

Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W. 12th

Best African

Simba’s Grill, 825 Denman

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant, 2149 Commercial

Fassil Ethiopian Restaurant, 5-736 E. Broadway

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant , 1279 E. Hastings

Best barbecue

Gyu-Kaku, Various locations

Great Wall Mongolian BBQ, Various locations

Memphis Blues Barbeque House, Various locations

Best Caribbean

Calabash Bistro, 428 Carrall

The Reef, Various locations

Havana, 1212 Commercial

Best chicken

Homer St. Cafe and Bar, 898 Homer

Nando’s, Various locations

Phnom Penh Restaurant, 244 E. Georgia

Best Chinese (Cantonese)

Kirin, Various locations

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Hon’s Wun-Tun House, Various locations

Best Chinese (Shanghainese + northern style)

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Shanghai River Restaurant, 7831 Westminster Hwy., Richmond

Best Chinese (Taiwanese + other)

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, 163 Keefer

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle, Various locations

Best Continental

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Tuc Craft Kitchen, 60 W. Cordova

Bauhaus Restaurant, 1 W. Cordova

Best dim sum

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Kirin, Various locations

Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant, 1132 E. Hastings

Best fish and chips

Go Fish, 1505 W. 1st

Cockney Kings Fish & Chips, Various locations

The Fish Shack, 1026 Granville

Best fish/shellfish

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Coast, 1054 Alberni

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

Rodney’s Oyster House, Various locations

Best French

Le Crocodile, 100-909 Burrard

Bistro Pastis, 2153 W. 4th

Les Faux Bourgeois, 663 E. 15th

Best fries

Fritz European Fry House, 718 Davie

Belgian Fries, 1885 Commercial

Frites Vancouver, 1011 Granville St

Best Greek

The Greek by Anatoli, 1043 Mainland

Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna, 1124 Davie

Takis’ Taverna, 1106 Davie

Best hot pot

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot, 5108 Victoria

Won More, 201–1184 Denman

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, 405–5300 No.3 Road, Richmond

Best Italian

Ask for Luigi, 305 Alexander

CinCin, 1154 Robson

Anton’s Pasta Bar, 4260 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Best izakaya

Hapa Izakaya, Various locations

Kingyo Izakaya, 871 Denman

Guu, Various locations

Best Japanese

Miku Restaurant, 70-200 Granville

Minami, 1118 Mainland

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen + Sushi Bar, 2054 Commercial

Guu, Various locations

Best Korean

Sura Korean Royal Cuisine, Various locations

Damso Modern Korean Cuisine, 867 Denman

MDG Ma Dang Goul, 847 Denman

Best Latin American

La Taqueria, Various locations

Cuchillo, 261 Powell

Chicha, 136 E. Broadway

Best Lebanese

Nuba Restaurant and Café Nuba, Various locations

Babylon Café, Various locations

Saj&co, 813 Davie St.

Best Malaysian

Banana Leaf, Various locations

Kaya Malay Bistro, 1063 W. Broadway

Tropika, Various locations

Best Mediterranean

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Nuba Restaurant and Café Nuba, Various locations

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, 1133 and 1129 Hamilton

Best Mexican

Las Margaritas Restaurante y Cantina, 1999 W. 4th

La Taqueria, Various locations

La Mezcaleria, 1622 Commercial

Best Middle Eastern

East is East, Various locations

Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, 202-1833 Anderson St., Granville Island

Afghan Chopan, Various locations

Tamam: Fine Palestinian Cuisine, 2616 E. Hastings

Best noodles

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Legendary Noodle House, 1074 Denman

Noodlebox, Various locations

Shaolin Noodle House, 656 W. Broadway

Best North Indian

Vij’s, 3106 Cambie

Indian Oven, 2006 W. 4th

Maurya Indian Cuisine, 1643 W. Broadway

Best South Indian

House of Dosas, 1391 Kingsway

Chutney Villa, 147 E. Broadway

Dosa Corner, 8248 Fraser

Best Pacific Northwest

AnnaLena, 1809 W. 1st

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Best Persian

Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, 202-1833 Anderson St., Granville Island

Zeitoon, Various locations

Cazba Restaurant, Various locations

Best pizza by the slice

Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizzeria, 350 Robson

Nat’s New York Pizzeria, Various locations

Pizza Garden, Various locations

Goldies Pizza, Various locations

Best pizza takeout/delivery

Pizzeria Farina, 915 Main

Pizza Carano, 4241 Fraser

Pizza Garden, Various locations

Uncle Fatih’s Pizza, Various locations

Best pizzeria

Nicli Antica Pizzeria, 62 E. Cordova

Via Tevere, 1190 Victoria

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante, 970 Smithe

Best poutine

La Belle Patate, 1215 Davie

Fritz European Fry House, 718 Davie

Belgian Fries, 1885 Commercial

The Spud Shack Fry Co., 352-800 Carnarvon St., New Westminister

Best ramen

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, 1690 Robson

JINYA Ramen Bar, 270 Robson

Kintaro Ramen, 788 Denman

Best seafood

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Coast, 1054 Alberni

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

YEW seafood + bar, 791 W. Georgia

Best Spanish

España, 1118 Denman

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell

Cabrito Tapas-Bebidas, 2270 Commercial Dr.

Best steak

Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Various locations

Gotham Steakhouse & Bar, 615 Seymour

Hy’s Encore, Various locations

Black + Blue, 1032 Alberni

Best sushi

Tojo’s Restaurant, 1133 W. Broadway

Miku Restaurant, 70-200 Granville

Minami, 1118 Mainland

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen + Sushi Bar, 2054 Commercial

Best tacos

La Taqueria, Various locations

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Sal y Limon, 701 Kingsway

Gringo, 27 Blood Alley Square

Best tapas

España, 1118 Denman

Bodega on Main, 1014 Main

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell

Best Thai

SalaThai Thai Restaurant, Various locations

U & I Thai, Various locations

Maenam, 1938 W. 4th

Bob Likes Thai Food, Various locations

Best Vietnamese

Phnom Penh Restaurant, 244 E. Georgia

Green Lemongrass, 8180 Westminster Highway

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro, 1184 Denman

Best wings

Wings Tap & Grill, Various locations

Library Square Public House, 300 W. Georgia

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro, 1184 Denman

Best Chef

Mike Robbins (AnnaLena), 1809 W. 1st

David Gunawan (Royal Dinette), 905 Dunsmuir

Mark Perrier (Savio Volpe), 615 Kingsway

Best new restaurant

AnnaLena, 1809 W. 1st

The Mackenzie Room, 415 Powell

Royal Dinette, 905 Dunsmuir

Best neighbourhood for restaurants



Main St.

Best place for casual cooking classes

The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, 540 Beatty

Quince, 1780 W. 3rd

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

Best professional culinary school

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 101-1505 W. 2nd

Vancouver Community College, 250 W. Pender

Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, 2725 Main Street

Best cooking store

Ming Wo, Various locations

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

Cook Culture, Various locations

Best specialty food store

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

The August Market, 3958 Main

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best farmers market

Trout Lake

Nat Bailey

Kits Farmer’s Market

Best specialty grocer

Urban Fare, Various locations

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best store to buy organics products

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

The August Market, 3958 Main


Best picnic supplier

Granville Island Public Market, 1689 Johnston

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Meinhardt Fine Foods, 3002 Granville

Best deli

Oyama Sausage Company, 126-1689 Johnston, Granville Island

Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli, 4142 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Santa Barbara Market, 1322 Commercial

Best butcher

Windsor Quality Meats, 4110 Main

Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli, 4142 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Jackson’s Meats and Deli, 2214 W. 4th

Best seafood store

Granville Island Public Market, 1689 Johnston

The Daily Catch Seafood Company, 1418 Commercial

7 Seas Fish Co., Various locations

Best specialty cheese store

Les Amis du Fromage, Various locations

Benton Brothers Fine Cheese, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best grocery store café

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Urban Fare, Various locations

Meinhardt Fine Foods, 3002 Granville

Best retro café/grocer

Le Marché St. George, 4393 St. George

The Mighty Oak, 198 W. 18th

Harvest Community Foods, 243 Union

Best retro diner

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, 2095 W. 4th

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

The Templeton, 1087 Granville

Best diner

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, 2095 W. 4th

The Templeton, 1087 Granville

Best bistro

Tableau Bar Bistro, 1181 Melville

Au Comptoir, 2278 W. 4th

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Best comfort food

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Best pub food

The Irish Heather Gastropub, 210 Carrall

The Charles Bar, 136 W. Cordova

Mahony & Sons Public House, Various locations

St. Augustine’s, 2360 Commercial

Best appetizers

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Nomad, 3950 Main

Best salads

Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods, Various locations

The Foundation, 2301 Main

Railtown Cafe, 397 Railway

Best sandwiches

The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, 540 Beatty

Finch’s Tea & Coffee House, 353 W. Pender

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Best soups

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

The Stock Market, 1689 Johnston, Granville Island

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Best vegetarian

The Acorn, 3995 Main

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best veggie burger

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Best burger

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Vera’s Burger Shack, Various locations

Cannibal Cafe, 1818 Commercial

Fatburger, Various locations

White Spot, Various locations

Best brunch

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Nomad, 3950 Main

Fable, 1944 W. 4th

Best breakfast

Yolk’s Restaurant & Commissary, 1298 East Hastings Street

White Spot, Various locations

Catch 122, 122 W. Hastings

Best bagel

Solly’s Bagelry, Various locations

Siegel’s Bagels, Various locations

Rosemary Rocksalt, Various locations

Best bread bakery

Terra Breads, Various locations

Purebread, 159 W. Hastings

Batard Boulangerie and Cafe Moderne, 3958 Fraser

Best pastry bakery

Beaucoup Bakery & Café, 2150 Fir

Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry & Confectionary, 3150 W. Broadway

Fratelli Bakery, Various locations

Best gluten-free bakery

The Smallflower Cake & Bakeshop, 47 W. Hastings

Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery, 3385 Cambie

East Village Bakery, 2166 E. Hastings

Float On Bakeshop & Cafe, 4384 Fraser

Best desserts

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie, Various locations

720Sweets, 3278 W. Broadway

Thierry, 1059 Alberni

Best ice cream

Earnest Ice Cream, 3992 Fraser

Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream, Various locations

720Sweets, 3278 W. Broadway

Best gelato

Bella Gelateria, Various locations

Mario’s Gelati, 88 East 1st Avenue

La Casa Gelato, 1033 Venables St

Best frozen yogurt

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar, Various locations



Yogen Fruz

Best chocolate shop

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie, Various locations

Purdy’s Chocolates, Various locations

Beta 5, 413 Industrial

Mink, a Chocolate Café, Various locations

Best doughnut shop

Cartems Donuterie, 534 W. Pender

Lucky’s Doughnuts, Various locations

Lee’s Donuts, 122-1689 Johnston, Granville Island

Best restaurant for a working lunch

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar, Various locations

Best eatery with live entertainment

Ten Ten Tapas, 1010 Beach

Libra Room, 1608 Commercial

Guilt & Co., 1 Alexander

East is East, Various locations

Best pre-theatre restaurant

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Siena, 1485 W. 12th

Cibo Trattoria, 900 Seymour

Best pregame restaurant

Library Square Public House, 300 W. Georgia

Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery, 560 Smithe

The Pint Public House, 455 Abbott

Best restaurant for watching the game

Boston Pizza, Various locations

Shark Club, Various locations

Local Public Eatery, 2210 Cornwall

Best hotel lounge

Lobby Lounge Terrace + RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place

1927 Lobby Lounge at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 W. Georgia

Opus Bar, 322 Davie St.

Best bar lounge

The Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer

Pourhouse , 162 Water

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour

Best bartender

Matt van Dinther (Nomad), 3950 Main

H (Notturno)

Julia Diakow (Tacofino), 2327 E. Hastings

Best restaurant B.C. beer selection

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander

Craft Beer Market, 85 W. 1st

BierCraft Restaurants, Various locations

Best restaurant imported beer selection

BierCraft Restaurants, Various locations

Craft Beer Market, 85 W. 1st

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander

Best restaurant wine list (B.C.)

Edible Canada, 1596 Johnston, Granville Island

Vancouver Urban Winery, 55 Dunlevy

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar, 900 W. Georgia

Best restaurant wine list (imported)

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Best wine bar

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour

Salt Tasting Room, 45 Blood Alley

Grapes & Soda, 1541 W. 6th

Best winery/vineyard restaurant

Miradoro Restaurant, Tinhorn Creek Winery, 537 Tinhorn Creek Road, Oliver

Quails’ Gate, 3303 Boucherie Road, Kelowna

The Sonora Room, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl.

Best restaurant for cocktails

The Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, 845 Burrard

Best restaurant for drink specials

Colony Main Street, 2904 Main

Cascade Room, 2616 Main

Granville Room, 957 Granville

Best restaurant for a stiff drink

The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, 905 Dunsmuir

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Shebeen Whisk(e)y House, Behind 212 Carrall

Best pub

Doolin’s Irish Pub, 654 Nelson Street

Bimini Public House, 2010 W. 4th

Storm Crow Tavern, 1305 Commercial Dr

Best brewpub restaurant

Steamworks, 375 Water

Yaletown Brewing Co., 1111 Mainland Street

Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall, 97 E. 2nd

Best local distillery

Odd Society Spirits, 1725 Powell Street

The Liberty Distillery, 1494 Old Bridge Rd., Granville Island

Long Table Distillery, 1451 Hornby St.

Best imported beer



Sierra Nevada

Best local brewery

Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

Postmark Brewing, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Central City Brewers + Distillers, 11411 Bridgeview Drive, Surrey

Best new brewery

Big Rock Urban Brewery, 310 W. 4th

Doan’s Craft Brewing

Callister Brewing Co

Best brewery tasting room

Brassneck Brewery, 2148 Main Street

Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

33 Acres Brewing Company, 15 W. 8th

Best locally brewed beer

Granville Island Brewing – Lions Winter Ale, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

Parallel 49 – Gypsy Tears, 1950 Triumph Street

Postmark Brewing – Blonde, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Best B.C. beer brewed outside Vancouver

Driftwood Fat Tug IPA, 102-450 Hillside Ave., Victoria

Phillips Brewing Blue Buck, 2010 Government St., Victoria

Four Winds IPA

Best Canadian beer brewed outside B.C.

Steam Whistle Brewing

Mill Street Brewery, 55 Mill St., Toronto

Alexander Keith’s

Best B.C. wine/winery (red)

Burrowing Owl, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl., Oliver

Blasted Church, 378 Parsons Road, Okanagan Falls

Le Vieux Pin, 5496 Black Sage Rd., Oliver

Best B.C. wine/winery (white)

JoieFarm Winery, 2825 Naramata Road, Naramata

Blasted Church, 378 Parsons Road, Okanagan Falls

Burrowing Owl, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl., Oliver

Le Vieux Pin, 5496 Black Sage Rd., Oliver

Best private wine store

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

Firefly Fine Wines and Ales, 2857 Cambie Street

Everything Wine

Best private liquor store

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

The Brewery Creek Liquor Store, 3045 Main Street

Darby’s, 2001 Macdonald

Best private beer store

The Brewery Creek Liquor Store, 3045 Main Street

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

My Liquor Store, Various locations

Best independent coffee shop

Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie

Beaucoup Bakery & Café, 2150 Fir

Bump n Grind Cafe, 916 Commercial

Best coffee shop (local chain)

JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, Various locations

49th Parallel, Various locations

Caffè Artigiano, Various locations

Best coffee shop (national chain)

Tim Hortons, Various locations

Starbucks, Various locations

Waves Coffee House

Best fair trade coffee shop

Ethical Bean Coffee, 1315 Kootenay

Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House, Various locations

Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie

Best tea house

The Secret Garden Tea Company, 5559 West Boulevard

DAVIDsTEA, Various locations

O5 Rare Tea Bar, 2208 W. 4th

Best juice bar

The Juice Truck, 28 W. 5th

Jugo Juice

The Juicery Co., Various locations

Best energy drink

Red Bull

The Juice Truck, 28 W. 5th


Best beer festival/event

Vancouver Craft Beer Week


Brewery and Beast

Best wine festival/event

Vancouver International Wine Festival


Naramata Bench Wineries Spring and Fall Events

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Dine Out Vancouver

Food Truck Festival

Eat! Vancouver

Congratulations to all of my restaurant friends and for the ones that I haven’t tried yet I will do my best to add at least a few per month.

Please revel in the culinary wonderment that BC has to offer and take a look at how our food scene has changed for the better. Whether you are looking for great chain restaurants or Farm to Table or even gluten free, BC has a plethora of choices abound.

You Gotta try this!




Vikram Vij- A chef to watch and follow

Happy Thursday great foodie friends.
I wanted to share my experience at an event I was l honored to be invited to. #VikramsTour
The very second that you meet Vikram you are captured by his stories, words and demeanor. Vikram is the true balance of being genuinely humble but so charismatic and colorful at the same time.
You quickly realize that this magnate is true example of hard work and true proof that you should never look at a mountain as too high to climb.
In 1994 Vikram and team under his wife and fellow chef Mee­ru Dhalwala opened their first restaurant in Vancouver- Vij’s – a 14 seat flavor and aroma wonder that hit the Vancouver culinary scene with truly traditional Indian cuisine. You can never equate Vikram’s style of cooking as main stream or faddy but rather a true reflection of the unique flavors of his homeland. Flavors and recipes simply from his grandparents, parents and family friends kitchens and true to the ancient heritage and routes of genuine and regional flavors.

Vikram started our tour of his Vij’s at Home take home curries in Langley with several food writers, media and the film crew of Dragons Den. If you haven’t heard yet Vikram will be one of the two new Dragons!


Vikram definitely captures the attention of the group while passionately describing his first steps on the property in 2007 and how important it was to maintain the natural lands he was building on by minimizing the impact of the build out. Vikram also spent countless hours looking at different options to build


back into this new building and opted for a “green” roof and investing in the structural engineering to accommodate that. If you see the building from the air, it would almost look like green space!
We now started our education of Vikram’s at Home and the aromas gently greet you upon entering the building.


One issue that Vikram stayed focused on like a laser was how to preserve the unique and beautiful flavors through the large batching, processing and packaging process. He wants to ensure that when we open the package at home that your kitchen would fill with the tastes aromas and flavors that were intended to show!
Pasteurizing is a typical and lower cost option to preserve the food but can’t ensure that the product would taste the way Vikram wanted it be. Vikram looked at another option that worked just right! Blast freezer
By taking the product from 80 degrees to 4, then minus 32 within approx 35 minutes it preserves the unique flavors and quality that Vikram strives for.
All that said what you quickly notice is that even though you are in a food factory and expect complete automation you will see that the important part of Vikram’s secret weapon is to continue to infuse the passion and love into each and every package through many hand made processes.
The spices are still roasted traditionally and manually every week, and many of the ingredients are still hand cut.



After a great education and reassuring confirmation that this truly respected chef that believes in the same exact core values that I have always believed and found on my culinary journey – “Get in the kitchen and cook, but do it with smiles in your heart, love, soul and passion and it will surely show in your food” Food doesn’t define us necessarily but it does connect us to family, friends and new friends. Even in a “commercial” application of Vikram’s food, this key ingredient is not overlooked.
The tour wrapped up in Chef Vikram’s office and some more intriguing stories of his days gone past.


Vikram showed us one of his prize possessions- a wood menu that he hand carved for his restaurant.

Now off to My Shanti, Vikram’s new eatery in South Surrey. Being that I live in the area I was thrilled to see this flavour train arrive and bring a new twist to the restaurant scene in South Surrey.

From the moment you turn the corner to look for My Shanti, it’s right front an centre and not easy to miss! In True Vikram Vij style the outside of the restaurant is unique and not like any other in the area.

It really is a preview to the wonderment that the diner is about to experience once inside.
Attention to every detail of what Vikram’s wants you to experience is seen everywhere. A successful entrepreneur knows that in these complicated times you don’t win the battle of patrons with a good this or that, but rather you do win when you create an


, a whole feeling from start to finish to relax yet entertain you.
Vikram had this hand woven and hand painted mural commissioned in India specifically for My Shanti

The Tree Of Life

is made from one piece and fills nearly the whole wall that you see once you enter the dining room!


The dining room is comfortable and welcoming leaving you relaxed and ready to experience a culinary flavour ride from Vikram’s kitchen.
Vikram has a unique awareness of balance and humility always recognizing those who are on his culinary journey of life always recognizing that he couldn’t do it or be successful without his awesome team.

The food at My Shanti is unique to traditional Indian fare, not like the North American perception of Westernized Indian dishes. The quality of ingredients is evident and the care in preparing the dishes is present in the depth of flavours, textures and unique presentation.




The dishes we tried were all unique and truly had depth in flavours to set you up thinking what is next!? To truly enjoy Vikram’s new concept restaurant you must go for a great dinner where you will be taken care of his staff who is there to help guide you through the beautiful dishes that Vikarm and his culinary team have created. The attention to detail is evident and furthermore you are likely to have the smiling face of Chef Vikram or Bena drop by your table to ensure that they see you are enjoying the experience. You are not going solely to eat but rather to have a culinary experience- sight, smells, tastes and all around experience.

Take a look at the wonderful bar that Vikram has created that has chosen to serve real drinks from days gone past and new creations all made by hand with fresh ingredients and in the style of “Speak Easy” concoctions rather than the premixed versions you so often find in many other spots.
Do you recall that I mentioned Dragons Den ?
Well in case you hadn’t heard Vikram Vij is one of the new Dragons and will surely be as entertaining with his passion and colourful demeanour in the den as he is in the kitchen.
We are thrilled to have Vikram’s My Shanti in South Surrey and look forward to many great dinners to come.

Remember that just like all of Vikram’s retsuarants- they don’t take reservations, it is first come first serve and true to Vikram’s belief that we all are created equal.


You Gotta Try This!
My Shanti on Urbanspoon}

Famoso Pizzeria hits South Surrey

Happy Sunday great foodie friends,


A wonderful pizzeria has come to South Surrey! Famoso
Who is Famoso?
Famoso Story
In the summer of 2005 co-owner Justin Lussier traveled through Italy and Naples and fell in love with the mouth-watering fire-roasted pizzas served throughout the country.

After eating at Pizzeria Sorbillo in Naples, Justin found a payphone and immediately called his friends and future partners, Jason Allard and Christian Bullock. They soon decided that they needed to bring authentic Neapolitan pizza to Canada.

Training with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), organization preserving the standards of authentic Neapolitan pizza, the Famoso boys learned about the unique ingredients and cooking process required.

The rest is history…
Famoso wisely imports it’s flour and tomato sauce from Italy and takes the fine ingredients along with there unique training and brings you a taste of Italy to your back yard!

The restaurants are upscale casual and have a unique style of service. You browse the menu and then write down your choices and go up to hand your order in and pay. Take your seat again and the rest of the service will be brought to you.
The pizzeria has an impressive pizza oven that bakes your authentic Neapolitan pizza in a mere 90 seconds due to its intense heat.
Famoso’s menu is full of great flavours and choices but is also simple as Italian food should be. They know who they are and what they want to bring to their customers so keep it simple.



If you are dining in, you have your choice of a full size pizza or a Pizzetta (a personal size)
Try their fire roasted Tomato bisque or one of their fresh salads…. Each dish brings you flavour wow and will leave you wanting more.

Where are they?

Morgan Crossing
Tel: 604-560-9544
15865 Croydon Drive
Sun-Thurs: 11am – 11pm
Fri-Sat: 11am – Midnight




If you don’t have time sit and dine, call ahead for a take out pizza.
This location is brand new so is doing their best to work out the initial training and new opening trials but the flavours and great tastes are already right on the money,
You Gotta Try This!

Did I mention to try the gelato? If not, ITS A MUST!

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (Morgan Crossing) on Urbanspoon

The 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America

The 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America – brought to us from and Adam Lapetina – thank you for compiling such a great list. How about compiling a Canadian list with a collaboration with me?


THE PERFECT SANDWICH is hard to find. But when you do find it, you have to pay homage. From superior ingredients to the freshest-baked bread and sauces that make you say, “Dammit, I kind of want to drink that!”, the ideal sammie has to strike a delicate balance, and the people who make them have hit upon something way more important than just a portable meal.

So, without further ado, here are the 21 best sandwich shops in America. Prepare to get hungry:

WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Whatever’s available
The only BYOB joint in Charleston also makes its finest sandwiches, which you can knock back in a dining room that feels like a friend’s place. Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich, with their crunchy version of the distinctly American-Chinese dish, replete with broccoli rabe, jalapeños, and carrot slaw on a crispy roll. Oh, and heads up — they’re also open late on weekends, meaning this is generally where the party will end up anyway.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Fried chicken + jack
A relative newcomer to the sandwich scene, East Hampton was founded in 2012 by an aspiring lawyer who traded tort reform for torta reform (sorry) and assembled a team of sandwich-crazed artisans to help him advocate for YOU. What resulted is a sleekly minimalistic temple of farm-to-table goodness, with the likes of Southern fried chicken, avocado mash, pepper jack, greens, and cured bacon with a jalapeño cream sauce, where they have quite obviously plead guilty of being totally awesome.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Jon & Amy’s Double Dip
We already mentioned Zingerman’s in our college sandwich-shop roundup, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t warrant being mentioned again — and here we are! Zingerman’s isn’t just a sandwich shop; it’s an institution, with a creamery, a roadhouse, and a bakery, all rolled up into a package that also happens to sling some of the best deli meats, pickles, and sides in the entire country. It’s a little on the pricey side, but that’s a non-issue when you consider the fact that you’ll be getting piles of pastrami, corned beef, Swiss & Wisconsin muenster cheeses, and two types of deli mustards (when you order their famous Jon & Amy’s Double Dip), in addition to the hundreds of other combinations they have available for revelers.
Putting Northwest Austin on the foodie map, Noble Sandwiches took a gamble opening in the suburbs in late 2010 and quickly garnered a rep for sandwiches worth a half-hour drive. Everything’s made in-house from the bread to the bacon, which you can literally take home thanks to a deli case stuffed with meats and charcuterie. The signature ‘wich is the seared beef tongue (smoked green onions, red pepper relish, aioli) that’s a modern flip on Mexican lengua, but they’re also rocking more traditional fare like the eponymous Noble Pig, stacked with spicy ham, pulled pork, prov, and — of course — bacon.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Braised Brisket
Not many chefs open a great sandwich shop and then open a truly great restaurant, but Denver’s Justin Brunson did just that. Making his mark on the Denver scene with Masterpiece Deli (which just opened its second location in town), Brunson won the hearts and arteries of the Mile High sandwich-loving community with selections like a Cubano (slow-roasted mojo-brined pork, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, garlic aioli) and a 12hr-braised beef brisket sammie (with Tallegio fondue on a baguette). Be sure to top whatever sandwich you get with Denver Bacon Co. bacon — obviously, if you’re already going to open a great sandwich shop and a great restaurant, you should start your own bacon company, too.
Cemitas are essentially a variation of the torta native to the Mexican state of Puebla, differentiated primarily by the pillowy sesame seed roll, which Chicago landmark Cemitas Puebla gets custom-made at a local bakery. The milanesa (breaded-and-fried pork loin) is the most traditional, but if you’re looking to up your swine intake you can add guajillo-rubbed loin and ham to get the triple threat that is the Atomica. A huge pile of shredded, mozz-like Oaxacan cheese, a generous smear of creamy avocado, and sweet, smoky, spicy chipotle bring all kinds of added flavor and texture, but pros know to take it even further and add a few drops of their trio of addictive salsas to each bite.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi
Mendocino Farms is an LA-based sandwich market that specializes in locally produced and raised vegetables and meats, meaning their stuff is fresher than a certain prince. Step into any of their woody, grass-adorned locations, and you’ll be struck by their natural aesthetic; one bite of any of their seasonal sandwiches or down-home favorites, and you’ll be struck by their pure deliciousness. Folks go especially crazy for their Kurobuta pork belly banh mi, served on ciabatta rather than the typical French roll, and filled with caramelized pork belly, pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapeños, and a chili aioli.
It’s a special kind of awesome when a place is named after what people will call you after you’ve eaten too much of its wares, but Lardo is indeed a special kind of awesome. The cart-turned-three-restaurant-chain does everything right, from the spicy grilled mortadella to the incredibly flavorful porchetta, the meatball banh mi, and, perhaps, the best Cubano this side of Havana. The secret? Every bit of pork is made in-house, from the ham and mortadella to the pig skin sprinkled in hand-cut fries. When even the tuna melt is exceptional, you’re in trouble. Someday soon, Chef Rick Gencarelli will have enslaved all of Portland.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Parmageddon
Cleveland’s got its fair share of interesting people, but not all of them open tattoo-friendly, punk-rock-playing alternative grilled cheese joints, like Matt Fish did when he first founded Melt Bar & Grilled in 2006. Offering patrons who get a Melt tattoo 25% off for life is only the second of his selling points — the first is grilling up insane grilled cheese sandwiches that keep Ohioans coming back time and time again. The Parmageddon, for example, rocks potato & onion pierogi, sauerkraut, sharp cheddar, and sauteed onions and is every bit as face-melting as its name would suggest.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Caribbean Roast
This Caribbean snack shack with two locations in Seattle can be identified one of two ways (in lieu of a big, flashy sign, which they’re apparently not all about): 1) the intoxicating smell of caramelized onions and slow-roasted pork wafting out of it, and 2) the line going down the block and beyond. Sure, it’s cash-only and the wait for a sandwich might be up to an hour, but there’s a reason everyone swears by Paseo’s creations — they’re so goddamned delicious. Try the Caribbean Roast with marinated, fall-apart-tender pork shoulder, aioli, cilantro, and Romaine lettuce to get the best possible experience.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Hot BBQ Roast Beef with American cheese (only available on Wednesdays)
If you grew up in a Western suburb of Boston, the name “Linden” rings out. As in, “I’m getting a Linden,” and “You want to go to Linden?,” and “Who just ate my Linden, because now I have to kill them?” Open since 1933 and owned by the LeBrun brothers — Greg and Mark — the vibe is old-school town deli: stools, communal tables, and a line that often snakes close to the front door during lunch hours. All of the sandwiches are good (try the Hot Italian or the Ryan, and add extra “hots”), but on Wednesdays, they do a hot sub special that usually sells out by noon featuring slow-simmered BBQ roast beef and onions with melty American cheese that will change your life, or at least the notch you use on your belt.
With a history that spans 60yrs and a line that often spans 60 people, White House is a veritable Atlantic City institution whose authentic Italian subs were apparently frequently craved by Mr. Sinatra himself, who would send a lucky lackey down from NYC just to pick some up for him. The original sub shop’s still standing, but you now have the option of going to the Trump Taj Mahal to pick up your fix of capicola, provolone, salami, and chili peppers. Or be a little unorthodox and give their cheesesteak a try. Just go in armed with the knowledge of what you’re getting into — their “half” sandwich is bigger than just about any whole sandwiches you’ve ever eaten. So, you know… get the whole sandwich.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Crunchy Chicken
At this sandwich marketplace in Houston, everything is the sum of its parts — and the parts are insanely awesome. The wide-open, retro aesthetic sets the stage for sandwiches crafted with the same care and love that Texans have been accustomed to for generations. Each sandwich purchase nets you two sides, which they swap out based on what’s available/in-season (think crispy slaw with lemongrass vinaigrette), and you’ve pretty much gotta try their Crunchy Chicken sandwich with nut “crumble”, provolone, buttermilk ranch, and pickles on a chewy pretzel bun to truly know Southern comfort.
Hidden away in a pint-sized hole-in-the-wall in San Francisco, Darwin’s small interior belies the huge sandwiches within. Committed to bringing you the best in seasonal ingredients and fresh-baked breads, Darwin’s an intimate backdrop to some of the best sandwiches this side of the Mississippi. In addition to being tender and supremely thin-cut, their legendary roast beef, is also piled high with the complementary veggie du jour, which in some cases is arugula and tomato jam and in others is caramelized onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
In a city with more than its fair share of secrets, tucked-away restaurants, and almost-inaccessible eateries, Animals at The Wayland just might be the most clandestine of them all. Sitting inside The Wayland, an unassuming, cutting-edge Alphabet City cocktailery, Pink Floyd-homaging Animals is only open from 11am-5pm, and only on weekdays, plus to get there you’ve gotta trek over to Avenue C, which is, like, far. But when you do, a pulled bacon sandwich with red slaw, avocado, pickled jalapeños, refried beans, and chili mayo will be waiting to reward you for taking the afternoon off work strictly for a sandwich. Or maybe the Pernil “Don’t Call Me George” Romero, whose pork shoulder is slow-cooked in garlic, fennel & rosemary. The pig on the wing shall be you.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Pastrami & Cheese
Yet another holdover from our college sandwich-shops list is Primanti Bros., one of the few joints on this list that boasts a profile of its signature sandwich-making style on its Wikipedia page. Founded in 1933 by a few brothers named Primanti, the innovative sandwich shop skews toward the behemoth, opting to add a helping of hand-cut French fries to each one of its already-prime deli sandwiches (such as pastrami, salami & cheese, and even knockwurst). This, as you can imagine, made them pretty popular, and they now boast 16 Pittsburgh-area locations, with a few popping up in far-away Florida, and then… THE WORLD?!
With arguably one of the best cheesesteaks in the city of Philadelphia, John’s Roast Pork stands above the rest for its other sandwiches, which are pretty much all outstanding. It may be in a different camp than some other Philly cheesesteak joints, which use neon-orange Cheez Whiz instead of the sharp provolone of John’s, and it’s their authentic ingredients that allow them to also make an impeccably juicy roast pork sandwich (duh) with spinach, as well as an awesome steak Milano with grilled tomatoes, all on fresh-baked sesame seed rolls. It’s so good you won’t even miss the Whiz, and that’s saying something.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Asian Flank Steak
Totally reviving the East Nashville food scene (and possibly setting the bar for full-service delicatessens all over the US), Mitchell Deli was founded in 2008 with the goal of providing customers with all-natural, all-delicious ingredients made into beautiful sandwiches, and on their first day of service, they ran out of food. If that isn’t enough of an indicator of Mitchell Deli’s greatness, check out their legendary Asian flank steak sandwich (once offered only on Mondays, but now available throughout the week due to high demand), which has been featured on Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America and is served on locally made, fluffy ciabatta bread.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Cochon Muffuletta
Everyone knows that New Orleans’ muffuletta is the king of sandwiches. That fact is indisputable. What is up for debate, however, is which place in New Orleans serves the finest specimen of this gargantuan stack of olive tapenade, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone — and the top dog is most certainly Cochon Butcher, a wine bar-butcher counter combo that’s got the city’s best sandwich menu (“bacon melt”, anyone?). Central Grocery may be the original, but it can’t compare to the freshness of CB’s house-cured meats, melty cheese, spicy olives, and soft, gloriously chewy bread.
In addition to being one of the best authentic Cuban restaurants in all of Miami, Enriqueta’s also makes a hell of a Cuban sandwich — but not just the pressed ham, roast pork, cheese, and pickle panini that we’re all used to. They also whip up a Cuban chicken sandwich, stacked with lettuce, tomato, shoestring potatoes, and grilled onions that’s out-of-this-world good. The place is a little hole-in-the-wall where lines can get pretty long, so be sure to venture out and grab your fix before they close at 4pm.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Scuttlebutt
Saltie may look like an ultra-hip temple of Brooklyn coolness from the outside, and that’s because it is. But here’s the rub: they make some of the biggest, best, and messiest sandwiches in the entire world, and they do it all in a tiny space using mostly — GASP — vegetables. Granted, there are a few meaty bites on the menu (mortadella, chicken liver paté, ham, even sardines), but the real move here is to go with one of their funky vegetarian sandwiches, like the Scuttlebutt, a seemingly unholy amalgam of eggs, feta, capers, olives, pickled veggies, and spicy pimentón aioli on perfectly fluffy foccacia, which — if it doesn’t convert you into a believer — will at least preach you the gospel.

Thrill list link to the full list of the 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America

You Gotta Try These!

50 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings 2014 – brought to us by

Wow…what a list!
Happy Friday good foodie friends,
Look at the list of most anticipated restaurant openings coming in 2014 brought to us from and Amy McKeever. Thank you!

Link to the full list on

The 50 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014, by Amy McKeever


2014 is looking to be a totally insane year of restaurant openings across the country. From city to city, chefs aren’t just opening one big restaurant this year: they’re opening two or three at a time. Rick Bayless is bringing another XOCO in addition to a more mysterious project to Chicago; Daniel Boulud is expanding his empire to both Las Vegas and Washington, DC; and Zahav chef Mike Solomonov is also set to stun Philly with two new spots that explore hummus and the Jewish diaspora.

It’s also shaping up to be a knockout year in New York City, where a slew of big-name restaurateurs are gearing up for new — or revamped — projects across the city. David Chang and Amanda Cohen have found bigger digs for Momofuku Ko and Dirt Candy, respectively. The unstoppable Danny Meyer has another couple restaurants on the way, while Alex Stupak, Cesar Ramirez, John Fraser, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten are expanding, too. Meanwhile, acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol is finally joining the New York City fray this year.

This is going to be a big year for the state of Georgia as well, what with Hugh Acheson’s new pair of restaurants that are headed to both Athens and Savannah. (In Athens, he’s joined by the talented Whitney Otawka doing Mexican fodo at Cinco y Diez.) Atlanta’s Ford Fry has got another restaurant (or three) up his sleeve, as per usual. And former Top Chef cheftestapant Eli Kirshtein is opening The Luminary at the forthcoming Krog Street Market, which is one of two Atlanta developments that is sure to see some serious dining action this year.

Please behold some selections from the crazy year ahead in restaurant openings — with some extra 2014 tracking included — and feel free to point out any exciting restaurants missing from this list in the comments:


Possible Cinco y Diez logos.
Cinco y Diez
Location: 1563 South Lumpkin Street
Chefs: Hugh Acheson and Whitney Otawka
Projected Opening: Late January 2014
This year, Hugh Acheson is teaming up with the well-respected former Farm 255 chef and Top Cheftestapant Whitney Otawka to open a Mexican restaurant in Athens. Located in the former home of Acheson’s relocated Five & Ten, Eater Atlanta reports that Cinco y Diez (get it?) “will serve Mexican food with Latin and Southern regional influences.”


St. Cecilia.
St. Cecilia (and assorted Ford Fry projects)
Location: 3455 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
Chefs: Ford Fry, Brian Horn
Projected Opening: January 13, 2014
There’s hardly any wait left for the opening of Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry’s latest, St. Cecilia. This Northern Italian/Mediterranean seafood and pasta-focused restaurant is opening on January 13, helmed by chef Brian Horn. As should come as no surprise to anyone following the prolific restaurateur, Fry has a few more things up his sleeve for 2014 as well, including Superica in the Krog Street Market and reportedly another project in Avalon.

Eli Kirshtein.
The Luminary
Location: Krog Street Market
Chef: Eli Kirshtein
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
People in Atlanta are wildly excited for the opening of the Krog Street Market this year, including this restaurant from Top Chef alum Eli Kirshtein. The Luminary will be an American brasserie that Eater Atlanta writes, “will feature regionalized and updated bistro fare and includes a focus on raw bar offerings.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in Atlanta
Lusca, Ponce City Market, Diner


The future Launderette space.
Launderette/Angry Bear
Location: 2115 Holly Street
Chefs: Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki are teaming up to open two restaurants in East Austin this year, Launderette and Angry Bear. The bigger project, Launderette, will be an all-day cafe and grocery that a press release says will “feature real food with the notion that the offerings will not be defined by exotic pairings and gastronomical acrobatics.” Meanwhile, Angry Bear is set to be a Chinese takeout with a Sichuan focus.

The team behind Uchi is opening a new Austin area restaurant in 2014.
St. Philip
Location: 4715 South Lamar
Chefs: Philip Speer, Tyson Cole
Projected Opening: Late Spring 2014
The team behind Austin’s beloved Uchi is expanding to suburban Sunset Valley this year with a pizzeria/bakery concept named St. Philip. The group’s Executive Pastry Chef and Director of Culinary Operations Philip Speer will lead this particular project whose menu he describes as “Nostalgic food.” (The name is just a coincidence; St. Philip is the patron saint of cooks and bakers.)

Also Tracking for 2014 in Austin
Olamaie, Unnamed Andrew Curran Project


Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA.
Alden & Harlow
Location: 40 Brattle St.
Chef: Michael Scelfo
Projected Opening: January 2014
One of the most anticipated restaurants of Fall 2013, Alden & Harlow is expected to finally swing open in 2014 to the delight of Bostonians. This is the first solo project for former Russell House Tavern chef Michael Scelfo, and a press teaser for the restaurant explains that Scelfo “looks to replicate the honest cooking he does in his own kitchen by preparing humble, unpretentious food that honors tradition of place in its quality.”

Merrill & Co
Location: 1 Appleton St., Boston, MA
Chefs: Jason Cheek, Kevin Mabry
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
The group behind jm Curley and various other Boston restaurants is at it again in 2014 with the addition of Merrill & Co. led by chef Jason Cheek and beverage director Kevin Mabry. Per Eater Boston, expect to see oysters, sherry, and beer at this New England seafood-focused restaurant.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Boston
La Brasa


Edmund’s Oast kegs.
Edmund’s Oast
Location: 1081 Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC
Chef: Andy Henderson
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Folks in Charleston have been waiting patiently for the opening of Edmund’s Oast and that wait should be drawing to a close. Eater Charleston checked in on the forthcoming brewpub this week and though it’s still under construction, “the interior is beginning to look like a restaurant.” Business partners Scott Shor and Rich Carley are focused on breaking ground in the craft beer world, while former FIG chef Andy Henderson is working on a menu that involves whole-animal butchery, but doesn’t shy away from vegetables.

Leon’s Oyster Shop
Location: 698 King St., Charleston, SC
Partners: Brooks Reitz, Tim Mink
Projected Opening: “Soon”
Brooks Reitz, former general manager of The Ordinary and Eater Young Gun in 2013, is opening up his own restaurant this year alongside restaurateur Tim Mink. Obviously, Leon’s Oyster Shop is going to feature a raw bar, but apparently there will also be fried chicken and fish to be had. Also this year, Reitz and Mink will open a cafe named St. Alban.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Charleston
Chez Nous

XOCO Wicker Park
Location: 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL
Chef: Rick Bayless
Projected Opening: March 2014
Rick Bayless is at it again after a few quiet years following his last major restaurant opening. The Chicago restaurateur is opening a new location of his XOCO concept in Wicker Park this year, offering much of the same food as at the original but it will be larger with table service and a bar. Bayless is also working on a second, more mysterious concept that could open in 2014, which he tells Eater Chicago is “super rustic” and “there’s virtually nothing like it in the United States.” Keep an eye out for details on that.

Green Street Smoked Meats
Green Street Smoked Meats
Location: 112 N. Green St., Chicago, IL
Owner: Brendan Sodikoff
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Soon to open in Brendan Sodikoff’s enormously popular collection of Chicago restaurants is Green Street Smoked Meats, a barbecue concept that is going in adjacent to his forthcoming ramen restaurant. Sodikoff tells Zagat that Green Street Smoked Meats will be Texas-style barbecue with a simple menu where you order at the counter.

The Aviary, Chicago, IL.
Mysterious Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas Projects
Location: TBD, Chicago, IL
Partners: Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas
Projected Opening: TBD
Nobody is saying exactly what Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas are up to, but the duo behind Alinea, Next, and The Aviary have revealed that they have another Chicago concept or two — including another bar — in the works that they hope to open by the end of 2014.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Chicago
Unnamed Tony Mantuano Project


Hotel Palomar, Dallas, TX.
Location: 5300 E Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75206
Chef: John Tesar
Projected Opening: March 2014
Dallas chef John Tesar is opening a sister restaurant to his seafood-centric restaurant Spoon with a steakhouse named Knife. Housed on the Hotel Palomar, Tesar tells Eater Dallas that Knife will be a “modern steakhouse” offering regular cuts of meat as well as “artisanal meats, unusual cuts of meat, different techniques, whole roasted birds, bison” and more. He’ll also be sourcing from Texas ranchers.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Dallas


Denver Union Station.
Stoic & Genuine
Location: Union Station
Chefs: Jennifer Jasinski
Projected Opening: July 2014
One of Eater Denver’s most anticipated openings of the year, Stoic & Genuine is the latest project from James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski and her business partner Beth Gruitch. Opening in Denver’s Union Station, this seafood restaurant will call to mind New York’s Grand Central Oyster Bar with a selection of raw oysters, lobster, clam rolls, smoked fish, and more.

The former Argyll is being reincarnated as Argyll Whisky Beer.
Argyll Whisky Beer
Location: 1035 E 17th Avenue
Chef: John Broening
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Beloved former gastropub Argyll returns to life this year in Uptown Denver two years after its shutter in Cherry Creek. This new reincarnation is dubbed Argyll Whisky Beer and, appropriately, aims to house the largest whisky collection in the state of Colorado when it opens. Chef John Broening (of Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Spuntino) will be responsible for the food here.


Selden Standard.
Selden Standard
Location: 3929 Second St., Detroit, MI
Chef: Andy Hollyday
Projected Opening: Mid-2014
Former Roast chef Andy Hollyday is opening up the highly anticipated Selden Standard in Detroit’s Midtown this year. According to Eater Detroit, Selden Standard “will serve a seasonally driven American small plates menu” and will feature an open kitchen, a communal table, a patio, and bar seats for a more casual neighborhood vibe.


The future Killen’s Barbecue.
Killen’s Barbecue
Location: 3613 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX 77581
Chef: Ronnie Killen
Projected Opening: January 2014
Houston doesn’t have to wait too long for its hottest opening of the year: chef and restaurateur Ronnie Killen plans to open his new barbecue restaurant in Pearland as soon as this very month. Look for a custom-made barbecue pit, decor that throws back to a 1950s-era school cafeteria, and quality meat. Killen is aiming high as usual with this one, telling Eater Houston that his plan is to overthrow Franklin as the king of barbecue.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Houston


The future home of DB Brasserie
DB Brasserie
Location: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Daniel Boulud has scrapped plans to bring his DBGB Kitchen & Bar concept to Las Vegas in favor of opening DB Brasserie here at the Venetian instead. This location will be “an updated version” of the DB Brasserie that Boulud closed in Vegas back in 2010, offering French cuisine and “signature brasserie dishes with a modern twist,” as a rep tells Eater Vegas.

Giada De Laurentiis at Giada’s.
Location: 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Giada De Laurentiis
Projected Opening: April 2014
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis is opening her first restaurant ever in Las Vegas this year at the new hotel formerly known as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. The 300-seat restaurant will have an antipasto bar, plus a sizable bar and open kitchen. De Laurentiis tells Eater Vegas that some of the menu “will be traditional family recipes, and others the lightened-up California-style food I’m known for — my lemon spaghetti and butternut squash lasagna.”

Yusho at the Monte Carlo.
Location: 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Matthias Merges
Projected Opening: Early 2014
The Monte Carlo is getting a slew of new dining options, including a monster opening courtesy of Chicago chef Matthias Merges. Eater Vegas reports that Merges is bringing his acclaimed yakitori-inspired restaurant Yusho to Las Vegas in 2014.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Vegas
Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar


Petit Trois.
Petit Trois
Location: 718 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
Chefs: Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Building upon the enormous success of Trois Mec, chefs and restaurateurs Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo have announced plans for a second restaurant just next door. There’s not much out there yet about the new restaurant, but as its name suggests it is indeed going to be even smaller than its big brother.

Roy Choi.
Location: 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Chef: Roy Choi
Projected Opening: Early Spring 2014
Excitement extends well beyond LA for the opening of Roy Choi’s POT at The Line hotel, a new property from the hotel group behind New York City’s NoMad. POT is named after family-style hot pot and will offer “Korean food through the eyes of an American with Korean blood” with a menu of hot pots, barbecue, and more.

Bryant Ng sadly had to shutter The Spice Table, but is gearing up to open a new restaurant with Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan.
Unnamed Bryant Ng Project
Location: Arizona and 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA
Players: Bryant Ng, Josh Loeb, Zoe Nathan
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Santa Monica is bracing for the exciting teaming of chef Bryant Ng and restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, who are also behind successful restaurants such as Rustic Canyon and Milo & Olive. Ng — who recently had to close his acclaimed restaurant The Spice Table to make way for a new subway station — announced that the new, unnamed restaurant “will be influenced by the flavors of Southeast Asia.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in LA
Maude, LA Chapter


Central Provisions, Portland, ME.
Central Provisions
Location: 414 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101
Chef: Chris Gould
Projected Opening: January 2014
Chef Chris Gould is slated to open his eagerly awaited international small plates restaurant Central Provisions in Portland sometime in the middle of January as last reported by Eater Maine. Indeed, signage is up and sample menus point to dishes like oysters, boquerones, lobster stew, sweet breads, suckling pig, and more.


Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach.
Morimoto South Beach
Location: 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
Chef: Masaharu Morimoto
Projected Opening: March 2014
Miami has longed for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to open up shop along its shores and, lo and behold, this year that dream is coming true. Morimoto is slated to open at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in South Beach this year serving contemporary Japanese cuisine.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Miami
L’Echon Brasserie


Early renderings of the new incarnation of Travail.
Travail/The Rookery
Location: 4154 W Broadway, Robbinsdale
Players: James Winberg, Bob Gerken, Mike Brown, and Kale Thome
Projected Opening: Soon
Fueled by a wildly successful Kickstarter, Travail is expected to make its return to the culinary scene soon after much anticipation. In its new Robbinsdale location, Travail will offer only a tasting menu, coupled with a sister bar concept The Rookery that will offer cocktails and small plates at a lower price point. Get ready.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Minneapolis
Coup d’Etat


The restaurant group behind Nashville’s popular Holland House Bar & Refuge is opening Butchertown Hall in 2014.
Butchertown Hall
Location: 1416 4th Aven N, Nashville, TN 37208
Restaurateur: Terry Raley
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Nashville restaurateur Terry Raley has big plans this year to open Butchertown Hall, a biergarten that Raley tells Eater Nashville will be Germantown’s first since 1909. Set in a pretty large indoor and outdoor space, Butchertown Hall is going to have a hearth-fired open kitchen and will be priced to accommodate frequent visits.


Mopho, New Orleans, LA.
Location: 514 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Chef: Michael Gulotta
Projected Opening: January 2014
Former August chef Michael Gulotta is on the verge of opening his hotly anticipated Southeast Asian restaurant Mopho in Mid City. Eater NOLA reports that this restaurant could open as soon as this weekend with boozy bubble tea, slow-roasted meats, a fire pit, and “Vietnamese meets Louisiana cuisine.”

Square Root, New Orleans, LA.
Square Root
Location: 1800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Chef: Phillip Lopez
Projected Opening: February 2014
Restaurant watchers have been looking forward for quite some time to Root chef Phillip Lopez’s forthcoming project Square Root. Eater NOLA writes that the concept here “is pretty revolutionary” in the local dining scene as one of the few tasting-menu-only restaurants out there. Square Root has 16 seats wrapped around an open kitchen, plus a small cocktail-focused bar upstairs.


Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
ABC Home Grown
Location: 38 E. 19th St., New York, NY
Chefs: Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is aiming to thrill New Yorkers once more in 2014 with a restaurant named ABC Home Grown. His third concept in the complex connected to ABC Carpet & Home, ABC Home Grown will focus on vegetarian and vegan food with an international bent. Per Eater NY, JGV is also working on a farm-to-table concept in Westchester this year, The Inn at Pound Ridge.

Brooklyn Fare.
Brooklyn Fare Manhattan
Location: 431-39 W 37th St., New York, NY
Chefs: Cesar Ramirez, Jared Sippel
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Cesar Ramirez’s upcoming Brooklyn Fare Manhattan is what Eater NY calls “the most anticipated Hell’s Kitchen restaurant of all time.” Jared Sippel, formerly of Frasca Food & Wine, is running the kitchen here with a menu “heavily influenced by France and Italy.” A floor plans reveals a handful of tables, counter seating for 15, and a garden area/wine bar.

Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol and a forthcoming restaurant in New York City.
Location: 35 E. 21st Street, New York, NY
Chef: Enrique Olvera
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera — he of the world-renowned restaurant Pujol — is headed to New York City this year to amp up the Mexican food game there in a big way. Olvera’s first New York City restaurant will take a casual approach to Mexican cuisine; A Life Worth Eating blogger Adam Goldberg says that the restaurant, Cosme, should open by the Summer.

A very early look at the new Dirt Candy.
Dirt Candy 2.0
Location: 86 Allen St., New York, NY
Chef: Amanda Cohen
Projected Opening: 2014
It’s a big year ahead for chef Amanda Cohen and her acclaimed Dirt Candy. Cohen revealed a few months back that she’s going to be moving her vegetarian restaurant down the street to a much bigger space that Eater NY notes will open up possibilities like lunch service, a full bar, and a chef’s counter. Cohen says the plan is definitely to open in 2014, so watch out.

David Chang.
Momofuku Ko 2.0
Location: 8 Extra Place, New York, NY
Chefs: David Chang, Sean Grey
Projected Opening: TBD
Momofuku chef and restaurateur David Chang dropped a bombshell this Fall that he would be moving his acclaimed Momofuku Ko into an East Village alleyway named Extra Place. When it opens — with chef Sean Grey still at the helm — Momofuku Ko should have tables, a counter, a bigger kitchen, and a waiting room for diners.

Alex Stupak.
Unnamed Alex Stupak Project
Location: 132 St. Mark’s Pl, New York, NY
Chef: Alex Stupak
Projected Opening: 2014
Empellon chef Alex Stupak picked up a third restaurant space just weeks ago on St. Mark’s Place, which a rough sketch he submitted to the local community board indicates will have 18 tables and an open kitchen with dining counter. Hold tight for more details than that, though, as Stupak told Eater NY, “I can’t tell you what it is going to be yet, only because I seem to change my mind every step of the way, historically speaking.”

King & Grove New York is getting a new restaurant from Danny Meyer.
Unnamed Danny Meyer Project
Location: 29 East 29th St., New York, NY
Players: Danny Meyer, Nick Anderer, Terry Coughlin
Projected Opening: Mid-2014
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group has a couple of new restaurants hitting New York City this year (not to mention a million Shake Shacks everywhere else), the foremost of these being the all-day Italian restaurant headed to the King & Grove New York hotel on East 29th Street. Chef Nick Anderer and director of operations Terry Coughlin will split their time between this restaurant and Maialino. Do also look for the group to open Blue Smoke offshoot Porchlight in the Fall.

The Standard East Village on its plywood removal day.
Unnamed John Fraser Project
Location: 25 Cooper Square, New York, NY
Chef: John Fraser
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Excitement is high for Dovetail chef John Fraser’s forthcoming restaurant at Andre Balazs’s The Standard East Village. Eater NY notes that this restaurant will be vegetable-centric and diners can “expect a lot of grilled dishes” when it opens.


Michael Solomonov
Dizengoff/Abe Fisher
Location: 1605-1627 Sansom Street
Partners: Mike Solomonov, Steve Cook
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Philly favorites Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook are expanding in a big way this year with two new restaurants opening adjacent to one another on Sansom Street. For starters, these restaurateurs behind Zahav and Federal Donuts are opening Dizengoff, a small traditional hummuisiya offering different varieties of hummus and its various condiments. Meanwhile, Eater Philly reports that Abe Fisher will “focus on the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora” with small plates as well as a tasting menu.

Chef Jose Garces.
Location: 300 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
Chef: Jose Garces
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Jose Garces is expanding his Philadelphia empire again this year with the long-awaited addition of Volver at the Kimmel Center. The high-end restaurant will have a caviar and champagne lounge, a pre-theatre prix-fixe menu, and Garces himself will be cooking out of this particular kitchen, according to Foobooz.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Philly
Unnamed Stephen Starr/Aimee Olexy Project, Lo Spiedo


Taqueria Nueve, Portland, OR.
Taqueria Nueve
Location: 727 SE Washington St., Portland, OR
Partners: Billy Schumaker, Brent Richford
Projected Opening: January 2014
Portlanders have missed Taqueria Nueve in a big way since it shuttered in 2008, and this year restaurateurs Billy Schumaker and Brent Richford plan to bring it back. Opening in the former Beaker & Flask space, Taqueria Nueve will bring back the original location’s bright pink wall and signature dishes like wild boar tacos and octopus coctel.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Portland
Kachka, St. Jack NW


[Death & Taxes logo
Death & Taxes
Location: 105 W Hargett St. Raleigh, NC 27601
Chef: Ashley Christensen
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Superstar Raleigh chef and restaurateur Ashley Christensen is gearing up to open her latest restaurant, Death & Taxes, in early 2014 amid much excitement both local and national. Per a press release, Death & Taxes is going to focus on wood-fire cooking with a “low-lit cellar-like” bar. Also opening this year just before Death & Taxes (also in the Spring) will be Christensen’s Bridge Club, a private event space where they’ll host pop-up dinners and more.


Richard Blais.
Juniper & Ivy
Location: 2228 Kettner Blvd San Diego, CA 92101
Chef: Richard Blais
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Former Top Chef cheftestapant Richard Blais relocated to San Diego in 2013, and his forthcoming restaurant Juniper & Ivy has been hotly anticipated ever since. Blais told Eater San Diego to expect the menu to be lighter than what’s available at his Atlanta restaurant The Spence. The restaurant should fall somewhere “between a gastropub and a fine dining destination.”


Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski.
The Progress
Location: 1525 Fillmore St
Chefs: Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski
Projected Opening: 2014
Now that State Bird Provisions has reopened in San Francisco to much relief and applause, chefs and restaurateurs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski can look toward opening The Progress two doors down later this year. Brioza told Eater back in September that The Progress will be “the polar opposite of State Bird,” and will be located in a much bigger space.

Benu. [Photo: Facebook]; Corey Lee.
Monsieur Benjamin
Location: 451 Gough Street, San Francisco
Chef: Corey Lee
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Benu chef Corey Lee is expanding this year into Hayes Valley with a more casual bistro he’s calling Monsieur Benjamin. With French Laundry alum Jason Berthold in the kitchen, Eater SF writes that the menu will be “inspired by traditional French cuisine, along with the requisite focus on seasonal ingredients and some modern twists.”

Suvir Saran is opening in San Francisco’s NEMA complex.
Unnamed Suvir Saran Project
Location: 14 10th St., San Francisco, CA
Chef: Suvir Saran
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Chef Suvir Saran, who won the first-ever U.S. Michelin star for an Indian restaurant with New York City’s Devi, returns to the kitchen with a restaurant in his new home of San Francisco. Eater SF has it that the unnamed project will be located in Mid-Market with 100-120 seats and will serve affordable “farm-to-table, filtered through his signature blend of Indian tradition and fine dining.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in San Francisco
Kin Khao, Aveline/The European, The Dock at Linden Street (Oakland)


The Florence [Photo: hughacheson / Instagram]; Hugh Acheson
The Florence
Location: Victory Drive and Bull Street, Savannah, GA
Chef: Hugh Acheson
Projected Opening: Early April 2014
Not only does Hugh Acheson have a big opening coming up this year in Athens, Georgia, but he’s also working on a new restaurant in Savannah. Set in a restored historic ice factory, a press release notes that The Florence “will offer vegetable courses, locally caught seafood, pastas and pizza made with Double Zero flour as well as a bar, patio and biergarten.”


Red Cow Ethan Stowell Restaurants logo.
Red Cow/Noyer
Location: 1423 34th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
Owner: Ethan Stowell
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Prolific Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell is expanding some more in 2014 with two new restaurants opening in Madrona. Red Cow should open first as a brasserie that Stowell’s website says will be “primarily known for steak frites” and otherwise serve classic bistro fare. The more high-end Noyer will open behind Red Cow with just four tables and four counter seats, “an ambitious ode to the very best the Northwest can offer.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in Seattle
Brimmer & Heeltap


China Poblano, Las Vegas.
China Chilcano
Location: 418 7th St. NW Washington, DC
Chef: José Andrés
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Spanish chef/king of DC José Andrés is opening China Chilcano in Penn Quarter this year, making it his third restaurant on just that one city block. China Chilcano will be similar to his Vegas restaurant China Poblano, except that rather than fusing Mexican and Chinese cuisines, this one will focus on the Chifa cuisine of Peru with dishes like ceviche, fried rice, and dumplings.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
Location: CityCenter complex
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
New York restaurateur Daniel Boulud is expanding down to Washington, DC, this year, bringing his brasserie-style DBGB Kitchen and Bar concept to the brand new CityCenter complex. Boulud confirmed the expansion to Eater this past Summer, explaining that he got his start in America working in DC and is excited to return.

Maketto, Washington, DC.
Partners: Erik Bruner-Yang, Will Sharp
Projected Opening: Early Spring 2014
It’s been a tease for some time now, but this looks to be the year that wunderkind Erik Bruner-Yang opens his sophomore effort Maketto on DC’s H Street NE. The Toki Underground chef is teaming up with Will Sharp of clothing label DURKL on the project that will channel an Asian night market, with a chef’s table, patio seating, a coffee bar, and more. Get excited.

You Gotta Try These!

Chef Vikram Vij – Edible Canada Guest Chef Market Dinners

Happy Fall / Winter days great foodie friends,

I wanted to share with you my experience at the latest Edible Canada’s Guest Chef Market dinner – all of their events bring you closer to a great array of talented culinary masters within their respective field, but some guest chefs are so popular that in order to fairly allow for the best opportunity for you to attend the event, Edible Canada is forced to put the ticket purchase process to a lottery style.
Chef Vikram Vij is absolutely one of those highly popular draws and rightly so. I was lucky enough to win one of the coveted tickets for 2 and had the pleasure of attending this wonderful event.

Our city has become a veritable cultural melting pot of culinary offerings from around the world.
The Market dinners are done “just right” with a warm welcome, almost like they are inviting you into their kitchen or living room. You are greeted with a nice house developed sip to start your event.



And then once we were spotted by Chef Vikram we were quickly on our way to the flavour journey for the night!




One can’t fully describe the wonderful blend of complex flavors and textures as they unfold with each bite but let’s just say that these two appetizers were both different in the flavor profile but at the same time made you want another please!
What you see unfold right away is the true passion and personality that Chef Vikram has and what a storyteller / entertainer he is.
I have always maintained that you eat with your eyes and your nose before it crosses the lips, but you cook with your heart and your soul (Basically or actually a love and passion for what you are doing) and it will show through your food. Vikram definitely believes this theory and trust me it showed all night!



After we had time to settle in, Vikram introduced himself and laid out how the evening was going to unfold. Then he says “Come cook with me” and invites us all around the kitchen island.
One thing I must tell you is that I have never met such a bright personality who displays a total humility and thankfulness for what has graced his life. He was very complimentary of his two sous chefs that assisted (actually Guided Vikram somewhat…shhhhh) him through the night and complimented his whole team as they are the ones that makes the magic happen for the Vij’s and Rangoli restaurant family everyday.


To say that the room started to fill with aromas beyond “wow” is an understatement. Chef Vikram did mention that true Indian cooking is full of personal nuance differences but is mostly “In your face” with powerful and delectable flavors.
First up was Coconut Masala Prawns




As the bountiful flavours danced across your taste buds you could only hear a silence except for the veiled “mmmm” sound from many.
Vikram used local spot prawns along with his house-made spices and herbs to create a winner for our first dish.
Edible Canada has some great knowledge in how to pair wines with the guest chefs dishes, and Joiefarm. Noble Blend was paired perfectly with the prawns.

Next up Vikram says “Come cook my family chicken with me” – as a side note Chef Vikram tells us of his upbringing and trips back home. Another belief surrounding great chefs is that your dish should be a reflection of you. To explain further, everyone has their own style and it will show in a slight difference in your dish. Vikram would explain that within family and friends that you will always have an auntie or friend that makes the “best” traditional curry chicken but as it should be, it will be their “own” no measurements, no recipe, just passed on through tribal knowledge and made uniquely your way. “This is a good thing and how it should be”
You might try Vikrams family masala or curried chicken and say that it wasn’t like the one that you tried before at another eatery, and that’s just how he likes it ! You will note that when you visit Vij’s or Rangoli that you won’t see the cliché dishes that are at almost all Indian restaurants, but rather signature family dishes that scream Vij. Vikram still takes trips back home and visits as many different homes and restaurants as possible to see and learn about the different twists on traditional dishes, he embraces the uniqueness with open arms.


Our final savour dish was Cinnamon Stewed Lamb Curry – the flavors that Vikram and his team were able to develop from scratch in a few short hours were “Out of this world! The depth of colour and flavor in each dish with fantastic and delectable.


The lamb dish was served with fresh naan bread for over the top dipping fun! Vikram invited guests to try their hand and proclaimed that this very technique was how they made naan in his restaurants.



After all of our deep rich flavoured dishes, a perfect dessert was served to cleanse the palat, Rice pudding with silver leaf
A great fresh dish that slowed your palate down to clean finish.


Who is Vikram?:
Vikram Vij – Born in India and raised in New Dlehi & Bombay. Vikram moved to Canada in 1984 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. (Chef Vikram culinary training is from Salzburg, Austria where he took hotel management, chefs training and became a certified sommelier) in 1994 Vikram and his wife Meeru opened their first restaurant -Vij’s in Vancouver BC. And then in 2002 Meeru and Vikram opened their second restaurant and market called Rangoli. In 2010 Vikram began selling Vij’s gourmet curries now selling across Canada including at Edible Canada!
Vikram has co-written 2 cookbooks and has just received the Enroute people’s choice award for his Latest successful venture – Vij’s Railway Express food truck – awarded as “Best new restaurant”. Vikram has also been a guest judge on Top Chef Canada as well as recently named as one of the judges on Recipe to Riches.

The accolades are countless and certainly there are so many more to come.
Vikram will not tell you about his accolades but if you ask him you will get a humble and warm smile for mentioning it!

Edible Canada Guest Market chef dinners are over the top fun and full of great food. The Chef line up is amazing and diverse so there will sure to be a dinner that you would want to sign up for!
This is my 4th market dinner and surely not my last!
You can find the market dinner listing through Edible Canada’s web site by clicking the link below.

Click here to access Edible Canada’s guest chef market dinners

Thank you Edible Canada for the continued support of Local products and for finding unique and heartwarming culinary journeys for your foodie friends.

You Gotta Try This!

Edible Canada at the Market on Urbanspoon

Sriracha – quite possibly the fastest growing hot sauce company and the things you probably didn’t know- brought to you by

Happy Sunday great foodie friends,
I came across this article that I just had to share.
Sriracha is one of those sauces that you may not own yet but will soon, as well you may very well think that you have never tried it before but likely have as it is the “go to” spicy sauce for most if not all sushi chefs for spicy tuna rolls.
If you are lucky enough to have tried it, then I am wrong. If you are a spicy sauce fan, then you surely have it as a staple in your kitchen!

Thank you for such a great read!
click this link for the full article at


excerpt courtesy of

If David Tran were a more conventional CEO, he would be a fixture at conferences, a darling of magazine profiles, and a subject of case studies in the Harvard Business Review. Sriracha hot sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, which Tran founded 33 years ago in Los Angeles, is one of the coolest brands in town. There are entire cookbooks written to celebrate Sriracha’s versatility; memorabilia ranging from iPhone covers to t-shirts and all sorts of other swag; a documentary in the works to chronicle its rise; and innumerable imitators. Sriracha sales last year reached some 20 million bottles to the tune of $60 million dollars, percentage sales growth is in the double digits each year, and it does all this without spending a cent on advertising.

Yet Tran shuns publicity, professes not to care about profits, hardly knows where his sauces are sold, and probably leaves millions of dollars on the table every year. His dream, Tran tells Quartz, “was never to become a billionaire.” It is “to make enough fresh chili sauce so that everyone who wants Huy Fong can have it. Nothing more.”

Product before profit

Today hot sauce is an emerging global business. The industry, which is among the 10 fastest growing in the US, now rakes in over $1 billion a year in global sales. But when Tran arrived in Los Angeles back in 1980, he was both jobless and hot-sauce-less. Having recently arrived from Vietnam, Tran found it near impossible to find a spicy additive worthy of his palate. The Southeast Asian community in Los Angeles, he soon realized, was suffering from the same hot sauce withdrawal.

In a matter of months, he had arrived at his rendition of Sriracha, a version of the Thai sauce made with hybrid jalapeño peppers (red or sometimes orange in color), vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic, and was delivering it to local markets throughout the city. Soon thereafter, he was packaging it into its now unmistakable clear bottles with the rooster logo and green caps.


But the only hope he ever harbored was to provide Vietnamese immigrants with a hot sauce worthy of their pho soup. Growing a bona fide business wasn’t an afterthought—it wasn’t a thought at all. “I started the business with my eyes closed. There were no expectations at all,” he said.

He still runs it in much the same way: with his eyes closed. He says he has not once hiked the wholesale price at which he sells Sriracha—a number he won’t share with anyone—no matter that inflation has more than tripled food prices since 1980. He can’t tell you where Sriracha is being sold, because all he knows is that Huy Fong has ten distributors, to whom he has handed off his hot sauce for over 10 years now. “We don’t have a detailed record on where it’s being sold,” Tran admits. Griffin Hammond, who is making the documentary about Sriracha, tells Quartz that as far as he knows, Sriracha is available in the US, Canada and Europe. “But it’s probably sold elsewhere, too,” he conceded. “At the very least, I know that on the bottle there is English, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and Spanish.”

Tran also learned only recently that Sriracha has become a popular ingredient among sushi chefs, who have been using it to spice up spicy tuna rolls for years. “I didn’t know until one of my distributors told me,” Tran said. In fact, says Hammond, it’s “almost always the spicy ingredient in spicy tuna rolls these days. It probably makes up a pretty significant portion of their sales.”

Sushi chefs aren’t the only ones. Restaurant chain P.F. Chang, which has 204 branches in the US and worldwide, offers Sriracha-flavored dishes. Chef David Chang (no relation to P.F. Chang’s) has bottles of Sriracha on every countertop of his Momofuku Noodle Bar restaurant in New York. Bon Appétit magazine declared the sauce the ingredient of the year back in 2010, and Cook’s Illustrated called it the best-tasting hot sauce in 2012. Though it didn’t win, Sriracha was one of three new flavors chosen in Lays potato chips’ new flavor contest last year.

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