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Restaurant review – The Brave Bull (East Hastings & Clark) June 23, 2008

Posted by Raul in dining out, East Vancouver, SteakCamp, Vancouver.
Tags: ,

By now, if you’ve been following Karen’s blog (Tiny Bites) and my blog, you’ll know that Buzz Bishop issued a challenge to us last week – “review The Brave Bull, and demonstrate that you’re not just reviewing only the high-end establishments“. We both bravely accepted (my responseKaren’s response) and I actually found it kind of funny as the restaurant is called “The Brave Bull”. That’s how SteakCamp came to be.

I arrived slightly after 6 pm, as the bus was running late (a guy I bumped into the bus, Martin Rotschild, told me that the evening was going to be better than I expected – and I have to say, that was TOTALLY TRUE). Tom brought along Ryland, Lisa, Candace, Corey. Karen brought Kurt (aka Mr. Tiny Bites) and we were also joined by Steve, Karl and Ryan. I am sure you’ll be seeing lots of Flickr photos around!

Since I knew that the establishment was going to be run only by the elderly Chinese lady who is one of the co-owners, I had already indicated that we should expect slow service. We got there at 6 pm. We finished at 9.20pm. It was a long but awesome affair. The food took long (as expected), and so did the drinks, but everyone seemed to have had a great time.

I ordered a beef and barley soup but with the fact that we had brought an 11 people table, the owner scrambled to manage all of our orders. However, at all times, there was a really sweet and strong feeling of “being home”. For all the negative comments and bad reputation that this area tends to have, people have seriously underestimated The Brave Bull. True, the exterior doesn’t look particularly appealing. True, the fare isn’t upscale. But if you just want a steak and baked potato, for what it is, it’s a good one. I gave it an 8 out of 10.

Remember, this is NOT an upscale establishment. This is a Mom-and-Pop kind of small joint. Nevertheless, I did like it. We all finished our soups really quickly (and although I had to switch my beef and barley soup for clam chowder, I was quite alright). The steak I ordered was well cooked, simply because I don’t like medium rare, or rare, or medium well when I don’t eat in Mexico. I am a lover of Argentinian meat and thus it’s kind of hard to have me have a steak in Vancouver. Nevertheless, I finished EVERY BIT.

SteakCamp @ The Brave Bull

SteakCamp @ The Brave Bull

SteakCamp @ The Brave Bull

SteakCamp @ The Brave Bull

The lady owner was EXTREMELY sweet and accomodating to our every need and request. Truth be told, with a group this size, she was always very honest and said “the service is going to be slow”. True, I also had to distribute napkins and cutlery, but I had absolutely no problems and on the contrary, I had a wonderful time with all these folks. And I got to do some geeky talk too πŸ™‚

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who showed up, especially Karen and her husband.Thanks also to Rastin and Rebecca for their support. And thanks to everyone who showed up. As I told you guys at the table, my whole intention in answering the challenge was to bring some good business to this elderly couple, to clear some of the bad reputation (which to be quite honest, seems not to be warranted, because CLEARLY this place has patrons that understand very well the way The Brave Bull works – I counted at least 15 different people who were there having for dinner at various times throughout the night – so, for the size of the establishment, that’s not a bad outcome), and to just have fun and create community.

I think I succeeded in my attempt, and I didn’t do it alone – all of the participants in SteakCamp at all times helped me (particularly Karen being such a good sport – sorry to have dragged you into this!). When I went to pay the lady and she counted the money, her eyes widened and said “are you sure you’re leaving THAT tip?”. I just smiled back and said “yes I am sure”. Whatever price I paid for that meal (which yes, was about $12 dollars), and however complicated it was to organize this SteakCamp, her smile back to me was worth every single penny I paid and much more.

Brave Bull's House of Steaks on Urbanspoon



1. Welcome to the Unofficial Brave Bull’s House of Steaks Blog « The Brave Bull’s House of Steaks - June 23, 2008

[…] June 2008: …at all times, there was a really sweet and strong feeling of β€œbeing […]

2. Jenn - June 23, 2008

I so wish I could have been there. I never would have thought that it would look anything like it does in the pictures. My visions of an east hastings slummy restaurant have been changed.

3. Nalei - June 23, 2008

artwork and christmas light alone were enough to make me want to come back. lovely to see you- next time i should perhaps stay and order!

4. Marina - June 23, 2008

Awesome! I think one of these days I’m going to have to arrange for dinner there with a few friends, if only to check it out for myself. Thanks for doing this Raul! Awesome! πŸ™‚

5. Karen - June 23, 2008

Holy cow Raul! What a lightning fast turnaround. My review will take longer but it’ll be up by Wednesday. Really enjoyed your company as well as all of those who attended.

6. Dario - June 23, 2008

Please tell me that second picture is not the steak.

7. Phaedra - June 23, 2008

I always wondered about this place. Great review. Meaty πŸ˜‰

8. Tyler Ingram - June 24, 2008

Looks like your ‘Meat & Potatoe’ type of place. Served on metal plates? Guess they don’t have an issue with people breaking them too much huh?

The inside looks nice though compared to the outside. Good job though reviewing them.

9. cyberbuzzmedia - June 24, 2008

Raul, thank you so much for taking up this challenge. You did an excellent job!

I’m so happy to read the place is actually quaint, and kind of cute.

10. Raul - June 24, 2008

@ Jenn – Wish you had been here too!

@ Nalei – Great to see you darling.

@ Marina – You should! Be forewarned – service = slow but good.

@ Karen – Awesome to share your company!

@ Dario – No, it’s not πŸ™‚

@ Phaedra – Yeah, and they have salads too πŸ˜‰

@ Tyler – It is a “meat and potato” type of place πŸ™‚

@ Buzz – Thanks! It was fun, and yes, the place is kind of cute. πŸ™‚

11. Mostly Lisa - June 24, 2008

sorry to spoil the party but

i wouldn’t be mostly lisa if i wasn’t contrary.

12. Raul - June 24, 2008

@ Mostly Lisa – Spoil the party how? I love contrariness πŸ˜€

13. isabella mori - June 24, 2008

so … did they still have the oysters?

14. Raul - June 25, 2008

@ Isabella – No, we didn’t think of the oysters. There was a request for scallops, I think – and the portion was really tiny, hehe πŸ™‚

15. 24Hrs: Blogosphere Buzz 06-25-08 | cyberbuzz - June 25, 2008

[…] social media moment as word spontaneously spread through blogs and Twitter. The reviews are up at Hummingbird604.com and […]

16. Misadventures at The Brave Bull (SteakCamp 2008) : Tiny Bites - June 26, 2008

[…] Raul’s recap of SteakCamp and The Brave Bull […]

17. Review: babyeats in Lynn Valley | The Blog According to Buzz - June 26, 2008

[…] this week, the blogging gang got together for SteakCamp at The Brave Bull. [read Raul and Karen’s reviews.] I couldn’t attend as I was at our daycare’s BBQ. It’s one […]

18. Bloggers and geeks as superheroes « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - July 3, 2008

[…] I can be an agent of change. That’s one of the things I aspire to do. I told this to Tom at SteakCamp, being able to unleash the power of Web 2.0 and help enhance the reputation of a tiny little East […]

19. Events in Vancouver roundup - Week of June 23 « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - July 4, 2008

[…] turn-out, more than I expected. Thanks everyone who showed up. My restaurant review of The Brave Bull is here, Karen’s review is here, Buzz’s review on the 24 Hrs is here and link-love on his […]

20. Coverage of Pride Vancouver by the mainstream media « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - August 2, 2008

[…] I do love 24Hrs, particularly since in the past month, I’ve been covered (twice, with the SteakCamp-Buzz Bishop challenge and a lovely interview that Rebecca was kind enough to invite me to join (for […]

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