Restaurant review – Goldfish Pacific Kitchen July 21, 2008Posted by Raul in dining out, Downtown, seafood, sustainability, sustainable restaurants, Vancouver, Yaletown.
Tags: dinner, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Yaletown
I had always been curious about Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, more and more recently since I have been spending more time in Yaletown (and I have noticed the increase in eye candy!). Also, I rarely consume seafood as I am more of a meat eater (and somewhat vegetarian, I’d say I’m like 40% meat eater and 60% vegetarian). I was recently invited as a guest to GoldFish Pacific Kitchen and couldn’t resist the temptation. An invitation to such a good restaurant is not something you can pass on, so I decided to take one of my closest friends with me.
JT is usually one of my most frequent dining companions and therefore, it was just appropriate that he shared this experience with me. I didn’t read any restaurant reviews nor listen to any commentary about Goldfish so that I could go and have a unique experience on my own. We both decided to go for the Prixe Fixe (what Goldfish calls ‘Le Sharp Deal’), a three-course meal that is served from 5:00pm to 5:55pm (and yes, you can order at 5:54pm for sure!). For $ 25.00, this is one great value for your meal, since the mains are usually about that price. My photos don’t really do justice to the meal, so you’ll have to forgive the quality. But the food is simply great.
We both ordered the mustard greens for starters, then I chose a salmon dish and JT ordered the ling cod. We complemented our meal with some bacon rice. The salmon was most definitely to die for, delicate and flavorful. The bacon fried rice blew me away, as it seems like such a simple dish yet I found it delicious. Finally, for dessert JT ordered the creme brule (of which I had to have the caramel crust) and I ordered the gelato.The dessert was extraordinary. I have to say that Goldfish’s creme brule is definitely my favorite, so far.
I had a chance to go back a second time as Steve Jagger invited Rebecca Bollwitt and myself to come join him for lunch. Same great experience, prompt service, great food (and awesome company, of course). This time, I ordered the maple soy chicken (really, really good) and also a side of fried bacon rice. Really good (although I think I ate a tad too much, hehe).
Without a doubt, these two have to be some of the best experiences I’ve had with customer service. Our server (in both cases, lunch and dinner) was simply outstanding, very knowledgeable, prompt, friendly and not pushy at all. Albert was also paying attention to every detail. Given my recent string of bad luck with restaurants’ customer service, I was quite happy to find Goldfish’s high level of service.
Another element that I really liked was finding out that Goldfish Pacific Kitchen is so interested in issues of sustainability. Goldfish is an associate of the OceanWise program AND the Green Table network. As I have mentioned before on my blog, I’m always interested in issues of greening restaurants.
Would I go back to Goldfish? Absolutely. While they are very different concepts, I would be willing to substitute my beloved Water Street Cafe for Goldfish for a celebration. This has to speak volumes to how much I liked Goldfish, because the Water Street Cafe is the location where I have celebrated Valentine’s Day and my birthday for the past few years (with JT, no less!). I am sure we’ll be celebrating either his birthday or mine at Goldfish in the near future. And to Goldfish, keep up the good work, you guys!
Bar review – The Kingston (Downtown) July 15, 2008Posted by Raul in Downtown, drinks.
So, last Friday was quite the social, off-line gathering of online geeks. I started off meeting Rebecca for a beer at Delicados, where we were joined by Beth Snow. We then parted ways and Beth and I ran around downtown trying to find the free 7-11 Slurpees. No luck. At that point, we headed to the Kingston to meet up with Duane, a couple of his friends, John and Rebecca.
I had never done a review of the Kingston even though we had been there a few times already, but the real reason was that I had never actually eaten there. This time, we ordered nachos (are you surprised?) The nachos were really good but I had to remind the waitress to actually add meat. The service was pretty minor, I wouldn’t say it was good. But nothing compared to Jimmy’s, whose service is REALLY BAD. And Tanya was saying that Dix’s service was just equally bad (I got to witness how their waitress treated them – I would have just called the shots there, but…)
Anyway, the Kingston is reliable for having a nice patio and it’s a destination I would go to just for the fun of hanging out with my friends. As I mentioned, the nachos are good and the service can be sometimes great, sometimes kinda so-so. This past Friday it was just ok, nothing to write home about. As it often happens with these places, it’s all about the good friends who join you rather than the actual place itself.
Review of Jimmy’s forthcoming.
Restaurant review – Delicados (Downtown) June 26, 2008Posted by Raul in cheap eats, Downtown, drinks, friends.
To continue with our Mexican food rampage, Rebecca and I went to Delicados for dinner just before attending Third Tuesday. I headed down there early, and since we both were starving we figured we’d order right away. I ordered enchiladas, but committed the mistake of going SUPER HOT. She ordered a wrap.
I was slightly surprised with the sunflower sprouts, but they were very tasty. The food is good for what it is (e.g. comfort food for lunch/early dinner). We were shocked to find out that Delicados closes at 6pm but I’m somehow not too surprised since it seems to cater to the lunch business crowd. The food is tasty and not all that expensive.
We had the pleasure of having Colleen and Ianiv join us for a bit, and afterwards we had a quick pint at Century. Which reminds me that I should have asked Ianiv and Arieanna to guest-blog-post their dinner experience at Century. The staff at Century have always been super, super nice, so I would figure that maybe the food is just as good.
Overall, Delicados is quick, inexpensive, Tex-Mex, filling and sort of a cheap bite. Not bad for what it is, definitely. But closing at 6pm? Not good in my books! 🙂
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I am awake at an absurdly early hour, so I might as well just arrange my calendar and try to see if I can squeeze all the events I am supposed to attend this week (and TODAY), along with doing some of my own work, interviewing Al Pasternak (aka Bokashiman) for my blog, attending a very close friend’s PhD defense AND still doing some of my usual socializing. Will I manage to remain sane? We’ll see. I attended two social media events last night: Third Tuesday AND Vancouver MetBlogs drinks at Library Square and I managed to survive, so let’s see if I don’t end up social-media’d out by Saturday night 🙂
So… in the interest of keeping myself sane, let’s see what I am up to today.
– Launch Party IV – Republic, 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Can’t wait to meet Maura and Jordan and all the other folks at Strutta.com. Besides, good chance for a beer with Duane, Ianiv and Arieanna, John and Rebecca, Jenn, Nadia, and I’m pretty sure there will be many other of my social media peeps there.
– Green Drinks – Steamworks – 5:45 – 10:00 pm. This is going to be a tough one. I *really* want to go, particularly since I committed myself to be a Green Greeter (one of those folks who will come to you with a name tag and if I see that you are too shy, I’ll come and introduce you to other people I myself may not even know, but still – create social circles on the spot). But, as you will see, I also have other events the same night. You snooze, you lose. I *may* make an appearance, particularly since I’m on the job market in the environmental field, I kind of have to ;).
– TechVibes Job Fair – Republic 3:00 – 5:00 pm. I also may show up to this, although this seems to be more directed towards web designers, software engineers, etc. But who knows, there might be something for me. And since I’ve already said that my next job will meld social media with sustainability and social change, this may be a good opportunity. More information on the Career Fair and the schedule of speakers is here.
– VIDFEST and VIGS Opening Reception – Vancouver Art Gallery – 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Well, not sure if I’m going to make it to this (I need to talk to the organizers of VIDFEST, on the one hand, and on the other – I am already double-booked). But it would be nice to make an appearance, particularly since Rochelle Grayson is covering VIGS and I’d love to see her.
Ok, after seeing my schedule, it looks as though the majority of my commitments are after 3pm, which gives me a solid morning to do actual work. That’s kind of awesome, come to think about it. Although I have NO clue where I’m going to sneak in a nap, because I mean, being awake at 6.00am after going to bed at 1.30am doesn’t really jive with me.
Upcoming event – Vancouver MetBlogs Meetup May 20, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Downtown, local events, upcoming events, Vancouver Blogger Meetup.
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Given that I’ve read Vancouver Metblogs for quite sometime, that they have some of my blogo-friends writing for them (including Rebecca, Ryan, Barbara and Stephen), and the fact that they did invite me to contribute last year (I sort-of declined, because at the time I was really focused both on trying to learn more about blogging AND I had a lot of day-job work), I thought that maybe I should attend the upcoming Vancouver MetBlogs Meetup at Library Square at 7.30pm on Tuesday May 21st, 2008. I am also attending Third Tuesday, so not sure how I’m going to balance both. I’ll see. Now that I do have a cell phone, maybe I can coordinate with Rebecca and/or other bloggers to sort of try and do both events at the same time. It will be challenging, but most certainly will be fun.
Photo credit: youngdoo on Flickr.
The only thing I really absolutely enjoyed about India Bistro was the people I went with. After an evening of Delhi2Dublin, JH, HZ and myself met up with BS for a drink and dinner. One of the reasons why I feel so incredibly blessed is that my friends (and particularly this set of friends) are always very conscious of my dietary restrictions. We rarely eat pizza, Chinese food or sushi. That being said, we all enjoy Indian food and thus we figured India Bistro would be the best place, as it is near by to BS’s place.
While the menu is broad, and it’s not really all that expensive, I was pretty taken aback by the fact that we had to order (and pay for) naan/roti and rice. Given that I eat out a lot, and that Indian food is close to my favorite food, I know A LOT of places and this is the first one where I’ve had to deal with this issue. The food is great, don’t get me wrong. But my dish wasn’t particularly tasty. Maybe I just chose wrong.
If confronted with the question of where to go for Indian food (dinner) on Davie Street I wouldn’t place my first bet on India Bistro. Not a bad restaurant, it’s tasty, but not very abundant and definitely I would go for Swagaat Tandoori before I went to IB. I’d say maybe 2.5 or 3 stars out of 5. This should not discourage potential customers, though. I just may have been there on an off day.
A home away from home… The Network Hub May 1, 2008Posted by Raul in Downtown, entrepreneurship, Vancouver, working spaces.
The first time I came to The Network Hub was at my first Third Tuesday event. I was positively impressed. The place is simply outstanding. Ever since I’ve wanted to become a consultant I’ve wanted to have a workspace that provides me with freedom and also positive entrepreneurial energy around me. The Network Hub answers those needs.
A view of The Network Hub’s open space office concept. Photo credit: Raul on Flickr.
So, what is exactly The Network Hub and why does it play an important role in Vancouver’s burgeoning entrepreneurial sphere?
The Network Hub was established 2006 after observations of first time entrepreneurs struggling to find fundings from angel investors and venture capital companies. The Network Hub is a special kind of venture capital firm and incubator that care more about your idea than your age, resume and your business plan.[The Network Hub website]
Another view of The Network Hub. Photo credit: Raul on Flickr
So how *exactly* does The Network Hub help entrepreneurs?
Ideas are important but we also look for motivation, passion and brains. The ideal companies we are looking for usually has two or more founders. We provide micro-loans and resources to help you get started on your ideas in exchange for 5%-10% equity.
We provide to all our startups:
* “Micro” capital
* Infrastructure (office space, legal, accounting, human resources, etc.)
* Product development, management, sales and marketing resources
* Connecting you to potential investors
* Expertise through business partners [The Network Hub benefits page]
When the time comes for me to start up my business, I will seriously consider coming down to The Network Hub. The concept is somewhat similar to that of WorkSpace, and I think that there should be more of these “shared office space” concepts. I also plan to write a featurette of WorkSpace soon. Stay tuned!
Upcoming environmental events in Vancouver (March/April) March 18, 2008Posted by Raul in climate change, Downtown, drinks, environment, Gastown, sustainability, upcoming events, Vancouver.
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I usually advertise numerous environmental events, but I rarely have the time to attend all of them (not because I don’t want to, but recently I haven’t attended because I have been sick). Anyhow, there are a number of events you might want to check out in the next few weeks.
(WordPress question – how do I create a bulleted list?)
Green Drinks Vancouver March 2008 is happening tomorrow night (March 19th, 2008 – after 5.45pm @ Steamworks). I am almost betting that they’ll have the Green Drink tomorrow. Meet environmentally-minded folks in a relaxed environment. Brought to you by Green Drinks and Connecting Environmental Professionals. I *might* attend this one, but just for about an hour and very early (e.g. around 6 pm) because I am still sick and I am not really in the mood to socialize.
Metro Vancouver wants your input on their Solid and Liquid Waste Strategy. As those are two areas of specialty of mine, this is one meeting I will not be missing (I shouldn’t have missed those Eco-Density ones nor the Regional Planning Breakfasts and stuff, but hey my dance card is extremely full!). Brought to you by MetroVancouver, who seemingly still use the GVRD server. Don’t ask ME why, go and ask THEM!
Next month’s Sustainability Breakfast will be on Living Buildings (aka Green Buildings taken to the extreme), April 10th, 2008. Even though these events have free food and are organized by someone who is an actual real life friend of mine, for the life of me I’m almost *never* able to make it to these. I will really try to show up to this one, though.
Once I find out how to create the “bulleted list” I might update this post. If you know of any environmentally-related events coming up and you want them advertised, let me know.
Bar review – Library Square Public House March 9, 2008Posted by Raul in dancing, Downtown, drinks, Vancouver.
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Admittedly, ever since I finished my MBA (a few, not too many moons ago), I feel like I’m out of the loop with the trendy and chic. My friends would probably disagree, but would you believe I had never set foot in the Library Square Public House, despite having a Vancouver Public Library card and being a frequent visitor?
Come on, even Mark Wahlberg has visited the LSPH! So when MM invited me to her birthday party, I jumped with excitement. Not only is she one of the nicest girls I’ve ever hung out with, she is also a key element of my volleyball team. So after having had dinner with C, B, L and J last weekend, I ended up hanging out with MM and her friends (some were unbelievably cute, but I digress).
The LSPH is indeed chic, even though it still has a hint of a sports bar. But what distinguishes this bar is the dance floor. It was overall a really nice evening, and even though I had to be in line for a little bit (something I am not used to doing ever since I stopped going to the Roxy or Republic or any of those clubs) I ended up having a great time. The drinks aren’t all that expensive (about 7 for an amaretto and soda) and the ambiance and music were nice.
I’d definitely come back if another friend organized his/her birthday party here, although truth be told, I probably wouldn’t venture this far from my usual stomping grounds in the case of my own birthday or a relevant celebration. It’s a great pub and I’ll come back whenever my friends organize another outing.
Coffee shop review – Cafe Artigiano February 22, 2008Posted by Raul in coffee, Downtown, local business, Vancouver.
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There are few things I love more than coffee. Real coffee. The stuff that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning to the smell of a dark, freshly brewed concoction. Unfortunately, my tummy has begun to be slightly sensitive (please replace that with VERY sensitive) to irritants, and therefore coffee is now more or less off grounds.
The problem with this is that my daily routine does involve coffee. Even if I work from home for about one or two hours before heading to the office, that’s the first thing I do: I wake up, barely conscious, stagger until I reach my coffee maker and turn it on. However, I’ve recently had several episodes of stomach ache that are associated with dairy consumption (cheese, of all things!) and caffeine consumption.
Therefore, what I did today (as an innovation) was to make a pot of English breakfast tea, and start working. The kick wasn’t enough, I got to tell you. So, when KP said that she wanted to meet for coffee downtown, I jumped at the possibility. Particularly since we haven’t seen each other (and I totally missed her birthday!) and so she suggested Café Artigiano.
Now, to the uninitiated, this could be just any other coffee shop. But no, don’t be fooled. This is Café Artigiano. The one and only. This is gourmet coffee, even the Americano is amazing. The atmosphere is extremely warm. And the staff… not only are they beautiful (physically speaking), they are so incredibly sweet. *swoons*
I have been to Café Artigiano many a time, but had never actually had the time to sit down and write a coffee shop review, so now that I’m waiting for KP to show up, it’s the perfect occasion.
As I write this review, I’m looking at the baristas (both male and female) and they keep smiling. How do they do that, particularly after a really long day at work? I don’t know, but those smiles are beautiful and I feel so welcome at this place, it’s going to be kind of hard to leave. Of course, the incentive to get out of here is that I’m heading down to CBC Studios to see a live performance of Delhi2Dublin. I’ll tell you all about it afterwards.
Small inconvenients of Café Artigiano:
- If you’re a blogger or need a wireless connection, you are pretty much SOL. This place doesn’t provide wifi. But on the plus side, if you actually want to work on a paper or read stuff, you can do it without the added distraction of having an internet connection.
- The people coming here (and working here) are pretty damn hot. That may be a bit of a distraction if you’re trying to concentrate on a project. I have a very, very short attention span and can easily be swayed away from an assignment with a beautiful smile [ that being said, I’ve also been blamed for charming people away from their work by using my eye-lash batting powers and my mega-watt smile… ooops :o) ]
- Not enough power outlets to connect your laptop. So, make sure you got a nice battery before heading down here to do work. I managed to sweet-talk my neighbours into letting me connect to the power outlet and run my cord undernearth their legs, but it’s slightly embarrassing.
- The atmosphere is quite animated, so if you’re trying to concentrate on something that requires attention, you may be SOL. I am wearing my headphones and listening to Miguel Migs on my iPod and still can hear my neighbour’s conversations.
Overall, I still would come to CA (Hornby and almost Robson, near the Vancouver Art Gallery). Just accompanied with a nice book though 😉
No recap of Green Drinks :( February 21, 2008Posted by Raul in Downtown, environment, sustainability, Vancouver.
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Sorry guys, but as it turns out, in my intent to be as “non-specific” and “protecting everyone’s privacy”, my photographs turned out horribly and thus I don’t want to post a detailed, non-pictorial recap of Green Drinks. Suffice it to say, it was fun and I had a really delightful time. I think I actually need to bring my business cards next time. And perhaps ask people in advance if they mind photographs, because the ones I got are hideous and really don’t show anybody’s face.
Upcoming event – Green Drinks (Vancouver) Wednesday Feb 20th February 15, 2008Posted by Raul in Downtown, environment, sustainability, upcoming events, Vancouver.
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I have been so insanely busy that I have missed many of the most recent Green Drinks events. However, this coming Wednesday I am NOT busy and thus will definitely be going to Green Drinks. This is a gathering of enviro-minded folks from ENGOs, academia, industry, etc. Yes, there are actually ‘green drinks’ on tap.
From the Green Drinks Vancouver website:
There’s no agenda or other formality – it’s just a chance to meet regularly to chat, debate, socialize and connect with others in Vancouver who are passionate about environmental and sustainability issues. Whether you’re keen on green building & design, sustainable energy, organic gardening, or something else entirely, you’ll find like-minded people. Please feel free to bring your business cards, brochures, info sheets, magazines and newsletters to put on a table for people to take away with them. Do make sure to take whatever you left on the table with you when you leave.
I suggest that you check it out. I am not generally a fan of Steamworks, but it’s a great pub for this kind of gathering. Plus, I always end up bumping into lots of friends of mine from the environmental field (kind of the point, isn’t it?). Plus, if you end up going, you’ll get to see my megawatt smile 🙂
Eatery review – Sushi Sky (West End) January 30, 2008Posted by Raul in cheap eats, dining out, Downtown, West End.
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Given that my budget for dining out has shrunk considerably, and that my friends and I are trying to be more conscious about that (I’m glad they are, because I am pretty broke right now!), it was nice to find yet another place with good sushi for less than what I would have paid at Tanpopo or one of those other restaurants.
Sushi Sky is a little hole-in-the-wall kind of place on Bute Street, near Davie. If you know the Jupiter Cafe, it’s pretty much right beside it. I have to say that it’s such a strategic location. Three of my closest friends live within three blocks of this place. I went there with J for a quick dinner before watching “Brothers and Sisters” at his place a couple of Sundays ago.
The sushi is really good, and for less than $ 6.00 you got yourself dinner. I think the total for two with tip was $ 15.00. I mean, there are times when I pay that much at brunch! So, I’m pretty happy with this little place. Inexpensive and tasty. I’ll be coming back again, for sure.
Restaurant review – Mosaic at Burrard November 24, 2007Posted by Raul in brunch, dining out, Downtown, Vancouver.
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Having brunch with close friends is always awesome, particularly after having had a somewhat sad Friday. My great friend LF suggested that we try Mosaic at Burrard, which is the hotel restaurant for the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. I’d never been and neither had she, so we settled for brunch/lunch here.
Naturally, the prices are higher than at a normal restaurant, but bear in mind that this is a top-notch hotel and thus you pay a premium. That being said, this is definitely top notch breakfast. I ordered a frittata and LF requested a chicken sandwich (I couldn’t find the menu online, so I can’t really offer you that).
There were several things that made it outstanding. The waiter was looking after our very need (although coffee refills weren’t as fast as I expected them, but the service was phenomenal nonetheless). We started off with coffee and orange juice (freshly squeezed) and we received a complimentary smoothie, which was kind of funny considering that my mental association looks something like this:
(Smoothie)=(Only Possibly Tolerable Food Item after Horrible Hungover)
And since I had a smoothie last time I had been hungover before meeting LF, this brought good and bad memories (bad because of the hangover). Anyhow, on to the restaurant review. The frittata was great, although I was a bit taken aback by the salad on top of the frittata. However, the bread, the potatoes and the frittata itself were amazing. LF seemed to enjoy her sandwich. She praised the dressing, which luckily was served on the side.
Would I recommend Mosaic to potential customers? Absolutely. This is a great experience if you come with someone you really like or it is a business brunch. I know that they have brunch buffet but I doubt I could eat that much food in one sitting. One word of warning: it is fairly expensive, but definitely worth the money, particularly if it is (as it was the case) a pre-Christmas dinner.
Since I am leaving Vancouver way too early this year, we had to meet for brunch much earlier than we expected. Nevertheless, it was great fun, and luckily a great place to eat with a very good friends. LF and I have been excellent friends since over a decade, so it’s fun to really talk very openly and about everything with her. Good times indeed 🙂