Becoming A Discerning Foodie
Lunch with a friend on the weekend was supposed to be simple. We choose Bandidas Taqueria at 2781 Commercial Drive on Saturday afternoon. It always seemed to be happening with lots of people eating away at this vegetarian taqueria. Yes, you heard right, I was giving a vegetarian restaurant a shot.
I had read a lot of reviews and one thing that was said over and over again was 100% accurate. This place is LOUD! I am not sure if it is because it is open concept or what but I knew right away, it was going to be a problem.
While I waited for my friend I ordered a horchata and checked out the brunch menu. I started to notice that so many of the dishes had the exact same sides: pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes. FYI, I HATE pinto beans. Why was it ALWAYS pinto beans? I love black beans. Give me some black beans.
Also, the prices were comparable to dishes that at other restaurants would contain meat but I tell you, pinto beans are cheap. For a REASON. Blech!
Now my Horchata was absolutely fantastic! When my friend arrived though we could not hear each other at all. I am telling you, we would have had to shout to be heard and that is no fun. This was not a concert, this was brunch for goodness sakes!
I paid for my drink, told the waitress it was too loud and we were leaving. She looked quite shocked. Probably because this is a place where people stand in line to eat, not leave without eating.
We went kitty corner to ChongQing which I had heard good things about. I got so caught up in conversation I did not take photos of the food, can you believe it?! Amazing what can happen when you can actually hear each other speak, LOL. BTW, had General Tso’s Chicken for the first time and LOVED it! I will go back and take photos next time.
Car Free Day
After the psycho crowds of Italian Day on Commercial you would think that I would want to stay clear of Car Free Day on The Drive. Reg did not have to work so we would not be rushed. It was crazy but not as bad. I wanted to have my Slavic Roll this time!
Overall the lines were not as ridiculously long, thank goodness.
I held onto my money but realized there were not a heck of a lot of food trucks this time.
There is so much character on The Drive and OMG, this t-shirt made me laugh!
There was a ton of live music and our favourite was Dopey’s Robe, very experimental rock. They were fantastic.
I have heard amazing things about Dolce Amore which was named one of the best ice cream spots of Vancouver. Which everyone apparently knows which is why this lineup was so super long!
I can go there any time so screw waiting forever in line. I will be back!
The pizzeria Famoso was giving out free virgin peach mojitos and boy, did we ever need it. We also got $5 gift cards!!! So smart. Now I have to go check them out too!
When I saw “Vintage Kitchen” at this lovely lady’s table I had to come over and check out her goodies. I loved everything! She was so wonderful too and told me she was going to have vintage Christmas items in early December at the Croatian Cultural Centre. I told her I would see her there!
This is as far as we got at Italian Fest before we turned around. There was lots of breathing space this time so we continued all the way down to the end!
This was my favourite moment of the day. OMG, I LOVE corgis!!!
Reg is always on the hunt for the perfect Hawaiian shirt.
Even though it was not as insane as Italian Day, it was still a good healthy crowd. The sad part about getting to the end was realizing Slavic Rolls was not there!!! Oh well, now I could get anything I wanted on the way back. Really, I was thirsty. I wanted something cold and liquidy.
We did not have any luck with the vendors so I ducked into a Tim Horton’s and wanted to try their new iced latte.
I could not believe it! The machine that made everything cold to drink was broken, damn it.
77K Freeze was our final hope and I kept my expectations low. They have just opened this new location and the reviews are not good.
Liquid nitrogen ice cream is all the rage in Vancouver but I never hear anything positive about the results. I also found their list of flavours confusing.
What the hell is in Oh!Canada? What does snowflake taste like? Bunny surprise?
Then it got worse. All these different bases to choose from…
Sub-Acid flavour? WTF?
Then you pick the sweetener? One scoop is $8 and I tell you, this was way too expensive and bloody complicated to be foodie fun. Bye-bye!
So all that way down Commercial and back and we did not spend a dime!
It was hot out, I was thirsty and it was time to go home.
Exactly! I was just like this little one. Burned out and came home and had some of my fantastic lemon-infused Instant Pot tea and grilled up burgers for dinner.
It is fun to go out but sometimes when it comes to food, it is OK to say no when you are out. I would rather be very picky about what I eat and drink than be disappointed with other people’s food. Most of the time we eat better at home!
Fun weekend but I need a holiday from all this excitement.
Jamie Ridler says
Wow! What an adventure, Suzie. That t-shirt totally cracked me up. I can absolutely see you wearing it. And wow, that liquid nitrogen ice cream place confirms the business saying, “A confused mind never buys!” I can’t believe there was someone there with vintage kitchen stuff! Lol, just thinking back on this post there is so much to experience – I can only imagine what the day was like. Thank you for taking us with you!
Suzie the Foodie says
I really wish I had gotten that t-shirt, isn’t it awesome? Yes, it was a crazy weekend! That ice cream place had no lineup (in comparison to the huge one at the gelato place) and I think it is because it is so confusing. Their big thing is “healthy” ice cream but nobody likes it, LOL. Thanks for coming along the tour! This neighbourhood always reminds me of Mom. It’s Vancouver’s Kensington Market.
Rain Frances says
I think that most of the time food is better at home 🙂 Your photos could easily pass for the street sale on St-Lawrence boulevard in Montreal. And I agree with you about the liquid nitrogen ice cream by saying wtf? I’m really not into that kind of thing at all. Traditional, butter, cream and bacon fat, bring it on lol! Well, maybe not bacon fat in ice cream, but you get the idea! That menu is horrendous!!! Cute pictures of the pups!!!
Suzie the Foodie says
It’s true, hard to beat homemade food but sometimes getting a break is nice. Oh interesting! I haven’t been there in Montreal for a very long time. It reminds me of Toronto’s Kensington Market. Liquid nitrogen is what all the chef’s use now and I wonder if the sudden cold is good for the cream. It is why I am tempted to try it but I don’t want to waste money at the same time, LOL. I agree, I almost always prefer old school techniques. People are looking for fast and easy ways these days but that does not always mean better. I don’t mind taking the extra time if it is worth it. And OMG, aren’t those dogs adorable?!
Debra She Who Seeks says
What a jam-packed weekend! I’ll only make 2 comments though.
I HATE loud restaurants like that with a passion. And yet they are all the rage right now. It’s as if NOISE equals hip ‘n happenin’.
My Rare One has that exact same dashiki as those guys in the band! She was wearing it on Canada Day when we went downtown to take in some festivities. At the Sikh Association of Canada pavilion, she got a free turban wrap! So how CANADIAN is that, eh? A Ukrainian in a West African dashiki and a Sikh turban!
Suzie the Foodie says
You and me both Debra, noise sets me on edge in general. I’ve always been sensitive and when there is noise I can’t hear people talking. It’s a weird kind of deafness. Yes, it is the rage, getting stinking drunk and screaming at each other. No thanks!
How wild about the dashiki! OMG, small world! That’s awesome, she has fantastic style. Wow, a free turban wrap? That is totally Canadian, I love it, two worlds combine. Beautiful!