New Westminster isn’t exactly a mecca for Vietnamese food in Greater Vancouver. Until now, we’ve had only three fairly average joints to speak of. When I heard of a new one advertising “Authentic” Vietnamese cuisine, I dragged Darciberger down to Columbia St. to see if Le Saigonnais was the real deal.
Unfortunately, the previous occupants, Royal City Thai, closed their doors. They put out some decent Thai food but I guess not enough New Westers gave them a go. It’s always sad to see it happen but in this case, it made way for some pretty damn good Vietnamese.
Le Saigonnais‘ menu is chock-full of authentic Vietnamese fare…not your average joint by any means. The fact that they used Vietnamese titles in a very non-Asian area gave me great hope. Of the four Vietnamese restos here, they’re the first. Bringing authentic Asian fare to this area is always a challenge. Here’s to hoping that it’s the beginning of a trend.
Their version of Bún bò Huế was pretty solid…stacked with flavor and loaded with meat. The broth was spicy enough but it lacked the lemongrass kick. The addition of beef balls in lieu of the pork knuckle was unique. It dropped the authenticity level down a notch but didn’t detract from the bowl a whole lot. The ultra-tender beef slices, great broth and chewy round noodles made up for things quite well.
The latest addition to New Westminster’s growing Asian restaurant scene is Okonomi Sushi on Sixth St. They recently took over the spot that The Orange Room previously occupied. Okonomi has another location in New West down on Fourth St. I was a bit surprised to see a second one open so close. Then again, this stretch of Sixth St. is in definite need of quality Japanese.
Sherman and I arrived on a Monday at noon to a warm and inviting yet deserted room. Knowing we’d be eating large, we grabbed a four-top for extra room. Our very friendly server presented us with one of the heftiest menus I’ve come across.
Weighing in at around two pounds (at least it felt like that!) this menu is absolutely loaded with options, 199 to be exact. To get a good sense of the fare, we opted for the Okonamiyaki & Tempura combo as well as the Special Assorted Combo A.
As the main parts of our meals were being prepared, we were peppered with an assortment of appies and sides.
For quite a while I’ve been trying to drag the gang out to Burgers Etc. BBQ House. Usually we opt for some sort of Asian fare a little closer to the office. This Friday we finally made the trek up to Hastings and Gilmore for a BBQ feast!
Burgers Etc. is a bit of an eclectic joint…the walls festooned with Americana, license plates and various instruments. Gives it a nice, warm, den-like atmosphere. The BBQ-smoke-infused air does nothing but help the appetite along…
Along with pretty decent BBQ, they offer up a variety of solid beers (and Budweiser), sodas as well as their own BBQ sauce.
This was, I think, my third trip to Burgers Etc. BBQ House. The first time, I had their “award-winning” burger. Although I can find no mention of this contest on the web, they claim to be the winner of CTV’s Best Burger in Vancouver. On my second trip I went with the BBQ Ribs and Beef Brisket Combo. The ribs weren’t all that special but the brisket oh, that brisket!
This time round, I’m here for the full meal deal…The Menu Sampler.