Moderne Burger!

Where do I begin with this place… Well I attempted to go to this restaurant a few weeks ago arriving around 6:45PM and was told that there were only 2 burger buns left. I thought this was quite strange, a restaurant that exclusively sells burgers run out of buns in the middle of dinner service. Unfortunately we had a party of 3 and no one really wanted to compromise and have a hamburger steak. Ultimately I don’t think you should have to compromise not having a full burger when you go to a burger joint. Maybe I was being a bit too critical, so I thought I wouldn’t cross this place off my list just yet.

One day when my friends and I were just sick of the food we were eating in our neighbourhood, we decided to give this place a shot again, earlier this time, hopefully they will still have some buns for us! We arrived at 6:00PM and thankfully they had buns left! Praise Jesus! The three of us were seated in a booth, it was kind of a tight squeeze, which was surprising because of the excess space that they had in the restaurant, they could have made the tables and booths a bit larger to make the dining experience a bit more comfortable.

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The restaurant was pretty cool looking, sort of a blast from he past. It was painted in light pastel yellows and greens and set up like a diner! I was impressed with the atmosphere that they had created.

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I glanced through the menu and it was quite basic, you can order a burger with your choice of beef, veggie, turkey or salmon. The burger comes with all the fixin’s for $7.95 or $8.95 with salmon. You can get a burger platter that comes with fries as well for $10.95. Any additional toppings like cheese, mushrooms or bacon comes with an additional charge of $1.25. A pretty basic menu, a little pricy if you want a bacon cheeseburger though. I ended up getting a mushroom burger platter with a cherry Coca-Cola.

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The cherry cola was the highlight of my experience! It was great it came in a tall glass with crushed ice and topped with a maraschino cherry! Very cute. At $2.75 I think it was worth every penny!

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Now here’s the big kicker! The piece de resistance! The burger! My thoughts? It was pretty good, the meat was extremely fresh, you could taste how clean and fresh it was. The vegetables inside the burger were also at the same caliber. As for flavour, they could have seasoned the burger, it was a bit bland! The french fries were also pretty good, fresh home cut fries, you can’t go wrong! Although, we did ask if they had any gravy and the server told me that they don’t make or carry any. I think this was a missed opportunity on their part! Who could resist a burger and a real Canadian poutine?! It’s so simple to make and would make it a really easy upsell for the servers.

Now on the topic of service, I was really let down on that end, the service was awkward and maybe a little fake. The lady who took our order was quite abrupt and cut throat, while still keeping a smile on her face. That leaded me to believe that she was a bit fake, my friend had asked for her burger to be cut in half (for ease when eating) and she flat out said no and that she will bring her a knife so my friend could do it herself. We were totally okay with that, but unfortunately she didn’t bring us a knife so we resorted to using a butter knife on the table. We would have asked her for a knife, but from the time we received our food to the time we finished eating, we weren’t approached by a server to ask if we needed anything else/get refills on water.

So my final thoughts on Moderne Burger? I rate it a 6/10. It would have gotten a better rating if the service was better. Although I do think I would eat there again if I passed by and wanted a quick snack. I’d recommend the cherry coke and some fries! The rest, I’m sure you could get better elsewhere. Their hours of operation was a little odd to me as well, for a burger place selling shakes and malts, I think they would have been open till around 10:00PM, but they’re only open till 7:30PM everyday Tuesday to Sunday.

Moderne Burger on Urbanspoon


Chicken Stock!

Stock is one of the first things you learn how to make in culinary school, it’s the base to many more complex dishes from soups and consommés to risottos and pastas! A very diverse item yet it is so easy to make! A home made stock will elevate your dish from just alright to amazing!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 lbs of chicken bones
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 small onions halved
  • 1 lemon
  • leftover herbs
  • 6 litres water

Method:

Stocks are one of the easiest things to make! Chicken bones can be found in your local grocery store, they usually come frozen, any kind of chicken bones will do but the neck and breasts are the best. The neck and breast contain a lot of gelatine which will give your stock body. You can even use bones of an already roasted chicken! As for herbs, you can add as much or as little as you want, I would stay in the range of thyme, oregano and parsley. Nothing too strong in flavour that may change the flavour of your dish. Put all our ingredients in a stock pot and bring it to a boil.

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You want to start off with cold water, if boil your water first and add in your ingredients than your stock will be cloudy. When everything comes up to a boil, skim off the access fats and impurities. Turn your stock down to a medium low simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours skimming periodically (every 30 minutes or so).

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Keep the stock uncovered to ensure a nice clear broth! After you’ve cooked the stock for 4 hours, you cannot gain any more flavour or body from the bones or other ingredients, so strain it and pass it through a cheesecloth (optional if you want a clear broth). Cool overnight and use within a week. If you have leftover broth, place the remainder in jars and freeze. They will last months and be ready for use immediately!

Enjoy!!


Burgers ETC!

So I was in need for a new burger joint, Red Robin’s by Metrotown was my regular burger place and since Station Square is being rebuilt they closed down, hopefully just temporarily! Meanwhile this gives me a good opportunity to try new places around the area. My good friends brother recommended Burgers ETC, located on Hastings and Gilmore. We decided to give it a try. I had initially thought that the restaurant would exclusively sell burgers, but to my surprise when we walked in it was pretty much a BBQ house! Great! I love BBQ, the smells of the grill was way too tempting to pass up so I decided to go towards a BBQ dish instead of my intended burger. There was an open kitchen concept so when you walk in, you can see the grill! It was so much cleaner than most of the restaurants I’ve been in, so right off the bat I was already impressed!

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I looked through the menu long and hard and decided to go with the Combo Platter, with this you get your choice of two meats and two sides. I ended up choosing the ribs and chicken wings for my meats and french fries and corn for my sides! I was pleasantly surprised that it was loose corn instead of a cob of barbecued corn on the cob. I mean, I’m sure that it wouldn’t be other patrons first choice, but I don’t like things that are hard to eat. I would rather have something more simple to eat instead of getting so messy with a whole cob of corn. It was pretty good, the ribs were tender, but not fall off the bone, good flavour and huge portions. The wings were pretty good, nothing to rant and rave about, but nothing to complain about either. This Combo Platter was pretty big, it would totally be enough to feed 2 for lunch, if not be prepared to have a doggy bag!

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My sister got a half rack of ribs with fries and corn as well, but to top it all off she had a milkshake! She also requested a couple shots of baileys in there to make it extra boozey! Not my cup of tea, but whatever floats your boat! She said that the milkshake was awesome and reminded her of the milkshake at Holstein’s in Las Vegas (Cosmopolitan Hotel).

My other friend got a cheeseburger with fries and gravy, not much comment from him on the burger, but he got the burger plain so I guess you can’t really mess up on a plain burger.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with his place, I would definitely go back to try their burger. The service was pretty efficient, the servers were nice and attentive! I would rate Burgers ETC an 8/10. Things they could work on is the ventilation, be prepared to take a shower when you get home cause you’ll be smelling like the grill!

Burgers Etc. BBQ House on Urbanspoon


Banh Mi Saigon!

So Banh Mi Saigon… where do I start?  This is a Vietnamese store that is newly opened (about two weeks ago) on Victoria and 33rd avenue. They are classified as a deli and dessert restaurant, but they specializing in Vietnamese subs and Che (Vietnamese Dessert)! I’ve been there a few times prior to my last visit, but every time I get some sandwiches for the family, I never get the chance to have one fresh. From what I had tasted thus far, I wasn’t quite impressed because I’m not fond of their Vietnamese subs reheated in the toaster oven. I thought that I would give it a chance to have it fresh before I totally judge the sandwich. A friend that lives in the area told me that she saw the lady who sold Vietnamese Che 6 mau (six colour dessert) at the Richmond Night Market was working/the owner of Banh Mi Saigon. This has got to be one of my favourite Vietnamese desserts and bingo she was right! I walked in, there was a cool menu set up in the shape of a famous mall/grocery store in Vietnam called Cho Ben Thanh and the che 6 mau was on the menu! It beats waiting for the summer night market to come to enjoy the bean dessert!

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I digress, so my friend and I tried the Vietnamese sub fresh, we got the meatball sub and added Vietnamese ham to share, we also ordered a couple of lemon iced tea’s to cool us down from the hot weather. Usually the most popular sub is the special sup which has Vietnamese ham and bacon, meatball (ground), pate, mayo, cucumber, pickled vegetables (daikon and carrots), cilantro and jalapeño’s. To start off all the sandwiches are $4.50, a little more expensive than Bale (on Kingsway and Fraser) the place where I usually get my subs, which is $4.00. They loaded the sandwich with quite a lot of meat and picked vegetables! Since they weren’t cheap on ingredients I think it’s a pretty fair price. The sandwich was pretty good fresh, way better than when I had it reheated in the toaster oven. The bread was so good, crispy and crunchy on the outside, but still subtle and soft in the middle. The lemon iced tea on the other hand was phenomenal, on a totally different level than the sandwich! It’s so refreshing on a hot summers day! It came with shaved ice so you could get small pieces of ice coming up your straw while you drink it! I definitely enjoyed that!

Overall I really enjoyed my sandwich, I just wouldn’t recommend you get it prior, just consume it ASAP! If you do wait, the bread gets really soggy when you reheat it later. The dessert is just like the one at the Richmond Night Market, so that doesn’t disappoint. I give Banh Mi Saigon an 8/10, what they could work on is the service, though it’s friendly I feel as though they aren’t efficient enough, they still need to get into their own groove and work out the kinks. Give the place a try, its worth it to stop by for a really cheap lunch!

Banh Mi Saigon on Urbanspoon


Korean Short Ribs!

Well everyone it’s officially spring! Clean off the BBQ’s and get your grilling on! This recipe for Korean Short Ribs or “Galbi” in Korean will definitely start your spring off right!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of short ribs (for grilling not braising)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 korean pear
  • 1  1/2 onion
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp monosodium glutamate (optional)

Method:

First I like to wash my short ribs off with cold water just to make sure there are no bone fragments on the meat. This will also help extract some blood so that you can marinate it easily. While the short ribs are soaking, in a food processor or blender (I just used my magic bullet, took a little longer but it works!), process your onion, Korean pear and garlic into a puree.

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Put the mixture into a mixing bowl and add your soy sauce, honey, corn syrup, vegetable oil, sesame oil, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and MSG (optional, it helps bring out the umami flavour as well as tenderizes the meat). There are many misconceptions with MSG, from what I’ve read it is not actually linked with any heath risks! All that I have seen is that MSG leeches water, so it links to just dehydration which can cause headaches. Drink a big glass of water and you can enjoy! Anyways, mix all of the ingredients throughly. Drain your short ribs as well as possible and submerge your short ribs in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Over night is best! When barbecuing turn your barbecue to the hottest temperature possible and grill for 2 and a half minutes on each side or until you get some nice grill marks on the ribs! This recipe is best prepared ahead of time and will freeze just as well. 
Enjoy!