Local 360 – WFLBC in Seattle

Finding great restaurants is one of my favourite things about travelling. A few weeks before I went to Seattle I asked my Twitter followers for some restaurant recommendations in Seattle. The awesome bearded dudes at Hired Guns Creative recommended Local 360 in Belltown, a few blocks from my hotel.

 

Local 360, 1st and Bell.
Local 360, 1st and Bell.

An Emerson quote on their sandwich board? I approve. Local 360 uses locally sourced ingredients found within 360 miles of Seattle whenever possible. Their website has a sourcing page that outlines their philosophy. So, is the food any good?

Fried chicken* Bacon mousse chicken roulade, cheesy grits, collard greens, sunny-side up egg
Fried chicken*
Bacon mousse chicken roulade, cheesy grits, collard greens, sunny-side up egg

The “Fried Chicken” is actually a roulade made with chicken and bacon mousse. The chicken is tender and juicy, the seasoning of the batter is awesome, We don’t see a lot of collard greens or grits in Canada but they’re both great. The egg was a little over cooked but the yolk was still runny. All in all a tasty dish.

Butcher's grind house burger.
Butcher’s grind house burger.

The Butcher’s Grind House Burger was the Hired Guns recommended dish and it didn’t disappoint. I ordered it medium with bacon and cheese (obviously). The patty was delicious, you could really taste and feel how fresh the beef was. It was seasoned perfectly and came on a fresh bun with the usual burger accoutrements,  lettuce, tomato, onion, etc. I’d put this burger in my all time top 3. The fries are good too, hand cut and nicely salted.

If you find yourself in Seattle and want a good meal you can feel good about eating check out Local 360.

Web – local360.org

Twitter – @Local360Seattle

Facebook – Local 360 Seattle

Scott.

 

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Milltown Bar and Grill

Did you know that there’s a part of Richmond located in the middle of the Fraser River that you can only access from Marpole? There’s a tiny Island called Richmond Island located on Musqueam land that is part of a development called Milltown. There’s a new Bar and Grill at 9191 Bentley Street, which is the home of Milltown Marina. Milltown Bar and Grill is pretty damn cool.

Milltown Bar and Grill
Milltown Bar and Grill

Milltown sits just north of the Vancouver International Airport and has an incredible view of the north runway. More on that later. There’s a rotating craft beer tap, currently Hoyne Devil’s Dream IPA, and a small selection of craft bottles to keep my beer nerd pals happy. The Devil’s Dream was pouring beautifully and was the perfect companion to sunshine and plane watching on the south patio. There’s another patio on the north side that overlooks the marina, they’re both good choices if you like to sit outside.

Hoyne Devil's Dream IPA
Hoyne Devil’s Dream IPA

The menu is a classic west coast bar and grill line-up with all the usual suspects along with some non traditional items like Butter Bhicken, Halibut Tacos, and Salmon Wellington. I opted for the Freighter Burger, a house made all beef patty with Pale Ale BBQ sauce, bacon, and gouda plus the standard veg. The freighter is a solid buger, I’d order it again. The house made patty has nice tecture and is properly seasoned. The fries that came with it are battered, something I’m not super keen on but they were tasty none the less. I’d love to see in house hand cut fries with this burger!

Freighter Burger
Freighter Burger

Sitting on the north patio puts you up close with some pretty big planes landing at YVR from all around the world. The noise isn’t as loud as I thought it would be and watching planes land is pretty awesome, ya know? Here’s a couple of 747-400’s I managed to photograph.

Lufthansa 747-400
Lufthansa 747-400
British Airways 747-400
British Airways 747-400

Overall Milltown Bar and Grill is a great place to spend an afternoon. There’s tons of parking, good beer, tasty food, lots of action on the patio, and you can bring the whole family (something I did not know until after I got there…oops). Here’s a handy Google Earth shot to show you where they are, followed by all their pertinent links and so forth.

Map1

 

Twitter – Milltown_Bar

Instagram – milltown_bar

Facebook – Milltown Bar & Grill

Web – milltownbar.com

Scott.

 

Things I’ve eaten lately

I have the urge to write this fine spring evening. I haven’t been anywhere in awhile that deserves a full post but I have eaten some great stuff in some random places. I went digging through my Instagram pictures and picked out some winners.

Sesame crusted Ahi Tune from eighteen27 in Fort Langley
Sesame crusted Ahi Tune from eighteen27 in Fort Langley
Bigger Better Bacon Cheddar Burger from Earls on Smithe street.
Bigger Better Bacon Cheddar Burger from Earls on Smithe street.
Short rib breakfast bowl from Central City Brewpub in Surrey.
Short rib breakfast bowl from Central City Brewpub in Surrey.
Lamb Bacon BLT with Sriracha Mayo. Lamb bacon courtesy of John from the Hog Shack in Steveston.
Home made Lamb Bacon BLT with Sriracha Mayo. Lamb bacon courtesy of John from the Hog Shack in Steveston.
Prepping for the "black box" portion on the first BBQ competition of the year with John from the Hog Shack. Good times!
Prepping for the “black box” portion on the first BBQ competition of the year with John from the Hog Shack. Good times!
Fantastic ramen from Full Ramen in Surrey.
Fantastic ramen from Full Ramen in Surrey.
Shrimp Po Boy made by Rusty of Rusty's BBQ in a trailer at 10:30pm behind a barn in Chilliwack. It was delicious!
Shrimp Po Boy made by Rusty of Rusty’s BBQ in a trailer at 10:30pm behind a barn in Chilliwack. It was delicious!
Rusty enjoying one of his Po Boys.
Rusty enjoying one of his Po Boys.

 

Word to your mother.

Scott.

Quick Bite – Moderne Burger in Kitsilano

Moderne Burger in Kits
Moderne Burger in Kits

Moderne Burger in Kitsilano is a no nonsense burger joint with a great nostalgic feel that isn’t forced or cluttered up with random Elvis and Marilyn Monroe  paraphernalia. They have a small, focused menu that has burgers, BLT’s, grilled cheese, fries, milkshakes, floats and speciality sodas. Their burgers are made fresh daily and have no additives, not even seasoning! The inside of Moderne Burger has a great Art Deco feel and would fit right in under the Empire State building or somewhere similar.

Moderne Steak Burger with bacon and cheese.
Moderne Steak Burger with bacon and cheese

Moderne offers 4 burger choices, Steak, Ground Turkey, Veggie or Wild Salmon fillet, with all the usual additions. The burger is juicy and delicious and doesn’t need seasoning at all. The Bun is light yet substantial and suits the burger very well. The cheese is real cheddar and the bacon is thick cut and high quality. All in all a fantastic burger in every way. The fries are equally as good and are hand cut for every order. I was advised by someone who may have been the owner to arrange my fries in a “deck” to place my burger on so they would soak up the juicy burger drippings. Good advice.

Yum
Yum

Next time you find yourself in Kits go check out Moderne Burger.

Twitter – @moderneburger

Facebook – facebook.com/pages/Moderne-Burger

Interwebs – moderneburger.com

Scott.

Nimby Burger

NIMBY, an acronym for Not In My Back Yard, is a term used to describe people who oppose and change in their immediate vicinity. Having spent a number of years as a manager at Home Depot and Best Buy in my 20’s I am all too familiar with the NIMBY crowd. Nimby Burger resides in NIMBY central, also know as Kitsalano, at Cornwall and Yew. A throwback to the classic beach side burger stand, NIMBY is a walk up take out window on the side of Local Public Eatery, Serving only burgers, fries, milk shakes and cold drinks.

 

With a simple menu like this I was expecting great things from this cool little burger stand, so with that in mind I decided on the Dooblay, a double burger with double cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and house made secret sauce. I backed that up with fries and a chocolate shake. The burger is made to order and isn’t sitting around before you get there, I can verify this as I saw them fire it on the griddle just after I ordered. The verdict? It was good, not overwhelmingly good though. I was honestly expecting fireworks given the burger only menu. The patties were quite thin so I’m glad I ordered a double. I think I was expecting something more like Five Guys and sadly this didn’t come close. Don’t get me wrong it was a tasty burger but I think that it could be so much more with a little tweak to the meat size and toppings available. Thankfully the fries and the milkshake were there to save the burger!

 

The fries are hand cut, as you can see in the picture to the left, and are shoestring which is not the norm for hand cut fries. These fries are so simple yet so good, just salted with no crazy seasoning. They were cook very well and were very hot and fresh. They are worth a return trip along with the milkshake, which was chocolate of course. This is a “real” milk shake made from real icecream and it’s damn good. they have 3 flavors, chocolate, vanilla  and strawberry, which means they only have 2 flavors because strawberry milkshakes are gross, right Rochelle?

Nimby Burger is only open for the rest of the Labor Day long weekend so if you want some beach side burger action and some good fries and a tasty shake get your butts down to Kits Beach for some summer goodness. Fear not though, they will be back next summer and their menu is available at Local on the Late Night Menu year round.

Scott.

Davidson Pitstop

I promised a while ago that I would try and write about more Fraser Valley restaurants and lately I’ve been to a few good ones. First was Five Doors Down in Whiterock and now after years of living 6 blocks away from it I have finally tried Davidson Pitstop. Located at 16225 Fraser Hwy in Surrey it  is a throwback burger joint with Harley Davidson motorcycle imagery dominating the theme, hence the name.

I’ve been told that the burgers here have been named best in Surrey but I’ve never personally seen that in writing. I asked what the best burger they was and I was told to order the deluxe with cheese and bacon. The burger patty itself was good, nice and juicy and not overcooked with a nice amount of seasoning and good texture. The cheese was of the processed American variety so no fireworks there and the bacon was thick cut and noticeable in both flavour and texture. The veggies were fresh but the bun failed to live up to the rest of the burger. It was a typical sesame burger bun that you can buy at the local grocery store and could have used a little time in a toaster.

The fries were double fried and hand cut and should have been quite good but they were over cooked in old oil causing them to be a dark brown color and quite greasy. Fries need to be cooked in fresh oil where as onion rings and other deep fried goodies actually benefit from used oil. Most restaurants have 2 fryers, one for fries and one for everything else so I’ll assume that Davidson Pit stop only has one.

So the overall verdict is a little mixed. The burger was good but let down by a mediocre, soggy bun and the fries would benefit greatly from some fresh oil. I’ll definitely go back though as this food is 10 times better than any fast food joint. Davidson Pitstop is a small tweak or 2 away from having a destination worthy burger.

Scott.

Vancouver food bloggers, throwing stones and naming names.

Oh my goodness what a childish mess. For those of you who don’t already know there was recently a very “aggressive” post on a local food blog calling out all of the big players in the Vancouver food blogging community. It’s a long winded post but read the whole thing, it’s shockingly detailed with the writers opinions of other peoples blogs, their motives etc. Thankfully I was not a part of it seeing as I don’t blog for Urbanspoon and I really don’t give a rats ass how many people read my blog. That’s the real issue here, blogs as a business.

I write because I want people to have a laugh and find some good places to eat, not because I get free food (which does happen from time to time) or because I make money from my blog. I could put ads on my blog and to be honest I might at some point in the future but my main reasons for blogging have stayed the same since day one, I like to eat good food and want to share it with others. To name each and every person who you don’t think is “qualified” to write about food is very immature. The fact is that every single person on this planet likes to eat different things and to say someone shouldn’t be writing about food because they don’t like something is ridiculous.

As far as Urbanspoon goes I’m not interested in my ranking, it seems like a popularity contest, so I have decided that Urbanspoon isn’t for me. It works for some and that’s great but don’t criticize others because you don’t think they should be ranked higher than you. People read blogs because they are interested in their content and if they enjoy the content they will keep coming back for more. A blogs popularity means that people like it and to tell the readers that they’re wrong and shouldn’t like it because you say so is offensive. Free speech is a basic human right and I applaud Kim for having the courage to say what he was feeling but at the end of the day he looks like a spoiled little baby who can’t handle someone getting more attention then him.

I am a huge fan of EVERY Vancouver food blog and as a blogging community we offer the people of this city something truly special and I can’t wait to see future posts about great restaurants from great people. So to Richard, Raul, Melody, Sherman, Mijune, Erin, Diana, Mary, Ben, Suanne, and everyone else who writes about food in Vancouver, whether it’s for a blog, a website, a magazine or a news paper keep up the good work, haters are going to hate but the world keeps on eating.

Scott.

Thursday is Jerzday and some work talk

I love Jersey Shore. There, it’s in writing now, can’t take it back. Jersey Shore is everything that I am not, illiterate, promiscuous and violent. Based on those qualities you can see why I love it right? Well neither can I but it seems similar to the old “can’t look away from a bad accident” thing that most people suffer from. If you don’t watch it already I suggest you don’t start as it will ruin your Thursday nights. Now on to other things.

I’m off to Whistler again on Monday for work and I’ll be there until Thursday. I really enjoyed my last stay there and eating at Alta Bistro, Splitz Grill and Panoli’s Pizza. I will definitely be going back to Alta Bistro and I will also be stopping at The Campfire Grill in Squamish because that place is fantastic and Inger and Mike are super cool. I am feeling a little guilty though, while I am enjoying working in Whistler there are a bunch of Elevator brothers of mine who have recently been laid off. Most of us started around the same time and because we are in a union there really isn’t a reason why they aren’t working other than just being a number.

Unions are a funny thing, and this being the first I have been a member it still blows me away when someone who is good at their job gets laid off over someone who is a moron that costs the company money and grief just because they’ve been working for an extra year. I guess I shouldn’t complain because I’m still working but it does bother me that I could face the same fate through no fault of my own.

Time will tell, luckily I have a pretty deep network and a terrific family and they’re all more important than a job. Thanks for reading and I hope I’ll have some entertaining things to write about from Whistler V2.0

Scott.

The Campfire Grill – Smokin’ Barbecue

The WFLBC BBQ Challenge has officially begun, first stop Squamish!! Squamish? Yes, Squamish, I recently spent a week in Whistler for work and did a lot of eating all around town and I now have a stockpile of restaurants to reviews for this blog and for the Vancouver Observer.  On the way home I wanted to stop at a BBQ place I had heard about via Twitter called The Campfire Grill – Smokin’ BBQ. I had no idea what I was in for.

I don’t know what I was expecting but this certainly was not it, and what a nice surprise! Located at the Eagle Vista Resort and Campground at 1940 Centennial Way in Squamish it’s about as inconspicuous as it gets, it’s actually in the campground! Thinking that the GPS had led me astray I finally noticed the trailer and assorted small structures around it and headed over to say hello. Chef Mike McCrea and his wife Inger, aka the boss, greeted me with a smile and gave me a tour of the truly unique and pretty awesome setup they have. You really have to see it to appreciate it but it is very cool with gas heaters in a outbuilding filled with picnic tables, a fire pit surrounded by benches and an ordering area with another heater and a nicely done menu board along with very professional brochures and business cards.

Mike was kind enough to make me up a one man sample plate for the purposes of my BBQ Challenge that consisted of pulled pork, pork ribs, beef blade, chicken, and a stuffed burger. The pork was juicy and well seasoned, the beef was fantastic and savory and the chicken, dark meat by request, was cooked perfectly with the skin on. The ribs, which I ate before I remembered to take a picture, had a nice smoky crust and were tender and juicy as well.  The stuffed burger which is only available on Friday is made with locally sourced organic beef stuffed with pickles, banana peppers, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. Great texture and flavor from the beef and the stuffing was awesome, plus it was cooked a nice medium, perfect. Over all this is some of the best food, let alone BBQ, I have ever eaten.

Then there are the sauces, oh my god the sauces! All made by Chef Mike they are a foursome of mouth watering accouterments to go with the fantastic meat. There is a trio of BBQ sauces, bourbon, apricot and chipotle and a honey mustard sauce. The Honey mustard goes great with everything but pairs best with the chicken. The apricot paired best with the pulled pork and the bourbon went great with the ribs. The chipotle was my favorite and went great with everything, especially the beef. I also tried Chef Mike’s home made pecan tarts cooked on the grill and they were fantastic!

So BBQ challenge 2011 has it’s first official entry and if this food is a sign of things to come I’m in for a great ride! If you’re passing through or visiting Squamish, or if you just want to go somewhere incredibly cool to eat you need to make a stop here. Based on my BBQ experience this place may be hard to beat. I may have to rearrange my categories a little but I think the WFLBC BBQ Challenge is going to be a big hit!!

Scott.

Bob’s Burgers and Brew

America, land of the free, home of the brave and the capital of the pig out world. No where else is quantity of as much importance as it is to our southern neighbors. Luckily at Bob’s Burgers and Brew quality is just as important as the amount of food on your plate. Located throughout Washington State, Bob’s has been in business since 1982. During a recent trip to Seattle with Mr. What’s for Lunch BC Senior, aka my dad, we stopped at the outlet mall in Marysville for a little bargain hunting and some lunch. The outlet mall was a bust as I am a shopper who needs an item or items in mind prior to shopping but that left us more time for lunch before having to leave for Qwest Field.

Located at 8822 Quilceda Parkway in Marysville/Tulalip just south of the outlet mall and the Tulalip Resort Casino, there is little else to choose from other than fast food, food courts or The Olive Garden (which I am not a fan of) in the area. It was pretty busy for a Sunday but it was lunch time and there was football on. The host told us that there was a 15-20 minute wait but we were free to grab a table in the bar if there was one available, which there was. On the menu I noticed they had one of my favorite American beers on tap, Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Black Butte Porter is what a porter should be and I drink it when ever possible.

Seeing as the restaurant is called “Burgers and Brews” and I had already ordered my brew I decided on a burger, the Double Dutch Burger. According to the menu this is an old Lynden favorite, I’m guessing because of Lynden’s Dutch heritage? The burger is a 6 once charbroiled patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, “savory sauce” (Mayonnaise?) and a foot long hot dog cut to curl into a ring when it is grilled. The burger was great, with the hot dog adding a nice flavor and texture similar to bacon but much more substantial. The Burger patty was nicely seasoned and not too salty with the texture of quality ground beef. The side I chose was Jo Jo’s, which in Canadian are called potato wedges. They were also very tasty, not overly salted and not dry like most potato wedges I’ve had. This place is a must for bargain shoppers/problem gamblers who like burgers and beer. The prices were very reasonable with my burger coming in at under $10, lots of food for not a lot of money, an American tradition.

Story number 1 from my cross border adventure complete, stay tuned for story number 2 coming soon. While you’re killing time on the old internet you can check out my new online business card with photo courtesy of my pal Erika aka Eye Candy Photoworks.

Scott.