Falconetti’s East Side Grill presents #FalconettisFix with VANEATS.ca

You may recognize Falconetti’s East Side Grill from a little show called Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by the Food Network’s frosted tipped, backwards sunglasses wearing wunderkind Guy Fieri. Falconetti’s segment was pretty short but the food looked great and the atmosphere looked electric. I was asked by VANEATS.ca to check out their latest dining package called Falconetti’s Fix and I jumped at the opportunity having never been to Falconetti’s.

The package consists of Poutine with house made pepper gravy, house smoked pork ribs, a choice of any of their house made sausages and two rocks glasses of Phillips Blue Buck pale ale all for $16. The food was great, the poutine used shoestring fries which is a little different than most poutines on offer in Vancouver and the pepper gravy was salty, rich and delicious drizzled over real cheese curds.

#FalconettisFix package - $16
#FalconettisFix package – $16

The ribs were outstanding, I didn’t expect these ribs to be as good as they were because I’m a bit of a BBQ elitist. They were cooked just right, not falling off the bone but the bone came clean with little effort, The sauce was simple and had all the right levels of sweet, heat and salt.

For my sausage I chose the Sweet Italian which is made with fennel and basil and comes on a fresh toasted bun with artichoke dip (!) and peppers on top. The sausage had some nice heat and the artichoke dip on top was the perfect condiment. The Phillips Blue Buck is a nice, accessible craft beer for the craft beer novice and is a nice refreshing change from the hop bombs and barrel aged porters I’ve been drinking lately. at $16 this is certainly great value, something VANEATS.ca is known for.

Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops.
Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops.

In addition to the package my hot date and I also sampled a few items from the menu, First up were the Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops. 4 medium sized prawns wrapped in salty prosciutto, seared and served individually on skewers with vodka cocktail sauce for dipping. Simple, well executed and delicious.

Mac N' Cheese Balls
Mac N’ Cheese Balls

Next up were the Crispy Panko Mac N’ Cheese Balls. Deep fried mac and cheese, how can this be the first time I’ve ever had this? Needless to say it was delicious but probably something that should be enjoyed in moderation.

The most surprising part about Falconetti’s is the second floor. First off I didn’t know they had a second floor and it has a roof that opens and the windows along Commercial Drive open up in warmer weather. The view of downtown Vancouver is beautiful and unexpected. I don’t often think of Commercial Drive as being somewhere with a great view.

Spend the $16 and go check out Falconetti’s, it’s one of a kind. Go to VANEATS.ca for details.

Scott.

Legal stuff – My package was provided at no charge by Falconetti’s for review purposes. All other food and drink orders were paid for by my hot date aka sugar mama aka Lyndsey 😉

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Kaboom Box with VANEATS.ca!! #KaboomInABox!!

The VANEATS.ca crew have done it again, a dining pass for a food truck? That’s my kind of package!! The Kaboom Box is located at the corner of Robson and Granville (beside Sears) and offers local and sustainable food including Oceanwise seafood and organic veggies whenever possible. This package is called Kaboom In A Box, search for #KaboomInABox on Twitter, and offers your choice of a fried oyster po’ boy or the hot salmon smoked “Salmwich”. It comes with an amazing poutine and a beverage all for $8.50? Yup, that’s a sweet deal!

I chose the Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich. It’s made with locally sourced sustainable oysters that are panko breaded and deep fried. They’re nestled lovingly in a great whole wheat bun with some signature slaw and house made tartar sauce. Grab some napkins, this guy’s as messy at it is tasty. The oysters are full of oceany (yes that’s a word…) goodness and the flavour of actual oyster is still front and centre with the sauce, slaw and bun playing their backup roles perfectly.

The “BC Poutine’ is a nice departure from heavy animal based gravy poutines. The gravy is made with local mushrooms and the crispy fries and real cheese curds make up quite the threesome of flavour in your mouth. The green onions are a nice touch too, adding a little freshness and bite to the dish. I opted for water to drink as I did’t want any sugary drink messing with these great flavours.

Make sure you say Hi to Andy, Brian and Matt, the Kaboom Box crew! They’re doing some great things out of that tiny food truck!

The #KaboomInABox pass goes on sale May 2nd at 7am and you can get it at VANEATS.ca!! I would also like to give a special shoutout to Kev and Billzzzz from VANEATS.ca for their support and for filling me with delicious food on a regular basis, you guys ROCK!

Scott.

Dunn’s Famous

There’s a place in Montreal called Dunn’s Famous that’s been serving authentic Montreal Smoked meat since 1927 and they have recently opened up right here in Vancouver! Poutine, Smoked Meat, Cheese Cake, the holy triumvirate of must have Montreal staples are now made in the true Montreal style at 827 Seymour Street (at Robson) and I was recently invited by Cate Simpson of Simpson Public Relations, who handles Dunn’s PR, to come and sample some menu items.

First up was some beer battered deep fried pickles, deep fried pickles are great. I know what you’re thinking if you’ve never tried them, you’re thinking that they sound gross. Well, you are wrong and the fact that every day there are more and more Vancouver restaurants serving them is proof, quit being a sissy!

Next we tried 5 out of Dunn’s 6 Poutines. The Quebecoise (Cheese curds & Dunn’s special gravy), the Italienne (Cheese curds & meat sauce), the Peppercorn (Cheese curds & peppercorn sauce), The Dunn’s (Cheese curds, Dunn’s special gravy & chopped Montreal smoked meat) and the Vegetarian (Cheese curds, vegetarian gravy). My favorite was the Peppercorn followed closely by the Dunn’s, smoked meat on poutine, so good. The Quebecoise is the most traditional poutine and is a little different than I expected. Dunn’s special gravy has a little BBQ seasoning added to it giving it a distinct taste that’s quite nice but it was actually my least favorite.

The smoked meat comes in 3 different cuts, lean, medium fat and fat. I had the medium fat in a Super Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich which has 6 ounces (!) of meat and comes with a choice of sides. I had Mazoh Ball soup which was great. The medium fat cut was nice and juicy with just the right amount of fat for a sandwich. The meat is steamed fresh daily and sliced to order and is very tasty and authentic. I also tried the fat cut which was delicious but probably life shortening.

For dessert we tried the famous Dunn’s cheesecake which I’m told takes 5 days to prepare and uses a special cottage cheese brought here from Quebec. There’s no picture of this masterpiece because I started eating it before I remembered to take a quick shot of it…oh well you’ll just have to go and see it for yourself. It’s creamy and crumbly at the same time, magic.

Go check it out!!

Scott.

Prestons at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

Having missed the big Tweetup a while back I finally made it to Prestons in Coal Harbour to give them a try and use the gift card I received from local social media and promotion superstars, Popcorn. I was also meeting up with my friend Daniel to talk about the local farmers market scene and some great ideas he has to make Vancouver’s already amazing farmers markets even better. I’ll elaborate on that in the near future but Daniel has some seriously good ideas!

Prestons serves an Asian and Mediterranean influenced menu with simple, fresh dishes that have a west coast feel. You can be sure that if there’s poutine on a menu I am going to try it and Prestons poutine did not disappoint. Rich beef  gravy made with Rickards Red (I’ll let the beer thing go…just this once…they need better beer), cheese curds from Quebec and fresh, crispy fries. It’s pretty hard to screw up poutine and this one is very good.

For my main I had Gnocchi with roasted Mediterranean veggies, shaved Parmesan cheese and a spicy (but not too spicy) tomato sauce. There was an option to add Chorizo sausage to this dish and I think you all know what I did. The Chorizo was awesome (how could it not be?) and the Gnocchi was cooked perfectly. This dish is great value as well, without the Chorizo it’s just $15 and is very filling.

As a special bonus for following Prestons on Twitter you get a free dessert! My choice was a Vanilla Matcha Creme Brule with mini sugared doughnuts. The creme brule was good but I prefer a creme brule that isn’t made in advance as the torched sugar on top is so much better when it’s still warm. The Matcha, aka Green Tea, adds a really interesting and quite nice flavor, if only it weren’t cold this would have been amazing. The mini doughnuts were as good as expected but what I didn’t expect was the drizzle of salted caramel that they came nestled on. Salted caramel + mini doughnut = happy happy joy joy, that’s just science folks.

Prestons also has a location in Chilliwack for all my Fraser Valley readers, I’m sure I have at least one…maybe.

Scott.