Boston Pizza

My coworker and I are on maternity leave at the moment and decided to have lunch by the office.  Boston Pizza was an easy choice since it was close by, kid friendly and most importantly, stress free.  The staff here are always attentive and easy to deal with.  For all you parents, there’s high chairs and plenty of room for strollers as well.

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Boston Pizza started in Canada and has been around since the 60′s.  There’s quite a few locations in the lower mainland, but I tend to frequent the Lougheed Highway location in Burnaby.  Parking is free and although that lot tends to get full, they offer free valet parking.  Another thing I don’t have to worry about.

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They have an extensive selection of menu items including several gluten free dishes.  If I don’t order a salad, I tend to get the Boston Royal Pizza which has smoked ham, pepperoni, shrimp, olives, green pepper, onion and mushroom.  It’s even better when my husband picks off all the olives and puts them on my slice of pizza.  Double olives, yes!

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Happy 50th anniversary Boston Pizza!

 

Medium noise level – $$

Boston Pizza

4219 Lougheed Hwy

Burnaby, BC

V5C 3Y6

Sweetery Cafe

If you’re looking to eat close to Downtown and Granville Island without venturing into either places, Sweetery Café isn’t a bad choice.  It’s quick and easy with plenty of free street parking available.

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Sweetery serves sandwiches, wraps and salads with daily specials.  Today’s special was a BBQ chicken grilled cheese sandwich served with fries, salad or soup.  In addition to that I also ordered the chicken, avocado and tomato sandwich with a side of quinoa salad.  Both were satisfying without being too greasy.  The food is more on the healthier side, so don’t expect comfort food.  To be honest, the salad was a little bland for me, but it felt good for my body.

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This is a casual place to grab some coffee and dessert to chat with some friends, unfortunately my daughter was getting fussy so we couldn’t stay long enough to try any.

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Medium noise level – $

Sweetery Café

340 W 2nd Avenue

Vancouver, BC

V5Y 3W3

 

Hoang Yen

Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of Vietnamese food.  It’s quick, easy and affordable, but mostly because my kid eagerly slurps up the noodles without complaining.

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In Vancouver, there’s a plethora of Pho restaurants and sometimes they’re even located side by side.  If you talk to a Vancouverite, they’ll usually have their favorites.  I love trying new places, so I asked my mom which one she wanted to go to for lunch.  Without skipping a beat, she suggested Hoang Yen and proceeded to call in to order 2 bowls since we were in a hurry.  Thanks for asking me what I wanted, mom.

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We get to the restaurant and it was pretty busy on a Wednesday afternoon so we had to wait a bit.  Hoang Yen is a typical Vietnamese noodle joint.  There’s no air conditioning, English is not mandatory, service is not too bad and they take cash only.

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After being seated, we were promptly brought our food.  She had ordered the Vietnamese Fish Soup with Noodles for me and as they always say, mother’s always right because I loved it.  It’s made really well with tons of flavor.  The dill pretty much covers the whole top layer of the bowl.  I was hooked.

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If you want to order this, it’s called Bu cha ca dac biet.  Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I’m basically either pointing to the menu or asking my mom to translate for me again.

 

Medium noise level – $

Hoang Yen

5083 Victoria Drive

Vancouver, BC

V5P 3T9

 

Irving St. Kitchen

I have a lot of favorite spots in Portland and Pearl District is right up on my list.  It’s artsy and trendy without the pretentiousness.  Maybe Portland knows exactly how to capture my heart with all their different pockets and neighborhoods.

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If I can choose one place to have brunch, it’s definitely Irving St. Kitchen.  You’ll notice the décor right away with the exposed brick and ceilings as well as their ink blot art.  It’s a comfortable place to have your weekend morning meal with a coffee or mimosa in hand.  This time, I chose a ginger beer.
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I had the most mouth watering scrambled egg dish.  It was an English Pea and Morel Scramble with creme fraiche served with lightly dressed butter lettuce and toast.  If you’re famished, I would order more sides as the portions aren’t huge.    The prices are more towards the mid to high range, but it’s most definitely worth it.

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Average noise level – $$$

Irving St. Kitchen

701 NW 13th St

Portland, OR

97209

 

Hi Genki

Does eating your meal in a cafeteria located inside a senior’s home appeal to you?  I wasn’t sold on the idea as well, but I have to admit, it piqued my interest.  Honestly though, why would anyone want to eat in a place like that if you had other choices?  The answer is simple, -authentic home cooked meals.

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Hi Genki serves some pretty basic Japanese dishes, but the difference is, they are prepared with care.  The restaurant is run by Japanese people serving mostly a Japanese clientele so you know the food is the real deal.

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The prices are a steal and the portions are huge.  They have donburi, curry dishes, udon and only 2 bento boxes.  The menu isn’t very big and quite often they sell out of the raw fish.  That to me right there tells me that their food is in high demand and the product is fresh.

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One thing to keep in mind is that they don’t have baby change tables in the washroom.  Besides that, Hi Genki is kid friendly and as casual as you can get in a restaurant without being a fast food joint.

Average noise level - $

Hi Genki

6680 Southoaks Crescent

Burnaby, BC

V5E 4N3

 

Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery

Not many dessert places deserve a 5/5, but Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery earned it.  Besides the nostalgic soda bottles, Glenburn has really put a lot of thought into setting the scene for an old fashioned malt shop.  Every single detail from whip cream canister to their old fashioned paper hat screams retro.  They’ve changed the counter tops, lighting and even added old school hardware on all the handles.

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You know what else is impressive?  Their ice cream actually taste creamy and full of flavor.  Strawberry ice cream means chunks of strawberries, not those generic, tasteless, artificially flavored crap you find in grocery stores.

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Their large size sundaes are the perfect size for sharing.  If you’re in the mood for something else, they also have milkshakes, floats, malts, rickeys and vintage candy.  I didn’t grow up in the era of malt and soda shops, but I sure can appreciate them.

Loud noise level – $

Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery

4090 Hastings Street

Burnaby, BC

V5C 2H9