Posts Tagged ‘Broadway’

#EastVanLove Tweetup Version 2.0

March 24, 2011

Last night at the Our Town Cafe at Broadway and Kingsway was the second East Van Tweetup. The event was packed with tweeps of many different stripes. Good times were had. Beer was consumed. Photos were taken. Relationships were formed.

Welcome to Eastvan and others donated to the cause, with the cause being having fun and celebrating life in East Vancouver.

There were some speeches and some live music, but it was hard to see and hear due to the crowd. People kept arriving even after the festivities officially ended. You can search for the hashtag #EastVanLove to get a little taste of the evenings. If I have a complaint, and I do. It is the speakers didn’t seem connected or even really necessary. Perhaps one less speaker and some sort of theme for the next event. I took photos with my iPhone but I decided to steal, err borrow photos from John Biehler’s Flickr account, hopefully John is cool with that.

#EastVanLove Tweetup

#EastVanLove Tweetup

#EastVanLove Tweetup

Sha Lin Noodle House

October 6, 2010

Alright. Sha Lin Noodle House gets a lot of flack for their food and service. I’m here today to set the record straight as a writer and representative of East Van.

01

548 West Broadway. Open everyday at normal times. Oh wait. There’s an abnormal, non-western siesta that the restaurant takes between 3-5pm. You can’t get noodles then. But when you can, there is a lot to choose from.

02

So it breaks down like this. Pushing noodles. Cutting noodles. Dragging noodles. Any dish can be made with either noodle style and as such, the menu can seem daunting. Here’s what me and my lady had.

03

Cumin lamb cutting noodles. These are thicker noodles shaved off a block of dough that drops right into the pan. Spicy! Cumin lamb skewers are there too. Extra spicy! And the standby. Beef and dragging noodles. Your run of the mill hand made noodles dragged between the maker’s hand for length and uniformity.

So here’s the problem I have. I’ve read so many reviews that bash the decor. It’s a Hong Kong style restaurant and as such, there ain’t supposed to be any decor. It’s built for high turnover. Come in, eat, pay and leave. It’s cheap cause they don’t have to buy you red paint.

Which leads me to everyone complaining about the service and the supposed request for tips. Look. I dunno if this is true or not but every establishment and every server should be tipped well cause it aint an easy job to feed retards.

And thirdly, the noodle soup is fine. Yes its plain brothed but that’s because it for the noodles to shine. It composition is light, chewy and fresh. You’re not supposed to mar it with a heavy broth. The additional flavours come from the marinated beef slices, sprouts and pickled cabbage sides. Go get some ramen if you want more “flavour.”

And furthermore:

04

Yeah yeah. I know. Sha Lin vs. Shao Lin. Goodnite.

Too Much of a Coincidence?

February 6, 2010

What remains of Slickety Jims

The fire that destroyed Zocalo Restaurant, Slickety Jims, Lugz Coffee and Kishu Island Sushi in November left a pile of charcoal on Main and Broadway and east side business owners with nothing.  It’s so sad to see the loss of great local businesses and the future of the spot is questionable.

Damn.  That is some devastation and when I heard about what happened, I couldn’t really believe til I walked by a few days later.  First thing I thought was how awful for the owners, second thought, developers are probably drooling and ready to fight each other to the location for building new condos, since this is such a hot spot right now.  A little bit of suspicion, but hey I thought, old building, restaurants, fluke perhaps?

Kingsway and Broadway Fire

Then on December 24, another fire ONE BLOCK away at Kingsway and Broadway that also leaves not much but a pile of rubble.  Lost are some more restaurants, artist studios, martial arts studio, health & nutrition store and a medical cannabis storefront.

Not much is left, all of it almost all gone.  What’s really sad to me is the New Maple Wonton House is owned by my aunt and uncle who bought it from what used to be my grandpa’s restaurant, Ho Tak Kee Wonton Noodle House.  I grew up in that restaurant, busing tables, helping my family and helping the waitresses get some more tips. I spent almost everyday there, after school and on the weekend.  When my grandfather and family immigrated to Vancouver in the 80’s, they brought over the family business. This was his whole life’s work and the restaurant became an establishment in Vancouver before many more Chinese restaurants opened up.  Many friends and families gathered here for delicious Cantonese home-style food, my favorite was always the roast duck and curry beef brisket, and also the BEST congee in town.  Don’t really know what my aunt and uncle will do now, but that was their whole life and it was a HUGE part of my childhood.

2 fires in the same neighborhood, less than 2 blocks away from each other, in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city? Too much of a coincidence? You might think this is too much of a conspiracy theory, but I totally think there’s some fishy business happening here. We’ll probably see in a couple of years new condo developers trying to sell small living units for hundreds of thousands of dollars or unaffordable monthly rentals – furthering the gentrification of this east side neighborhood that is full of culture and community into another hip developed (and EXPENSIVE) area to live.

I’ll always remember running around the place, chatting up customers and snacking all day long.  Fond memories of me and grandpa making wontons together and watching the butcher chop up Chinese BBQ, I can still smell it…