Pho Boi: A Taste of Attitude (Burnaby location)

Pho Boi exterior

Wendy was quite excited to spot the transition of Pho Hoa on Kingsway to its new incarnation, Pho Boi: A Taste of Vietnam about a week ago.  We agreed to try it ASAP.  It seems this chain has its roots in Victoria, so in hindsight that should have been a red flag right there…

PS-I found this sadly defunct but hilariously named Victoria food blog recently…the front page pic is priceless :P

Pho Boi interior

We were invited to pick our own seat when we walked in so we pulled up a chair and got down to business with Pho Boi’s menu.  It looked interesting enough so we ordered our pho from the “Adventures’ choice section”.  We also were interested in their version of the Vietnamese spring roll, cha gio, but Wendy wanted to know if they were made with the traditional rice paper or Chinese style spring roll wrappers.  It’s pretty common for local Viet places to use the wheat version, but there were some authentic looking menu items so it was worth asking.  Here’s the convo:

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Mr. Ho Wonton House

When it gets really cold I always crave a hot bowl of pho.  Last night was no exception.  But somehow we ended up at Mr. Ho Wonton House.  How did that happen??  Well blame me and my trait of easily distractedness.  As Hitman and I were going along Kingsway I got distracted by the neon signs of the local Korean restaurants, so I then suggested we do Korean instead.  Then I made a joke and suggested we could try On On’s Wonton House, to which Hitman in all seriousness suggested we try Mr. Ho’s, since it was voted best Chinese food in Burnaby.

I cringed my nose and suggested that the votes may not have been cast by Chinese people…  However, I am always in search of a good wonton house within reach, so I agreed.  Why not?  So off to Mr. Ho’s we went.

Upon entering my suspicions were somewhat confirmed: there weren’t any Asian patrons in the house, and there was sweet and sour pork and wonton soup everywhere.  However I found a bit (a little bit) of comfort in the fact that all the servers there were Cantonese, much like the servers at Hon’s Wun Ton House or other similar establishments in Richmond.

I felt like having a big plate of chow mein though.  “Comfort food”, I told Hitman.  So I ordered the Shredded Pork and Bean Sprouts Chow Mein ($8.95).  Hitman decided on the Pan fried Rice Noodle  with Beef and XO Sauce ($7.95) plus a personal order of Wonton Soup and Egg Roll (+$1.50 each).

Mr. Ho Wonton House: Egg roll & Wonton Soup

The small items came first obviously.  Which is actually different from other Asian establishments as usually they don’t seem to really put much effort in to making sure that appies come before the mains!  The egg roll was your standard fair.  Nicely crisp, fresh tasting, and the oil didn’t seem old (old overused oil would make the roll dark in color and you would definitely taste it).  I could even see some strands of meat in it.

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Lazymeal Mashup: Handi Cuisine of India (Burnaby)

For those of you not yet familiar with lazymeal, it’s an online food ordering platform that is focused on recommending the tastiest meals in greater Vancouver.  It’s simple, just punch in your postal code and peruse the menus of establishments in your area, place your order, and voila!  lazymeal delivers.  They’re partnering up with the local food blogging community to evaluate the restaurants you can order from on their sites, and we were lucky enough to get an invite to one of their mashup events.

For these reviews (and you will probably see more of them in the near future) we will be focusing on the take-out aspect of the restaurants, so don’t expect any info on the service and decor etc.  But we think all in all these reviews will be more informative to our readers since we will get to sample a wider selection of the menu than usual, because the food is the most important aspect after all, right?  And don’t worry, we aren’t selling out; we’ve been encouraged to be completely honest with our reviews.  Enjoy this write up of Handi Cuisine!

Lazymeal Mashup at Handi Cuisine of India Burnaby: Mixed Platter and Chutney Trio

First up we had the Mixed Platter ($10) and Chutney Trio ($2).  It consists of vegetable samosas, chicken pakoras and vegetable pakoras.  The samosas in particular stood out from the crowd; they contained a pretty complex spice blend compared to your average restaurant samosa.  Wendy said it tasted Christmas-ey, and I agreed.  Cloves and nutmeg perhaps?  Maybe some ginger?  I don’t know for sure, but you could tell by the dark colour of the potato mixture inside that there was a lot going on in that spice blend.

The chicken pakoras had decently sized chunks of moist meat and tasted great with the spicy mint chutney.  The tamarind was of the usual variety that normally come free with samosas and the mango chutney was really sweet.  If you go for this platter I’d suggest getting the chutney to go with it.  While the samosas could stand on their own the vegetable pakoras might be a bit dry without.

Lazymeal Mashup at Handi Cuisine of India Burnaby: Cucumber Salad

Along with the appetizers we tried their Cucumber Salad ($6).  Some of the red you see in the photo is tomato, and some is…maraschino cherry!  Pretty unexpected but it actually went quite well in the salad.  They use it for garnish in several dishes, and it isn’t necessarily meant to be eaten with the meal but in this case it worked.  The yoghurt-type dressing was cool and creamy (Wendy found a tinge of sweetness) and the whole dish was very refreshing.

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Secret item “Triple Triple” at Triple O’s

For White Spot’s 85th anniversary, Triple O’s offered a secret menu item called the Triple Triple.  Why is it secret?  Because it’s not mentioned on their menu board…you have to be in the know to know to order it ;)

This is what they have to say about it:

It is “Triple Os biggest burger yet- a ¾ lb burger made with triple beef patties, triple cheese, lettuce, tomato and Triple “O” sauce topped with triple dills.”

We’ve recently received some vouchers to try them out (normally $14.95 for the combo) and here’s our opinion:

Triple O's Triple Triple Burger

Triple O's Triple Triple Burger

It was one humongous burger for sure.  I had to take out one patty and leave it aside.  In the end, we both thought there was way too much meat and cheese.  It made the burger overbearing and not really enjoyable to be honest.  The patties themselves were also extremely salty.  Hitman had the urge to drink water the rest of the night because of it.

I’ll stick to my Monty Mushroom.

Triple O's on Urbanspoon

Anatolia’s Gate

While the name might conjure up spooky images of a bad ’80s horror movie or a cheesy black metal band, Anatolia’s Gate is actually a Turkish restaurant offering plenty of delicious and interesting departures from the usual Middle Eastern donairs and such.  We’ve stopped by a few times since I first heard about it through a coworker this summer and each time were pretty impressed with the food so it’s high time for a review.

On the first visit we ordered Chicken Guvech, Urfa Kabob, Ezme, and Lavash.  There were a couple of mistakes with our orders but the staff was extremely polite and friendly so all was forgiven.  And besides fixing our orders they let us keep an extra order of lavash on the house so that was nice too of course :)

Anatolia's Gate: Lavash

The Lavash bread ($2-$4-$6) is the star of the show at this restaurant and was selected as one of the 101 things to taste in Vancouver by Vancouver Magazine.  My coworker had gushed endlessly about it at work and seemingly drooled at the mere thought of it, so Wendy and I made sure to include it in our meal.

Anatolia's Gate

Anatolia's Gate: Lavash

It’s baked to order right in front of you at their traditional hot stone oven along with many of their other dishes.  You can choose whole wheat or white for this or any of their other dishes that use this dough and we ended up trying both (they’re both equally delicious).  Sprinkled with oil and sesame seeds and served up warm and fluffy with a side of haydari/cacik dip (not listed on the menu but it was one of these Turkish dips which are similar to a tzatziki), it’s something we have since stopped by to pick up just to have as a side dish for a home cooked meal.  So it’s good enough that a trip for lavash alone is worthwhile!

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