The Copper Pig BBQ and Social House

The Prince George Man

PG Man in all his glory

During the month of July I went to Prince George to visit Pretty Sis.  She’s been there for about a year and this is the first time I’ve been there.

What the HELL is she doing in PG you ask?  Well, TedBear stole her away that’s why.  DAMN YOU TEDBEAR!

Just kidding.  TedBear’s awesome.  He would’ve been MORE awesome if he wasn’t in PG, but I digress 😉

As we know the month of July was pretty hot, and you would be right to assume even hotter in PG.  The weeks leading up to my visit, it was around 32C and up over there.  However, I apparently brought the Vancouver rain over.

That’s right.  The moment I landed there was a thunder/lighting storm in PG.  And the cloudiness and rain did not leave until the moment I got into the airport to leave.

The Copper Pig BBQ and Social House

They were super gracious hosts.  One night for dinner they took me to a local joint in downtown PG.  The Copper Pig BBQ & Social House is a popular hangout.

Fun fact: the other “Social House” is trying to sue this one for using the term “social house” in their name.  I didn’t know but I feel the the bigger guy is trying to bully this place.  I didn’t even know that social house wasn’t a generic term.  Apparently it’s trademarked?

The Copper Pig BBQ and Social House, Citrus Shasta and English Punch

Anyways, as it was a Friday they were doing specials on their Infused Beverages.  What’s that you ask?  Well it’s a selection of mixed drinks prepared with their own infused spirits.

I first started with the Citrus Shasta which is an infused citrus vodka paired with lemonade.  It was tangy and refreshing.  But then, the rain I brought with me was refreshing enough in itself =/

My second drink was the English Punch which is a Cucumber Cilantro Punch made with Herbal Infused Gin.  It was licorice-y and minimally sweet.  I wish the cucumber flavor came through more.

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New menu items at A & W (New Westminster)

A and W's new menu

A & W has been slowly revamping their menu at certain locations with slightly more “upscale” fast food offerings like yam fries and veggie burgers as well as adding actual dishware for dine-in to compliment their traditional frosted glass mugs.  Their latest additions are various grilled cheese sandwiches and poutines which I set out to inspect.  When I eat fast food burgers I go out of my way to pick A&W due to their beef now being hormone, antibiotic, and even preservative free, plus the fact you can choose a whole wheat bun at no cost (hopefully they take the health consciousness a step further and cut down on the ridiculous amounts of sodium they use).  I picked the New Westminster Skytrain location, somewhere I eat fairly regularly and normally I find their staff quite friendly and have never had issues.  Today was a different story with some horrendous service but I won’t get into it and will give them benefit of the doubt, assuming it was a new staff member.  The place is clean and never so busy that you have much of a wait for your order, and the addition of an optional self serve kiosk for ordering and payment makes things even faster.

A and W: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For the grilled cheese sandwich ($4.25) you first choose your bread from white or whole wheat, then two types of cheeses (they have mozarella, Balderson cheddar, and processed Armstrong jalapeno cheddar), an optional (free) slice of tomato, and whether you would like bacon for an additional 75 cents.  Each sandwich comes with a pickle spear as well.  I had cheddar and jalapeno havarti on whole wheat with a slice of tomato.  With the cheese being of the single thins variety two types are just the right amount, and the jalapeno really had a nice bite to it.  The tomato was a large slice and very fresh, and I found the bread had just enough butter on the outside so it wasn’t too greasy.  Really enjoyable and I think the price point is pretty fair.

A and W: Korean BBQ Poutine

They have a few new types of meal-size poutines now to compliment their classic one.  One was a cheddar bacon, one was a “works” poutine that seemed to be along the lines of a stuffed baked potato with its choice of toppings, and then this monstrosity.  The Korean BBQ Poutine ($7.95).  Traditional A & W french fries with cheese curds, breaded chicken slices, and iceberg lettuce, all smothered with Korean style BBQ sauce.  The idea sounded fairly unappetizing but I gave it a go for fun, and I have to say I can’t see anybody ordering this more than once after the initial “fun” factor has worn off.  To be fair the outside areas with minimal sauce weren’t too bad, but once I got to the middle and bottom parts the sauce was just way too overpowering.  It’s thick and molasses-ey, both sweet and spicy.  Not bad as far as BBQ sauces go, but as a gravy substitute it just doesn’t work.

A&W on Urbanspoon

Bourbon St Grill

Bourbon St Grill

If you’ve been by the new Richmond Center food court, you’ve probably been accosted by the hawkers at Bourbon Street Grill.  Apparently it’s a franchise, and Coquitlam Center got theirs first, but for Wendy and I it was a new experience and based on their friendly staff and abundant samples we picked it as the first place to try in the food court.  But there are many other interesting choices for future visits, including a Korean BBQ joint with burgers too, and a really modern looking Japanese place that serves takoyaki and other street food as well as noodle and sushi dishes.   There’s too many interesting places to list here, so I’ll get to the review at hand:

Bourbon St Grill

The concept is based on Southern USA Cajun/Creole style cooking, so think comfort food.  The staff there are awesome, and don’t be shy to ask for samples of whatever catches your eye before you buy.

Bourbon St Grill

This is a sample of their meat dishes, including Cajun Chicken, Blackened Shrimp and Blackened Fish.

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Noryanjin / Noryangjin Fish Market – Noryangjin, Seoul Korea

So…now comes the time of the main attraction…the whole purpose of our trip to South Korea.

Prior to the trip we had researched just where would be a good place to have this sannakji: fresh raw octopus, the tentacles of which are served still squirming on the plate.  It turns out, a lot of restaurants that serve sashimi will serve it also, but you have to ask if they have the fresh kind.

Fresh huh….aside from fishing it out of the sea yourself, the freshest seafood you can get it probably if you can pick it out of a tank, then immediately serve it up…

That’s it.  We’re heading to Noryangjin Fish Market (sometimes called Noryanjin), where you pick your kill, then pick a restaurant to have them killed.

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

This massive wet market is all seafood.  It’s 24 hours and is just a 20 minute train ride from Myeongdong.  There were hawkers at each stall yelling at you to buy from them.  I think they know you’re here for live octopus, as that’s what they point you to right from the beginning.

Oh ya: most of them speak Mandarin.

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

There’s just so much to see.  Massive forearm-sized prawns, HUGE scallops on a rope, a mini shark head, pufferfish…  At a few tanks I swear I saw some fish which I’ve only known to be kept as pets in saltwater tanks.  There’s also alien looking worms that I only know to be 沙蟲 in Chinese.  I asked how they are supposed to be served…the answer was as sashimi.  We silently said no to that.

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Home-cooking: Al-Salam Halal Meat’s Lamb Testicles

On the hunt for bones to make pho with our usual location was all out, so we decided to check Al-Salam Halal Meat.  I phoned ahead (twice) to confirm price and stock etc. and both times was greeted by a very friendly sounding man who called me “Brother” after every sentence.  I could hear some bustle in the background of the calls, but it didn’t prepare me for all the stuff going on when I arrived.

Various butchers cutting huge slabs of meat to order, people standing waiting around the store, guys coming in to pick up orders, people coming up and down from the grocery store upstairs (which I didn’t get a chance to explore this visit) etc.  I’m guessing they serve a lot of the restaurants in the area since there are many middle eastern and African restaurants that must create a significant demand for Halal products.

I found the shank bones fairly quickly, already prepackaged and cut up into discs and only 2/3rds of the price we had been paying elsewhere!

But something else caught my eye off in the corner…

Home-cooking: Al-Salam Halal Meat's Lamb Testicles

….some big-ass ballsacks!!!

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