Miura Waffle Milk Bar new location launch

Miura Waffle Milk Bar exterior

Miura Waffle + Milk Bar has just moved to its new Main & Broadway digs and they kindly hosted a pre-launch tasting event for the folks who had written about them in the past.  Wendy reviewed the old downtown location a while back, so we got an invite and figured this time I could give a second opinion on the place.  We got to sample literally every food item on the menu plus a few new drinks!

Miura Waffle Milk Bar interior

The newly reno’d interior was clean and sported bar and table seating with a view of the kitchen in the back.  Now for a word about the “yoggys” and “sandos” on offer here: this ain’t your momma’s waffle shack.  Miura’s motto is “NO FORK & KNIFE, NO SYRUP”.  They make waffle sandwiches here, both savoury and sweet, and sando is short for sandowicchi (the Japanese pronunciation of sandwich), and are meant to be eaten with your hands.  Yoggys are yogurt-y milk drinks which are slightly thicker and tangier than regular milk.

Miura Waffle Milk Bar: Miura Shakes

First we tried some items from the Miura Shake menu.  These are all new items launched with the location change.  Clockwise from top left are the G8, Corny, and two Cara-Misos.  The G8 (stands for 8-grain) is the health-conscious one of the group with a blend of red, green, and mung beans, brown and black rice, and wheat berries plus a couple more we forgot.  It definitely tastes healthy with a kind of rice-y malt flavour.  If you can imagine a drink version of Sugar Crisp cereal you’ve hit the nail on the head.  The Corny is sweet corn with vanilla ice cream, and the Cara-Miso is Miura’s fusion take on classic salted caramel treats, but they combine their house-made caramel sauce with red miso (?!) for the salted portion.  Trust us, it tastes like HEAVEN and was the star player here.  These were sample sizes with the standard 16 oz. versions going for $6.49.

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Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe

I’ve heard a lot about Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe, especially in magazines.  However it wasn’t until recently when GRock’s friend started working there as a baker that I’ve succumbed to lots more praises and recommendations from GRock. The final nail in the coffin was when GRock showed me a picture of this magical looking poached plum tart that they had for the Fall season.  I had to have it, so finally I made a date with Miz Brown Sugar, C-Dizzle, and Erin to visit the bakery for a sugar coma fest.

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe: Baked Goods

There are a ton of baked goods to choose from obviously, but they have a pretty extensive cafe menu too.  We were instructed by GRock to arrive no later than 10:45am on a Friday for the best selection.

And it was a wise decision, as we saw that the store was constantly busy.  We were lucky though that their signature item the Almond Croissant was still plentiful even by the time we left, as were a lot of their other goodies.

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Latte

Miz Brown Sugar is vegan so all she had was a latte (every baked good has eggs in it).  She was very excited about the latte art.

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Cheese Scone with Porchetta & Smoked Cheddar

Since we arrived so early, I hadn’t had a chance to eat breakfast yet.  Neither had C-Dizzle and she quickly hopped to it and ordered a Brioche with Duck Prosciutto, Rillette Mayo, Red Oak Lettuce, Candied Walnuts & Apple ($9.5, not pictured).  I was originally just here for the sweets, but once she unwrapped her sandwich, I knew I had to get one too.  So I picked the Cheese Scone with Porchetta & Smoked Cheddar ($9.5, pictured above).

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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.

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La Charcuterie Delicatessen and the Sandwich Nazi

After months and months of pestering I finally agreed to take the drive down to Langley to visit the notorious Sandwich Nazi at La Charcuterie Deli.  Hitman’s been there multiple times before and raved of the humor and amount of food you get for less than $10.  Less than $8 to be exact.  But the trade-off is that you have to succumb to the Nazi’s insults, crude humor, and uninvited visuals.  Hitman’s given me a preview to the stuff the Nazi has said during his visits in the past, x-rated and all, and I honestly wasn’t too keen on the uncomfortableness that’s about to ensue.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen exterior

Honestly it was only a 30 minute drive from our place.  It’s located in the middle of an inconspicous industrial area and if you didn’t plan to come here specifically, you wouldn’t even bat an eye, despite the eye-catching and quite lovely exterior paint job.  When we arrived on a weekday afternoon, the parking lot was already almost full.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen sign

As we were entering, a couple was just leaving and the lady warned us “Good luck in there~”.  Great.   Inside we found that there were about 3-4 people ahead of us, with more coming up behind.  You can hear the boisterous voice of the Nazi right away.  He sounded cheerful actually, and was in the middle of making fun of someone’s age.  When he caught sight of us, first thing he said was “I don’t believe in mixed-race marriages.  Unless they’re girl-girl, man-man, or girl-girl-man.”  Followed with a fit of laughter.  Hitman then countered, “Last time I was here, I was with a black guy friend and STILL you said you didn’t believe in mixed-race marriages!!!”.  More laughter.  Apparently the way to deal with the Nazi is to join in the banter.  That’s why the place is always so loud and lively.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen interior

This deli is also a grocery store of sorts selling imported European goods.  But I don’t think people come for the grocery much.  The main attraction has got to be his personality and ginormous sandwiches.

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Petite Afternoon Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant

For the month of August, The Urban Tea Merchant is offering a petite afternoon tea service for $20 per person. Now afternoon teas are never enough food for a guy so I made Fannypack go experience this with me.

The regular price for this service is usually $28. Now I’m not actually sure that the promotion is really a promotion because you actually lose an item from the regular petite afternoon tea menu, the item being a macaron. And FYI, each macaron will run you $4 here.  That’s probably the priciest I’ve seen in Vancouver so far.

However, having tried the macarons in Hong Kong, I’ve come to decide that the macarons made here do NOT do the intended flavor justice.  On that note, I’ve decided not to eat macarons in Vancouver anymore.  Having said that, I was not too sad about losing that from the menu.

The Urban Tea Merchant

Upon entering the store from the W. Georgia side, we were welcomed by a nice looking tea shop.  We waited a little while for a server to seat us.  And when he did, we were led to the back of the store towards the tea salon.  I would’ve rather stayed outside in the shop as it looked nicer.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea

While we were looking at the menu, we were brought a drinkable amuse bouche – Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea (a black tea with rare mango and flowers).

It was very refreshing and a nice mix of mango and cucumber flavor.  A little bit of sweet, and a little bit savory.  The “infused” part though I felt was just the sprinkling of tea leaves on top.  Fannypack and I both decided that it was a rather licorice-y flavor.

Their tea menu is indeed extensive.  There was so much to choose from.  Fannypack and I read from front to back a couple times before deciding on a tea each.  The price of the tea set actually includes $8 towards a tea.  Which means anything above is extra.

We found one that was $78.  It was a Hawaiian Oolong.  I wonder how many orders of that they get a year.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Weekend in Moscow tea

For my tea, I decided on the Weekend in Moscow.  It is a blend of green and black tea with rose petals, bergamot and sweet almond.

Fannypack chose the Orange Blossom Oolong, with notes of orange blossom obviously.

When the teas arrived, they were poured for us in a circular manner into our respective cups.  When mine was poured, we immediately smell the aroma of roses and vanilla, which I will attribute to the sweet almond.  It was very pleasant and I was very satisfied with my choice.

However Fannypack’s was less exciting.  In fact, we couldn’t smell the scent of orange blossoms at all.  Plus we felt her tea (or both for that matter) could’ve been steeped a bit more.  We did not have a choice as they were steeped in the kitchen for us.

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