The Best Eating Around Town

 

Jane Li is a Vancouver foodie who still feels like a tourist in this city. Her New Years’ resolution is to seek out as many hole-in-the-wall eateries as she can. When not eating, she can be found at the gym, burning off calories from the food she just ate. Jane shares some of her recent eatery discoveries with guidebook.

 

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
www.nerowaffles.ca
1703 Robson Street, Vancouver BC, V6G 1C8
5/5 stars

 

 

nero facebook

 

Located at the end of Robson Street near Denman, Nero specializes in homemade Belgian waffles with savory and sweet fillings. The waffles come in two textures: Brussels which are crispy, and Liege which are soft and chewy. The menu also includes drinks such as coffee and tea. Iced water is free and self-served. They offer a good selection of waffles. I ordered an Orange Delight with the Liege waffle: melted dark chocolate over vanilla ice cream, orange slices, waffle, and powdered sugar. It was very sweet; so I would consider this a dessert rather than breakfast item. It was definitely a real treat. The waffle is soft, and the orange’s tanginess paired with bittersweet dark chocolate and ice cream was perfection.
Nero has a cozy atmosphere. The staff are so pleasant it makes eating-in much more comfortable, though the seating is limited. It can feel cramped, but that is bearable given that this is a dessert bar so patrons are not expected to stay for hours. On sunny days two additional tables are available outside. The inside is cozy and the wooden tables and chairs remind you of dining in someone’s home. Overall, these are the best dessert waffles in the Vancouver area. You can tell the owners put a lot of thought and effort into the presentation and menu items. While it’s not exactly a ‘café’ where you would sit and hang out all day, it does have a relaxing vibe and is a good place to meet friends and chat over good eats. Price: Waffles start around $7.50, and my Orange Delight was $8.50.

 
Jethro’s
3420 Dunbar St, Vancouver, BC, V6S 2C2
3455 Fraser St, Vancouver BC, V5V 4C3
www.jethrosfinegrub.com
4/5 stars

 

 

Jethro_homepage

 

Jethro’s is a breakfast and lunch joint. It’s popular, and constantly packed with long line ups. Their menu offers savory and sweet breakfasts, salads, and lunch items such as sandwiches and burgers. Portions are medium- to large-sized; I found one order is good for sharing.
I ordered the Strawberries and Cream buttermilk pancakes, plus the “2 eggs and meat” savory breakfast. The pancakes must be the biggest pancakes I have ever seen! Even shared between two people, it was more than enough. The savory breakfasts were average- not bad, but not great. It’s hard to do a bad job on breakfast foods like eggs and ham, but it just didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor. I felt that the savory breakfast items were comparable to Denny’s. The sweet breakfast items, however, like the pancakes and French toast, are definitely the stars on the menu. These are unique to Jethro’s; the butteriness and fluffiness of my pancakes was yummy. If you are visiting Jethro’s, I highly recommend trying at least one of the sweet menu items.
Prices range from $6 to $15 per item. It’s no wonder the line ups are so long: comfort food for a reasonable price.

 
Jethro’s is busiest between 11AM to 2PM. If you show up during this time at either location on weekends, expect to leave your name and wait 30 to 40 minutes to be seated. There is limited seating at both locations. Service staff can seem rude because they are always busy and just cannot afford to be attentive to each and every customer. The seating is quite cramped, and patrons may be asked to share tables.
Overall, the sweet breakfast items are a must-try. The prices are reasonable and well worth it, given the portion size. One star knocked off because of the long wait times, inattentive staff, and cramped seating. I felt pressured to finish my food and leave right away with no time to sit and chat and really be mindful about eating.

 
Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodles
Vancouver: 3313 Shrum Lane, Wesbrook Village UBC
West Vancouver: 1560 Marine Drive
Richmond: 2800 Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way
www.chefhungnoodle.com
4/5 stars

 

photo 3_web_jane Li for guidebook

 
Established 1995 in Taiwan, the Chef Hung franchise has now reached North America with a menu featuring a variety of soup bases and noodles. They also offers rice dishes, several vegetarian dishes, Taiwanese snacks and an extensive selection of bubble teas.
We ordered the beef noodle in tomato soup, a beef,tendon and tripe noodle, and pan fried ground beef cake. The soup was flavorful without that ‘MSG’ taste; it was not overly salty, which was a pleasant surprise. Unlike other noodle restaurants, Chef Hung does not leave you thirsty and with a dry mouth. I was not afraid to finish all my soup.
There are four types of noodles to choose from: vermicelli, rice noodle, thin noodle, and thick noodle. The beef is soft and they definitely do not cheap out on giving you more noodle than meat. There is a token piece of bok choi in every noodle bowl — just to give the impression that your are getting veggies with your meal. But it is beef noodle after all. Portions are average. The pan fried ground beef cake was a bit oily, but to be fair, it was a ‘pan fried’ item.
The menu reflects Taiwan’s staples: beef noodles, night market snacks, and bubble tea. Our noodles were al dente and just perfect.
Noodles start at about $10.25 per bowl (which is a couple bucks more than many other beef noodle restaurants), snacks are about $5 per plate. Bubble tea/drinks are more on the pricey side compared to other bubble tea houses, starting at $4.50. For the three items we ordered, the bill came to about $27, shared between two people. The menu does have a good range of selections.

 
There are three locations in the Metro Vancouver area. I have been to the UBC and Richmond locations where seating is spacious and staff are always attentive and polite. Taiwanese music plays, and service is fast; we waited no more than 10 minutes for our food after ordering. Free tea is offered to all customers.
This is a casual dining space where customers feel welcome to sit and chat. Chef Hung is family-friendly and clean. I would highly recommended Chef Hung if you are homesick for some good old Taiwanese comfort food. A hot bowl of noodle soup can’t be beat on a cold winter day. One star knocked off because while it is great food, it doesn’t have that special something that makes me think of coming back again before I have even finished the soup in front of me.

 

Jane Li is a Vancouver foodie who still feels like a tourist in this city. Her New Years’ resolution is to seek out as many hole-in-the-wall eateries as she can. When not eating, she can be found at the gym, burning off calories from the food she just ate.