Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Red Robin Birthday Burger!

Red Robin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
If you haven't signed up for Royalty rewards with Red Robin you really should. I just got another free birthday burger!

Still feeling meat-guilty I went with their vegetarian Garden Burger although our server told me I could get any burger--which is actually not correct because their line of "Finest" burgers is actually not part of the promotion. These burgers use the special Angus beef patties and are have a special theme. Plus they among the priciest burgers.

Garden Burger ($10.99) An amazingly delicious blend of vegetables, grains, and spices with a touch of cheese, topped with tomatoes, fresh lettice, pickles and Country Dijon sauce on our whole wheat bun.
  • The patty here is a bit on the thinner side but taste is not bad. Otherwise burger construction is very basic.
  • TIP: Immediately remove the pickles hiding underneath the patty unless all you  want to taste is pickle.
  • Where this burger gets more than merely a passing grade is the bottomless fries. With these you are guaranteed a filling meal with every burger order. You can substitute them for bottomless salad (free substitution) if you like.
Seasonal Fruit (+$1.49), Freckled Fruit Salad (+$1.99), Mandarin Oranges (+$1.49)
  • Before you sub your bottomless fries for any of these fruity alternatives thinking they'll be healthier, be sure to ask your server first.
  • At the moment the Seasonal Fruit was just apples and mandarin oranges. The mandarin oranges are the canned syrupy ones. And the Freckled Fruit Salad is the Seasonal Fruit drenched in the special syrup they use in their line of "Freckled" drinks.
Overall, at Red Robin taste is decent, price is budget friendly unless you insist on their high-end gourmet Finest burgers, and price for portion is excellent if you can eat enough. Go during a quiet time and linger with friends over bottomless fruit!
And don't forget to look at the very back of the menu which has suggestions on how to reduce the calorie count including open-faced burgers and getting them in lettuce wraps.

2016-Jul-27 Red Robin garden burger

2016-Jul-27 Red Robin garden burger

2016-Jul-27 Red Robin garden burger - patty interior

2016-Jul-27 Red Robin basic burger with fries subbed with salad (free)

2016-Jul-27 Red Robin unlimited sides menu

Saturday, July 23, 2016

El Santo - Mexican food at fine dining prices

El Santo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato So my bill at El Santo was almost $30 after tax and tip, for one main and one non-alcoholic beverage.
What you can definitely expect from El Santo is Vancouver fine-dining prices. Fortunately, you can also expect pretty interesting flavours in their Mexican fare.

TIP: Larger groups can be put in a private room at the back that can easily seat 14 with OK spacing between diners.

Enchiladas Flor de Jamaica ($18) Hibiscus flowers, jicama, carrot & cabbage, fire roasted tomato chipotle sauce, Oaxaca cheese & green rice
  • I can't really rate this properly because it tasted way too much like my mom's spring rolls. She uses a lot of jicama, and that for me was the predominant flavour here.
  • Lots of cheese but it hardened way too quickly to be fun. Not sure how that can be avoided, however.
  • Green rice (possibly just rice with green herbs, such as cilantro) was al dente and had a firm, coarse texture in the mouth. Interesting for not being your normal tender rice.
  • The three rolls were slightly on the salty side.
  • Overall OK but a lot of the ingredients mentioned you won't really see or taste unless you dissect the rolls and try to isolate them from the stuffing.
  • Looks really delicious, but for me not that interesting. However see caveat above.
  • Combined with the rice this is fairly filling plate.
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - enchiladas flor de jamaica

Chilaquiles ($18) Crispy Fraser Valley pork belly, tamarind chipotle glaze, salsa verde, Cotija cheese, tortilla chips
  • I got to try a bite of this, which was my friend's order. Overall looks pretty boring BUT the tamarind chipotle glaze is the real winner here. The sourness really helps with any heavy fatty feeling from the pork belly.
  • My piece of pork belly wasn't crispy. Hmm.
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - chilaquiles

Queso Fundido ($10) Oaxaca cheese, poblano peppers, caramelized onion, tomato, fresh tortillas
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - Queso Fundido

Pina y Agave ($6) Pineapple, lemon juice, agave and mint leaves
  • Mocktail that tastes like it sounds -- Pineapple, lemon, mint. Pretty good palate cleanser and pretty refreshing.
TIP: That hot sauce they provide at the table? USE IT. It's fruity sweet (mango?) and there's a heat that builds very slowly but can be medium-strong at the end AND it won't flatten other flavours while giving you that buzz in the mouth.
Here I used it on the green rice that came with my enchiladas. The rice was interesting in texture but boringly bland in taste, sadly.

2016-Jul-22 El Santo - tasty hot sauce at the table 2016-Jul-22 El Santo - pina y agave

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

@HamiltonStGrill closing end of July

Hamilton Street Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Sad news -- July-30th will be the last day for the Hamilton Street.

Your last chance to get their famous Gingerbread Pudding.

Thank you for Steak Month every June. All the best to the captain and crew.

Hamilton Street Grill closing end of July-30-2016