Jan 21, 2011

Two tasty, cheap eats on Main Street

My time in Vancouver hasn't been all seawall walks and gourmet coffee, I've also been applying for jobs, interviewing, socializing, catching up with old chums, and pigging out like a cerdita. I've got restarting yoga classes on the agenda for next week so I don't grow out of my pantaloons! Although I've had some excellent Leb Leb (a Lebanese with Lesbians dinner at Nuba) and a gorge fest of all you can eat Japanese and Korean food at a restaurant whose name I can't recall now, today I'm going to focus on a couple of restaurants in my new hood.

First is a Vietnamese Pho place called Pho Tan (4598 Main Street). When we arrived the restaurant was packed with Asian people, which is always a great sign that the food is authentic and delicious. I ordered the satay beef pho (#38), which was just the right amount of spicy and peanutty. The raw thin beef slices cooked in the broth as I gave the bowl a stir after I loaded on the fresh Thai Basil and bean sprouts. Can't get fresher than that. I don't have a photo of it because I was just too busy eating and slurping, and my only thought of maybe writing something for this blog occurred to me long after the bowl's concave face was gleaming and empty. And this my friends is a testament to how yummy it was. My mind could barely focus on what my dinner companion was saying, my head just nodded as I slurped. The menu has quite a large selection of phos and other Vietnamese dishes, and the staff were super friendly and smiley.

Hawker's Delight on Main Street, VancouverHawker's Delight on Main Street, Vancouver
Second is a place called Hawker's Delight (4127 Main Street), which does street hawker style Singaporean Malaysian food for less than the price of a McMeal at McD. The decor is no frills, and by that I mean it has no-table-cloth, cafeteria-style, hole-in-the-wall chic. I ordered the Laksa because it's one of my favourite Malay dishes and it didn't disappoint. The bowlful of tofu, boiled egg, shrimp, chicken, fish cakes and noodles in a coconut curry broth was just the right combination of spicy and coconutty. While this typical curry Laksa from Singapore was tasty, at some point I will have to find a place that does Sarawak Laksa, which has a base of Sambal belacan, sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and lime OR go visit my mommy in Edmonton and have her make me some ;) Mmmm. Anyway, back to Hawkers. My dinner companion is vegetarian and we were pleased with the amount of selection she had to choose from. She ended up getting the Mee Siam, which is thin rice noodles (vermicelli) smothered in a spicy, sweet and sour, peanut gravy. Yum. According to Lonely Planet, Hawker's Delight is ranked #190 of 434 things to do in Vancouver but bring cash because this joint doesn't take plastic.

Seawall by 2nd beach in Vancouver
From my mere two weeks in Vancouver, this city seems to be all about the outdoors and food. As I slowly but surely eat and walk my way around Vancity, I'll be sure to bring you all along so stay tuned!

Happy Friday!


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