Rikka Japanese Kitchen – New Westminster, BC

Rikka Japanese Kitchen
28 – 8th Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 521-3391

Oozing simplicity from its pores, beginning with the subdued decor and partitioned dining space, Rikka Japanese Kitchen is situated not far from the entrance to the New Westminster SkyTrain station.   As a result, the characters outside the restaurant are on the doggy side, and its clear some of those scraggly folks are trying to treat the nearby businesses are their own personal washrooms (signage in place telling them its just for customers) and kitchens (e.g. while I was waiting for my meal to be brought to my table, a strung out woman came bursting in and started aggressively shuffling around the sushi bar counter and then loudly demanded “where’s your plastic forks!?”).

With the lunchtime business seemingly one of their major draws, given the dozen or so price friendly ($8~$9) options, I had made my way there for a sit down meal.  Parking is a bit iffy, so if you drive, I suggest you try to find one on the road a block or two along 8th where they have yet to install parking meters.  A sandwich board outside on the sidewalk is their main promotional tool for these lunch deals, so don’t be surprised if you’re not the only one drawn in.

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Burger Heaven – New Westminster, BC

Burger Heaven
77 10th Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 522-8339

East side, West side?  What does it all matter when we all live a thug’s life.

Foodosophy reader Tee and I often joke about the reputation that certain places in the GVRD hold and New West is sometimes the target of our remarks about the madness that occupies some young people’s lives in their quest to get rich quick, and how sadly they end up living that lifestyle for only a very short time before they are “eliminated”.

Overcoming any “fears” we have of traveling out to this place via the sometimes sketchy Skytrain, we ended up at this mecca for burgers, otherwise known as Burger Heaven.  With a long tradition of serving up this North American classic – I recall our server saying they’ve been at it for 26 years – we knew that it was worth checking out.  Open at 11am daily, it was the early afternoon when we stepped inside and several tables were occupied.

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Pho Maxima – New Westminster, BC

Pho Maxima Restaurant
822 Twentieth Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 759-3669

This non-flashy restaurant, nestled in a very average-looking commercial building fits the common definition of a hole-in-the-wall eatery.  Slightly indented from the street itself, it would be quite easy to miss passing by, unless you were deliberately turning into the front side-facing parking lot, which is also home to a couple other places to get a quick meal. I’ve already written about one of them here.

Despite its subdued appearance, Pho Maxima seemingly gets a lot of love from the locals, judging from a couple of occupied tables as I walked in alone, as well as the phone ringing with delivery orders.  A pleasant man was working the front of house alone and I could hear a few voices coming from the back kitchen.  Receiving a pot of hot tea to start while I perused the menu booklet, I debated going with the namesake pho but instead opted for another edition of meat-on-rice.

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Burger Burger – New Westminster, BC

Burger Burger
340 – 6th Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 525-4229

May 2010 re-visit post here

Original post below:

Another sojourn into New West.  I’ve been expanding my food hunting journeys to the “far east”, as frankly for me its a largely unexplored area and the Vancouver coverage of eateries and restaurants is seemingly getting more saturated and repetitive – especially in light of the start of “the event” next week in town.  So I thought, what a better way to really get off the beaten path of reviews on those standard superstar places that are appearing in cyberspace and print media, than a return to a classic mom-and-pop joint.

Interestingly enough, despite its very generic sounding name, Burger Burger gets top billing on the commercial signage that stands at this complex along sixth street.  It totally reminded me of my high school years, where my buddies and I would always congregate at our town’s favourite hole-in-the-wall burger spot – which ironically stood across the street from a McDonald’s.  Even the yellow signage was identical, as well as the open facing flat top cooking area and fantastically priced burger-fries-drink combos.  Over a decade later, I am bewildered to see that a place like Burger Burger has prices that I am most familiar with when I was a cash-starved but always hungry teenager over a decade ago.

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Papa Dave’s Pizza – New Westminster, BC

Papa Dave’s Pizza
820 20th St
New Westminster, BC
(604) 522-4001

[To begin this particular post, let me first note that I was fumbling around with one of my cameras and my cell phone, and ate some of my meal in the restaurant itself as well I took the leftovers home.  Hence, the “variation” in the images below.]

In a tiny commercial building that houses a Vietnamese restaurant (to be written up in a future post), a sandwich shop and a Filipino grocery, a fourth business claims residence as a pizzeria.  With a less than unique namesake (I guess “John” was already taken), Papa Dave’s churns out pizzas, lasagnas and other easy fast food meals in this part of town bordering the edge of southeast Burnaby and the western side of New West.  Well, make that rather a very enthusiastic and friendly three-generation, East Indian family that is in charge of the actual cooking.

Hoping to just grab a slice or two for a quick meal, I discovered that there were no hot, ready-made pizzas/slices sitting in some warming display case, as is found in many a pizza joint in town.  Alas, I asked how long it would take for them to make me a full pie instead, and since there was no wait I smacked down some cash for what turned out to be an eight-piecer.  The 12″ pizza was from the “top of the line’ section of their menu, and was a shrimp pizza loaded with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, pineapple and what was dubbed “Papa Dave’s three cheese blend”.  Yes, a unique mixture.  And when it comes to weird eats, I’m often game.

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Mon Mom’s Cafe – New Westminster, BC

Mon Mom’s Cafe
821 12th St
New Westminster, BC
(604) 524-2088

On the quick and easy breakfast trail in New Westminster, I chanced upon Mon Mom’s Cafe located along 12st Street. Situated in a wooden building reminiscent of structures popular from an earlier era, it certainly has its charms and nostalgic sidewalk appeal. The slow pace of things on the road outside took a turn as I stepped inside the place which was full of chatter and customers. The sounds and smells of a breakfast diner never fail to disappoint me.

With breakfast plate offerings (eggs, toast, ham/sausage, French toast/pancakes) in the $4 to $4.75 range, and omelets in the $5 to $6 range, great value can be had. Preferring French toast over pancakes, I ordered one of the choices from the top half of the menu and sat back to take in the scene. Families, groups of working class men, single diners taking up the smaller tables near the front window, it was all a regular mix of common folk out for a relaxing morning meal.

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Paradise Donair – New Westminster, BC

Paradise Donair
723 – 12th Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 522-0789

First entry from this outpost of New Westminster!  This city has its charms, despite its reputation as not being the most safest place to be, especially at night.

I ventured out, in the daytime, as I was in the neighborhood and found this little donair shop on 12th street.  I saw some folks coming out of it with take away bags and some eating at the tables out front.  Must be good or cheap I thought, so parked my car on the street and stepped inside.

Inside, I was greeted by a cheery man, who had the air of a person who had pride in their work and his product.  Love meeting folks like that, in any walk of life.  The space was tiny, basically just a counter from which to order at and at which he put together the food.

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