382 W. Broadway
l’d say that I was among the early birds several months back to spot the disappearance of the former tenant at this location (that served horrible pho) and the pending notice that Chronic Tacos was going to set up shop – mainly due to the fact that I pass this Cambie/W. Broadway corridor very often. As a result, I kept making a mental note to stop in once things got up and running, which I did hear about from a loyal reader when they themselves passed through their open doors. A further few weeks passed since that heads up but I finally made my way in on a recent Sunday afternoon. Coincidentally, as it was just past the 2pm local time kickoffs for several NFL matches, the place was rocking inside and all tables were occupied, which led me to understand that this joint has a serious sports bar vibe and relevant customers (many decked out in the uniforms of their favorite teams). I thought this was interesting, not assuming the proprietors would take this angle, but it sure has proven to be a success judging by the boisterous room. While glancing at some screens to get updated on the scores (I happened to be listening to the Seahawks game on the radio on my drive over), I made my way to the very back where the ordering and prep counter is situated. I didn’t bother to check, but I don’t think there is any table service here, which one might expect given how busy the place was upon setting foot inside and how the seating layout was designed.
With no intentions of dining alone inside – not that there was even a single free chair – I got my order to go. A few signs on the walls and a menu board are posted up high and are quite visible, and given its a fast food-type of place, its not rocket science to decide what you want and the choices run the usual gamut of popular North Americanized (despite the claims of authentic Mexican recipes) items such as burritos, the hilariously named “fatty” tacos (in reference to the whole chronic thing – “whatup Dr. Dre!”), and other assortments such as nachos and quesadillas. I’m sure their website would reveal more history and the rationale behind the name, so will leave that to you to delve into and I won’t regurgitate anything here (urgh, that’s a really bad word to use when writing about food, but so be it!).
Papalote Mexican Grill
3409 24th Street
San Francisco, CA
The Mission district has what I call a lot of “flavour”. Colorful characters, simple ethnic shops, groceries and eateries (many of the Latin persuasion), and a very “real” feeling about it compared to the more tamer parts of this beautiful city by the bay that I adore. I headed down to this part of town to meet some folks before visiting their home on the edge of this area, and after being pitched a few options for something to get for takeaway chose the taqueria. My local guide said this place was very well known and he’d had some good meals there so left it in his capable hands to drive us over after I arrived by BART. The scene below is where I was standing waiting for my ride just across from the 24th street station, ironically in front of a McDonald’s…
So we soon ended up on the street by Papalote. From the outside, it looked nothing special, sort of diner-like as I peered into the space where you can eat in. Walk-in-and-take-out traffic seems to be heavy here too, as we were soon joined by a few people grabbing a menu card and giving their order to the cashier. I was enticed by the many offerings, including the tasty sounding vegetarian ones, but in the end opted for the fish tacos.
500 W Broadway
Normally, I would just dump the poor pics shot with my cell phone and not even comment on an unforgettable meal like this and deny it in my mind that it ever even happened, but I just had to share this unique experience with our readers. I’m sure you’ve read online on other food blog sites, of the growing “taking photos in restaurants” issue that occurred with the burgeoning crowds of people interested in documenting their eating experiences on the internet and the proliferation of affordable digital cameras. I have heard opinions on both sides of the debate and concur and disagree with many of them, such as “its distracting to other diners”, “it steals the chef’s art”, etc. Honestly, everyone has an opinion on the subject and in the end, the proprietor certainly has the right to set the rules in their establishment as they please. It might be heavy handed or draconian in some cases, but as long as its under their roof (owned or leased), I figure they have a right to tell me their guidelines when it comes to photographing food, though I am sure there are those who say that if its the customer who is paying, they should own the privilege. I won’t digress further, but you are free to comment on it if you so desire…
But in this case at Sushi Bang, that I dropped into for a simple take away meal after spending the day on the beach volleyball courts at Kits, the “reason” I got from the waitress who ordered me to stop taking photos – that I was doing very casually since I was waiting for my order and frankly had nothing better to do – just perplexed me. While checking some text messages and lying my phone on the table, I angled it upwards to snap a shot of the wall facing me. Figured I could use an interior shot if I ever decided to post about this, which was quite low in terms of possibility given the quality of the offering here. Its no place that readers need to bother with frankly, as its so run-of-the-mill and the kind of the place you can find just about anywhere in Vancouver. When suddenly, I heard a strong voice from the side, coming from a female waitress saying I had to stop taking photos. I’m surprised she even saw me doing it, as I wasn’t even looking at my screen and was actually aiming blind up at the wall. She must have had her eye on me for some reason, which I guess makes sense as I was the only customer this early summer evening.
I can imagine the instantaneous reaction this post will receive. So I’ll come out and say it.
The fast food burger that I’m enjoying of late is from Triple O’s.
Having not grown up in British Columbia, I don’t harbour the long lasting childhood memories of others, who have had the food from White Spot and the like that seems to be true of many Vancouverites, from their very early days (and perhaps teenage years?).
7624 6th Street
Another completely random, TOFTT kind of outing. As I dug up the Urban Spoon reference for the address to be included in this posting, I was amused to see that someone had beaten me to this place – er, make that rather bewildered that somebody had actually decided on their own to have a meal here before my impromptu visit. Surprise, surprise, it was none other than the adventurous author of I’m Only Here for the Food!
Chicken Delight only stood out as I drove by looking for a quick daytime bite to eat because of its gaudy, outdated colorful signage. You know the kind, complete with windows plastered over in uncoordinated posters trumpeting various deals, combos and specials you can get inside. A funny thing though, after I stepped inside (and became the only customer) I learned that one of the items on their posters wasn’t even available. False advertising at its finest. Its you can’t order it, take it down please.
7608 Royal Oak Avenue
It has been a while since this visit, but one that I’ve not forgotten for its hilarity. I thought it would be an amusing way to begin the work week, by examining some seriously dysfunctional sushi preparation…
Cradled at the far edge of a small commercial complex that houses a convenience store, a bakery and what I think was a veterinarian office, is Asa Sushi. With very few sushi options that were open for a quick takeaway in the same area (another across the way was closed on this day), but still not willing to give up on having this for something to eat, I headed inside. A crawlspace of a joint, with a few tables and chairs and surprisingly at least six customers.
Handi Cuisine of India
4432 Dunbar Street
(604) 738 3186
Dining solo has been a topic that’s come up from time to time in posts as well as in various comments. Lately, when I’ve had to eat alone, I’ve tended to go the take away route. Perhaps I’m being influenced by those who cringe at the thought of eating on their own, whereas in the past I had not been so self-conscious…
Handi Cuisine of India situated in the Dunbar neighbourhood (with another location in West Van) is a place I’d driven past many times over the years but had not yet gone inside to order. It seemingly has a strong local following and reputed solid service, so my expectations were good. Recently, I was finally able to find out for myself by dialing ahead and placing an order for pickup.