Weekend Musings (06-Mar-2010)

With the Olympics over, it’s back to business.

Like some of the restaurant businesses who reported a dip during the Olympics, chowtimes’ traffic too dropped by 10-15%. We are back to record setting territory again. I hope that the restaurant business is back to their normal levels too — particularly those on Denman and the Broadway corridor which I know were impacted.

Chowtimes Featured on EAT Magazine

It was December last year when Pam Durkin from the EAT magazine wrote to us with some questions for chowtimes. It was so long ago that I had completely forgotten about this until I was alerted recently of the write up on the magazine.


The EAT magazine is a Victoria based, province wide magazine that focuses on the culinary scene here in BC. It is not on sale but is distributed free and has over 100,000 readers province wide.


He he he … I don’t know that part about being a “self-proclaimed foodie” but nevertheless it was kind of cool seeing the chowtimes name on print. You can read the entire article on page 14 here.

Spring Break — Discovery of Portland’s Food Carts

Time sure flies this year isn’t it? We barely have much of a winter this year and now we are into spring already. No, I am NOT complaining.

Suanne and I were wondering if we wanted to do anything during the spring break.

Portland Dec 17 09

We remember Charlene was telling us how amazed she was with the food carts in Portland. We had been to Portland before but that was pre-chowtimes days where we could not care less about food carts. Charles was saying that there are sites where there are something like 20 food carts.

THAT … sounds like the description of heaven to Suanne and I. Wow … that also sounds like a working holiday too. LOL!

Yeah … we are like 99.99% sure we are heading that way for our Spring Break.

But we don’t know much about the food carts in Portland. For those of you who had been there before, could you share a bit more about it with us. We would particularly like to have recommendation of the bigger sites, the must-try food, locations … any tips at all.

It is my dream that Vancouver one day will develop its own food cart culture.

Oh … Dine Around Seattle is happening throughout the month of March too. Dine Around Seattle is like our Dine Out Vancouver with prix-fixe dinner at $30. The timing could not have been more perfect!

Lots of Peppers!

Suanne had been a busy girl last week. Look at this!


I asked Suanne to help populate the Chowtimes Restaurant Explorer which is a rendition of a Google Map of the restaurants we had visited before. I told her to just take her own time and populate like 4-5 a day.

She went on to populate 40-50 a day! So now the Restaurant Explorer is looking all good. Suanne has still some way to go.

It goes without saying the densest area is Richmond.

Taste and Learn — Filipino Cuisine

Goto-King-Vancouver-1-600x400By the time this is posted, 8 Chowtimes readers will be having lunch in Goto King with Rey, Suanne and I. Am looking forward to it … free food … and we get to learn a bit too. I wish we could accommodate more people (had to turn away some, sorry) but seating was limited.

I am just glad that we could host something like this. I know it is kind of unprecedented and people will be wondering what’s the catch. No catch! There are really people on this planet who loves food and is willing to share. We hope to do more things like this in future … not just eating, but learning too.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Eat well!

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  1. Reinhard Reinstein

    Thank you for a great website. If you accepted feedback, I’d ask you to mention whether restaurants under the review are cash-only.

  2. el_lobo_solo

    This website was useful in exploring the food carts of PDX: http://www.foodcartsportland.com/. If you scroll down the right side to the “locations” you’ll get to sites with multiple carts (aka food cart villages). I’ll never forget, just for its sheer size and absurdity, my “youcanhascheeseburger” which was 2 grilled cheese sandwiches acting as the buns to a 1/2 lb beef patty with all the fixins. The korean taco place was good too, although you may have to follow their twitter messages or website to find out where they’ll be next.

    1. Ben

      Thanks a lot, el Lobo Solo for the link. That will help tremendously. That “youcanhascheeseburger” sound awesome. I can’t seem to find the food cart villages you mentioned although I did see a lot of different (small, 1-2 carts) locations.

      1. el_lobo_solo

        You’re right. I just assumed all of the locations were like the multiple cart locales I went to (SW5 & Stark or the really late night place SE12 & Hawthorne). I think you may have to hunt for the cart villages on the website. The farmers market on the campus of Portland State University is also very good and larger than anything we have, but it looks like it doesn’t start up until Mar 20.

        1. Ben

          Thanks again, el Lobo Solo. We will definitely check out SW5 and Stark … seems like it’s the place where you had the “youcanhascheeseburger”.

          1. Ben

            Whoa! Thanks for streetview link too. Isn’t it amazing how many food carts there are? Thanks a lot fmed.

  3. Pinoy Gourmet

    Hi Ben
    I have Cafe Alamid,It has a “UNIQUE”flavor.I will arrange for some for you to try.Its from a town called Amadeo in the Province of Cavite near Manila.Cheers and as an update after Goto King,We went to the Pananderia and Bo s Laksa

    1. Ben

      Hi Pinoy Gourmet:
      Thanks again for buying lunch today. Suanne and I had a good time learning about Filipino food and also the opportunity to meet chowtimes’ readers. Don’t tell me you guys ate Laksa after all the food in Goto King!

  4. Doug

    I’m happy to report that our restaurant is back to normal at West Broadway area! We’re able to deliver food to downtown and not worry about road closures. Tourist are gone and fateful customers are back from there 2 weeks Olympic holiday! =D

    1. Ben

      Good to know, Doug! It was also good for chowtimes that traffic is back to its normal level too. LOL!

  5. Eat. Travel. Eat!

    You’re not the only one who got lower traffic- shopping channels also got less people and my website too lost about 500 visitors which for me is quite a lot! I haven’t eaten at a food cart yet although LA has plenty :). Journalists sometimes add things that are quite a bit awkward sometimes after what you tell them to write about; it’s normal?

  6. Ryan

    Good job on the restaurant explorer Suanne and Ben. I’m excited and I’ll be sure it’s a very useful feature, especially when I’m venturing into uncharted territory. Hehe.

    You mentioned EAT magazine is distributed for free. Where abouts would I be able to pick up a copy? Thanks!

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