Sonic America’s Drive-In in Ferndale, WA

We went for another cross border shopping trip just to buy the baby back ribs from Costco in Bellingham for a BBQ gathering. Ben loves the meaty baby back ribs from Costco in US.


Every time we drove on I5 to Bellingham, Nanzaro always ask to stop at Sonic, America’s Drive-In. He loves the nostalgic idea of eating in a drive-in.


There are parking stalls for you to park your car, order and eat in your car. Food will be delivered to your car. I saw one of the server was on roller skates while delivering food to cars.


You can also order from the patio and eat at the patio. We prefer to eat at the tables rather than eating in our car.


Food and drink will be delivered to your table.


They even gave us some complementary candies like restaurants do when you pay for your bill.


Nanzaro ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster Combo for $6.79. You can add sides with extra charges. Nanzaro asked for jalapeno for a charge of Continue reading

KFC Tuesday Deal and 7 Eleven 99cents Big Gulp Summer Deal

When Ben is away, my boys will ask for KFC toonie deal on Tuesday occasionally. More so, in summer.


The Richlea Square KFC looks nicer now as the strip mall had a face lift not long ago. I noticed that KFC here is mostly for take out only unlike those in Asia where you can dine in.


KFC is well known for its Toonie deal on Tuesday. Anyone remembered when was the Toonie deal started? Well, now the Toonie deal had gone up to $2.99 from the original $2 deal. KFC called it the Tuesday Special now as Toonie deal does not fit anymore.


This time round, there is something new in KFC that I love to try. KFC now serves yam fries which I love.


I upgraded my Tuesday Special to yam fries for an extra charge of 59cents. My yam fries were freshly fried. They were crispy on the outside and sweet. I will always trade French fries with yam fries.


We always had the spicy version of the chicken. They are more crispy on the outside.


For the three of us, I always order one extra piece for $1.20 as my boys wanted 3 pieces of chicken. I will give one of my piece to one of them. KFC accepts credit card.


Nanzaro wanted a soft drink to go with his KFC meal. So, we stopped by 7-Eleven to get a Big Gulp for 99cents.


The Big Gulp deal is like a retaliation to McDonalds $1 any size soft drink deal.

KFC (Richlea Square) on Urbanspoon

New Ikea Restaurant in Richmond

The new Ikea finally opened on the 25th April. It was bigger than the original location which was the first Ikea in North America. We are very eager to visit the new Ikea but we did not go on the first day as we knew it will be packed due to freebies, etc.


We went to the Ikea Restaurant for lunch on the first weekend. The restaurant was packed with people. There was a line up as expected.


The restaurant is huge with various settings for different ages. I love the new setup.


I like the new food tray cart. It is very handy for family dining.


Ben and Nanzaro opted for the 10 piece Meatball Combo which is $5.99. We switched the mash potatoes with fries instead. Continue reading

A&W 3 For $3 Promotion

Ben is back in Malaysia to attend some family issues and works from there for a month. When Ben is not around, I must say that I do not eat well. The boys dictate what to eat most of the time.


The boys always ask for burgers. Nanzaro lately has a new fondness for A&W.  We found an A&W coupon on Friday’s Richmond Review of 3 for $3.


I like the fact that the burger is baby size; just the right size for me.


The baby burger is just a small burger with sauce, nothing else. Fortunately, Nanzaro gave me his tomato since he does not like tomato.


Nanzaro’s teen burger has other fixings like lettuce, onions, tomato and cheese and in a sesame bun, unlike the plain baby burger. Continue reading

Nando’s in Coppersmith, Richmond

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Complete Disclosure: This meal is complimentary from coupons from Vancover Slop.

Nanzaro and I had lunch at Nando’s on a Sunday afternoon. Arkensen was doing his homework and he asked for take out for his lunch.


The Nando’s that we visited is the one in Coppersmith, where Canadian Tire is. There are plenty of parking here.


The reason we picked Nando’s for lunch is because I still have 3 complimentary coupons from Vancouver Slop during the launching of his new blog or something like that.


We were there early as usual. So, there is no wait and plenty of tables to choose from. By around 1 PM, the place is full.  The decoration in Nando’s is warm and rustic.


You order at the counter and paid for your food there. You will be handed your utensils and a number stand. You are free to pick any table. The server will bring the food to your table.


You can help yourself with any condiments on the condiment table. Of course, Nanzaro picked the Peri-peri hot sauce.


I ordered a Peri Nuts to munch while waiting for our main meal. A small bag of the Peri Nuts costs $3. It consists of almond, cashew nut and macadamia nut and coated with some tangy, smoky and savory seasonings. Nanzaro commented some of the nuts are quite salty when there is too much seasoning on them. I found that they are quite addictive as I finished the leftovers that we brought home.


Nanzaro ordered the Quarter Chicken Breast with Wing with Fries. When you placed your order, they will ask you the level of spiciness you desired. Of course, Nanzaro asked for spicy hot. The chicken looked a bit small… Continue reading

McDonalds New Buttermilk Biscuits — Have One On Us

Did anyone of you get one of the free Buttermilk Biscuits from McDonalds on Wednesday and Thursday?


If you missed that free giveaway, this is being extended but only on chowtimes. McDonalds Canada has so kindly given us a few dozen of Be Our Guest cards to be distributed to chowtimes readers. So you don’t have the fight the crowd and enjoy this at your own time.

Since we had so many, this is how we will be doing this. I will … Continue reading

Grazy-Dog: Gyozaking’s Version of Japadog in Richmond

Updated: 4th July 2012; This restaurant had closed according to

Ed broke the news about a new street cart in Richmond (link here) about a month ago. As I read his post, I can’t help but think that this is a copy cat of Japadog.

I did a few half-hearted attempt to look for Grazy-Dog. It was more to see what they have, not really wanting to try them. I thought it was tucked between the rows of warehouse businesses north of the Superstore on No 3 Road. I drove around the area on three different occasions and each time I could not locate them. I soon forgot about them.

A couple of days ago, we got an email from Gerri telling us about how much she likes Grazy-Dog and said we should go try it.

Today I went to look for Grazy-Dog again. I am on “forced-leave” for the rest of the year because I still have some vacation days left and I need to use them up. Suanne abandoned me to do her stuff. I hate to eat alone and so I managed to convince Nanzaro to come along with me.


This time we got the location and opening hours before we went. We found out that Grazy-Dog opens from noon till 8PM and that they were in the side of the building between PJ’s Pets and the Superstore. We went and waited at that spot for sometime and was puzzled why the van was not there at noon.

We did not realize that they had moved. It is now located in front of No 3 Road. It is definitely a much better location as they are going to be more visible from the busy No 3 Road. I later found out that they had moved to this new location just 1 week ago.

Talking about visibility, you can’t miss them. The van, named G-Wagon, is painted in neon pink.


Grazy-Dog has a big name behind them. The Gyoza King Group behind some of the popular Japanese restaurants in town including:

  • Gyoza King in Vancouver
  • Nanchuu in Richmond (post here)
  • G-Men Ramen in Richmond (post here)
  • Chicco Cafe in Vancouver (post here)
  • Gyo-O in Richmond

Actually I have doubts over what the words “Gyozaking produced” means. The reason is because Gyoza King’s website has no mention about Grazy-Dog. I mean, does Gyoza King actually owns this street cart?


It took us a while for us to understand the menu. Click on the menu to show it larger.

Basically, you select the type of sausage from a choice of three:

  • All Beef Sausage ($4.50)
  • Bavarian Sausage ($5)
  • Bratwurst Sausage ($6)

The prices above will include a choice of seven styles of toppings (the image on the right).

On top of these hot dogs, there is one that has the works called the GrazyDog Style. This one is the most expensive and is $3 in addition to the type of sausage selected.

There is a couple of sausage-less dogs that they call Creative Dog ($6 each).


The G-Wagon is quite cramped and has barely enough room for two persons to work. Moreover, I felt the ceiling of the van is really low and I can imagine them having a backache working all day in the van.

Anyway, lest you think this is fast food, it is not as fast as you think it is. It took slightly less than 10 minutes for them to make our sausages. It seems like they had to sear some of the ingredients with a handheld blow torch during the assembly.


Nanzaro and I decided that we should go for the $9 top of the line Bratwurst with the GrazyDog style toppings. I asked them to let me take a picture of the grilled bratwurst because it looked so good.


Oh gosh. This thing is big. It is so big and overflowing with stuff that they had to … Continue reading

Five Guys Burgers and Fries in South Surrey

It was Wils who told us that Five Guys opened their second outlet. And I knew it was where we wanted to bring the boys to because they love burgers. OK fine … they don’t like that mum and dad always brings them to Asian restaurants.

This time I did not tell them where we were going out for dinner. I just told them it is a long drive and that we are going to Surrey.

“Surrey?!?” they both exclaimed, knowing Surrey is the direction to the Canada-US border.

“Yeah” I said, “not only Surrey … it’s SOUTH Surrey”.


And then I had to get lost on the way. The iPhone battery died and I was relying on that for navigation. So, I went round and round until I found 160th Street. To them it was not funny. 🙂

I had never been to this part of the world before. I mean, I drove past this place on the way to the US border crossing. I am just impressed how built up this whole place is. They have every big box stores you can think of.

When we arrived, they were happy to see that it’s a burger joint. At least it is not another Asian restaurant after driving so far.

Have you ever seen the video above before? It is not surprising that Obama goes to Five Guys for burgers since Arlington (minutes away from Washington DC is the where Five Guys first started.

Anyway, take note of Obama’s order number at about 1:20 into the video.


For a supposedly upscale burger restaurant, the decor is a bit sparse. The whole theme is blood red and white with double checkered motifs.


Like in most Five Guys restaurants, they stack bags and bags of potatoes and boxes of peanut oil in the dining area.


Unlike other burger places, they have free peanuts which is stacked inconspicuously on the boxes of peanut oil. They are meant for you to snack on while you wait for the burger to be made. I think it is a good idea.

The peanuts are salted. Nice but I had better, crunchier ones. Am not complaining though since they are free … sort of.



Click on the image above to enlarge the menu. It is a very simple menu … but kind of expensive.

You get either the plain hamburger, with cheese and/or bacon. The standard size is double patties. The “little” ones are single patties.

It is the toppings that is kind of wild. They have 15 to choose from and they are free with the burger.

The ones that they call “All The Way” includes Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Ketchup and Mustard.

Then there are the “Everything” which also includes Relish, Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Peppers, A1 Sauce, BBQ Sauce and Hot Sauce.

I don’t know about you, but for me it is too much to think over each and everyone … same goes for Suanne. We just ask for EVERYTHING. Arkensen and Nanzaro is more adept in choosing the toppings. They just choosed 4 types of toppings. I just had to tell them “get everything, they’re free”.


So the above is our order. Four burgers, a large fries and drinks came up to $45. I dunno … I find it expensive for burgers.

Oh remember I asked you to remember Obama’s order number? Well, his number is … Continue reading

Chicago: Garrett Popcorns

One thing that you will not fail to notice when in Chicago, particularly when you are along the touristy areas like The Loop and The Magnificent Mile is that you will occasionally find people walking around in a brown paper bag.

Like this one …


I was in Atlanta for a meeting prior coming to Chicago. I was asking one of my colleagues for restaurant and food recommendations. Camille instantly exclaimed “Garrett! Garrett! Oh my God! Oh my God! You have to try it”. For a moment I thought Garrett was a restaurant. It seems like Garrett is a very popular popcorn in Chicago. I was kind of deflated when she said Garrett is a popcorn brand. I am not a fan of popcorns and for the life of me, I can’t imagine how good popcorn could get.

But when I was in Chicago I saw quite a number of people walking around with the brown paper bag from Garrett. So, I decided to just go and get it for … breakfast since I did not gave much of a breakfast anyway.


There are about ten Garrett Popcorn stores in Chicago with some of them in the airport. When I went to the one in The Loop, I was taken aback that there are actually some people lining up outside the store to buy popcorns. Whoa!

It wasn’t a long line and you get served very fast. The moment I walked into the store, the smell was very nice.

Garrett Popcorns had been in business for about 50 years already but always in Chicago. Even today, they only have one store outside of Chicago.

They became famous nationwide when Oprah Winfrey choose Garrett Popcorns as one of her “Favourite Things”. For those of you who watches Oprah on TV, her “Favourite Things” episode is aired once a year close to Christmas time. When Oprah included Garrett’s in her first “Favourite Things” episode in 2002, Garretts Popcorn’s website was overwhelmed and they became an overnight sensation. Just that one mention, Garrett was making popcorns 24 hrs a day instead of the usual 8 hrs. Oprah selected Garrett’s Popcorn again in 2005.


If you think that Garrett’s Popcorns has lots of flavours, don’t. All the flavours that matters are just two … and only two. The hero flavours are … Continue reading

The New McDonalds McMini — Have One On Us

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Complete Disclosure
This post is written based on twenty five Be-Our-Guest cards and a $20 McDonalds Gift Card provided by McDonalds Canada

I was looking back at my old posts. It seems like I have a lot of McDonalds related posts. Many of them are coupons giveaways. Previously, the coupon giveaways were good only in the US because they were issued from Illinois.

This time it is different. This time, it is McDonalds Canada who gave us the Be Our Guest coupons. The BOG coupons is good for Canada and we are giving every single one away. All you have to do is just ask.


Come to think of it, I had not have a McDonalds for the longest time. Don’t get me wrong. I like McDonalds — especially the Big Mac which I find it tasty. What stops me is the calories in it.

When McDonalds Canada launched the new McMini, the first thing that came to my mind was my 1-on-1 interview with Executive Chef of McDonalds, Chef Dan Coudreaut. During that interview, I confronted Chef Dan on the health aspect of McDonalds food. It was an awkward interview I must say because McDonalds did not expected me to pose hard questions. But I am glad I did. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

I also conveyed what a chowtimes reader wanted to say to Chef Dan … that she “likes to see McDonalds keep moving towards healthier food and continue to stop pushing supersize fries; and it doesn’t have to be soy burgers.” Chef Dan said that they continually listen to what the customer wants and they do try to promote healthier options.


That is why when I saw the McMini my thoughts was instantly on what Chef Dan said about trying to promote healthier options. Holding the McMini in my hands, I was rather amused with the size of the McMini.

It is so small! For a fast food company who used to coin the words Super Size, it is a step in the right direction.


Size does matter. It is just about 5″ in length and 1″ wide.

I was particularly interested in the baguette. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of the top view of the bread. When I read that the bread was a baguette I was excited thinking that it would be very much like the French baguette and was curious how McDonalds are able to keep the crust crisp.

While the McMini baguette has that tell tale slit, the “baguette” is more of a … Continue reading