Memphis Blues Barbeque House on Commercial Drive

I organized a after work dinner on a Friday some time back, primarily as a treat to the contractor folks who had their contracts ended. It was also an excuse to just take the time off to relax after another hectic week at work.

I selected the Memphis Blues BBQ House which even though I had never been to this place, I had heard so much about it. It is simply heaven for meat lovers — forget about dieting or eating healthy — this place is about eating RIGHT! 🙂

The Memphis Blues BBQ House (http://www.memphisbluesbbq.com/) had a few locations. They have locations in Commercial Drive, Broadway, North Vancouver and Kelowna. We went to the one nearest the office … in Commercial Drive.

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The Blue Memphis is described as specializing in authentic Southern BBQ. My image of southern BBQ is the presence of pork, not just beef. This restaurant had really limited seating. So, if you have a big party, you better arrive early. We went just after 5pm. The dinner crowd will come in before 6pm. Oh … big advice … they don’t take reservations at all.

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If there are only two of you, you should try their $32 Memphis Feast.

For us, we had 14 people in all. So, we decided to order their largest offering on the menu. It’s called The Priscilla and is supposed to feed 10-12 people. It came in two large platters — trust me — they are so large that when placed on the table, the ends touches both end of the table.

If you have that many people, you MUST order The Priscilla. This is the ultimate, the works, everything you ever want. The first platter is the main platter … and it includes huge sausages, chicken, briskets, pull pork and the best of the lot, ribs!!

When they brought it out to our table and placed it in front of us, I can see the delight in everyone’s eyes, even the girls’! Almost everyone ooh’d and aah’d. Just visually looking at it brings so much delight. I am happy … I am a very happy man!

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The second platter is the seafood and salad platter. Not as many oohs and aahs as the first one but still it drew quite a bit of wows. There are oysters, shrimp and, my favourite, the fried catfish — yummy! The rest of the stuff on this platter are corn bread, BBQ Pit Beans, Slaws, Potato Salad and Fries.

These are meant for 10-12 people but we had 14 people … and yet this is more than enough to make everyone happily fed.

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The thing about Memphis Blues is not just the food but the very informal setting, people eating with their hands and it’s downright fun tucking in together with friends. Their beers are really great, we had jugs after jugs of them.

The way I calculate it is that it will cost about $17 bucks on the average, including drinks/beer, tips and taxes. Not bad right? I had a great time and so did everyone. It was a great way to cap off a long tedious week. Go grab a few friends and try this place out … I am sure you will like it.

Memphis Blues Barbeque House on Urbanspoon

Lemon Coconut Bars

I made Lemon Coconut Bars for the Richmond Community Kitchen Open House. These Lemon Coconut Bars are ultra sweet and you should enjoy it only once in a blue moon. I thought it should be perfect for potluck where each person will only try a small piece.

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The Lemon Coconut Bar is rich with coconut aroma and lemon flavour. The base of the bar is crispy while the top is chewy. It is a bit too sweet even for my sweet tooth. I would recommend to reduce the sugar by half a cup each for the crust and filing.

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Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (I would recommend to reduce by 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups flour

Filings:

  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • grated lemon rinds from two lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (I would recommend to reduce by 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Richmond Community Based Programs’ Open House 2007

The Richmond Community Based Programs’ held its annual open house on the 14th June 2007. This is a potluck gathering organised by the family services of Greater Vancouver as the community kitchens wind down for the summer break.

We had the mayor of Richmond, Malcolm Brodie to officiate the opening of the Open House.

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Lancy (of Family Services) and Minoo (of Richmond Community Kitchens) kicked start the most anticipated potluck dinner.

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This is the moment everyone is waiting for… time to eat.

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There were plenty of food from the members of the community kitchens as well as some which were catered so that there will not be a shortage of food. I will only displayed some of the home-made dishes from the members of the community kitchens.

Cabbage Rolls…

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… Salmon Fried Rice …

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… Pig Ears Stir-fries…

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… Kimbab …

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… Cassava Cake..

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… Chicken Wings…

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… Smoked Salmon Bruschetta…

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… Prawns…

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… Chicken Dish…

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… Shrimp, Mushroom and Peas …

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I did not manage to take photos of desserts as they were served later. When the desserts were served, I did not stand a chance to take individual photos as people were lining up to fill their plates.

There were plenty of food for all and it’s certainly a successful event. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped out, the organizers, the members of the community kitchens who shared their favourite dishes and most of all to those who came to join us. We wished everyone a great summer.

Chen’s Shanghai Restaurant in Richmond

We will always remember the Chen’s Shanghai restaurant when we first visited this small restaurant at the No 3 Road, oh, 7 years ago. At that time, they had the cheapest and most authentic Shanghainese food we know of — and most importantly, they had the hugest of portions. We know the faces of the people who worked there and they know us as we frequented the small restaurant quite often. After a couple of years, they just disappeared without an announcement.

We went to the Great One Supermarket for some Asian grocery shopping a few weeks ago. It is located at the small strip mall along Park Road in Richmond, which is just around the corner from where the old Chen’s was. To our surprise we see the familiar name and wondered if they are the same people making a comeback. We peeked in and indeed they were … the same lady who waited on us so many years back was there. And she recognized us too … wow!!

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Well, the new Chen’s is not longer the small restaurant we know. It had sort of grown up. Gone were the tacky furnitures and decorations. The place were more spacious and now the furnitures were a bit more upscale — not upscale upscale … just more upscale.

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Someone got to tell me about this thing we almost always come across in Shanghainese restaurants. What is this thingy about the vinegar dipping sauce that has a few julienne of ginger? They don’t taste any good to me. I am just guessing … that they are for xiao lung baos … that right?

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We wanted to order the crispy skin chicken dish — the boys love chicken done that way and especially prawn crackers that came with it. However, we were recommended the Smoked Chicken with Chinese Tea. OK, we agreed to try this out. It actually tasted just like crispy skin chicken. This is also crispy on the outside but the meat is more flavourful.

We expected better but I think the chicken was not thawed properly because the meat was not uniformly cooked. The insides is somewhat raw’er. Price? Half chicken costs $10.50 and a whole chicken costs $19. Price-wise, not too bad, right?

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Minnie’s Salad

Minnie made a very simple salad with cabbages, fruits and nuts to serve as a side dish along with her sushi. I’m not a big fan of salad but I like Minnie’s salad. It’s colourful, sweet, tangy and crunchy.

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Ingredients

  • 1 red apple
  • 2 kiwi fruit
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 bag of ready cut cabbages
  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • mixture of walnuts and pine nuts
  • 3/4 bottle Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Korean Sushi

Upon request from some of the members of the Caring Place community kitchen, Minnie agreed to show us how to make Korean Sushi, also known as Kimbab. Minnie made two types of sushi, one with seaweed on the outside like Maki Roll in Japanese sushi and another with the rice on the outside like the California Roll.

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The difference between Korean Sushi and Japanese Sushi is how the rice is flavoured. The rice for Korean Sushi is flavoured by sesame oil, sugar and salt while the Japanese one is flavoured by vinegar and sugar.

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice, seasoned with salt, sugar and sesame oil
  • Seaweed
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Crab meat
  • Picked radish
  • Spinach, blanched and seasoned with salt
  • Flying fish roe
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Toasted sesame seed
  • Avocado
  • Japanese mayonnaise

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Go Cha Dried Thin Noodle

I picked up this pack of Go Cha Dried Thin Noodle from Smart and Save in Lansdowne Mall. The noodle, Min Sin (in Cantonese) reminds me of my childhood days. Whenever I’m sick, my late grandma or my late mom will make me “Min Sin”. It is a very soft noodle and I believe its gentle to your digestive system. That’s why it’s given to sick people.

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I cant recall exactly how much this pack of noodle cost but its around $3. This pack of noodle is enough to serve my family of four.

Inside the package, you’ll find a pack of dried thin noodle, a pack of tapioca starch, a spice pack and a hot chili pack.

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Strawberry Juice with Bee Pollen

Polly shared with me a summer drink of her kids’ favourite. It’s strawberry juice sweetened with honey. It is a very refreshing drink for a hot day.

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Polly also added some Bee Pollen into the juice. Her kids would not take the Bee Pollen by itself. By adding the Bee Pollen into the juice, the kids can enjoy the benefit of Bee Pollen with their favourite drink.

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Bee Pollen is the pollen brushed from honeybee’s back leg. Plant pollen contains the male reproductive material of higher plants. It’s a source of protein which is fed to developing larvae by the bees.

Bee Pollen is a nutritional powerhouse!. It contains nearly all the nutrients required by the human body; including enzymes and all the necessary amino acids. It is especially rich in vitamin B5, B3 and B2. It also contains B-complex, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese and most importantly, photo-chemicals.

Bee Pollen is a detoxifier and it alleviates hay fever allergies, fatigue, high cholesterol, infertility, impotence, and varicose veins. Its healing properties promote recovery from sickness/surgery. Consuming enzyme-rich foods assist the body in preventing disease such as cancer and auto-immune disorders such as arthritis.

Caution: people who are allergic to pollen should NOT take Bee Pollen.

Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Blue Parrot Coffee in Graville Public Market

It’s cake meet time again. Polly and I ran out of idea of where to meet. It’s hard to find a dessert or cake place which opens in the morning. Do you know any? We would surely appreciate some recommendations.

So, we decided to revisit Granville Island again. We visited Granville Island in early March when Polly and I had our cake meet at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. This time we went to the Blue Parrot Coffee inside the Granville Public Market. This stall is located at the end of the Public Market which overlooked the Burrard Bridge and the Vancouver skyline.

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The Blue Parrot Coffee sells organic and specialty coffee and tea. They also serve gourmet sandwiches and pastry.

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Polly ordered a Tuna Sandwiches as she did not have her breakfast yet. She was too busy preparing her kids and husband’s lunches and getting them ready for school that she had no time for herself. That’s sounds like a typical mom’s morning.

The Tuna Sandwich was big and garnished with lettuce, pickled cucumber, sliced red onions and lots of tuna.

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