Seattle: Ivar’s Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowl

Ivar’s appears to be steeped in history in Seattle. For one, we have heard that Ivar’s had been sponsoring the Seattle’s 4th of July fireworks display for over 40 years without fail. Since even before World War II, Ivar had been known for their award winning fish-and-chips in Seattle’s waterfront.

We had some time after the Aquarium before we get on the harbor cruise and decided that we go get a little something to eat. We did not want to take a full meal for sure because we had planned for a seafood lunch. So, we headed to the Ivar’s Fish Bar.


I find it unique that Ivar had food outlets to cater for all people. For instance, they have 25 seafood bars like these ones above which is largely a takeout place. They also have fast food like outlets peppered all over the city. Morever, they also have very established full service restaurants like Acres of Clams, the Salmon House and Mukilteo Landing.

On a previous visit to Seattle we had visited another Ivar’s Seafood Bar and blogged about it here.


We decided to get one of their award winning chowder. I remembered very clearly how much we enjoyed the Boudin’s chowder in Sourdough bowl and wanted to see how Ivar’s line up to it. Frankly, at the risk of offending Seattlelites (that’s what you call Seattle folks, right?) I must say that SF’s Boudin wins hands down — Ivar’s sourdough bread is so bad, we did not even finish it.


The Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowl costs $6.29. The bread bowl is extremely dry and does taste stale. We were wondering if they had served us yesterday’s leftover bread. Moreover, the bowl was so badly formed that the chowders flowed over the top and made quite a mess. It actually looked quite gross … we were quite disappointed.

Maybe it’s the hour of the day. It was still early and maybe they did not have a fresh supply of bread. I can’t believe that for a place with the reputation like Ivar, we ended with food like this.

Seattle: Breakfast at Comfort Inn and Suites

We stayed in the Comfort Inn and Suites along Aurora Ave N. It is just about 10 minutes drive to downtown Seattle. We have been staying around that area each time we go to Seattle because of the proximity to Seattle and more importantly, the room rates are not sky high.

The rooms were very comfortable and clean. We actually have a great room. We, and Suanne in particular, just can’t stand second hand smoke. That’s why the first thing we do when we open the room door is to have a whiff of the air. This one is good. It seems like the hotel had just recently refurbished.


For the first day, we decided to try the free breakfast in the hotel. We like this one because they have a decent breakfast area with proper tables and chairs. Some of the hotels I had been to forces you to carry the breakfast to your room to eat.


The coffee and the orange juice sucks — it just tastes awful. There are hard boiled eggs which we enjoy. Oh BTW, I remember my mum forbade me to take “day-old hard boiled eggs” when I was young. For those of you who know … you tell us the reason behind this. LOL!


About the only other thing I find edible is the waffle … we make it fresh. Nanzaro is an expert in this and I can see he was itching to teach everyone who is not sure how to use the waffle maker. The bagel was dry and hard. I don’t know how Suanne likes it so much.


After this one breakfast, we decided to eat out for breakfast even if it means McDonalds.

Seattle: Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery in Burlington

Right in front of the Popeyes Chicken, sharing the same building is an ice-cream store called the Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery. “Treatery” — is that even a word? We thought it was a real nice word and decided to give ourselves a treat after the Fried Chicken lunch.


Maggie Moo’s ice-creams are freshly made in store. Since our first trip there, we had been there three times already. We simply love their super rich ice-cream and especially their prices.

You can have the ice-cream in any way you want. You could order one of their creations which they call “Fresh Escape”. We tried that (sorry no pictures) and they were simply awesome. Selecting from one of their dozen or so choices were bewildering to say the least. But it will cost you something like $6 or so.

Alternatively, you could go the traditional route of ordering a base flavor and then select one of their many mix-ins. However, the cheapest alternative is to just choose a wafer cone and a couple of ice-cream flavours.


We learned that if you just select a chocolate coated wafer bowl and then two large scoops of ice-cream, it will cost just slightly over two bucks. It’s a very nice dessert after the fried chicken lunch.

Believe it or not, but we had never been to any ice-cream places in Vancouver before. There is one place we want to check out sometime this spring … Vivo’s. Do you know of any such ice-cream places in Vancouver, or Richmond?

Seattle: Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in Burlington

Oh shoot!

I felt so pressured to keep up blogging on this Seattle series. My memory on this trip is somewhat fading. I had been looking at the screen for the past 5 minutes just thinking of what to share. Sigh … and some of you just gotta say you look forward to this series. Pressure, pressure, pressure! LOL!

We left Richmond kind of late … in the late morning. By the time we got over the border, it was already noon. We drove on and decided to make a stop at Burlington for a quick lunch in a fast food joint. We did not care about what it is except that it should be something we do not have in Canada.


As we drove along the shopping row on S Burlington Blvd looking for a fast food joint we chanced upon the distinctive yellow and red Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits restaurant. Popeyes was one of the places we had on our shortlist of restaurants.

One would have thought that in a place called Popeyes, you would have expected that there will be Popeye (the Sailorman) images all over the restaurant. Nope, there was none at all. Strange.

Anyway, Popeyes is one of the biggest chicken fast food outlets in the US. There is none in Vancouver.


We ordered the 8 pieces Spicy Chicken. It seems like their flagship product just like the Big Mac is to McD’s. It came with some “biscuits”. I still thinks that biscuits means cookies. At least where I grew up, biscuits IS cookies. These US-style “biscuits” should just be simply called bread, or scones.

Anyway, the biscuits were flaky but too dry for my liking. If only I have hot chocolate, I’ll dunk it in. I took a bite and decided I had enough.


Despite being called Spicy Chicken, it is quite mild. We like the crispy skin a lot and the fact that it was not all too greasy Continue reading

Yakko Sushi in Burnaby

After the Sun Run, we decided to go for sushi. I knew the boys would have loved it and planned to go to the Sushi Garden located along Kingsway across the street from Metrotown. However, the very popular Sushi Garden was closed. Dashed!


So we walked a few doors away and went instead to a smaller Sushi restaurant. It is called Yakko Sushi (located on 4689 Kingsway). There a quite a few sushi restaurants in this stretch of Kingsway … at least four that I can think of.


I have learned to like Kikkoman soya sauce which is sweet. At Yakko they serve Yamasa soya sauce. I don’t quite like this Yamasa brand. It had a stronger intense taste and a bit too salty for me. Not sure about you but I use the soya sauce to flavor the rice.

Oh, what do you think of the practice of mixing wasabi with soya sauce? I see a lot of people do that but I find that taste strange.


We opted to get one of their Party Trays. Their Party Tray H costs $27.00 which was just enough for the four of us. Continue reading

Angel Cake House in Vancouver

Last Saturday morning, we had to go downtown to pickup the Vancouver Sun Run package. So, we decided that we should just go out for breakfast for a change … and to Vancouver, for a change too. I know, we had been eating out a lot within Richmond.

So, we ended up at Fraser and E 44th. Suanne and I had stumbled upon the the Angel Cake House once before and so this is our second visit.


You can’t really find many other places that can beat the Angel Cake House for value. Here, you can get a hearty Chinese breakfast for under $5 with drinks included. Parking is quite plentiful along the street but it was early morning when we were there when traffic is light … especially for a Saturday morning.


Suanne opted for the so-called “Western Breakfast” selection. For $4.95, you could select 2 items from the section. For the first item, Suanne had the French Toast and Shrimp and Mushroom Omelette. The French Toast were two thick sandwiches with Kaya (coconut jam) in between.

The omelette had a generous helping of shrimps. The mushrooms complimented the shrimps well … absolutely great with soya sauce. The only problem with soya sauce is that it is horrendous for the French Toast — we have to be extra careful not to “contaminate” the toast.

That above is considered ONE item …


For the SECOND item, Suanne chose the vermicelli in soup with shredded pork and some pickled thingy. Continue reading

Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.

Updated 4 June 2009: Replaced by Chloe Cafe (Vietnamese).

For this cake meet, we had Angie joined Polly and me. Since Angie lives in West Vancouver, we try to meet in Vancouver. We decided to meet at Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.


Italia Deli & Cafe is family owned and operated since 2004.


This is a small cafe with about 5 tables and few high seat overlooking the street. There are a few chairs outside the cafe, good for warmer weather. There are also some sofas at the inner side of the cafe with a large TV. It will be great for nights with game telecast. I like the nostalgic black and white photos of old movies stars (I presumed Italian) which decorated the wall.

Angie was late that morning, so Polly and I started off with some coffees and sweet treats.


Polly had a small Coffee Mocha for $2.50 while I just ordered regular coffee. Continue reading

Go Go Tea Cafe in Richmond

This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon; updated on 15th June 2010.

The four of us, we don’t normally go to Bubble Tea Houses. It is not that we don’t like Bubble Tea. As a matter of fact, our boys absolutely like it but they told us they will not be caught dead in a Bubble Tea House. I think they are associating it with places where girls hangout … LOL!


We would not had gone in if not for the fact that we have absolutely no idea where to go. You know, it was one of those days when we needed some place to blog about but simply cannot think of one … until we drove past the Cosmos Plaza on Garden City and McKim (in Richmond that is). That is when Suanne said that Gogo Tea Cafe had at sometime ran commercials on the TV.


It is located a floor above the street level. Almost all restaurants in Richmond simply had no views at all and is dark. Well, the view here was not that great but at least it had a lot of light here. It was still winter when we visited Gogo Tea. When spring comes round, there will be more color.

Talking about spring, I just can’t get enough of spring … it is simply the best season of the year for me. It does cheer me up with the longer days. Even driving to work is interesting observing how there are more colors every day.


Gogo Tea is bright … with ceiling to wall windows and white furnishings. On a bright day it could be blinding. Oh yeah, it is a youngster hangout alright but there are a couple of families there too.


Milk Teas are Gogo Tea’s specialties. Ordered as an individual items, the Milk Teas are $4 and above. However, if you order from their lunch menu, you just need to add $1 for regular milk tea and an additional 50 cents if you want pearls (or coconut jelly, pudding or grass jelly) too.

We love the milk teas. They are absolutely fabulous and I am sure you will like them too. They are uniquely served in really tall glasses. They are so tall that we can’t even drink from the straws without taking it off below the table level to reach the straws!

I had the Gogo Milk Tea which came with coffee flavoured chewy jelly and whipped cream. Suanne had the Matcha Milk Tea which was more green tea and not at all sweet. Arkensen had the Chocolate Milk Tea and Nanzaro the Mocha flavoured one.

The best among all had to be the Gogo Milk Tea … it’s rich, creamy, chewy, sweet. They have a huge milk tea selection and if you don’t know what to order, then go for the Gogo Milk Tea. You won’t be disappointed.


For food, Arkensen ordered the Deep Fried Pork Chop on Rice which costs $7.25. Continue reading

Mak’s Noodle Restaurant in Richmond

Updated: 2nd Jan 2015; This restaurant is now called Max Noodle House according to

I know I am soooo behind in my blogs but I just realized how behind I was. Well, we went Mak’s in January and it is until now I got down to blogging about it. Frankly, I find so little time to do the things I enjoy these days. But anyway, I only have this entry and tomorrow’s to go before I get started on the Seattle Spring Break series.

For today, it’s about Mak’s Noodle Restaurant. We only got to know about Mak’s when Erick commented that they have one of the best wonton noodles in Richmond. Erick is from Seattle and he comes over to Richmond every now and then just for food! So, I guess being a true-blue foodie, he knows where the great food is.


We would not have found Mak’s on our own. It is sort of tucked deep in a strip mall along Alexandra Rd, the “eat street” of Richmond. The address if you are interested is 1200-8580 Alexandra Road. It is a Cantonese restaurant and their specialty is wonton noodles.


Table condiments are the all important chili oil (or oil chili?) for wonton noodles. As important as the wonton and noodle, the chili oil is just as indispensable.

There are vinegar too but I had never understood the use of vinegar here. I mean, what do you use that with?


Nanzaro insisted in making his own order. As long as he does not order Fried Rice again, we just let him decide on his own and stay out of commenting on his poor choice. He ordered the Lo-Mein with Shredded Pork in Spicy Brown Sauce. Six bucks … hmmm … Continue reading

Da Hong Yun Shanghai Restaurant in Richmond

Update 6 June 09; this restaurant had been replaced by Shanghai JJ Restaurant.

Have any of you ever been to this Shanghainese restaurant right across No 3 Road from the Richmond Centre Mall? For some reason, they had been changing hands several times over the years. I am not sure why because they seem to do very well as evidenced by how packed it is all the time.


It is now called Da Hong Yun but I remember they used to be called Shanghai Wind and at another time it was called Chen’s. We went there because we were enticed by the Live Crab banner that they put up outside.


The restaurant is smallish with something like 10 tables at the max. It’s so cramped that it was hard to move around once all the tables were filled. Decor wise, there is nothing much to it (why they even have Chinese New Year decorations still hanging in the store even today).

This is a very traditional Chinese restaurant which means that they cater to mainly Chinese customers. It’s because there is only one waitress who could barely managed to communicate in English. So ordering here was quite difficult for us.


Despite the language difficulty, we managed quite well ordering the Duck with Fried Gluten. Continue reading