The Cannery Seafood House on Commissioner Street, Vancouver

Updated on 12 April 2010: This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.

It’s such a shame.

It’s such a shame that such a fine restaurant like The Cannery are forced to close through no fault of theirs.

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Last week, I had a week long strategy planning session with our core project members who came from several countries. The meetings were grueling to say the least. On the last day of the meeting, it rested upon me to organize a team dinner. I love planning dinners like these and chose one of the best place one could go to for such team dinners — The Cannery.

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If you have never heard of The Cannery, you will never accidentally bump into this place. It is because it is located out of way. As a matter of fact, it is located right in the middle of the Vancouver Port.

To get to The Cannery you need to clear the port security although it is generally no fuss. They will ask where you are going and they will let you through if you just say you are going to The Cannery.

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It will feel kind of weird because located in the middle of warehouses, silos and train tracks is a restaurant very unlike what you will find elsewhere in Vancouver.

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activeness and charm. When I told them this place will close in just a few months, they said the same thing … “what a shame”. That is said even before we had started eating.

Gail was saying that they can never replace a place like this. They can’t just close this and hope to reopen it in another place with the same experience. Sha said that it will never be the same again. I agree.

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You really got to see this place for yourself. I felt it is just the perfect restaurant for just about any occasion. There are nice little corner with the view of the Burrard Inlet for a nice cozy romantic dinner. At another corner is a casual setting at the fire place.

We got ourselves a very nice corner for our group of 13 people. I could not be happier myself. 🙂

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Our waitress was a cheerful person and knows the food and drinks they serve very well. Too well, because she rattled off such a long description of the martini that most of us just did not understand what we got. Most of us had that martini “with a dash of raspberry” you see on the right.

We had a few bottles of wines to accompany the food. One of them was Syrah which they all raved about. I had the strong red wine but really, I can’t tell the difference between this vs other red wine. Our waitress offered someone in our party to taste it before they are poured for the rest of us.

Looking at the number of bottles we ordered throughout the night, I can imagine how much this is all gonna cost. Good thing I am not the one who had to expense it!

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It was very dim in the restaurant. I had to push the ISO setting to “enhanced” in order take these pictures. Even that, it came out with motion blur for some picture. But really, am glad it turn out mostly OK even with these difficult lightings.

The bread was nothing to shout about and does not wow us at all. I had tasted better … but …

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… the lobster oil with the balsamic vinegar pretty much made up for the ho-hum bread. This is produced and bottled in Vancouver and is the invention of their Executive Chef. You can actually buy them at $25 a bottle.

I had a lot of the bread with this dip.

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Their menu is laid out as “first course” and “second course” instead of the normal Appetizer and Main.

My first course is the Roasted Mussels ($16). The mussels was kind of OK — no big deal. It was served on a sizzling cast iron pan resting on an iron stand. The better part was not the mussels but the gravy and the really crispy bread.

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Here are some of the other first courses that the others in our party ordered. The Cannery’s first courses are … (more…)

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Go Fish at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf Near Granville Island, Vancouver

The best fish and chips in Vancouver is not a a place where you would stumble upon despite its close proximity to the one of top tourist destination in Vancouver, Granville Island.

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Even if you so happen to stumble upon it, you would probably not give this shack a second glance if not for the hordes of customers.

But believe it or not, this humble looking fish shack is started by no other than the same chef behind the Bin 941 Tapas Parlour. That alone explains pretty much the popularity of the food.

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Besides the food, it also had a million dollar view of the False Creek. This is certainly a gem of a place.

It is the type of place where you would recommend to tourists and you can be quite sure that they will be impressed with it. Go Fish is so Vancouver — beautiful view and good fish.

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Their prices are not too expensive considering that they include GST. Click on the image of the menu above to get a clearer view.

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Their specials are shown on the chalkboard. We wanted to just order the Scallop Sandwich but they were JUST sold out.

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You place your order at the side of the shack. There was not a line at all when we were there. We had expected a long line as that day was beautiful with the sun out. I guess it was because it was cold and windy that afternoon.

Even that, we were told that it will be 10 minutes for our order. One can just imagine how long the wait is on a busy day. They make the food only when you order it, even the fries, so that you get absolutely the best.

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For fish and chips, they had cod, salmon or halibut. Too bad they don’t have a combo of all three. They only have it either-or.

We thought we try the more expensive halibut. It is $10 for a piece of the fish and fries. Interestingly, it is served in a Dim Sum bamboo basket. It is so practical.

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The fish looked and smell great. It was piping hot too having just been taken out from the fryer. The menu mentioned that the batter is made with … (more…)

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Rodney’s Oyster House in Yaletown, Vancouver

Suanne and I went to Hamilton Street in Yaletown for our Friday dinner out. Of all places, we chose a restaurant along Hamilton St because I want to check out the “happening street” during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I read in the papers that Hamilton street will be made pedestrian only and will be THE connector between the two main party sites for the games.

It will be interesting to see how these restaurants will gear up to maximize on the biggest event ever to be hosted by Vancouver.

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We went to Rodney’s Oyster House. Frankly, we are not fans of raw oysters ourselves. I eat it but Suanne, she can’t stand the slimy texture when eaten raw.

We did not have a reservation but on hindsight, it would have been better if we had. It was because they only have one table left when we arrived just before 5PM.

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Rodney’s Oyster House has two levels of dining area. We got seated upstairs on the table that overlooks the whole of ground floor. We like that table — great for people watching and observing how the staff shucks the oysters.

Rodney’s is a noisy restaurant. It was not so loud that one could hardly keep up a conversation but it has a very noticeable din.

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The first thing they did was to bring the bread even before we got the menu and stuff. Our waiter is great. I read of reviews that Rodney’s wait staff are exceptional, playful and relaxed … they sure are. The waiters are all guys and they are exceptionally good with the ladies. LOL!

The bread was OK … a nice sort of OK. It was sourdough, we think. First thing we did was touch it.  Was it warm? No, it was not but we enjoyed it all the same.

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For drinks we had Heineken ($5.75) and Iced Tea ($3.50). I got Heineken because, you see, I am on training.

I am training to drink beer without getting flushed red all the time. Yeah, I know you people don’t think this can be trained. I’ll prove you all wrong. LOL!

I swear … my face was not as red as it used to. Don’t believe me? Suanne can attest to that.

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Rodney’s call their Happy Hours the Low Tide. Monday to Saturday 3PM to 6PM. We were there for this, otherwise a meal here could be pricey depending on what one order. I was reading this one review that has a couple spending over $90 just on 18 oysters and two bowls of soup.

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We see that a lot of people order the oysters by the platter with at least a dozen pieces, often more. We? We asked for … (more…)

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Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Robson and Thurlow, Vancouver

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I just gotta get a few more old posts out of the way before I start on the Spain series.  Suanne reminded to do it because she knows that if I don’t blog about it now, I will never get down to doing it.

This is a follow-on post from the Lets Go For Dinner post I made previously.  With the $50 dinner certificate, I invited chowtimes readers to join Suanne and I to share the famed Seafood Tower on Ice in Joe Fortes.  The plan was to get the $150 THREE-TIER Seafood Tower on Ice and have nothing else but that.

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Joe Fortes is located at the busy intersection of Robson and Thurlow.  Suanne and I decided to park all the way on Granville St (free street parking!) and walk all the way.

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That got us there a bit late.  We should have taken the Joe Fortes taxi.  LOL!  There was this bright yellow taxi parked in front of the restaurant.  I was wondering if it is just for show or if it is an actually running taxi operated by the restaurant.

There were five of us who went to Joe Fortes.  Jenny (My Secret Eden), Ricky and Anita joined us.

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Some of you who are well versed with Vancouver’s history would have heard of  Joe Fortes and his contribution to the city (see above).  There is a Joe Fortes drinking fountain memorial at the West End’s Alexandra Park.

Now, lets get this clear … Joe Fortes did NOT open nor owned this restaurant.  The restaurant just adopted his name.  Now you know.

To me, Joe Fortes is a touristy restaurant.  I can see lots of tourists eating here.

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I had always heard that there are two levels in Joe Fortes.  Rumour has it that if you dressed nicely and formally, you get seated upstairs.  If you dress in jeans, you are banished to the busy ground floor.  To my dismay when we got there, our guests were already seated at the ground floor … not just any table at the ground floor but the WORST table.  It was located just at the entrance to the kitchen.

So I had to tell our waiter that I simply cannot enjoy my meal with people rushing behind me every five minutes.  They promptly moved us … UPSTAIRS and the best table upstairs too!  We had nice bright spot at the corner with a sweeping view of the restaurant.  We were quite pleased.

Anyway, the rumour about Joe Fortes seating customers based on how they dressed is not true because we were casually dressed in jeans and Ts.  Many customers upstairs are similarly attired.

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Service was top notch … very polite and cheerful.  The waiters were all decked in short white jacket.  Table setting was nice and formal.  Things were looking up and I was eagerly anticipating the seafood feast.

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Then they gave us warm wet towels.  I can’t remember now if they gave this to us at the start or at the end of the dinner.  But anyway, I like it.

However, one thing I want to ask all of you for your opinion.  You see, when I get this in a dinner with the family, I would take it and wipe my FACE.  Ohhhh … it’s so refreshing doing that.  However, with friends I just used that to wipe my hands, lest people think I am a hobo (not that I am not one … LOL!).

Is it bad etiquette to wipe the face?  Would you use it to wipe your face … have you?

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I did not even bother to look at the menu.  I just told them we’re there for the Joe’s Seafood Tower on Ice … and emphasizing on THREE TIER!

Our waiter jokingly told us that if we order this he will refuse to allow us to order anything else.  The way he said it was convincing us that we had made the right order.

Joe’s Seafood Tower on Ice are available in 1-tier ($49), 2-tiers ($99) and 3-tiers ($145).

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Bread was served with soft butter.  No complains … good bread.

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And there it is … the Joe’s Seafood Tower on Ice.  At a glance, it was a sight to behold.  It looked so busy with so many goodies in it all at once that you don’t know what you are looking at.  Needless to say, everyone was delighted to see it.

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We took lots of pictures … standing up.  That’s the only way to take the pictures of this towering presentation.

However to my dismay, … (more…)

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Seattle: The Crab Pot

After a nice nap on board the Argosy Cruise, I was all ready for our first real meal. Top on our list for a meal at the Seattle Waterfront is the Crab Pot. This is quite unlike any Seafood restaurant that we had ever been before … and certainly a meal that is unforgettable.

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The Crab Pot is located on Pier 57 … just a stone throw away from the Argosy Cruise and the Seattle Aquarium. Anyway, Pier whatever, if it’s on the waterfront, you will be able to find it. The Waterfront is not a long stretch … almost all the main attractions are located on a 1/2 mile stretch or so.

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It was almost 2PM by the time we got to Crab Pot. I thought that it will be a great time to go for lunch expecting to avoid the lunch time crowd. Bad idea. Even at 2PM we had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

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It was a really cold day, freezing cold as a matter of fact. We asked to be seated inside but they told us it will be quite a wait. Being hungry and not wanting to waste any more time waiting we took the tables outside. It was quite OK. It was not that it’s outdoors but it certainly is not as warm as inside. [I thought Suanne certainly looked very hungry and cold in this picture! LOL!]

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The Crab Pot has a very extensive menu which includes steak, burgers, chicken and of course seafood. But the Crab Pot is known as the home of the famous Seafest. There are four choices of the Seafest. They are charged by the person. The cheapest is $15 per person and ranges up to $33 per person. My advice is to get the most expensive meal you can afford — it is worth every cent.

After doing a few calculation, we decided that we can afford “The Westport” which costs $22.

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First came one of the best bread we ever had … and no, it’s not because we are hungry and cold. They are really nice … warm and crusty sourdough bread. It was so nice, we asked for more.

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Herein is the fun and best part of eating in the Crab Pot. First they lay a large piece of paper over the table. Then they gave each of us a wooden block, wooden mallet and a bib with a large red crab. Oh yeah … no plates, no forks and knives … we all eat with our hands.

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(more…)

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