Little Star Vietnamese Cuisine (Red Deer, AB) – Revisiting for Wings, Pho, and the usual Vermicelli

After our last visit to Little Star Restaurant, we finally made it back for another visit.

I managed to get a better shot of the building exterior thanks to daylight savings time.

Little Star Vietnamese Cuisine

For interior photos, please see the previous visit.

I wanted to see how their wings compared to other places so I ordered the Spicy Wings.

Little Star Vietnamese Cuisine - Spicy Wings

The Spicy Wings arrived quickly and were plated on top of a bed of shredded lettuce with shredded carrots on the side. I wondered if the intention of the lettuce and carrots was to dress up the dish as oppose to being part of consumption. I felt bad leaving them uneaten. A wedge of lime (as opposed to lemon which isn’t found in Vietnamese cuisine) was served on the side.
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Go Fish (Vancouver, BC) – Not Chicken, right?

I heard about Go Fish from friends, but never noticed it during my trips to Granville Island. One day, using Google Map, I located the restaurant which was in the area that I never walk around.

It was a sunny afternoon when we decided to visit Go Fish. The restaurant was busy with people sitting everywhere.

Go Fish

My wife decided to order off the Go Fish Daily Specials board. She picked the Seared Tuna Tacones with wasabi mayo, ponzu, and nori. The Tacones come as 1 or 2. My wife decided to go with 2 Tacones.

Go Fish - Seared Tuna Tacones

The Seared Tuna Tacones were fresh made with slight grill marks on the tortilla. The tuna, while minimal, was delicious with just the exterior cooked. The wasabi mayo went well with the tuna and was well-balanced with the ponzu sauce. The fresh veggies helped maintain a lightness and added texture to the tacones.
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Dono Sushi (Lethbridge, AB) – Tofu French Fries. Yes, you read that right!

We found ourselves in Sourthern Alberta one weekend, visiting Lethbridge to be precise. We were hungry for lunch and naturally found ourselves gravitating to a restaurant that I haven’t visited in a few years. Dono Sushi is located on Mayor Magrath Drive, the main road in Lethbridge.

Dono Sushi is a little obscure, hidden under the Travelodge Hotel. There is parking in front which is never full.

Dono Sushi

Inside, Dono Sushi has divided booths and tables. The atmosphere is a little dark, but clean and tidy.

Dono Sushi Interior

Dono Sushi Interior 2

Dono Sushi - Decor

The Tofu French Fries caught our eyes so we decided to start with that.

Dono Sushi - Tofu French Fries

The Tofu French Fries came in 2 bowls with dipping sauce in a third, smaller bowl. The Tofu French Fries indeed lived up to its namesake and from afar, could definitely be mistaken for french fries.
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Tandoor ‘n’ Flame (Red Deer, AB) – Great Lunch Deals!

I finally made the drive down to Tandoor ‘n’ Flame in downtown Red Deer after having a request posted on The restaurant is situated in this odd s-shaped road which resulted in plenty of angled parking.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Front

I took the opportunity to walk around downtown which I think we all take for granted. The history, the architecture (it may not be Chicago or New York, but still rich in its own way), and the people are in a category of their own. No matter how beautiful and comfortable the expanding suburbs can get, they could never compare to Downtown Red Deer.

Inside, the restaurant is well-light and decorated with East Indian themed items. Immediately, you see the buffet layout stretching from one end of the restaurant to the other. The buffet area was very clean which is much appreciated as I remember entering some very dirty buffets as a kid. Here, it looked spotless despite my arrival just pass the lunch rush.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 1

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame - Buffet

I was shown to the owner, Dilbagh Singh, who was behind the bar. He greeted me warmly and I requested the lunch takeout special menu. He happily handed it to me.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 2

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 3

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame Interior 4

I decided to order the Curry Bowl which had a choice of Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Channa Masala, Aloo Curry, Chef’s Vegetarian Special, or Chef’s Non-Vegetarian Special. A bed of basmati rice was included with the curry bowl. I decided to go with the Butter Chicken. Dilbagh asked what level of spiciness would I like (mild, medium, or spicy) and I requested spicy.

Tandoor ‘n’ Flame - Butter Chicken Curry Bowl

Despite the name Curry Bowl, the dish did not come in a bowl. It came in a sizeable microwave-safe container. Like the restaurant, it was cleanly plated in the container.
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Fortune City Seafood Restaurant (Vancouver, BC) – Peking Duck for the win!

My aunt invited us to dinner after finding out that we were visiting Vancouver. She suggested Fortune City Seafood Restaurant for Peking Duck. Being one of my favorite relatives, how could I say no?

The restaurant is located on the top floor of the 1st Avenue Marketplace which also houses the T & T Supermarket.

The interior of the restaurant is not bad for a Chinese restaurant. It doesn’t look new, but certainly not dated. However, the tables were packed in like sardines. We certainly felt close to our neighbors.

We put in the order for Peking Duck right away. The second course was the Lettuce Wrap.

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant - Peking Duck

Unlike some places, the duck was not carved up infront of us. It was carved in the back and the skin was served on a large plate.
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Pelican Pier (Calgary, AB) – Not Your Typical Expected Fish and Chips

We found ourselves in the Northwest area and spotted Pelican Pier nearby. A quick glance at their menu online revealed a fish and chip joint with an attached fish market. Thinking that with a fish market attached, the food must be fresh so we headed in.

Pelican Pier

The interior of the restaurant had a seashore theme which was a nice deviation from the modern, cozy-style used by big restaurants like Cactus Club, Earl’s, etc. I thought it was neat that even the blinds had a gradient of blue.

Pelican Pier Interior

Pelican Pier Interior 2

Pelican Pier - Condiments Boat

My wife was hoping to have some raw oysters, but, unfortunately, they were only sold through the fish market and not shucked for table-side.

My wife settled for the Fish Tacos which came in a set of 3’s with a choice either fries, soup, or salad. My wife went with clam chowder as her side.

Pelican Pier - Fish Tacos

The Fish Tacos were plated with the ever popular metal rack holding them upright. They were quite reasonable with a decent size piece of fish in each taco. The fish had a panko coating which resulted in a very crispy exterior while maintaining a moist, meaty center. Textually, the Fish Tacos were great as the panko crust was very crispy while the pickled onions, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes offered up some lightness and a decent crunch. Taste-wise, it was a little bland. I imagine that some fresh salsa or spicy sauce would have elevated the dish. We were offered Tobasco Habenaro and Tobasco Smokey sauces of which I heavily relied on the latter. Still, I think the tacos would have been awesome with salsa.
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McKim Wonton Mein Saga (Vancouver, BC) – Famous Wonton Noodle Soup lives up to its Name!

We found ourselves stuck in line at the Peace Arch border one evening so by the time we got back to the Canadian side, it was late. We contacted PhoenixWright for some suggestions in the Richmond area. Top of the list was McKim Wonton Mein Saga, renowned for their Wonton Noodle Soup.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga

Once we arrived, we found only one other table occupied. It was quiet, but to be expected for a weeknight.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga Interior

My wife was hungry and ordered Beef with Gai-Lan.

McKim Wonton Mein Saga - Beef with Gai-Lan

We were served a generous portion of Beef with Gai-Lan. The beef had good caramelization thanks to the high heat used in a wok. They were likely tenderized with some sort of chemical enzyme tenderizer so each piece was soft with the slightest bounce. With plenty of sauce, they were succulent and satisfied my wife’s expectations. The gai-lan were cooked just right, maintaining just the right amount of crunch to contrast the softer leafy ends.
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Market (Calgary, AB) – Great Oysters and Delectable Duck Tacos

Market Restaurant came to my attention after appearing on Vacay’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list. The style looked refreshing and something my wife was in the mood for one Friday evening.

Situated on 17th Avenue among the many popular restaurants in the area, Market blended in well.


Inside, the atmosphere was modern with an open kitchen concept though acoustics were a bit loud due to the crowd.

Market Interior

Market Interior 2

My wife saw raw oysters on the menu and insisted on a half dozen. There were 2 options: traditional or foam and caviar. My wife decided to go with the Foam and Caviar Raw Oysters.

Market - Foam and Caviar Raw Oysters

The raw oysters came on the usual plate of ice. They were fresh with a light brininess. My wife thought the caviar and foam worked well with the oysters as they added more dimensions of flavor. She thought these were better than the past ones that she had and would suggest these over the traditional ones given the same price point.
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Burger Boy (Red Deer, AB) – Burger and Fries, Of Course!

With all the major fast food franchises around, it’s nice to see a small business fast food restaurant still around. With that in mind, I made the short haul to Burger Boy.

Burger Boy

Burger Boy is located centrally, just north of Downtown Red Deer. With ample parking in the parking lot shared with several small businesses, you can spot its sign from as far away as Antique Mall Red Deer.

Burger Boy Sign

Inside, the restaurant had a fast food atmosphere with an upfront counter, behind-the-counter menu, and a vintage McDonald’s-style seating arrangement.

Burger Boy Interior

In view of the immense menu, I stood awhile before deciding on the Moz’n Bacon Boy. Bacon was the key draw for me.

Burger Boy - Moz'n Bacon Boy

The Moz’n Bacon Boy arrived in a classic Red Robin-style red basket, a perfect medium for the atmosphere. Besides the beef patty, mozzarella cheese, and bacon, the burger included shredded lettuce, tomato slices, pickle slices, relish, and what I suspect was thousand Island sauce.
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White Spot (Calgary, AB) – Pirate Pak Day 2014

For people growing up in British Columbia, White Spot was the place to go with family and the words “Pirate Pak” brought out big smiles. Pirate Pak was the ingenious idea of Nat Bailey, founder of White Spot, as a way to cater to kids just like the McHappy Meal. Banking on these childhood memories, White Spot came up with Pirate Pak Day as a way to bring in past customers who grew up with White Spot while supporting a worthwhile charity. On Pirate Pak Day each year, White Spot serves a special version of Pirate Pak for adults (normally for kids 10 and under).

On Pirate Pak Day 2014, which was on August 13th 2014, I decided to head to one of two White Spots in Calgary. The one I went to was north end one near Barlow Trail.

White Spot

The interior of the restaurant reflected the modern cozy trend found in Earl’s, Joey’s, Moxie’s, etc. It certainly wasn’t the casual diner-ish atmosphere from my childhood.

White Spot Interior

White Spot - Pirate Pak Sign

Without even bothering to open the regular menu, I peruse the special Pirate Pak menu. There was a choice of beef and chicken burgers with different toppings. I decided to go with the Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger which was a 6 oz beef patty topped with hickory smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and Triple “O” sauce. All Pirate Paks include a soft drink (which I was oblivious to), endless fries, creamy coleslaw, a scoop of premium ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry), and the famous chocolate coin. Unfortunately, no paper crowns were provided any more.

White Spot - Pirate Pak

White Spot - Pirate Pak Closeup

The Bacon Cheddar Bigger Burger Pirate Pak arrived to my childhood memories’ delight. The colorful paper pirate ship carried the entire meal within its compartments.
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