Biscuit Bitch - Trailer Park to Table in Seattle

Almost everything on the menu here has the word 'bitch' in it. If you are uncomfortable with such salty language, I suggest you get over it as it will be worth your while (and really, it is kind of fun to say!).
Located in one of the dicier areas of Seattle at the corner of 3rd and Cherry. I would not go late at night but fortunately, they are only open until the early afternoon. For that matter, they have 3 other locations. The line up though, was out the door all the time we were there, so I would say that the location is not a problem for most people!
It's not like a ridiculously fast-moving line but they do ok. The music is thumping and the environs, patrons and staff are all entertaining so the wait is not painful.
We were rewarded for our patience with an "Easy Bitch". A wonderful house-made biscuit, 2 runny beautiful eggs over easy and country sausage gravy that you could pour on anything! I know it's not colourful but this carb and fat fest is a champions way to start the day. From there all the other 'bitches' are variations on the theme. You can have them with various meats, cheese or grits or with sweet toppings. You can even have them vegetarian or gluten-free. It's a simple menu but delicious!
We also had Garlic Cheese Grits as a side (normally right on top of your biscuit) with was tasty and rich and why don't we eat more grits in Canada?
They also do coffees here (it is Seattle, after all). We shared a Macchiato (you'll have to take my word for it) which we enjoyed.
Noisy, fun, inexpensive and delicious, we loved this place!
For what it's worth, we give Biscuit Bitch 4 1/2 out of 5.
Biscuit Bitch, Pioneer Square Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bubble World- Walnut Grove

As you get further out the valley, your choices for good Asian food decrease. Yes, there are places here and there but the plentiful access to Laksa, Ramen, Cantonese BBQ etc., becomes a little more tenuous. One of the further out vestiges is Bubble World in Walnut Grove. Oh, I know that we're not talking about Canada's greatest Chinese restaurant. We're just talking about a place that serves up decent Taiwanese food at a good price and that makes us happy.
Located in a strip mall, like everything in Walnut Grove, they do a lot of take out and "dine in or take out?" is the first question as you walk in the door.
We have visited a few Bubble World locations over the years and I always notice that the menu changes with new items from time to time. Not surprisingly, Bao has been recently added. It's not actually called bao on their menu, but Taiwanese Bun. Tasty enough with pork belly as the filling, we enjoyed this at about $6.
We always fall for the deep-fried stuff. This squid was tender enough and the chilis and garlic were perfect. Your choice is to imbibe in the chilis more or less but be prepared!
Marie likes their Stir-Fried Udon with Seafood. A nice variety of seafood most of which is fish balls and imitation crab but it's tasty just the same. Personally, I could do without the one frozen green mussel. We have local mussels, don't we?
I had the Curry Beef Brisket. For an extra $2.5 you can make it a combo with rice and a couple of side dishes. What appears in the photo to be kimchi is not although it is radish. The other side was tofu and was decent. The curry had a bit of bite and the beef was quite tender and tasty.
We were not overly awed by this version of Bubble World although the wait staff were friendly, our food arrived in short order and we were comfortable enough. There is a lot to chose from of course, including... wait for it... bubble tea.
For what it's worth, we give Bubble World 3 out of 5.
Bubble World Langley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Milk and Sugar BBQ Bar

There is never a need to go hungry at Joyce Street Station. Within a stone's throw are 8 to 10 eateries worth considering. We have been walking past Milk & Sugar BBQ and looking in the window at their BBQ case for too long.
Overcome by the desire for BBQ on rice, we decided to give them a try. Of course, they do more than BBQ on rice here. There are breakfasts, not to mention ice cream and bubble tea in many forms (thus the milk and sugar part) and even a full bar! Order at the counter and your food is delivered to you. Although I could not hear the owner at the counter and had to ask him to repeat himself, they were quick!
We had two combo plates which came to less than $25 (I can't remember). The first was BBQ pork and duck. The duck was quite good. Crispy skin and tender meat. The pork while tasty was surprisingly a little on the chewy side.
For the other combo, we chose roast pork and Hainanese chicken. The roast pork was a level up and brought us some pleasure. Tender and meaty (what else?) with a nice just crispy fatty skin. As far as Hainanese chicken, I have openly questioned the allure of this dish in this space in the past. I was never really sure what makes it such a classic for many people. At this point, I am beginning to understand. This version was silky, smooth and tender while the accompanying garlicky, salty, green 'relish' was excellent. Consider me sold!
While my interior photo of Milk and Sugar is crap, this is a noisy little place with some life. A fair bit of table space and the news on TV. If I lived here, I would be in all the time!
For what it's worth, we give Milk and Sugar BBQ 3 1/2 out of 5.
Milk & Sugar Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pampanga's Cuisine

Just half a block south on Joyce from Joyce Street Station is a little nest of three Filipino Restaurants in a row, all somewhat similar (but different) in their nature and each with their fans. How does one decide? Why not start in the middle with the intention of trying each of the other two in the future?
I soon figured out that the billing, "home of the original sisg", refers to the province of Pampanga in the Philippines and not this particular cafe. Mystery solved. Pampanga serves typical Filipino breakfasts (silogs) as well as combos (rice and one or two) with any number of favourites in a casual and friendly setting.
Marie and I each chose a combo with two and our cheque came to the ridiculously low price of $21!
These combos are not fancy. A plate of rice and two side bowls of your chosen dishes. I chose the classic Kare Kare. This is stewed oxtail with tripe in what is basically peanut sauce. This was one of the best versions that I have tasted. Get used to that phrase as everything in this humble cafe was wonderful! Meaty and peanuty are the only non-superlatives that I can think of. Served with a small side of shrimp paste to be added at your discretion. I have become somewhat enamored of the salty, funky condiment and it is spectacular on the Kare Kare. I also chose Calderetta. This is beef stew and another very accessible dish for the untrained palate. You can ask the servers what the dishes are as things are not labeled. 
Marie, being Filipina, leaned a little further in. She had Pinakbet which is essentially a vegetable dish with shrimp. There was the aptly named bitter melon along with long beans, okra, squash, and eggplant. She also chose Binagoongan which in this case was pork belly cooked with shrimp paste and coconut. The shrimp paste flavour was quite mild and the result was another meaty rich and comforting dish. We left feeling full and happy.
We had felt welcomed by patrons and staff alike. Admittedly, the arrival of a non-Filipino like myself often causes a bit of a stir. I find this odd as this wonderful food should be sought out by everyone and I should not be a novelty. This food should not be allowed to be the unintended secret of Filipino Canadians alone! 
Simple and family-oriented. Inexpensive and delicious.
For what it's worth and what they provide, we give Pampaga's Cuisine 4 out of 5 .
Pampanga's Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Holy Taco - Fleetwood

On National Taco Day, I did the responsible thing and went for tacos! This, in contrast to forgetting completely about International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept 19  ( yarrr). I had been driving past Holy Taco on occasion and finally looked at their web site to realize that they were not of the Taco Bell/Time ilk. There seemed to be a little more actual Mexican food going on. So I decided to try them out!
Located almost at 160th on Fraser Hwy, don't miss the driveway or you will find yourself in a warren of competing parking lots designed to frustrate potential shoppers and diners.
Leaning towards fast food is the order at the counter / pick up at the counter system. Food is not, however, waiting for you under heat lamps and it seems like items are assembled as you order.
So I started by trying their Ceviche. Not brain surgery as Latin food goes but certainly a large step away from Taco Bell. It was a decent-sized serving for just over $8. Not available in the white fish version that I expected, your choices are veggie or baby shrimp. The lime juice part was a little overwhelming (it is, of course, ceviche) and could have used a touch of olive oil to offset that but it was refreshing and the shrimp were actually tasty.
Tortilla Soup is also something that you don't always see in the fast-food world. The broth was chickeny and some shredded chicken and avocado were present. Unfortunately, the tortilla chips were not fried in house (or maybe just not recently). Still, not bad at just over $4.
I was a little more impressed by the Tostado. Although challenging to actually eat, this was a nice little arrangement of chicken tinga, salad, queso and sour cream. I was not unhappy with this under $4 treat and would order it again.
Finally, there were tacos. Again, these were not too bad! Smallish and not super cheap at about $2.80 each, I ordered Lengua (tongue) and Pescado (fried fish). There was a good amount of lengua for the size of the taco and it was beefy and rich. Complete with a little onion and cilantro on tasty soft corn tortillas, this was great. The fish taco too was very good if a little sparse on the protein. Not too crispy but that is my own fault for not tucking in immediately. With a nice slaw and spicy sauce, I would order this again also.
There is a selection of hot sauces and even sour cream for you to add if you need. There is a Spanish language magazine to browse which impressed me! They are friendly enough here and I think you get decent value for your money. I would return for tacos and the tostada but won't repeat on the other items. There is more to the menu that I did not try including churros!
For what it's worth, we give Holy Taco 3 out of 5.
Holy Taco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Boiling Point - Guildford

Fall has arrived and we are down for soup. Of all the soups available on the Vancouver food scene, we are ramen fanatics of course but we have a love for pho and chowders and bisques and all varieties of broths and pottages too numerous to mention, representing probably every cuisine on earth. Despite that, Marie and I don't seem to have a tremendous track record with another Vancouver staple, hot pot. Maybe back to basics are in order.
The type of hot pot served at Boiling Point is of the no-nonsense, everything arrives in your bowl type, and the server lights a burner allowing your soup to happily bubble away. Purists would probably be aghast that we would allow others to assemble and cook our hot pot but initially, it seemed like a good idea to us.
Most lunch hot pots are within the $15 to $19 range and are available with add ons and sides as a combo. We each tried a side at $5. First up was Spicy Cumin Lamb which was tender and tasty and had just a bit of a spicy bite. The meat did not seem to have any kind of grill treatment which might have perked things up a bit. 
Next up was Garlic Pork Belly looking remarkably like bacon without the crispy. Again tasty due to the sauce. The sauces available are definitely a strong point at BP. Texturally both of these appetizers left a little to be desired.
I had the Tonkatsu Miso for my hot pot. It was a nice mix of unimpressive chasu (this is not a ramen shop), a couple of shrimp and tasty broth. The highlight for me was tofu skin and a nice selection of mushrooms. Like all of their hot pots, you can choose your level of spicy. Served with a bowl of rice (or noodles), I rescued my shrimp from the broth by moving them to the rice. It seemed like this was probably what was intended for all the ingredients to prevent us from burning our mouths!
Marie had the House Special which also featured quite a variety of ingredients. We didn't expect a lot of any one thing but in total, there was a lot of food in both of these pots! Read the list of ingredients on the menu carefully. If you are not a big fan of pork intestines know that a little goes a long way. We had leftovers that we took home but reheating the soup with the intestines seemed to increase the flavor considerably.
Each hot pot comes with the previously mentioned rice and complimentary tea (at least at lunchtime). If you can figure it out, the tea glass gives the history of BP. 
Its a nice little restaurant with a bunch of tables for two and a few places for larger groups. They seemed to remain busy all of the time we were there (Sunday afternoon). The staff were friendly enough but maybe a little run off their feet. The most important thing is that they seemed sure-handed carrying the hot soup and burners.
For what its worth, we give Boiling Point 2 1/2 out of 5 and next time will try a more traditional hot pot joint.

Boiling Point Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taj Indian Cuisine and Sweets

Recently we lost longtime Aldergrove restaurant, Manisha Sweets, dropping our local count to one Indian restaurant (Oh, I know every take out pizza place also sells butter chicken) namely the recently opened and frankly pretty good, Aldergrove Indian Bistro. Now that number skyrockets back to two as Taj Indian Cuisine and Sweets has opened just off Fraser Highway in the middle of town.
We decided to give Taj a try about a week after their opening on a Saturday evening. To our surprise, the dining room will not be open until Oct 5. No problem! We've had Indian take out many times! 
So we ordered Chaat Papri. It came with a nice sprinkling of pomegranate. It was a bit of a homogenous mix so that the crispy flakes had lost some of their crispiness. I'm not sure if that's a symptom of take out or if that is just their recipe. It was tasty enough and I would try in their dining room.
Definitely suffering from the take out effect was the Fish Pakora. These had huge potential as they were meaty and tasty and the chutney on the side was very good. Again, they were decent even after we got them home but I would love to try them directly from the fryer to table!
Now Goat Biryani is a dish that can stand up to take out. This dish had a nice bite of heat (we ordered it that way) with a generous amount of not too bony, tasty goat. Nice!
The girls (Marie and her grandaughter) both insist on Butter Chicken. To be honest with you, I have had enough. There are too many other amazing Indian dishes to try. I am going to try making butter chicken myself (not exactly rocket surgery) to allow for ordering other things at Indian restaurants. We all agreed that this was a little too sweet. At least there was a decent amount of chicken.
Though the dining room is not yet open, it looks comfortable enough and I assume there will be something on the walls by the time they are open. Make sure that you are not seated by the washrooms! The folks here are friendly enough and should do ok in this competitive Aldergrove market (making a bit of an Aldergrove joke here!).
For what it's worth, we give Taj 3 out of 5.
Taj Indian Cuisine and Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...