El Santo - Dine Out Vancouver

We love Mexican food but admittedly our exposure to the tweaked creative type of cuisine served at El Santo is somewhat limited. So I was excited to see their DOV menu and made our reservations immediately. We arrived a few minutes early but were seated right away in this packed house on Saturday evening. This is a boisterous place and it was a little difficult to carry on a conversation (it was challenging also to take photos also owing to the low lights) but we tried to soak in the excitement. This dinner was a creative mix of many individual elements combined into very good dishes. I started with the Sopa de Garbanzo which was lovely to behold. The coffee roasted carrots were a little lost ( I would love to have tried a few on the side) but the roasted beet and lime crema
Sopa de Garbanzo
and Cojita cheese contributed greatly to a wonderful dish. I loathed ruining the picture but only when all the elements were stirred together did you get the point. Marie had the Cachete de Cochino which was a rich braised pork cheek with a brilliant achiote salsa with leeks apple and onion.Very Nice!
Cachete de Cochino
My partner loves Chile Relleno, preferring the deep fried to the roasted version.This however was something completely different. Not a deconstructed dish but an inside out version of a relleno!
Chile Relleno
The poblano and panela cheese formed the centre layer with the green rice on the outside sort of like a layer cake. This was the one dish that had a bit of spice to it so I assume that jalapeno was part of the "green" with maybe tomatillo in the mix. Along with a tasty salsa, this was excellent.
Carnita de Jabali
House made torillas
For my main course I tried the Carnitas de Jabali (wild boar). A little like pulled pork but more beefy than pork, served with house made tortillas, a very good guacamole and a burnt citrus salsa that made me weak in the knees. This made for some of the most memorable tacos I have ever had and honestly, they could bottle and sell the salsa. The acid of the citrus and slight char taste set each other off brilliantly!
For  desert, I had the Charred Corn Husk Flan. To be honest, I did not pick up where the charred corn husk entered the picture. It was a very good flan with a few candied walnuts scattered about for another very nice looking presentation.
Charred Corn Husk Flan
As far as my partner is concerned, the star of the evening, were the churros. I admit that while they were just churros, they were some amazing churros. With a pot of chocolate sauce on the side, and some coarse Ancho sugar, they were the perfect desert. In fact, I got talked into getting some more to go! And if you can imagine, they never made it all the way home! Despite how busy the restaurant was, our food came out relatively quickly. We were comfortable and service was very good. With one more DOV weekend left, I very much recommend El Santo.

El Santo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rickshaw - Returning briefly to my chldhood

I have not been to the Rickshaw in literally 45 years! My parents used to bring my brother and I and we loved that they would serve us a little bowl of sesame seeds and a little bowl of soy sauce. We would dip a fork in the sauce and then in the seeds and enjoy that salty treat! My folks would always order the same thing (to the best of my recollection) and I envisioned returning all these years later and ordering the same thing yet again; Beef and Tomato Fried Rice, Chicken Chow Mein, Pineapple Sweet and Sour Spareribs and Mushroom Chop Suey. It did not quite work out that way but from the lunch specials menu  Marie and I tried Beef and Tomato on Steamed Rice and a combination of Pork Fried Rice, Chicken Chow Mein and Sweet and Sour Pork. So we covered most of those bases. The food was OK. The Beef and Tomato was quite sweet (our server told us it would be) but the tomatoes were a bit on the unripe side. The Pork Fried Rice was quite good with some crispy pork bits while the Chow Mein was just what it usually is. The pork was tender enough but with sauce poured over rather than having the pork immersed in sauce. All in all not a bad deal as lunch with tax and tips came to just under $19 for the 2 of us.
The real reason that I chose to write our first real blog post about the Rickshaw is that 45 years ago it started to open my mind to the possibilities. At 11 years old in the Fraser Valley in the 1970s our food choices were not exotic and this was my first taste of Chinese food. It was the first place that I ever tried to use chop sticks. Our parents let is drink Chinese Tea. We even had fortune cookies and thought it was a  taste of China. Since that time I have never closed my mind to new taste sensations from anywhere in the world and I am thankful for that. As we were leaving Rickshaw today, we talked with Mr Cheng. He and his wife have been running the Rickshaw since way back in the 70s. They are across the road from the old location but they carry on. I told him my story and he told me some of his. He asked how my parents are doing. I said that they are just fine!

Rickshaw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About Us

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 restaurant or something special we had made at home. Soon Marie was posting on Facebook and I was doing reviews for Zomato and our friends just assumed that all we did was eat all the time! Not far from the truth! If we can convey anything through this blog, it is that Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley offer a wealth of good food from more different cultures than you can know. If anyone is stuck in their own little food world (meat and potatoes) then they need to read this and get out more!
Neither of us are chefs but we both have a lifetime of cooking experience. I began to explore, starting with Julia Child when I was a teenager and have spent time making my own pasta from scratch, mastering risotto (well, according to my own standards), making tamales from scratch, deboning turkeys and so on, and just never steering away from a cooking challenge. I'm not trying to brag but to establish some amateur credentials for writing these reviews!
We will never trash a restaurant as we can appreciate what is involved and how difficult it can be to work in the food service world. We can also appreciate what it is to be human and have a bad day, or be cranky or tired. The rules of compassion and empathy will be followed here. But mostly we are just looking for great food! We accept the challenge of going out a couple of times a week looking for that special meal and we hope you enjoy the results!

About Us

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...