Mixxbao Taiwanese Bao Eatery

Mixxbao was born out of a love for the Taiwanese Night markets. It is about a mix of culture and the mix of talents of the people that brought this place to life.
We happen to love Taiwanese food even though we haven't been to a Taiwanese night market yet. We stopped by this bright and airy little cafe on Saturday to try their gua bao and some wontons.
We ordered a couple of combos which gave us a chance to try a cross-section of their menu. Their menu is fairly simple as in addition to baos and wontons, they offer a couple of noodle dishes, a daily soup, a couple of focaccia and some house-made desserts. The first combo was a Pork Bao and Wonton Soup. The wontons in the soup and in the next combo are some of the best we have ever had. They were very tender and meaty with perfect noodle wrapping. The greens were just barely cooked (perfect) and tasty. The bao was a tender steamed bun and tasty stewed pork and fixings including peanut powder and sauerkraut. Very nice!
The second combo was Chili Wontons and a Chicken Bao. There was a surprisingly generous piece of chicken in this bao which was tender and crispy. The bao also had lettuce, tomato, and cucumber giving it a chicken sandwich feel but on that lovely, airy steamed bun!
Partway through our meal, management served complimentary Americanos to everyone, in connection with their grand opening month. 
A very pleasant little cafe (there is probably seating for 20 to 24 customers) with friendly people and tasty food. Not too expensive as the combos start at $12 or so.I'm not sure you could ask much more. If I lived nearby, I would probably be here often. 
For what our opinion is worth, we give Mixxbao 4 out of 5.
Mixxbao Taiwanese Bao Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stan's Bar-B-Q - Issaquah

Sunday ( a week or two ago), I took Marie to see the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls. If you have never been, it is very accessible and worth the short trek from Seattle. You can hike down to the bottom for a better look but that is a walk that is not for the faint of heart. For God's sake don't go at the height of tourist season, unless you are very patient.
After learning a bit about clean hydroelectric power and nosing around the beautiful adjacent inn, we started back to Seattle. We stopped in Issaquah at a joint called Stan's Bar-B-Q that has been on my list for a long time.
This is advertised as Kansas City style BBQ, where Stan spent his youth back yard barbequing with his Dad.
The way to go at a barbeque joint always seems to be a little of everything on a family platter. I can't quite remember the price but I think that it was about $35 USD for the platter for 2 or 3. It was loaded up with brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausages and 2 sides. For our sides we chose potato salad and baked beans, both of which were excellent.
Also included were a couple of buns (or you could have bread) so you could assemble a sandwich if you cared to. The barbeque sauce (also on the side ) was also tremendous. I still cannot quite put my finger on the standout flavour. It is a hot sauce that is familiar enough with cumin and smoke but I could not tell you what it was.
Underneath everything else on the platter, I found the sausages. These were moist and tasty and we had some choices here. We chose a bratwurst and a chicken sausage. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a dryness issue with the rest of the platter. The brisket was dry as it often seems to be, even at some very good barbeque joints. Tasty and with good bark but a little dry. The ribs and even the pulled pork likewise were fine when we added sauce but tended towards the dry side.
By the way, if you are a Kansas City Chiefs fan, then this is your place. There happened to be a game on and the entire local cheering squad seemed to be in attendance and enthusiastic.
We like this place a lot. It is homey, comfortable, friendly and full of cool memorabilia. Unfortunately, the barbeque was not the best we have ever had.
For what it's worth, we give Stan's BBQ 3 out of 5. If you're a Chiefs fan, make it 4 out of 5.
Stan's Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vanfoodster's Tasting Plates Gastown and Chinatown - Part Two

When last we left our hero at the end of Part One, he was leaving Trees Cheesecake and Organic Coffee in Gastown, struggling to metabolize an unusual intake of sugar over the last hour or so. And he was not finished yet!
And switching back to the less annoying first-person narrative, I made my way next to the Praguery. Known for their chimney cakes and similarly wound and baked cones, I was happy to see that they were branching into a menu that included some savoury items as well.
Still, it is very interesting to watch them wind the dough around wooden spools and bake them for sweet or savoury purposes.
On the savoury menu was pulled pork.  I don't think that this is the product of a big smoker, but slow-roasted or braised, it was moist and tasty just the same. Served with some choices, I had the house-made barbeque sauce and house-made sauerkraut. Colour me impressed with the amount they do themselves and not relying on outside suppliers! Accompanying it was savoury chimney cake with cheese! What an excellent idea!
The most generous of the places I visited this evening, they also served a dessert. I had their Signature Lemon Cone which might be the most spectacular item I sampled all evening! Never mind the wonderful chimney cone and soft serve vanilla ice cream, it was topped with a lemon sauce which sealed the deal. Excellent!
A typical Gastown space, there are some stools and a side and front counter to sit at with the Gastown brick and old glass which makes the place charming. Nice people too!
Finally came Wara Thai back on main Street and thank goodness they did not serve us dessert!
I shared my time at Wara Thai Eatery with two new friends whom I had noted on the Tasting Plates tour and who happened to be walking along the same route. It was nice to meet Sharon (@Sharonfoodwithyou) and her dining companion (didn't want to jump to conclusions as our conversation didn't get quite that far). I think we all enjoyed what Wara Thai presented. A tasty basil chicken sauce on Spaghetti Bites, Thai Salad Cups (I can always get behind the occasional vegetable) and Toon Tong (essentially deep-fried wontons but as purses.) which were delicious and crispy.
The dining room was quiet this Wednesday evening other than the tour folks but it is a very nice comfortable room. They have a typical Thai menu with some lunch specials that would definitely be worth returning for!
I also met and had a nice conversation with Tiffany (@tiff_lovesearth) earlier in the evening at Trees.  She and her Mother are key components in the recently opened Mixxbao Taiwanese Fusion and I hope to see them when Marie and I finally get there to try out their bill of fare.
Thanks again Vanfoodster for an enjoyable evening!
The Praguery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vanfoodster's Tasting Plates Gastown and Chinatown - Part One

So much dessert! I have never been so full after a Vanfoodster Tasting Plates event and the number of desserts had me rushing to check my blood sugar level! (Just kidding. My blood sugar is good. It might not be if I ate that much dessert all the time though!). It was just a touch on the chilly side but the rain held off on Wednesday evening which was good as all the stops on the tour were within easy walking distance. We met up and got our passports at Wara Thai in Chinatown but I started my journey at Buttermere Patisserie Cafe.
It's hard to pick a favorite from the 5 places that we visited this evening but let's just say that I returned to Buttermere to buy a treat to take home for Marie (she had to work)!
BMPC is a comfortable and attractive little place on Main Street where you can linger over a coffee and pastry. I enjoyed everything in our little sample box but it was the Korean Citrus Cheesecake Tart that left me panting. Light and citrusy, this was a delectable bite.
There isn't an endless variety of pastries here but there is something for everyone, I am sure.
I'll be bringing Marie back to enjoy the ambiance and friendly folks! See? This is why we do the Tasting Plates thing! No time to linger too long though. There were 4 more places to visit.
Moltaqua Restaurant was my next stop. Right on Hastings near Abbott, this is a place with an interior that might fool you into thinking that you were in Morrocco. It even included a fez wearing waiter!
At this point, I have to tell you that I am impressed with my Huawei phone camera as this restaurant was dark. I had to use my flashlight to tell on food sample from the next but my camera picked it up.
All the tastes provided were vegan and although small were very tasty. I love Morrocan food and will be back here in the future also. A Lentil stew with onion jam, Split pea soup with cumin, White bean stew, and Roasted eggplant pepper stew were all comforting and warming on this chilly evening.
Next came Trees Cheesecake and Organic Coffee.
Located on Water Street not too far from Waterfront Station, this is a busy little place and the folks here know something about cheesecake.
They provided us with a couple of tastes both of which were memorable. Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and New York Style. As someone who has made a few New York Style Cheesecakes, I can tell you that getting the texture right can be a challenge. This version was creamy with just a hint of citrus and wonderful. The pumpkin spice was not overwhelming as some seasonal coffee drinks tend to be. Very nice!
Another pleasant room, where one could be tempted to linger. It nicely lively but not too noisy to carry on a conversation! The folks here were pleasant and welcoming! Stay tuned for part two!

| butter • mere | patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tobiko Sushi - Fleetwood

No big back story here. We just felt like sushi without driving too far. There are two locations of Tobiko so they must be doing something right (of course, there used to be three so...?) This one is at Fraser Hwy and 160th.
We waltzed in on Sunday just after noon and were seated right away. The place was quiet while we were there except for a couple of take out orders. There were lots of staff so they must have been anticipating being busier as the day went on.
We tried the Tempura Prawns which were crispy and sweet. Nicely done and tasty with a tempura dipping sauce.
The Chicken Karaage was the highlight of our day. Tasty and crisp but very tender. With a spicy mayo, this was a generous portion for $7.95.
Marie had the Cali / Dynamite Combo which was exactly what you would expect. For $8.50 this seemed like a decent value.
I had the Sushi Box at $11.95 which came with 4 pieces of nigiri, California roll, maki and miso soup. The fish was clean and tasty although I found the salmon to be a bit on the paper-thin side. Also, I knew that the Kani would not be real but I kind of wish that they had tried a little harder to fool me. The maki was also fine but a few pieces wanted to fall apart. No big crises. 
I find the nigiri option situation a little bleak at Tobiko. Combos with 12 pieces jump up to $20. There is no mid-range option to speak of. Of course, you can also order by the piece.
If you do order by the piece pay attention to what you are saying. I asked for one piece of Tamago (why would I do that? ) when what I meant was Massago (sigh). The Tamago was decent.
Homey and warm enough with pictures of customers on the walls, everyone was friendly. No complaints to speak of but we weren't blown away either.
For what it's worth, We give Tobiko#1 3 out of 5.
Tobiko Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Manilla Sunset - Tukwila

Southcentre Mall in Tukwila has become a bit of a gathering place for the Filipino community from places far and wide. The grocery store Seafood City is essentially a Filipino / Asian store where products are available from the home country, many of which are rare over here including in the Vancouver area. Additionally, there are several fast and not so fast food outlets and a bakery, nested around the grocery store including the famous Jolli Bee where we often see line ups of more than 40 people. Now the overflow has reached across the street to Manila Sunset, a restaurant located in an adjacent strip mall, which we noticed on our most recent visit to the area.
Casual but comfortable with a menu of Filipino favourites, we decided to give it a try.
We started by trying Tokwat Baboy which is essentially deep-fried tofu and some pork cuts in a soy sauce and vinegar type marinade. It was quite good with the tofu being crispy and a generous amount of pork.
Next up was their Fresh Lumpia. Most folks are probably more familiar with the deep-fried version but I always enjoy the un-fried with a tasty vegetable filling, sweetish garlic sauce, and peanuts. They did well with this.
Marie enjoyed the Dinuguan. This is basically a pork stew with vinegar and blood in the gravy. Personally, it is not my favorite thing. I find that the gravy tends to be a bit organy/irony tasting. I guess that it's a bit of an acquired taste.
I had the Beef Tapa served with rice and soup. To be honest (and why wouldn't I be) the first few pieces of this thinly sliced and char-grilled beef was quite tough. Other pieces were quite tender. I'm not sure how that happens. With an over-easy egg on top, I was content overall with this dish.
Served also with soup, this is a slightly sour (tamarind) concoction called Sinigang. It had a few greens and tomatoes and was quite tasty.
Relatively inexpensive and comfortable enough, we like Manilla Sunset. There had been a little more attention paid to the decor than with many Filipino places that we have visited. The service was efficient and friendly enough.
For what it's worth, we give Manila Sunset 3 out of 5.
Manila Sunset 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...