The Old Spaghetti Factory - Walnut Grove

It must be more than 2 decades since I ate at an Old Spaghetti Factory. Since that time I had kind of dismissed it as not a serious Italian restaurant and sort of a lateral step from Olive Garden, which I also haven't visited in at least 2 decades. Still, I decided not to be a snob and we weren't sorry. We seem to be leaning into the comfort food these days and OSF fit the bill.
The Old Spaghetti Factory in Walnut Grove has only opened up for take out and dine in this past Thursday. We would like to start dining in again and we have confidence that the restaurants have made appropriate adjustments for the safety of staff and patrons. I do however worry that reduced capacity will lead to long waits. We have also adjusted to take out and wouldn't be unhappy with continuing to do that to some extent.
We started by ordering their Calamari with Tzatziki. Not very Italian, I know but they were tasty enough. This Greek-style version is not my favourite compared to say Taiwanese Deep Fried Squid but it was tender, not over battered and everyone loves Tzatziki.
Each meal comes with soup or salad, sourdough bread and spumoni ice cream (we didn't get our ice cream). We ordered one meal with Minestrone and one with Clam Chowder (for an extra $2.50). The soups were both quite good but a little on the miniature side. Gotta love the sourdough bread though.
Marie tried their Chicken Alfredo with Mushroom Marscapone Ravioli. I have to say that it was not too bad. It didn't seem like the portion was overly large but the pasta itself was tasty and not overcooked. There was a decent amount of chicken.
I stuck with a vegetarian option and there are quite a few. This is not the kind of thing that a vegetarian would live on but more along the lines of no meat. The menu offers a whole wheat pasta option but I'm not sure it would apply to the Manicotti. Still, the vegetarian has a few options, which is good. I enjoyed the cheesy spinach filling and the nice chew of the pasta. Never impressed by the use of curly parsley as a garnish. So not bad overall. Marie and I seem to be in the habit of shelling out about $50 for a take out meal but there is often enough for a second meal for that price. This time, I don't know if we were hungrier than usual, but there was nothing left over.
The dining room is nice enough and I could see that tables were spread out and that only every second booth was set. 
For what it's worth, we give The Old Spaghetti Factory 3 out of 5.

The Old Spaghetti Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Desi Dosa Madras Restaurant

Craving dosa but knowing full well that it will not travel well (needs to be served hot off the griddle), we none the less, placed our order at Desi Dosa Madras Restaurant on Scott Road. 
Obviously, they are open for takeout but I found that maybe half of the Indian restaurants along Scott Road are not even open for that. Anyway, the food was ready when they said it would be, so we picked up and made the trek home.

We started with Desi Combo #2 which I loved because it gave us smaller tastes of the stuff we always order at south Indian places. One idli (steamed cake of fermented rice and lentil flour), one vada (little doughnut of rice flour and urad dal) and one mini uthappam complete with sambar (a sort of lentil soup for dipping) and chutneys. There is a lot of carbs there and one each for Marie and I to share was sufficient. They were all pretty tasty and we loved the coconut chutney.

I wasn't sure what form the dosa would take. We didn't get any 2-foot packing tubes in our bags of food so clearly, they weren't rolled. They took the sensible square package shape which totally works. First was Nilagiri Veg Dosa (sticking to my vegetarian intentions), which is a mixed vegetable including potatoes and greens in a cashew cilantro sauce. Not bad but in future, I will stick to the more familiar masala and paneer types. 

For Marie we got Butter Chicken Dosa. We are calling this fusion cuisine as the north and south of India are represented here. The butter chicken was not bad and frankly, the dosa stood up pretty well although we missed the fresh off the griddle crispness. Can't be helped.
Finally, back in the vegetarian corner, we ordered Vegetable Korma. This was tasty and rich. It was vegetables in a cashew-based curry sauce. Very nice!  My one mistake was in giving the impression of being too cautious on the heat level when ordering and the result was no heat in anything! Not quite what my goal is.
The Korma came with a couple of chapatis. We also were swimming in sambar and chutneys as each dish seemed to be accompanied by them. That is no complaint!
It's a comfortable little restaurant with some nice greenery and friendly folks at least as far as I got which was to the front counter!
For what it's worth, we are giving Desi Dosa Madras 3 1/2 out of 5.

Desi Dosa Madras Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Po Kong Vegetarian Restaurant

I have lately sort of drifted away from my intention to eat more responsibly for our planet and my health. It's for sure, not something that I can blame on COVID 19. It has just been laziness and maybe a bit of greediness on my part. That drift has led me to be feeling a bit out of shape and (non COVID related) tired and lazy. I intend to right the ship again by upping my activity and eating better. 
BTW, a little depressing news (in case you need more); if you have been thinking that the one good thing about the pandemic is that since we are doing less, driving less, manufacturing less, then at least we are belching fewer greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere then you are correct. However, the drop seems to be about 8% (according to Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast) which just means we are slowing our race towards irreversible climate change and not reversing it. And of course, once we get back to normal (if we do) that 8% reduction will most certainly disappear. The time has passed when individual choices alone (like driving an electric car or eating vegetarian) could make all the difference ( I am not saying that you shouldn't make those choices). The responsibility now lands firmly on industry and government. to make real change. Since the fossil fuel industry is in the hands of science-denying greedheads, who have no intention of endangering their cash flow, we are fully screwed. Our one hope, it seems to me, is that technology may come up with a solution. If not, I would like to apologize on behalf of my short-sighted and greedy generation to the youngsters that will bear the real brunt of irreversible climate change. 
But what's to eat?
Po Kong Vegetarian Restaurant is on a stretch of Kingsway where there seems to be a nest of places that offer non-carnivorous options, near Knight Street. 

They offer dim sum until 1:30 pm and that's what we were interested in. It should be noted that they have an extensive full-day menu with combinations for larger groups. One problem is that the dim sum menu on their web site is fairly illegible. We solved this by seeking out the menu on Yelp and hoping that the selections and pricing hadn't changed too much (they hadn't).
So we phoned in our order, picked it up and drove home. I try to order these days keeping in mind that there will be travel involved and surprisingly, even the delicate items made it home, starting with Deep Fried Radish Cake. These were flaky and tasty. Rather than the 'cake' that I expected, the filling was more of a finely shredded mixture of radish, mushroom and whatever else. Not what I would call overly seasoned (some of the dishes were somewhat bland but shone when we added the accompanying sauces) but of lovely texture and we enjoyed them.
We tried their Barbecue Buns. They were on the fluffy side and not overly dense. The filling was a tasty mixture of I'm not sure what but almost certainly including bamboo shoot which lent its slightly crunchy texture.
The peanut dumplings were decent also. Not loaded with peanuts but just enough and again a mixed vegetable filling. The wrapping was maybe a bit on the thick side but not enough to be a problem.
Deep-fried Taro Dumplings is always one of our favourites. These can be quite dense at times but we were pleasantly surprised that the filling included not just the usual taro but a vegetable and mushroom mixtures lending a little needed lightness. Very nice!
Lo Hon Rice Roll was next and we always order rice roll with our dim sum. In keeping with the theme, these had what was now a familiar mixture of the enoki mushrooms etc. They came with the usual dipping sauces one peanut and one sweeter.
Finally, we had the Beancurd Skin Rolls with Black Bean Sauce. Pictured on their website, we could hardly resist and it did not disappoint. Pleasantly chewy rolls were paired with a tasty black bean sauce and a few bell peppers and mushrooms, this was the plate that we polished off first. This is another, must order dish.
Another pleasant dining room that we would like to visit someday. A common them that we are finding with the people who provide us with our food is the old positive attitude and hope that if we all hang in there a little longer, and even stay the course when things return to semi-normal, then we will be OK. Remember that even as BC has done very well under the calm direction of Dr. Bonnie Henry, and we gradually open up, there is the very real probability of a second wave. So let's not get stupid.
For what it's worth, we give Po Kong 4 out of 5.
Po Kong Vegetarian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

bb.q. Chicken - H Mart - Langley

First of all, it is not barbequed chicken. It is unapologetically Korean deep-fried chicken but that is a good thing. Also, it is an H Mart thing (also fine as far as I am concerned) and finding a website for it is more than a little challenging.
I'm inclined to call it a bit of a hidden gem but only because I was confused about the whole thing. As far as the Korean community is concerned, it is probably not a secret at all! Also, Malaysia seems to be where this started. Whatever...tasty fried chicken.
These are way off the KFC track. Cream Cheese Balls. Once again, I feel like we have some communications problems. This is not cream cheese. It might be mozzarella. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be an appetizer or what. It's a little sweet. Melty cheese inside. Not bad. $6.00 for 5.
The chicken is really decent. There are a lot of references to olive oil that may just be how it is cooked although olive oil is not the perfect deep frying medium (burns at a lower temperature). There is more info on the box that the chicken comes in than anywhere else! Crunchy and moist as are always the goals!
We got the combination #1 which was half Golden Fried Chicken and half Secret Sauce Chicken. Frankly, it was a very good deal at $27,99. You can see how much chicken there is plus they threw in a Coke and some pickled radish. Or maybe they were just being nice, I don't know! There was a bit of spice in the secret sauce version, although there are several flavour choices. 
We also walked away with a Bulgogi Beef Bento Box. Still, more confusion as there is one big H Mart kitchen and this was at the bb.q counter. No giant problem as long as we are not left hungry. Nicely done at about $9 for the box.
For what its worth, we give bb.q Chicken 3 out of 5. 
bb.q Chicken. H Mart 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 restaura...