Bambino’s

Bambino's on UrbanspoonSheepie and I were in Seattle over the weekend. It was late in the night, after checking out the Chihuly Garden and Glass  (which I HIGHLY recommend!!!), we were looking for a place to dine. We walked around the area and found Bambino’s which seemed like a decent place. It had a Gastown look and feel with brick walls, and a real gas-burning pizza oven! It’s dark and cozy with friendly staff.

idearabbit-bambino6idearabbit-bambino idearabbit-bambino2

I love it when restaurants serve chilled water in glass bottles. It eliminates the hassle of having to ask for water every time the cup is empty. I noticed that the label on the glass said 12% alcohol. It puzzled me since I knew it was water – not alcohol. Upon examining, I found out it’s a wine bottle from Canada! Then, I found it was made in BC – oh wait, it says Victoria! Haha…we come all the way down to Seattle, and end up drinking Seattle water out of a wine bottle from Victoria, BC.idearabbit-bambino3

I got the Calzoni Pietro $9 made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, chicken sausage, Calabrian Perpers and Ricotta. Sheepie ordered the Pancrazio $9 with Italian sausage and mushroom.idearabbit-bambino4

idearabbit-bambino5After crossing over to the US, it’s always overwhelming how big all the portions are! But this was gigantic!! It was bigger than the big plate. LOL. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it, and wouldn’t be able to take home as we were going to stay in a motel with no fridge. So I ate the best part – the inside. Even then, I still couldn’t finish all of the contents inside! The dough part was a bit burnt, and wasn’t all that fabulous or anything, so I didn’t feel like eating it anyways.

If you’re hungry, this is the place to go! It’s also great for a relaxing dinner or chitchatting by the bar.

 Taste: carrotcarrotcarrot     Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot    Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot

Updates for IdeaRabbit round #2

So, the last update was back in January. Now there’s been more changes and improvements since then :)

New Look Comes more Organization and Versatility
With the new wordpress theme, I was able to add menus at the top so posts are categorized and sorted out, making it easier and faster for those looking for a specific topic. Also with this new theme, it has allowed the site to be responsive, meaning that it can now be view on mobile devices such as tablets and phones.

umagazineIn February, Umagazine asked if they could feature my blog on their website. U Magazine is a print and online Vancouver Magazine that tells the stories behind local businesses and events happening in Vancouver. The online magazine portion of UMagazine.ca is where you can go behind the scenes to learn more about businesses and events in Vancouver and their unique stories. They have coupons for restaurants, and will also host giveaway contests to their beloved readers! The Foodie Network section features local foodie bloggers :) (I do not get paid or receive any kind of rewards from UMagazine other than having my reviews featured on their website)

Bigger photos! With the change of the wordpress theme, I now am able to upload larger photos! (before was 460 pixels across – now it’s 660 pixels), meaning more details can be seen! :D

Moving up on Urbanspoon! Yes, back in January, I was still at #85. In April, I am now at around #37. Thanks for reading guys! :D

Reviews on Yelp! Yup! I’ve also started reviewing non-food related places on Yelp. For those places that I want to really go in depth with lots of photos, I will still however blog on IdeaRabbit.ca instead. Otherwise, check out the Yelp section in the menu.

Updates to some of the posts to IdeaRabbit.ca:

Thanks for your support! Happy reading! :D

Benkei Ramen

Benkei Ramen on UrbanspoonI’m so sad to see all the other Benkei locations have closed and this is the only one left…I’d already seen Ezogiku disappear completely after opening more than one location. Ezogiku was the pioneers of bringing ramen into the Vancouver scene. In 1974, they were the first Ramen specialized restaurant in Hawaii. Then, in 1990, they established the first Ramen specialized restaurant in Vancouver. I still remember (though a bit foggy…since I was little) when they had their first small restaurant. It was super crammed (and a bit sketchy) and could only fit like 5-7 people. However, for our family that had just immigrated from Japan, it was the only place that had ramen in Vancouver. In fact, back then, there weren’t that many sushi places either. Hard to imagine right!? I still remember how my friends were grossed out at the nori (black seaweed). I wasn’t even eating raw fish. It was only kappa (cucumber). Since then, I never ate any sushi in front of non-Japanese people. Not until things changed. Sad when you think about it…

And with this change, time and new competition, Ezogiku was gone. Though I remember my last ramen at Ezogiku not being that good. It was a big portion, but noodle and soup wise, it wasn’t great. Now with all the negative comments on Benkei’s review, I am worried about Benkei following the same fate as Ezogiku.

Personally, Benkei is my favourite ramen-ya. I’m not into the really oily and heavy ramen at Santouka or Kintaro. The restaurant (even at other locations) usually has a very Japanese-ramen-ya feel. I remember those days when we would have to wait a bit a for a jam packed Benkei. Now when I go, it’s always only half full…but maybe it’s also because we go after 8pm.

idearabbit-benkei idearabbit-benkei2You can collect stamps. Every time you dine, you get a stamp, and once you’ve accumulated 10 stamps on the card, you get a free bowl of ramen! Unfortunately, I never go enough, and they expire after a year.

The service is fast and efficient. The servers are friendly, though perhaps we’re biased on this as one of them is an acquaintance of Sheepie.

idearabbit-benkei4Gyoza $2.50 (part of combo) idearabbit-benkei3Tori Shio $7.50

The texture, how the noodle is cooked is just the way I like it. The broth is light, but flavorful. I feel I can eat 2 bowls…LOL. I usually order the Tori Shio $7.50 – really good :D The prices are quite cheaper than the currently popular ramen-ya  in town. If you’re feeling quite hungry, getting a combo might be a good idea though the Gyoza $2.50 on the side is meh…nothing special to report…actually this time it was a bit burnt :P

I just hope they can survive the over saturated ramen-ya industry!

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot     Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot    Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot