La Charcuterie Delicatessen – Salam’wich

The Food

Salam’wich Over 35 layers of meat and cheese on a sourdough roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard. (Can in picture for scale)
Price: $7.00

Rating: ★★★★★ 

The Review

If we said there was a place where the sandwiches were amazing yet cheap and while you were there the owner would tell you entertaining stories of a slightly inappropriate nature while he made your food and it was actually in the lower mainland of BC, you’d probably think we made it up. Well, we have been going to La Charcuterie Deli for many years now and finally decided to share it with the world.  La Charcuterie Deli, or for those in the know, The Sandwich Nazi, has been serving up the “World’s Best Sandwiches” for many years. He often sells out of his sandwich bread early and there is quite frequently a line-up out the door. I guess there’s no need to keep it a secret anymore! Originally with a location in Burnaby, he has since moved on to the Port Kells Industrial region of Surrey.

This location/clientele suits his business well as his sandwiches are extremely large and very reasonably priced. He offers up several different choices of  foot long rolls, such as Sourdough, Italian, Poppy-seed, and Focaccia. Many of the sandwiches that are on his menu are also named after his regular customers, such as:

  • The B.C. Ambulance (Smoked Turkey, Roast Beef, and Cheese)
  • B.C. Hydro (Roast Beef, Black Forest Ham, and Cheese)
  • Telus’wich (Ham, Turkey, and Cheese)

However there are several other sandwiches that you will have to ask the owner himself (Salam) how he came about the names:

  • The Horny Cow’wich (Mortadella, Hunter Sausage, and Cheese)
  • The Manwhore’wich (Roast Beef, Beer Sausage, and Cheese)
  • 911’wich (Capicollo, Salami, and Cheese)
  • Technicut’wich (Turkey and Smoke Beef)
  • Brokeback Mountain’wich (Garlic Ham, Montreal Smoked Meat, and Pepper Cheese)
  • and the famous Salam’wich (whatever he wants to put in your buns).

Entering into his place of establishment is not for the faint at heart, he actually has warning signs on his door that warns of  “Course Language and Nudity”.  This is not an exaggeration, as I have personally seen both, many times. It may or may not be a place to bring the family, depending on age and humour levels.  That being said, we have seen little old ladies there that don’t mind the fun.  Salam is there to entertain and have a good time.

One thing to be prepared for however, is you don’t always get what you order. He does usually ask what kind of bread you want and if you want lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayo, and even hot sauce. But sometimes while he is telling one of his stories, he just keeps slicing and slicing and slicing and slicing and in the end puts whatever he is slicing onto your sandwich. If this is not for you, if you politely ask, he will make what you want.  Most people don’t mind as the sandwiches are delicious anyway he slices it.

Besides the price,  the size, and the entertainment he provides while making the sandwiches, one of the best reasons to go is how he prepares the sandwiches. Every slice of meat, cheese, tomato are freshly sliced while he is making your sandwich. There is no trough of pre-sliced meat here. If you don’t think it makes any difference, then you haven’t tried one of his sandwiches. As both he and I will tell you, it takes the sandwich to a whole new level.

Salam is truly a nice person. He absolutely loves what he does and he loves his customers.  This shows in the quality of his product and the time he spends with his customers. This also means it is not a place to get a “fast” sandwich. During the lunch rush, the place can be lined up out the door though once you can get inside, you could probably get in and out within 10 or so minutes.

There are many other great things to read and purchase for while you are at La Charcuterie Deli, including a huge amount of other deli related foods. The only thing to remember is to bring cash as he doesn’t accept other forms of payment, and at the prices he is charging, remember to put a little in his tip jar! So if you would like to hear lots of interesting stories and have one of the best sandwiches you will ever have, then this is the place for you. If you are the type to be easily offended, I would pass on this place.

Reviewers

B –  Salam’wich

La Charcuterie Delicatessen
19080 96 Ave, Surrey, BC
Tel: (604) 882-0881

http://www.thebestdeli.com

La Charcuterie Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Re-Up BBQ – Pulled Pork Sandwich and Southern Tea

The Food

Pulled Pork Sandwich - Pulled pork in BBQ sauce with mustard coleslaw on a Portuguese bun.
Price: $7.00

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Southern Tea
Price: $2.25

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

The Review

Food carts can be the ultimate in cheap eats. That’s why we are glad Vancouver is finally clearing (some of) the red tape and allowing street food other than hot dogs, popcorn and roasted nuts. While it’s not Portland, it is a little closer to home. Re-Up BBQ has been a stand out favourite review wise, but we hadn’t been able to get into the city around lunch hour to try it ourselves. We finally had some holiday time and Re-Up BBQ was on the agenda.

Located in the plaza outside the art gallery, the cart had steady business even with the drizzling rain. We couldn’t wait to get some shelter from the rain and ate it awkwardly under our umbrellas. The soft Portuguese bun was filled with tender and juicy pulled pork. There was a perfect amount of sauce on the meat; enough to taste and enough to keep it moist, but not too sloppy. The mustard coleslaw was a great compliment, reminiscent of Southern Carolina BBQ, with just enough vinegar to complement the rich pork. The southern tea was tangy and not too sweet but definitely thirst quenching.

Re-Up BBQ has a new cart rolling out that should have some beef brisket and some vegetarian chili. We can’t wait!

Reviewers

B – Pulled Pork Sandwich, Southern Tea
M –  Pulled Pork Sandwich, Southern Tea

Re-Up BBQ
700 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC
Tel: (604) 724-0894
www.reupbbq.com

Re-Up BBQ Foodcart on Urbanspoon

Jethro’s Fine Grub – Biscuits and Gravy, Gold Rush Pancakes, The Cowboys Breakfast

The Food

Jethro's Fine Grub - Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy – Two fluffy buttermilk biscuits, open faced and smothered with house made country gravy.
Price: $5.00

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Jethro's Fine Grub - Gold Rush Pancakes

Gold Rush Pancakes Two buttermilk pancakes with brown sugar baked bananas folded into the batter stuffed with caramel, pecans and streusel. Topped with more caramel, pecans and streusel and whipped butter.
Price: $10.00

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Jethro's Fine Grub - Cowboy Breakfast

Cowboys Breakfast – Three eggs, any style, with 2 slices smoked bacon, 2 sausages, 2 grilled chorizo and chili smothered hashbrowns. Served with corn cakes
Price: $12.00**

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

Sunday morning found us having to drive into Vancouver for an errand. The challenge became where could we go for breakfast that would fulfill 3 criteria: cheap, interesting food and with decent reviews. A harder task than you might think. After over an hour of web searches and debate we settled on Jethro’s Fine Grub in the Dunbar area of Vancouver.

Jethro’s Fine grub is a small casual diner serving up hearty comfort food. We were able to walk right in and get a table, but a line quickly developed during our time there. The servers were very friendly and attentive as we poured over the menu and placed our order. We decided on the cowboy’s breakfast, gold rush pancakes and a side of biscuits and gravy.

I must have looked anxious or hungry or both because the server assured me that our food would be out soon and then brought out the biscuits and gravy before the rest of the breakfast. Biscuits and gravy are a rarity north of the 49th parallel. These biscuits were large, soft, a little on the dense side but tasty. In the end, the biscuit is just a vehicle for their fabulous gravy. The thick (chicken?) gravy is full of bacon pieces and a ton of bacon flavour. The salty gravy was addicting and we had to pace ourselves as we saw the large platefuls of food that were being delivered to other patrons.

When our plates arrived, our server told us that they added an extra egg to the cowboys breakfast because one of the yolks broke (we couldn’t tell) and that I might be able to have some. Looking down at my own plate sized double stack of stuffed pancakes I was skeptical. Our server assured me that the pancakes are great as leftovers (like a banana muffin).

The cowboys breakfast was delicious! The rustic plate was heaping with 6 pieces of meat. The chorizo was spicy, the maple bacon was cooked well (chewy, not over done) and the breakfast sausages were moist and on the large size. The corn cakes were laced with cumin and were great for dunking into the yokes of the perfectly cooked over-easy eggs. The chili over the pan fried potatoes was full of flavor and topped with a dollop of sour cream. We know our site tries to keep our eats under $10 dollars but this plate is an exception. We’ve paid a lot more for less, especially in Vancouver. For it’s size and quality, this meal at $12 is still considered to be a cheap eat.

As you can see from the photo, the gold rush pancakes were huge! The buttermilk pancakes were fluffy and dotted with brown sugar coated bananas slices and pecan halves. There was caramel sauce and large chunks of streusel in between the pancakes with more caramel and streusel on top.  Wow. There was no need for syrup as the pancakes were moist and the caramel and bananas provided the sweetness. The streusel tasted like shortbread and added another crunchy dimension to the meal. I made a valiant effort but was only able to eat just under half of the double stack. The server was quick to provide a to go box with rewarming instructions written on the box in black sharpee.

Speaking of leftovers, the heavy box of pancakes kept our car smelling of caramel and bananas while we ran our errands. Later that night, we warmed them up according to the instructions and topped them with ice cream for dessert. Yum!

If you are looking for a hearty meal for breakfast or lunch, that is a good value for your money and with awesome service, head out to Jethro’s Fine Grub on Dunbar. Be prepared to wait, but it is worth it. There were so many good sounding items on the menu, we can’t wait until our next visit.

Reviewers

B –  Biscuits and Gravy, Cowboy’s Breakfast
M –  Biscuits and Gravy, Gold Rush Pancakes

Jethro’s Fine Grub
3420 Dunbar Street Vancouver, BC, V6S 2C2
Tel: (604) 569-3441
www.jethrosfinegrub.com

Jethro's Fine Grub on Urbanspoon

Babylon Cafe – Chicken Shawarma

The Food

Chicken Shawarma – chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, tzatziki, hot sauce, peppers and tabbouleh wrapped in a white pita.
Price: $5.95

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

Standing on the corner of Robson and Granville, you can catch the scent of tasty, roasting meat. From there you can also see the almost ever present line.  Just a couple doors down, there is the Babylon Cafe. Since there is barely enough room for three customers standing in the place at one time (and then they can barely squeeze their way out), the place is definitely takeout only. They have chicken, lamb, falafel and vegetarian options. This time we all wanted chicken shawarmas.

The chicken was marinated in spices, freshly carved off the rotisserie and was juicy with crispy bits from the roasting. For each shawarma, we picked from their selection of vegetables and sauces to personalize our wraps.  Each shawarma was then given a large helping of meat and wrapped in tin foil to go. Out on the sidewalk, we quickly unwrapped and dug into our shawarmas. The meat, vegetables and sauces were well distributed throughout the wrap so each bite was full of flavour and you weren’t left with a soggy pita when you got down to the bottom of your shawarma.

The Babylon Cafe is a must eat at place if you are downtown shopping or after a night at the bars.

Reviewers

B –  Chicken Shawarma
M – Chicken Shawarma
C – Chicken Shawarma
O – Chicken Shawarma

Babylon Cafe
716 Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Babylon Cafe on Urbanspoon