American Cheesesteak Co. – The Philly and The Cowboy

The Food

The Philly

 

The Philly – beef and cheese. With sauteed onions. Cheese Whiz.
Price: $10.00 for the large

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Cowboy

The Cowboy – shaved prime rib, crispy fried onions, homemade spicy BBQ sauce, bacon mayo and aged white cheddar
Price: $12.00 for the large

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

What better way to relieve the holiday food monotony than with a messy, juicy cheesesteak? We went out on a grey day with hopes of filling up on cheesesteak and then geocaching the calories away with our dog. By the time we got downtown, the skies had opened up into a torrential downpour, killing our geocaching fun but not our shot at a great cheesesteak.

As we rounded the corner, the fabulous smell of beef and onions cooking on the grill cut through the damp air. Through the window from the street, you get a view down the grill as they brown meat and melt cheese. We had our dog, so we took our sandwiches to go. This means it would be too difficult to juggle any of their side dishes (garlic and Parmesan fries, onion rings, ice cream sandwiches, etc) but from what I could see from the window, we need to go back and try them out too.

In the car, we unwrapped the sandwiches fully to take in all their glory (and snap these photos). We got the sandwiches “large” sized and both were heavy and messy but that is where the similarity ended. It was our first time at the American Cheesesteak Company so at least one of us had to have the standard Philly. The Philly was everything you would expect from a good cheesesteak sandwich. Hot, thin sliced beef with flavorful caramelized onions and a soft bun slick with melted cheese whiz.  I was happy to find that while the bun is soft, it holds up to the juicy fillings, staying together until the last bite. The sandwich was really filling. Next time we go and  if we plan to have sides, I’d go for a smaller one or split a large.

Although the Cowboy had the same base (bun, beef and cheese), it was a completely different beast. The BBQ sauce and bacon mayo changed the flavors dramatically, and the cheese being sliced white cheddar was melted throughout. Thinking that without the wetter Cheese Whiz the sandwich would be a little dry, but it was not, the BBQ sauce was mixed throughout and the bacon mayo ladled along the top really added to the moistness. But the real winner is the crispy fried onion strings that get put on top, they add just a small amount of crunch that offsets the perfectly moist sandwich!

We’ve never been to Philly and therefore have not tried their world famous sandwiches, but we have had several both in Canada and around the United States. In fact, we like them so much that we have a freezer full of pre-sliced ribeye philly cheesesteak meat and make them quite frequently. But the freshness, quality of meat, and topping combinations really stand out at the American Cheesesteak Company.

Next time we’re in the Davie neighbourhood, we will definitely be back for these great sandwiches and to try out their sides as well. When the Cowboy is a calling, it will be hard to ignore!

Reviewers

B –  The Cowboy
M –  The Philly

American Cheesesteak Co.
781 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2S7
Tel: (604) 681-0130 americancheesesteak.com

The American CheeseSteak Co. 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