Saturday, February 26, 2011


One of the places that we visited on our first night in Regina was O'Hanlon's.  It soon became one of our favourite hangouts during our two week stay in Regina.  Located less than 10 minutes walk from our hotel, it made it pretty accessible.  The place was crowded....packed at the weirdest times.  I guess Monday was Valentine's day so it was extremely busy, but the locals said this place was always packed on a Monday night. 

We must have gotten there just before the crowds did because we managed to score some tables, but it didn't take long for the place to be wall to wall with people.

The group I was with ate dinner already, but we met up with some others from our hotel and decided to tag along for a drink.


I'm not really sure how the food is at this place, but based on some of my colleagues, it wasn't too bad.  I sampled some like the vegetarian pizza (I know, don't laugh....I only agreed to taste it so I could comment on it) and it wasn't too bad.  The Yam fries were a bit raw in the middle, but don't let that stop you.  O'hanlon's is a pretty cool place to hang out, have some fun with your friends and just let loose.  On different nights, they have live bands, karaoke, dancing and who knows what other activities.  The booze is reasonably priced and the service is pretty good.  It's a good place to meet the locals, and if I ever go back to Regina, this is one place I'd definitely visit again.

O'Hanlon's Pub on Urbanspoon

Extreme Value Pizza Family Restaurant

I know what you're thinking, what's this Richmond boy doing in Regina of all places?  Well, part of the requirements as a fully trained employee of my day job is a two-week course that is held in Regina.  My first experience eating in Regina was with a couple of people I had met along the way.  We wandered around and found this little mom-and-pop-run place called Extreme Value Pizza Family Restaurant.  It was a cozy little family style restaurant and it provided a bit of shelter from some kind of crazy weather I never experienced before.   

Me on the left (Mike not pictured here), Andy and Nat.
The water came with a lemon wedge...not something I expected in such a small place.
An side of garlic bread came with the pasta someone ordered. 
Wings and Caesar $9.99
Baked Lasagna with meatballs - $9.99.  this was the smaller order, there was a larger order for $11.99 but I think Andy barely got through this size.
I think this was the Clubhouse Sandwich for $8.99.  One of the biggest sandwiches I've ever seen.  Mike inhaled half of it before I even blinked.  Apparently it was good.
I ordered the Hamburger Deluxe with Cheese, and swapped the fries for poutine.  The cheese used in the poutine was just shredded mozzarella, but it still tasted really good.  The gravy was to die for.  In the words of Samuel L Jackson, "This is a tasty burger". They griddled the buns, leaving a crispy ridge along the edge of the bun, the patty was nice and juicy, and it all just came together perfefctly.  I was quite satisfied with my meal, and for the price, you really can't go wrong.  The service was friendly enough, the food was good and we all agreed we would go back, but at the end, we just ran out of time. 

Stay tuned for more eats in Regina.......

Extreme Value Pizza Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bon Crepe

My hunger not completely satisfied from the previous eatery, we wandered along Robson looking for a late night snack.  Our wanderings led us to Konbiniya, and attached to it is Bon Crepe.  I've had crepes before, and remember having some of the best crepes in Japan of all places.  

I got the Tuna, Egg, Corn Salad crepe for $3.80.  It was a helluva deal, but the tuna was bit on the dry side (what do you expect from canned tuna).  I guess it would have been nice to have a bit more mayo, but overall, still tasted good and a pretty good deal for $3.80.

The next time I go back (and I will go back), I'll probably ask for a bit more mayo on this one, or try one of the dessert crepes.....Nutella and bannana is always a good combo.

Bon Crepe on Urbanspoon

Guu Garden

Folks, we are living in the golden age of Japanese izakaya here in Vancouver.  These suckers are popping up everywhere and you know what, I really can't complain because it should reduce the wait times to get into these places.  Guu is a perfect example that chain izakaya can exist and thrive here on the west coast of Canada.

Every Guu has a theme, and this one seems to be based off the beautiful garden right outside of the restaurant. 

On this night, I stuck to my usual - the house sake.....which is probably Gekkeikan.  The stuff isn't of much use to me at home except for in cooking and cleaning engines, but when I'm out, I can't bring myself to pay too much for anything when I can just wait for a good bottle of Koshi no Kanbai to come my way. 
I'm not much of a beer drinker but for those of you who need your fix, get the "mega"....I think in Japan, this size is known as "Daijokki"
I don't remember if this was on the regular menu or the special menu, but it was pretty good for a salad.  The prawns were huge, and the house dressing tasted good.

Santen - $9.80.  Basically a trio of the daily special sashimi.  In this case, it was salmon, tuna and hotate (scallop).  Fresh as can be, but if you can, try to avoid eating sushi/sashimi at's not typical izakaya food and is generally more expensive at izakaya. 
His Ebi Mayo - $7.80.  This was pretty good and on par with other Guu Locations.  The prawns were nice and moist inside, crispy on the outside and perfectly mated with the mayo.  No idea why it's called His Ebi Mayo though

Karaage - $5.80.  For those that don't know, it's just deep fried chicken.  In this case, it was boneless and very moist on the outside, crispy on the outside.  It was served with a side of mayo and it's great either way (dip in the mayo or just a squirt of lemon)
Agedashi Mozzarella - $4.00  I found myself wanting to order this again, but I never got around to it.  It was a really simple dish, just a matter of deep fried cheese placed in a simple broth, but it really was out of this world.  I dunno, maybe I was craving cheese or something but I will definitely order this one again next time. 
Kimuchi Udon - $7.80.  A simple dish that may have it's origins right here in Vancouver.  I don't think I've ever come across this in Japan, but it works.  A combo of Mentaiko, kimchi and udon noodles stir fried together is a perfect combination, but this dish isn't exclusive to Guu.  I've seen it at Kingyo (but it's not on the menu anymore) and Zakkushi as well.

I was hungry so I ordered some filler - Negitoro temaki.  I know, I usually preach that izakaya is a place for drinking, not having a meal, but they got it right and these cones tasted pretty good....have no idea how much they were though.
Mochi Tofu Bag - $2.00.  I guess someone else wanted some fillers too, but this one was definitely cheap.
Since nobody else I was with drank sake, I had a large bottle all to myself.  I went on an empty stomach so by the time I got all the contents of that bottle down my neck, I was more than a little tipsy.  I ended the night with a couple of oyster caesar shooters.  The Bloody Caesar is one of my favorite cocktails, and oysters are one of my favourite shellfish.  I always knew they two would go well together, but unfortunately, the caesar flavour wasn't very prominent in this order.  I think it would have helped if there was a salt and pepper ring around the lip of the shot glass, but to tell the truth, I think I was pretty liquored up to remember if I really liked it or not. 
Guu Garden is the latest installment of Guu Izkaya.  The food was pretty good, the prices were pretty much on par with other locations, the service was great and the location wasn't half-bad.  Yeah, I would definitely go back........if I remember how to get there.

Guu Garden on Urbanspoon

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