Best of Vancouver my ASS.
I am seriously tired of The Straight’s “Best of” list continually being wrong and/or disturbing. When we first moved to Vancouver, we didn’t really have any idea of what to eat, so we relied on the hip and cool local rag to steer us in the general direction of delicious. Time and time again we were disappointed in what was considered “the best” in any number of categories – either someone has been buying reader votes, or a lot of people have just plain crappy taste.
Two examples spring immediately to mind: year after year, Las Margaritas on West 4th has been voted as the best Mexican food in the city. Even allowing for extra generous points knowing that you really can’t get good Mexican food in Canada, Las Margaritas was *terrible*. Overpriced food, poor service, and the worst crime a “Mexican” restaurant can commit: bland food. Salsa has flavour, people. It is not just watered down ketchup. Even with our warnings, friends have gone to Las Margaritas to check it out for themselves and came away with the same verdict: holy shit, that was awful. It’s places like this that make me happy to drive over the border into Bellingham, Washington to dine at Mi Mexico, which has some of the finest Mexican food I’ve ever had. Fie on you, Las Margaritas. You are no good.
Example number two: Mr. Pickwick’s Fish & Chips. My parents instilled into me a love of halibut, and every once in a while I get a craving for some good old fashioned fish n’ chips. We’ve had success at places like the Cockney Kings, but it’s so far down East Hastings it’s a block outside of Port Moody and too far to get to from our home on the North Shore. Also good is Montgomery’s Fish n’ Chips in the Lonsdale Quay, and Ed really likes the fish from Charlie’s in Sinclair but I personally think their tartar sauce is kind of funky. My current favourite, though, is C-Lovers – reasonably priced, fast service, completely delicious and close to my house, so it’s a win all around.
For the sake of adventure this last weekend though, we decided to try out Mr. Pickwick’s. It’s usually voted as the best Fish n’ Chips in Vancouver, so we scooted to the Denman Street location for some dinner. Apparently, calling yourself a “bistro” and serving things on square plates means you can charge out the ass for your food. We tried the crab cakes for an appetizer. They were okay; nothing spectacular although they were plentiful for the price. The real crime, though, was the fish – while I am truly down with the irony of this complaint, the fish was *watery*. And overpriced. A standard 2-piece halibut and chips plate ran a good $8 more than any other place I’ve been to, and the quality was just not there for the price we paid. Ed and I can eat ourselves stupid at C-Lovers for $24 – our meal at Pickwick’s was $45 and nowhere near as tasty.
I’m done looking towards random strangers for the lowdown on decent food options. Seriously, any poll that has McDonald’s winning more than one category with no trace of the funny should just not be taken seriously. Fie on you, Reader’s Choice voters. Your taste buds are clearly made of stupid.