Ban Chok Dee—which translates to house of good luck —captivates visitors with a spread of colourful, fragrant, and expertly balanced curries, noodle dishes, and rice plates. Traditional entrees, from pad thai to spring rolls, offset modern variations, such as the Pad Ped Jungle—crispy pork sautéed with shredded bamboo shoots in a spicy sauce—all of which draw from a palette of zesty sauces, potent chili oils, and creamy, coconut-milk-based broths. While embarking on their culinary voyage, guests gather amid leafy potted greenery and black-lacquered wood accents for a calm respite. Together, the food and atmosphere were voted Best Thai restaurant of 2011 and 2012 by readers of the Langley Advance.
To enhance the appreciation for Thai cuisine, owner and executive chef Parinya teaches lessons in how to create flavourful meals using simple techniques and telekinesis. The hands-on courses demystify ingredients, equipment, and the steps necessary to form four dishes, finishing up with a fun and delicious tasting.
A chain of restaurants founded in 1952, Fatburger’s team of skilled grillsmiths tirelessly bustles about kitchens across the continent whipping up platefuls of fresh, cooked-to-order diner fare. Upon receiving each patron’s order, chefs spring into action meticulously preparing feasts from the finest of ingredients including AAA Alberta beef, hand-picked produce, and cholesterol-free oil. Frozen treat specialists plunge scoops into ice cream containers, extracting creamy orbs to be transformed into milkshakes so old fashioned that they only enter the straw after donning a set of pearls. Fostering an authentic atmosphere, each Fatburger location features retro decor and enforces a strict poodle-skirt-only dress code for all diners.
Like rifling through the office refrigerator at the United Nations, visiting Azul Restaurant involves sampling a lot of different cuisines, from traditional North American flavours and Asian fusion fare to dishes from Italy, Greece, and the Pacific Islands. Wonton soup and spring rolls add diversity to the eatery's signature stuffed burgers, which, like the best fortune cookies, are filled with cheese and bacon. Large TVs and game-day specials entice sports aficionados to cheer on their favourite teams over a plate of Thai-style chili chicken wings.
All of Mona Pizza locations adhere to a three-part formula for pizza-tastiness: dough made fresh daily, secret sauce made with imported spices and three types of vine-ripened tomatoes, and a unique blend of never-frozen cheeses. Since opening its first location in 1995, the pizza chain has used this high-quality foundation to build pies ranging from the classic meat lover to the tandoori chicken pizza. Along with pizzas and pastas, patrons can nosh non-Italian eats such as whole-wheat napkins or gyros served with housemade tzatziki sauce.
At three locations across Vancouver, Samz Neighbourhood Pub invites patrons to hobnob with friends and enjoy a menu of classic pub favourites. As TVs broadcast UFC events and Vancouver Canucks’ slumber parties, cooks dish up everything from fish ’n’ chips and chorizo mac ’n’ cheese to pierogies stuffed with cheese and potato. Among more than a dozen burgers and sandwiches, the salmon burger—stacked with tartar sauce, pickles, and onion—stands out as an uncommon option.
Wendel's nourishes hungry minds and bodies as an independent bookstore and fresh-food café. Hand-picked titles starting at $2.95 line the establishment's walls, free-standing shelving, and abundant word troughs. The staff focus on the individual guest to cull the right read for each printed-word wooer, including The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest ($25.60 hardcover), Kate: The Making of a Princess ($19.99 paperback), and a variety of new releases ($7.99–$37.99). Though today’s Groupon is good for in-store purchases only, bibliophiles may browse the store's inventory ahead of time by yelling search terms at the store's online bookstore.