Though many people may have tasted some of the flavors native to southern China's Sichuan province, few have sampled the region's vast array of unique cuisine. After successfully opening Taste of Sichuan Beaverton, Taste of Sichuan was unveiled in Vancouver to present their wide range of authentic Sichuan cuisine, where chefs make not only the region's well-known dishes, but also the dishes that only travelers or Willy Wonka's taste-testers usually get to experience.
The chefs name this eclectic portion of their menu the Wild Side, which includes dishes ranging from mung-bean jelly in a garlic-accented chili sauce to pickled chili-pepper frogs. Because many diners may be unfamiliar with some of these dishes, the chefs have designed the menu to delineate which options are fan favorites and which include fiery hot Sichuan peppers.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Traveling thousands of miles for a great meal might seem extreme to some, but it makes sense to members of the Zhen family. As a group who's passionate about good food, they understand why some people travel just to taste delicacies from around the world. Fortunately, local diners need only travel as far as Taste of China—the Zhen family's second restaurant—to find fresh Chinese food that made the Chinese Restaurant News' Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA list for three consecutive years.
Inside the restaurant, aromas waft from the semi-open kitchen, carrying the promise of dishes such as tender beef in spicy Szechuan sauce or shredded mu shu pork with wood ear mushrooms and savory pancakes. For a taste of something truly unique, diners can ask to to eat from the test-kitchen menu of seasonal dishes made from rare and elusive ingredients.
The menu at The Igloo Restaurant is reminiscent of that of a 50s diner. Chefs flip juicy third-pound patties before sliding them atop buns or low-carb lettuce wraps, along with toppings such as bacon, cheese, jalapeños, and mushrooms. In the nearby frier, they also sizzle up chicken strips, onion rings, and the crispy fries that accompany every burger. To round out their menu, they offer a range of ice cream treats. They can plop scoops of ice cream into sundaes, cones, or root beer floats, which can be outfitted with two straws for a romantic interlude or proof that I can have fun all by myself, Mom.
Instead of printing its menu in a leather-bound booklet or sending notes to the kitchen via pneumatic tube, Dominik's Italian Food for You! keeps ordering simple. Like any classic Italian deli, Dominik's menu is written on an oversized chalkboard hanging on the wall, showcasing the hot and cold sandwiches that load meatballs and marinara, salami and pepperoni, and Italian sausage and peppers inside nine-inch loaves of bread. The chefs also mix, knead, and hand-stretch fresh dough for pizzas and simmer flavorful sauces for spaghetti, lasagna, and other pasta dishes.
Pow Pow Wings, a casual sports bar written up in The Columbian and Clark College's The Independent, serves up 13 styles of wings and 10 sauces. A raspberry-chipotle sauce was recommended by The Columbian, whereas the ghost pepper-infused Super Pow was reported to create "an inferno on the palate" by The Independent. Pow Pow Wings also grills burgers that can be doused in any wing sauce or topped with a stack of fried-mozzarella sticks. A full bar supplies beer, soft drinks, and other libations, and pinball machines and foosball distracts patrons from shouting curses in Esperanto at the sportsmen on TV.