Wednesday, October 31, 2007

EAT: Beantown Coffee Bar

I hopped on the bike this afternoon and rode east along Sierra Madre Boulevard, a rather picturesque and surprisingly serene major artery running along the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, until I arrived at Beantown Coffee Bar in the heart of Sierra Madre. The coffee shop is in a very charming and quaint part of town that is very reminiscent of Montrose Village, north of Glendale.

After all the huffing and puffing on the bike, I ordered a refreshing tropical iced tea (brewed in-house) and a chocolate chip pecan cookie. As I enjoyed my well-deserved refreshments, I admired the interior decor: the exposed brick wall and the mismatching furniture and the plush comfy-looking sofa chairs in the center of the shop. The whole place just exuded coziness.

However, one thing that did mar the ambiance was the annoying music. It was mostly horrible and tasteless pop music from the 80s and 90s. Perhaps the music selection changes from day to day (let's hope).

Beantown also offers sandwiches, salads, and soups in addition to drinks and pastries. On the weekends, live music can be heard in the evening and there is no cover charge (check their online calendar). I think the next time I'll try to catch a live show.

Beantown Coffee Bar
45 N. Baldwin Ave.
Sierra Madre, CA
Open everyday

::4.5 stars::

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

EAT: Patisserie Lebeau

I'm more of a pancakes kind of girl, but I think Patisserie Lebeau has made a good case for waffles, the Belgian variety that is. I ordered the combo, which comes with a big, tender piece of soft, warm waffle dusted with powdered sugar accompanied by fresh fruit, whipped cream, and custard. I was a bit disappointed with the texture of the custard though. It was not as airy and light as I would have liked it, and it was cold instead of being at room temperature. But the waffle itself was cooked to perfection.

Patisserie Lebeau has a wide variety of waffles that are either dipped in different toppings or stuffed with fruit or other confections.

1728 W. 2nd Avenue (@ Burrard)
Vancouver, BC, Canada

::4.5 stars::

Saturday, October 06, 2007

EAT: The Templeton

This old-school diner frequented by downtown hipsters may be in the more "seedy" part of Granville Street (it's just a couple doors down from a sex shop) but it boasts of the best french fries on the planet. They are perfection incarnate: crispy on the outside and soft with potatoey goodness in the inside. Yes, it actually tastes like potato! How novel is that? They are truly the best I have ever tasted and thus makes this joint worthy of repeat visits.

I've only ordered two things from the menu whenever I've gone: the portabello mushroom burger with asiago cheese and the hakkai omelette which is filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese and comes with a side of toast and rosemary potatoes. And the toast is very good, especially if you slather on some jam, preferably raspberry. Both of these dishes are so good that I'm reluctant to try anything else, although I'm pretty certain that the rest of the offerings are just as excellent.

The Templeton
1087 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L4, Canada
(604) 685-4612

::5 stars::