I remember back in my University days, we'd go bowling every now and then to pass the time. Really, what else was there to do? Lemme see... Movie? Check. Clubbing? Check. Sports? Check. Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford? Check. Eating? Duh... So when all these options were exhausted, bowling it was. I can't say I'm necessarily that great at bowling; but I will always hang on to my high score of 204. You see, Chill is a pretty good athlete. He rules at softball, golf, bowling and hockey (non-ice that is). So when my top score of 204 is better than his career best of 201, he is seething deep-down inside. It is no surprise he decided to organize a random bowling night in the middle of the week to once again try to top my score. And to make it more interesting, the alley of choice happened to be the scene of the crime. Yes, the 204 I scored, which I continually remind him about... Well, there were no records broken tonight, in fact, after not playing for awhile, the best I could muster up was a 127. Pretty pathetic. Yah whatever, I wasn't there for the bowling anyways. It was the eats to follow!
We decided to head close by up to Neighbours Restaurant on Victoria at 49th. In the same mold as Tracadero's, the former Little Johnny's, Spargo's and Gigi's, the food here is a combination of Italian, Greek and American. Home-style cooking with home-style portions. Oh and they're friendly too. Another reason we picked this place had to do with the Canucks game. They have a large TV there and yes, they were showing the game. A nice 4-2 comeback against the lowly Av's. So Costanza and I started off with the Calamari, which was very good. Lightly battered and crisp, the squid was super tender. What really made this dish was the outstanding tzatziki. Costanza remarked there was a substantial bite as a result of the plethora of garlic. Add plenty of lemon juice and this tzatziki sang. For my main, there was not doubt in my mind - it had to be the Roast Lamb. A healthy portion of roast lamb shoulder surrounded by lots of Greek salad, rice and 2 lemon potato wedges was set down before me. I wondered how I could finish this big plate of food, especially since there was a side of pita bread as well. Most of the roast lamb was tender and moist. Some of the exterior portions were slightly dry; but that is to be expected. I definitely got good hits of rosemary and lemon from the lamb. It was further amped by the aforementioned tzatziki. I really liked the lemon potato - nicely roasted and full of lemon zing while exhibiting a pleasing soft texture. Normally, the rice is a letdown since it can be mushy and bland. Not here. It had plenty of texture and bite while being properly seasoned. The Greek salad was fresh and crisp. However, rather than using lemon juice, I believe they used red wine vinegar, which results in an unpleasing appearance.
To my complete horror, 3 people ordered the 6 oz. Steak Special. Costanza had a nice chuckled about that. Bastard! Anyways, they were tender and cooked nicely medium-rare (well, more like somewhere between rare and medium-rare). The accompanying spaghetti with meat sauce was typical North American home-style and served its purpose. Of course the meal wouldn't be complete here without trying the pizza would it? I was so delighted when a Pepperoni Pizza was ordered. Made up for the 3 steaks! Much like Gigi's, the pizza crust was crisp on the outside while bread-like soft on the inside. A good amount of cheese and toppings made for a filling product. The last dish was the Mediterranean Beef which was tender and full of flavour, particularly lemon. This was also a very nice portion as well. It came with the same sides as my lamb, which meant great rice and potatoes. What a satisfying meal! Sure, it ain't "gourmet" food; but it is real food, home-style. Coupled with great service, reasonable prices and generous portions, I can see myself returning in the near future.
- Solid food
- Reasonable prices with large portions
- Down home service
- Not really a bad per se, but for those food snobs, the food may not be special enough