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  • Tagged: 225
  • Reviewed: 235

Ryan Cruz

Gender:
Male
Location:
Vancouver
Hometown:
Winnipeg

 

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“Terrible Food and Service”

Hirado Sushi
I visited Hirado Sushi when spending an awesome afternoon on Commercial Drive's Car-Free Sunday. I would have to say having lunch here was the low point of my afternoon.

I was actually on my way to another sushi house two doors down, only to find out that they were closed for the festivities. Having a tremendous craving for sushi I knew I had to find a sushi house and I needed to find one soon. There were many sushi restaurants within walking distance but Hirado Sushi was right there, so I thought I would see how this sushi house fairs.

Strangely there are numerous positive reviews of this restaurant around the Internet. Pay no attention to them, as they will mislead you into having a terrible sushi experience. Upon entering the restaurant I was seated by the server right away. She took me order quickly and then I used the washroom. Their washroom looks like it has not been cleaned in quite some time and was quite filthy, similar to something you would find in the back alleys of Winnipeg. The seating arrangement was quite tight as with most restaurants paying a premium on Commercial Drive. There is no air conditioning, only two rotating fans haphazardly mounted onto a pillar. After what seemed like a long wait, the server brought my order to me. I always order the house specialties, and this time I ordered the Dragon Roll and Mexican Roll. Both were rather bland, with the flavour of avocado and sour cream overpowering anything else there. The presentation was lackluster and the server was as attentive as a mannequin. I was never asked if I was enjoying the meal, probably because she knew I wasn't. The chef never made eye contact with me and overall this experience was about as satisfactory as eating day-old sushi at a supermarket clearance counter while watching re-runs of CSI Miami. Overall the staff really seemed like they didn't want to be there and didn't even enjoy their employment for this company.

While this may all seem comedic, overall I try my best to look back and find something positive about my experience here and I can't find any. I wasted over an hour of my wages and an hour of my time to be disappointed with sub-standard service and a tasteless meal. I highly recommend walking past this sushi house and dining at the one two doors down.
 
Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC
(604) 255-9050

“Great Products and Service”

DESART
Desart is a landmark in the hip part of Winnipeg known as Osborne Village. All sorts of unusual and exotic items can be found here. From hand made romantic jewellery to traditional ethnic clothing, Desart has a vast array of goods that change constantly from week to week. An interesting find at Desart is their constant stream of new exotic foods. I recommend Desart when in Osborne Village or even when visiting Winnipeg as a specialty shop of delightful and interesting goods.
 
117 Osborne St
Winnipeg, MB
(204) 284-0823

“Excellent Food and Service”

Ches's Snacks Limited
Ches's Fish and Chips is also known as Ches's Famous by many. Upon visiting the picturesque town of St. John's in one of the most beautiful provinces here in Canada, my partner and I stumbled upon this diner along our hike back to our hotel. The restaurant is located in an old building, like most of St. John's businesses. The decor, settings and overall layout looks like it hasn't been touched since the early 80s. Tired, hungry and thirsty we made our way into the restaurant and were greeted by their friendly staff. They gave us the last available table as the restaurant was packed. It took some time before we were given our menus as this seemed to be a rush. We hastily ordered the 3 piece fish and chips along with the seafood platter. In what seemed like an eternity, which was realistically probably about 20 minutes we impatiently waited for our orders to arrive. When our dinner finally arrived we felt like we were kings been treated to a feast. We never expected the portions to be so large. To our delight everything was impeccable and our server constantly came by to check up on us to replenish our beverages and provide us with more tartar sauce. This has to have been one of the best seafood experiences I have had in quite some time. We stayed nearly two hours and watched as other people came and went. We were never rushed to leave and the server was always attentive. While at first we were rather disappointed in how long it took to place an order and wait for it's arrival, all of those negative thoughts left us as we devoured some of the best cooking in the Maritimes with some of the friendliest people around. Given that my partner and I had a very long hike earlier and were on the verge of starvation, I must admit that we were far less patient than normal. Also given the fact that service in the Maritime Provinces seems to be quite a bit slower than larger metropolitan areas like Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver makes it seem like the wait is much longer than what it is. I must say though, the wait was well worth it as I must admit that there is nothing like real fish and chips from the Maritimes and Ches's does it like no one else does it anywhere outside the Maritimes.
 
9 Freshwater Road
St. John's, NL
(709) 722-4083

“Great Service”

AAA Pawnbrokers Ltd
I visited AAA Pawnbrokers when I found an online post about a particular circular saw I was interested in. The asking price was so low I could not pass up a deal such as this. When I visited the store I found that they have a large selection of tools, electronics and musical instruments. I was able to get the circular saw I was looking for and viewed several other items. The staff were friendly, the layout of the store was decent and the prices were a bargain. While I was a little reluctant dealing with a pawnshop at first, all of my doubts were cast aside after the purchase. While I can not comment on the loans, pawning or bartering system they have in place I can say that they have helpful staff and a good selection of tools. I recommend inquiring about the inventory when looking for quality tools.
 
3021 Main St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 879-5626

“Poor Service”

MOORE & RUSSELL HEATING LTD
I found out about Moore and Russell when grocery shopping at a wholesaler. Having my natural gas furnace serviced by a major HVAC-R company several years ago I knew that I was really pushing the 35 year old furnace in my home. I have been dreading for years having to spend the large sum of money in a proper, high efficiency forced air furnace but I knew that this winter I had to have my unit replaced. After researching what I thought would be the most ideal set up, I decided to discuss my options with the staff at Moore and Russell.

The sales person at the wholesaler gave me a business card, which stated 24 hours availability. I called during regular working hours to ask questions regarding my heating/cooling requirements and no one would answer the phone. I called several times and there wasn't even a voice mail option. I called again the next day to receive the same problem, no one answers their call. Finally, on the third day I was able to get a hold of someone, who then transferred me to someone else after a lengthy wait. My original plan was to have a heat pump, with a heat recovery ventilator system. I was told that the in order to determine the best system, I would have to have an inspection with an estimate for my needs. This made sense as I understood it would be difficult to address my concerns without viewing my home.

As a business owner I am very busy and have very little time so I expect that appointments be held and communication is always open. I made an appointment to have them view my home, and on the first occasion they cancelled and on the second occasion they did not even show or call to inform me. This was an extreme inconvenience to me as I had to take time off work. Finally I told their sales representative that they have to view my home when I am finished work, roughly around 8:00PM if they plan to ever do business with me. They reluctantly agreed and did actually show up, although about 10 minutes late. Their technician opened up my furnace and looked at the thermostat, ducting, electrical and did quite a thorough job explaining everything to me regarding the history of the company, the work they do and how they stand behind the products and services they offer. I was beginning to feel that this company was professional but just had some recent bad luck with communication. Unfortunately I was left disappointed when I was given the work plan plus a bill for the estimate. The work plan did not discuss any detail about the unit they planned to install, it's specifications and warranty nor the detail regarding it's installation. It simply stated "Remove old furnace and replace". And to receive a bill for the estimate after which their sales representative told me it would be free of charge is a complete business blunder. I told the technician that I would not pay him as I was told the estimate was free and that I would not choose them for the installation.

From start to finish this company lacks any sort of organization, and fails to deliver on what promise. The wording used by their staff would falsely make them appear to be professionals but it seems to be nothing more than a sales ploy to enter an agreement to purchase their services. Overall I am happy that I did not follow through with having them replace my furnace and I do regret wasting all this time with them. I would strongly encourage anyone to avoid this company all together.
 
101-2131 Hartley
Vancouver, BC
(604) 876-3355

“Great Food and Service”

Ginger Sushi
Ginger Sushi is one of the many sushi houses located on the famous Commercial Drive area of Vancouver. It is quite easy to pass by as it's very small and not very well advertised compared to it's many other competitors along Commercial Drive.

Inside is a very small dining area, around the size of a child's bedroom. The dining area is far from spacious and it's layout possibly maximizes the legal amount of people per area. The décor is very minimalistic and cheaply done, but the restaurant itself is very clean. The server is very friendly although there may be a language barrier to overcome. Surpass all these minor issues and you'll be treated to some of the best sushi around Commercial Drive. Their signature specialty rolls are the best. While many other sushi houses will pretend to give large portions by adding plenty of rice, Ginger Sushi has longer rolls with less rice and more toppings. Their other side dishes are also delicious and their service is quick. I recommend Ginger Sushi on Commercial Drive as one of the better sushi houses in Vancouver.
 
1437 Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC
(604) 255-5220

“Great Food and Service”

Grass Roots Pizza & Pasta
Grass Roots Pizza is one of the many choices for pizza and pasta in Whistler Village. While it may be difficult to discern which pizza parlours offer the best pizza, Grass Roots stands out as having the best overall value. Their quality is impeccable and the quantity of their toppings is high, while their prices are friendly with visitors and students on a budget. The dining area is clean and spacious and the staff are friendly and inviting. I highly recommend Grass Roots Pizza when visiting beautiful Whistler Village and looking for a satisfy a pizza craving.
 
113-4295 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, BC
(604) 962-7700

“Great Products and Service”

Ono Work & Safety
Ono Work and Safety specializes in safety equipment, servicing and training for various aspects of the construction industry.

They have a full line of fall protection, first aid, rescue, confined space and personal protective equipment. A great addition is their ability to service and train individuals on the specific products they carry.

While some of their products may be more expensive than other retailers, what separates their staff from their competitors is the knowledge base and training. Many of their staff have experience in construction, first aid and OH&S and aren't simply sales people.

I highly recommend visiting Ono's website or their retail store in Port Kells for more information on their services and training for anyone in the local construction industry.
 
2-19585 96 Ave
Surrey, BC
(604) 455-0575

“Great Food and Service”

Meg's Restaurant
While passing through Saskatoon on the way home to Vancouver I came across a wonderful little Indian diner, Meg's Restaurant. Seeing how I missed the Indian cuisine more commonly found throughout Western Canada I thought I would make a stop and experience an Indian restaurant in the Prairies. I was definitely surprised. I did not have high expectations as I have never heard of this restaurant before but the experience was delightful. The restaurant itself is very small but the service is very personal. The owner herself greets you upon entering and is genuinely friendly. She takes time to explain to you what courses are available during that time of day and what the ingredients are. Her staff are all very friendly and that brings about the hospitality commonly found in the Prairie Provinces. The choices are not new to me but the presentation and method of creating these choices a vastly different from what I have been accustomed to from living in Vancouver. While I normally never order vegetarian dishes, my party did order and I found these vegetarian dishes fantastic. The regular beef and chicken entrees that I ordered were fantastic as well.
Definitely different, with great service I recommend Meg's Restaurant.
 
101 3rd Ave N
Saskatoon, SK
(306) 477-1044

“Great Food and Service”

Jambo Grill Ltd
I dine at Jambo Grill on a regular basis. My first visit was several years ago at a recommendation from a well known food critic. I was very pleased with the first experience, and every visit since has been fantastic. The dining area itself is a little cramped, and on each visit the restaurant was packed with patrons. Their service is excellent, with the hosts taking time to explain the choices on their menu. For those who are inexperienced, this is valuable as their selection greatly depends on how adventurous the patron is feeling. Of the many restaurants I've visited throughout Vancouver, throughout Canada and throughout the United States a few select restaurants remain in my memories as a new experience in a diverse culture. Jambo Grill serves as an ambassador to the African experience with an Indian touch.
 
1-3219 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 433-5060

“Great Food and Service”

Tickleberry's
Every time I pass through Okangan Falls travelling from Kelowna back home to Vancouver, I always stop by Tickleberry's for a treat. I discovered this wonderful little ice cream parlour last year and I have been visiting since. The portions are massive, especially considering the lower than average pricing. But don't let the low price fool you, their quality is comparable to many of the traditional ice cream parlours I've visited in Winnipeg and Quebec City. The service is quick, the staff are genuinely friendly and the surroundings are clean. Enjoy your ice cream by the lake enjoying the views or simply enjoy by the lot. This is a great place to stop by when visiting Okanagan Falls.
 
1207 Main
Okanagan Falls, BC
(250) 497-8862

“Great Service”

Canadian Car and Truck Sales/Leasing
I dropped by Canadian Car and Truck Rental when I was having my vehicle repaired at a local shop that didn't offer courtesy vehicles. I discussed my requirements and expectations with Mike Stafford and he was able to get me into a rental vehicle shortly after my arrival. Their inventory is extensive, from small economy vehicles to larger full size trucks and even trailers, this company has almost everything that someone could need for a rental. Their pricing is competitive and their vehicles arrive fully fuelled, cleaned and ready for use. The staff are courteous, friendly and experienced. Fast, efficient service and excellent customer care and follows ups is the proper way of doing business, a business model which this company follows. I highly recommend Canadian Car and Truck Rental.
 
20026 Fraser Hwy,
Langley, BC
(888) 884-1065

“Great Service”

Canadian Car & Truck Rental
I dropped by Canadian Car and Truck Rental when I was having my vehicle repaired at a local shop that didn't offer courtesy vehicles. I discussed my requirements and expectations with Mike Stafford and he was able to get me into a rental vehicle shortly after my arrival. Their inventory is extensive, from small economy vehicles to larger full size trucks and even trailers, this company has almost everything that someone could need for a rental. Their pricing is competitive and their vehicles arrive fully fuelled, cleaned and ready for use. The staff are courteous, friendly and experienced. Fast, efficient service and excellent customer care and follows ups is the proper way of doing business, a business model which this company follows. I highly recommend Canadian Car and Truck Rental.
 
20026 Fraser Hwy
Langley, BC
(604) 532-8828

“Average Food and Service”

I Sushi
I visited I Sushi when I was in the Broadway and Arbutus area craving some sushi. I was far away from my two favourite sushi houses, one being in Port Coquitlam and the other being in downtown Vancouver so I decided to give I Sushi a try. Upon entering I was greeted by friendly staff who had me seated right away. The décor is very nice and the layout wasn't cramped like many other restaurants. The tables and set up nicely and everything was neat and clean. I looked over their menu and as always I ordered the chef specialties. I ordered the Tata Roll with real crab meat and the Sunshine Roll. With a beverage the total was $25.00, not including the tip. The sushi came promptly but the restaurant seemed understaffed as numerous phone calls, new arrivals and guests wanting to pay and leave distracted the one server. I did not receive my pop until after I nearly finished my order and had to remind her as well. Also, she never asked me if I enjoyed my meal until I was ready to pay. The service itself was genuinely friendly but more staff with better training would have lead me to rate this restaurant higher. Regarding the meal, their sushi was good but definitely not worth the high price. The pricing is similar to many other highly rated sushi houses that I have experienced but I Sushi lacks their explosive flavour and creativity. With so many sushi houses in the Vancouver area it is difficult to become and remain unique but the sushi at I Sushi isn't good enough to warrant it's cost. Overall not a bad place but there are much, much better establishments out there with far better sushi with far better pricing, and most of all better service.
 
2568 Arbutus St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 737-0909

“Great Food and Service”

Cafe Alegria & Giftware Ltd
I was working on at the Steveston Harbour area one day and I didn't pack a lunch. I needed to find a comfortable place quick, easy and inexpensive. I drove around until I found Café Alegria. From outside I didn't think it was even a café, it looked more like a trendy boutique shop. But when I entered I could smell something wonderful brewing in their kitchen. Their menu consists mainly of sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads. I ordered a specialty sandwich and my partner ordered a specialty wrap. Our orders came with coffee and were presented to us in less than five minutes from our order. Both of our lunches were filled us up and we were ready to get back to work in less than 25 minutes. Great service, great food and great pricing. I'm definitely planning on returning and ordering more of their menu items.
 
1-12151 1st Ave
Richmond, BC
(604) 274-1215

“Great Food and Service”

Denny's Of Canada
I had a horrible experience at a Denny's restaurant in another city some time ago. I have never been to a Denny's restaurant since, but I had a meeting with a business associate who asked to meet at the Denny's here on Scott Road.

Upon entering I was greeted by the friendly staff and seated right away, and my business associate arrived shortly after. With plenty of dealings to discuss, my business associate and I was spent more time reviewing material than actually looking at the menus. Never once did the staff pressure us to take our orders, even though we were seated for quite possibly 45 minutes prior to ordering. Once we were settled our server took our orders. The entrees came with proper timing and the food was great. The server continuously replenished our beverages and checked up on us to make sure we were comfortable and received everything in order. This experience was the exact opposite of the previous experience I had at the Denny's on St. James in Winnipeg. My business associate and I ended up ordering more food and beverages as our stay lasted almost three hours. Not once did the restaurant staff show hint at us ordering more food or leaving as many other guests came and went. The staff were very friendly from start to finish and took time to make sure we enjoyed the experience of dining here.

This location serves as a proper standard for which all Denny's restaurants should follow. Great food, great service and staff that receive proper training with a real feel for what they do.
 
8487 120 St
Delta, BC
(604) 590-1717

“Horrible Service”

Denny's
I normally prefer not to visit franchise restaurants unless they're very good, but given that I had been awarded a gift certificate for a free meal for two at Denny's I thought I would stop by and sample the Denny's experience.

This horrible experience left me with a feeling that I would have skipped a free dinner and have gladly paid a full price at a proper managed restaurant.

Upon entering it was rather busy, but we were able to be seated right away. As our gift certificate was more than enough cover a full meal for two, my partner and I were able to order their more expensive dinner selections. Our order was not taken until a good 20 minutes after we were seated. I can not blame the server for this as she was trying her best to serve the enter dining area on her own. Her manager was actually seated several tables down from us, possibly having dinner with several of his friends. The server eventually did take our orders after having to have been flagged down several times. Our dinner orders did not come for quite some time after, and I can understand this as it seemed the entire restaurant was understaffed and mismanaged. Our orders did come somewhat cold, showing that they were probably sitting for some time, waiting to be brought out to us. Again, our server was busy in the dining area refilling drinks, taking other orders and attempting to bring organization to the chaotic scene. Instead of asking to have our orders redone and waiting another lengthy period of time we simply ate half our orders and waited for the bill. Even the wait for the bill took a long time as the manager never left his table to help his staff. This is an example of how a restaurant should not be run, and this experience is worthy of being shown on media just to prove how an establishment will suffer without proper guidance. I can not expect this business to last, not without serious restructuring. I do not recommend this Denny's location on St. James street to anyone, even if they were dining free of charge.
 
1017 St James St
Winnipeg, MB
(204) 772-7302

“Great Food and Service”

Osoyoos Pizza Factory
I've been visiting Osoyoos Pizza Factory for years. Every time I visit Osoyoos I treat my friends and family to this little pizza parlour off the main strip. It doesn't have the nicest décor, it isn't the most spacious and it surprisingly doesn't have the best reviews on the Internet. However, as someone who has had pizza from everywhere from Montreal to New York, from Chicago to Winnipeg and many other places, this is one of the best pizza parlours in Osoyoos. It is also one of the best Pizza Factory franchises in British Columbia. If you can set aside the lackluster dining area this is definitely a place to stop by when visiting Osoyoos. Great pizza at a great price simply can't be beat.
 
8115 Main St
Osoyoos, BC
(250) 495-2033

“Good Food and Service”

Doc Willoughby's Downtown Pub
Doc Willoughby's Pub carries the reputation of being one of the more classy pubs in Kelowna. Having visited a two other competitive pubs recently, it was a nice change. My previous pub experiences in Kelowna for this particular trip was a social scene pub and a budget-friendly pub, so it was a nice change to get to be in a pub with a more elegant demeanor. Doc Willoughby's had a crab leg special with drinks. This is the most expensive of the three pubs I visited during this time. It was also the cleanest and most spacious. It wasn't anywhere near as busy as some of the other pubs in the area but it was almost lounge-like with it's more refined feeling. The service was good but the server seemed preoccupied. On the other hand, the food came quickly and was very good. While it would be unfair to compare Kelowna pubs to Vancouver pubs, I would say there's a pub in Kelowna for each and every individual tastes. Doc Willoughby's Pub is for the more refined person looking for a relaxing water hole that offers more elegance and class than it's competitors.
 
353 Bernard Ave
Kelowna, BC
(250) 868-8288

“Good Food and Service”

O'Flannigan's Pub
I visited O'Flannigan's Pub during a visit to Kelowna under a friend's recommendation. Considering how I hold my standards much higher than most of my friends, I knew not to expect too much. I was surprised by my visit, as the food and service turned out to be much better than I expected. Upon visiting it was a rather busy late afternoon. We were able to catch the last empty table as the Olympics were being broadcast. Our server was friendly and mentioned all of their drink and meal specials for that day. We ordered our fare and it arrived quickly. The server was attentive and the food was good. While the décor, ambience and cleanliness were average, the pricing for the food and service was a bargain. It almost seemed as if O'Flannigan's Pub caters to a more budget-friendly customer. With great specials and good service, I recommend O'Flannigan's Pub for those who are looking for a less expensive alternative to other scene-type pubs in Kelowna.
 
Queensway
Kelowna, BC
(250) 763-2292
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