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Ryan Cruz




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“Poor Food and Service”

Mags 99 Fried Chicken & Mexican
I visited Mags 99 today on the way home from an awesome adventure in Whistler. I stopped by because I was craving deep fried chicken and I didn't want the usual fast-food filth that I often served at most places. Upon doing my research I discovered that Mags 99 has extremely high reviews, so I thought it must be great. This is the one time where other online reviews have failed to show the truth.

Upon arrival, I noticed that there were plenty of interesting Mexican-style murials painted all over the building, in the washroom and all throughout the dining area. Quite colourful murials, pictures and paintings that bring a vibrance to the restaurant that would make you feel like you're in Vancouver's Gastown area or Winnipeg's Osborne Village. This was a very welcoming feel to the restaurant. Unfortunately, everyone there is basically there to eat and socialize. Socializing is easy, but eating not so. The server mentioned that it will be a 30 minute wait for the food. 30 minutes for an order of fried chicken and a side of medium gravy? I thought it myself that it is either spectacular or they have a butcher shop in the back that no one is able to see. Either way, I had extremely high expectations at this point, and given other online reviews I was already expecting a lot. Realistically, about 20 minutes later I was called up for me order. I looked at the gravy and I looked at the fried chicken. It didn't look anything different from anywhere else, and the portion size wasn't anything spectacular. The pricing was fair for the portion size but it overall the experience was poor. Aside from the friendly staff, the colourful artwork, and the welcoming environment the restaurant failed to meet my expectations. If I lowered my expectations by half, it still would have failed. Realistically, I've had better fried chicken at a more reasonable price, served much quicker at fast food franchises. I would avoid the disappointment of dining here.
1584 99 Hwy
Squamish, BC
(604) 898-9810

“Excellent Service”

Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre
I took my Meetup group to Deep Cove Kayak for their basic kayak instruction course. We had a great time with their awesome instructor! Spencer taught us all the basic techniques for navigating through the calm waters of deep cove as a safe and controlled manner, then took us sightseeing throughout the inlet. With the surreal beauty of Deep Cove surrounding us and the positive environment of their staff, Deep Cove Kayak is the place to go for kayak training, rentals and water adventures!
2156 Banbury Rd
North Vancouver, BC
(604) 929-2268

“Great Food and Service”

Arms Reach Bistro
My Meetup group decided to have lunch at the Arms Reach Bistro right after our kayaking adventure in Deep Cove. We were seated right on the patio quickly and observed their interesting menu. We ordered a variety of their main brunch dishes to fill up our appetite as we were quite hungry from our water excursion. The service was friendly and quick, and the food was great. Their menu had some interesting items, nothing too unique but nothing mundane either. The facilities were nice and the atmosphere was inviting. Definitely a place to check out when cruising through Deep Cove.
4390 Gallant Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
(604) 929-7442

“Great Food and Service”

Takis Taverna
I visited Taki's Taverna when looking for a place to dine when out and about on Davie Street. Never having been there before and never reading any reviews, I took a chance when dining there with a friend. The restaurant itself was typical of most restaurants in Davie, which means it'll be busy and it'll be cramped. We were seated right away and it didn't take long for our server to come out and greet us. The menu doesn't have anything extra special that I found unique, it seemed like the standard fare that I see in almost all Greek restaurants. We placed an order of calamari, lamb roast, mixed kebabs and a salad. It didn't take long for our order to arrive. The food was delicious, far better than what I expected. The portion size was considerably large for the prices and our server was genuinely friendly. The washrooms were clean and overall my friend and I stayed longer than we expected. The overall feel and atmosphere of the restaurant was great, the food was fantastic and the service was awesome. I highly recommend Taki's when in the Davie area.
1106 Davie St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 682-1336

“Great Food and Service”

Zeitoon Restaurant
I visited Zeitoon restaurant with a Tehran-born Persian friend of mine. I was planning on taking her out for something that was closer to what she is used to while I have the opportunity to learn more about the Persian cuisine. I picked Zeitoon for it's location and it's ratings.

I came to Zeitoon with an open mind and an empty stomach so I was eager to see what culinary adventures lie ahead. The service was good, despite the negative ratings I have read elsewhere. The decor is simple but elegant, the layout was decent without being too cramped. The washroom was clean and the overall atmosphere was comfortable. Upon arrival it wasn't too busy so we were seated immediately.

Half of the menu was in Farsi, so allowed my Persian friend to order whatever she liked. We started off with an eggplant based appetizer, followed by bread and then our main dish being a lamb and beef kebob with rice. Everything came in a timely manner and had great presentation. The kebob dishes were delicious along with the stew dish we had also ordered. If there was one thing I had difficulty eating was the extremely sour green olive side dish. My Persian friend was very happy with the quality and authenticity of the dinner.

It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to the next time we can come out to enjoy dining in a traditional Persian fashion. I highly recommend Zeitoon!
1615 Lonsdale Ave
North Vancouver, BC
(778) 340-1500

“Excellent Products and Service”

One Whey Nutrition Centre
I have been purchasing all of my nutritional supplements at One Whey for years. I first began purchasing and seeking advice from One Whey's owner BJ Chursinoff shortly after established his store. Not only does BJ have excellent products, but he has vast knowledge and proven experience for various aspects of health and fitness. From weight maintenance to competitive bodybuilding, BJ has the expertise to help people achieve their goals. When I first met BJ I was out of shape. With his exercise recommendations and nutritional supplements, I was able to make the most use out of the efforts that I put into changing my physique. BJ really cares about his clientelle and takes extra steps to make sure that they achieve what they are after. Improving your health is a decision to life a better lifestyle and requires a lot of effort. It is great to have people support you along the way. That is why I recommend One Whey.
2885 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam, BC
(778) 285-9439

“Poor Food and Service”

I visited O Sushi up on Westwood Plateau twice. The first time I was not at all impressed, and so I decided to give it another try about a week later. Again, I was not impressed.

The menu is nothing spectacular as it has pretty much copied what most other sushi houses have. I have no problem with that, but at least their food could be put together with some pride and talent. Not to say that the ingredients are not fresh, but they are definitely bland. It is unusual for me to eat sushi that is supposed to be vibrant with multiple flavours only to experience the same taste sensation as drinking mildly flavoured water. Bland is really an understatement. Normally I discuss the layout of the restaurant, it's cleanliness and it's washrooms but I won't bother. I recommend simply moving on. It is strange how this restaurant receives so many positive reviews on the Internet. There seems to be many inexperienced so-called sushi lovers out there that have never ventured into the realm of real sushi.

Many will post about how the sushi is great and the servers are attractive. First off, if you know your sushi you will know that this is grocery-store quality. Second of all, if you are only interested in attractive people you should be out at Kits Beach rather than a sushi house in Coquitlam. Finally, if you value your time and money then you would skip O Sushi all together.
1410 Parkway Blvd
Coquitlam, BC
(604) 941-3737

“Good Food and Service”

Grind & Gallery Coffee Bar The
The Grind Coffee House is a great place to hang out or study along Main Street and King Edward in Vancouver. It is normal to see a number of people sitting by themselves studying or groups of people taking up one of the tables enjoying locally made sweets. The selection of sweets changes daily and their coffee is always fresh. The servers are cool and the atmosphere is relaxing. The area is quite spacious although the washrooms are rather cramped. Overall a great place to support local students and a local business along a busy strip in Vancouver.
4124 Main St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 874-1588

“Good Food and Service”

Jako Japanese Restaurant
I visited Jako Sushi when I was hanging out on Davie Street and had a sushi craving. There are quite a number of sushi houses on Davie Street and I wasn't sure which one to pick. I found Jako Sushi as the only one which wasn't packed and had a table ready for me. I did have second thoughts as all the other sushi houses along this strip of Davie Street were busy. I took the plunge and I wasn't disappointed. The menu is lackluster and doesn't have anything out of the ordinary that strikes you as being extra special. The layout of the restaurant is not spacious and a little bit on the cramped side but still relatively comfortable. The dining area is clean although the washrooms are not. If you can get past all these issues, there is a great value in their food. The service is speedy although not very attentive. The food however, for the pricing is actually quite good. The portion size is very good and the ingredients as well as preparation show that while there's a lack of creativity, there is no lack of experience and pride in what they put together. The rolls are all very well done and everything tastes very good. Consider Jako Sushi as an equivalent of a fast food sushi house with a higher grade of sushi. Great for those looking for a quick sushi meal without spending too much.
656 Davie St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 687-0510

“Poor Food and Service”

Pho Sen Restaurant
I visited Pho Sen in Coquitlam as I live close to the area and I like to have Pho when I'm feeling under the weather. Pho Sen has a number of positive reviews on various websites so I decided to give this restaurant a try. The menu is extensive as I would expect from most Pho restaurants. I opted for their most adventurous pho dish with the traditional brisket, fatty flank and so on. The have numerous sizes and I opted for the largest size available, plus a side order of rolls. The overall cost was $12.00 not including tip and I wasn't really impressed with the food or the service. Once the food was delivered, which was only a few minutes after taking my order the server never once came by again to see if I needed anything or if I was happy with my order. The food itself wasn't anything spectacular, and while I couldn't point out at any real faults it fails in comparison to the other Pho restaurants I've visited in the past. While the food was a disappointment, the service was really poor. Overall this visit was a let-down. The layout is spacious, the dining area is organized and the washrooms are clean. I arrived with an open mind and left with a taste of dissatisfaction. I would not recommend Pho Sen if you're looking for adventurous food or quality service.
112-3030 Lincoln Ave
Coquitlam, BC
(604) 945-1998

“Horrible Service”

Canada Green Building Council
Canada Green Building Council is the governing agency in Canada for environmental projects, standards and education. Unfortunately, they are plagued with inadequacies and poor organization that are reminiscent of the 1980s. It is extremely difficult to register an account online, with the numerous broken links and incorrect pages on their website. Dealing with the support staff over the phone is useless and overall any type of administrative duties have fallen into the hands of those who do not exist. While there is no other option for those who are looking to receive their LEED certification, the Canada Green Building Council is vastly over-rated and improperly staffed.
310 319 W Pender St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 681-7002

“Great Food and Service”

Agra Tandoori Restaurant
I visited this restaurant today when I was invited for a business lunch. I was greeted by very friendly staff and seated quickly. My business partner invited me here due to numerous past experiences that were all very positive. I had the sampler which had the most popular items served. Every item was fantastic and served quickly. The layout of the restaurant was spacious and the servers are very attendant. The washrooms were clean and overall it was a wonderful experience. I am hoping to make this a regular spot to visit. I highly recommend Agra!
3790 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC
(604) 430-1600

“Excellent Food and Service”

Kaya Malay Bistro
I visited Kaya Malay Bistro when I organized a dinner with a group of friends. I thought this was a chance for everyone to get together in a long time so it was important of all of us who came from different backgrounds to be able to enjoy different menu items. I was able to conveniently place a reservation online and have it confirmed. Upon arrival at the restaurant everything was in place for us. We were served and attended to with genuinely friendly staff and the dinner and drink menu was explained to us thoroughly. We all enjoyed the meals that we shared and the staff didn't rush to have us leave despite the fact we stayed after the restaurant closed. Great menu items, fantastic service, ambience that suits both romantic dinners and family gatherings, this is a great addition to the Vancouver restaurant scene.
1063W Broadway W
Vancouver, BC
(604) 730-9963

“Great Food and Service”

Sun's Teriyaki
I visited Sun's Teriyaki when I was working across the street and needed a quick bite. Upon entering I found the establishment rather quaint and small, although it was clean and relaxing. The decor is nothing special and the settings are plain. Given what I seen I was expecting a bargain meal, and that is what I received. The lone employee was both the hostess and cook. She took my order and within 10 minutes my order arrived. The meal was delicious and it was a bargain as I was barely able to finish the meal. Different menu options are available with a variety that should satisfy most cravings. Overall, highly recommended for those who more hungry and on a budget than those looking to look good and be entertained. This is a great little Japanese diner.
3-20306 Dewdney Trunk Rd
Maple Ridge, BC
(604) 457-4580

“Excellent Service”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
I rented a vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Maple Ridge when my vehicle was at a local dealership for major repairs. I received a clean vehicle, with a nominal amount of fuel and an overview of the vehicle's features. The professionalism from the staff at this Enterprise Rent-A-Car location as superb and they had full disclosure and transparency for all the charges, fees and a final price prior to signing. All the insurance and documentation was easy to understand and the staff took time to make sure all of my needs were met and had earned my confidence that dealing with them was the best decision above the competition. Alex Mychailchenko and the staff have proven that proper ethics and customer service still exists in business. Highly recommended!
4-20468 Lougheed Hwy
Maple Ridge, BC
(604) 460-9292

“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 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”

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

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