Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Eating In in RC: Masala Meats

Masala Meats
Meat Market and Convenience Store
4409 Boundary Road (Boundary and 29th Avenue)

Open: Monday to Sunday, 11 am – 8 pm


Coincidentally, after 20 years of my Eating Out in RC column here, RCC News editor Julie Cheng suggested that I do an Eating In column to highlight her new local find: Masala Meats: Meat Market and Convenience Store.

That was in early February, before our old pal COVID-19 was even on the radar. Now of course, you can’t really be eating out anywhere. So here, for the time being, welcome to Eating IN in RC, featuring Masala Meats.

This is what Julie created with the help of Masala Meats: Ginger masala boneless chicken breast with homemade curry chickpeas. Photo by Julie Cheng

It was in February when I was able to take Julie up on her recommendation, visiting Masala Meats, located over on Boundary at 29th Avenue, at the north end of Joyce Street.

Here I met proprietor, Daman Sharma. I found out that Masala Meats is his first meat shop, and that he has been open here in Renfrew-Collingwood since January.

He is doing his best to offer a wide selection of quality chicken, beef and lamb products, both non-marinated and marinated in a variety of gourmet sauces. Chicken wings, breasts and kababs; barbecue beef steaks, beef ribs and beef kababs; barbecue lamb chops and lamb kababs in your favourite sauces: Jaipuri teekha masala, butter chicken, tandoori masala, ginger masala, tandoori … is your mouth watering yet?

For my meat selection, I settled on 2 pounds of chicken wings: lemon ginger and ginger masala (both medium spiciness). I will be back to try the Jaipuri teekha masala wings (hot).

I also checked out the wide variety of goods that Daman has in his convenience store section. Here one can find a range of Indian grocery and daily use items.

In the frozen section, I found a package of cassava fries; these should go nice with my wings, I thought.

Taking it home, I cooked the chicken wings (350 degrees C for 30 minutes), flipping them halfway through. The cassava fries went in the oven as well for 15 minutes. Voila – a gourmet feast of wings and fries that was both affordable and easy.

The wings were, of course, fresh, not frozen, and yet I would say more affordable than the frozen. The sauces that Masala Meats marinates them in are really gourmet.

You must taste for yourself. The cassava fries were an excellent addition as well.

So why RC would we not all head over to Masala Meats this instant to try all of this goodness that they have to offer? I recently spoke with Daman. He would like to let the community know that his store is open and that bonus meat kababs are being added to every purchase. So run, don’t walk, to see Daman over at Masala Meats and convenience store.

Still, let’s not forget our favourite local restaurants that have been hit so hard by all of this coronavirus pandemic. Many, although closed, are still offering delivery and take out.

Copyright 2020 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Ham and Eggman’s


The Mexican Scramble. I cannot say enough about how good this was, including those Kennebec hash browns. The best! Photo by Paul Reid

Ham & Eggman’s
3883 Rupert Street, Vancouver
(604) 620-8942
Monday to Friday 8 am – 3 pm
Saturday to Sunday 9 am – 3 pm


Ham & Eggman’s; Ham & Eggman’s – it’s kind of fun to say. Better yet is how good it tastes. Yes RC, we have a winner!

Ham & Eggman’s is producing some seriously good breakfast dishes right here in our community.

And it’s about time. Where else really has one been able to go around here for a really good breakfast(?) Since the Dutch Pannekoek House, which later morphed into James’ Street Cafe left the area, there really hasn’t been much in the way of dedicated breakfast places. And this one rocks!

Yes folks, not only was I there, tasting for myself, but I have found since that the internet too is full of nothing but rave reviews for Ham & Eggman’s.

Let’s see here what I can agree with. One person says, “My new go to breakfast spot in Vancouver!” Yes, I could definitely see that.

“The bathrooms were spotless!,” says another. Yes, I did get a chance to review those as well and they were noticeably being kept very clean.

“Right from the start, service was exceptional.” Yes, I too, undercover of course, was highly impressed by the pleasant mood and attentiveness of the wait staff.

“Chef Kristian Leidig really knows what he’s doing!” says Paniz L. Yes! Yes! In fact, doing
a little research on Chef Kristian and I find that he is quite the chef. He was presented the Vancouver Foodster 1st Place Award for his Bratwurst Benny in the #EggsBenedictChallengeYVR. Of course he did.

I’m telling you RC, these guys came to play ball.

Ham & Eggman’s has been here in RC since March 2019. Wow! Why was I the last to know? And if you haven’t been to Ham & Eggman’s yet, well, now you know that you better get yourself down there.

Before I let you go, I want to tell you about what I had. I went for the Mexican scramble. All their scrambles come with three eggs served with Kennebec hash browns and toast. The Mexican included house-made chorizo, fajita peppers and onions, aged cheddar, topped with salsa and sour cream ($15).

Let me tell you it was worth every last red cent. I guess the kids don’t know what a cent is. We used to call them pennies. I feel old.

Anyhow, get down to Ham & Eggman’s and taste for yourself. And tell me what you think of these Kennebec hash browns. I would not be going out on much of a limb by saying that these hash browns are likely the best you or I have ever tasted: light and fluffy on the inside, yet nice and crispy on the outside. I was wondering how they do that. How do you do that Kristian?

Thank you Ham & Eggman’s. Bon appetit!

Copyright 2019-2020 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: The Deli by Continental Sausage

The Deli by Continental Sausage

These are monster-size sandwiches at The Deli by Continental Sausage. Photo by Paul Reid

2406 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver
Monday – Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm


Greetings food fans. I want to inform you now of a hidden little gem, tucked away in the northwest corner of our community, just north of Nanaimo and Broadway. It’s called The Deli, by Continental Sausage.

This is Continental Sausage’s one-and-only outlet store, full of excellent deals on sausages, deli meats and more.

I thought I would try their sandwich combo. First, you choose your meat from their entire selection. Kristine, my lovely server, piled it on.

Next, you get to choose your cheese from their fine assortment. Hmm, German Edam or smoked Havarti? Next, the vegetables selection: their lettuce, onions, pickles and tomatoes are fresh and delicious. Then, you get to choose from a variety of their high quality sauces, including that Dijon mustard. Mmm. Then pick your chips and a pop. Quick, affordable, healthy and filling.

Yes, these are monster-size sandwiches, folks.

In addition to these awesome sandwiches, you will find quality German meat and cheese products, as well as an assortment of condiments and specialty items from Germany, Hungary and Eastern Europe at reasonable prices. There’s double-smoked bacon, heritage ham, German salami, pate, head cheese (which is a meat jelly often made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig), smokies (supplier to Mr. Tube Steak); smoked gouda cheese, Irish ham, beer sausage, salami bites, cocktail wieners, ham and bacon loaf and ajvar – a condiment made from red bell peppers and oil.

Continental Sausage is a small family-run business of about 30 employees. Created in 1960, Continental Sausage sells to independently owned delicatessens, butcher shops and restaurants.

They see their relatively small size as a positive: more personable, accessible and exclusive; listening to customer’s feedback while adapting to the changes and trends of the market place.

Continental Sausage’s products are produced more frequently in small batches for quality and freshness, They purchase their pork and beef from local Fraser Valley farmers within a 100-mile radius.

Their European Sausage Meister takes these choice cuts of hand-trimmed meats to make a broad range of delicious sausages, salamis, hams and roasts in European tradition.

In addition to my awesome mega sandwich with chips and pop, I picked up some Canadian back bacon and some chorizo sausage, all of which I will be back for more.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you investigate The Deli, by Continental Sausage, for yourself.

Keep on eatin’.

Copyright 2019 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Zorro’s Pizza and Spaghetti House


The man now behind Zorro’s, taking over the legacy, Wayne Bergquist. Photos by Paul Reid

4453 Boundary Road, Vancouver
Free delivery (after 4 pm)
Phone: 604-438-6446
Now accepts debit as well as cash


Greetings food fans. I was very excited to review this next gem in that jewel-encrusted crown of RC eateries, Zorro’s Pizza and Spaghetti House. Yes! Zorro’s is back! Many of you already know, since it happened back in February – Zorro’s reopened!

Many were stunned and saddened by the passing of Tony Siliverdis, the man behind Zorro’s. The pizza became legendary. As RC’s Eating Out restaurant review guy, I was saddened to find myself having never tried it. The more I heard about how great it was, the more I regretted having never had the experience.

Alas! Wayne Bergquist and his mom, Cynthia Ostonal, have come to the rescue, apparently just in time. “When we contacted the Siliverdis family, we found that they had pretty much given up looking for someone to take over the business and were getting ready to sell everything at an auction.”

Thank goodness for Wayne and Cynthia. Short of building a time machine, there was no way for me to ever try a legendary slice of that Zorro’s pie.

The Jerry's Special lives up to all the hype.

The Jerry’s Special lives up to all the hype.

It’s the exact same menu. I had to have the legendary Jerry’s Special (named after Tony’s son). Bacon, salami, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, pineapple, fresh tomatoes and lean beef.

I was not disappointed. My Jerry’s actually lived up to all that hype. It was old school: thick and delicious and I will definitely be back to try more. Now, as admitted, I never had a true one of Tony’s creations, so I cannot compare, but I can honestly say that I was very impressed. A deal at $22. Yes, this baby is so thick, one slice is pretty much a meal for some. I had about four of the eight because it was just so good and I was stuffed!

Wayne is using the exact same recipes for the dough. I found the crust to be like a freshly baked pastry – chewy, delicious and thick – but not too heavy. Even the thick crust at the end, which you often might leave behind, was good to the last bite.

Well done guys! Mikeal Hunt, Zorro’s new pizza chef, should be proud.


Zorro’s pizza chef Mikeal Hunt should be proud.

Wayne has been enjoying Zorro’s pizza since he was about 16 years old. He’s about 40 now, so that’s a lot of Zorro’s. Wayne knows how it should taste. “We’re making it the same, but we’re making it better,” he says. “Maybe a little less ‘wet.’ We’re also going to be adding some new pizza to the menu. We now have a Double Cheeseburger pizza and Sweet BBQ pizza.”

And what does Billy Hopeless of the Black Halos – (un)official ambassador of Zorro’s pizza, say? “My picture is up on the wall with Tony’s—that’s gotta say something. I only hope they can keep it as faithful as they have to the legacy they are carrying on as there has never been a better pizza than Zorro’s. If I wasn’t so busy planning my next attack with the reunited Black Halos and living in Gastown so far away from my old hood, I’d probably have jumped in to keep the old oven cooking.”

Well friends, what are you waiting for? Get on the phone and get yourself one of the best deep dish pizzas. Bon appetit.

Comments from the RCC News website regarding Tony Siliverdis

Mr. Dunlop

Rest in peace, my friend, you will always be remembered as a great man with a beautiful family; hardworking and best pizza in Vancouver for sure. You delivered pizza to my family for 30 years. We will miss talking to you about anything and everything; going to miss you; love you.

J. Mihaichuk

My family home was up the street in the 70s to the late 90s. I was at Zorros Pizza way too much. I loved the family and of course the pizza was amazing. Still after all this time I remember the great man Tony was, always a smile, sometimes a glare, but always a person all of us could trust. He will be missed. I only wish I could have brought my kids to Zorro’s to meet the man, the Legend.


I recently went to Zorro’s for pizza as I live out of town. I’m sorry for your loss as your father was a wonderfully kind human being. I worked shift throughout the early 1990s and would drop by for food to take to work and chat with your mom and dad. They were very kind people. I was pleased to be able to introduce my 8-year-old son to your father about a year ago and chatted like the old days. My son liked your father and your dad gave him a free can of pop. Your father was old school and will be sorrowfully missed. My son told everyone your father’s pizza was the best he ever tasted.

Read more about Tony Siliverdis of Zorro’s

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Boteca Brasil


The bright and festive atmosphere of Boteca Brasil will transport you to someplace warm and cozy. Photos by Paul Reid

2545 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver
Call 778-379-7995 for reservations
Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner


Even on a dark and rainy Vancouver day, the bright and festive atmosphere of Boteca Brasil will transport you to someplace warm and cozy. And if you are thinking of where to take your sweetie this upcoming Valentine ’s Day, Boteco Brasil will fit that romantic bill.

In Brazil, a “boteco” is place where you go for delicious food, lots of drinks, good music and hang out with friends. Boteco Brasil is where you can do just that – just what the RC area needs! On some nights your dinner at Boteco will be accompanied with live music . You will enjoy some classics of the “música popular Brasileira” (well known as MPB), bossa nova, pop, pagode, samba and many classics of Brazilian music.

Yes, it was a rainy Sunday afternoon when my accomplice and I made this visit to Boteco. No live music at this time, but there was music and as mentioned, our spirits were uplifted, not only by the atmosphere, but by the friendly staff. I’ll add here too, during the sunnier months, one can sit outside on Boteco’s large patio – sweet as well. Probably Renfrew-Collingwood’s best patio.

Back inside, we ordered some drinks. There are lots of fine ones to choose from: a variety of bottled beer, draft beer, wines and some cool-sounding cocktails. There is Cachaçam a Brazilian distilled spirit made from sugar cane. Also Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar and lime. So what did we two wild and crazy kids order? It was an orange juice for her and a Brazilian roasted coffee for me.


The Bobo de Camarao is made of seasoned shrimps on a creamy stew made with red palm oil, cassava, coconut milk, celery and bell peppers.

For the food, the accomplice ordered the Bobo de Camarao ($17): seasoned shrimps on a creamy stew made with red palm oil, cassava, coconut milk, celery and bell peppers. I was drawn to the Feijoada ($16): authentic Brazilian style black beans and pork stew served with basmati rice, sautéed kale, farofa, vinaigrette salsa and a slice of orange. We also ordered an appetizer of Coxinhas ($9) which are crispy potato-based dough pockets stuffed with shredded chicken and spices.

The Coxinhas arrived, along with a garlic infused sauce, and mmm, no wonder these are described as Brazil’s favourite snack – really nice and tasty. The Bobo de Camarao, which my accomplice was sweet enough to allow me to try, was equally impressive. The coconut taste of the sauce reminded me of some Thai dishes I have eaten.

My Feijoada was also good. As with everything else, you could tell that it had been prepared with love and all fresh ingredients. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about arranging it all. Our very pleasant host explained that the farofa, which I would later learn is a toasted cassava flour mixture used on barbacued meat and hearty stews, can be sprinkled on top.

So basically, you can mix it all together, and boy, and girl, was it good – very nice and filling. I barely had room to finish off the accomplice’s Bobo de Camarao.

Now, it would be time for dessert, but as you now know – we were too full for dessert, BUT, there were some nice-sounding ones: Bolo Prestigio ($6) a rich Brazilian chocolate and coconut cake with “beijino filling and brigadeiro” topping. Also, Pudim De Leite Moca ($6) A rich and creamy flan topped with caramel sauce.

So there we have it – Boteco Brasil would be a good choice to take your sweetie, on Valentine’s, or any time, lunch or dinner. Until next time food fans – bon appetite.

Copyright (c) 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: Pho 99 Broadway Tech Centre

2915 Hebb Avenue (at Renfrew)


Pho 99's Combo Roll plate. Photos by Paul Reid

Pho 99’s Combo Roll plate. Photos by Paul Reid

Greetings food fans. Let me tell you about one of the newer eateries in town, just opened on Easter of 2017. This is definitely the most modern pho restaurant that I have ever encountered. When later talking with manager and franchise owner, Mr. Khanh Tran, he explained to me, “There has been a change in philosophy with our generation, compared to the baby boomers before us.

“They would just cook the food and not pay much attention to the dining area. Now, the new generation wants to create an ambience and the atmosphere, to give the customer a full dining experience, one that is comfortable and relaxed.”

Seafood Noodle in Hot and Sour Soup

Seafood Noodle in Hot and Sour Soup

And that it was. My accomplice and I shared a Combo Roll plate ($7): one salad roll, a fried roll and a grilled minced pork roll. It comes with two delicious sauces. Mmm. I also ordered a large Seafood Noodle in Hot and Sour Soup ($10): with vegetables, squid, prawns and crabmeat. My accomplice had a small pho with chicken meat ($9).

The food arrived swiftly and I will just say that everything was oh-so delicious. Loved it!

Tran explained more about the pho-losophy. This is a meal about balance. All of the ingredients that you put in to the pho soup are there to balance one another out. The crunchiness of the bean sprouts balances with the soft noodles; the lime helps to cut through the fat; the basil goes well with the beef aroma; the hoisin sauce (that brown sauce on the table) can be added if you think the soup is too salty; the hot sauce and jalapenos are there for you to control the spiciness.

Pho 99’s broth takes a full 18 hours to get ready, which adds to that irresistible flavour. Yum!

Tran runs Pho 99 Broadway with his wife, his brother-in-law, Quy, and the full support of his entire family.

“This is Pho 99’s 10th location,” says Tran, “11 if you count the U.S. location,” Tran’s first restaurant.

A local hit with the students and staff of Broadway Tech Centre, Tran hopes to bring the best service and food that they can to our community.

“For us, the bottom line is the people. Did they have a great experience. In our culture, it is the honourable thing to give your guests the best that we can, to treat them as best as we can, and that is our philosophy here.”

Helping out the local community is also very important to Tran and his family, who were among the Vietnamese boat people forced to flee Vietnam. “We have begun working with a local nearby church, St. Jude’s, as well as to provide local high school graduates with ‘celebration vouchers’ for a job well done. We look forward to when the new business becomes more sustainable so that we will be better equipped to help our community even more.”

I suggest you visit Pho 99 and experience the new generation of pho restauarants for yourself. Bon appetit!

Copyright (c) 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil

3309 Kingsway, Vancouver
Phone: (604) 565-3999


Eating Out in RC: Captain's Boil

“Everything that we ate at the Captain’s Boil was delicious.” Photo by Paul Reid

Greetings food fans. We journey now to one of Collingwood’s newest restaurants – the Captain’s Boil. The Captain’s Boil is actually a franchise with 16 locations now across Canada.

“The Captain’s Boil was inspired by Cajun seafood boil, where freshly caught seafood is boiled and served right away to retain its freshness and tenderness. The Captain’s Boil took this idea further by adding aromatic Asian spices to enhance the natural taste of our ingredients,” says the CEO and founder, The Captain.

Captain'sBoil in Renfrew-Collingwood on KingswayAs this franchise is aimed at the millennial crowd, we older types may or may not immediately appreciate this style of dining, which The Captain describes as “feast like a pirate! dine like a captain.” You may be surprised to find that the tablecloth is a sheet of paper, that all of the utensils and bowls are plastic and Styrofoam, or that the food arrives in plastic bags. Or, maybe I have just never been to a Cajun seafood boil, which I hadn’t, until now.

But that’s how it is. The Captain explains, “By removing all the unnecessary hassle of table settings and cutlery, we make sure that the food is ready-to-eat — from sea to table.” Also, once we’re done, I guess they can just fold up the paper tablecloth and voila – no dishes.

My sweetie and I arrived one Wednesday evening around 6 pm to find the Captain’s Boil quite busy, but a table was available. You may have to wait awhile on the weekends. We examined the menu and found out about the Captain’s steps.

The first step is to “choose your catch.” My sweetie and I ordered one order (pound) of King Crab Legs and one order of clams. Originally, my sweetie had ordered lobster, which said “market price” next to it. The waitress was kind enough to let us know that one lobster was currently $45. “Can we order half a lobster,” I asked, being kinda poor and all. That was not possible, so the King Crab Legs, at $19.95, was this beggar’s choice.

Step two, you choose your flavour. The options are Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Sauce or the Captain’s Boil (a “perfectly balanced” combination of the other three sauces). We chose Garlic for the clams and the Captain’s Boil for the crab legs.

Step three, you choose your heat: non-spicy, mild, medium or fire (smokin’ hot). We love the spice but thought we better take it easy, so we went with medium on both. In retrospect, I think we could have handled the fire.

That’s it for the steps, but you still have many add-ons or sides to choose from as well. We decided on an order of the Cajun Seafood Fried Rice ($10.95).

My accomplice immediately put on her bib and plastic gloves; I decided to wait a bit. The rice arrived first. We scooped some rice into our bowls. We agreed – very delicious. Next came our bag of clams. It was time to put on my bib and gloves. You just reach in, pull them out and have at ’em. The garlic flavour was intense. I guess that’s what you would expect from something in a bag swimming with garlic. I must say though, if you love garlic, like I do, it was pretty darn tasty. Soon after our crab legs arrived. Again – delicious.

You do have to work for your dinner with crab though, and I still don’t know how crazy I was about eating with plastic gloves and utensils on Styrofoam. Now that I know the Captain’s philosophy (“We serve our food messy to let you enjoy it in a fun and unique way”), I guess it was pretty fun; a change for sure. One thing that was also for sure — everything that we ate at the Captain’s Boil was delicious. Our hostess was pretty friendly too. Well done, Captain’s Boil.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News