foodcog

Archive for the ‘Cambie Village’ Category

Stella’s On Cambie

without comments

Photo Credit: Foodcog

Photo Credit: Foodcog

Summary: Beers on a patio! Loves Stella’s for what it is: an afternoon watering hole and nosh pit. If you stick with just that, you can’t go wrong.

  • Go here for: $6 20oz Beers, Corn Dogs (!)
  • Avoid: Anything on the menu that isn’t beer or tapas

Stella’s is A Real European Place.

Most North Americans think of Europe as an elegant, refined place with fashionable people who make deep philosophical pronouncements while sipping on Absinthe and nibbling delicious food.

Europeans

Real Europeans

Foodcog saw a very different Europe: most Europeans don’t try that hard and just love the simple pleasures in life: eating gobs of butter, drinking cases upon cases of cheap booze, and party pretty hard in the clubs. Europeans, Foodcog is convinced, wouldn’t want anything to do with fancy food like Ginger Leek Foam on a Crisp Deep Fried Oyster Cracker. This probably explains why McDonald’s is the fastest growing restaurant in France. The French love McDonald’s (as they should).

This is where Stella’s comes in.

Stella’s brings the classic European Cafe to Vancouver. The coffee here probably isn’t as good, but like most cafes in Europe, Stella’s is a wonderful watering hole for the traditional after-work drink. In Europe, the aperitif (which is what we’re talking about) is any kind of booze that one requires to forget the horrible European workday spent baking tiny little macarons or stamping barefoot on wine, or whatever it is that they do for a living over there. You usually get a little bit of food to munch on alongside the aperitif.

While some of us here in North America will pretentiously drink Pernod or Pastis as aperitifs, Foodcog prefers the traditional North American Aperitif: Beer. Belgian Beer is a wonderful thing, and Stella’s carries a huge selection of it, along with beer from the rest o the world as well. This is a place with an unbeatable formula: good beer, casual atmosphere, beer-related food.

SO, some recommendations:

Stella’s menu is based around little bits of snack food to go with the beer, although they do confuse people with some afterthoughts for lunch or dinner. You should not be coming for a nice dinner with a glass of wine. Stick with the Tapas menu.

The fries (frites, for the pretentious)($6) are crisp, golden, and delicious and come with a lovely mayo. The corn dogs ($10) are a truly elevated snack food that goes wonderful with beer. Where else in Vancouver can you get Corn Dogs in a restaurant? And the mussels are consistently good, tender and swimming in a savoury broth paired with the golden crisp fries mentioned earlier.

The beer list, of course, is one of the best in the city. The reserve beer list can be expensive, but if you stay off the reserve menu, the beers are very competitively priced. A bottle of Stella for $5.75 is on par with just about anywhere in this city, a large Sapporo for $7 is better than most restaurants, and a real 20oz pint of Kronenbourg for $6, well, that’s just giving it away.

Photo Credit: Stellasbeer.com

Photo Credit: Stellasbeer.com

The service can be spotty: servers are either friendly or nowhere to be seen. They are, however, real people and this is a very underappreciated bonus. Foodcog talked to servers on two different visits, and one was hung over – true industry style – and the other had started his shift with a whisky and proclaimed it the best day in his life. Foodcog appreciates servers who match the ambiance of the restaurant they work in.

Most importantly, Stella’s has an actual (heated) outdoor patio that Foodcog can drink beer on! What’s more satisfying than having a beer, some chips, and watching traffic go by on a long summer afternoon? Nothing!

Of course, what works in Europe doesn’t always work in Vancouver: Stella’s doesn’t get completely positive reviews on other sites. As of this writing, Stella’s has 3/5 stars on dinehere.ca and 74% on urbanspoon.com. The problem here is that people are going to a beer and tapas place looking for real food. If you are looking for a good meal, go somewhere else. Stella’s is about the beer and tapas, that’s what they advertise and that’s what, in Foodcog’s opinion, they deliver.

Note: The menu says Two Rivers’ De Koninck ale chorizo corn dogs. Foodcog is pretty sure this refers to Two Rivers, not two corn dogs.

Links & Quality Blog Reviews:


Stella’s on Cambie on Urbanspoon

Written by Foodcog

November 25th, 2009 at 3:26 pm