Urbanspoon, Vancouver's New Food Authority

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was passed along a link recently (via del.icio.us) for Urbanspoon, a massive website network of restaurants and food reviews from around the world.

Urbanspoon is the world’s leading provider of time-critical dining data, a major division of a very important multi-national corporation, and an all-around BIG PLAYER in the multi-billion dollar restaurant information industry. Read more about us on the Urbanspoon Blog. [About – Urban Spoon]

This month they expanded to covering 14 cities around North America and Vancouver made the cut.

They’ve been able to list almost 2,500 restaurants and eateries of over 60 different varieties in 32 neighbourhoods. Wow, and I thought I was on top of things with my little patio guide. It’s pretty amazing. They have a blog, polls, cute little “I like it” and “I don’t like it” quick review buttons, links to reviews by other sources, accounts so you can track your favourites and make recommendations, and of course there are plenty of interactive Google Maps. Oh, and did I mention they also have a Facebook app? Yup.

Want to go someplace neat for brunch tomorrow?

You can then sort through by location or price, and if you don’t see something you love (or hate) on there already you can easily submit a new entry. Also, if you have reviewed a restaurant before on your blog, they would like to add you to their site. Your submitted blog post will then show up under the restaurant’s profile. You can also add a button to your post and it will all link up through their “Spoonback” system (see my post about So.cial Butcher Shop and Deli)

I’ve only had a little time to run through the site but from what I see so far, I am thoroughly impressed, kinda floored actually. Now I just have to go through all of my post archives, weed out my restaurant reviews and submit… if any of them are worthy.

If you have a del.icio.us account and would like to bookmark a story for my attention just tag it “for:Miss604” and I’ll pick it up.

urbanspoon2.pngUpdate: Two of my restaurant reviews that I could find pretty easily last night have now been linked on Urbanspoon. My blog is now listed as a source and it even has its own profile page on Urbanspoon, listing all of my posted/personal reviews as well.

They also provide the code to copy/paste a badge for your blog’s sidebar, noting your blog’s name and a link to restaurant reviews you have made.

Miss604 Poll: Canucks Ticket Prices

Comments 10 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It doesn’t look as though going to a Canucks game will make my “Cheap Fun” or “Cheap Things to Do” list anytime soon. At the beginning of the pre-season Canucks blogger (and podcast co-host) J.J. took a look at the price leap for tickets.

The Vancouver Canucks posted their single-game ticket prices on their website today… I’ve taken the liberty of comparing this season’s prices to last season’s:

…Canucks fans can’t be too happy with this increase, especially one that averages in double-digit percentages. Including service charges, the cheapest tickets – yes the cheapest – will now cost more than $100 for a pair. [Canucks Hockey Blog]

At this point, family nights with the Memorial Cup Champions do seem a little more tempting but there are other options. You could wait until the puck drops at GM Place, then “independent ticket brokers” on the street will start selling for $20/seat if you don’t mind missing some action on the ice. Or you could just watch Hockey Night in Canada… oh… wait.

So Canucks fans, are high ticket prices and $8 sippy cups of Molson Canadian going to stop you from attending games? Or is it just a part of growing up as a team?


To view and vote on past polls, visit the Miss604.com poll page.

The Fabulous Commodore Ballroom

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update 2011: Billboard has named The Commodore Ballroom one of the Top 10 Most Influential Clubs in North America.

tmbg stage - see: accordion Last night we went to see They Might be Giants at the Commodore to round out John‘s Birthday-week celebrations. It was a really great evening and the atmosphere was so relaxed, whimsical and pleasant with TMBG’s music keeping the people dancing in all kinds of silly ways.

I started to think about all the shows I’ve seen there before… a couple concerts and even an Oktoberfest came to mind. We were backstage once when we interviewed Keeley from Sparta and it just seems like everyone, no matter where you go, has heard of the legendary Commodore Ballroom.

In 1929 the Commodore Cabaret opened its doors, only to have them shut briefly month later during the Depression.

What was supposed to have lured customers away from the Hotel Vancouver and its booming ballroom business ended up sitting dark for half a year. In November 1930, local nightclub pioneers Nick Kogas and Johnny Dillias became convinced they could make a go of it, reopening the club and officially beginning its run as a live venue with dinner and dancing every Saturday. [The Georgia Straight]

My Opa, Granville Street in 1956

It reopened and soon became the place to be for fox trotting, waltzing, jazzing and rock n’ rolling nightlife in Vancouver until it closed down in 1996. Many feel this left Granville and Vancouver’s club scene without a heartbeat.

I remember that the dance floor was so famous for its ‘bounce’ that when they remodeled in ’96 they sold off the pieces that were being replaced. Apparently the secret ingredient for the old floor was tires stuffed with horse hair, you know for that extra hop. It reopened all shiny and ready for the new millennium in 1999. Since then its hosted countless monumentally important rock, punk, folk and musical acts. Also, in 2004 for the 75th anniversary Tom Waits played his first club show in almost 30 years (I believe Adam was even at that show…)

The bowling alley underneath it is pretty great as well, the only place downtown where you can get a drink and play some good ol’ 5-pin. It’s Canada’s oldest bowling alley and …”from opening day until [director] Frank Panvin’s death in 1962, the only time staffer Mitz Nozaki spent away from the alley was when the Canadian government interned him at Shuswap Lake with other Japanese Canadians during World War II” [Vancouver History]. That’s a whole other chunk of West Coast history there though.

Photo credit: Vancouver Infocenter

Sometimes it seems as though Vancouver is such a glistening, glossy, newly unwrapped city of glass. Uncovering pieces of history, especially those tidbits that still have something to show us today, really gets me excited about the city. Sure, it’s not like when I was in Cambridge and I could look down at route markers from the 1700s on the side of the road, but it’s something.

It may take a rousing rendition of Particle Man by John, John, Dan, Dan and Mike to get me thinking about some pretty cool cultural history of this metropolis, but it’s definitely something I’d like to experience more often.

Vote for Me in NetChick's Wii Contest

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

A little while ago I included a wee tribute to Tanya (aka NetChick) which in turn entered me into a contest to win a Wii. She has widdled down the field to 20 choice entries and mine is included in the 8th spot. From here, her readers will get to vote on their favourite submission and that author will be awarded a brand spanking new Nintendo Wii.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and thank you to everyone who took part in my “Super Deluxe 10 Yr. Bloggoversary Contest”! Below are the 20 finalists, and I have to tell ya, this was tough to choose!

Voting is open until Saturday night (September 30th) at 11:59pm PDT – Don’t forget to tell all your friends to vote for your entry! Please keep it fair, and vote only once.

I’ll declare the popular winner after the contest closes! Best of luck, everyone! [NetChick]

Head over to Tanya’s site to vote, there are some really great entries posted as well. The poll is on her main page sidebar, but um… that’s R-e-b-e-c-c-a… spot #8… you know I’ll have you over to play if you vote for me and I win. John will make curry sammiches and I’ll prep the margaritas while you play our Wii and I thank you for voting for my entry.

The Best of 604: Lifestyle Edition

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

To continue the “Best of 604” I’ve put together a hodge podge of some more things I like and would recommend. This isn’t to compete with any other list, this is simply my spin on things as these are people, places and things that I personally find pleasant. With some help I hope to cover a different spectrum, all inclusive of the entire “604“.


  • Most underrated place to buy fixins for dinner: The Robson Market
  • Best place to get 50% of sunglasses, 20% off jeans, and eat a pot pie downstairs: The Bay
  • Cheapest leisure ice time, if the strike ever ends: West End Community Centre‘s “Twonie Skate”
  • West End Ice Rink

  • Probably the best curry in the world (just like the sign says): Mui Garden
  • Best place to watch a hockey game and have your choice of 120+ beers: Fogg and Suds
  • Park that DaveO says is a real gem, with a wicked view – just watch out for biohazardous waste: Crab Park
  • It’s 2am and you’re stumbling home, it’s where you go for food and lots of water: White Tower
  • Alternative to the Harbour Centre’s ‘top of the city’ revolving restaurant: The Empire Landmark’s Cloud Nine
  • Best trail in Stanley Park: Bridle Trail
  • Most handy site when looking up a trail map of Stanley Park: StanleyParkMap.com
  • Best park near downtown that we just don’t get to enough: Pacific Spirit Park
  • Metro Vancouver:

  • Nicest park that has an annual country fair: Campbell Valley Park
  • Best place to visit in Fort Langley aside from going to the Fort cause it’s kinda boring: Aldor Acres Farm (see Jen’s Pumpkin Patch Review) or The Fort Wine Co.
  • Best sketchy breakfast: The Round Up Cafe (RIP The Dutchman) [Map]
  • Best beach outside of Vancouver, yes there’s beaches outside of Vancouver: Crescent Beach … although we really want to check out Iona sometime
  • Freakiest new development: Those condos built on old Woodlands land in New Westminster, eek
  • Something for Surreyites to look forward to: Winterfest 2008, since there will be no First Night
  • Best place in Burnaby that doesn’t involve the words “Metropolis” or “Metrotown”: Deer Lake Park
  • Neatest tourist trap, literally: The Bose Family Farm Corn Maze
  • Brew pub where a girl can get herself a nice raspberry wheat ale: Central City
  • The “Best of 604” will be an ongoing series, so watch for more posts in this category.