The Soft Opening of Pepper Lunch Canada

I saw a note on Instagram about a new location of the Pepper Lunch restaurant having a “soft opening” event on Saturday and knowing that I was going to be dropping my family off at YVR that morning, I added a comment to say that I would attend the soft opening.

When I walked in, the woman behind the till (one of the owners) recognized me from my Instagram account on her feed and thanked me for commenting on her Instagram post and for coming to visit their new restaurant location.

Pepper Lunch

The concept behind Pepper Lunch is pretty cool. Or rather, it is pretty hot because what they do is bring you a tray with a smoking hot cast iron dish on it with your food – almost raw. And then you let it cook as long, or as short as you like. I ordered the Kobe burger and sliced Angus steak so I didn’t want it over done.

Pepper Lunch

I like beef on the rare side of medium rare so I barely had to turn over the slices of Angus steak and they were done. Once they are cooked to the level you want, you take the tongs that come on the tray and move the beef off the heat by placing it on the side of sprouts and veggies on the cast iron dish.

Pepper Lunch

I chose to add an egg to my lunch – you know steak and eggs. But back to the ordering procedure. When you come in, you go up to the cashier and tell them what you want. Then you pay, they give you a receipt, and on the receipt is your table number where you go and wait. On the day of my visit they were bringing out trays very quickly. I don’t think I waited more than 5 minutes before my tray was on my table. Admittedly, they don’t have to cook the food –  that’s the customer’s job!

As for taste, the Kobe burger was outrageous. Such a flavour explosion; a perfect balance of salty and fatty beef. I would definitely return to have their Kobe beef again. The slices of Angus steak were also very tasty, and I might add, cooked perfectly.

My only complaint was that I paid for green tea and I got a mug of hot water and a green tea bag. I would prefer if they had a pot of tea to fill my mug from. Also, for the soft opening they didn’t yet have their fountain drink or coffee machine installed. That’ll be done very soon. Same as the sign for out front – hopefully before their official grand opening this Tuesday.

  • My lunch order of Kobe beef and sliced Angus steak with an egg, miso soup, and a green tea was just under $20
  • The bottom line, I have no hesitation recommending Pepper Lunch and I will definitely be returning. 
  • The newest location of Pepper Lunch is located in unit 1625-4791 McClelland Rd in Richmond – right near the massive new Walmart located on Alderbridge.

At Home With Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups

If there’s one thing that I really enjoy, it is the total premium steakhouse experience.

I love the feeling of a steakhouse. I love the food served in a steakhouse and I love the professionalism of the servers, the dark wood decor, the larger than life plates and the heavy stainless steel cutlery. Best of all, I love the premium soups and steaks that are served in a steakhouse.

Simply put, I love the steakhouse experience.

Unfortunately I don’t get to visit a steakhouse as often as I would like with the kids’ busy after-school schedules and my wife’s never-ending commitments to work. So, it is really difficult to find time for us to get away to enjoy the steakhouse experience.

In fact, more often than not, this is what my dining room table looks like at dinner time. Unruly kids letting me know that they are starving while pounding on the table demanding food … Not even close to what a classy premium steakhouse looks like.

That’s why when the people behind Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups offered to partner with me so that I could bring the premium steakhouse experience into my own home, and to earn the title of the #KingofSoup…

I had to say YES!!

I received four packages of Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups all of which delivered the flavorful, slow-cooked taste of restaurant-quality potato soup straight to my table.

The soups are filled with real Idaho® red potatoes and red potato skins that deliver exceptional taste and texture in every spoonful. Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups are available in four delicious flavor varieties: Creamy Potato, Loaded Potato, Cheddar Broccoli and Three Cheese Chipotle.

The best part? These soups can be prepared IN FIVE MINUTES!

But that thing about the #KingofSoup…as well as getting to sample great soups that are ready in five minutes, I am also in a contest with a bunch of other cool dads to see which one of us will be crowned as the King of Soup.

To be crowned the King of Soup we are each doing our best to convert our homes from regular homes into a premium steakhouse experience. To see more about who will be the King of Soup you can follow the hashtag #KingofSoup on Twitter or Instagram. I have to admit, I have some pretty serious competition in the run up to my coronation.

Literally five minutes and I had the Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups on the table.

To prepare the soup all I had to do was put four cups of water in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil and then add the steakhouse soup to the boiling water.

I whisked it a little, and then left it with the lid off to simmer for five minutes.

I let the soup sit for a couple of minutes to cool down and then served bowls of the Cheddar Broccoli Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups.

I added a little grated cheddar cheese, a pinch of chopped parsley, and the soup course of dinner was ready.

Honestly, the Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soup was amazing. It is a premium steakhouse quality soup with chunks of potatoes and broccoli, with a great cheese taste to complement the potato. I was very impressed with the soup – especially seeing as I was able to have it on the table IN FIVE MINUTES.

If you want to get social with Idahoan Foods:

Disclosure; As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, I have partnered with Life of Dad and Idahoan® Foods for this campaign, but as always, my opinions expressed in this blog, are my own. 

Onyx Steakhouse Port Moody

On Tuesday night I met a group of colleagues at Onyx Steakhouse in Port Moody for a Christmas dinner celebration. Seeing as Onyx is a steak house, I felt compelled to try one of their steaks.

Although I debated on whether I should try their 10 ounce hanger steak “butcher’s choice”, I settled on the 16 ounce bone-in rib steak.

Each steak comes with a “signature” onion ring which I have to say was pretty weak. Sure it was a large onion ring but it was pretty limp. It certainly didn’t provide me with anything memorable.

 For sides I ordered their bacon and almond brussel sprouts. The thin but very boozy sauce the sprouts were in tasted great. Lots of good sized chunks of bacon added a nice flavour contrast to the brussel sprouts.

The sprouts were all tender and full of flavour.

As well as the brussel sprouts I had a side dish of gnocchi. The server assured me that she was from an Italian family and she knows good gnocchi. I trusted her heritage.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed. While there were loads of them in the little side bowl, they were a bit gummier than I remember my bestie’s Noni making them. I did enjoy the very creamy Dijon cream sauce that they were in; it had a nice bite to it.


As for the steak, it was certainly good. They promote their steaks as being better than the regular triple “A” beef. They use certified black Angus signature beef that is aged for 40 days.

My steak was seasoned superbly and while some of it was more than a little chewy, overall I would say it was clearly a top quality steak.

IMG_9955.JPG

I asked for my bone-in rib steak to be cooked on the rare side of medium-rare and the grill chef hit that note perfectly. I was very pleased with the way my steak was seasoned and how it was grilled.

One thing that I found to be disconcerting was how inexperienced the wait staff were. There was quite a bit of confusion from the serving staff about the wine specials that night. Tuesdays are Tannin Tuesdays where select wines from their Jaded Wines list are on sale for half price.

While I understand that my dinner companion is a self-described wine snob, it was cringe inducing to hear her repeatedly say the Desert Hills Cactus Red Blend has “gamey” grapes in it, even after my friend gently let her know that they are Ga-May grapes.

Of course the servers enthusiasm more than made up for their inexperience with the names of the grapes in the wines we drank.

For dessert I chose the coffee flavoured cheesecake. It was much more like a tiramisu than a cheesecake which was fine with me because I was already so full from dinner and I appreciated the lighter notes of the tiramisu-like dessert than I probably would have a heavy cheesecake.

Bottom line, I will return to Onyx Steakhouse to try more of their menu. Each night they have different drink specials (the half price bottles of wine on Tuesday nights is a bonus!). They also have specials from the food menu – Wednesday night is the buck-a-shuck oysters and I look forward to sampling those!

Onyx Steakhouse in Port Moody is located at #7 – 101 Morrissey Road. That is right in the heart of the Suter Brook neighbourhood.

Jack’s Restaurant & Steakhouse

I stopped in at Jack’s Restaurant & Steakhouse  in Agassiz or is it in Kent? for lunch one day and then dinner the next day. Lunch and dinner were both awesome.

Stuffed Burger Patty
Stuffed Burger Patty

For lunch I had their Stuffed BBQ Beefstack. It was a massive hamburger patty stuffed with bacon and cheddar cheese – it was actually almost too much meat! 
The onion fritters on top of the bun added a nice little crunch to the burger and the slices of fresh beefsteak tomato made it feel like it was a healthy choice.

Stuffed BBQ Burger
Stuffed BBQ Burger

The burger was almost impossible to pick the burger up and eat “burger-style”but I took one bite of it just to test this out. I had to set it down and do the burger deconstruction-eating method. It was delicious!!

I asked for a combo of onion rings and fries to test them both out and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they both were.

Schnitzel
Schnitzel

For dinner I decided to try out their schnitzel. In the picture above I really should have had the schnitzel on the plate closer to me to show just how large the portion was. It was massive!!

And even before the main plate arrived I was served my choice of a fresh green salad, Caesar salad or escargot. I chose the fresh green salad with the balsamic house dressing. It was very fresh and tasted great. I would certainly like to try the escargot that they offer.

The schnitzel I ordered had back bacon and mozzarella cheese melted on top with a lemon flavoured sauce drizzled over top. I was hungry when I got there so I went for the “two piece” – let me tell you – it was a lot of schnitzel!!

The roasted potatoes and fresh veggies served with the schnitzel were very tasty.

Overall, it was a good meal served by very friendly people in a classy looking restaurant.

Recommended and I will return.

Men’s Night Out…Where to from here?

Every year about this time,or sometime before Christmas, I organize my Annual Men’s Night Dinner. It is a night of fine single malt scotch, cigars and brotherhood. Even more importantly, my Men’s Night Dinner is the dinner where I put aside my vegetarian ways and go for the carnivore special.

Last year we went to the Q Steakhouse in Abbotsford. We were expecting one of our big eaters to join us and chow down on the Q’s 72 ounce steak dinner but our friend cancelled. At any rate, we had a great dinner and I enjoyed the 16 ounce rib-eye.

So this year, where shall we go? I have been considering the Memphis Blues Barbecue House. Their Elvis Platter looks tempting…and I have also been considering the Kansas City Barbecue Shack that is in a bowling alley on Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby. This place intrigues me just because it is in a bowling alley. Oddly enough, I could not find a webpage for them to have a look at. And on the Dine Here restaurant site nobody has reviewed the Kansas City Barbecue House. Intriguing.

My question then is, do you have a House of Carnivore specials that you would recommend? Other than the Brazilian place downtown Vancouver. I went there last year with a large group and was not impressed. I had the non-meat meal but watching what my dinner companions were eating did not impress me. Sure it was good, just not great enough to make me want to try again.

So over to you, where should we have our men’s night out this year? Feel free to post your comments here. As you may have noticed, comments are no longer moderated so you do not have to tell me your super-secret email address. I would rather have you post your comments than email me…just easier.

So where is dinner going to be this year?