By Tana Kosiyabong
I had been freelancing in Yaletown for almost 6 weeks. It was fun working in a new and friendly environment. However, I had a hard time finding a Cheap Appetite for lunch in the neighborhood. For weeks, I had survived on either Subway meatball or cold cut subs ($3.29 for a 6-incher). Although I enjoyed experimenting on different combinations of bread and sauce at first, it got old really fast.
That was when I moved along to a few ethnic restaurants nearby, but they weren’t worth writing about. While I’m sure there is plenty of Yaletown fine dining where I can find a delicious meal, most of them cost more than I’m willing to pay.
It wasn’t until my final week freelancing in Yaletown that I decided to grab my lunch at Bean Around The World Coffees at the corner of Mainland and Nelson Streets, right next to the good ol’ Subway that I’d gotten sick of earlier. The store front signage featured butter chicken for eight or nine dollars, and a few other dishes around the same price. It was a few bucks more than I normally would pay for lunch— which is why I had steered clear of this place until then.
However, once I stepped inside, I realized this coffee shop offers a variety of lunches and desserts other than what I saw on their signage. Most half sandwiches were priced at $3.85. They were comparable in size to the 6-inch subs at Subway, and though they had less veggies, the fillings were of higher quality.
Bean Around The World Yaletown was crowded during the lunch rush, with patrons patiently waiting in line to order their meals. When at last it was my turn, I went for a half Soprano Meatlover sandwich ($3.85) and a Deep Dutch Brownie ($2.10). All sandwiches are grilled in the panini machine until crispy on the outside unless you tell them otherwise.
While waiting for my meal, I had time to look around the interior. I really like the funky, mismatched decoration and the exposed brick walls. But some of the tables are too big to dine alone. During the lunch rush you may end up sharing one of the big tables with a few strangers.
Once my name was called, I picked up my order and headed to the front of the restaurants where it was nice and bright. After the mandatory photoshoot, it was time for the taste test.
According to their signage, the Soprano Meatlover sandwich is made of hot italian soppressata, hot capicollo, ham, salami, fresh tomatoes, hot sauce, spicy mayo, sun-dried tomato, basil pesto, and jalapeno havarti cheese. As you can imagine from the list of ingredients, the Soprano Meatlover had a lot of kicks in it. I felt as if I was eating a Mauy Thai sandwich or something. Fortunately, my tongue is masochistic, enjoying whatever abuse spicy food can dish out. Bring it on, hot sauce, spicy mayo and jalapeno havarti! Ohhh yesss… The only thing I’d complain about is that for a meatlover sandwich, there was not enough meat in it. A couple pieces of ham and a thin slice of, perhaps, capicollo was all that there was. I wasn’t sure where the rest was hiding.
After a spicy sandwich, I was glad I ordered a dessert. The Deep Dutch Brownie was chocolatey. It was sweet but not too sugary. The chocolate cream on top added another layer of choco-licious to this decadent dessert. Bean Around The World Coffees Yaletown offers quite a few varieties of brownie other than the Deep Dutch. As far as I remember, Sexy Bitch and Triple Chocolate brownies were among the ones I wanted to try.
Once I was finished, I went to take more photos of the sandwiches and desserts in the display cases. That’s when one of the owners, Sim, popped up from behind the counter and asked why I was taking all the photos. We then talked a bit about the store. She said that all Bean Around The World Coffees are unique. They’re only required to purchase the coffee beans from the company; other than that, they are pretty much free to run the shop however they think best fits their customers. She also admitted the shop ran out of some meat ingredients for the Soprano Meatlover that day, and were still waiting for another new delivery. Meanwhile, they had to make do with what they had. Unfortunately it was the day that I happened to order my sandwich. Dammit. I’ll have to be back again next time for a complete version next time I’m in Yaletown.
Bean Around The World Coffees Yaletown Soprano Meatlover sandwich: ©©©¾
Bean Around The World Coffees Yaletown Deep Dutch Chocolate brownie: ©©©¾
Remaining Budget: $233.95
Budget Spent: -$5.95 ($3.85+$2.10)
Budget Available: $228
Bean Around The World Coffees Yaletown is located at 1002 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2T4 (T) 604.685.9929
©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.
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