Restaurant insiders pick Vancouver’s most underrated eateries for 2012

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When Vancouver celebrates its restaurants, certain ones tend to get all the glory. That’s why when Georgia Straight staffers called over 100 restaurateurs, chefs, and floor managers for our Golden Plate Awards restaurant-industry survey, we asked them for their votes not only in categories like best Indian (for which we heard Vij’s over and over) but also in the category of most underrated restaurant. We defined underrated as a restaurant that’s really good but that nobody talks about, something that’s underappreciated, forgotten, or doesn’t get enough media attention. Or it could be a favourite restaurant that people may simply not know about.

Industry insiders listed so many of these gems that we could declare no clear winner. Here are some that respondents said fly under the radar.

House of Dosas (1391 Kingsway)

“I guess people do know about it, but not the majority of people that I know. But the food is just amazing, and it’s completely unpretentious.…No thought’s been put into the décor at all. They’re just playing cricket on two large-screen TVs and serving gigantic dosas with amazing curries inside them. It’s amazing every time I go. It’s kind of nice that nobody knows about it.”

—Tannis Ling, owner of Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Rinconcito Salvadoreno (2062 Commercial Drive)

“The food’s great.…They have pupusas handmade by the mom every day.…I’ve been going for six or seven years and never been disappointed. The food’s always perfect.”

—Nico Schuermans, co-owner and chef at Chambar

The Flying Pig (1168 Hamilton Street)

“It’s a hip place to be in because it’s not a trendy place in the middle of Yaletown.…It’s about how they’re serving the customers, how they’re presenting the food. Simple food, but great food. Simple service, but great service.…I take my hat off to them.”

—Emad Yacoub, owner of the Glowbal Group

Other restaurants voted as underrated include:

West Coast

French

Italian

Chinese

Japanese

Other Asian

Other

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