Resto Rants: Red Wagon

They say the signature dish is the pulled pork pancakes with Jack Daniels syrup, so naturally I ordered something else.

Red Wagon

Their blurb: “A neighborhood joint”


Address: 2296 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
Phone: (604) 568-4565
HOURS: All over the place. Look it up.
Booths? Tragically no, since this would be the perfect place for them.
When I dined: Saturday afternoon
Noisy? Yes.
Candies with your bill? No
Lives up to it’s name? I didn’t look very hard but I didn’t see any wagons, red or otherwise.

There were no tables available when my group of three arrived so we elected to take a seat at the bar vs waiting for a table. I’m not a fan of sitting at the bar but it’s definitely the lesser of two evils since waiting for food is never preferable. Once there, the stools were fairly comfortable but there was no room for my bag and I sat next to a pile of menus. Fair deal, I suppose.

I had the 3-egg omelette with mushrooms, smoked brie, caramelized onions and arugula. The omelette was fine, the sourdough toast was good (hard to screw up), and there were lackluster homefries (all one word on the menu).

Overall, not impressed but I would absolutely give it a second chance. They seem like they’re trying hard. The website says Red Wagon Restaurant but the URL is – what’s the deal Red Wagon? WHAT ARE YOU???!!?

Biggest Rave: I liked that when I asked for peanut butter they didn’t give me a tiny disposable plastic tub but rather a steel bowl with a scoop of PB from a giant jar. The other best thing about this restaurant is that there’s a bubble tea cafe on the same block that makes an excellent matcha slush. This bubble tea place also offers passport photos.

Biggest Rant: The ‘homefries’  did not taste good. I’m not sure what it was, but I recognize the flavor of not-good potatoes. It’s very distinct. I don’t know what causes it but I suspect freezer burn. I had to pour a fair amount of ketchup on them to disguise it. Sadness prevailed, since potatoes are usually the best part of a breakfast.

This photo comes from Yelp. Yelp allegedly has atrocious business practices so I allegedly feel okay about stealing the image.
This photo comes from Yelp. Yelp allegedly has atrocious business practices so I allegedly feel okay about stealing the image.

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Toren’s Guide to Star Trek: Voyager Season 3

Click here for Season 1
Click here for Season 2
Click here for Season 4
Click here for Season 5
Click here for Season 6
Click here for Season 7


Grima Wormtongue is back! Conveniently he dies so he is remembered as a hero and we don’t have to develop his character any more. 6/10


Tuvok remembers Captain Sulu! Tie-in to Star Trek: the Undiscovered Country. 6.75/10 mostly due to Sulu.


Paris and Kim are prisoners on a space prison where a device makes them aggro. Paris gets shanked. Captain Janeway crosses a line getting involved in alien politics. 5.5/10


The Doctor starts forgetting stuff so they have to activate the holographic Dr. Zimmerman EMH diagnostic program. The only way to fix the doc’s brain is to overlay the brainy-matrixy-blahblahblah from the diagnostic program holographic dude onto the doctor, which means there will be no more diagnostic program. Oh, also a swarm of aliens attack the ship. 6.75/10


Tie in to the TNG episode “The Price” in which two ferengi are lost in a wormhole. Now they’re in the Delta Quadrant doing their ferengi thing. Neelix pretends to be a ferengi and it suits him. Also probably the most perfectly-named episode of any Star Trek episode. 7/10


Torres’ dreams are used by a psychic alien to bring to light genocide in their recent history. 6/10


For no good reason, Janeway’s “faith” in science is put to the test when she has to perform a bunch of dumb rituals and believe in magic in order to save Kes’ life, which was inflicted by alien monks for no good reason. 5.5/10

FUTURE’S END (2 parts)

OF COURSE Voyager travels back to 1996 Earth! But they don’t stay because that would be temporal weirdness. Ed Begley Jr and Sarah Silverman act! 6.75/10


Kes’ body becomes the host for a male warlord but he continues to put girly makeup on his new body, and it’s weird for his wife. Jennifer Lien gets to act like a cartoon villain. 6/10


Q is back and this time he wants to have baby-making sex with Janeway and isn’t the kind of omnipotent being to take no for an answer. Why? There’s a civil war going on in the Q and naturally it takes the form of the American Civil War because otherwise how could our tiny minds comprehend? The Return of Suzie Plakson as Q’s ex-wife, who takes the form of a woman, of course, because otherwise how could our tiny minds comprehend? 5.5/10


The ship is infected with a macrovirus and Janeway gets all Ripley on it. Notwithstanding actors struggling with CGI monsters, pretty good! 7/10


Neelix becomes a drug dealer when he reunites with an old Talaxian associate. Also there’s a space cloud. 5/10


Kim falls in love with a holodeck lady but then the hololady falls in love with Tuvok but then the lady turns out to be an alien and she’s a big creepy nerd. 5.7/10


Janeway dies and goes to the afterlife where she hangs out with her ghost dad. Surprise! Ghost dad is an alien and he wants to eat her soul! But she refuses to go and the Doctor revives her. 6/10.


Vorik the Vulcan gets the pon farr and wants sexy times with B’ellana Torres, but she punches him. Then Torres goes into heat and tries to sex up Tom Paris, which would normally be fine for him except she’s not able to give consent in her crazed state, induced by a psychic whatever from Vorik. Then Vorik fight it out and that cures them because I guess fighting is like sex. 5.4/10


Chakotay crashes on a planet with ex-borgs who were severed from the collective. The ex-borg have split into two warring factions. To heal his wounds Chakotay must join the ex-borgs’ scaaaaary neural link. Chakotay then goes to the dormant Borg cube that Voyager finds and against Janeway’s orders reactivates a doohicky that links all the ex-borg together so there’s no more fighting between the factions. This episode is a prelude to some species who are so powerful they can defeat the borg. 6/10


Kes gets romantically involved with a douchy alien because apparently she broke up with Neelix. Meanwhile the Doctor becomes all Mr Hyde evil Doctor and wants to destroy the good doctor that’s still inside him. Hammy and dumb. 4/10.


On a mission of mercy, Tuvok and Neelix are trapped on a space elevator. They get mad at eachother during a murder mystery. 5/10


Harry Kim learns that he is not a human – he’s actually a member of a race of space succubi, except of course he’s not really. 3/10.


In a prequel to the episode “Year of Hell,” Kes experiences time weirdness and reverts back to a fetus. 6/10


The Doctor creates a holographic family so he can experience “real life” but the program gets too real when his daughter suffers a fatal accident. Meanwhile, crazy space anomaly is dangerous. 6.5/10


Lizardman scientist tries to convince the religious leaders of his planet that they evolved from Earth dinosaurs. 7/10


Aliens con the crew into thinking they switching places with them by accident, but actually the aliens are trying to take over the ship. 6.8/10


The safety protocols are disengaged in the holodeck thanks to the ghost of Seska and Tuvok’s mutiny simulation. 6.9/10


An extradimensional species is destroying the Borg and if Voyager wants to pass through Borg space to get home Janeway will have to cut a deal with them. 7/10

Toren's Resto Rants 11: Siddhartha's Indian Kitchen

A white guy who can’t handle spice finds even this Indian fare to be on the bland side

Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen

Their blurb: “Give a Flavours to Your Taste Buds” (their words, not mine)

This photo comes from and is used without permission


Address: 2066 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A9
Phone: (604) 215-7556
Open 11:30am-10:30pm every day
Booths? No
When I dined: 3pm on a Tuesday
Noisy? No
Candies with your bill? I didn’t get my bill so no.
Lives up to it’s name? Siddhartha is the birth name of the founder of Buddhism. I did not see him when I went in. If he was there, perhaps he had shape-changed into the server.

I wanted a place with good-size tables to work on some drawings and I saw that Siddhartha’s was completely empty. I have actually had food here twice before, both times it was takeout, and both times it was disappointing. The first time they actually gave me someone else’s order which I found out when I got home and opened the bag. I walked the food back to the restaurant (luckily it’s less than 2 blocks from my home) and when I got my replacement food I found that they had still got the order wrong.

This time, however, I ate in. I was served right away, which was not surprising since I was the lone customer. They had lunch specials but it took some finagling to get an order of butter chicken with naan substituted for rice. I ordered pakoras and they were delicious. The chai was fine and I think it came with the meal. The butter chicken was only satisfactory, fairly bland, but the naan was outstanding, perfectly crispy, not too doughy, with a thin layer of oil.

The place looks a bit upscale on the inside but who really cares? Despite the lack of clientele I could have used a bit more attention from the staff. I was only offered water at the tail end of my meal, and I had to get up to find out about the bill. This is not a deal-breaker but did not impress.

The price for what I ordered was surprisingly low. Maybe it’s a lunch special deal. Or maybe they made a mistake. Lucky me!

Biggest Rave: I was not distracted by the presence of customers

Biggest Rant: The music was annoying whispering nonsense semi-new age wankery. Even if they had played pleasant music, it would still have been 20% too loud.

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Toren’s Guide to Star Trek: Voyager Season 2

Click here for Season 1
Click here for Season 3
Click here for Season 4
Click here for Season 5
Click here for Season 6
Click here for Season 7

the 37’s

In this episode Voyager finds a 1930’s car floating in the part of the Delta Quadrant that they happen to be passing by, which seems totally reasonable. That leads them to a planet where they release Amelia Earhart from stasis. She and and others were being worshiped by the society of humans living on the planet that were slaves of aliens that abducted humans in the 30’s – a society made of their descendants. Luckily nobody on Voyager likes the idea of living on a planet with thousands of humans instead of travelling for 75 years in a spaceship, and nobody on the planet, including Earhart, has any interest in going into space with Voyager. So that all works out. 4/10


In this episode there is a lot of hammy acting as Chakotay goes up against Nog, er, I mean a young Kazon. Chakotay impresses upon an alien some good old fashioned Roddenberry-esque human values. Totally decent episode. No weird space clouds. 7/10.


In this episode the holographic doctor learns he’s not a hologram but a real human in a holographic simulation. OR IS HE!!!? No he’s not. OR MAYBE HE IS!? Great episode, really engaging. Lt. Broccoli is back. My biggest problem is that it didn’t have an ending. 7/10


The ship encounters giant space sperm that induce rutting in Kes. Also Naomi Wildman’s mom becomes pregnant with her. This episode would make David Attenborough proud. 5/10.


Harry Kim wakes up in an alternate timeline where he didn’t go on to Voyager, and his pal Danny Bird went instead. He recruits drunk loser Tom Paris in France. Not Paris, France. In Marseille, France. Tom Paris…IN France. They get into trouble with Starfleet and Starfleet puts a big bulky tracking anklet on him – because that is how they do things in the 24th century. The guy who owns the cafe explains that Kim collided with a time matrix dealio in a shuttle which caused all this mess. Paris and Kim steal a shuttle so they can recreate and reverse the accident, so they head for the time-stream coordinates which I guess are close by Earth even though Kim would have been in the Delta Quadrant orginally? I dunno, who cares. We also learn in this episode that Kim has no chemistry with his fiancee. When do we get to see the episodes with Danny Bird instead of Kim? 4/10


How long has it been since there was an episode about a spatial anomaly? Too long, apparently. This spatial anomaly is re-configuring the ship, but it happens conveniently only when people aren’t looking. Janeway says they should use Jefferies tubes as if they would be immune to the effect. Then Captain Janeway speaks in tongues and Tuvok says that the best way to fix the ship is to do nothing. Neelix is jealous. Everything ends up fine, and the computers have 20 million new gigaquads of data. Now let us never speak of it again. 3/10


Neelix is jealous of Tom so they go on a shuttle together down on a planet where the shuttle crashes because of blah blah blah but nobody dies in the crash or is even hurt. Then they both become a mother to a reptile puppet. 3/10


Janeway is freaked out over cucumber sandwiches but at least she doesn’t brush off her hallucinations and smartly tells the crew about them. Kes also sees Janeways visions, and saves Janeway from the holographic housekeeper trying to stab the captain to death. The alien Bothans who are presumably different than the Bothans from Star Wars, are playing mind games with the crew and one by one the crew goes catatonic. Kes and the doctor are the only ones left and Kes performs some technobabble to defeat the alien which appears to be on board. The alien pretends to be weak but then declares that he’s not even there-  mwoohahahah! Evil! 4/10


“Tattoo” – the trailer makes this episode look worse than it actually is. In this episode Chakotay learns that aliens came to earth thousands of years ago and gave the native people of the Americas a genetic gift. This seems silly to me but not as silly as Chakotay just happening by the aliens’ planet in the delta quadrant. Meanwhile, the doctor programs himself to get a virus so he can better sympathize with his human patients because Kes is pissed with his lack of empathy. 5.8/10


Voyager saved the Caretaker alien’s remains (remember, from the first episode) and they begin to vibrate or squeal or whatever. Then they find some Ocampans living on a space station being taken by the Caretaker’s partner. One Ocampa teaches Kes to use her psionic powers and she boils Tuvok’s face. Then she destroys the ship’s plant supplies and the Ocampa guy wants to take Kes away. The Caretaker version 2 arrives and she’s a creepy little girl who wants to kill everyone! They poison the alien into submission and all the not-regular cast flee. Kes has just lowly psi powers again and Janeway vows to find the evil space girl but instead of starting on the station they leave. So, I guess not really. 5/10


What are Seska’s motivations? Does she want to get back to Cardassia? Does she feel safer with the Kazon than with her ex-allies from the Alpha Quadrant? Does she just enjoy toying with Voyager because she’s evil? Maybe she just sees a future place of power with the Kazon even though they don’t respect women. Anyway, Seska and the Kazon steals a federation doohickey from Voyager. They want their doohickey back! Chakotay steals a shuttle and destroys the doohickey on the Kazon vessel. Several Kazon sects have come together against Voyager but Janeway beams all the leaders onto Voyager and holds them hostage in order to get Chakotay back. Janeway is mad at Chakotay for breaking the chain of command but doesn’t discipline him because whaddyagonnado? 5.7/10


Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….okay. The ship conveniently needs to have no shields for this episode, so they technobabble a reason. Janeway, undercover as a not-starfleet captain, is captured on a planet. Same deal with Tuvok and B’Elanna. Janeway is saved and dogged by an insane man who thinks she is her daughter. Janeway does the old “show some leg and pretend to be a prostitute” gambit to distract prison guards. By this time Janeway has bonded with the nutty old man and when he’s killed she finally admits to being his daughter so that he can die happy. They escape. 4/10


So you find a seemingly dead robot floating through space and you think it’s a good idea to repair and reactivate it without, you know…figuring out what it’s programming is. Also, the practical effects in this episode were ATROCIOUS. A good idea horribly executed. 3/10


Oh the Kazon are taking their toll on poor old Voyager. The crew is getting smaller and the attacks are getting more frequent. Abandon Starfleet Principles the crew says! Janeway says “I’ll blow up the ship first!” and the Maquis are all like ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?’ Chakotay says “let’s make an alliance with the Kazon” and Tuvok makes a reference to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. A meeting is set up between Seska, her Kazon baby-daddy and Janeway. The Kazon says women are inferior and must submit and Janeway tells him to talk to the hand. Meanwhile the Trabe are the sworn enemies of the Kazon, but the governor says Voyager should arrange peace talks between everybody. That indeed happens, but the Trabe just try to assassinate all the Kazons at the meeting. Janeway ruins the attempt, and now both neither the Kazon nor the Trabe will ally with Voyager. 6/10. Would have been more but Seska is dumb and Neelix goes to a space bar.


Tom Paris exceeds Warp 10 and he and Janeway turn into fucking salamanders and have babies together and then are they are restored but they leave the babies on some planet because that’s how the Prime Directive works. 2/10


Grima Wormtongue is a psychopathic murderer and Tuvok melds with him to help him with his bad brain. Now Tuvok is a psychopathic murderer. Tim Russ gets to act in this episode! 7.5/10


Coincidence Factor 11 Captain! A bazillion space miles away in the Alpha Quadrant, B’elanna Torres reprogrammed a Cardassian death machine for the Maquis. It manages to show up in the Delta Quadrant right along Voyagers path back home, and now it’s on a mission of kill a random alien planet. Torres and Janeway and Voyager must sacrifice their lives to stop it. 6/10


A member of the Q continuum wants to commit suicide, but the continuum won’t let him. It’s up to Janeway to decide, via a hearing. Also, Riker makes a weird guest appearance! Thoughtful, philosophical, intelligent, creative. Quite possibly my favourite Voyager episode. This is what Star Trek was meant to be. 8/10.


The Doctor puts the mind of a dying, phage-infected Vidiian (Danara) into a holographic body while they work on treating her biological body. Love happens, and the Doctor is bad at it. Danara gives the Doctor a name, Dr. Shmullus, which only ever comes up again in one other episode. Also Dr. Leonard McCoy is referenced. Decent. 7/10


Tom Paris doesn’t fit in! He leaves the ship to find his own way. But is it all a plot to expose the crewman who is a spy for Seska and the Kazon? Yes. Yes it is. Neelix starts a goddamned TV show for the crew, and wins a fist-fight with an able-bodied former Maquis crewmember somehow. 5.5/10


Ensign Kim is sucked into space and dies a horrible death. Also little infant Naomi Wildman dies of some complications as she is born. But don’t worry, a duplicate of the ship has been created due to SPACE CLOUD phenomenon. One ship is damaged, the other is fine. The Vidiians come to the pristine Voyager and Janeway blows it up, but not before their still alive Kim and Naomi Wildman are shifted over to the other ship. 5.6/10


Tuvok is stranded on a planet with wooden-acting alien children who are afraid of the bogeyman, and logic must be used to quell their fear. Janeway breaks the Prime Directive sort-of-kind-of but everyone is friends at the end. 6/10. 


The guy from Spinal Tap is a not-so-scary version of personified fear inside a virtual reality that looks like a low-budget cirque du soleil where everything is boring and/or irritating. For some reason I can’t understand B’elanna Torres is sent into this virtual reality that is being co-created by a computer and the survivors of an apocalypse being held in suspended animation. Harry Kim is also sent in, but I can understand that because he’s expendable. Anyway, this episode is almost unwatchable despite having an interesting premise. 3/10


An orchid is responsible for merging the DNA of Tuvok and Neelix during an otherwise routine transport. This doesn’t explain how the uniforms merge. When the Doctor finds a way to undo the accident weeks later, Tuvix finds he doesn’t want to be undone. but when he tries to assert his rights as an individual, the crew gives him the cold shoulder and Janeway orders his “murder.” I wonder if this would have gone differently if he resigned from Starfleet. 8/10


Chakotay gives Janeway a back massage after they’re abandoned on an alien planet because they have an incurable disease. 5/10


…my review is forthcoming

Toren's Resto Rants 10: Volcano Sushi

Yes! It’s not just a phase! Or if it is a phase, here’s an extension to the phase!”

Volcano Sushi (Commercial Drive)

Their blurb: “Volcano Sushi is a cornerstone in the Vancouver community and has been recognized for its outstanding Japanese & Asian cuisine, Sushi, and excellent service and friendly staff”


Address: 1861 Commercial Dr
Phone: 604-676-8809
Open 11:30am-10pm weekdays, 12-10pm weekends
Booths? Yes!
When I dined: Weekday evening and weekend
Noisy? No
Candies with your bill? No

I live close to here so I’ve been a few times, including takeout. I really should stop doing takeout. There’s so much waste, especially with sushi restaurants — plastic, styrofoam, chopsticks, packets of sauce. Oi! Okay, BUT…with regards to takeout they do offer online ordering. So at least all that waste is convenient to make. On the other hand they do NOT give you disposable chopsticks in the restaurant, so that’s a plus for good old planet Earth.

So this restaurant is fairly small. Service is hit and miss. One time my water was refilled promptly, another time I had no refill throughout the entire meal. Their food is decent, not great. Of all the times I’ve been there, there haven’t really been any standout dishes. That said, the dishes seem reasonably priced, portion size seems good, and the lady I usually go here with knows more about sushi and she keeps coming back, so it can’t be too bad. They seem like nice folks and they have never been rude.

Oh, also – they have a giant neon sign and it spreads red light all over the tables at the front of the dining area. If you like the feeling of being in an adult theater while you eat, choose these tables.

Biggest Rave: They’re open every day of the week until 10pm.

Biggest Rant: Banana tempura ice cream was on the menu. I ordered it. They said it was not available. But I wanted it. But I couldn’t have it.


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