Olympic-Sized Wait Greets Dinner Guests at Vancouver Restaurants as Visitors to the 2010 Winter Games Crowd In

The sushi bar at Shiro restaurant on Cambie Street

Thanks to the 2010 Olympic Games, restaurants in Vancouver are booming, if anecdotal information gathered on my evening out last night on Cambie Street is an indication of traffic in other restaurants in or near the downtown core.

My friend and I started out looking for some simple, cozy comfort food. Nothing expensive and something close to home. The obvious answer was Sha-Lin Noodle house on West Broadway.  But when we arrived at Sha-Lin, the people cramming into the doorway and standing awkwardly in the restaurant, indicated a long wait for home made noodles.

A quick conference led to the decision to try the newest restaurant in the neighbour hood, Milestones.  We figured, we'd get right in.

Wrong.  A forty-five minute wait.

From Milestones we  walked towards Cambie Village.  We thought we just needed to get a few blocks away from the Canada Line Station.  We couldn't imagine tourists being motivated to walk up a street NOT packed with Olympic crowds in search of  food.  But when we went into Kirin Seafood Restaurant at City Square Mall, we found another packed waiting room.  "An hour wait," the hostess said.

Admittedly, City Square isn't far from the Canada Line station. Not far enough.

We walked on and up Cambie Street.  At Stella's, we found yet another crowd.   We could have sat outside under heating lamps, but we opted to keep searching.

I recalled that the Glouchester Restaurant had survived the Canada Line construction project on Cambie Street. Someone told me this was because it was very good.  I'd never tried it so my friend followed my suggestion trustingly and we sat down for one of the worse meals I've had in Vancouver.  Ever.    It was so bad in fact that neither of us could eat it.  I've never had this experience at a restaurant before.

"Asian White Spot," my friend said.  "Although White Spot is better."

From there, we circled back north and I spotted Shiro, the small, always overcrowded Japanese restaurant at 3096 Cambie.  There was what looked like the usual  wait, large, but not Olympic-sized.  Within ten minutes, we were seated at the sushi bar for our second meal of the night.

And it was good.

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