Armani’s Grill – Nanaimo

Posted by the dood on Monday, March 16th, 2009

One of the things I miss the most about Nanaimo is the food. Yes, I really did just say that. I moved to Vancouver, and I miss the food in Nanaimo. Given that Vancouver probably has some of the best restaurants that North America has to offer, that is a strange statement.. so please let me explain 🙂

Nanaimo has some really great small restaurants that serve great food, maybe not in the league of the restaurants in Vancouver overall, but there are a few gems, that in addition to the good food, they have a great atmosphere with staff and servers that make the experience a memorable one. Armani’s is one of these places. If you’ve never been to Armani’s Grill in Nanaimo and tried some of Gordo’s fantastic Burgers, Fries and Rice bowls, you are missing out!

I really wish I had taken some photos of the great food that Gordo serves there, but I did not, but might try to get some shots next time I am there.

Here are some recommendations:

French Fries
Gordo makes the BEST french fries I have had. They are chipped fresh, sprinkled with lemon juice, and left to soak overnight. Then they are deep fried straight from raw, which takes a bit longer than most fries that are cooked before they are deep fried. This gives his fries a very unique flavour to them that are bursting with potato flavour and a somewhat more robust texture. He also happens to pile about 2 lbs of fries on the burgers too.

King of Shrooms Burger
His burgers are huge, like half a pound. Not only that, the mushroom burger comes with a pound of slices and sauteed mushrooms that literally is piled as high as the burger is. These shrooms try to stay inside the bun, but they definately do not! There are so many mushrooms that its almost ridiculous… but that’s kind of why I like this place.

Gordo’s Bowl
In my opinion, this is his best rice bowl. He chops up the vegetables to the perfect size, with a large variety of them, and then you get some battered and deep fried pork bits which are covered with something he calls “Gordo Sauce”. It tastes something like chipotle mayo, and goes fantastic with the rice and pork.

Gordo the man himself. Gordo’s one of the other reasons I like to come here. He usually takes the time to come over to the table and chat with us, and he’s got a good sense of humour.. I really enjoy the food, and meeting the chef is always a bonus. Makes the place feel closer to home, and the food that much better.

The portions are about double what most people can eat, so you are bound to have left overs that you can take home with you. Most of the rice bowls range $12-15, and the burgers are about the same. I sure do miss Armani’s Grill..

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