If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know I’m a bit of a gamer. Heck, the name Gastrofork is from a video game series I really love. So when Diana and Amy suggested we hit up EXP Bar here in Vancouver, how could I really say no to that?
EXP Bar is located near VCC Downtown and is open after 5pm. Their focus is on – you guessed it- video games and bringing it into cuisine. They had a lot of trials and tribulations before even opening due to some archaeic liquor laws we have here in BC. Thankfully, they’re in the midst of changing these laws and EXP Bar can expand to what it originally wanted to be – a place to drink and to game.
There is an area that is designated the restaurant area, so you can still come here and not drink. Looking around, there is a lot of past and present memorabilia that will please your inner nerd. From an Umbrella from the Umbrella Corporation, to nods to WoW, Halo, Zelda…they even have electronic remixes of video game classics playing in the background.
To add to this unique experience are the drinks and food. They are all video game themed! To start, we ordered the Ultra Deep Fried Pickles ($7) served with blackened jalapeño dip and fries. Deep fried pickles are the bomb, they’re a nice crunchy and sour treat if you’re into that thing (I know I am). The jalapeño dip is good and not too spicy. The fries are nice and crispy and not too starchy.
We ordered drinks, Amy ordered the Arrow to the Knee, Diana ordered Health + Mana and I ordered the Thundaga ($8) – Smirnoff Citrus, Blueberry, Chambord, Simple Syrup and Soda rimmed with Pop Rocks. I found my drink to be fairly sweet, but good to mask the alcohol in the drink. It was fun to have the Pop Rocks around the rim! I’d love to try the Fairy Fountain or Megalixir next time I go.
Amy ordered the Master Chief Burger ($13), Diana had the Raging Demon Spicy Chicken Sandwich ($13) and I ordered the Chocobo Chicken Burger ($12).
My Chocobo Chicken Burger is served with a crunchy garlic chicken breast, honey mustard, mayo and lettuce. It was a good burger, crunchy and slightly sweet with the honey mustard. It made me a little sad to think that I was eating a Chocobo since they are such endearing characters in Final Fantasy, but I got over it quickly as I scarfed it down. ‘Dem Chocobos are delicious.
What I really want to try is the Triforce Burger, which is this ridiculous three meat burger with the Triforce emblazed upon the burger itself – that’s pretty epic.
Finally, dessert. We went with two – the Doughnut Shielded Cheesecake ($4) and the Smore-Tal Kombat ($5).
I’m not entirely too sure why I didn’t take a photo of the Doughnut cheesecake, perhaps I was still stunned by the Thundara…*badumtiss!* but I did take a photo of the Smore-Tal Kombat. It’s a house made marshmallow with dark chocolate and caramel sauce, “brutally squeezed” between two honey graham crackers. FINISH IT! (Their words, not mine!). I liked this dessert a lot, it was nice and fluffy and everything a s’more should be (chewy, sweet and crumbly from the crackers).
I’d definitely recommend visiting EXP bar for the…EXPERIENCE! Especially if you’re a big gamer, a mid gamer or know who Mario and Luigi is. Level up your n00b status, refill your health and mana at EXP.