Monday, October 24, 2011

Grandview Tire & Auto Centre

There's nothing more disheartening to someone on a budget than feeling a distinct and loud chugging in the engine of one's car. I had this unfortunate experience on a late night last week, and since my usual mechanic is way out in Langley, I got to googling. Happily, I found Grandview Tire & Auto Centre with their online appointment booking system and many excellent reviews from non-car people like me. Lo and behold, there was a spot open the very next day! Fearing that my two year old "purely cosmetic" front end collision damage was coming back to haunt me, I braced myself for sticker shock.

The guys at Grandview Tire were very friendly and, after a short test drive with a technician, during which the problem finally manifested again, I left Fitzie in their capable hands. When I came back a short while later, Ed the shop manager began explaining the problem to me using diagrams on the computer, but then just took me into the shop to peer into the engine. Through no fault of his, I didn't really understand the problem, but I certainly appreciated the attempt at explanation before I agreed to pay for the repairs!

The final tally was about $360; still not a pleasant surprise, but not exactly the budget sinking behemoth I had feared. I will definitely return to this shop the next time I need a mechanic, though I hope it's a while from now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

St. Augustine's

I am what I describe to servers as an entry-level beer drinker. Becoming a beer drinker has even been one of my New Year's resolutions. That same year I vowed to train myself to do the splits. Sadly I am still not very flexible, but my taste for beer has slowly but surely begun to take off. And in what better time and place than 2011 Vancouver, with its beyond burgeoning craft beer scene?

Near the front of the charge is St. Augustine's Craft Brew House and Kitchen, named after the patron saint of beer. I've been to this temple of barley and hops in many contexts now: lunch with friends, game night with a group, on a date, and even for a volunteer envelope stuffing event. A live beer menu listing their rotating selection of forty taps is on the website, and on screens in the pub itself.

I can't say that I enjoy the proliferation of televisions beyond the beer menu screens, but St. Aug's is a sports pub, so it's not really a legitimate complaint.

The focus is on the brews of course, but in my experience, the food is nothing to sneeze at either. The servers are friendly and patient with my likely inane questions about the "intensity" of certain beers. I won't be enjoying a Storm Black Plague Stout anytime soon, but I definitely like me some Howe Sound Pumpkineater to go with those incredibly delicious fries and garlic aioli!

St. Augustine's on Urbanspoon