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Primo’s Mexican Grill Celebrates Its Relocation To White Rock

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Primo's Mexican Grill, mexican food, white rock, surrey bc

During a merciful break in the rain a couple Saturdays ago, the sun appeared in a blue sky as my husband and I made our way to White Rock beach for date night. The theme of the evening? Mini-Mexican escape! Who in the Lower Mainland hasn’t been dreaming of a tropical vacation during this not-quite-Spring Spring?

primo's mexican grill, mexican food, white rock, surrey bc,

White Rock Pier

When we arrived at the Marine Drive location, we took in the view of the famous pier, the happy couples and families milling about, and the gorgeous stretch of sand exposed by the low tide. Directly across from this perfect scene was our destination restaurant: Primo’s Mexican Grill.

We were promptly greeted and seated per our request at a cute table for 2 on the patio with a great view of the ocean. The sun still had a couple hours left before it would set over the Pacific but the breeze was a little cool; I gratefully accepted the invitation to throw a Mexican blanket over my lap while I ate. The beautiful threads matched the décor and feel of the restaurant perfectly, and the courtesy added a ‘welcome to our casa’ vibe. Once the outdoor heaters were turned on, I could almost imagine I really was somewhere more tropical.

Primo’s Mexican Grill is owned by Joel and Jaclynn Villanueva, who live in White Rock with their two sons. We had an opportunity to sit down with owner Jaclynn and hear the nostalgic story of one man’s dream in the 1960’s. Joel’s grandfather, Primo Villanueva, a football player for UCLA, was drafted by the BC Lions in the 1960’s. When he and his wife made the move north, they discovered there wasn’t much of a Mexican community here. In fact, there wasn’t even a single Mexican restaurant in the province! So they opened Primo’s Mexican Grill to bring a little Latin flavour to the Vancouver neighbourhood of W. 12th and Granville. Primo’s wife, affectionately known as Nana Zina, developed the recipes and the restaurant thrived under their ownership for 25 years. After that, his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Doreen, took the reins for another 25 years. In keeping with tradition, the restaurant was passed down to their children. For several reasons including a change in the feel of the neighbourhood, Joel and his brother decided to close the doors to Primo’s but never gave up on their family’s legacy. Five years later, Primo’s is alive and projected to do very well on Marine Drive, right across the pier where Cielo’s stood for 20 years. In addition to the new location, the Villanueva family is celebrating Grandfather Primo being inducted into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame as a pioneer in the industry.

So, what’s changed? Not Nana Zina’s recipes! However, Jaclynn excitedly told me that there will be some additions to the menu as well as an expansion in the way people are able to order food combinations. Alongside the extensive choice in Tex-Mex meals, tequila-lovers will rejoice at the options at the tequila bar. Aged from blanco to extra anejo, patrons can select their tequila and then choose to sip it straight or add it to a favourite margarita.

During the soft launch, tables are available by reservation only as the staff prepares for an anticipated mid-June opening. The current menu is a teaser of what is to come. Here’s what we ate and loved:

Primo's Mexican Grill, mexican food, white rock, surrey bc

Primo’s Signature Wings

Primo's Mexcian Restaurant, mexican food, white rock, surrey bc

Chicken Enchiladas and Chiles Rellenos

Primo’s has teamed up with Laura’s Bakery, a favourite of locals in the 5 Corners area of White Rock, to serve up some exclusive desserts just for Primo’s menu. In fact, partnering with local businesses and artists is high on the priority list as Primo’s settles in to its new neighbourhood.

Sweet Heat Brownie

Surrey604 would like to extend a big felicitaciones and welcome to the Villanueva family!

Connect with Primo’s Mexican Grill on Instagram and Facebook. To book your lunch or dinner reservation during their soft launch, drop them an email at primosresos@gmail.com.

Taslim combines her love of writing and social change by telling the stories that build bridges among people. Her motivating forces are her 3 children and her INFJ personality. Taslim is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Canada and Yummy Mummy Club, and a columnist for Peace Arch News. She has romantic notions of travel writing across European countrysides and historic African towns but her heart belongs to Surrey, B.C. You can connect with Taslim on Twitter and Instagram @taslimjaffer.

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5 Restaurants and a New Year in Surrey!

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Afghan Kitchen, Surrey BC.

Another new year approaches: Surrey 2022 here we go! But with the new Covid restrictions, where are you going to enjoy this Friday night, whether you intend to celebrate New Years Eve or just celebrate because it’s Friday? 

We have a list, albeit a short one, of restaurants that are open on New Year’s Eve.

Dominion Bar & Kitchen, Surrey BC | Instagram post.

Open until midnight. Reservations are recommended but not a must. This Surrey restaurant is well known for their Canadian dishes, complemented by an exciting list of cocktails, BC wines, and local craft beer, in an open concept restaurant with high top tables and chairs. Bones: they will be offering an all day happy hour on Friday.

The Clayton, Surrey BC | Instagram posts.

Open until 2am. The Clayton is a unique choice. Although there will not be a party they do have a DJ, along with classic tasty Canadian dishes and appetizers, plus 3 incredible fire tables available in their fully covered & heated patio spaces. Also, they have a ton of drink specials, just in case you might be drinking responsibly during your visit.

The Cabin, Crescent Beach – Surrey BC | Pan-seared halibut, Instagram Post

Open until 10pm. Featuring a $60 New Year’s Eve menu, The Cabin is a solid choice for a Pacific Northwest experience featuring seafood, “AAA” steaks, gourmet pasta, local craft beers, and a healthy selection of wine. It should be noted, as of right now, 7:30pm onwards is fully booked, however we’ve been told there might be some cancellations. You can and should put your name on the waitlist.

Afghan Kitchen, Surrey BC

Open until 10pm. Featuring traditional Afghan cuisine. If you live in Surrey, you know this place is amazing. If you don’t, that’s ok, just watch this episode about them on CBC Vancouver’s YouTube. Mom’s cooking never tasted better. Now, perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “Nothing special here, where’s the party!?” however, since many restaurants are closing early this year, and especially living in one of the most diverse cities in BC, what better way to enjoy your end of year than with a local culinary “staycation” at one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants!

With that said, last but not least by any means:

Kathmandu Bar & Grill, Surrey BC | Instagram post.

Open until 1130pm. Serving a delicious blend of Nepalese, Indo-Chinese, and Western Cuisine. Like we said, while in Surrey, try something new. Allow your tastebuds to create a mini celebration for you, safely at your table.

Have we helped? We certainly hope so! 

No matter how you plan to enjoy this Friday December 31, stay safe, stay warm and we wish, as always, the very best for you and your family.

 

See you next year!

Desire Kokuvi Amouzou

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3 Must Have Winter Treats for Surrey!

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Gulab Jamin being served up at Maharaja Sweets in the Payal Centre, Surrey BC, photo by Desire Amouzou.

Some might say, there is nothing better in the world than being outdoors enjoying freshly poured maple syrup snow candy coupled with that crisp smell of winter in the air, and a log cabin surrounded in a forest of snow and maple trees. Definitely some might say this, if they lived in Montreal. 

But for us, living on the West Coast known for our rain and most recently our atmospheric rivers, this is likely the last thing on our minds.

Rest assured though, Surrey has memories to be made with the treats we share during the winter. 

Here are just 3 treats of many!

First on the list, one that makes a healthy appearance starting around September in particular and might be difficult to find through the month of December but is worth the hunt: 

Crinkle cookies!

A variety of crinkle cookies, Image by cravingforcrave.com

These cookies are very often a hit during the winter months, especially but not exclusively in our Filipino community. 

Why are they called crinkle cookies? Well, because they’re crinkly of course! But more accurately because of their slightly hard-covered exterior, which is cracked through the baking process then covered in a tasty icing sugar. The moist tasty brownie style interior is revealed in the cracks of the cookies creating a winter wonderland map. Popular flavours are chocolate, ube and red velvet. The chocolate is Christa Jance’s favourite, co-owner and crinkle cookie baker for the local Surrey business Craving For Crave. Check for them online in January, they go quick!

Chocolate crinkle cookies, Image by cravingforcrave.com

Second on the list, but equally as tasty and doesn’t need much introduction:

Panettone!

Flamigni brand panettone in store display at Delitalia Fine Foods, Image by Delitalia’s Instagram

This is an Italian type of sweet bread, said to have originated from Milan, and possibly having  roots to the Roman Empire, made for emperors, a bread sweetened with honey. Panettone is also very common throughout South America and hence throughout Surrey you are likely to find it at many winter gatherings. Very often given and received as gifts, and it’s no surprise as these delectables are often packed into stunning decorative, branded packages.

Assortment of Panettone at Delitalia Fine Foods in Surrey BC, image by Delitalia’s Instagram.

Flavoured with lemon zest, orange zest and candied fruit and raisins, Panettone can be found at either your local London Drugs, Costco or, if you want to try a rich variety, some flavoured with different types of liquor and beautifully handmade from Italy, then you must visit Romolo and his Mother Penny, owners of Delitalia Fine Foods. Let Romolo talk you through all of the varieties!  

Toast it, butter it, and enjoy it with a hot beverage of your choice!

Now, last but not least, and not as widely known as you might think, but absolutely respected and loved throughout Surrey: 

 

Gulab jamun!

Originating in India and declared the national dessert of Pakistan, by the Government of Pakistan, this milk-solid-based sweet derives its name from the Persian words gol, meaning flower, and ãb meaning water, referring to the rose water-syrup it sits in (flavoured also with Saffron or Kewra and Green Cardamom).

Jamun is the Hindi word for an Indian fruit similar in shape and size to gulab jamun, known to most as a black plum. 

Gulab Jamun soaked in honey rose-water, Maharaja Sweets – Surrey BC, Image by Desire Amouzou

Note, gulab, or the sugar syrup this fried tasty ball of beautiful dough is lovingly soaked in, for some recipes, can also be replaced with slightly diluted maple syrup. Full circle! 

It’s amazing served hot during cold weather, the dough melting in your mouth, and even better if it’s complemented with some ice cream. 

 

So where can you get this amazing treat you ask? 

Maharaja Sweets & Restaurant, Payal Centre, Surrey BC, image by Desire Amouzou

Pretty much anywhere in Surrey, BC. In fact we might have to save space for an article on the various places you can secure some. But for now, do yourself a favour and get out to the Payal Business Centre, a home to so many sweet shops with a rich assortment of Gulab Jamun. It’s not the only location by any means, but it’s a good start. One amazing spot in the centre well known in our community has to be Maharaja Sweets & Restaurant. Really, you need to go if you haven’t already!

 

You can purchase it packaged, but it truly is best enjoyed freshly made. 

In the end, whatever treat you grace your home with, perhaps all of them, we hope you are able to share them with the ones you love!

 

Desiré Kokuvi Amouzou,

Surrey604

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The five best restaurants and bars in Central Surrey

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If you thought you had to make the trek to Downtown Vancouver just to eat well, think again. There are pockets of great places to eat right here in Surrey’s City Centre. Check out this list of five of the best restaurants and bars to get your fill of good eats in Central Surrey. 

Central City Taphouse & Kitchen 

The Central City Taphouse is a staple, and one that truly caters to everyone. It lands consistently at the top of any Surrey eatery list and offers everything from brunch to pub-style food and drinks, including happy (or “tappy”) hour specials. Enjoy a warm meal with family or watch the game with friends. The large patio, beautiful courtyard, and excellent food are destined to provide you with the perfect ambiance. 

Address: 13450 102 Ave., Unit 190 

Dominion Bar & Kitchen 

For those looking for a truly “downtown” experience, this place is the top choice. From bunch, lunch, dinner, and late night mixers, Dominion Bar has a modern vibe and locally sourced ingredients that shine both in menu and drinks. Trendy, socially on-point, and providing a timeless dining experience with a mix of influences, this place is a must when you’re planning your night out. 

Address: 13475 Central Ave., Unit D1

Bubble 88 

For the last decade, Bubble 88 has been able to provide a trendy yet authentic flair of Taiwanese cuisine to Surrey. Easily one of the best bistros in the area, the chefs make each dish with passion and the presentation makes it just as beautiful as it is delicious. Of course, as you may have guessed by the name, bubble tea is also available. 

Address: #102-10209 King George Blvd.

Neptune Seafood Restaurant 

Although it is not unique to Surrey, the quality and fine dining provided at this Asian restaurant cannot go without being mentioned. With the best dim sum and arguably the best Chinese cuisine within Surrey, a large dining space, and the ability to host events, Neptune Seafood is worth adding to your foodie bucket list. Neptune has won several awards for their restaurant group, and of course for their dim sum as well. 

Address: 1130-10153 King George Blvd. 

Sumerian Grill 

Perhaps considered a hidden gem to some, Sumerian Grill is often highly rated amongst those that have visited the restaurant. Providing Middle Eastern cuisine, the meals are rich in flavour and full of warmth. The menu offers the best in Surrey for Iraqi and Turkish dishes and wraps with colours of the Mediterranean. 

Address: 10671A King George Blvd. 

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The five best spots to grab a coffee in Surrey Centre

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Sipping on a delicious coffee at a local cafe has a certain allure to it. And enjoying a local business, with a friend or alone, is extra special when it’s close to home and has that neighbourhood feel. When it comes to Surrey Centre or Guildford, these are the best coffee spots to check out.

Cafe Central

The most central you can get with a friendly vibe and some really good coffee. Cafe Central is the perfect stop on a busy day, to work, or school, or a break in between. While mostly being a “to-go” cafe, it does have tables and chairs for those who wish to stay a while. Located central, it also has hosts of convenience items and food. What people seem to enjoy most though is the caramel frappuccino.

Address: 10350 University Drive, City Centre Library

Prado

If you love coffee, then you will love Prado which uses coffee roasted by 49th Parallel. It first opened in Vancouver and has grown to multiple locations, including this Central Surrey spot. The place is vibrant and hosts a number of good eats and drinks and teal seats for a modern vibe. Outside of your regular items you will find things like pastel pink beetroot latte, citrus cake, apricot cookie, or the infamous cookie with no name.

Address: 13475 103 Avenue, Civic Plaza hotel

Stuffies Pastries

This cafe is better known for its stuffed pastries that are shaped like cute animals, than its coffee. Patrons can choose to stuff the pastries with a number of fillings such as Nutella, vanilla, dulce de leche and more. The soft pancake filled treats are enticing enough to make anyone check out this cafe. Located inside the Guildford Town Centre, it may not be a place to sit down and enjoy but it is a great spot to grab and go while in the mall.

Address: 10355 152 Street, Guildford Town Centre

Coffee Monster

Coffee Monster is a true coffee shop with interesting and delicious menu items ensuring there is something for everyone. Whether you are craving one of their signature cold beverages (such as frozen chocolate) or their Spanish latte, the drinks alone make this a great spot. However, the cafe is also known for its pastries, cakes, waffles and dessert treats like earl grey crème brulee. The vibe is relaxing and the menu is creative.

Address: 15285 101 Avenue, Suite C1B

Happy Jack’s Cafe

Known for its friendly staff, Happy Jack’s Cafe is a hidden gem in the area with delicious food and flavoured coffees. Plus, the brunch-like items — think blueberry pancakes — make it a perfect place to meet a friend and enjoy an afternoon together.

Address: 110-10470 152 Street

Do you know of any other locally-owned cafes in Surrey Centre that we have to try? Let us know at info@surrey604.com. 

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7-Eleven Announces Sev’s 360 Summer Roll With Us Campaign

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7-Eleven Canada Announces “Sev’s 360 Summer – Roll With Us” Campaign Coming To Your Neighbourhood. Get ready for exclusive Slurpee and skateboarding events, contests and giveaways, all summer long.

7-Eleven Canada announces their summer schedule filled with events, contests, and giveaways designed for Slurpee, skateboard, and summer lovers.

In celebration of the partnership with Canada Skateboard and the National Team, Sev’s 360 Summer – Roll With Us Campaign invites fans to take a front-row seat to Canada Skateboard experiences and chances to win awesome swag and prizes.

7-Eleven Canada will be giving away one skateboard deck a day all summer long, exclusively to 7Rewards members.

Norman Hower, Vice President and General Manager of 7-Eleven Canada, says: “This year continues to be challenging for many Canadians and our goal is to provide ways to make this summer enjoyable and easy for all.

As Canadians head out to the beaches and parks to make the most of the outdoors, they can have meals, snacks, and drinks delivered to wherever they may be, or available to pick up on the go, and Sev’s 360 Summer Roll With Us campaign will add extra fun to the occasion.”

7Rewards members can enter for a chance to win by scanning 7Rewards with every purchase or placing an order with 7NOW delivery and can earn an additional 5 entries by scanning partnered products.

Rockstar Energy® Drinks is one of the partnering drinks, along with refreshing Slurpee frozen beverages, Crispy Classic Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Wings, Fresh from the Oven in Minutes 24/7 Pizzas and delicious snacks like Old Dutch Chips and McSweeney Beef Jerky are also a part of the 7Rewards 360 Summer – Roll With Us contest to keep your summer days fueled.

Only at Sev, fill up an exclusive Canada Skateboard Slurpee Collectible Cup with limited time flavours including; delicious Pink Grapefruit Lemonade, Fanta Dragon Fruit, MTN Dew® Blue Shock ™ and Slurpuccino (yes, it’s back).

For more chances to win great prizes, play the Hide and Seek game on the Canada Skateboard Slurpee Collectible Cups, featuring the 2021 Canada Skateboard National Team, and the Sticker Slap AR game on the 7Rewards app.

Click here to see more details on Sev’s 360 Summer- Roll With Us campaign

To learn more about all the events and contests coming up with Sev’s 360 Summer – Roll With Us campaign, click here or visit 7-Eleven Canada’s Instagram Page.

Customers who are not yet a 7Rewards member can download the 7Rewards app by texting APP to 711247 or sign up.

Fans are also encouraged to check out 7-Eleven Canada’s new 7Now® Delivery App, where Canadians can get 24/7 around the clock pick-up and delivery within 30 minutes on groceries, necessities, meals, snacks, drinks and treats – like Slurpee drinks.

Every order through 7Now is one automatic entry in the 360 Summer – Roll With Us contest and with over 900 items to choose from, members will earn 7Rewards points with every order.

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