I’ve been to Basil Pasta Bar, a quick restaurant to get a simple Italian fix, a few times now since they opened within the past few months along Davie Street, near Seymour in downtown Vancouver. The concept is simple, inexpensive, and fast!
There is the option to choose from either a set menu of House Special Pastas, for only $7.95, or to create your own if you’re feeling a little more adventurous! There are several pasta, meat, vegetable, cheese, and herbs to choose from, and you have an unlimited choice and amount of toppings that you can add for the same price (although the gnocchi option costs 95 cents more).
There are also a few different combos to choose from, including those with some or all of garlic toast, soup, salad and a drink. And the best thing is, no meal is over $12 including taxes!
The times that I’ve been by, I’ve noticed a high volume of people going in and out at lunch time, being it sitting in the small space (there’s room for about 18 people I think) or waiting or calling ahead for takeout. The service is friendly, and the food is made quickly. Of course, with those prices, you aren’t getting handmade high quality fresh pasta or anything like that, but you are getting a quick and easy meal with whatever carb-filled creation you’re in the mood for eating.
Last time I went, my girlfriend had the Spaghetti Carbonara with crispy smoked bacon, egg yolk, and peas (which I’m not a fan of unless fresh), garnished with fresh parsley. She added the garlic toast for an extra $2. The toast itself is crispy yet warm and soft inside, and has a lot of intense garlic flavour on it – that was my favourite part! The pasta wasn’t overly salty (which I’ve found to be a problem with carbonara at some places), but the sauce was a bit thick to my liking.
I went with the Mediterranean Penne, which is served with pesto sauce over top of penne noodles, artichokes, asparagus, spinach, tomato, and goat cheese. This was a vegetarian option from their menu, and I also had it with a side of garlic toast and a drink, all for $10.45 with taxes. The amount of food was just perfect for me to feel full (and sleepy) afterward, and I was satisfied with my carb-up in anticipation of playing volleyball later that evening. This dish was a bit on the salty side from the pesto, but it still wasn’t bad for the value and quantity. And who can complain about garlic toast?
Overall, I think that Basil Pasta Bar is a great place to go for a quick lunch where you want to be in and out while having a decent and filling meal for a reasonable price. I just went back there today and made my own creation this time around, and will likely continue to do so when I’m too lazy to cook something simple for myself.
Plus, they have anchovies on their menu! Yum!