3296 Fraser St, Vancouver BC V5V 4B9
Friday night and as restrictions are continuing to lift, we thought it would be nice to get outside and hit up a patio for drinks and dinner instead of laying low indoors and ordering take-out.
I recalled some pretty great nachos at Bells and whistles and so we did a drive by to see if their patio was open. It was in full swing – and actually one of the most relaxed and well maintained outdoor restaurant space we’ve been to in a while. This seems to be the trend in the city as restaurants adapt to Covid restrictions and the government relaxes (and perhaps even encourages) outdoor seating allowance. I have seen many street parking spaces turned into outdoor seating.
So we arrived at Bells and Whistles and requested a patio spot. We were sat in the bar area to look over the menu while they waited for a table to become available and by pure serendipitous magic, a table came up within 2 minutes of us sitting down. Destiny was on our side, to encourage us to soak in the rays, slurp down some drinks, and enjoy life.
I was craving a margarita so ordered one, while my partner went the beer route. He chose a hazy IPA and added the iceberg of slushy aka a passion-fruit slush topper. My margarita was okay, but being the professional margarita drinker that I am (I have some serious experience under my belt), I was pretty underwhelmed – it just didn’t pack enough limey flavour. My partner’s beer-slush thing was pretty refreshing and once some of the passion fruit flavor melted down, it resembled a hoppier radler.
We decided on nachos to start, as my memory served me of it being really good and a giant portion. The metal tray came out and it did not disappoint. The thing I noticed about these nachos were that they had a lot of components to it: chili beef, thicker corn tortilla chips, lots of veggies, jalapenos, guacamole, green onions, and cheese of course. It was the perfect symbiosis of ingredients and if they had added one or two more, it would have been too much going on. They were definitely a highlight and make my top 5 nachos list for sure.
The server was quirky and very nice – she made drink recommendations and saw our left-over nacho toppings sitting on the tray, and offered more free chips for us, a surefire way to win over my heart.
Though the nachos are definitely large, we hadn’t eaten much all day and were still a bit hungry so picked the popcorn shrimp as an addition to our snacking. The basket was relatively small for the price, and the shrimp pieces, though nice and golden, were on the salty side. I’m a bit salt-adverse so this wasn’t my favourite. I ordered another cocktail and that helped to balance each bite and wash the saltiness down. I will say that the dill dipping sauce was a really great pairing for the shrimp.
It was Friday so we thought, what the heck – one more drink each won’t hurt. I was intrigued by the whole beer-slush thing and they had the slush portion made into a cocktail with vodka so I gave that a try. It was definitely sweet and tangy but I couldn’t taste the vodka at all (could turn into trouble). My partner had the Gin Gin Mule, which is a play on the Moscow Mule. His cocktail was very pungent and had a strong ginger flavour.
We sat outside and waited for the sun to disappear behind clouds before we even wanted to leave. Servers came by and cleared our plates and asked if we wanted drink refills. We were gooooooood, just posted up on their patio on a July Friday evening.
Life is short: you have to enjoy the sunshine when you can (and in this current state while adhering to the restrictions and precautions), do what makes you feel comfortable and safe, and honestly just eat some nachos.
- Margarita $11
- Hazy IPA $7 (plus Iceberg of Slushy + $2)
- Nachos Grande $25
- Popcorn Shrimp $12.50
- Passion Fruit Slushy $10
- Gin Gin Mule $11
Beats: Life Is Good – Future feat. Drake