Raglan’s Bistro is a hip Jamaican-inspired joint serving great big portions of classic North American cuisine. Burgers, nachos and poutine is the name of the game here — plus a lot of pulled pork.
FOOD AND DRINKS:
My friend Danish and I (along with a few others) made our way to Raglan’s for an early dinner. We bypassed happy hour and went straight for their enormous, over the top white-sangria Monsoon (split four ways).
Shak: The fish bowl tastes great, I’ve shared it with friends on a few occasions and its always a highlight; however, we were all disappointed with the alcohol content. Once the novelty wore off, we wondered where the wine was.
Danish: The monsoon here is fun to share with friends and is great during hot days. Nothing stellar, but it hit the spot at the time.
Shak’s Rating: 3.5/5 — Danish’s Rating: 3/5
Appetizers! My friends and I fell in love with Raglan’s nachos from the very first bite. We mixed things up a little and ordered the towering plate of nachos topped with pulled pork — served on a sheet of tortilla bread.
Shak: I love these things! The serving size is great for a group, the chips are super crunchy, it’s covered in cheese and toppings are generous. The big seller for me is the massive flour tortilla underneath; nothing goes to waste.
Danish: I love the nachos here. A little more meat wouldn’t hurt, but they’re delicious, and the portions are great even when consumed by 4 people.
Shak’s Rating: 4.5/5 — Danish’s Rating: 4/5
We also picked away at Raglan’s twist on yam fries: house-made yam chips called “yam crisps”, served with a chipotle sour cream.
Shak: This is not something we typically order, and it must be of some divine intervention we hadn’t till now. I’d best compare these to a side you’d get in a bad combo meal. Concept is great, but the execution is greasy to all hell.
Danish: Way too oily, and didn’t really taste good at all. I love yams, so these were pretty disappointing.
Shak’s Rating: 2/5 — Danish’s Rating: 1/5
Now for the main event… I love cheese. It’s an unhealthy obsession. So of course when I found out Raglan’s served a five cheese poutine, I was clamouring to try it! The blend consists of: mozzarella, cheddar, feta, goat cheese and Parmesan — topped with grave and green onions.
Shak: This.. was disappointing. Where do I begin? The cheeses do not compliment one another, they sort of mesh into one moldy and unremarkable flavour. I’m big on strong cheeses, but this was too large a portion for such a taste. On the plus side, the fries and gravy were great. Would not order again.
Danish: While they quality of the poutine is good, these lacked a lot in the overall flavour department. The cheeses just didn’t blend together as well as I thought they could’ve.
Shak’s Rating: 3/5 — Danish’s Rating: 3/5
Here comes the good stuff! The pulled pork poutine has become a staple among our circle of friends, so Danish stuck with it.
Shak: My number one recommendation for anyone checking out Raglan’s. The pulled pork melts in your mouth, and it’s both sweet and savoury. It compliments the gravy perfectly and the fries have a nice bite to them.
Danish: My favourite at Raglan’s. In terms of poutine, a lot of places seem to either under-cheese, under-gravy, or under-meat the whole thing. Raglan’s heaps it on, but not so much that you can’t enjoy the poutine as a whole.
Shak’s Rating: 4.5/5 — Danish’s Rating: 5/5
So what about the X-factors? Food may be a restaurants selling point, but when you’re out with friends you’ll want to consider the joint’s atmosphere.
THE VIBE: (Ambience + Service)
Shak: We were seated outside, which is nice and roomy but lacks atmosphere. It’s squished inside, but has a great casual vibe. Unfortunately, the waiting staff is hit and miss. For every friendly waitress, you’re likely to get one that’s rude or condescending.
Danish: It’s got a great casual atmosphere, perfect for grabbing a bite with friends. Inside is a bit of a squeeze, but the few tables outside are great for a bigger group.
Shak’s Rating: 3/5 — Danish’s Rating: 4/5
Vancouver’s a pricey city to live in, you won’t always want to break the bank to have a nice meal with your homies. So how affordable is Raglan’s?
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK:
Shak: The menu may lead you to believe the food here is expensive, but the portions more than make up for it. The nachos ($15, $19 with added meat) can easily satisfy a party of four. My $16 poutine was a mess, but the $13 pulled pork poutine can also be shared in pairs. Skip the boozeless fishbowl though.
Danish: You can definitely pay the expected rate for a big meal, or split one between two people on a budget.
Shak’s Rating: 3.5/5 — Danish’s Rating: 4/5
Raglan’s Bistro has some incredible food to share with your crew. Anything reading “Pulled Pork” is likely to be outstanding, plus the nachos are a real crowd-pleaser. Be smart and play it safe, because for every great dish there are those that disappoint.