Location & Hours
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Amenities and More
We went here for lunch during the Eastside Culture Crawl. My expectations were high when I saw the really up-scale table settings, quite unusual for Commercial Drive eateries. The service was prompt and attentive. They were late in delivering one dish, but the manager came out to explain the delay. It was the food that prevents me from giving a higher rating. My lamb sandwich was overwhelmed by the harissa. My companions noted their dishes as ordinary. I would go there again if I wanted a nice, quiet atmosphere. But there are better Drive choices in terms of the food.
- 7/28/2023Updated review
It's been a few years since we had a poor experience here - it was back in 2019. Since then, the Cafe shut down, then re-opened. Happy to report that we gave the Carthage Cafe another chance and it was excellent. The service and meals were back to top form and we were told the chef took it over. We will be going back!10/12/2019Previous review
I was excited to see that Carthage had reopened.I had eaten there several times and was enthusiastic about their menu.On this occasion I was dis-
appointed.While my lamb chops were tasty ,they were cooked medium rather than medium rare.The french fries seemed to be half frozen and were tasteless.A small glass of beer, one quarter foam, was priced at $ 12.00 and only one other beer was available and at the same price.We were the only two customers from 6:45 to 8:00 pm. on a Thurs. nite.
We speculated that they had gotten a new chef after their shutdown.
We'd walked by Carthage Cafe a few months ago and made a mental note to check them out after seeing the French Tunisian sign. Their food is influenced by French, Tunisian and Turkish food.
We dropped in on a Saturday evening (6:00pm with reservations). All the tables seemed to be reserved for the evening. Only one waiter manning both the front and bartending. The inside has about 9-10 tables. It's nice that both the windows and doors are open to give the place an open air vibe.
Menu is two pages: soups, salads& appetizers, fresh mussels, entrees, viandes (meats) and poissons (fish).
- Caesar ($7.50)
- Bellini ($10.00) - Stoli vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and sparkling wine. B's mom was expecting it to be more like a slushy than a martini.
- Mussels ($19.50) - comes with a basket of bread and frites. The bread is perfect to soak up with the sauce but they don't give you enough. The fries were terrible; dry and not crispy. We went with the carthago sauce (cumin & spicy harissa) which was tasty but on its own, way too salty.
- Bread ($2.00) - an extra side of bread will cost you. Lame that they charge that much but at least it's slightly toasted.
- Carthage ($28.00) - a combination of merguez, sausage, lamb shank and chicken over a bed of couscous, vegetables and tomato sauce. This was easily the best main of the night. The couscous went wonderfully with the homemade sauce. Loved that you got a mix of meats. The lamb shank was excellent, fall off the bone. Sausage had a good kick to it. Chicken was tender.
- Chicken tagine ($24.00) - olives, peas and potatoes in lemon, cilantro and saffron broth. It doesn't come in a tagine (like it does at Moltaqa) but the sauce was tasty. Lemon comes through and B's dad brought it home for leftovers. Chicken was tender and both the peas and potatoes were good although we would have liked more. This dish desperately needed some sort of carb.
- Lamb chops ($26.00) - served with fries and Tunisian salad. Lamb chops were topped in a Tunisian style mint sauce. Four pieces of lamb chops (we requested medium). Cooked well but the sauce was very subtle. Barely got a hint of the mint. Salad was completely overdressed and again, the fries were disappointing.
- Bouillabaisse ($28.00) - catch of the day with scallops, prawns and mussels in a saffron broth. Good amount of mussels, two prawns, one scallop and a mix of salmon and a white fish (likely halibut). Salmon was flaky and tender. Halibut was the complete opposite; so dry and overcooked. Again, a carb would have been ideal. Not worth the price point here.
Always interesting to try a new cuisine. First Tunisian experience although it's not too different from other places we've tried. 3.5 stars.
Quaint, rustic, cosy little restaurant serving up French/Tunisian cuisine. This is a great spot for a romantic dinner date!
Service is FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY. Top notch, professional and personable service coming from the nice, older gentleman (I regret not asking for his name). He made our experience absolutely memorable.
We shared the following dishes:
Escargot ($9) - THREE STARS
Good sized snails soaked in buttery goodness, unfortunately I was hoping for them to be more juicy and garlicky.
Et Atlas Mussels ($15) - FOUR STARS
Mussels with ginger, bell peppers, saffron and white wine. These were so plump and juicy. The broth was amazing and they gave us plenty of bread to soak up all that goodness.
Special of the Day - Veal Chop - FOUR STARS
Delicious bone in veal chop with a side of roasted vegetables and potatoes. Tender and flavourful - cooked to medium rare.
Chocolate Cake ($9) - FOUR STARS
Dense, delicious chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and strawberry drizzle.
In hindsight, I wish we ordered more of the Tunisian side of the menu as all our options were more French-influenced. Although that makes for a good reason to come back :)
I've been curious about this quaint little spot since I moved close to Commercial. I've walked passed it plenty and every time I've always taken a mental note to one day stop and go in. Today was that day! I wasn't looking for a heavy meal so decided to share moules frites el atlas with my mom and the special salad of the day which was boccincini with beets and greens. The moules frites were in a delicious broth of white wine, garlic, shallot, ginger, saffron and red bell pepper. The complimentary bread is warm and perfect for soaking up the remaining broth. The French fries were incredible - crunchy on the outside and super hot and soft on the inside. The salad was also delicious, a touch overdressed on the balsamic but the fresh cheese was unreal. Will most certainly be back to try their mains!
A great restaurant for Dine Out! We went yesterday and enjoyed it.
Location is good, as it is very near to the major bus route of Broadway. The restaurant is tiny, though! Our table was stuffed into a corner, and was cramped for 2. I can only imagine how it must be if 3 sat there like the table was set for!
Good thing we made reservations as the staff were turning people away. Our reservation was for 6:30pm and the restaurant wasn't busy but when we left it was a packed house.
For the past few years, my boyfriend and I have tried lesser known restaurants during Dine Out as we wanted to experience ones that perhaps were underrated. None of them have come close to Carthage Cafe food-wise, however. We're glad we picked this restaurant!
This place is a $30 menu on Dine Out, and I liked the variety of choices you could pick from. My boyfriend and I both got the Carthage Soup (it had veggies and chickpeas in it). It was so flavourful with all the seasoning in it! Our entrees of lamb and chicken were delicious too.
Was great to try a new restaurant, and experience French-Tunisian cuisine!
Sir Eatsalot back at you with another HONEST review.
Sooo, as usual Queen Piggy and I chose to spend another nice evening together. This time we chose to dine at Carthage Cafe. Needless to say, an evening with my Queen was second to none, but the food at Carthage was not...
*Something worth noting, because it was Valentines day we were given no choice but to have the set menu (which was a tad odd). We only found out about this once we sat down (this could have been comunicated to us when we made the reservation). Nonetheless, we were there and the ambiance was nice so we decided to order some appys and split a set menu.
Things started off nice, we had:
- Morroccan Tea - (nice warm Rosewater type beverage. Had two of them).
- The Mussels (appys not on the set menu. Pretty good, in a tasty blue cheese cream sauce)
Then things went downhill from there. We proceeded with the set menu (ie: had to order)
- The Butternut Squash Soup (mediocre)
- Escargot ( it never came for some reason )
- Veal with whipped mashed potatoes and a few veggies ( Veal was leather & we make better mash at home)
-Upside down apple tart with ice cream (not bad - not great).
Bill came to $145 with Tip. Yup, that's no booze.
Honestly, our favourite thing about this place was the ambiance. Cozy, pleasant and what a romantic restaurant should be. Mussels werent bad either, but we couldnt just order those and we were frowned upon for asking. We had to order off the set menu, which was a HUGE mistake because the cooking wasnt good (we cook a better piece of meat at home for a 1/4 of the price and twice as thick - like butter in your mouth).
Talk about overpriced and to boot we didnt even get all of it! Lol! They forgot to bring us our "Salmon Tartar" - which was really suppose to be the Escargot) which brings me to my next point.
The place wasnt full, nor was it that busy. With that said, the service was just okay, a bit disorganized. Yes, the service was attentive, but how did we not get all of our food (which we were forced to order in the first place...lol)? When we went to pay, we let them know and they apologized and offered us another dessert, but we were so full by the end, it didnt make sense.
Anyhoo, Queen Piggy and I had a lovely evening regardless sharing each others company, which was bar none the highlight of the evening. And as soon as we left into the night, we vowed to never return to Catharge Cafe.
My husband and I came here for our anniversary and had an amazing dinner. The service was fantastic, we had a warm, funny and very nice waiter. The restaurant has a cozy and romantic vibe. And the food was delicious ! The portions are big (ended up bringing some home with us) and the quality of the food is great - I recommend the provençale mussels and the baklava and their lamb is tender and fall of the bone delicious.
Lovely neighborhood restaurant .
Carhage is a nice, quite, quaint little restaurant on Commercial Dr. serving French/Tunisian cuisine. Great date spot.
The menu had a lot of great lamb options, which I am excited to return to try. During this visit I went with the special, which was a large veal chop cooked to perfection. Came with seasonal mixed vegs which were very tasty, especially the little potatoes. We started with the escargot and mussels (Et Atlas) neither really knocked my socks off but weren't the worst. We finished with chocolate cake which was great.
The Maitre D was fantastic and really made for an enjoyable visit.
Will be back.
So incredibly friendly, attentive, and best of all: delicious! Love the small size, perfect for a date night or a small group.
We had the Asian Mussels and the Lamb Shank on couscous. We have searched far and wide for half decent Mussels in Vancouver, and have been mostly disappointed or underwhelmed at every turn, but I honestly cannot believe how good these taste - especially for only 15$! The sauce was so creamy and flavourful, and the mussels were cooked to perfection. Great to dip some warm bread in!
As for the lamb shank, it was equally delicious! If you want a little spice, you can get some harissa hot sauce on the side, but it doesn't overwhelm the delicious sauce, braised veggies, or the fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shank.
If only we had room for desert, we'd probably have exploded from the creme caramel or the profiteroles.
A+ for Carthage Cafe - we'll be back in a hurry!
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