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“BLINDING evening lighting!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Vanilla Pod Restaurant

The Vanilla Pod Restaurant
425 Middle Bench Road, Penticton, British Columbia V2A 8S5, Canada
+1 250-493-9463
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Ranked #24 of 162 Restaurants in Penticton
Price range: $16 - $45
Cuisines: Winery, Mediterranean, Tapas, Eclectic
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: At The Vanilla Pod restaurant, our cuisine style is focussed on local and seasonal ingredients with an underlying emphasis on flavour. Key ingredients include fresh herbs which in the summer months are picked from the herb garden next to the restaurant.Tapas style dishes of international and mediterranean flavours combined with fresh Okanagan ingredients make for a delightful exploration of contemporary cuisine. Visual presentation is as important as innovation in flavour with judicious use of spices and other seasonings being central to the dishes created by Executive Chef Bruno Terroso.
Penticton, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“BLINDING evening lighting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

Setting-fabulous, food-very good, evening lighting-BLINDING! I was seated at a table that was as far from the kitchen as possible, but facing it, and had a hard time seeing the other diners at the table for the florescent lighting from the open kitchen. It was very distracting and uncomfortable. The four of us in our local party agreed a valance is in order. Apparently it has been mentioned before but to no avail. It gives the space an identity complex. The dining area is relaxing and gently lit but the glaring florescent fixtures overpower that and makes it feel far less cozy. Too bad.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Beautiful winery, terrible restaurant”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We have visited this restaurant twice previously to this review. I always give a place a second chance and I am regretful I did so in this case. First of all I am a local and frequent the wineries many times a year and belong to many wine clubs, including Poplar Grove. Let's be clear and let you know firstly that Poplar Grove has NO affiliation with this restaurant, other than the fact that The Vanilla Pod is piggy backing off of Poplar Grove's pristine reputation for excellent service, incredible wines (which Vanilla Pod RETAILS on the menu), and a view that could kill. One would think this is the opportunity of a lifetime to have the above listed things in your favor. It's a no brainer. All you have to do is provide excellent service WITHOUT the snotty attitude, serve excellent local food with gluten free options (not just salad) that are IN STOCK, more Vegetarian options (not just salad) at a reasonable price ($8 per bottle of Pellegrino Water...REALLY?) and separate the bill amongst two couples when they ask. The chickpea salad was painfully embarrassing...just ask what is in the salad other than chickpeas and you'll see how disappointing it is when a pile of chickpeas sprinkled with cheap randoms shows up in front of you. Enjoy that $2 can of chickpeas!!!
They also retail the wine from Poplar Grove. I realize this is a business and you must make a profit but how about promoting each other instead of ripping off your customers? Consider a corkage fee if someone purchases a bottle from the winery. It's win win for everyone. Many places offer this, I know this for a fact and I think it's a totally reasonable way to please both sides.
Why is it such a problem to split up the bill amongst two couples? First we were told that their system is basically archaic and doesn't provide the option to do so and then the manager came along and took over and said "Normally we don't do this but I'll do it this one time and just so you know for next time. WOW...outstanding guys! So it IS possible. We spent almost $175 for four of us to have a very light lunch and this is how you think you will get repeat business...from locals? You may not care about repeat business in the summer when it's high season and tourists come and go through the revolving door (Thanks to Poplar Grove Winery; you're welcome) but now that it's just blue and white licence plates on the road you will experience what matters the most...REPEAT BUSINESS or in your case a lack of it.
Our friends (who know the owner) convinced us to give It another try and we did. Very disappointing and deflating and we will not be returning next week when we pick up our wine club at Poplar Grove...we will support another local restaurant that deserves to be in business and treats their customers with appreciation and makes us feel welcome.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Vanilla_Pod, Owner at The Vanilla Pod Restaurant, responded to this review, November 10, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to express your opinion.

From the comments you made it seems most of your objections seem to be value driven. Let me assure you that we do not rip off the locals. Our prices are based on our expenses which as i'm sure you're well aware continue to go up.

The random sprinkles you spoke of are comprised of locally grown heirloom tomatoes, shallots, organic greens and a white balsamic vinaigrette, not something you can pick up at the local wholesale club.

Our wine markup are lower than industry norms and are set by both the restaurant and the winery. In fact I was in a restaurant recently where a bottle of Poplar Grove Legacy was being sold at $135, we sell this wine for $80.

As for our P.O.S difficulties, we were experiencing problems with it and I apologize for the inconvenience. It would freeze up on occasion while splitting bills which created problems for all our guests but this issue has now been resolved.

Lastly, to address your concerns about our lack of selection on our menu, we have always offered options for our guests who have food allergies or dietary restrictions. Our menu is 60% gluten free and with a couple tweaks it is close to 80% gluten free. Our chefs are very talented and more than happy to create a vegetarian or vegan dish or work with a menu item to make it vegetarian. All you have to do is ask. We try to be as accommodating as possible.

If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me at (250)494-8222 or at vanillapod@shaw.ca

Thank you for your interest in the Vanilla Pod,

Paul Jones
Vanilla Pod Restaurant
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Incredible Vista and Really Good Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

Had lunch here after a tour through Naramata. So glad we found this place. Service was friendly and food was really good. Will def. be back!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medicine Hat, Canada
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“We Liked It!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We stopped here after a day touring the wineries and totally enjoyed our meals. My fish was perfectly cooked and my husband enjoyed his pasta dish. Nice spot.

Visited October 2013
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Kelowna, Canada
1 review
“Culinary Extordinaire”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Would not found it without Groupon. There were four of us and each person raved about the food, not to leave out the wonderful service. Our waiter was especially adept at explaining the courses as they were served to us. We definitely will be recommending The Vanilla Pod to all of our friends. The view was spectacular with all the lights on across the way.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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