Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Two food notes

1) All you people lining up outside Anton’s on Hastings in Burnaby: stop it. Go next door to Bombay Bhel and enjoy some very nice tandoori dishes. The bane of tandoori is creating dry, stringy meat (the Indian equivalent of overcooking calamari), and they just don’t do that here. It’s moist and lovely and flavorful, just as it should be. The platters are good value, and there’s no wait.

2) It’s hardly a secret anymore, thanks to the Straight’s Best of Vancouver issue,, but Sweet Revenge on Main street is a lovely little room to eat dessert in. I had the pear bread pudding and would not recommend it (it was small, bland, and expensive), but my lovely bride had the zucotto, and it was a treat. We will go back.

Just, you know, not for the bread pudding.

Vancouver food blogs: like eating but without the calories

Motomachi Shokudo

Here at Metroblogging Vancouver we do a fair amount of food blogging [mbv], but we’re certainly not what you would term a food blog.  Increasingly though people who are in the know, meaning my fiancee Lydia [iatl], are telling me that there’s some pretty good local food blogs that I should be paying attention to.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, I like writing about food but from my (granted limited) experience of food journalism most of it’s lazy, repetitive and cliche.

Surprisingly though there are some really good Vancouver food blogs, and after the jump I’ll talk about two.


World Class Chef Opening First Canadian Restaurant

Vancouver is definitely a foodie’s paradise. With some of the biggest variety in cuisines and restaurants that offer top notch renditions, we are constantly in the spotlight.

It’s about time another world class culinary star is opening a restaurant here.  I mean we have Iron Chef Feenie with his restaurant.  David Hawksworth formally of West opening up his namesake restaurant Hawksworth at the new Hotel Georgia in 2009. Now, we’ve got Jean-George Vongerichten opening up his restaurant at the new Shangri-la.

That’s right it’s the same Jean-George behind Jean-Georges, Spice Market, & Perry in NYC and Cafe Martinique at the Atlantis in the Bahamas, Rama in London, as well as other world renowned restaurants.

Apparently it will occupy the vast majority of the entire third floor of the Shangri-La when it opens in 2009 so there is still a bit of waiting to go.

Hopefully it’ll inspire other amazing stars in the food world to open some amazing dining establishments here in Vancouver that offer consistently good food.


Urban scrumping

It’s not something many of us have experienced – picking fruit straight from the source and digging in. I remember blueberries and strawberries, fresh from the plant. Oh sure, I had to pick a few boxes as well, but I was always gently reminded that my parents did the same thing every Summer for a pack lunch and an ice cream. Also, the sun was only two miles off the ground and school was uphill both ways. But I think I’m digressing. Yes. Yes, I am.

The point is, fresh anything, as the ads tell us, is better – only, we’re very disconnected from fresh. But not entirely, if you know where to look. As pictured, Vancouver has a lot of blackberry bushes growing out to where any sidewalk pedestrian can get at them. The photo is just off of 12th ave West, but I remember one massive bush that was slowly taking over an empty lot where Georgia twisted into the park – every Summer, people would appear in the evenings with Tupperware to gather a bounty.

I’ve heard of kiwi trees successfully growing in backyards. Lemon trees. Figs. Rhubarb. Apples. Oranges. And so on. This is Vancouver. With a little work, most anything will flourish.

LA has a by-law that says anything hanging out into the sidewalks and streets are fair game to all, resulting in online maps of where to find what. And maps of where to find what if you were brave enough to trespass. And I wonder – how many Vancouverites have take advantage of the climate? Anybody gather some freebie succulents? Any one gained from having a neighbour with a flourishing tree of something? Any surprise fruits out there you wouldn’t think could grow here?

The Crime Lab returns


One of my favorite drink places when I first moved to Vancouver was the Crime Lab, and I’ve missed it since it’s closure back at the start of 2006 [mbv]. Walking around the seawall the other day Lydia pointed out the sign for the new Crime Lab, which seems to be focusing more on the restaurant aspect. 

Restaurant or not the Crime Lab was always a nice and relaxing place to head after a day of work, and I’m glad to see it opening again even if its new location on the corner of Denman and Bayshore Drive has kind of become the last resting place for a number of failed eateries in the last couple of years.

Last night a hotdog saved my life

I went to the fireworks on Saturday, which are a bit of a pain – I’m not big on sitting on the ground, as it usually results in injury causing numbness. But I went for two reasons – to see friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and to have a Fat Burger. I don’t often eat Fat Burger, but do enjoy them. Until Vancouver gets an In & Out (and what are the chances of that?), I enjoy a yearly Fat Burger treat.

Only, they close at 9 on Fireworks night. Which means that at quarter to, they lock the doors. Which means that at ten to, I’m pissed off. If I can’t come through your door and order, you ain’t open. Your sign, it lies.

Grumpy, I slog through the evening, but later one of those aforementioned friends suggests I try Japadog. It is, any way you look at it, a hotdog stand. It makes all the normal varieties of hotdog stand hotdogs – but what makes it are it’s “Japa Style” specials, which are all beef hotdogs made with Miso Mayo, Teriyaki Mayo, or Oroshi dog, which has radish on it. You wouldn’t think it, but it’s got a nice bite to it.

Corner of Burrard and Haro (just outside the Sutton Place Hotel – you can imagine the number of famous faces they’ve racked up), if you’re still into hotdog (and I know some aren’t), you might want to consider this breath of hotdoggy air. Besides, how many hot dog stands have websites? That’s can’t be a long list.

Burgoo on Main

butter chicken
I’m slowly working my way through the various restaurants on Main Street – I’ve got a backlog, technically, I just don’t have a good photo to go with it, which I think is key. If you’ve ever seen Jeffery’s food posts, you’ll understand what I mean – he’s set the standard. We can say something is yummy, but it’s better if we can show how yummy it looks too.

Three weeks back, Burgoo opened it’s third (I’m pretty sure it’s third) location on Main – it used to be a Subway, so automatically it’s a step up for the neighbourhood. I went with my best gal and two friends visiting from Calgary and it was fantastic – not exactly what I expected. The sign says “comfort food”, which always registers as cheese and carbs. They did have mac and cheese on the menu, but I went for the butter chicken. Surprise! It was delicious, but not the creamy variety we usually associate with the dish. Served on a wood plank (cuz they’s hot!) and add a side of herb biscuits… fantastic.

The group also enjoyed an opener fondue – cheese, fruit, bread… glah. I also have a picture of another dish, eaten by one of the visiting friends, but I can’t remember what it was and it’s not on their online menu. But it looks like a chowder. I’ll say chowder.

As a bonus, Kristin Kreuk was having dinner on the patio, which thrilled the pair of Calgarians to no end.

Funny story…

So, we had dinner, Kristin Kreuk is there. Giggles all round. We leave before her and her group, and cross the street for gelato. Yum. As we’re sitting and eating our desert, the Kristin Kreuk Krew come in for some iced confections as well. Polite smiles. Fair play. She dances to the cheesy pop on the radio a bit, and Calgarians applaud. A little forward. They leave. We leave. We get in car and drive, and that’s when we pass her and beau (ok, alleged beau) who are walking. So, they must live in the DON’T ALL STARE! Sure enough, they look at us all looking at them. OK, kind of creepy now.

The next day, I’m leaving a mom and pop shop and who’s coming in? Kristin Kreuk. Awkward.

But, I can confirm that Kristin Kreuk lives in Mount Pleasant. S’true.

Kristin, I’m harmless, I swear.

Taste of the City

Made by Mexican

They also have salsa and meat per kilogram for to go.

The food was delish… but it would’ve been nice to have more $1 tastes and less $4 meals.

Waste not, want not

Buzz shoots a square watermelon
Photo by Buzz Bishop

Update: I, er, should have at least noted Jeffery’s July 14 post describing these melons in their natural environment.

My fairly good friend and local media personality Buzz Bishop had an interesting post regarding Urban Fare’s square watermelons, imported from Japan.

Buzz was seriously irked by the mere idea of an exotic melon from Japan, for various reasons, and his commentators took some specific umbrage at the potential carbon footprint of these transoceanic melons.

Now, I’m not defending the idea of square melons per se (they’re a novelty, and a pricey one, for sure) but I do like recycling, so I’ve reproduced my comment on the fuel required for shipping these things below.

Square watermelons: for when you have too much money

Square watermelons at Urban Fare

So you’re thinking that not only are you not eating enough fruit these days, you’re not spending enough on fruit either.  Well have no fear thanks to Japanese fruit growing methods you can now spend $99 on a watermelon.  Even better knews, you can make a house out of them because they’re stackable and square.

Surely Wikipedia can explain this [wp]:

In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape is designed to make the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.

These were spotted at Urban Fare in Coal Harbour, making me feel uneasy about doing my grocery shopping there.  I guess I should probably start comparison shopping, maybe $24 for a box of Corn Flakes isn’t the Item of the Week deal I thought it was.

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