April 28th, 2013. Sunday Lunch at Earl’s

coal harbout

coal harbout

 

 

After a lovely service at Coastal Church downtown Robert & I took advantage of the easy Sunday morning with a walk around Coal Harbour. With a view like this, how can you get tired of downtown?

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

 

We figured the best way to send him back off to beautiful SoCal was to recreate our first final meal with a meal at Earl’s and then Bubble Tea for the drive to the airport. Might as well make more memories on a proven thing!

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

 

 

Robert did not deviate from his original final meal and went with the Sirloin and Mashed Potato accompanied by a Bourbon Mushroom Demi Glace.

earl's kitchen & bar (vancouver)

earl’s kitchen & bar (vancouver)

 

 

 

I went the seasonal route with a juicy Halibut topped with a Warm Tomato Salad complete with a side of Corn and Roasted zucchini topped with Feta and a mini casserole of smashed crispy Garlic Yukon Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives. Super moist fish, I loved all my sides, and was super satisfied.

Thanks, Earl’s for a delicious Sunday lunch!

March 16th, 2013. Fancy Time at Yew @ The Four Seasons 

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

After brunch with Joyce I rendezvoused with Tracy downtown.  It’s been a while since Tracy was downtown with a gal-pal!  We strolled through Holt Renfrew trying on high-end shoes, and browsing the gorgeous and (some not so cute) haute couture bags 😉

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

 

 

 

Tracy was just so happy to be out of the house and having some much deserved me-time that we also stopped in at Yew at the Four Season’s for a snack!

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

 

 

Tracy was intent on getting a cocktail to make the most of the experience, but since I’d be driving us back I opted for a delicious little Cappuccino.  It joyfully came served with an in-house made Biscotti 🙂  Gotta love the extra little touch and detail that I’ve come to expect from Yew ♥

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

 

For my nibbles I ordered the Organic Local Apple Tart.  Of course this wasn’t just your average apple tart.  No, this was an apple tart made of Cox’s Pippin and Liberty French apples,aged cheddar ice cream and hazelnuts.  Thin shavings of the cheddar and a caramely glaze garnished the slate that the dessert was served on.

yew seafood + bar
yew seafood + bar

Rich, buttery pastry encompassed the sweet and tart apples which were not soggy and still retained a hint of that great apple crunch.  I’m not a huge fan of nuts, so the hazelnuts were just nuts to me, but I loved nibbling on the cheese shavings held between my fingers and that ice cream was super creamy and smooth with just a breath of that rich cheesy flavor.

 As always, a very satisfying experience and service, as always, was prompt, pleasant and helpful.  Yew gets a thumbs up every time 😀

January 1st, 2013. Best Birthday Brunch @ Red Wagon Cafe!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

Happy Birthday, Eunice!!  A great sister deserves to start off the year right.  Who doesn’t love brunch and who doesn’t want brunch from a little cafe made famous on the food network?  But even before Red Wagon Cafe was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Thrus and Dives” this tiny, ghetto-looking East Hastings cafe was seeing line-ups down the block and acquiring die hard fans!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

Since they don’t take reservations we were in the huddle of awaiting diners gathered around the front just anticipating for the waitress to come out and call our names!  Oh, and the hunger was setting in…. Setting in reeeeeeeeeeeeeal good….!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

When they finally come out and call your name you almost feel as if you’re “the chosen one” as you are suddenly possessed by this feeling of elation and are looked upon enviously by the others that remain outside!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the establishment there’s very much a retro feel and it’s quite tiny!!  Literally within earshot of the other blissful diners!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mimosa for the birthday girl!  Eunice loves orange juice, so why not start off the day with a bright, special drink!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Eunice went for the Crispy Pork Belly Brunch which consisted of confit pork belly, 2 eggs, griddled tomatoes, homefries, salsa verde, hollandaise and toast.  A plate FULL of just delicious, hearty, flavorful goodness!  Eunice had no problem just digging right in and getting down and dirty 😉

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

She got her eggs scrambled and they looked soft and fluffy!  The pork belly had me drooling and after a taste of it myself I had to say… daaaaaaaaaamn, that’s some good pork!  Crispy exterior, juicy interior and the salsa verde was great in cutting the richness without masking it!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

I love a good eggs benny.  To my disappointment by the time we were seated their special of the morning, the Pork Belly Benedict 😦  So default to the next choice?  The Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict 😉  Served with the signature homefries and hollandaise.

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

Moist, savory sweet and tender pulled pork over english muffins and topped with medium poached eggs and gorgeously smooth, rich hollandaise sauce poured over.  Perfect poach on the eggs added just the right amount of sauce and moisture needed for the muffin and the crispy, deliciously seasoned homefries!  Oh really, I was so extremely happy with this slice of brunch heaven!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

And just because no breakfast/brunch is complete without bacon…we ordered a whole plate of it And since the Jack Daniels spiked Maple Syrup seemed too awesome to pass up we had to order some of that as well! Uhm….HELLO!!!  Most Amazing Combo…EVER! I was slathering it all over my homefries and also dunking that bacon in it with every bite! I guess they don’t cook off the alcohol cuz there’s a serious smokey-boozy kick to the maple syrup that is JUST ADDICTING! I could not stop!

 

So how was this birthday brunch?  Judging from the state of food coma we were in and the drool and JD maple syrup down the front of our shirts and our sticky fingers I’d say we were pretty darn happy!

First Latte of the Year!

November 1, 2013

January 1st, 2013. Happy Birthday to the Best Sister Ever! 

 

starbucks latte

starbucks latte

  After enquiring into several places I was finally able to find a place that was open for brunch on New Year’s Day!  Special day, special birthday; what better way than to celebrate it with a special meal!

  Since Red Wagon doesn’t take reservations we put our names down and then went across the street to Starbucks for our morning coffee fix and to wait out the super long line 🙂

The Fish Shack

October 30, 2013

December 27th, 2012. The Fish Shack 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

  A little holiday indulgence?  We definitely felt that it was well deserved on all our parts to do at least one dinner out downtown 🙂  Henry, Eunice and I all have birthdays in January, so this was kind of our pre-birthday siblings dinner out!

the fish shack

the fish shack

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a bit of “research” I suggested we do The Fish Shack on the Granville Entertainment District, a newer place where Sanafir used to be.  Eunice loves oysters, I craved crawfish, and Henry will eat just about anything… Perfect!  Howard and Chris were more than welcome to join us since the more the merrier is generally our philosophy 🙂

 

 

 

 

It’s not the largest space, but the high ceilings give it the illusion of being spacious.  I thought the crate detailing along the height of the walls was clever and compared to other Glowbal restaurants gave the place a more friendly and approachable atmosphere.

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

Even our waiter was much friendlier than the usual Global service we come to expect!  Right off the bat our waiter was inviting, warm and made us feel right at home as if he was our friend!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ermrrrrggggdddd!!  What to order??  Everything looks so good!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris and Howard start off with a glass of house white and red, which come in humble glass tumblers.  Again, just as if you’re at home ;D

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eunice goes a bit fancier with The Fish Shack’s Very Own Caesar Cocktail; Pinnacle Vodka and their very own ceasar mix of tomato and clamato juice, horseradish, tabasco sauce, worcestershire sauce, fresh lime juice, salt & pepper, dijon mustard, prawn and a pepperoni stick. (Photo is sans pepperoni as Eunice was already nibbling on it!)

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Eunice also couldn’t resist ordering some oysters on a half shell.  I tried one, and they were fresh and succulent!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Howard said he wasn’t very hungry and decided on thre New Englad Clam Chowder.  Joke was on him because this cream based chowder was very rich and filling!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

Chris opted for the Fish Taco, which consists of flour tortilla tacos with homemade guacamole and roasted corn and tomato salsa.  Al fresca at it’s finest!

 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

Everyone else may not have been sure what to order, but I was there specifically for the Fisherman’s Catch!  At $20 per person for 2 people it was a net of dungeness crab, mussels, snow crab, prawns, calamari, crayfish, potatoes, corn and chorizo!  How can I not love that?

 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

Henry and I had pretty much decided to go in on this one together.  With a wooden slab as our “plate” and provided with all the instruments necessary for the meal to come this promised to be super awesome! 

 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

The catch came in a net with a with the gorgeous broth just dripping into the bowl 🙂  Our waiter cut the net to release the beautiful seafood items, tossed them in the bowl and, VOILA, perfection!

 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

Super well seasoned, moist and dripping with umami, I was transported into food heaven!  First of all, I LOVE crayfish and haven’t had any since my trip to New Orleans.  I LOVE crab and was NOT afraid of getting messy with it 😉  The chorizo added great savory notes, the potato was the perfect starch accompaniment and I must confess, I welcomed the numerous refills of the liquid butter for dipping.  I was happy, happy happy!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

Chris also ordered the Creamy Horseradish Coleslaw to balance all the richness and seafood-ness.  We all agreed that we would have preferred more of that horseradish-signature spicy zing.

 

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmmmm~ Crispy Smelt & Fries with tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon!  Salty, crispy, yummy!  Excellent finger food 😀

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for good bread, and these buns that came on the wooden board were beyond!  light, slightly charred crusty outside that had a slight give and warm, webby dense inside: this bun was gorgeous for sopping up the delicious juices as well as just tearing into on it’s own. I attacked the bread so vigorously that the waiter had to bring us more!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

Long after everyone else had thrown in the towel I was still going strong.  Chomping away, bread in one hand, crab cracker in the other hand.  I think Chris and Howard were pretty surprised to see me not even slowing down.  Even as the waiter was clearing off plates there I was guarding my food with one eye and and watching him suspiciously with the other!  Only the promise of dessert was enough to persuade me to pack up the rest!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

Upon arriving at the restaurant I checked in via Yelp and lo and behold a coupon for a free dessert flashed before my very eyes!  Before we ordered dinner I showed our waiter the coupon and he said he’d be sure to bring one out to us.  Sticky Toffee Pudding with Chantilly Cream?  HECK YES!!!   Sticky. goopy, sweet and not shy on the sauce, it was all I wanted in a dessert that night!  Oooooooohhhhh, YEAH!!!

the fish shack

the fish shack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Birthday to us~~! (And food coma for me…..!!)

September 1st, 2012. Indian Summer Fun 

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

 

With the taste of disappointment palpable still on our palates Anita (@PetiteFoodie), Tien (@distienct) and I headed down to Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe for some delicious desserts!

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

We ordered a few different things to share: Chocolate Succe (hazelnut meringue+dense chocolate mousse+tempered 70% chocolate with a gold leaf), Fromage Au Mousse Blanc (formage blanc mousse+lemon curd+cassis linzer) & Strawberry Tart (almond sable crust+lemon verbena pastry cream+fresh BC strawberries).

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

 

Let me tell you…these desserts were amazing!  I’m on the fence when it comes to Thierry’s macarons, but these little desserts were exactly what I expected them to be!  Rich, decadent, punchy flavors and a delight to the eyes and the stomach.

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

It’s hard to even choose a favorite because each of them were distinctly their own.  I’d say I was more partial to the formage au mousse blanc because it’s flavors that I absolutely adore, but that strawberry tart had us coming back for more and nothing could beat the richness of the chocolate succe.

 

Full, happy and delighted.  Success! 

September 1st, 2012. Indian Summer Fun 

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

I’d arranged to meet Anita (@PetiteFoodie) and one of her other foodie girlfriends, Tien (@distienct) for dinner at Sanafir.  It’s a restaurant I’d been wanting to try since it opened a few years ago….and as luck would have it here I was on the last day of their dinner service to finally try it.  Late for the Sanafir train much?  Part of the Glowbal group it was known for it’s oriental/multi-national flair with food, the low cushioned seating and opulent and risque evening entertainment.  We arrived earlier in the evening but the place was already pretty full..we were able to snag a little corner table on their tiny patio.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

 

 

Start with a round of cocktails?  Oh, why not 😀  They were a bit of a hit and miss, which was actually an indicator of our meal to come….but overall the drinks were stiff but not bad.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

 

 

Jamon y Manchego: shaves of serrano ham, a quince “slice”, some olives and manchego cheese.  Simple “charcuterie” starter.  Nothing really to write home about as Judas Goat Taberna and Salt Tasting Room both rule the arena for this sort of fare.  But good, classic, basic flavor combinations.

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

Next up was the Scallop Ceviche with Tomato and Avocado: Refreshing and the scallops were okay, but definitely not enough avocado to add creaminess to the dish and the crostinis were way too hard.  Our complaint was that it just wasn’t a ceviche.  It didn’t seem that the scallops were marinated in citrus long enough and there wasn’t much of that acidic kick.  Just seemed like a lame ceviche.. 😦

sanafir (glowbal group)

sanafir (glowbal group)

 

Our first main was the Lobster and Duck Paella served with clams, mussels and chorizo sausage.  Again…a bit of a let down.  Despite being served with a lobster tail the flavor was just bland, which is funny because all the components are all known to be super flavorful.  The duck was tough and the lobster slightly overcooked, and everything else was just underwhelming.

We also had the Butter Chicken which I seem to have lost photos of…but don’t hold your breath, because it really wasn’t all that amazing either.  The best part may have been the accompanying pappadums and those probably weren’t even made in house, so, yeah.  Seems like Sanafir was more keen on getting the heck out than giving us all a memorable last dinner.  Oh well…. now they’re gone!

Indian Summer Afternoon

September 2, 2013

September 1st, 2012. Indian Summer 

indian summer - english bay

indian summer – english bay

 

 

 

 

In light of the fact that I didn’t get a summer…or a spring, for that matter, I treated myself to a full day of sun, solitude, girlfriends, food and city 😀

indian summer - english bay

indian summer – english bay

 

 

 

Kicking off the day was a day sunning at English Bay.  Of course I made sure to come prepared with a book, sunblock, a sweet potato salad and fruit cup and a Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea (thank you, Safeway!), and music 🙂  Ahhhh~~~ ❤

Cache Bistro & Lounge

March 24, 2013

July 14th, 2012. Welcome to Vancouver, Krista & Tristan~

cache bistro & lounge

cache bistro & lounge

 

 

Krista and Tristan chose the perfect weekend to come out to Vancouver! Sunny weather+happy people+fun activities=A good time!  I was able to make it out on Saturday to spend the day and help Nabil show Krista and Tristan around town.  First up was brunch in Yaletown at Cache Bistro & Lounge.

cache bistro & lounge

cache bistro & lounge

 

Uh…HELLO!!  The most delicious Pavlova EVER!!  Superbly light and airy meringue topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and fresh mint.  GAH!!!!  Despite being so full from brunch…we could not help ordering this and then we did it justice.  Not a crumb wasted 😉

June 3rd, 2012. Bel Cafe Again~

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

 

 

 

 

Round 2 with Anita (la petite foodie) at what seems like our girl-chat headquarters, Bel Cafe at Hotel Georgia!

 

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latte latte latte!  Smooth, creamy and warm.  Comfy, cozy and bitter-sweet 🙂

 

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered the Pear Vanilla Danish along side my velvety latte. Look how pretty it is~!!

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectly flaky and crispy with a delicious soft-ish crumble on top encasing beautifully sweet, soft pear with that undeniably creamy-smooth flavor of vanilla balanced in to the danish.

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

hotel georgia @ bel cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danish all gone!!  Tummy very happy 😀