Quips & Anecdotes - Vancouver Trip Recap!

Instead of subjecting you all to much too many eatery posts from my Vancouver trip, particularly for the smaller places, I wanted to type up a recap of the trip. Of course, there will still be a few individual posts going up in the next few days/weeks of noteworthy places where my friends and I nommed but below are the less detailed recaps of the trip overall =]! As for the image above, Timbits! Yes, of course my friends and I had to hit up a Tim Horton's. However, they were the ones who noshed on the Timbits. I had one of the ten they had purchased and eh, they're just donut holes...


La Casa Gelato - Strathcona
In a post way back in March 2011, I talked about wanting to go to Vancouver just so I could get a taste of this international gelato place. Little did I know I would make my way there in under two years. It actually was one of the few places that I really, really wanted to visit in Vancouver and its immensity of gelato didn't disappoint! There were many people on staff to help with tasting because of the hundreds of flavors available. I saw the normal stuff but also some weird things like wasabi and balsamic vinegar. I tasted ones like fig, dragonfruit, and spicy mango. One of my friends decided to snag Vegemite, a strange but oddly tasty choice. The other went for uncommon but safe - one pandan scoop and one toasted vanilla almond scoop. I, on the other hand, had a battle with my brain and tongue when I chose the wild berry jalapeno. The problem was the solution here. The ridiculously hot jalapeno made me want to eat more cold stuff which was the gelato itself. A tongue on fire that is also numb from the coldness of the food and the weather is a tongue confused. I lasted through but not before I wondered why the heck someone would even make that flavor. What a tangy and tantalizing but torturous treat...


Blaq Sheep Coffee Shop & Bistro - Kitsilano
We ducked into Blaq Sheep Coffee Shop when we arrived in the area early for our dinner reservation. It was cold outside and we were thirsty. I spotted Blaq Sheep for its awesome exterior design and name. We went inside and were all quite smitten by the decor and feel too. In warm browns and dark black and red, the place was cozy and a little hipster, if I may. The woman at the register was so very nice and accommodating; the barista behind her made all the drinks perfectly! I opted for the hot apple cider which was housemade and definitely got me all warmed up. My friends also enjoyed their drinks (A Shot in the Dark and a hot chocolate). They were so kind enough to pour our drinks into takeaway containers as well when we said we needed to walk outside to get to our dinner.

New Town Bakery - Chinatown
We visited so many places in Vancouver that now, as I am doing the recap, I can't even remember correctly which day we did what. One of the days, we popped into New Town Bakery because my friend had seen great reviews on it from Yelp, particularly for egg tart (dan ta). When we walked towards it, we saw what I'm assuming was their original location which had been closed down to account for a bigger spot just a few spaces down the same road. This one was certainly grander though still quite cozy inside. There was a restaurant portion in the back and the hubbub of a hectic bakery portion in the front. We each took our numbers, paid in cash only, and made it out of the crowds with our own prizes. Mine were the tapioca cake (so nice because it wasn't overly sweet and the texture was right on) and a Hong Kong-style egg tart/dan ta (so savory and huge). Great place to drop by for some nostalgic (if you're Chinese) treats!


Japadog - Everywhere
I don't think you could go to Vancouver with the knowledge of food shows and not want to find a Japadog food cart. They have several locations scattered around the city and each has their own little specials. We stopped by the one on Cordova and Granville in downtown so one of my friends could sate his curiosity. I was tempted to get one myself too but the nearly empty wallet in my pocket told me no. After all, we had been eating the entire trip so I was feeling a little scanty in CAD. He opted for the Okonomi (Kurobuta pork, cabbage, bonito flakes, Japanese mayo, and special sauce) and so kindly let me try some after my hesitation to purchase any one. It was juicy and quite flavorful. The sausage made a difference from this seemingly simple item; after all, it looks like a hot dog. The correction is, however, that it is a fancy hot dog and that's what matters. Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients. What a tasty sausage.

Bon Crepe - West End (on Robson St.)
One of the best things I ate in Vancouver was actually not a meal or even in a restaurant; it was a little stand connected to a Japanese grocery store. The signage outside of it caught our attention as did the tantalizing display of their many crepe offerings. Bon Crepe drew us in with their blown-up poster of what their green tea parfait was made of. Upon seeing it, I stopped walking and said, "I want that." So in we walked to see the tiny wooden counter hidden behind aisles of Japanese snacks. We ordered our green tea parfait with the one man working there and sat down on wooden chairs to enjoy its delights. Let's start from the top: green tea soft serve and whipped cream were sprinkled on with green tea powder. A crisp vanilla wafer added some crunch while the dollop of red bean gave sweetness to the mix. Green tea syrup melded the soft serve together with the firmer green tea ice cream; these both softened up against the green tea cake slice on the side. I promise you can't see everything that was on this beauty in my picture! Once you got lower in the cup, you hit tapioca balls (boba), creamy vanilla ice cream, crunchy corn flakes (trust me - they were awesome with everything), and light, delightful sponge cake. Heaven in a cup? Yes. Double yes.


Granville Island Public Market - Granville Island
If there's one thing I love, it's visiting public markets/farmers' markets that are immense, cover the gamut of food and crafts, and are regular gatherings of the best of the artisan growers/producers. Granville Island was something I looked forward to visiting once I knew my friends and I were going to go to Vancouver. Its Public Market got me excited, and even though we were all fairly tired from walking basically the entire length of Vancouver (trust me...it was 15+ miles that day by foot), we all went in wide-eyed and wide-mouthed. Cheeses, breads, soups, sausages, pates, fruits, vegetables, candies, seafood, and more filled our senses with sights and smells. There were fresh pastas waiting to be purchase by the kilogram. There were whole chickens and skinned creatures hanging from meat hooks. There were gleaming filets of fresh fish ready to be smoked on a plank.

Two fantastic things of note that we ended up purchasing were vegan-friendly pate (made from seeds, grains, and vegetables) and maple syrup Cheddar. The first was because it was such a unique concept and the second because Canada. The pate was exactly like pate in texture and mouth-feel but it contained no animal products. It was fabulous on rosemary bread too (we had purchased the sunshine tomato variety of the three the person had on hand). The maple syrup Cheddar was also lovely as the sharpness of the Cheddar was cut by the sweetness of the syrup. It was a nice sweet & salty taste and especially tasty sliced so thinly.

By myself (since my friends don't like beer), I purchased two beers from the brewery there to take home because they were large. I had their rich and smooth Limited Release Chocolate Imperial Stout (so, so good) and their Maple Cream Ale (sweet and creamy). I loved both but man, I shouldn't do a quarter gallon of beer by myself again...