People lined up at Radicle Juice for Brunch Crawl Main St

My Main St Brunch Crawl Highlights for DOVF

My last Brunch Crawl for Dine Out Vancouver 2016 was on Main Street.  I had hoped to have a sunny day like my North Van Brunch Crawl, but the weather was rather cold, rainy, and blustery.  Main Street is a happening place for restaurants if you haven’t tried the neighbourhood lately.   Starting around Broadway and moving south to King Edward, you will find many different restaurants to please your taste buds.  For this Brunch Crawl we sampled from:

Starting any morning off, you need coffee, which is what we received from Republica Coffee Roasters, who were serving small samples of their coffee, very strong coffee, inside of The Honey Shoppe.  After coffee, we moved onto enjoying a warm chocolate almond crepe with raspberry honey butter.  The crepe was really nice, and I enjoyed the rich chocolate filling and the fresh tart raspberries.  Also we did try various flavours of honey.  The one I really liked was the Blackberry honey.  Really had a blackberry flavour to it, which comes from the blackberry flowers.

The Honey Shoppe - chocolate almond crepe and honey samples

The Honey Shoppe – chocolate almond crepe and honey samples

Next stop was The August Market where we had a very tasty and healthy bowl containing Greek yogurt and mixed Fruit & Nut granola from Good Habit Foods.  The tartness of the yogurt complemented the fruit and sweetness and crunch of the granola oats. The decadence after that came from The Lemon Square, lemon square.  Tasty lemon, that is not too sour, and has the right amount of sweetness.  Coffee would have worked well with this square.  We also had a small sample of a chocolate almond milk at The August Market which was very tasty.  Light chocolate and nuttiness flavours.

The August Market - Good Habit Foods granola and yogurt and The Lemon Square

The August Market – Good Habit Foods granola and yogurt and The Lemon Square

Radicle Juice pumped us full of fresh fruit juices.  One came from the “heat shot“, made from ginger (lots), apple, and lemon.  It was really spicy, especially if you took the shot all at once, like I did.  To cool down I had a Dragonfly smoothie, made from fresh orange juice, coconut milk, strawberry, pineapple, dragonfruit, and ginger (just a pinch).  Also we enjoyed an acai mini berry bowl that came with chopped banana and coconut water and topped with granola ans seasonal berries.  I would definitely come back for a berry bowl.  Really full of flavour and texture.  Radicle Juice makes all their smoothies and bowls when you order them, with fresh fruit.  Nothing pre-made in purchased tetra packs that I could see.

Radicle Juice acai mini berry bowl heat shot and Dragonfly smoothie

Radicle Juice acai mini berry bowl, heat shot, and Dragonfly smoothie

Our next stop was Nirvana.  The one on Vancouver, Main St.  Not the metaphysical one.  An Indian restaurant that has been around for as long as I can remember.  They provided us with a sampling of Malai kofta on basmati rice, Mozza naan, and Mango lassi.  I enjoyed the kofta with rice.  It was quite filling, and not very spicy.  The mango lassi is a drink made from yogurt and mango.  It was very thick and had nice mango flavour.  If I were to have a wine with this, maybe a nice BC Gamay Noir.

Nirvana - Malai kofta on basmati rice, Mozza naan and Mango lassi

Nirvana – Malai kofta on basmati rice, Mozza naan and Mango lassi

Last stop was Rosemary Rocksalt, for three kinds of bagels.   I really like their bagels as they are dense yet soft to chew, plus they make the bagels right there.  You can watch them putting the bagels into the oven and then removing them, admiring the toasty brownness of the crust and the smell of fresh bread.  Rosemary Rocksalt offered to us a small chunk of bagel, with 3 different toppings: Montreal smoked meat, lox & cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread.  The bagels used, in order to the toppings were sesame, poppyseed, and rosemary rocksalt.  All three toppings went very well with the bagels.  The Montreal smoked meat, and lox & cream cheese are obvious pairings that would work, but vegan cashew spread?  Yes, it tasted and looked fairly similar to hummus.

Rosemary Rocksalt Montreal smoked meat, lox and cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread on bagels

Rosemary Rocksalt Montreal smoked meat, lox and cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread on bagels

Thanks to Richard Wolak, aka Vancouver Foodster for working the Dine Out Vancouver Festival for putting on this event.

North Van Brunch 2016 Highlights from Dine Out Vancouver

Did you know that besides going to a participating restaurant for Dine Out Vancouver, there are also Brunch Crawls?  On Sunday January 24 I attended a brunch crawl in North Vancouver.  We had a total of 7 restaurants/venues to visit.  Brunch being late morning, necessitates coffee. So my first stop was Bean Around the World, where I enjoyed a latte.  Straight forward and full flavoured, in Lonsdale Quay.

Bean Around the World - latte

Bean Around the World – latte

With some caffeine in my veins, the next stop was the joint Bowen Island Pizza Company with Cobbs Bread in Lonsdale Quay.  We sampled both an apricot French toast with a strawberry reduction, and an Italian crostini with chorizo and roasted garlic.  The French toast was full of flavour, as the bread used was made with raisins.  The crostini bread was light and crispy, and the chorizo with roasted garlic had a citrus zing added to it from the capers.  A great start to our crawl.

Bowen Island Pizza Company with Cobbs Bread - French toast and crostini bread with chorizo

Bowen Island Pizza Company with Cobbs Bread – French toast and crostini bread with chorizo

Next stop was Two Daughters Bakery a few blocks away, where we were served an apple tart and a ginger lemon sandwich cookie.  These treats are made in a gluten-free, vegan ingredients.  Gluten does bother me, so these two treats were a treat for me.  In particular I really liked the apple tart, made with freshly chopped apples.

Two Daughters bakery - apple tart and ginger lemon sandwich cookie

Two Daughters bakery – apple tart and ginger lemon sandwich cookie

A short drive up Londsale Ave, we stopped at Cook Culture, Echo Cafe, and Rosemary Rocksalt.  Cook Culture really made something unique and special for us; red lentil and wheat berry pancakes topped with haskap berries and maple syrup.  Along with this they also made a smoothie for us with banana, roobios tea and much more (sorry I don’t remember the full list of ingredients). The smoothie was very filling, smooth and not sugary.  Besides cooking classes, Cook Culture has a store full of kitchen pots, pans, and gadgets that you have to have.

Cook Culture - Chef Jonathan Chovancek making red lentil pancakes. The pancakes and smoothie for us

Cook Culture – Chef Jonathan Chovancek making red lentil pancakes. The pancakes and smoothie for us

Echo Cafe offered us a Waffle BLT, a savoury scone baked with cheese and green onion, and a tart-sized quiche; Country style with ham, cheese, and peas.  I really liked the quiche. Lots of flavour from the ham and cheese; texture and well, fresh peas from the peas.  A very nice triumvirate.  The waffle BLT was also nice, with the crispy waffle, crunchy bacon, and maple syrup.

Echo Cafe - Waffle BLT savoury scone and country style quiche

Echo Cafe – Waffle BLT savoury scone and country style quiche

Last stop was Rosemary Rocksalt, where you can enjoy Montreal style bagels, which have been dipped in boiling water before being baked in a wood-fired oven (I assume they have a wood-fired oven).   I really like their bagels as they are dense yet soft to chew.  Some bagels you buy are very chewy and can give you a headache.  They offered to us a small chunk of bagel, with 3 different toppings: Montreal smoked meat, lox & cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread.  The bagels used, in order to the toppings were sesame, poppyseed, and rosemary rocksalt.  All three toppings went very well with the bagels.  The Montreal smoked meat, and lox & cream cheese are obvious pairings that would work, but vegan cashew spread?  Yes, it tasted and looked fairly similar to hummus.

Rosemary Rocksalt - Montreal style bagels with Montreal smoked meat, lox and cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread

Rosemary Rocksalt – Montreal style bagels with Montreal smoked meat, lox and cream cheese, and vegan cashew spread

Did this make you hungry?  There is the Main Street Brunch Crawl on Sunday, Jan 31.  Tickets are available.  See you there.

North Vancouver Brunch Crawl on January 24

3-Crawl Ticket Pack: Choose any 3 crawls for $115 provides the best value where you can choose any 3 of the 6 brunch crawls and save over $20 per ticket. For single tickets, Early Purchase Discount: Save $15 before December 31st, 2015. Regular price tickets are $60 after December 31, 2015.  

Dine Out™ Van Fest does brunch! Presented by Vancouver Foodster, these events are sure to please anyone who loves brunch. Visit 6+ restaurants in each of the neighbourhoods as you taste all sorts of dishes in this Brunch crawl using your “passport” as your guide.

Tickets now on sale through Tickets Tonight 

January 24, 2016 — North Van Dine Out Brunch Crawl  10am – 2pm

Participants include some of North Van’s finest restaurants including:

bowen pizza

Bowen Island Pizza Company

123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver

Web: http://www.bowenislandpizzaco.com/

Twitter: @BowenPizzaCo

Cuisine: Pizza

Gourmet thin crust pizza, amazing salads and full-service deli in Lonsdale Quay Market, North Vancouver.

 

bean around the world

 

Bean around the World

123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver

Web: http://batw.ca/apps/store-locator

Twitter: @BATWCoffee

Cuisine: Coffeehouse

Bean Around the World at Lonsdale Quay is an independent Coffee House, locally owned and operated. We feature 34 coffees, including Fair Trade, Organic, single Estate as well as blended coffees. Drip coffee as well as specialty espresso beverages and fine teas are poured. Our offerings include a full range of fresh baked goods, a variety of gluten free baking, sandwiches, and wraps. Open 7 days a week.

 

rosemary rock salt

Rosemary Rock Salt

1669 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver

Web: http://www.rosemaryrocksalt.com/

Twitter: @RoseRocksalt

Cuisine: Bagel Sandwiches

Rosemary Rocksalt is a purveyor of Montreal-style bagels and deli specialties. Born from Joel Siegel’s 22-year-old recipe at Siegel’s Bagels, Rosemary Rocksalt was co-founded in 2012 by Joel’s daughter Parise, along with Ken Sim and Teena Gupta. Having her own hand in the family business for 18 years, Parise is well-versed in the bagel recipes that have made tummies smile and hearts leap for over two decades. Combined with Ken and Teena’s decade of experience building Nurse Next Door into a world-class brand, Rosemary Rocksalt is poised to bring the magic of Montreal-style bagels across the continent!

cook culture 2

Cook Culture

1230 Lonsdale Avenue, North Van

Web: http://cookculture.com/

Twitter: @cookculture

Cuisine: cookware shop

What is Cook Culture?  What if we created a gorgeous cooking school kitchen and brought the best chefs we know to your neighbourhood? And then put it inside a store full of everything  you could ever imagine wanting for your kitchen, with a staff who love food and cooking as much as you do? And what if we also did everything we could to support local, sustainable food – including teaching city kids to grow and cook their own veggies? That’s Cook Culture. And we can’t wait to meet you.

 

two daughers

Two Daughters Bakery

121 E 1st Sreet (rear), North Vancouver

Web: http://twodaughtersbakeshop.com/

Twitter: @TwoDBakeshop

Cuisine: Gluten-Free bakery

A locally owned dedicated gluten-free bakery business run by Lisa Reichelt.

More restaurants to be added

Tickets:

General Admission: $60*
Early Purchase Discount: Save $15 before December 31st, 2015
3-Crawl Ticket Pack: Choose any 3 crawls for $115

Tickets now on sale through Tickets Tonight

Tourism Vancouver Dine Out Festival and Vancouver Foodster also present:


January 20, 2016 –at 6pm

Get set for an extraordinary night of art, eating and drinking on Granville Island. Visit resident artists, local producers of beer and spirits, and taste dishes from several of the island restaurants at some of Granville Island’s finest restaurants, breweries and distilleries, including Off the Tracks Espresso Bar & Bistro, Granville Island Brewing, Dockside Restaurant, Dockside Brewing, Liberty Distillery, Liberty Wine Merchants, Artisan SakeMaker, Bon Macaron, ChocolaTas and more.

$65* General Admission
Early Purchase Discount: Save $10 before December 31st, 2015
$110 ** CLUB Amuse-bouche

Tickets now on sale through Tickets Tonight 

Dine Out Vancouver Downtown Brunch Crawl Delivers Tastiness

This is my Dine Out Vancouver Brunch Crawl for this year.  The first Brunch Crawl was in Gastown and was very filling.  The second one I attended this weekend was in Downtown, more specifically the area east of Hornby, with Hastings to the north, and Yaletown to the south.  A bit of a hike to get to all of the venues, but needed in order to devour all the offered bites.  The venues we visited were:

  • Kingson Taphouse & Grill
  • Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House
  • Nourish Vancouver
  • The Copper Chimney
  • Bella Gelateria Yaletown
  • Small Victory Bread & Coffee
  • Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro
  • Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

This was the order that I tackled the venues, but anyone attending could visit them in any order, except for Kingston Taphouse & Grill which was the starting point, where you picked up your registration card.  Below are some pictures of the food I enjoyed at the Downtown Brunch Crawl and comments.  Enjoy.

There is one more Brunch Crawl you may want to attend, is on Commercial Drive on Sunday, Feb. 1.  Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl tickets are at this link.

Kingston Taphouse cornbeef hash, banger, and gravlax

Kingston Taphouse cornbeef hash, banger, and gravlax

Kingston Taphouse & Grill offered us corn beef hash, banger with confit cherry tomato and gravlax with dill & chive hollandaise on a buttermilk biscuit.  Of the three I liked the banger the most as it had some pepperiness to it, and I liked it with the acidity and sweetness of the tomato.

Trees Organic spinach and feta scone, raspberry white chocolate scone, and Peruvian coffee

Trees Organic spinach and feta scone, raspberry white chocolate scone, and Peruvian coffee

Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House freatured a savoury spinach & feta scone, a sweet raspberry white chocolate scone and a single origin, fair trade, organic coffee from Peru.  The two scones were nice and soft, melting in my mouth, but the savory scone did have a sugar coating on, which made it a bit odd tasting.  The raspberry one was fantastic. And the coffee was top quality.  A nice place for a weekend morning coffee and pastry.

The Juice Box cold pressed juices

The Juice Box cold pressed juices

Nourish Vancouver offered us three different items to enjoy.  The first as shown in this picture were two cold pressed juices.  The first was “Light Green”, which was a cucumber-based juice, with ginger and other ingredients.  It tasted healthy and refreshing, but even better to me was the Carrot Orange Ginger juice, which had a smooth texture, with a nice balance between the orange, carrot and ginger flavour.  I would go back for this juice.

Nourish Vancouver frittata in spelt wrap with leeks, kale, radish sprouts, and shitake mushrooms

Nourish Vancouver frittata in spelt wrap with leeks, kale, radish sprouts, and shitake mushrooms

Their breakfast sandwich was next, a frittata made with fresh eggs, filled with roasted leeks, kale and shitake mushrooms, served with a kale hazelnut pesto wrapped in a spelt flatbread.  It was also topped with radish sprouts.  Again, another tasty dish, meatless, that was packed with lots of healthy ingredients.  Great for a after gym workout (along with the juice).

Living Lotus chocolate ganache

Living Lotus chocolate ganache

The last sample from Nourish was a Dark Chocolate Ganache from one of their partners, Living Lotus.  Not much to say, other than you can’t go wrong with a Dark Chocolate Ganache.

The Copper Chimney butter chicken, basmati rice, and garlic naan bread

The Copper Chimney butter chicken, basmati rice, and garlic naan bread

The Copper Chimney was my favourite stop at the Downtown Brunch Crawl.  They served us their Butter Chicken served with Basmati rice, and garlic naan bread.  This was the best Butter Chicken that I can remember eating in a long while.  It was not overly peppery, and had a wonderful mix of sweet spices, like cinnamon and ginger.  I am definitely coming back here to have a full meal of Butter Chicken.  To this the Basmati rice was nice and fluffy, and the naan had a light garlic flavour, which was nice to dip in the Butter Chicken sauce.  Highly recommended.

Bella Gelateria Yaletown italian toast, Il Tricolore brunch pizza, and chocolate cookie

Bella Gelateria Yaletown italian toast, Il Tricolore brunch pizza, and chocolate cookie

Bella Gelateria Yaletown provided us with a plate containing an Italian Toast (similar to French toast, this one using an Italian Brioche, and topped with some pureed kiwi fruit), Il Tricolore Brunch pizza, made with roasted peppers and eggplant, scrambled organic free range egg and fior di latte, and last a Chocolate G Cookie with Tahitian vanilla gelato.  I quite enjoyed the Italian Toast.  The bread was quite dense and absorbed the flavours of the egg coating.  I also really liked the Tahitian vanilla gelato.  I do like good vanilla, and you could tell that this was made with real vanilla.

Small Victory bakery chocolate hazelnut croissant, almond and blueberry brioche, and a surprise

Small Victory bakery chocolate hazelnut croissant, almond and blueberry brioche, and a surprise

Small Victory Bread & Coffee By this time I think we were all getting quite full.  Some pastries and coffee to calm down the stomach for the home stretch was needed.  Small Victory is a very nice, upscale bakery and coffee shop.  Gleaming displays of assorted pastries danced in front of my eyes.  We were given a sample of three pastries: a chocolate hazelnut croissant, and almond and blueberry brioche, and a honey filo pastry (this one was a surprise, so I’m guessing on this one).  The chocolate hazelnut croissant was my favourite.  Nice and crispy, with a chocolate centre, and more chocolate on top together with the chopped hazelnuts.  A perfect pairing for my coffee.  Also very tasty was the almond and blueberry brioche.  Also recommended to visit.

Shuraku Sake bar and bistro California roll, bbq back rib, and seasonal green gomaae

Shuraku Sake bar and bistro California roll, bbq back rib, and seasonal green gomaae

Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro I would say was my second favourite venue to visit for savoury samples.  They offered a California roll, Teriyaki bbq baby back rib, and a seasonal green gomaee made with broccoli and green bean.  The Teriyaki bbq baby back rib was amazingly tender, and fell off the bone.  The Teriyaki sauce was not overpowering or too sweet.  A nice glass of Sapporo beer would have been the perfect accompanyment.

Frankies chicken and waffles, Monsieur Andre sandwich, and a mimosa

Frankies chicken and waffles, Monsieur Andre sandwich, and a mimosa

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar was my last stop and they offered Chicken and Waffles, which I was looking forward to.  There was also a Monsieur Andre sandwich made with rye bread, filled with cheese, soprasetta and prosciutto, and topped with egg hollandaise.  There was something bitter to me with the sandwich, so was not my favourite, but the chicken and waffles was nice.

Well that is the roundup of tastes for this Brunch Crawl.  Stay tuned for my tweets and article on the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl.  Thanks to Vancouver Foodster for organizing all the Brunch Crawls.  It is a lot of work.

Dine Out Vancouver Gastown Brunch Crawl Entices You

This is the second year that Dine Out Vancouver has offered brunch crawls through various neighbourhoods.  The crawls are organized by @vanfoodster, who offers similar Tasting Plates crawls through the rest of the year.  This weekend I was invited to attend the Gastown Brunch Crawl, which was a fantastic and very filling event!  The participating restaurants were:

  • Brioche Eatery Café
  • Milano Coffee
  • Salida 7
  • Jamaican Blue Cold Brew
  • Lily Mae’s Cafe
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Pure Bread Bakery
  • Jules Bistro

A quick check through the Dine Out Vancouver listing I did not see these restaurants offering a separate dine out dinner or lunch menu, so the Brunch Crawls may be the only way to try out some of these places.  FYI, besides the Gastown Brunch Crawl, there is also Downtown, Kitsilano, Main Street, West End, and Commercial Drive.  Details on all the Brunch Crawls are here.

Below are a pictures I took during the Gastown Brunch Crawl with my astute comments.  Enjoy!

Velvet Cortado at Milano Coffee

Velvet Cortado at Milano Coffee

The Velvet Cortado is a small latte made at Milano’s Coffee, where they roast their own beans.  Very good.  We also had a lemon square from Lemon Square which had great bright lemon flavour, but was not overly sour. Good with coffee.

Jamaican Blue Cold Brew truck

Jamaican Blue Cold Brew truck

More coffee, this time from Jamaican Blue Cold Brew.  What makes this coffee different is that it is cold brewed, which I am told reduces acidity by 70%.  Good if you have acid reflux possibly plus would be better for your teeth.  Made with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans.  If you want, they will warm up the coffee for you after cold brewing.

Pure Bread Bakery variety of pastries

Pure Bread Bakery variety of pastries

If excellent baked goods is your thing, and you just picked up a cup of coffee, then Pure Bread Bakery is a great place to visit.  Yes we were allowed to sample all the pastries, sweet and savoury, that you see.  All were very tasty. Recommended.

Brioche Eatery Café assorted Italian pastas eggplant and ribs

Brioche Eatery Café with assorted Italian pastas, eggplant, and ribs

Brioche Eatery Café had assorted Italian pastas (a lobster ravioli!), eggplant, and succulent ribs.  Just a taste of each, but all very good, and very filling.

Jules Bistro Cassoulet salmon mini quiches and chocolate terrine

Jules Bistro Cassoulet, cured salmon in crossant, mini quiches, and chocolate terrine

Jules Bistro brought some French flavours to our Brunch Crawl. Cassoulet (a cassarole made with beans, chicken, and sausage), house cured salmon, mini quiches and chocolate terrine.  Cassoulet is one of my favourite dishes.  Comfort food.  Enjoy with a glass of pinot noir.  All their food was very good, and the chocolate terrine and dark and decadent.

Salida 7 bacalo croquette veggie tortilla sardine on bean puree toast and fennel salad

Salida 7 Bacalo croquette, veggie tortilla, sardine on bean puree toast, and fennel salad

Salida 7, a Spanish restaurant offered, Bacalo (cod) croquette, veggie tortilla, sardine on bean puree toast, and fennel salad.  The Bacalo croquette and veggie tortilla were my favourites.

LilyMae’s pulled pork grits beet carrot juice and French toast

LilyMae’s pulled pork grits beet carrot juice and French toast

LilyMae’s Cafe had us trying their pulled pork & cheese grits, beet carrot juice, and French toast.  The juice tasted very healthy, and was enjoyable to sip for a breakfast or brunch.  The pulled pork & cheese grits was rich and filling, and the French toast was cooked to perfection.

Rodneys Oyster House crab cake eggs benedict

Rodneys Oyster House crab cake eggs benedict

My last stop was Rodney’s Oyster House to try their crab cake eggs benedict.  The egg was poached nicely and the creaminess of the yolk helped make the crab cake a bit moister.

If these pictures entice you, please visit them, and if the Brunch Crawl attracts you, why not join one during Dine Out?