Adieu to DOVF With the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl

Dine Out Vancouver has come and gone for another year.  I am sure many of us have added girth from all the tasty meals we had.  My last event during Dine Out Vancouver was the Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl on the last day.  Commercial Drive is an interesting, eclectic mix of restaurants and shops.  For this Brunch Crawl, the participating restaurants/businesses were:

  • Turks Coffee Lounge
  • The Lemon Square
  • Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
  • Parallel 49 Beer
  • Lear Faye
  • Bakery Sate
  • JamJar
  • Federico’s Supper Club
  • Stateside Craft

Below are a few pictures of my crawl, and some comments. Enjoy and let’s chat Dine Out again next year.

Pizza and beer, from Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria and Parallel 49 Beer, for breakfast is a great way to start a day!  Famoso’s Korean BBQ pizza was really different, and super tasty.  Love their homemade bbq sauce. I’ve tried Parallel 49 Beer before. The Ruby Ale is an easy to drink beer.  Not too dark or hoppy.  Probably a good beer for people to try if they want something with more body than a pilsner.  The other beer that I had and enjoyed was the Salty Scot, Scotch Ale.  This beer has lots of body and flavour. Dark fruit, dark malt, caramel.

Famoso Margherita, Cavoletti, and Korean BBQ Pork pizza slices

Famoso Margherita, Cavoletti, and Korean BBQ Pork pizza slices

Parallel 49 beer

Parallel 49 beer

Going for a coffee after pizza and beer was a good idea.  The Turks Coffee Lounge poured a very nice Velvet Cortado, a type of latte.  The Cortado went nicely with The Lemon Square square.  Lots of lemon flavour, and not too sweet.

Turks Velvet Cortado Butter Espresso and a Lemon Square

Turks Velvet Cortado Butter Espresso and a Lemon Square

Stateside Craft, is place to go for a wide selection of beers, but I already had 2 beers with Parallel 49, so I had their Goat cheese, tomato and basil benny, and their Braised brisket corn hash.  I enjoyed the hash, topped with a light, fluffy egg on top.  The benny unfortunately appears to be made earlier in the  morning and was cold.

Stateside Craft Goat Cheese tomato basil benny and Braised brisket corn hash

Stateside Craft Goat Cheese tomato basil benny and Braised brisket corn hash

Another benny to try was at Lear Faye.  Lear Faye’s Benny was called the East Van benny, made with wilted greens, pico de gallo and avocado holandaise sauce.  Lots of salty, creamy, and spicy flavours.  Really good.  Equally good was the Last Tango French Toast.  The bread was really thickly cut and was moist throughout. I’d have this again.  Sipped a cappuccino to go with these delightful dishes.

Lear Faye East Van Benny and Last Tango French Toast

Lear Faye East Van Benny and Last Tango French Toast

Federico’s Supper Club was moving us more into lunch dishes, but very good lunch dishes. We had samples of Rigatoni alla Gricia (smoked pork cheeks, pancetta, Pecorino Romano and black pepper), Fritelle di Baccala (salt cod fitters on mint pesto and roasted red pepper), and Terrina di Cioccolato (chocolate terrine, Callebaut chocolate and mixed berry compote). All three dishes were very rich.  I really liked the Rigatoni.  Not all pasta needs to have a tomato or cream sauce.  Also really loved the chocolate terrine.  Dark chocolate with a berry compote for dessert is hard to beat anytime.

Federicos Rigatoni alla Gricia, Fritelle di Baccala, and Terrina di Cioccolato

Federicos Rigatoni alla Gricia, Fritelle di Baccala, and Terrina di Cioccolato

Bakery Sate provided us with a take-out box containing a butter croissant, cheddar cheese scone, and coconut macaroon.  The croissant was nice and crispy.  Equally well done was the cheddar cheese scone.  Not too crumbly or dry.  The coconut macaroon was done well, but I am not a fan of the flavour of old coconut.  I do like the lighter flavour and texture of young coconut.  Have you ever tried a young coconut pie?

Bakery Sate Butter croissant, Cheddar cheese scone, and Coconut macaroon

Bakery Sate Butter croissant, Cheddar cheese scone, and Coconut macaroon

I hope you enjoyed these pictures and gave you an idea of some places you would like to visit.

Come Enjoy Vancouver Foodsters Creme Brulee Challenge On Now!

Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth?  If so, why not try out these unique Creme Brulee creations and vote for your favourite?  On now is Vancouver Foodster’s Creme Brulee Challenge.  I am one of 4 judges for this competition.  I will be visiting and making my tasting notes and voting for my favourite.  You should too.  Details of the event are below. Enjoy!

~~~

Welcome to the Vancouver Foodster Crème Brulee Challenge. Restaurants and bakeries from all over the city were invited to enter their crème brulee into this challenge, most have created a special crème brulee just for this challenge. Each restaurant and bakery will be featuring their crème brulee on their menu from April 11-30, 2014.

How Does this all Work? For the public challenge, you are invited to go out and order any or all of the creme brulee in this challenge, then you decide who you think has the best creme brulee creation for the People’s Choice award winners. 

Share your experiences: Tweet (and don’t forget to tweet or instagram your photos) throughout the challenge, our twitter and instagram address is @vanfoodster and the hashtag is #CremeChallengeYVR please include this hashtag in all your tweets during the challenge.

Voting criteria –  some things to help you judge your favourite creme brulee creations – keep these things in mind: originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

Get some friends together and make a day or night of it, visit 2 places or more to share and taste the different crème brulee’s or go solo or with a friend– just remember to VOTE for your favourites

Here are the 9 Creme Brulee dishes in this challenge, listed in no particular order other than when they were received by us.

Gramercy Grill

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Price: $7

Created by: Chef Dennis Huang

Offered: Nightly after 5pm

Gramercy Grill

2685 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-730-5666

Web:  http://www.gramercygrill.ca/

Twitter: @gramercygrill

 

Cafe One

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Price: $6

Created by: Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo

Offered: All Day

Cafe One (inside Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver Hotel)

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604 893 7205

Web: www.sheratonvancouver.com

Twitter: @WallCentreHotel

 

Kingston Taphouse 

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Price: $5

Created by: Chef Simon McLeod

Description:  Caramelized granny smith apples with a salted caramel custard.‎ Finished with a touch of citrus salt.

Offered: all day

Kingston Taphouse and Grille

755 Richards Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7011

Web: http://kingstontaphouse.com/

Twitter: @TheKingstonPub

 

The Bakeshop

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Price- $4.75

Created by: Meg Reed

Description: Flaky pastry filled with creamy earl grey creme, finished with a crispy layer of bruleed honey and rock salt

Offered: Tuesday – Friday  8am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm

The Bakeshop

4021 MacDonald Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-762-2471

Web: http://www.vancouverbakeshop.com/

Twitter:  @VanBakeshop

 

Catch 122

krehm broo-LAY

krehm broo-LAY

“krehm broo-LAY”

Price: $7

Description: Cointreau custard, sugar biscuit, lavender meringue, pineapple, mint

Created by: Chef Ian Errington

Offered: all the time

Catch 122

122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-731-3474

Web:  http://catch122.com/

Twitter: @catch122

 

The Apron

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Price: $10

Description: The elegance of a classic vanilla bean Crème Brule mixed with the comfort of bread pudding, served with biscotti

Created by: Chefs Robert Uy, Michael Stavely and team

Offered: Dinner 5pm – 11pm

The Apron

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565

Web: http://www.westinvancouverairport.com/dining

Twitter: @apronyvr

 

Novo Pizzeria

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Price: $8

Description: Frangelico Ganache, rosemary & pine nut cookies, orange granita

Created by:  Carmine Paradiso and Charles Richard

Available:  All the time

Novo Pizzeria

2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel:    (604) 736-2220

Web:  http://www.novopizzeria.com/

Twitter:   @NOVOPizzeria

 

Bella Gelateria

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Price: $5.50

Description: Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Created by: Gelaterie Maestro James Coleridge

Offered: All day, everyday

Bella Gelateria

1001 W Cordova St, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-1010

Web: http://www.bellagelateria.com/

Twitter: @bellagelateria

 

A Bread Affair

Apple Apple Wood Smoked Bacon & Maple Creme Brulee

Price: $5.95

Description:

Local Okanagan apples, Oyama Applewood Smoked Bacon &

Maples Maple Syrup Creme Brulee

Created by: Chef Chams Sbouai

Offered: Daily 7:30am – 7pm

A Bread Affair

1680 Johnson Street (on Granville Island), Vancouver

Tel: (604) 514-2353

Web: http://www.abreadaffair.com/

Twitter: @breadaffair

Make sure you pick up one of the Crème Brulee Challenge postcards available at each of the participating restaurants and bakeries and keep a record of your favourite Crème Brulee dishes. Remember to Vote for your favourites daily, all the voting details are at http://vancouverfoodster.com/creme-brulee-challenge/

Our Media judges for this challenge are:

Stephanie Yuen

Food Writer. Author. Broadcaster. Blogger for many publications including her own http://beyondchopsticks.com/

Twitter: @stephyuenyuen

Karl Kliparchuk

Wine, Food & Travel Writer for his own http://mywinepal.com/

Twitter: @MyWinePal

Joyce Lam

Food Blogger for her own http://vanfoodies.com/

Twitter: @vanfoodies

Jeremy Inglett

Food Blogger for his own http://www.foodgays.com/

Twitter: @JeremyInglett

Tasting Plates Vancouver Ultimate Desserts on April 14

Apple crumble with ice cream

Apple crumble with ice cream

Creamy, silky smooth, vanilla, fruit, totally indulgent, and that is just one dessert.  Think about if you were able to try indulgent desserts at different restaurants, cafes and bakeries in Vancouver? Well you can through an upcoming Tasting Plates event, hosted by Vancouver Foodster.  The event on April 14, will sell out fast, so get your tickets soon.  Vancouver Foodster’s press release is below.

~~~

Vancouver, BC – Prepare to experience a new kind of Tasting Plates event, this time guest will indulge in dessert at many different restaurants, cafes and bakeries around Vancouver. This tasting extravaganza goes from 2pm until 5:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant, cafe and bakery will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating establishments.

  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.
  • From sweets to savoury desserts along with hot chocolate, juices, tea and coffees
  • Visit each of the participating restaurants,cafes and bakeries at your leisure by bike, moped, car, transit, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

Registration: Rocanini Coffee Roasters at 127 West 5th Avenue -this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating restaurants:

  • Bella Gelateria
  • WE. Coffee 
  • Beta 5 Chocolates 
  • Bob Likes Thai Food 
  • Rocanini Roasters
  • The Bibo 
  • Vancouver Pie Hole
  • Trees Organic 

more restaurants and bakeries may be announced soon. Click below
For additional details about each participating eatery

Purchase tickets via Eventbrite:

http://tastingplatesyvrdesserts.eventbrite.com/
Advance Tickets: $35 per person (eventbrite fee extra). $115 for 4 pak of tickets or $150 for 6 pak of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pak or a 6 pak (eventbrite fee extra). Regular Tickets $45 per person (eventbrite fee extra) after April 11. Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants, cafes and bakeries throughout the event.

“When I first started Vancouver Foodster over 3-1/2 years ago, it was because I had a great passion for food and wanted to share it with the public,” explains Richard Wolak, Editor and Publisher of Vancouver Foodster. ‘Tasting Plates Vancouver’ is a chance for people to try something different, foods from restaurants, food trucks, cafés and bakeries in Vancouver!” Richard Wolak

Into The Fray at Dine Out Vancouver #DOVF

The Fray

The Fray

Have you ever entered a restaurant and felt transported back to the 1950’s?  I have recently at The Fray on Fraser Street during Dine Out Vancouver.  The room is filled with memorabilia from the past, there are stacks of puzzles and games in boxes for you to open and play during your meal, and even sharpened pencil crayons are on each table and a activity sheet for you to draw on.  The Fray is NOT pretentious at all.  Just enter and relax.

Fray’s Dine Out menu is typical diner fare; filling and flavourful.  With my dinner guest, our selections were:

  • Appetizers: Steak Mushroom Bites and Portobello Mushroom Fries
  • Entrees: Pulled Pork Sandwich with Salad and Maple Bacon Jam Burger
  • Dessert: Apple Crumble

The Steak Mushroom Bites appetizer was a big hit for both of us. Marinated chunks of AAA-beef, sauteed in red wine with quartered mushrooms and chipotle lime aoili dipping sauce.  I didn’t need the dipping sauce, as the sauce from the red wine/mushrooms/beef was so flavourful on it’s own. It had some black pepper heat to it.  The beef was exceptionally tender, and we could have had a second plate.  The Portobello Mushroom fries were served as a Jenga stack with sun-dried tomato aioli dipping sauce.  The fries were good, and benefited from the dipping sauce, but it was hard to compete with the Steak Mushroom bites.

Steak Mushroom Bites

Steak Mushroom Bites

Portobello Mushroom fries

Portobello Mushroom fries

I had the Pulled Pork sandwich; quite thick, with a good amount of slaw in the bun together with the pulled pork.  The pulled pork was very tender, but the sauce was a little too sweet for me.  The menu did say that it was candied pulled pork, so if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you would probably enjoy this one more than me.  The side salad with it, was fresh and had a nice tangy sauce.  My dining partner had the Maple Bacon Jam Burger.  It was a monster with a 1″ thick patty, grilled just right; not overdone and dry.  Fresh tomatoes and lettuce together with the maple bacon jam.  My friend said that there was a lot of bacon flavour in this burger.

Pulled pork sandwich with salad

Pulled pork sandwich with salad

I didn’t mention that the entrees were large, but they were, and very filling, so the Apple Crumble, was like trying to conquer Mt. Everest.  When I ordered the dessert, I had visions of a small slice of apple pie with a crumble top.  On my plate, served hot from the oven, was a small-medium sized apple pie, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.  The apple slices were hot, still with some crunch to them, and accompanied by sweet spices. Take another bite with the cold vanilla ice cream, and you have memories of mom’s apple pie.  A wonderful way to end the dinner.

Apple crumble with ice cream

Apple crumble with ice cream

Thank you to The Fray for paying for this Dine Out dinner.  I do not doubt that I will be back to have more of those Steak Mushroom bites as well as trying their other menu items.  Enjoy!

An abbreviated list of wines for the holidays

Isn’t technology lovely? Sometimes you spend a long time writing a long blog about wines for the holidays and it doesn’t get saved! Well that just happened to me, so please enjoy this very short version of my wine recommendations.

Wines to take to a host/hostess. Try a wine they would not normally buy but would enjoy. Try a champagne (from France. Try Bollinger, Lanson, Krug, or Taittinger), or a sparkling wine (e.g. a cremant from France, a prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, or a New World sparkling, such as Gloria Ferrer from Napa Valley, or Lindauer from New Zealand).

An ice wine could also be a nice gift. Riesling ice wines are the best in my opinion as the high acidity of this grape complements the sweetness from the grape. Mission Hill and Quails Gate in the BC Okanagan have nice ice wines.

With dinner, assuming you have a turkey feast, try a lightly oaked chardonnay, or a lighter bodied pinot noir. On the chardonnay side try a wine from Deloach in California, Mission Hill Reserve from the Okanagan, or Evans and Tate from Australia. For a pinot noir, try Quails Gate or Mission Hill from the Okanagan, or Villa Maria or Kim Crawford from New Zealand.

People also like fortified / dessert wines. Buller makes a nice Muscat (Australia). You may try a port from Portugal, such as from Quinta do Portal. A full bodied Oloroso Sherry from Spain from Gonzalez Byass.

Enjoy the wines and enjoy the holidays!