June 26 Tasting Plates East Vancouver Vegetarian Summer Edition

Join us for our next all Vegetarian edition of our Tasting Plates series as you visit some of our favourite restaurants in East Vancouver between Commercial Drive and Main Street. This evening vegetarian tasting extravaganza is on Wednesday June 26 from 6pm until 10pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

veg

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates and Tasting Cups 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 restaurants.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on City Lights (view here).

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

See our last Vegetarian tasting plates event and what was served to guests here.

Registration: tba- this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Passports and menus.

Participating Restaurants and Establishments

Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian

1392 Kingsway, Vancouver

Instagram @eatdochay

Cuisine: Vietnamese

New restaurant offering all vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese fare, infused with modern flavours.

maizal


Maizal

2815 Main Street

Web: https://maizalrestaurant.ca/

Twitter: @maizalyvr

Instagram: @maizal_yvr

Cuisine: Mexican

Vancouver Foodster Review

Enjoy classic hand-crafted cuisine just like on the streets of Mexico. Enjoy gluten free dishes, real Mexican beverages and their famous soft shell tacos. Fresh corn tortillas made to order and more.

Watch for the lineup of Participating Restaurants/Establishments unveiled next month

Tickets:

Early-Bird Tickets: $36 per person through June 11, 2019

Advance Tickets $45 per person after June 11, 2019

Regular $60 per person after June 23, 2019

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us at least 48 hours in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Participating restaurants subject to change. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.

Photographic Highlights of Tasting Plates Main Street

Last week was Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Main Street edition.  We had a beautiful sunny evening to stroll along Main Street sampling from 6 restaurants / venues.  The restaurants / venues, their menus, and my pictures are below.  Enjoy, and visit them if you want to try them too.

Tapas 23 Restaurant

MENU
Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:
1)    Fire roasted chick peas. (V)
2)    Potato crusted wings (achote sauce).
3)    Bombas (braised pork belly). 
4)    Bruselas (Brussel sprouts, sweet balsamic, almonds aged cheddar) (V)
 
The braised pork belly was the star on the plate, but I also must mention an item that was not on the original list; Albondigas.  This Spanish style meatball was tender and had a paprika sauce that took the flavour up a notch.
Tapas 23 with pork belly, wings, and brussel sprouts

Tapas 23 with pork belly, wings, and brussel sprouts

Rosemary Rocksalt

MENU
Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:
1)  Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich on a Rosemary Rocksalt bagel
2)  Lox & Cream Cheese sandwich on a bagel (variety of flavours)
3)  Sweet Rugolach pastry (variety of flavours)
 
The Montreal smoked meat sandwich was served hot. It melted in your mouth.  I would have loved a choice of mustard.
Rosemary Rocksalt with Montreal smoked meat sandwich, lox and cream cheese on bagel, and sweet Rugolach pastry

Rosemary Rocksalt with Montreal smoked meat sandwich, lox and cream cheese on bagel, and sweet Rugolach pastry

ShakTea

MENU
Our Tasting Cup includes your choice or all of these teas
1)    French Earl Grey black (hot and caffeinated)
2)    Ginger Lemon herbal (hot and caffeinated)
3)    African dream rooibos (iced and non-caffeinated)

and 
Our Tasting Plate includes these 2 items:
1)    Chocolate chilli fudge brownie
2)    Matcha date balls (gluten free)
 
All 3 teas were very different and each were enjoyable to sip.  I can see both the ginger lemon and the African dream rooibos making good iced tea for the summer.
ShakTea with French Earl Grey, Ginger Lemon, and Africa dream rooibos teas

ShakTea with French Earl Grey, Ginger Lemon, and Africa dream rooibos teas

Main Street Honey Shoppe

MENU
Our Tasting Plate includes these 2 items:
1)    Honey almond cake or gluten free spiced cookie
2)    Cream Cheese Brownie made with Tawari honey from New Zealand.
and
Honeycomb – as raw as it gets!
Sample a slice of pure honeycomb from British Columbia, paired with premium cheese and Honey Sampling.
Before getting to the honey almond cake and cream cheese brownie (which was rich and moist), the honey tasting was quite interesting as we were introduced to honey from different flowers, e.g. clover vs wildflower.  Most of the honeys we tasted were from BC, but we also had a chance to try more exotic honeys from New Zealand and Australia.  My favourite was the Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey.
 

Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey

Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey

Main Street Honey shoppe with cream cheese brownie, gluten free spiced cookie, and honeycomb

Main Street Honey shoppe with cream cheese brownie, gluten free spiced cookie, and honeycomb

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co

MENU
Our Tasting Plate will feature your choice of these flatbread pizzas:
1)    Farmers Market Pizza: Topped with local organic balsamic marinated rhubarb and chard from City Farms, three herb nut free pesti & Capriny goat’s cheese. (V)
2)    Naturally Meaty: Spicy certified organic beef, sulphate free Italian sausage, ripe tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, asiago cheese & fresh herbs.
I was originally unsure about the veggie pizza, never having tried balsamic marinated rhubarb and chard before, but this pizza was quite tasty.  The meat pizza was also very good.  I quite like their crusts.  Never soggy.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread Veggie Farmers Market pizza (front) and Naturally Meaty pizza (back)

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Veggie Farmers Market pizza (front) and Naturally Meaty pizza (back)

Miura Waffle & Milk Bar

MENU
Our Tasting Plate includes all 4 items:
1)    Kachan Karaage Waffle Sando – hor d’oeuvres style: Ginger fried chicken, Asian slaw, & 1000 Island sauce
2)    Teri-Vani Waffle Sando – hor d’oeuvres style: Vanilla ice cream, Whipped cream & Teriyaki sauce
3)    Nori Nachos – Nori chips (fried seaweed), Melted cheese, Tomato salsa & Sour cream
4)    Dessert Nachos – Nori chips, Chocolate sauce, Whipped cream & Strawberry
 

This was the last stop on the route for me today, and unfortunately I ran out of time due to the line up length.  I will have to come by on my own to try out their waffle.

Spicy lemongrass vermicelli noodles at Five Elements

Noodle Mania 2 – My Picks For You

Vancouver Foodster’s Second Annual Noodle Mania has come and gone.  It had an interesting lineup of restaurants and dishes.  We had both sweet and savoury noodle dishes to sample, for vegans and omnivores.  The restaurants and their dishes are below, together with a few of my comments/recommendations and pictures.  Enjoy.

Atithi

  • Veggie noodle samosa with tamarind chutney
  • Chicken chow mein samosa with tamarind chutney

This was actually my last stop during Noodle Mania, but was one of my favourite.  The chef was telling us how on a trip to India last year, that he came across a new “craze” which was to put noodles inside samoas.  He must have liked the taste enough, that he brought the idea back with him to Vancouver.  I enjoy veggie samoas, so I picked the veggie option.  The samosa was full of flavour, with thin rice noodles and vegetables mixed with light curry spices.  I would go back here to have a few more as well as enjoying their other Indian dishes.

Veggie noodle samosa with tamarind chutney

Veggie noodle samosa with tamarind chutney

Xoxolat

  • Savory noodle with dark chocolate
  • Sweet noodle with milk chocolate
  • Tasting of different flavoured xoxolat chocolate bars

I was not sure what to expect from a chocolate shop for noodle mania.  They made 2 different noodle dishes, one with dark chocolate and the other with milk.   The dishes were interesting, but I think just having a tiny sample was enough for me.  I do not know that a whole plate would have worked for me.  But besides the noodle dishes, there was a sampling table of various chocolate bars made by xoxolat and those were very good.  I purchased two chocolate bars; one chocolate with lavendar, and the other was tortilla chips and lime with chocolate.

Dark chocolate savory noodles in the making

Dark chocolate savory noodles in the making

Graze Vegetarian

  • Brown rice elbow macaroni in smoky coconut milk based “cheese” sauce topped with toasted nut crumble (GF)
  • Beetroot linguine topped with a porcini infused cashew cream sauce

Graze Vegetarian looked vaguely familiar as I stepped through the doors, but was told by the other foodies I was with that this used to be The Fray restaurant.  Quite a change, with creamy white walls and an elegant wall mural on one wall.  As I try to eat gluten free, I was looking forward to trying their GF “mac and cheese”.  The mac and cheese really did taste very cheesy, but it did have a bit of a sour note to the sauce, which I found out was from fermented coconut milk.  Some people at my table enjoyed the sour tang to this dish.  The other dish was the beetroot linguini which had nice earthy flavour to it, which I quite enjoyed.

Vegan macaroni and coconut milk cheese and beetroot linguini

Vegan macaroni and coconut milk cheese and beetroot linguini

Bella Gelateria

  • Faloudeh Sorbetto – originally from Shiraz in Southwest Iran.  Rose water with rice noodles and fresh lime juice

Toward the end of our tastings, we decided to stop at Bella Gelateria for a palate cleansing sorbetto.  This one had very bold flavours with the rose water and lime juice.  I agreed with my Noodle Mania companions that the flavours were quite intense and maybe could be toned down just a bit, but I did enjoy the flavour combination.  Try this out in the summer while you sit by the convention centre watching the boats in the harbour.

Faloudeh Sorbetto (rose water and lime)

Faloudeh Sorbetto (rose water and lime)

Federico’s Supper Club

  • Strozzapreti con ragu bolognese
  • Rigatoni alla Norma

This was the first stop at Noodle Mania and I really enjoyed their pasta.  In particular I thought the Riagoni was excellent.  I really liked the bright tomato flavour and the bits of eggplant in it.  For those of you who like heartier dishes there was the Strozzapreti con ragu bolognese, which of course is a pasta dish cooked with a meaty ragu sauce.  Beside the meatiness of the sauce, I did also like the buttery component, which may have come from the noodles?

Strozzapreti con ragu bolognese and Rigatoni alla Norma

Strozzapreti con ragu bolognese and Rigatoni alla Norma

Five Elements

  • Pho sate peanut sauce
  • Spicy lemongrass vermicelli noodles
  • Pho – rice noodle soup with beef

Pho soup, for those that haven’t tried it is a flavourful, filling bowl of noodles with various cuts of beef (usually), bean sprouts, basil, lime, in a tasty clear broth.  I usually add some chili sauce to my pho for an extra kick.  I had the pho with meatball and beef brisket.  I picked this dish in particular because beef brisket is always tender, melting in your mouth as you enjoy the rest of your soup.  You can get pho with rare steak, but that tends to be chewier than the brisket.  I just love the flavour and texture of the brisket.  Try some pho on one of these cold, rainy days in Vancouver.  You will be glad you did.

Special pho with meatball and beef brisket

Special pho with meatball and beef brisket

Bob Likes Thai Food

  • Kanom Jeen
  • Pad Thai

Kanom Jeen is a traditional Thai dish consisting of green curry chicken over rice noodles, lime, bamboo shoots, basil, eggplant, and more.  I really enjoyed this dish.  It had bright flavours, was medium spicy, and you also had some crunchy vegetables too.  The sliced cucumber was really a nice accompanyment.  The Pad Thai was also cooked perfectly with it’s fried noodles in tamarind and fish sauce, smoked tofu, peanuts, eggs, garlic and bean sprouts.   I have no problems coming here again to enjoy their Thai food.

Kanom Jeen and Pad Thai noodles

Kanom Jeen and Pad Thai noodles

Thanks again to Richard ,Vancouver Foodster, for his ongoing efforts to put together this event plus other foodie events around Vancouver.

What wine to pair with a vegetarian meal?

For those of you that haven’t had a vegetarian meal, think again.  You typically have cereal or a muffin and coffee for breakfast.  For lunch it could be a salad or a vegetable sandwich or soup.  That leaves you with one meal with meat.  You are almost a vegan without knowing it, or doing much.

For most people, dinner is the main meal, and this is where the what wine to pair with a vegetarian meal will be addressed.  There is a wide variety of vegan dishes.  There are vegan dishes from all countries.  For example, Indian food has many curries made with vegetables.  Curries are usually spicy, so my recommendation is a fruity red or white wine.  The fruitiness can hold up to the spice in the wine.  You do not want to pick a dry, tannic cabernet.  A Merlot would be a better choice.  On the white wine side, a Kabinett style Riesling from Germany would work.  I have also been told that Pinotage (a red grape from South Africa) works quite well with curries.

The key point for meals, whether vegan or not, is to consider how the food is cooked (e.g. grilled or sauteed), and what sauce or spices are being used in the dish.  If you have a spicy sauce, then a wine that has lots of fruitiness works, not a dry, tannic wine.  A meal that is sauteed and has maybe a mild, citrus sauce, could pair well with a lighter bodied white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc or a chenin blanc, or a lighter bodied red, such as pinot noir or gamay.  A dish with a creamy or buttery sauce would pair well with a Burgundian wine (chardonnay or pinot noir).  The silkiness of these wines complementing the silkiness of the sauce.

Salads can be a challenge because of the sourness of the vinegar.  You may want to try a high acidity wine such as a New Zealand or BC sauvignon blanc, or a dry riesling from Australia.

Some vegetarians do eat fish.  Most fish are delicately flavoured so again pick a delicately flavoured wine, such as unoaked chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir or riesling.  If you get some smoked salmon, try pinot gris, Alsatian riesling, or a pinot noir.

There is much more than I can write about in this short blog.  Hopefully this will give you some pointers.  Enjoy!