#DOVF Yaletown Brunch Crawl Poster

Dine Out Vancouver 2017 Yaletown Brunch Crawl Review

Dine Out Vancouver is well underway, as well as Vancouver Foodster’s Brunch Crawls for Dine Out.  I recently attended the Yaletown brunch crawl and had a great time visiting restaurants and other shops that I have not had a chance to visit before.  That is always the nice thing about the Brunch Crawls.  Following are pictures and some comments from my Yaletown experience at the various venues.

Rocanini Coffee

  • 8oz Rum latte with 2 shots of espresso (decaf/caffeine), 6oz of steamed milk (other milk alternatives – soy, almond, skim, whole) and rum flavouring (no alcohol).

A great way to start the Brunch Crawl.  The coffee really did have a nice rum flavour to it, without the punch.

Rocanini Coffee's Rum Latte

Rocanini Coffee’s Rum Latte

House Special

  • Congee Noir – Black & White rice porridge congee with house-made Chinese donut, boudin noir sausage, and house-made XO sauce
  • Vietnamese Festival Cake – Sticky rice roulade with pork, house-made 5-spice sausage, mung bean, cucumber, pickled cabbage and celery, sriracha chutney
  • Steamed Glass Dumplings – Banana leaf wrapped tapioca dumplings, ground pork, cured shrimp, nouc cham, pork crackling and red chili.

This restaurant was really interesting.  I like Vietnamese food.  I do not have congee too often as there are other dishes that I prefer.  This one was quite flavourful with the boudin and XO sauce.  My favourite item though was the Vietnamese Festival cake.  I like sticky rice in general, and then adding the extra crunch from cucumber and spices from 5-spcie sausage and sriracha chutney made it a small flavour bomb.

House Special - Congee Noir, Vietnamese Festival Cake, and steamed glass dumplings

House Special – Congee Noir, Vietnamese Festival Cake, and steamed glass dumplings

Ganache Patisserie

  • Croissant aux Bleuets-Mures -vanilla pastry cream, blueberry-blackberry compote
  • Goyave Citron Mandarine – blood orange chiffon, lemon mousseline, guava gelee, lemon curd, and mandarin oranges
  • Madeleine
  • Raspberry Macaron

Probably my overall favourite stop at the Brunch Crawl.  The pastries here are done so well.  No item was overly sweet.  My favourite of my favourites was the Goyave Citron Mandarine (the item looking like a cake).  The guava flavour paired so nicely with the citrus and the mandarine oranges; and to top it off with fresh berries was a nice touch.

Ganache Patisserie - Crossaintm Madeleine, Macaron, and Goyave Citron Mandarine

Ganache Patisserie – Crossaintm Madeleine, Macaron, and Goyave Citron Mandarine

Living Produce Aisle

  • Pea Shoot & Kale Microgreens, Apple & Banana, combined with Grapefruit Juice and Aloe Vera Juice
  • Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie with Pea Shoots, Broccoli Microgreens, Peanut Butter & Banana, combined with Chocolate Protein Powder & Almond Milk
  • The Microgreen Salad – A mix of Pea Shoot, Sunflower, Purple Radish, Broccoli, Nasturtium, & Kale Microgreens combined with Pumpkin Seeds & Cranberries & lightly dressed with a Balsamic,
    Honey & Olive Oil Vinaigrette

I do not try smoothies that often that are made with greens, but gave it a try.  My preference was the Peanut Butter Cup smoothie.  The smoothie did have a strong peanut butter flavour and was very creamy.  It did not have too green or bitter a flavour which can come from greens.  I felt full and healthy after stopping here.

Living Produce Aisle - Green Dream and Peanut Butter Cup Smoothies

Living Produce Aisle – Green Dream and Peanut Butter Cup Smoothies

TeaJa Organic Teas

  • Double Cream Earl Grey OR Vanille Rouge teas

I chose the Vanille Rouge tea to try, made with Roobios tea leaves and had a drop of honey stirred into it.  Roobios is a red tea and is soothing to drink.  Try it.

Teaja Organic Teas - Double Cream Earl Grey and Vanille Rouge teas

Teaja Organic Teas – Double Cream Earl Grey and Vanille Rouge teas

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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.

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?