Tasting Plates – Latin American Flavours in Vancouver

Vancouver Foodster tried something new today.  Instead of having Tasting Plates cover a small region/neighbourhood in Vancouver, it covered a style of food, in this case Latin food.  It took a short drive from one place to the next, but the tasty food that awaited us was well worth it.  Enjoy the pictures and my short comments about the food and event.

A.G.R.O. Roasters

MENU

Tasting Cups will include:

  1. A variety of organic coffees from Latin America including, Columbia, Peru and El Salvador. <The coffee here was very fresh, aromatic, and flavourful.  I sampled the El Salvador beans.>
AGRO Roasters Organic El Salvador coffee

AGRO Roasters Organic El Salvador coffee

 

Chicha Restaurant

MENU

Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Ensalada De Quinoa: Mango, avocado, roasted red pepper, red onion, cilantro, mint. Jalapeño Huacatay dressing.
  2. Bolas De Yuca: Croquettes stuff with assorted cheese and chilies. Served with a Huancaina sauce.
  3. Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos: Skewers served with a basil and aji Amarillo mash, Peruvian black olive aioli. <Although I enjoyed all the items from Chicha, the calamari and chorizo skewer was my favourite.  It was interesting to pair the flavour and texture of the calamari, with the spice and oiliness of the chorizo sausage.>
Chicha: Ensalada De Quinoa, Bolas De Yuca, and Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos

Chicha: Ensalada De Quinoa, Bolas De Yuca, and Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos

 

La Mezcaleria

MENU

Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. PACIFIC RED SNAPPER CEVICHE: Tomato, lime, red onion, serrano and cilantro. <This ceviche was wonderful.  Full of citrus and spice.>
  2. GUACAMOLE: Fresh avocado, cilantro, lime, onion, jalapeño and tomato.
  3. TOSTADA OAXAQUENA DE FRIJOLES: Refried cowboy beans with Mexican cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and sour cream served on a corn tostada
La Mezcaleria: Pacific Red Snapper Ceviche, Guacamole, and Tostada Oaxaquena de Frijoles

La Mezcaleria: Pacific Red Snapper Ceviche, Guacamole, and Tostada Oaxaquena de Frijoles

 

Las Tortas

MENU

Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Cochinita Pibil Torta <nice and juicy pork here.  Added flavour from the taquera salsa I added!>  In case you are wondering about how to make a torta, here is a recipe for Cochinita Pibil Torta.
  2. Tortilla chips w taquera salsa
  3. Churros
Las Tortas on Cambie

Las Tortas on Cambie

Las Tortas: Cochinita Pibil Torta, Tortilla Chips, and Churros

Las Tortas: Cochinita Pibil Torta, Tortilla Chips, and Churros

Sal y Limon

MENU

Tasting Plate includes all 2 items:

  1. Ceviche tostatas
  2. Chicken tinga tostadas <My favourite tstada of the evening.  The chicken had so much flavour, without being spicy hot.  The ceviche was also top quality.>
Sal y Limon preparing the tostadas

Sal y Limon preparing the tostadas

Sal y Limon Cheviche tostada and Chicken tinga tostada

Sal y Limon Cheviche tostada and Chicken tinga tostada

Guanaco Food Truck

MENU

Tasting Plate will include all of these items:

1) Hand-made tortilla filled with pork chicharrón* or ground chicken, vegetables, cheese, loroco and savory refried black beans.

-Chicharrón/Pork <I had this version of the tortilla.  It was a nice mix of pork with the cheese, with lots of flavour and creaminess from the melted cheese.>

-Pollo/Chicken

2) We will be serving pupusas in appetizer sizes and pieces of fried cassava

OR

1) Our Vegetarian Tasting Plate we will offer bean and cheese, zucchini and cheese or just plain cheese with loroco. (V)

-Queso Y Frijoles/Cheese & Bean -Ayote/Zucchini (V)

-Queso/Cheese & Loroco

ALL PUPUSAS ARE SERVED WITH YUCA FRITA.

Stepping up to Guanaco Food Truck

Stepping up to Guanaco Food Truck

 

Guanaco Food Truck: Pork Chicharrón tortilla, fried cassava, and salad

Guanaco Food Truck: Pork Chicharrón tortilla, fried cassava, and salad

El Azteca

MENU

Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Ceviche de pescado (fish)
  2. Guacamole mumuca (V)
  3. Cochinita Pibil

 I unfortunately ran out of time so was not able to visit El Azteca, but will put it on my list for the future.

Tostadas are fun to eat and very messy.  Fun I think in the summer on the patio with your friends and family.  Here is a receipe so you can make your own tostadas.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My “Tasting Plates the East Van Edition” Selection #TastingPlatesYVR

Tasting Plates is always an interesting event.  You get to visit around 6 restaurants, tasting a sample from their restaurant.  This Tasting Plates was held on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver and included 7 restaurants.  Below are the restaurants with what they offered, along with my comments and pictures.  Thank you to Vancouver Foodster for putting on these events and inviting me. Enjoy!

VIA TEVERE PIZZERIA

Our Tasting Plate will include all of these 2 items:

One slice of each of these 2 pizzas

  1. Margherita Pizza (V)
  2. Capricciosa Pizza

This was my last stop on the Tasting Plates scrum.  While Via Tevere is a restaurant, they also have a mobile food truck.  For us, the truck was parked beside the restaurant, cooking us Neapolitan style pizzas.  The Margherita topped with San Marzano tomoato, fior di latte, and basil. The Capricciosa topped with Prosciutto cotto, salami, artichoke, mushroom, and Nicoise olive.  Nice crispy rim, the toppings not overly thick, making it easy to eat, and not dripping on your hands, or in your lap.  Nice fresh flavours, which went down too quickly.  Can I have another slice?

Via Tevere not the food truck

Via Tevere not the food truck

Via Tevere food truck

Via Tevere food truck

Margherita and Capricciosa pizza from Via Tevere

Margherita and Capricciosa pizza from Via Tevere

 FIVE ELEMENTS CAFÉ

Our Tasting Plate will include all of these items from one of these menus (your choice of Menu A, B or C):

Menu A:

  1. Crispy Spring Roll
  2. Green Papaya & Shrimp Salad
  3. Shrimp on Sugar Cane
  4. Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Menu B: Vegan option

  1. Crispy Spring Roll
  2. Green Papaya & Tofu Salad
  3. Coconut Curry
  4. Tom Yum Thai Hot & Sour Soup

Menu C

Choose 1 of the Noodle Soup

  • Phở- Rice noodles Soup -Choice of Chicken, Beef or Tofu & Vegetables
  • Phở  Saté Peanut Sauce: Rice Noodle Soup-Choice of  Chicken, Beef or Tofu & Vegetables
  • Hủ Tíu Nam Vang–Phnom Penh Mixed Seafood & Pork on Rice Noodle Soup
  • Bún Bò Huế -Spicy Lemongrass Beef & Pork Vermicelli Noodles Soup

I had the Menu B vegan option as the Green Papaya & Tofu Salad looked very interesting to try. I did enjoy the salad. Did you know that green papaya can be used as a vegetable?  If not, try a green papaya salad.  The Coconut curry was quite spicy, so if you are spice adverse, I’d suggest staying away from this dish.

Vegetarian option at Five Elements Cafe

Vegetarian option at Five Elements Cafe

PASTURE TO PLATE

Our Tasting Plate will include all of these 4 items:

  1. A variety of sausages on fork sticks with garlic aioli and mustards.
  2. Herb crusted beef Carpaccio with roasted garlic aioli or a parmesan truffle aioli on crostini.
  3. Mini Pizettas made with bite size rounds of puff pastry. Caramelized onions, bacon and plum slice.
  4. Mini Porchetta bites on focaccia with an orange and pinenut gremolata & basil/arugula pesto. (V)

I do enjoy charcuterie, so I was eagerly anticipating trying these from Pasture to Plate.  I did find out that they do farm biodynamically, which in my opinion, tries to enrich the soil, plants, and animals through non-synthetic chemical means, and works.  (I’ve written a few articles in the past reviewing biodynamic wines, and these wines always seem very alive to me.)  All the charcuterie was done very well and was very tasty, and I will come here again.

Pasture to Plate

Pasture to Plate

Charcuterie from Pasture to Plate

Charcuterie from Pasture to Plate

LA MEZCALERIA

Our Tasting Plate will include all 3 of these items:

  1. Ceviche
  2. Guacamole (V)
  3. Beans (V)

This restaurant was super busy, with both regular customers and the Tasting Plates customers vying for the chef’s attention. Once in we had a sampling plate with ceviche, guacamole and refried beans, and chips to dip.  The ceviche had bright flavours and was a good mix of fish and vegetables.  I also really liked the smoky flavour in the refried beans.  I will have to try this restaurant on a non-busy day.

Ceviche beans and guacamole from La Mezcaleria

Ceviche, beans and guacamole from La Mezcaleria

SIDDARTHAS INDIAN KITCHEN

Our Tasting Plate will include all of these items:

  1. Aloo Tikki (V)
  2. Chicken Goliya

These two dishes come as a small ball (chicken) or a patty (Aloo Tikki).  While both were very tasty, accompanied by a mint chutney, I liked the Aloo Tikki a bit more.  This patty is made with ground potatoes, so is nice and soft, lightly spiced inside, with a crunchy crust.  I have been told their Butter Chicken is a very good dish to try.

Aloo Tikki and Chicken Goliya

Aloo Tikki and Chicken Goliya

GELATERIA DOLCE AMORE

Our Tasting Bowl will feature a surprise selection of gelato flavours specially offered for this event (V)

The surprise flavours from Gelateria Dolce Amore was hazelnut and strawberry. The hazelnut flavour was my favourite, with the very pronounced, fresh, nutty flavour of the hazelnuts coming through the gelato.  It tasted like you were eating a handful of toasted hazelnuts.  This Gelateria is a family run business.  I spoke with one of the family members, who spoke so passionately about the quality of their ingredients and effort they put into making each gelato.  I did ask if they have lavender flavour, which is my overall favourite (or mixed with lemon is my ultimate favourite flavour), and they did, and I tried it, and was delighted.  Lavender may sound odd to some people, but get past the thought of it being floral, and try it.  It is very refreshing.  Just think of you sitting on a cafe in Nice, France, enjoying some gelato.

Admiring the gelato

Admiring the gelato

Talking about the hazelnut and strawberry gelato at Gelateria Dolce Amore

Talking about the hazelnut and strawberry gelato at Gelateria Dolce Amore

PRADO CAFE 

Our Tasting Cup will include one of the following beverages paired with the cookies.

  • Iced coffee
  • Iced tea
  • Macchiato

Mini cookies “with no name”.

Our first stop was Prado Cafe.  The cookie with no name, was fresh and hot from the oven, and looked to be made with granola/oak flakes, chocolate chips, and topped with a tiny marshmallow.  It was very tasty.  To sip with it, I had the macchiato, an espresso coffee, mixed with a small amount of milk.  A good jolt to start of my Tasting Plates adventure.

Cookie with no name from Prado Cafe

Cookie with no name from Prado Cafe

Waiting for my macchiato at Prado Cafe

Waiting for my macchiato at Prado Cafe