Murder on the Improv Express: Get Your Tickets!

If you have never attended an improv show you should.  It is so much fun as the audience helps to guide what the comedians do on stage.  No two shows are ever the same.  This improv is put on by the Vancouver Theatre Sports League on Granville Island.  The shows start April 12 and finish on May 26.

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Murder on the Improv ExpressPicture this – a luxury train trapped in the Canadian Rockies with a passenger list that includes a prominent socialite, a retired military officer and a famous detective, and oh yes, there’s a corpse. What you have are the makings of a classic murder mystery. Welcome to Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy.

As in countless whodunnits, this one is set in the 1930’s and involves many of the set characters and scenarios you’d expect to find. However, what isn’t known is who is the victim, who is the killer and how the dastardly deed was done. These are just some of the things that will be established by audience suggestions during the course of the show. What is known is that audience members will die laughing at all the improbable plot twists and turns.

Show information and tickets can be found at vtsl.com

Killer Cocktails!

In homage to the great cocktails of the period, Vancouver TheatreSports’ Bar Manager, Paul Belsito has created two ‘Killer Cocktails’ to complement Murder on the Improv Express. Both are priced at $8.75 for a single and $12.75 for a double:

  •  Corpse Reviver: Based on a classic 1930’s hangover cure, it’ll bring you back to life – Gin, lemon-lime juice and a splash of soda.
  •  Prohibition Pleaser: People couldn’t drink before 1933 … but they found a way. This one looks and tastes like it’s alcohol-free – it is anything but – Glayva Liqueur, Amaretto, and cranberry juice.

Another favourite libation of the era (of any era really) was champagne. No self-respecting barman would be ‘caught dead’ without a good supply of bubbly – after all you never knew when a train might be delayed, or stuck in an avalanche. The Club Car could not afford to be caught short. Similarly, The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge will also be featuring piccolo-sized bottles of Henkell Rose bubbly at $9.75 in addition to its regular menu of wines, spirits and beer.

Killer Cocktails are only available during the run of VTSL’s Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy from April 12 through May 26, 2018 at Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge in The Improv Centre on Granville Island.

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Holiday Spirits Abound at Neil Macrae Lounge

Vancouver TheatreSports Christmas Queen 2(Vancouver, BC) – The holiday season is a time of indulgence with all the cookies, mince tarts and candy canes not to mention egg nog and mulled wine.

Paul Belsito, manager of the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’™ The Improv Centre, has been getting into the festive spirits a little early this year. He’s been designing special cocktails to complement VTSL’s upcoming show Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out which opens with previews starting November 25th and runs through December 20th. This year’s edition of the Christmas Queen saga finds our favourite blue-haired ‘Dame’ dropping in on Santa and his elves at the North Pole Workshop.

“I’ve tried to theme the drinks to represent some of the show’s key characters,” says Belsito. “I think I’ve created ones that are in the ‘spirit’ of the show – fun and a little naughty.”

Ice Queen (blue): Melon Liqueur, Blue Curacao, Lemon/Lime Juice with a splash of soda water

Santa’s Little Helper (red): Fireball, Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice

Tipsy Elf (green): Crème de Menthe, Amaretto, Lemon Juice

Value-priced at $8 (Scrooge would approve), and jewel-toned as a string of Christmas lights, VTSL’s holiday cocktails are available only through the run of Christmas Queen 2. Paul’s cocktails are sure to delight even the sourest Grinch.

Join us for a little holiday cheer and festive spirits Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 6:30 p.m., November 25 through December 20 in the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’ The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island. The fully-licenced Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge is a convenient place for theatre patrons to meet for pre or post-show drinks. Patrons can also take their beverages into the theatre with them to enjoy during the performance.

Vancouver TheatreSports™ appreciates the support of its season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight and The Granville Island Hotel.

Palate Promenade

A Few Notes from Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries

As part of Dine Out Vancouver, Vancouver Foodster presented the “Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries“.  Did you know that there is now a distillery on Granville Island or an artisan sake maker?  I did not, but glad I attended this event and found you, and now you know too.  Below are a few brief notes of my experiences.   Enjoy!

Dockside Lounge

Our starting point of the event.  Dockside poured us each a glass of Marina Light Lager and paired it with some pan-fried squid with chili and scallions.  The squid was cooked to perfection, soft and not too chewy, and the chili gave a subtle amount of spice.  To this we had lime wedges to add some citrus to the squid, and I also used it with the lager, enhancing both.  The Marina Light Lager is light bodied, not too much hops.  Not too challenging to drink, but tastes more refreshing with a squirt of lime.

Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/

Marina Light Lager and chili squid from Dockside Lounge

Marina Light Lager and chili squid from Dockside Lounge

Artisan Sake Maker

One of my surprise stops, I have not had sake for a long time.  This one, a Junmai Nama-zake (sake), was served slightly chilled, in an ISO wine tasting glass.  It has a nice light citrus and yeast aroma.  Light body with cantaloupe and peach flavours.  Low acidity, soft in the mouth.  Finishes with a light acidic prickle.  If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, you will like this sake. I was surprised to find out that the rice for this sake comes from Abbotsford, BC.

Another related surprise was the SakeKasu rice cream and rice bran cookie.  The ice cream is made from the lees that remain after the fermented rice mash has been pressed during the sake making process.  It had a sort of nutty or roasted grain flavour to it.  Very enjoyable.  With the rice cream, we had a rice bran cookie, with the bran coming as a byproduct of the rice milling process.  I recommend visiting Artisan Sake Maker.

Web:  http://artisansakemaker.com/

Junmai sake from Artisan Sake Maker

Junmai Nama-zake (sake) from Artisan Sake Maker

SakeKasu rice cream from Artisan Sake Maker

SakeKasu rice cream from Artisan Sake Maker

Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

Another first for me is this distillery on Granville Island, producing both triple distilled vodka and whisky.  The whisky is a work in progress as the distillery must age the whisky in barrels for 3 years before selling it, but the vodka is currently available for consumption.  One of the owners, Lisa, lead us through a brief tour of the distillery and told us about the fermentation and distillation process for both the vodka and whisky.  Organic wheat is used for the whisky and organic barley for the vodka; both coming from BC.

Web:  http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Still apparatus from Liberty Distillery

Still apparatus from Liberty Distillery

Granville Island Brewing

Is pulled pork poutine and beer a perfect pairing?  Yes.  At Granville Island Brewing, they let us sample three of their beers:

  • Island Lager
  • Robson Street Hefeweizen
  • Auld Skool Scottish Ale

For my tastes, I am a full-bodied beer lover, so the Scottish Ale was my favourite.  I enjoyed the roasted malt and coffee flavours.  Some of my friends on the tour enjoyed the Hefeweizen, slightly off-dry with some banana and orange flavours. Again the lager, although good, with light hop flavour, is a bit too light for me.

Web: http://gib.ca/

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager Hefeweizen and Scottish Ale

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager, Hefeweizen, and Scottish Ale

Liberty Wine Merchants

Liberty Wine Merchants has several stores in the Vancouver lower mainland.  The Granville Island store, is their newest location, opening about 2 years ago.  I like to stop here for wine, when I’m shopping at the market.  We sampled 2 wines from the BC winery Nichol Vineyard. Their 9 Mile White 2011 is a blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  The Gewurztraminer added some lychee, while the Riesling added some citrus and a round mouthfeel.  I think this is a pretty versatile wine to enjoy with cheese or seafood dishes.  The Syrah 2011 had nice aromas and flavours of violets and red fruits.  A well structured wine to pair with some grilled lamb chops or sausages.

Web: http://libertywinemerchants.com/pages/about-us.php

Nichol red and white wines at Liberty Wine Merchants

Nichol red and white wines at Liberty Wine Merchants

Oyama Sausage

Oyama Sausage is my go-to place for terrines and pate.  Today we had a sample of their saucisson sec (dry sausage) and their country pate.  The sausage was very nice.  It was not overly fatty and has peppercorns to add some spice and flavour.  The pate was also very good, with a higher fat content, just melted in your mouth.  Quality food products.

Web:  http://www.oyamasausage.ca/

Saucisson sec, country pate, and a cornichon from Oyama Sausage

Saucisson sec, country pate, and a cornichon from Oyama Sausage

Jackson’s Poultry

If you are looking for lower fat alternative meats, there is Jackson’s Poultry serving up chicken and turkey (maybe duck too?). They served us a Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings.  I in particular liked the sausage.

Web:  http://www.jacksonspoultrycompany.com/

Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings

Turkey finnochio sausage and hot buffalo chicken wings

A Bread Affair

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices were served to us at A Bread Affair.  The bread is made right there, with fresh products constantly being brought out.  How can you go wrong with freshly baked bread, and chevre spreads?

Web:  http://www.abreadaffair.com/

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices

Chevre with pistachio and chive and a pecan cranberry spread on baguette slices

ChocolaTas

For those of you with a sweet tooth, there is ChocolaTas in the Market, making beautiful looking (and tasting) chocolates.  We were given three to sample:

  • lavender – Mild lavender flavour, smooth dark chocolate. Not bitter.  Very nice.
  • Salted Caramel – Lightly salted, soft caramel. Not sticky.
  • 67% Chocolate Ganache – quality dark chocolate. Again not too sweet, or bitter. Just right.

I prefered the lavender and the Chocolate Ganache, being a dark chocolate lover.

Web:  http://chocolatas.com/

Lavendar, salted caramel, and 67 percent chocolate ganache

Lavender, salted caramel, and 67 percent chocolate ganache

 

 

There was also Agro Cafe on the tour, but I ran out of time.  They offer a range of coffees and dishes, such as shepard’s pie, mac & cheese and pesto pasta salad.  Thank you to Richard Wolak, aka @vanfoodster, for the invitation to this event.

Palate Promenade

Palate Promenade: Granville Island Discoveries on February 1

Palate PromenadeEver wish you could go to Granville Island and just eat everything?!

Presented by Vancouver Foodster and Granville Island, this new event in the Dine Out Fest will allow you to do just that, well almost. Visit over 11 Island merchants including restaurants, breweries, Canada’s only Sake winery, the only BC Craft Distillery handcrafting spirits from 100% BC organic grains, butchers, bakers and more.

Following your “passport” as your guide, you will enjoy dishes, bites, sips and samples as well as have a chance to meet the chefs, tour breweries, a sake winery, a distillery and discover more around the island.

Registration: Granville Island Hotel -this is where you will show us your tickets and will pick up your Dining Passport Map Cards

Buy your tickets here.

Visit each of the participating restaurants and establishments at your leisure by walking, bike or moped.

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Participating merchants include some of the Granville Island’s best including:

Dockside Restaurant

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @eatDockside
Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/
Cuisine: Restaurant

Dockside Brewing Co.

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @eatDockside
Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/
Establishment: Brewery

 A Bread Affair

1680 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @breadaffair
Web:  http://www.abreadaffair.com/
Establishment: Bakery

ChocolaTas

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @Chocolatas1 
Web:  http://chocolatas.com/
Establishment: Chocolatier

Granville Island Brewing 

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @itsgoodtobehere
Web: http://gib.ca/
Establishment: Brewery

Jackons Poultry

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @JacksonsPoultry 
Web:  http://www.jacksonspoultrycompany.com/
Establishment: Butcher

Artisan Sake Maker

1339 Railspur Alley, Vancouver
Twitter: @ArtisanSake 
Web:  http://artisansakemaker.com/
Establishment: Sake Winery

Oyama Sausage

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver
Twitter: @OyamaSausage
Web:  http://www.oyamasausage.ca/
Establishment: Butcher

Liberty Distillery

1494 Old Bridge St, Vancouver
Twitter: @TLDistillery
Web:  http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Establishment: Distillery

Liberty Wine Merchants

1660 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @GILibertywine
Web: http://libertywinemerchants.com/pages/about-us.php

Establishment: Wine shop

Agro Cafe

1363 Railspur Alley, Vancouver
Twitter: @agrocafe 
Web: http://www.agrocafe.org
Establishment: Cafe

Rose Revival 2013 at Bridges Restaurant – Get Your Tickets

Rose revivalRose wine has been making a come back worldwide.  No more do you think of an off-dry white Zinfandel.  BC has many nice rose wines, as well as from around the world (France is big rose country).   Liberty Wine Merchants is hosting their 2013 Rose Revival, with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  Read the note below from Liberty, get your tickets and have fun with rose!

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ROSE REVIVAL 2013

Monday, May 6th 2013
Bridges Restaurant | Granville Island
7pm-9pm

Liberty Merchant Company & Bridges Restaurant proudly present the 5th Annual Rosé Revival Tasting. All proceeds benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (BC – Yukon). To date we have raised $11,971 for the Foundation.

Sensational Rosé wines along with delectable hors d’oeuvres, exciting door prizes and great company await you. Join us on Monday May 6th, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island to celebrate pink wine and support pink ribbons.

Tickets are $29.99 and available at all Liberty Wine Merchants locations. For more information on this and future events, please visit http://www.libertywinemerchants.com.

March Feast Menu at Edible Canada

Edible Canada window

Edible Canada window

I first had a chance to eat at Edible Canada during Dine Out Vancouver, together with some fun friends.  The food and atmosphere was wonderful.  The restaurant is located in Granville Island.

I received this email from Edible Canada about their latest $30 seasonal feature menu.   I see a few things I would like to try like the BBQ Pork belly, and the roast ling cod with scrunchins! You have to be an east coaster, or a foodie, to know what scrunchins are 🙂  Maybe have a Gamay Noir with the pork belly and a Riesling with the roast ling cod.

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March 5, 2013. Vancouver, BC. Edible Canada is encouraging locals to come down to Granville Island for dinner this March to enjoy a seasonal feature menu. For only $30, diners can enjoy a four-course dinner, feast on local cuisine, plus take advantage of a 10% discount at our Retail Store.  With 25 Canadian wines either on tap or by the glass, your server can help you find the perfect pairing for each course.

MARCH FEAST MENU

March 6th – 31st

$30

Sunchoke Veloute with Garlic Chips

chorizo, maple crème fraîche, croutons

OR

Chef’s Winter Greens

diced apples, pumpkin seeds,

maple pecans & smoked cheddar

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Wild Barley Arancini

Okanagan apple butter, glazed beets,

Agassiz hazelnuts & alpindon cheese

OR

Albacore Tuna Club

pickled onion, crispy bacon, croutons

& spiced tuna aioli

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Newfie Fish and Brewis

roasted ling cod, crispy potato,

croutons, creamed kale,

Fiore pork scrunchins

OR

Sage & North Arm Farm Pumpkin Rotolo

Agassiz hazelnuts, Happy Days goat

cheese, brown butter vinaigrette

OR

Heritage Angus Steak Frites

8oz sous-vide flat iron steak, arugula,

chimichurri, red wine jus, duck fat frites

(Supplement $4)

 OR

Fiore Farms BBQ Pork Belly

Hazelmere Farms braised collards, grits,

crispy poached eggs & jus

(Supplement $4)

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 Granville Island Tea Company Chai Brûlée

fresh fruit

OR

 Pear & Raisin Cobbler

black pepper ice cream

Guests can easily reserve a table on our website here, or via phone at 604-682-6681. *Note that we are closed Sunday evenings until May