Tasting Plates North Van Lower Lonsdale July 11 – Get Your Tickets

Pizza, ice cream, chocolate, and baked goods.  That is what you can expect and more at Vancouver Foodster’s North Van Lonsdale Tasting Plates event on Wednesday July 11, 2018.  Here is @vanfoodster’s announcement.  See you there!


Tasting Plates North VanJoin us and explore the Lower Lonsdale and area of North Vancouver and tantalize your taste buds at selection of restaurants, and cafes. This evening tasting extravaganza is on Wednesday July 11 from 6pm until 10pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant/cafe 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 and food establishents throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating places.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events that have been running since 2011, 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!

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 Establishments:

Alberello Pizzeria

115 15th Street West, North Vancouver

Web: http://www.alberellopizzeria.com/

Twitter: @Alberellopizza

Instagram: @alberellopizzeria

Cuisine: Italian cuisine 

This family run gem features a line-up of authentic Italian pizzas where the dough is made daily with Caputo 00 flour, hand-tossed to 12″, and baked in their stone oven. They are top notch in the pizza game, having won the Vancouver Pizza Challenge in 2015.

Cafe by Tao

210-150 Esplanade W, North Vancouver

Web: http://www.taoorganics.com/

Twitter @TAOorganics

Instagram @taoorganics

Organic and plant-based eatery

Welcome Parlour Ice Cream

277 8th St E, North Vancouver


Twitter: @welcomeparlour 

Instagram @welcomeparlour

Cuisine: Ice cream and dessert emporium

Welcome Parlour Ice Cream is North Vancouver’s one & only authentic, artisan ice cream parlour. Our delicious ice creams are uniquely hand crafted using the best local NATURAL ingredients & are made freshly in artisan small batches with our culinary partner Eleanor Chow Waterfall of Cadeaux Bakery. We offer 11 delicious flavour at Welcome Parlour that rotate seasonally, always offering 2 amazing dairy free options.

Featuring a collaboration with


25681st St E, North Vancouver

Web: http://www.coconama.com


Cuisine: Chocolate shop and factory

At Coconama Chocolate, our concept is simple: the finest chocolate, the best ingredients, and a creative fusion of global flavours. The result: fresh handmade chocolate creations that are indulgence at its purest. Chocolate is famous for its sensual qualities: the richness, the fragrance, the harmony of bitterness and sweetness, and the melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. But an extraordinary new world of chocolate decadence is yet to be discovered, with inspired flavour combinations giving the familiar delicacy an edgy fresh twist.

Butter Lane Bake Shop

(inside Lonsdale Quay Public Market)

123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver


Twitter: @blbakeshop


Cuisine: bakery

Mother daughter and co-owners of Butter Lane, a boutique bakery, cake + gift shop

Plus another restaurant!


Ultra Early-Bird Tickets: $29 per person until June 22, 2018

Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person after June 22, 2018

Advance Tickets $45 per person after July 3, 2018

Regular $60 per person after after July 8, 2018

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

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants/cafes throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some of the places 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/establishments subject to change. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.

Port Moody Tasting Plates – What To Try

Vancouver Foodster took us to a brand new part of the lower mainland for his latest Tasting Plates experience, Port Moody.  Located to the northeast of Burnaby, the restaurants and breweries wanted to show us what they have to offer.  There are several breweries in Port Moody, and during this event we sampled craft beers from two of them; Moody Ales and The Parkside Brewery.  There was also sweet and savoury at the Tasting Plates.  Enjoy the pictures that I took during the event, along with my brief commentary.

My Port Moody Tasting Plates Notes

Starting off with savoury, we visited Spacca Napoli Pizeria and Meat Craft Urban Butchery.  Spacca was very busy, and from discussions, seems to be busy all the time.  They offered us a meatball, frittelle (a fried fritter that had pieces of seaweed inside), Rigatoni Bolognese, and a slice of Neapolitan style pizza.  I really enjoyed the flavour of the tender meatball along with the tomato sauce.  The slice of pizza was also good, but could have been served hotter.

Spacca Napoli pizza, pasta, and meatballs

Spacca Napoli pizza, pasta, and meatballs

Meat Craft Urban Butchery offered us a choice of a mini-smokie in a bun topped with slaw, and a side of potato salad.  Although the specialize in meat, their slaw and potato salad were excellent.  One smokie was garlic flavoured, and the other two had beer from either Yellow Dog or Moody Ales.  I tried the Moody Ales flavoured smokie.  It was grilled lightly.  You could get the flavour of the ale without it being over-powering.  A place to visit to buy more smokies, kebabs or other meats for the future.

Meat Craft Urban Butchery with grilled sausages, slaw, and potato salad

Meat Craft Urban Butchery with grilled sausages, slaw, and potato salad

With some food in me, the next stops were to Moody Ales and The Parkside Brewery.  Both offered us 4 beers to taste.  My preference was for the darker, brown ales, while my friend preferred the lighter lagers.  Between the two breweries, and the others just down the street, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  I have also been told that on weekends you can find food trucks beside the breweries, so grab a bite and a brew!

Moody Ales Lager, Brown Ale, IPA, and Hopped Red Ale tasters

Moody Ales Lager, Brown Ale, IPA, and Hopped Red Ale tasters

The Parkside Brewery Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, and Murray Mild flight

The Parkside Brewery Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, and Murray Mild flight

After our fill of savoury food and beer, it was time for dessert.  First stop was Rocky Point Ice Cream, a well-loved establishment in Port Moody, and the new Gabi & Jules pie shop.  Rocky Point Ice Cream made 3 special treats for us:  a mini Sweet Georgia Brown sundae, a strawberry ice cream with basil and balsamic reduction in a chocolate cup, and a mini ginger-molasses and pumpkin spice ice cream sandwich.  All were very tasty.  I enjoyed the sundae and the chocolate cup the most.  The sandwich cookie was a little too hard, and would have been spectacular if it was a bit softer.  The basil and balsamic reduction showed flair and really worked with the strawberry ice cream.  I highly recommend this place for ice cream.

Rocky Point Ice Cream creations for Tasting Plates Port Moody

Rocky Point Ice Cream creations for Tasting Plates Port Moody

Gabi & Jules rounded out the evening with a slice of pie; mine being apple and blackberry.  Apple pie is in general my favourite type of pie.  The blackberries, scattered throughout, added a floral note to the pie.  It was not overly sweet, and the crust was very flaky.  Enjoyed this with a cup of decaf coffee.

Gabi & Jules apple blackberry pie and a decaf coffee

Gabi & Jules apple blackberry pie and a decaf coffee

Thanks to all the restaurants and breweries for letting us sample from them, and for Vancouver Foodster for branching out of the well-known foodie areas of Vancouver.

The August Jack smoked salmon duo

Vancouver Foodsters West 4th Tasting Plates a Great Success

This week was Vancouver Foodster‘s 2nd Annual Tasting Plates on West 4th in Vancouver.  This event was easily walkable, with all venues being within a 4 block stretch of West 4th in Kitsilano.  We started at The August Jack where we had a smoked salmon duo, where one of the salmon was grapefruit cured.  I really enjoyed the citrus flavour embued into the salmon.  We had a thin sliced, house-made baguette, sliced red onion, and goat’s cheese foam, together with the salmon to make a nice tea sandwich.

The August Jack smoked salmon duo

The August Jack smoked salmon duo

Jackson’s Meats & Deli was next on my route, and it was my overall favourite of the evening.  They served a turkey/cranberry sausage together with a savoury bread stuffing, and a creamy pumpkin and ginger soup with cinnamon croutons.  The sausage it sounds like is a very old family recipe with at least 100 years of heritage.  For the upcoming Thanksgiving they added in some cranberries.  The sausage was moist and the meat ground fine.  To the sweetness of the cranberries, there was a nice hint of black pepper.  Highly recommended.  Their pumpkin and ginger soup was thick and warming, and I think would be great for the upcoming rainy season.

Jacksons turkey cranberry sausage and pumpkin ginger soup

Jacksons turkey cranberry sausage and pumpkin ginger soup

Whole Foods was location #3.  The standout item there for me was the Cauliflower Tabouli.  Normally Tabouli is made with cracked bulgar wheat, but more people probably make it here with quinoa.  Shredding the cauliflower into small rice sized pieces is a great alternative.  The tabouli was full of flavour and 100% healthy.  To balance the goodness of the tabouli,  Whole Foods also offered us sweet petites, small chocolates or lemon treats.

Whole Foods tabouli salad, salmon sausage, and sweet petite

Whole Foods tabouli salad, salmon sausage, and sweet petite

O5 Rare Tea Bar was a nice next stop where we tried cold matcha green tea and kombucha to sip.  The matcha was hand made for us and served in small cups.  The kombucha was something new to me, and I will try it again.  Kombucha is a fermented tea that is sweetened with sugar or honey.  It is served on tap, and is slightly sparkling, with an alcohol content of between 0.5-1%, which is still viewed as non-alcoholic.  The kombucha to me had an apple flavour to it, and was slightly off-dry.  I was told you can buy their house-made kombucha in bottles to take home.  Give it a try.

O5 Rare Tea Bar Kombucha Golden Curls black tea flavour

O5 Rare Tea Bar Kombucha Golden Curls black tea flavour

The Indian Oven served us a variety of pakoras, made from cauliflower and Indian paneer cheese.  We were getting quite full by this time, but all the pakoras were devoured.  The paneer eventhough it was deep-fried did not melt like a mozzarella.

The Indian Oven pakoras

The Indian Oven pakoras

Our last savoury Tasting Plate was from Las Margaritas Restaurant.  Chile Verde and Cochinita Tostada. Chile Verde is one of my favourite dishes, chunks of pork simmered in a green chile sauce.  This one was OK.  I would have preferred a bit more of the green chile flavour.  The Cochinita Tostada was quite spicy and I believe was made with shredded pork and served with a red chile sauce and refried beans.  If you like spicy food, give this one a try.

Las Margaritas Chile Verde and Cochinita Tostada

Las Margaritas Chile Verde and Cochinita Tostada

Dessert was served at Rain or Shine Ice Cream.  It was a sunny day for Tasting Plates and ice cream seemed like the perfect way to end our day.  I picked the peanut butter ice cream with hot fudge sauce and waffle cone pieces.  The waffle cone pieces were placed in the bottom of our serving cup, topped by the peanut butter ice cream, and topped with the hot fudge.  I enjoyed digging into the waffle cone pieces to get some crunch, then add the chill of the peanut butter ice cream and the warmth from the hot fudge.  You can’t go wrong here.

Rain or Shine ice cream coconut chocolate chip and peanut butter with hot fudge

Rain or Shine ice cream coconut chocolate chip and peanut butter with hot fudge

All the venues served something I really enjoyed, and I hope you will have a chance to enjoy it to.


Get Ready to Enjoy Spanish Sherry – Part 2 #VPIWF

In Part 1 of this blog article I talked about where sherry is made and how it is made. In Part 2, I  cover the different styles of sherry that are produced, what food to enjoy them with, and provide you with some of my sherry tasting notes.

The main styles of sherry are:

  • Fino
  • Manzanilla
  • Amontillado
  • Palo Cortado
  • Oloroso
  • Pedro Ximenez
  • Cream
  • Pale Cream

All, but the Pedro Ximenez are made with the Palomino grape. Fino sherry are pale coloured, light bodied, and clean on the palate. This type of sherry does not last long once opened and does not age well, so it is best to drink Fino when young.  Another type of “fino”  is called Manzanilla.  It’s main difference is that it has been aged in the coastal town of Sanlucar.  It is said that this style of sherry has a salty bite to it, due to it’s coastal climate. Amontillado is an aged Fino or Manzanilla sherry which is produced after the “flor” yeast has died from the sherry, exposing the sherry to oxygen. Amontillado is in fact double aged.  It takes approximately seven years for the flor to die from the fino, then additional aging to oxidize the sherry. This style of sherry is a yellow/brown in colour and is dry with a nutty flavour caused by oxidation.

Next is Palo Cortado. It is similar to an Amontillado, in that it is produced when the flor has died, but in this case, the flor has died prematurely. The Palo Cortado is similar in aroma and flavour to an Amontillado, but is fuller bodied. An Oloroso sherry is a dry, full-bodied, brown coloured sherry that has been oxidized since being aged in barrel.  There has been no flor growth on this wine. It can have savoury, meaty or nutty flavours.  If you add a sweetener to the Oloroso, such as the Pedro Ximenez grape juice and wine, this style of sherry is called a Cream sherry. Pedro Ximenez grapes are typically used as a dessert wine produced from sun-dried grapes before they are fermented.  This provides a very concentrated flavours of grape and raisins. The last style of sherry is the Pale Cream.  This type of sherry is produced by sweetening a Fino sherry with concentrated grape juice (likely Pedro Ximenez). This will be a light coloured wine with sweet, grape flavours.

Sherry and ham, image courtesy of theolivepress.es

What foods would you pair with these different sherries?

Fino – Enjoy the fino chilled on the patio with almonds and olives this summer.  Fino would also pair with light soups , white fish cooked lightly (no heavy cream sauce). Lobster Bisque is a classic pairing.

Manzanilla – The tanginess of this type of sherry, served chilled, should work well with most types of white fish and shell fish. Again stay away from heavy sauces.  Try with sushi.

Amontillado – slightly chilled, good with cured ham, blue cheeses (such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton) and vegetables.  Also heard that it could work well with smoked salmon (which we have plenty here in BC)

Palo Cortado – slightly chilled with lamb, grilled vegetables, any pate. Cheese souffle.

Oloroso – slightly chilled, served with smoked fish and other richer flavoured dishes like filet of beef, beef teriyaki, other braised meats, and heavy soups.

Pedro Ximenez – would be wonderful with ice cream and chocolates (In fact I have a bottle at home waiting for some ice cream and summer!)

Cream sherries being quite sweet are meant for desserts. Try with a custard.

Some of my sherry tasting notes:

  • Valdespino, Inocente Single Vineyard, Fino Sherry, NV.   Aged 7 years under flor.  Pale lemon colour.  Citrus, seasalt, pear, yeast and bread aromas.  Dry with medium acidity and pronounced body.  Seasalt, oily, crisp, yeasty, butterscotch, nutty flavours. (Tasted Aug 07)
  • Williams and Humbert, Dry Sack, Amontillado Sherry, NV.  Medium amber colour.  Pronounced oxidized nose.  Nutty, toffee, dried fruit and oak aromas.  Medium plus acidity and body.  Spices, dried fruit, apple, and oak flavours. (Tasted Aug 07)
  • Lustau, Capataz Andres, Deluxe Cream Sherry, NV.  Medium brown coloured.  Pronounced oxidized nose.  Nutty, caramel, molasses, dried fruit aromas.  Sweet. Full bodied and pronounced intensity.  Molasses, spice, toffee, dried fruit, apricot flavours. (Tasted Aug 07)
  • Lustau, Palo Cortado, NV.  Medium amber colour.  Oxidized, nutty, caramel, dried fruit, citrus and oak aromas.  Dry.  Full bodied and full flavoured.  Nutty, caramel, orange, lemon and oak flavours. (Tasted Aug 07)

Remember that there will be lots of sherry to try at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival this year!  Maybe find a new favorite summer wine with sherry? Enjoy.

If you did not read Get Ready to Enjoy Spanish Sherry – Part 1 here is the link.

Decadent Ice Cream and Wine!

I had a hankering for some ice cream today and I thought what flavour and/or toppings do I enjoy? I do love chocolate and anything with chocolate is wonderful, but there is something that is very simple, and simply wonderful to enjoy yourself, or with your friends to finish off a nice dinner.

What is it? French vanilla ice cream with Oculus Cherries. What are Oculus Cherries? We all know what cherries are, but maybe you do not know about Oculus.

Oculus is Mission Hill Family Estate’s signature Bordeaux-inspired red wine. John Simes the wine maker from Mission Hill in the Okanagan, BC has their premium grapes across their Okanagan vineyards handpicked, hand sorted and minimally handled in the best European fermenters and barrels. The 2006 vintage was the 10th year for their top level wine. The blend for the 2006 Oculus is 51% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot. A bottle of Oculus is around $90 a bottle.

A great wine with great aging potential. But you may not have $90 to buy a bottle of Oculus. But for a small amount of money, you can buy a jar of BC cherries preserved in Oculus wine. The sweetness of the cherries complement the fruit and tannins from the Oculus. It is decadent on it’s own, but even better on French Vanilla ice cream. You can buy Oculus cherries at the Mission Hill winery in West Kelowna, and at Artisan wine stores in the Vancouver lower mainland. There is one store that I go to in Burnaby at Metrotown shopping centre.

Give it a try for one of your Christmas party desserts. Cheers!