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Peter Green

Home (Vancouver)

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After close to three years, it's time for me to pass through the Vancouver system again.

Sort of like malaria.

I'll have 10 days. What should I eat? Where shoudl I eat it? Or, alternatively, what should I buy and take back to my parents' home to use as an excuse for ruining their kitchen?

Decision, decisions......

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What area of Vancouver will you be in? Will you be mobile? Able to drive around? Or are you looking for places within a short distance of where you're staying?


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Emmalish,

Good questions.

I keep a car in Vancouver for when we need it, so we're mobile, but modern Canada has me living in fear of having any hint of alcohol on my breath (from passing near a rotting vineyard), so I would prefer to be able to cab or bus home from restaurants.

Or stumble. I'm good at stumbling.

I grew up thinking that a walk from Main & Hastings at 3 a.m. to get back home was perfectly normal.

Which leads to the other question: Kits. I expect I'll come to ground at my parent's place most nights, which means a 10th UBC bus, the Arbutus line, or the Macdonald bus will get me home easily.

But I have family in Point Grey, Burnaby, and the North Shore, so there's always a place to crash noisily if needs be.

So, what do you suggest? (I warn you, I'm not going to Surrey)

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I like Barrett's suggestions.

A few more - Chow on South Granville, Cibo on Seymour or Uva the wine bar next door - in what used to be the Dufferin.

Go for coffee at 49th Parallel on 4th Avenue.

Oyama Sausage on Granville Island for superb charcuterie and les amis du fromage on West 2nd for cheese, maybe have lunch at Go Fish along the way.


Cheers,

Anne

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Thanks, guys

Someone also mentioned somewhere that there's a sake brewery on Granville Island now (maybe they don't call it "brewery")?

Peter

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I get really tired of this Surrey bias. I grew up in the Dunbar/Point Grey area. In fact, I just sold my moms house I inherited outright last year. I chose to not live there despite inheriting the house free and clear and sold it and banked the money instead. Surrey has really changed and has some lovely neighbourhoods. We are also getting some nice places to eat now. True, it is still behind Vancouver in quantity of restaurants to choose from but in White Rock and South Surrey and Langley and especially Fort Langley we are getting some choices to go out and have a lovely meal. I bought a new home in the Panorama Ridge/Sullivan Ridge area and love my new home. I have a lovely view of mountains and rolling hills. I am close to organic farm outlets and can drive out the wineries. Surrey now has alot to offer. Communities are only as good as the people who live in them. The community in which I live is made up of wonderful people. I love my neighbours.

You would be very safe staggering about. Though none of my neighbours usually are staggering about the street after hours...smile......

Good luck on finding a nice restaurant.

Emmalish,

Good questions.

I keep a car in Vancouver for when we need it, so we're mobile, but modern Canada has me living in fear of having any hint of alcohol on my breath (from passing near a rotting vineyard), so I would prefer to be able to cab or bus home from restaurants.

Or stumble.  I'm good at stumbling.

I grew up thinking that a walk from Main & Hastings at 3 a.m. to get back home was perfectly normal.

Which leads to the other question: Kits.  I expect I'll come to ground at my parent's place most nights, which means a 10th UBC bus, the Arbutus line, or the Macdonald bus will get me home easily.

But I have family in Point Grey, Burnaby, and the North Shore, so there's always a place to crash noisily if needs be.

So, what do you suggest?  (I warn you, I'm not going to Surrey)


Never met a vegetable I never liked except well okra!

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Those changes you talk of are part of what I'm interested in observing on this trip "home". Vancouver has always been a tale of shifting demographics, and as people move about, they take their dining with them.

Most of my old friends were part of the diaspora up the Valley in the 80's and 90's, but it's interesting to see a lot of them moving back closer, in part because of the fuel costs, and in part because of the lifestyle.

It's a long taxi ride out over the bridge, and I've yet to find a good reason for it. At the furthest, I expect a night out with the in-laws will require a trip to Coquitlam for Korean food. But then, I can make them drive. What are the dining choices in the Valley? Is there someone there who's doing really interesting things? Something to make the trip worth the effort?

So, I hope my glib remarks about Surrey weren't too over the line. Given the places I've ended up, as a lifestyle choice there are far worse places to live.

After all, at least it's not "beyond Hope". :)

(There, now I"ve alienated everyone in Spuzzum....both of them)

Edit - Oh, man! Now I just read that Spuzzum burnt down a decade ago!


Edited by Peter Green (log)

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  What are the dining choices  in the Valley?  Is there someone there who's doing really interesting things?  Something to make the trip worth the effort?

Well, Abbotsford and Chilliwack are a culinary wasteland. No one is doing anything even remotely interesting. Oh sure there are a couple of quasi-high end restaurants that are passable, but interesting? No. Not at all. Unless you enjoy caesar salad with a frico instead of croutons. Or yet another plate of braised shortribs. Or another slab of sablefish. Or my personal pet peeve, ravioli stuffed with last night's unsold whatever, slathered in foam. Edible? Sure. Interesting? No.

But if you happen to be heading to Harrison Hot Springs, stop at the Farmhouse Cheese shop. That alone is worth the trip.


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I second Chow (never been disappointed), and would add Gastropod on West 4th - Chef Angus An is one of the city's most talented, and he just scored two of the best bartenders in town as well.

I'm sure you're familiar with Chambar, but I mention it because I know you're a big beer drinker. Also, in Gastown, try Boneta.

If you're on Commercial Drive, you should check out Lime: great sashimi with live music.

For high end, Lumiere is reopening on Dec 10th, backed by Daniel Boulud, with the old Feenie's turned into DB Bistro Moderne. And Voya at the new Loden hotel is also getting excellent press.

Otherwise, Vij's and Phnom Penh are always worth another visit.

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I know you're a big beer drinker.

I look at myself in the mirror, and I have to confess it's true.

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I'm fighting jet lag....well, general sleeplessness more than jet lag...but I must say it's good to be back in the rain forest.

From the soft whipped peaks of cloud we scudded over once past the trench, to the constant drizzle that had the wipers going, there's a good comfortable feeling to being home.

The customs lad asked me my purpose in coming here: "Why...drink heavily and eat pork! What else would anyone do?"

That earned me a smile.

Tomorrow I'll try and post pictures of mom's home cooking, and then I'll hit the phones and try and get some reservations.

Cheers,

peter

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Vietnamese food along Kingsway

Pear Tree in North Burnaby , the only reason to go to the burbs :sad:

Lime on Commercial (go on a night with no music)

Mistral on West Broadway (next door to Lumiere/DB Goulu , 1/4 of the price and better)

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Patrick - considering DB and Lumiere haven't opened yet, it's hard to tell who they are better/worse than, don't you think?

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I doubt they'll come anywhere close to the price/quality ratio of Mistral :smile:

Plus considering the sycophantic press they received ... "the please look at me" crowd will be there in force


Edited by Knightafter (log)

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Our story so far….

It’s probably a good thing that I’m waking up before the dawn, as that seems to be my only opportunity for getting some time to write.

That and I need to put the dogs and cats out.

Our story to date.

My first meal, appropriately enough, was with the family.

I do have some sense of decorum. I just don’t dust it off very often.

And Mom kept me true to my word with Immigration.

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Pork roast. Soft and white and juicy inside, with a bit of crackling atop. How can you

not be happy with a pork roast.

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Gravy. As they say in the Bud commercial, “and if there’s gravy, well then, everything’s going to be okay.”

Gravy calls for potatoes, which in turn calls for salt. Salt calls for vegetables, and there were three gurgling pots on the stovetop. One for spuds, one for turnips, and one for brussel sprouts. Call it “small pot blanching”, if you will, but it tasted fine to me.

gallery_22892_6322_4097.jpg

And, of course, with hot you have to have cold. Home made apple sauce (the chunky way), and cole slaw for a salad, loaded with chunks of crispy, sweet apple.

This is about as traditional a Canadian meal as I can imagine. A large hunk of meat roasted in the oven, a salad that just cries out “white”, and everything else either the end product of a canning process, or else having been boiled on the stove top.

We took everything plated downstairs, and watched the news.

Safety note in our home: everything that isn’t plated needs to be either closed up, or put back in the oven.

gallery_22892_6322_12450.jpg

Never trust a cat.

Back to the food.......

After that week in London this made a perfect contrast. Straightforward, no fussing, and if you complain you get whacked.

Oh, and regarding the second part of my statement to Immigration, I did drink heavy.

Full fat milk, pasteurized.

I’d forgotten what good milk could taste like.

Next: Chow Time

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Waking up is hard to do.

That’s why I do it several times a night….in order to build character.

By five a.m., sleep was a forlorn thing of the past. I set down to catching up on mail, and, when it was looking vaguely light outside, I went for a walk to take in the morning air.

It was pretty. Clouds with character worked the sky, coasting low with bright swathes of blue between them. A steady stream of cars was pouring up 16th towards UBC, and some brave souls were shuffling about the bus stops.

I stopped in at Choices, and grabbed a few things to make a breakfast out of.

gallery_22892_6322_37210.jpg

A Comox brie (a little thick, and not as creamy as I might have liked); some cranberry pepperoni; and some pork pate. All of this with stoned wheat thins I admire so much.

And yes, you can tell from the glass that I’m still drinking heavy.

I caught up on the news. Here I’d been lamenting that I was missing out on the fun and games in Thailand, and all I needed was to spend half an hour with the newspaper to see that I was firmly in the midst of the same politics.

Maybe they should start handing out yellow and red shirts here?

After breakfast I wandered the neighborhood.

On 16th there was a place called Japanese Zest that looked interesting. They’re doing a kaiseki menu which does get my attention, but I’d prefer to hear more about this place before committing a meal.

gallery_22892_6322_43393.jpg

I stopped off down by Broadway, and saw that Moderne Burger was open. You never know when they’re going to shut down for another year’s renovations. I’m good with their burgers, but it’s really their fries and milkshakes I lust for.

Close by, I took a look at db Bistro Moderne and Lumiere. I’ve a call out for a reservation there if they open in time (Yes, I guess I’m one of the “look at me” crowd), but the sign on Bistro Moderne says they’re not opening until the 12th, which puts it past my time frame.

The other one I’d be interested in would be Market, whenever it gets up and running. Current estimates put that in early 2009, though.

Further up the street, I saw that Wild Garlic was gone from Broadway and Arbutus, replaced by Transylvania Flavour. Are these the same folks, I wonder? It does seem coincidental that garlic would give way to the home of Dracula.

The Side Door is gone, replaced by Lola’s. And a number of other small places are boarded up already in that stretch.

At Granville, having done some idle shopping for books and electronics already (Jacques Pepin’s biography is on sale for 4.95 at Chapters, is that worth reading?), I headed South, peering in the window at West, admiring the coffee crowds working out their caffeine addictions (“I can quit it myself anytime”, say I), and ambling in and out of the cookware stores that cluster around here (Cookery, Ming Wo, Wm Sonoma) and then stumbled across Chow.

A number of you had recommended this, as had others outside of egullet. So who am I to argue? I would rather be here for dinner, but when I find myself in a place, at a time, with opportunity, I feel it should be firmly grasped and devoured.

It’s a comfortable room. Maybe that’s just the mood I was in, but when you step inside, you just feel right. Greys and browns, rough worked grey painted floor. Brown tables. Ambient music and good staff. In some ways it made me think of Arbutus in Soho, or Hereford Road in W2.

Comfortable.

gallery_22892_6322_19388.jpg

I didn’t have a large meal. I took a glass of the Kettle Valley Viognier and admired the menu.

Mind you, I admired the dinner menu more.

A side of frites with harrisa mayonnaise sounded good, but my eyes can be bigger than my stomach at this time of day, and I’d been getting by on one meal a day on average for the last week.

I stuck instead to one main; the house-made cotecchino sausage, dupuy lentils, vegetable soffrito, and winter greens.

I had to ask about harissa. It’s a red chile paste, North African in origin. I was really thinking about those fries.

Next to me, the waitress asked the table how they’d liked the lunch.

“It was really good, but tell them ‘it didn’t suck’. Otherwise it’ll go to their heads.”

I do like being back in Vancouver.

gallery_22892_6322_8917.jpg

The bread was pully, just the way I like it, with a crust that would exercise my teeth. Some proper butter, that perfectly serviceable Kettle Valley, and I was happy.

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The dish arrived, a glistening slab of textured meat atop a pile of lentils, with greens mixed in amongst the brown of the beans. I’m a big fan of French lentils, and you’ll never hear me say bad things about sausages, so this was a perfectly good lunch for me.

It’s one of those pleasant moments, when you can idly stare out the window at the passing traffic, admiring the facial ornamenation on the large bearded fellow in a suit, smoking in a passenger seat. You can ponder things like “how does he get through a metal detector with all that stuff on his face?”

The chef, J.C. Poirier, has a pedigree including C, Lumiere, and Montreal’s Toque, and he’s created a very nice place. They recommended I come back for dinner, which I think is a great idea. I wonder how this would work with sake?

I talked a bit more, and started adding more restaurants to my list.

It’s getting to be a long list.


Edited by Peter Green (log)

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Good thing you'll miss DB Goulu overpriced lame food , do yourself a favour and go to Lyon for the real thing

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gallery_22892_6322_12450.jpg

Never trust a cat.

How'd you get my cat to your parents' house?

I'll have you know that she never eats things she shouldn't, and she never jumps on counters or tables!

Mmmmmmm....pork roast with crackling. No pictures of innards? Was it just a little pink?

You drinking Avalon with the cream on top?

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You drinking Avalon with the cream on top?

My nutty girls (human, not cat) resist the cream, although they love the taste of the milk itself.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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How'd you get my cat to your parents' house?

Not only did I get it to my parents' house, but I cloned it into over four versions (one in negative). I'm finding it quite fun avoiding this furry deathtraps at 3 in the morning as they loiter cheerfully on the staircases.

Plus.....white cats + black clothes is not a good thing.

I'll have you know that she never eats things she shouldn't, and she never jumps on counters or tables!

Did I tell you the story about the roast beef?

Mmmmmmm....pork roast with crackling.  No pictures of innards?  Was it just a little pink?

Give me time, I'm new in town. Plus, I've got the first part of London written, I'm just waiting on my friend to email the photos. When I get to part two we can go all George A Romero.

You drinking Avalon with the cream on top?

Nope. Just good old Dairyland (but I'll have to go buy some Avalon tomorrow).


Edited by Peter Green (log)

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Mmmmmmm....pork roast with crackling.  No pictures of innards?  Was it just a little pink?
Give me time, I'm new in town. Plus, I've got the first part of London written, I'm just waiting on my friend to email the photos. When I get to part two we can go all George A Romero.

I'm enjoying this topic for three reasons:

1. I haven't lived in Vancouver since 1993.

2. I want to give my musical brother-in-law, now working in North Van, a cool foodie gift certificate for xmas.

3. Before I die, I need to be an extra in a Zombie movie, so the mere mention of Romero gets me worked up.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Not only did I get it to my parents' house, but I cloned it into over four versions (one in negative).  I'm finding it quite fun avoiding this furry deathtraps at 3 in the morning as they loiter cheerfully on the staircases.

Plus.....white cats + black clothes is not a good thing.

Did I tell you the story about the roast beef?

I didn't even notice the one on the left until after I had replied! The one on the right looks most like mine, but the one on the left looks like my brother's late cat. Maybe Shiro has been reincarnated at your house, too...

Roast beef...hmmm...I vaguely remember something, but a good cat-stealing-food story is always welcome! even if it's a repeat!

Nope.  Just good old Dairyland (but I'll have to go buy some Avalon tomorrow).

Don't shake the cream into the milk! I love drinking the cream off first. :wub: (does that sound vaguely dirty? :unsure: )

Could you drink some chocolate milk for me, too, so I can live vicariously? It's been years...decades, actually, since I've had Avalon chocolate milk.

And if you get out to UBC, have a UBC cinnamon bun? I actually don't remember them as being particularly awesome, but it's just the feeling of nostalgia that I'm after. Those were the days!

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