Friday, 28 June 2013

You want to put what in my caesar???!!! (Perfectly Poured Pints 2 of 22)

I recently had a long-awaited reunion with one of my favourite Friday after work drinks ladies.  Since neither of us had been to Rogue in Gastown, we decided to see if all the fabulousness we'd heard was true.  It was!  I was expecting a classic pub, but it was a really nice cross between a fun restaurant and a modern pub...and they had one of the best craft beer lists that I've seen in the city...they even have Deschutes Mirrorpond Pale Ale on tap!  Yes, folks, you heard right.  Not in a bottle, but on tap!  To top it off, their food was really good.  We both actually commented on how the food was much better than we were expected.  Well done'll be sure to be seeing plenty more of us in the future!
Things to note: (1) They do take reservations, but only in their restaurant section.  The bar section is first come, first served.  (2) They have a patio.  (3) If a beer on the list is stamped in red, it means it's out.  If it's stamped in green, it means they have it on tap.  If it's stamped in red and green, it means it's out.
Despite the fact that I wanted to take full advantage of Rogue's beer list, I couldn't start my Friday after work drinks with anything but a caesar!  However, when I read the description of their signature caesar (smirnoff red label vodka infused with cilantro & cumin, tabasco, worcestershire, clamato, pepperoni stick), I wasn't exactly sure how I felt.  Cilantro in my caesar?  Come on now.  I decided to put on my brave face and order was it good!  The cilantro made it so light and refreshing.  I'd definitely order it again.  ($7.99)

The view from our table.

Round 2: Deschutes Mirrorpond Pale Ale ($5.75) and the R&B Sun God Wheat Ale ($5.50).  Yummy in our tummies. 

Round 3: Red Rooster Pinot Gris ($13.25) and Deschutes Mirrorpond Pale Ale ($5.75).  I still can't believe they had this beer on tap!

Food intermission: my partner in crime's Crispy Chicken Sandwich (smoked bacon, aged cheddar, ranch, tomato, sesame brioche bun).  ($13.99).  This looked scrumptious!

My "The" Reuben: smoked meat stacked high on marble rye,
red sauerkraut, melted gruyere, dijon mayo  ($14.99).  This was amazing!  Hands-down the best reuben I've had in years.  The bread was fresh and flavourful, there was the perfect amount of smoked meat, the flavour of the cheese popped in your mouth and the sauerkraut was out of control!  I would give pretty much anything to learn how to make that sandwich.
I forgot to take a picture of Round 4, but I wanted to mention it because I made a massive mistake.  I had ordered the Mirrorpond Pale Ale knowing that I was going to want another beer afterwards.  The Mirrorpond Pale Ale should always be consumed as your dessert beer, as nothing will compare to it after you've had it.  However, I found one that survived and did not disappoint.  So, in case you make a rookie mistake like me, order the Mount Begbie Cream Ale to follow up your Mirropond Pale Ale.  ($5.50)
2 of 22 officially checked off!
Twitter: @roguewetbar

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Brinner: the fabulous idea of brunch for of my all-time favourite meals!!!

I was recently given a food processor as a gift (best gift ever!!!) and have fallen in love with the shredding function.  What used to take me fifteen minutes, sweat, tears and the fear that my nails were going to get shredded along with the food, now takes a's brilliant!!  The most exciting part of this fabulous shredding function?  I can now make shredded hashbrowns at home!  A simple pleasure, I know, but shredded hashbrowns have always been one of my favourite parts of brunch and now I don't even have to leave my house to have them.

  • 1 potato per person
  • 1 tbsp olive oil per potato
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning of your desire
Clean the potatoes and then shred them (skin and all) using your handy dandy food processor.  Scoop them out into a strainer and rinse with cold water until all of the starch is removed and the water runs clear.  Pat the shredded potatoes dry with a hand towel.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan at medium heat.  Once warm, add the shredded potatoes and seasoning.  Cook, stirring regularly, until hashbrowns are to your desired crunchy level (probably about 10 minutes).  You could also add onions and bell peppers for added fun.  Enjoy!

The hashbrowns cooking away.

Brinner!  Home-made shredded hashbrowns, scrambled eggs with dill and feta, and a nectarine.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


I have been dying to try Yolk's food truck for quite some time.  What could be better than brunch from a food truck? be honest, nothing.  The options were great, the service made me chuckle, the food was ready quickly, and the meal was delicious!  If you're looking for a fun outdoor brunch option on a warm, sunny day, definitely head down to Yolk's.

Things to note: (1) They are located at the corner of Beatty and Dunsmuir.  (2) They accept VISA.  (3) Their juice is not freshly squeezed but is still very yummy, and (4) There's a lovely grassy area right across the street to eat your food.

The truck! So cute.
The menu.

Specials of the day.

Yolk's Special Juice ($3.25) and a Cold Pressed Iced Latté ($4).  I have no idea what was in Yolk's Special Juice, but it was delightful.

My single free-range egg sandwich with double smoked bacon, arugula, hollandaise sauce and english muffin with a truffle-lemon hashbrown skewer.  ($9.70)  Absolutely delightful!  The most gourmet and messiest breakfast sandwich I've ever had (they soft poach the eggs), and the potatoes were delightful...especially with their specialty spicy ketchup.

Polderside Farms Fried Chicken and Waffles. ($9.50)  When my brunching partner in crime ordered this, I thought they were a wee bit off their rocker.  I have never found the thought of fried chicken and waffles appetizing.  However, this partner in crime was not taking no for an answer when they offered me a tasted, so I tried it....I may have found my new food weakness folks!  The crunchy saltiness of the fried chicken with the sweetness of the waffles and syrup...unreal!  

Our gorgeous brunch view.
Twitter: @YolksBreakfast

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Toad Mountain Granola

I was flipping through my Whitewater Cooks at Home cookbook the other day and re-discovered a recipe that I had wanted to try: Toad Mountain Granola.  It was perfect timing because I was almost out of granola, so I picked up the ingredients and got down to business!

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds (I used toasted sesame seeds because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1 cup almonds (crushed, slivered or sliced...depending on how dark you like them)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried ginger (the spice, not the raw root)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (my favourite is cranberries)
Preheat oven to 325F.  Mix the oats, seeds, almonds, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a big bowl.  Add the apple sauce and mix thoroughly, until all of the mixture is a little wet.  Add the oil, honey and maple syrup, and mix well.  Bake for an hour, stirring well every 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Mix in the dried fruit and store in the fridge in tupperware. 

This granola is really nice.  Hearty and full of flavour, but not hard as rock.  It was a really nice change.  If you're a home-made granola fan, you should definitely try this recipe out.

Note: the original recipe calls for brown sugar, but when I went to add mine I discovered that I had forgot to store it with a piece of bread in it so the sugar was rock hard (I'll learn one day Mom).  However, I quite enjoyed it without it, so I don't think it's necessary.

Cooling and waiting for the cranberries to be mixed in.

Monday, 24 June 2013

This one's for Theo...

To all those Winnipegians/former Torontonians who do not believe that Vancouver has shawarma (cough cough, Theo)'s your proof that not only does Vancouver have shawarma, but it has darn good shawarma!!

I have been dying to try the Mr. Shawarma food truck for quite some time now.  So, when I got a shawarma craving the other day, I decided to make my way over to Mr. Shawarma...definite good call!  Spectacular shawarma flavours, solid portion, spicy hot sauce, all for $6.50 tax in...unreal!  And, if you don't believe me, take the word of the two guys who ordered right ahead of me.  The guy who got his first, started eating while they were waiting for the second one.  With the first bite, the fellow let out a happy food groan...the other fellow instantly said, "Orgasmic, right?"

Things to note: (1) Mr. Shawarma is located on the North East corner of Hornby and Robson, Monday through Saturday.  (2) Cash only.  (3) Expect a 5-10 minute wait from order to receipt of yummy goodness.

I got my shawarma, I got my shawarma!

Look at that yummy goodness!

The menu (tax included for all items).  They also serve a poutine for under $5.50...I somehow managed to cut it out of this photo.

The X that marks the spot.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Las Margaritas

There's no better way to spend a summer afternoon than on a patio with a couple of beverages and a good friend...especially when the patio is Las Margaritas, the friend is in from out of town, the beverages are two large margaritas and you order a side of guacomole!  Keep it in mind the next time you're looking for a relaxing, fun-filled afternoon.

Thanks for the fabulous visit, Ms. Strawberry Margarita!

Twitter: @LasMargaritasBC

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Homemade Mac and Cheese

To me, the ultimate comfort food is mac and cheese.  So, when I had some of my favourite lovely ladies over for a dinner and movie evening, I knew the menu had to include homemade mac and cheese.  My favourite mac and cheese recipe comes from the Earthbound Farms Organic Cookbook, but I've included my version of it below:

  • 1.5 cups dried macaroni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 500mL 2% milk
  • 3 cups, lightly packed, grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 pieces of bread, cut up to make bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, shred all of the cheese and cut up the bread.  Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook until done.  Drain and set aside.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth and thick.  Slowly add 1.5 cups of the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.  Cook, stirring frequently until the white sauce begins to simmer and thicken.  Add 2 cups of the cheddar cheese and cook, stirring frequently, until melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix to combine.  Pour the macaroni mixture into a 1.5-2 quarter shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top and drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of milk over top of the mac and cheese.  (The mac and cheese can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days)  Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture on top of the mac and cheese.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes (15 minutes longer if refrigerated) or until the top is golden brown.  Serve hot.  Serves 3 adults or a family of 4.

My favourite is to serve this dish with a big bowl of Greek salad.

Homemade Mac and Cheese.

Dinner!  Greek salad and homemade mac and cheese.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Britney's Spears

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I absolutely love garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, asparagus and cheese.  So, when I discovered a recipe in the Looneyspoons Collection cookbook that incorporates all five ingredients, I had to try it!  The conclusion?  Very nice.  The flavours added a lot to the asparagus, but didn't take away from the asparagus at all.  A really nice side dish.  I've included my version of the recipe below:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
Preheat your toaster oven to 450F (or oven, if making in the winter time).  Lay your asparagus flat on a baking dish of your liking (I used the metal one that came with my toaster oven).  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the garlic over top.  Mix with your hands to make sure the asparagus is lightly coated with olive oil and garlic.  Pop in the toaster oven for 8-10 minutes (until cooked).  Remove and place in a serving dish.  Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar then lightly season with a couple dashes of salt and a couple grinds of pepper.  Sprinkle with feta and serve.  If you're serving other veggies, this would probably serve 3-4 people.  If this is the only veggie, you'd probably max out at two people.  I won't lie, I polished off the majority of it myself.


Britney's Spears


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Epic Ride with a Side of Coffee...

This past weekend I did something that, up to a couple months ago, I never thought I would do...I rode to Squamish!  And by ride, yes I do mean powered myself with my own two legs.  Technically it was to Britannia Beach just outside of Squamish...but still!  Our turn around point?  The oh so fabulous Galileo Coffee Company.

For those of you who haven't stopped off at this fabulous café for a coffee, treat, sandwich or breakfast wrap on your way to Whistler before, I highly recommend you add it to your itinerary next time.  The food is good, there were multiple comments about how darn amazing the coffee was, the café itself was adorable, there is plenty of seating and a gorgeous view outside, and the service is friendly and efficient.  It made you feel like someone had welcomed you into their home for a quick bite on your way.  And for you cyclists out there, they are definitely not strangers to cyclists making there way along the Sea to Sky highway.  They have a bike rack for easy storage of bikes, and were more than happy to fill water bottles.

Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed our pit stop here and will definitely be making returns in the future.  Thanks for the great lunch Galileo and the great ride ladies!

Things to note: (1) Total distance round trip: 119km.  (2) Total elevation gain: 2,036m.  (3) Total riding time: 4 hours, 55 minutes.  (4) Total trip time: 6 hours, 37 minutes.  (5) Food consumption: 4-5 water bottles, 2 Energy Balls (, a handful of Sun-Rype fruit bites, a handful of wine gums (oh so yummy!) and one heck of a Galileo sandwich!

The X that marks the spot.  When you come down the Furry Creek hill, take your first right into the pull-out at the very bottom of the hill. 

This place isn't popular at all!

The inside seating.

My oh-so-yummy turkey club sandwich: turkey, ham, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, white onion, mayo and mustard...yummy!  ($5.50)

Quinoa salad: chickpeas, peppers, onions and green beans.  ($5.50)

Our view during lunch.  Gorgeous!

Our bikes getting a rest while we feast.
The ladies!

Twitter: @galileocoffee

Monday, 17 June 2013

Artigiano - Best Cafés in Vancouver (4 of 48)

Slowly but surely I'm making my way through Erin Ireland's list of best café's in Vancouver...not too shabby for a non-coffee drinker!  This time I opted to check out Artigiano.  I would be lying if I said I hadn't been here many a time before, but it's always a nice coffee shop to visit.  It's that cross between a one-off independent coffee shop and a Starbucks.  You feel the coffee machine they use was shipped straight from Italy and there's a personal feel to everything, but the shop itself is bigger than a hole in the wall with plenty of seating, and everything moves at the pace of an organization.

Erin suggested checking out the Artigiano on Hornby, but I decided to visit the one at Pender and Thurlow.  Definitely a bustling place that is good for meeting up with an old colleague, a casual cup of joe with a good friend, or an interview.  No scrabble this time, but perhaps in the future!

My tall Chai Latté.  ($3.95)  Very enjoyable...a really nice mix between spice and sweetness.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Cheesecake Etc.

Cheesecake Etc. is truly a cheesecake lover's dream.  Light, fluffy, homemade cheesecake served up with a multitude of toppings and one heck of a big scoop of whipped cream...scrumptious!  The best cheesecake I have ever tasted.  The restaurant itself is massive, candlelit, there's a live piano player and the menu consists solely of cheesecake, teas, coffees and french bread.  Plus, it's open from 7pm to 1am every night.  What isn't to like?

Before we get to the pictures, I have to apologize.  I didn't use a flash so you can't see the full yumminess of the cheesecake.  Guess you'll just have to go try it out yourself instead!

My oh so fun cheesecake eating partner in crime's Gourmet Special of the Night: original cheesecake with raspberries.  ($6.50)  This looked amazing, and disappeared before I could sneak a taste test!  So, I'm guessing it was pretty darn good.
My Original Cheesecake with Strawberries.  ($5.50)  Delicious!
Twitter: @cheesecake_etc

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Pork and beans...

This is one of my favourite comfort meals.  If it's raining outside and I'm feeling a little under the weather, this meal always makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.  Plus, it's quick and easy to make.

Pork chop, seasoned with a little Mrs. Dash and barbecued.  My favourite beans with pork are the Heinz brown beans in tomato sauce, warmed up on the stove.  Yum!  As for apple sauce, I really like Sun Rype's unsweetened apple sauce.  It literally tastes like smooshed apples...and boy does that pork chop taste good dipped in it.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Country Meadows

I discovered Country Meadows two years ago when my lovely foursome of lady golfers (a.k.a. Cliff, Optimus Stank, Salty Balls and Soft & know who you are) started golfing together.  I can't remember how we heard about it, but we quickly discovered that Country Meadows offered a Nine and Dine special: $20 for 9 holes and a burger.  Unreal!!!  The course is a very lovely executive par 3, and the Meadows Burger rocks!  One of the best burgers I've ever had.  So, if you're looking for a fun evening out that won't break the bank, I highly recommend booking a tee time at Country Meadows.

The Meadows Burger: signature 8oz prime rib burger on a toasted bun, topped with fresh tomato, onion, lettuce and burger relish.  Served with fries, salad, or half fries/half salad (no additional charge).  (Regular price $10)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Energy Balls

I polished off my batch of power cookies recently, so I decided to try my hand at something new: The Whitewater Cooks at Home Energy Balls.  These are absolutely delicious!  They're a wee bit crumbly when you eat them, but they don't fall apart when you're transporting them (I popped one in the back pocket of my jersey and it was still a solid ball an hour and a bit later).  Definitely a good alternative if you're tired of power cookies.

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
  • About a three second squirt/drizzle of honey
  • Enough coconut toasted for coating
Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix (with your hands) to combine.  Add the wet ingredients, take off your rings, roll up your sleeves and smoosh and mix all of the ingredients together with your hands.  This is not a clean process so be ready to get good and dirty.  Form the mixture into approximately 10 balls (about the size of 1.5-2 shelled walnuts).  Roll the balls in the toasted coconut to coat, and place in freezable containers.  Will keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

Things to note: (1) Toast the sesame seeds and sunflower seeds separately.  They take different amounts of time to toast and the sunflower seeds will "float" on the sesame seeds since they're bigger.  (2) The coconut will toast very quickly (within a minute), especially if your pan is already hot.  So, keep a close eye on it.


Energy balls, ready for consumption!

Monday, 10 June 2013

The food ramifications of being a Canucks fan...

Like any other hockey fan, I joined the office hockey pool for the 2013 season.  Being the die-hard Canucks fan that I am, I did what I always do...picked all Canucks.  I know, I know not the best strategic move...but at least I'm not secretly cheering for that one player on the other team who I want to score and ruin Schneid's/Lu's shut-out.  The only problem this year, was that my draft pick was 11th out of 12.  Not a good scenario.  I didn't get either of the Sedins...crucial when your entire team is Canucks!  My picks?  Burrows, Hansen, Edler, Luongo, Higgins, Hamhuis, and Lapierre...Kassian and Kesler also made brief appearances via trade throughout the season.

So, why am I talking about a hockey pool in my food blog?  It has to do with a side bet.  After seeing my team, two of the guys in my office put forward the the following bet: if I didn't come last, they would buy me lunch...if I came last, I would have to buy both of them lunch.  How could I say no?  I had full faith in my team!  Unfortunately, this blog is dedicated to the lunch I had to buy them.  Sniff sniff.  The negotiated venue?  Cactus Coal Harbour. 

To all those Canucks that I picked in my hockey pool...if you ever feel like taking me out for lunch for being such a true blue Canucks fan, just name the time and place!

Drinking my sorrows away with a double Signature Caesar: smirnoff vodka mixed with our signature blend of spices and clamato juice, finished with a borettane onion, fresh bocconcini, vermouth soaked olive and a peruvian pepper...a caesar with olives and cheese?  Love it!  ($10.75)  In the background, one of the winner's cran sodas.  ($2.85)

To start - Calamari: red pepper, jalapeno, fresh dill, chipotle aioli, tzatziki.  Oh how I have a weakness for calamari!  ($12.75)

Victory meal #1 - The Burger: seasoned certified angus beef patty, aged cheddar cheese, alder smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and red pepper relish with fries.  ($15)

Victory meal #2 - The Burger with fries.  Both gentlemen made a point of saying multiple times how good the burger was.  I'm sure part of it was to rub it in that extra little bit...but they both also licked their plates clean.  Definitely encouraged me to order The Burger next time.

I figured I should get a meal with a bun to help sop up my tears, so I opted for the Grilled Albacore Tuna Club: ocean wise albacore, tarragon tartar, bacon, arugula, cilantro, pickled ginger, olive oil ciabatta.  ($15.25 + $1.75 for salad...definitely missed this additional cost on the menu)  This was very nice but wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I was expecting light and refreshing and it was a bit more heavy.  Very yummy regardless, and the salad was great!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Wicked Café - Best Cafés in Vancouver (3 of 48)

A while back, a dear friend of mine sent me a list of the best coffee shops in Vancouver that she found (included below for your viewing pleasure).  I was super excited...even more options for my Chai Latté and Scrabble challenge!  So, when I was meeting up with a friend for coffee recently, I decided it was time to start putting this list to use and check out Wicked Café.  I had heard fabulous things about this cute coffee shop for years and was thrilled to see they were all true!

The space is great and welcoming, the artwork on the walls is gorgeous, the baked goods are out of control and all looked home-made, the service was friendly and easy-going, the prices were normal, and my matcha latté was delicious.  There was no chai latté or Scrabble this time...just wasn't that kind of day...but I have no doubt my scrabble board will be making an appearance there in the future!

Only 45 more to go!

My delicious matcha latté.  (approximately $4.25)

The unbelievable selection of baked goods.  Talk about heaven!  And for you gluten-free folks out there, I was impressed with the number of gluten-free options available.

My Orange-cranberry Muffin.  (approximately $2.75).  Definitely hit the spot!

My coffee shop partner in crime's chocolate croissant.  (price unknown)  Looked very yummy!

The view from our seats.

The other view from our seats.
The X that marks the spot.