Friday, 27 September 2013

Cattle Baron

Ladies and gents, if you find yourself in Calgary and want to treat yourself to one of the finest steaks that will ever cross your lips, do yourself a favour and make your way to the Cattle Baron.  Unbelievable!  Probably didn't help that the company was superb and many a laugh was had, but even if I'd eaten alone, this meal would have topped the richter scale.
With a menu that looks like that, is there any question that a good steak is coming your way?

Seafood Platter: salt-n-pepper prawns, calamari, mussels and salmon skewers.  Yummy!  ($29)

In the front: Salt-n-pepper Jumbo Wings. ($13)  In the back: Short Dry Ribs.  ($13)  Yummy but the steak anticipation was killing me!

My Steak Neptune: Filet Mignon dressed with asparagus, crab meat and hollandaise sauce, served with a stuffed baked potato.  My mouth started watering just thinking about this again!!!  Unbelievable.  My only regret was getting the steak neptuned.  The Neptune itself was very yummy, but the steak was so good that I wish I'd just gone for a plan filet mignon so I could fully appreciate how amazing the steak was.  Regardless, it was one heck of a steak!  ($34)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Charlatan

I recently had my first visit to the Charlatan on Commercial Drive for a burger and beer and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Laid back, local pub feel to it, good pub food and a $14 burger and beer special every Wednesday night that just can't be beat!  So, if you find yourself thirsty on Commercial, don't be afraid to meander into the Charlatan.

My Zeus Burger: lamb patty, smoked feta, cucumbers and tzatziki, served with house salad.  Yummy!  (Regular price $13.95, but on Wednesday night you get it and a beer for $14)

KC Pulled Pork Sandwich: smoked jalapeno-cilantro slaw, house BBQ, served with fries.  I definitely didn't do the size of the sandwich justice in this was solid!  However, I can vouch that the fries were yummy in my tummy.  (Regular price $13.95, but on Wednesday night you get it and a beer for $14)


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sweet Obsessions

If ever you're having one of those days when your sweet tooth is begging to be fed, make your way to Sweet Obsessions and treat it to some amazing desserts!  Sweet Obsessions is a cross between what I imagine Willy Wonka's bakery would be like (I couldn't believe all of the desserts!), a tea shop (think Murchie's), and a cozy coffee shop.  Always busy and stocked to the brim with warm beverages and desserts, you really can't go wrong!

My dining partner's chai and slice of Tiramisu cake: layers of Italian sponge, zabaglione, mascarpone cream and espresso.  Now that is one heck of a slice of Tiramisu!

My rooibos tea and Hedgehog cake: layers of hazelnut chiffon and hazelnut chocolate butter cream with Frangelico.  Not quite what I was expecting (I was expecting Purdy's hedgehog flavouring), but still very rich and yummy.

Our view during dessert.

The never ending selection of cakes.  Unreal!

Cookies and other treats.

The X that marks the spot.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Stagette Food Adventures Part 2 - La Bocca

For my friend's big night out on the town we started things off with dinner at La Bocca and that was definitely a good call.  Funky atmosphere, yummy food with solid portions, delicious drinks and great service.  As for the rest of the night...don't you wish you knew!

Things to note: (1) La Bocca is located in Whistler Village, across from Citta's and in behind the Amsterdam Café.  (2) If you happen to get Pam as your server, you are the luckiest sons of guns ever!  Why?  (a) Pam rocks.  (b) Pam has the best suggestions ever to ensure you have a fun night out in Whistler.

My Ginger Mist: gin, muddled lime and cilantro, topped with ginger beer.  AMAZING!  If you're a fan of ginger beer, you'll definitely be a fan of this yummy concoction.  Light and refreshing but with a good 2 oz kick to it.  ($10)
I also tried Phil's Punch but forgot to take a picture of it.  Mandarin vodka, peach schnapps, grenadine, orange, grapefruit, pineapple and cranberry juice.  This drink also made my taste buds do a little happy dance.  The drink was more fruity but not sweet and still just as refreshing, which was nice.  ($10)

My Saffron-seared BC Halibut with oven-dried tomato, artichokes, zucchini and garlic in a Mediterranean orzo toss.  This was very yummy in my tummy!  First of all, I was blown away by the halibut least 1.5-2 times what I was expecting.  Second of all, the orzo/veggie toss packed a punch of flavour, which I loved.  Thirdly, the orzo/veggie toss was a solid portion, so I definitely filled up.  And last but not least, there was an olive oil/herb ring on the outside of the dish...I love olive oil!  Needless to say, I was happy with my decision.  ($28)


Monday, 23 September 2013

Stagette Food Adventures Part 1 - Sunflower Bakery Cafe

A couple weekends ago, I headed up to Whistler with an amazing group of ladies for a lovely friend's stagette!  The spa, ziplining, scrumptious food, yummy beverages and a lot of can't ask for a better weekend than that!  Even though we were sworn to secrecy over the crazy shenanigans we got up to, the bride gave me the A-Okay to divulge the secrets of our food adventures.

For me, one of the weekend's food highlights was the Sunflower Bakery Café in Squamish.  We stopped here on our way up because one of our fellow stagetters had missed breakfast that morning...and you know me, I'll never turn down a second breakfast!  I was expecting a standard café but this café was amazing!  Comfy cozy, welcoming, warm, super duper fresh baked goods made in the natural way (no yeast, sugar, fats or dairy), and reasonable prices.  I definitely think I foresee many pre-boarding second breakfasts in my future this ski season!

Sunflower Bakery Café.

My fellow stagetter's (we'll call her the chocolate lover) cornmeal scone second breakfast/early lunch.  She said it was delicious!  ($2.33)
The chocolate lover's oatmeal chocolate chip second breakfast/early lunch dessert.  This looked absolutely amazing!  I do believe I may have literally lost my hand if I had tried to sneak a bite. 
My Tomato and Cheese Bagel second breakfast/early lunch.  This bagel sandwich was out of control!  First of all, the sesame bagel was the freshest and yummiest bagel I think I've ever tasted in my life.  Second of all, it was toasted to perfection, and just the right amount of cream cheese was spread evenly on either side of the bagel.  Add to that that the tomato, cheddar cheese and lettuce were crazy fresh and cool and crisp...the contrast of the hot and cold and all of the amazing flavours were out of control!  I can't wait to go back and have it again.  (Approximately $5).
My second breakfast/early lunch dessert: a Whole-wheat Raspberry Scone.  To die for!  Period.  ($2.33)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar

Ladies and gents, I always had an inkling that Chewies was a fun placed based on what I've seen walking by, but I had no idea it was the Rodney's of Kits...totally made my day!!!  Kick butt caesars, great drinks, amazing oysters, laid back service, and an interesting Southern-inspired menu.  Add to that that they have a nice patio and what looks like a rocking bar...I definitely plan on frequenting this establishment more in the future!  Especially if I can go with as great of company as I did this time.

My oh-so-scrumptious big girl Caesar!  Vodka, fresh horseradish, dill juice, hot sauce, Lee & Perin, pepper, lemon.  Who doesn't love a Caesar that comes with a shrimp?  ($9.50)

My dining companion's Bourbon Sour.  This looked like one heck of a drink!  ($9.50)

A dozen freshly shucked oysters on the half shell.  I'm not going to lie, I can't remember what type we ordered for the life of me...but they were amazing!  (MP) 

BBQ Shrimp and Grits: New Orleans style beer & rosemary BBQ sauce, parmesan cheese grits.  I have always wanted to try shrimp and grits but have never had the chance, so I was super excited to try it out!  The shrimp were delicious, the sauce mouth-watering and the grits smooth and creamy goodness.  ($15)


Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Looneyspoons Brunch

I recently had a lovely family brunch and visit at my Aunt and Uncle's.  There's nothing like catching up over a yummy meal!  When I discovered that two of the yummy in my tummy recipes came from the Looneyspoons cookbook, I couldn't resist including them here.  Since I didn't make them myself, I don't have a "my version" of the recipes, but have included links to the recipes below.

The spread!  Oh so yummy.  Interesting fact: orange juice mixed with a bit of Perrier makes one heck of a non-alcoholic mimosa for all of you DD's and preggers out there.

Looneyspoons' Erik Eggstrata.  Delicious!  I'd definitely make this one for guests in the future.  For the recipe, see this link:
Looneyspoons' Banaberry Bombs.  I was so busy eating these yummy goodies that I forgot to take a photo but, trust me, these puppies are worth trying.  Imagine the yummy goodness of banana bread crossed with a blueberry muffin.  Greatest surprise ever when you bite into them!

One heck of a fruit plate...complete with figs fresh off the tree!


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Romer's Burger Bar

A fabulously fun group of ladies, sunshine and a patio...lunch doesn't get much better than that...except for when there's a plethora of mouth-watering burgers on the menu!  Enter Romer's Burger Bar in Yaletown.  Great patio, and a scrumptious burger for every burger lover.  So, next time you're having a burger craving, make sure Romer's is on your short list.

Things to note: Romer's adds a twist to the normal burger bun...pick your own bun!  Now, unfortunately, I'm not talking about the buns of your server...but you do have an option of the standard fresh-baked brioche bun, skinny bun, make it green bun (lettuce + $0.75) or gluten-free bun (+$0.75).  Literally an option for everyone.

The "I'm ready to pop" Mom's Man's Man Burger (a.k.a. the best damn burger to ever hit your lips): thick applewood bacon, amber ale cheddar, onion strings, smoked alder salts, vine-ripened tomato and whole-grain mustard, no bun.  ($12.25)  I think the male baby hormones were talking to this mom-to-be when she ordered this puppy!  It looked amazing, as did her Roasted Organic Beet Salad (sweet onion, wild baby arugula, and local goat cheese).  ($4.50)

My and the Girl You Want in Your Corner if You Ever Get Sued's Ocean-wise Halibut Tacos: crisp slaw, mango salsa, roti bread and served with fresh cut fries.  ($14.75)  The Girl You Want in Your Corner if You Ever Get Sued ordered the appetizer version ($12.75) and then ordered a Roasted Organic Beet Salad ($4.75) to go with them...great idea.  As for the tacos, they were good.  Flavourful and a solid fish taco.  The roti instead of tortilla was interesting and a bit more greasy, and I wish the mango salsa had been a fresh salsa instead of a sauce...but let's be honest, I was just having buyer's remorse over not ordering the Man's Man Burger!

The Super Spinner's Wild Baja Shrimp salad: leafy greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, avocado, applewood bacon, roasted beets, chopped egg, lemon vinaigrette and house ranch drizzle.  ($15.50)  This looked super fresh and very yummy.
The Most Excited Gluten-Free Person's So Cal Free-Range Turkey Burger with Gluten-Free Bun: fresh avocado, soleggiatti tomatoes, red onion, organic watercress and chipotle aioli.  ($10.50 + $0.75)  Who knew that someone with coeliac disease could have a burger?  Awesomeness!

Getting my daily dose of Vitamin D.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa

Now this is my kind of way to cook salmon!  Grilled salmon, tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichokes, capers, fresh basil and olive oil...scrumdidliumptious!  The original Grilled Salmon recipe came from my handy-dandy Earthbound Farm's Food to Live By cookbook, but I've included my version of it below.

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 big handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 plum/Italian tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 handful sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 6-8 artichoke heart quarters (from the can...I like the marinated type)
  • Couple grinds of pepper
  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • Salmon (enough to serve 3-4)
Place all of the ingredients, except for the salmon, in a bowl and mix gently to blend.  Grill the salmon to your liking.  At the same time, heat the Mediterranean salsa in a saucepan on the stove.  This is just to warm it, so it doesn't cool down the salmon.  You don't want to cook it until the point that it becomes a sauce.  Plate the salmon, scoop the Mediterranean salsa on top and enjoy! 

Note: I love this salsa, so I normally use this amount for 2 servings of salmon and then on top of 2 servings of green beans.  If you prefer less salsa, you could probably stretch this to work for 8 servings of salmon.

The Mediterranean salsa in its warming glory.

Dinner!  Grilled Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa, home-made pesto pasta and grilled veggies.


Monday, 16 September 2013


Noodlebox...hands-down one of the greatest take-out options ever.  Yummy noodles, scrumptious sauces, fresh veggies and one of those Chinese take-out boxes is just oh so fun to carry home!  Just make sure you don't try to act like a hero when it comes to the heat factor...I'm normally a medium girl and I have a hard time handling their "1."

Things to note: (1) 6 locations in Victoria and 2 in Vancouver (4th Avenue and Robson).  (2) Orders are normally ready to pick up in 10-15 minutes.  (3) You can also enjoy your meal in their establishment...and (4) they have a liquor license!!!

My teriyaki box with tofu: Japanese soy and ginger sauce with fresh egg noodles, peppers and Asian greens.  Yummy in my tummy!  ($11.50)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Grounds for Appeal Café

I was recently invited out on a food adventure with my long-legged friend and my faux-long legged friend.  I had no idea where we were going, but I had been promised scrumptious Indian food and knew that lawyers were somehow involved.  Turns out that we were going to the Grounds for Appeal Café.

This café is definitely not fancy (think two steps up from your school cafeteria), but the food is delicious, the service is efficient, the chairs are comfy, the space is large and bright, and the price is definitely right.  So, next time you're craving some yummy in your yummy Indian food, make your way down to the Grounds for Appeal Café.  Just make sure you do it before noon to beat the line!

My butter Chicken with rice and naan...super yummy in my tummy!  My faux long-legged friend also had the butter chicken and thoroughly agreed with my conclusion.  ($8.25, tax included)

My long-legged friend's Chicken Curry.  He swears that this is the best dish on the menu.  Guess I'll have to try it out next time!  ($8.25, tax included)

The X that marks the spot.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Prospect Point Café

When my parents came to town for a visit this summer, I was horrified to discover that I'd never taken them to Stanley Park!  What sort of a tour guide am I?  Nine years of visits and no Stanley Park tour...geeshkapeeshka!  Needless to say, we decided it was time for a trip to Stanley Park!  We drove in from the downtown Vancouver side, and took a leisurely drive to Prospect Point.  Here we got out and checked out some of the amazing views of West and North Van then took the Merilees Trail to Siwash Rock and Third Beach.  It was a really pretty walk and a neat viewpoint of Siwash Rock.  Last but not least, it was time to fill our hungry bellies! 

We decided on the Prospect Point Café since it was close and easy.  It was a neat little place, open air and right smack dab in the forest with a bit of a peekaboo view of Lion's Gate bridge.  Definitely an enjoyable setting and we were all pleasantly surprised by the food.  We were all expecting it to be a bit touristy, but the food was great!  I'd definitely eat there again.  On to the tantalizing photos!

The Lookout Burger: maple bacon, smoked cheddar, farm fresh fixing, house mayo and potato bun, served with sea salt fries.  This looked like one heck of a burger!  And my Dad said the sea salt fries were some of the best he's ever had....and I can vouch for that!  ($16)

The Caesar Salad: croutons, parmesan dressing, lemon.  This salad definitely didn't disappoint!  ($9)

The Grilled Portobello Wrap: quinoa, crisp vegetables, chickpea spread and sundried tomato tortilla served with local green salad.  Uber flavourful, fresh and filling.  I was definitely a happy camper!  ($14)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


A couple of months ago when I was walking down Burrard Street, I was offered a free SMAK sample.  At first I was so confused...what is a SMAK?  But, seeing as though I could never rationalize turning down free food, I took the sample.  I can't remember what it was, but I remember it was very yummy and actually enticed me to check them out online.  What I discovered intrigued me.  A healthy fast-food restaurant right around the corner from my office.  I figured it was definitely worth a try for lunch...which led to the yummy pictures below!

My Mango SMAK box: a mango nori wrap (red cabbage, rice vermicelli, almond, edamame, herbs, spinach and carrot), mango, half an avocado, spinach, seeds mix, kelp noodle and pickle mix, beansprout salad and Thai dressing.  This meal was full of variety in terms of flavour, colour and texture.  I loved it!  The only thing I wish is that there was a bit more of it.  I was not hungry at the end of the meal, but I wasn't fully satisfied either.  Granted, I eat more than the average person.  So, I'd say this is a great option for a light lunch, but if you're hungry maybe opt for a large hot bowl and small salad (that seemed to be what the majority of people were ordering).  I was also very impressed by the fact that every ounce of packaging that you see above was fully compostable.  ($11.85)

My view during lunch.  Sitting at a picnic table underneath a tree...nice touch SMAK!

The X that marks the spot.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013


I was recently the lucky recipient of a subscription to Snackbox!  If you're anything like me, you're probably asking yourself what is Snackbox?  Think of a wine-of-the-month club but for healthy snacks.  Each month, Snackbox mails its subscribers a box full of yummy treats to eat to their heart's content.  The greatest part is that the snacks are health conscious.  So, they give you some great ideas of alternatives to substitute for those treats that call your name as you make your way down the chip and junk food aisle.  For me, it was just the funnest (yes, I still insist that that is a word) experience ever to have a mystery box of food delivered to me via mail!  It was such a riot opening it up and discovering what was inside.  So, if you're looking for a neat way to discover some new snacks or looking for a great gift for the foodie in your life, definitely look into a Snackbox subscription. 

Things to note: (1) Subscriptions range from $39.95 + tax/month for a one-month subscription (including shipping) to $30.95 + tax/month for a six month subscription (including shipping).  However, there is currently a special coupon code that will help you save some money (details below).  (2)  As the box is delivered during business hours, it may be easier to use your work address as your shipping address.  The box wouldn't come close to fitting in an apartment-size mailbox.  (3) Snackbox offers a 100% money back guarantee and you can upgrade, downgrade, pause or cancel your subscription at any time.  No entrapment here folks! (4) All products are all-natural and gluten-free.  (5) You can find additional info here or @GetSnackbox and (6) The snacks in the box should last you about 3 weeks to a month if you work them into your regular snacking routine.

Coupon Code: For first-time customers Snackbox is offering $15 off your first Snackbox!  Simply enter the coupon code "LOVEOFFOOD" when checking out.  This coupon code will expire on October 31, 2013.

The official arrival of my Snackbox!  I had it delivered to the office, so each and every one of my co-workers can vouch for how excited I was to open this puppy much anticipation!  I especially liked the big red Snackbox stamp. 

The official unveiling!

My plunder!  It took every ounce of will-power I had to not start munching right that second.  I was very impressed with the number of different snacks and the sizes.  We're not talking one-bite taste tests folks!

I also really liked the info guide that came in the box.  It gave you some background info on the product itself, details on where you could buy it, how much it cost and how to get in touch with the company if you so desired.  Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a big fan of organization and this thoroughly impressed me. 

Now on to the best part...the snacks!
Snack 1: King Island 100% Pure Coconut Water.  Sorry folks, I forgot to take a photo of this one.  To be honest, coconut water just doesn't float my boat.  I know it's really good for you, but the flavour and I just don't get along.  So, I used this coconut water in my smoothie and it worked hunky dorey.  That being said, I have no doubt that you coconut water lovers out there would love it! 
Snack 2: Lundberg Rice Chips.  These were lovely!  I enjoyed them plain as an afternoon snack but they'd also rock with some hummus.  I'll definitely keep these in mind as a cracker or chip substitute the next time I'm at the grocery store.
Snack 3: EnerC.  Essentially a packet of powder that you mix with water and drink in order to get your daily dose of vitamins, electrolytes and anti-oxidants.  I was pleasantly surprised by how yummy EnerC tasted (the orange flavour is pictured here) and the effervescence added a little oomph to the drink.  Definitely an easy and yummy way to get your daily vitamins.
Snack 4: Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps.  Growing up in the Okanagan, I've had my fair share of home-made apple chips, banana chips, dried Great Aunt kicked some serious butt with that dehydrator of hers!  So, I was pretty pumped to see the All Natural Fruit Crisps and dove right in.  It took me a little bit by surprise at first because these apple chips are freeze dried rather than dehydrated, so they have a totally different texture.  It makes the apple slice puffy and airy, but still with that same apple flavour.  It was very interesting.  Each bag contains the equivalent of 1.5 Fuji apples and was a yummy light snack.  Similar to dried fruit, it wouldn't be substantial on its own, but a nice treat and a heck of a lot more healthy than a bag of chips.

Snack 5: Rocket Oatmeal.  This was hands-down my favourite item in the Snackbox.  Oatmeal, raisins and just the right amount of sugar/cinnamon made for a deliciously warm and easy breakfast!  All I had to do was shake the container, add boiling water, put the lid back on, let it hang out for 4 minutes, and then eat to my heart's content.  I will definitely grab some of these for my next road or camping trip.  They'd also make kick butt snacks.
Snack 6: Mya's Crunch.  This chocolatey goodness is delightful and a nice change from the normal box of chocolates.  Imagine crunchy rice puffs, dried cranberries and dried orange peel covered in dark chocolate...heaven!  You get flavour without sweetness and that lovely dark chocolate kick all packed into one.  Definitely worth giving a try the next time you're having a chocolate craving.
Snack 7: Alive and Radiant Foods Kale Krunch.  Imagine kale chips smothered in chocolate.  Personally I'm more a fan of the salty and cheesy kale chips than the kale mixed with chocolate, but then again I am more of a salty person than a sweet person.
Snack 8: Hippie Foods Granola.  This was unlike any granola I've ever had...mainly because they use seeds and fruit instead of oats.  A very interesting idea, gluten-free, organic and non-GMO.  Personally I found the Seeds & Fruit flavour a bit sweet to eat a whole bowl of it in the morning, but I think it would be great mixed in with other cereals, or eaten as a snack while hiking/riding.

Snack 9: Surf Sweets Watermelon Candy Rings.  I'm not going to lie, when I read that these treats were made from 100% organic juice, I was a little skeptical and didn't think they'd taste like proper candy.  Definitely a poor assumption.  They tasted like any other candy and for those of you who ate Bonkers watermelon candy as a kid, the Surf Sweets flavour is almost bang on.  Definitely a good option when you're in the mood for some gummy candy. 

Snack 10: Harvest Snaps: Snapea Crisps.  These were interesting.  Imagine a snap pea dried out and lightly salted...almost like a snap pea chip.  Personally, picking snap peas and eating them in the garden was a favourite childhood pastime of I'm a bit partial to the fresh variety.  However, I'm sure this is a much more healthy alternative to chips. 
Snack 11: True to Nature Bar.  This bar was delicious!  Less heavy and sweet than the average granola bar, but it still satisfied that granola bar craving.  Not to mention that they're gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO and vegan for those of you out there with food allergies or preferences.  I could definitely see myself picking these up in the future.  (fyi, they are available at Choices, Costco, London Drugs, MEC, Save-on Foods, Shoppers, Walmart and Whole Foods).