Cucumber Cup Gazpacho Shots

 

Cucumber cup gazpacho

Cucumber cup gazpacho

 

Sorry, I have been terribly lazy of late! Seriously, what have I been doing? Nothing much. Besides work and watching anime and painting my Nausicaa model and eating a lot… nothing much at all. 

Perhaps it’s time for an end of summer post… I realize I have an affinity for cold foods. It’s not that I dislike hot food though, I just don’t shun cold things… I’m a warm (perhaps hot?) blooded human, after all. For some weird reason, things that should be eaten hot I often just eat at 4C. ie. from the fridge. Or even lower. I like salads, and cold, “liquid salads” are certainly great. OK, probably not to the point of the whole fadish veggie smoothies stuff, I’m talking about gazpachos! It is the end of summer, so there is not much chance left for this cold soup. 

I made this simple gazpacho from 1 tomato, 1/2 sweet Vadalia onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1t balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I used 1 long English cucumber and threw in the scoopings that came out of the cucumber cups. Just mix everything to a consistency of your liking in a food processor, and serve. I had quite a fun time with the cucumber cups. But you can just serve in an old fashion bowl, of course!

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La Boheme Crepes @ Kitsilano Farmer’s Market

 

La Forestiere

La Forestiere

This is what I came for! Well, mostly, anyway, and the produce too. More about this later…

Summer weekends means farmer’s markets. I went to the one in Kits the past weekend. It was pretty small, compared to both Steveston and Ladner, but it had more produce in terms of quantity and variety… It could be just the particular vendors present, or the time of the season (even 2 weeks could mean the end of a certain produce). 

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

 
There were a lot of different types of fresh vegetables and a lot of apricots and many different kinds of cherries. Lineups were long for most of the veggie places, especially this one tomato stand. The only bread place for this bread fanatic was A Bread Apart, who, for 3 markets in a row, had out that fruity cranberry loaf. I found squash blossoms again, and I got some but they were a bit more expensive (50 cents each) than the farm that sold them at the Steveston market (6 for 50 cents). The ones with the zucchini attached were for a buck each. Yikes.
 

Apricots

Apricots

 

Greens

Greens


 

Of course, the best, BEST thing about this Kits Farmer’s Market is La Boheme Creperie:
 

La Boheme

La Boheme

They make these awesome buckwheat crepes in their little purple van, in many many savoury and sweet varieties. The one I tried and pictured above was the Forestiere – a cheese, mushroom and spinach crepe. It was sooooo good, and the lineups get a little long here too. Basically everybody I saw at the market was having their giant crepes. I think they also visit the Trout Lake farmer’s market, anyway, definitely check them out, they are awesome.

Taverna Gorgona – A little Greek paradise

 

Taverna Gorgona

Taverna Gorgona

 

We came to Taverna Gorgona for lunch after strolling around the Ladner Farmer’s Market. It was Sunday noon, hot, and the patio looked pretty full from the outside. W had suggested we grab a quick sandwich and coffee and find somewhere to sit and eat outside, but I had my eye set on the Taverna. Luckily, right after arriving we were seated by the friendly owner Niko in the rear patio (the other one faces the main street). The rear patio is cozy, there are large umbrellas for shade and greenery surrounds, and there is even a little gazebo in the corner that can seat a small party. Like a little Mediterranean paradise!

 

Taverna Patio

Taverna Patio

 

 

The service is very friendly and fast here. There are a lot of servers running around. We were told that because I had made a little request for my meal (no cheese, sub rice for salad) that the food would arrive a little slower – but it was not slow at all. Actually, compared to many restaurants (save for Chinese noodle houses maybe  hahaha), the food came really fast. Every table gets a basket of pita bread, which is drizzled with what appears to be herbed butter. Their pita is not like typical pita … It’s thick and fluffly, rather like bread.  It was good.

 

Taverna Pita

Taverna Pita

 

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve had lamb (lamb being my favorite in the red meat category even though I don’t really eat red meat.) I had already ate half of Fieldstone’s Cranberry and Currant loaf by this time, but I was still feeling incredibly indulgent :-D. Enough to consider getting one of their lamb gyro’s, but seeing how gigantic they are I was glad I didn’t. I decided on souvlaki, and since W ordered the chicken, I went for the lamb souvlaki. Gawd… was it ever delicious lamb! 

 

lamb souvlaki

lamb souvlaki

 

 

This was W’s chicken souvlaki – chicken grilled to perfection! All their souvlaki’s come with rice, potato, tzatziki and Greek salad.

 

Chicken Souvlaki

Chicken Souvlaki

 

Beer and Calamari:

Calamari

Calamari

 

The inside is quite festively decorated, there is some skylight too so if you don’t end up out on the patio you could still get a bit of sun:

Inside the Taverna

Inside the Taverna

 

This place is both casual and classy. It’s like you can totally get your fried squid, fried oysters, whatever, with your beer, and sit and relax, or you can come in at night, get a bottle of fancy wine, have a lamb rack. Cheers!

Bee-AH

Beer!!

 

Taverna Gorgona

5047 48 Ave, Delta

604 946 9111

Steveston Series IV: Sockeye City Grill

sockeye view

view of the pier from Sockeye City

Sockeye City Grill is one of the most popular restaurants at the Steveston pier. Especially on sunny days, their patio will be packed, and there will be lineups. Their fish and chips platters are always giant and look pretty good, but I prefer the other seafood dishes. 

 

crabcake

crabcake

 

For shellfish fanatics, both their Fisherman’s pot and seafood paella offer a variety of shellfish and other seafood, and I find both are quite substantial and can feed 2-3 (especially the paella- what they say serves two can probably serve 4):

pot

Fisherman's Pot

 

As for the other seafood, their fish is pretty ok, and you often get a big slab of fish. The pesto that comes with this halibut is really nicely done (I had ordered on the side):

Halibut

Halibut

 

 This is the wild salmon salad… Although I like their salmon, I find that the salad underneath is a bit plain:

Salmon Salad

 

Service is OK here, nothing out of the ordinary. They are happy to accommodate special requests on menu items. House bread comes with dinner, but it is just plain white bread. If you don’t mind sitting inside you don’t usually have to wait. But on a sunny day it’s worth waiting a bit to get a seat outside and watch the all goings on at the pier and out on the water. I’d say the seafood paella is one of the best dishes on the menu (just because I’m not at all a big fan of fish and chips). 

 

Sockeye City Grill

108-3800 Bayview Street, at the Steveston Pier

604-275-4347

Father’s Day Brunch @ the Fish House, Stanley Park

 So, June I had been uber lazy with blogging. Probably because I was too busy eating. Seriously, I think I gained nearly 10 pounds in the past month. Anyway, so this Father’s Day post is 3 weeks late, but what the heck. Anyway, I had wanted to make a reservation at the Sequoia Grill at Stanley Park for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, I was a little late and they were fully booked. I decided instead to try the other Stanley Park restaurant, the Fish House, which I have never been to before. 

Fish House

Fish House

 

I came here with my parents and my aunt and uncle. It was a really nice beautiful sunny Sunday, and pretty much the entire city was out, rollerblading, biking, walking, suntanning at the beach. Yeah, downtown and Stanley Park were crazy busy. We got to the Fish House and since we had a reservation, were seated right away. There was a couple in front of us without a reservation and I think they were told to wait; the restaurant was pretty packed with families big and small (many were tourists). It’s pretty nice inside, high ceilings, spacious dining rooms with large doors and windows, beautifully lit with sunlight, nice patio. 

I liked their menu – their fresh sheet menu has a LOT of different fish (probably the most I have seen) that I would have liked to try except it was a lunch thing and I wasn’t too hungry, so I didn’t order from there.

Fish House menu

Fish House menu

Everybody gets a complimentary pastry to start. Their pastries are made in house, and carried out in a giant basket and you get to pick from a muffin, croissant, or scone. I tried a bit of everything – the croissant was the best, flakey and warm and not too buttery. The blueberry scone was great too, especially with the blueberry preserves that was served with the pastries. The apple muffin was the least exciting.

croissant

croissant

 

muffin

muffin

scone

scone

 

Hmmm…. Flakey fresh croissant:


 

Unfortunately there are only a few pics of the rest to post, as everybody had the warm salmon salad, which was garnished with some daikon, tomato and chives. It was a good salad although nothing too spectacular. You can upgrade to from pink to sockeye for a few bucks more.
 

salmon salad

salmon salad

 

Except for my dad who always picks burgers (doesn’t really matter where he goes, it’s always burgers. And fries. And occassionally, a boring Caesar salad. You guessed it, he was also the one who chose the boring muffin):
 

burger

burger

 

Our server was a most proper and warm guy who was really pampering. The service is not speedy at all, but that is to be expected – you’re there to relax and enjoy your brunch. And they get everything right. We ordered a few coffees and I an Americano and Dad got some Merlot and all of that was pretty good. I was the one who paid (of course!) and the bill only came out to be about 20 bucks per person. 

Overall, quality and service and the atmosphere here is great. I would have loved to try some of their fresh fish, so maybe next time. If I had the choice though, and was in the neighborhood, I would definitely pick the Sequoia Grill over the Fish House, any day. Both places are excellent. The Fish House probably has a better, larger fish menu, and is more “fine-dining”, but personally I like sitting at the Sequoia Grill, and I find they put more effort into making and presenting their food. That’s just me.

 

The Fish House in Stanley Park

8901 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7275

Lunch @ the Cannery Seafood House

The Cannery Seafood House is really one of my favorite restaurants in the city. As you know, they made headlines a little while back because they will be moving from their current (hard to access) site at the Port of Vancouver in 2010. I really hope they will stay in town and end up somewhere … deserving. 

I’ve been backlogged for posts in May (busy busy times), but I really need to make this one before May is over. I took my Mom here for a belated Mother’s Day lunch 2 weeks ago, since she ended up sick on the actual day when I booked for the Cannery’s annual Mom’s Day brunch. It was the perfect day: blue skies, warm, just beautiful. Even sexy Dodge convertibles came out:cannery

I don’t know where the Cannery Queen can bask outside like this elsewhere in the city after they move:

cannery queen

And little things like their own herb garden at the back- I just hope they find a nice, new, happy home after 2010:

And the view of the North Shore from inside…:

 

Mom wondered whether they could move the entire lodge when they relocate. Would be a shame to have to tear down this cozy little house:

Enough about views, because it’s making me sad that they will have to move. Let’s get to the food! Oooh, the famous lobster oil (and bread that just SOAKS it up like heaven!). This is truly great oil – so fragrant, with this sweet sea aroma…. I have never really had other oil quite like it:

 

Hmmm, bread … thick slices of bread…. thick slices of BREAD AND LOBSTER OIL!

Menu of the day:

Mom ordered the seafood salad, which has A LOT of seafood. More seafood than salad, speaks for itself:

I had the snapper, simply poached. It was really fresh, and sweet:

 

Of course, we didn’t leave empty handed. 20 bucks goes to a bottle of lobster oil (maybe I should have ordered a box?):

 

The Cannery Seafood House

2205 Commissioner Street
Vancouver, BC 

Tel : (604) 254-9606 

American Grille @ The Marriott Vancouver Airport

The American Grille is located at the Marriott in downtown Richmond. Went for a weekend brunch. Pretty typical hotel dining-fare: Nothing fancy, but not terrible. Their menu has decent choices and also quite a few healthy options (low cholesterol, low fat, low carb, vegetarian), which is nice.

Thai shrimp salad with mangos, good-sized shrimp, not actually spicy:

Spicy Shrimp and Mango Salad

Mediterranean vegetable sandwich on ciabatta. I liked this- the bread was not bad, and the basil pesto was delicious:

Roasted veggie sandwich

Service was attentive, as expected at a hotel. There weren’t too too many people, but it wasn’t empty either. Partially open kitchen style – always interesting to see the chef (and sous chef) cooking it up. I may come back for dinner if I were in the neighbourhood, although I must admit that particular neighbourhood has too many yummy choices!

American Grille
Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel
7571 Westminster Highway, Richmond
604 276 2112