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.

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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 III: Cimona Cafe

If you are feeling like a casual, down-to-earth meal, and pretty generous-sized, value-for-money deals, this is the place to go. Cimona Cafe makes the kind of food you can probably make in your own kitchen, so don’t expect anything fancy, but the quality will not disappoint. This place is like a homey diner. It is in a second floor/elevated log house, with a patio where you can watch the Steveston hustle bustle on Bayview Street from above. They’re really friendly here, and it feels like it is a family owned and operated little cafe, but don’t count on super speedy service, and on weekends they tend to be quite busy during brunch/lunch and there tends to be lineups. Have a little patience.

Many healthy options are offered on the menu: whole wheat wraps and breads, low fat dressings, egg white omelets, vegetarian dishes. It’s a casual spot with casual food but there are a lot of more “exotic” options too, and for a good price – Veal. Lamb. Sole. Halibut. Salmon. I’ve come here for dinner which I have enjoyed, but definitely find that it’s an awesome lunch/brunch place. Probably because breakfast is served till 3pm.

W and I came here for lunch recently, so I figured I will throw this post into my Steveston Series. We grabbed a menu and luckily found a table outside in the patio, which was almost full, and had a nice, relaxing time watching the …er… action… on Bayview:

cimona view

cimona view

Looking around I noticed that many people order the wraps here. W chose the chicken wrap with pineapple curry sauce. I tried a bit of it. It was pretty big and stuffed with tons of lettuce. The sauce was good too (you can choose from 3 different ones) – It wasn’t so heavy that W ate the whole thing (when usually she can only eat half a big wrap).

 

Cimona chicken wrap

Cimona chicken wrap

 
 

I was feeling like a lighter lunch so I had the tzatziki and grilled pita:

Pita and Tzatziki

Pita and Tzatziki

 

With a green salad:

 

Green salad

Green salad

I thought this was a pretty big size for the “small” portion. Veggies were quite fresh and crisp. The pita bread I liked – it didn’t seem like crappy quality packaged pita thrown in a toaster (though I am not sure exactly what type it was). The tzatziki was pretty standard tasting, but not bad. Couldn’t tell if it was homemade. You can also get hummous if you wanted.

Overall, both W and I were happy with our lunch. I still have to try a lot of the other stuff on their menu so I am going to keep coming back (on days when I have time to spare and relax though)!

Oh, and I’m not sure if this is an “issue” for anyone, it is for me on thirsty days when I down literally gallons of pop, because I would go to restaurants and get refills until my server gives me funny looks and offers me a jug since they get so tired of coming back every few minutes to refill my glass. Since this place is a cafe/diner, the pop you order will come in a can, and you won’t get refills.

 

Cimona Cafe and Catering

#201-3791 Bayview Street, Steveston

604-275-3753

The Bridgehouse Restaurant @ the Capilano Suspension Bridge

 

bridgehouse restaurant

It’s been years since I went to this place – the bridge and the restaurant both. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a bit of a drive, and really, it’s one of those tourist spots you go to once or twice in your life, and you don’t really go again unless you have to bring relatives from out of town (who also happen to like walking around outside and crossing a long wobbly bridge). Anyway, it was a hot, sunny Vancouver day, and just felt like coming to the place, because it’s been years. The weather was just perfect for sitting outside the restaurant, under an umbrella. The food was totally awesome too.

bridgehouse

Situated directly across from the Capilano Suspension Bridge info booth, the Bridgehouse Restaurant is only open until 5pm – a shame, as they would probably serve up some awesome dinners. Nonetheless, they have a great lunch menu and there is also high tea served from 2-5pm. (Most people I saw didn’t order the high tea, one table did and the pastries looked OK but not quite as exciting as their actual food to me.) On a sunny day you would really rather not sit inside the big log house but outside in their front/back yard/patio area under some umbrellas and watch the tourists wander about. Which was essentially what we did.

 

The food was great – all the ingredients, especially the salads, were really fresh, and every thing was cooked to perfection and presented nicely. This was the star of the show: The Portabello mushroom and garlic cream cheese panini:

portabello panini

 

The Tuna Melt with bay shrimp and aged cheddar:

tuna melt

 

And the Greek salad with grilled pita. I loved the pita – it was hot and crispy:

greek salad

 

P enjoyed a nice, really fragrant Shiraz but I forgot the name of it. They have salmon and other stuff on their menu and are part of Ocean Wise. The service was good here and I’d come back again and again if only it wasn’t such a long drive. Highly recommended.

 

 

The Bridge House Restaurant

At the Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver

 

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 

Tropika @ Aberdeen – Been there, done that? Maybe not!

I’ve eaten at Tropika many many times. I went there often when they were next to the Bread Garden mall on Lansdowne Rd, years ago. After they moved into Aberdeen I haven’t eaten there much, nor was I a big fan. It’s not that it’s bad – certainly for the bigger, “chain” Thai/Malay places it is one of the better ones in the city, but I always like smaller hole-in-the-wall Thai/Malay places better. (Plus I always find myself comparing it to Wong Jun Jun in Hong Kong and that makes me slightly depressed that I’m not there XD )

 

It’s definitely not an uncomfortable restaurant to sit in. High ceilings, leafy, spacious… (and never too busy). Frankly I prefer the old Richmond Tropika more. It was always super dark in there but it felt cozy and like a classy Thai place… Aberdeen is very well lit and there are pretty much windows all around.


 

Recently we went for lunch and it was the same old same old – we always kind of order more or less the same stuff when we dine here, such as roti canai:

 

A gado gado (bean sprouts salad with fried tofu and cucumbers and peanut sauce) for me:

Some chicken and pork satays: which are always nicely grilled and pretty delicious – I like their dipping sauces in general.

 

Some boring fried rice that the rice-lovers must always get *yawn*:

 

Except this time I discovered something I really liked on the menu – their Char Bee Hoon 星洲炒米粉 (not the HK style one which is called Singapore Noodle). Maybe I have tried this a long time ago, I don’t remember. Just not in recent memory. This is basically just fried vermicelli with some mixed seafood (squid, shrimp) and julienned cucumber. It’s only very slightly spicy but all the flavours were really well balanced- delicious!

 

And I also tried their meat and vegetable soup, and there was tons of stuff in it – fish, pork, baby corn, peppers, cabbage, bokchoi, shrimp, broccoli, straw mushrooms… The soup itself was pretty good too. 

 

 

Most of the time I go to Tropika and I leave satisfied (especially when I have some of their tasty drinks) but I wouldn’t say super impressed. This time, however, I left pretty happy and thinking I would go back again soon, and definitely not order the same old stuff. 

 

Tropika at Aberdeen

Unit 1830, Aberdeen Centre
4151 Hazelbridge Way

新東記火鍋 Sun Tung Kee Hot Pot

Like soo many Chinese restaurants in Vancouver,  the name 新東記 (Sun Tung Kee) was transplanted from a hot pot restaurant of the same name in 尖沙咀 (Tsim Sha Tsui), Hong Kong. For most of these “transplanted” restaurants, the same name is supposed to evoke some sense of home and supposed-authenticity; there is of course rarely ever any relationship between the two restaurants.

My family has been coming to Sun Tung Kee for years – it’s somehow the go-to hotpot place of family gatherings. (It doesn’t change. It’s one of those loyalty things with family dining, and being the youngest I don’t get any say.)

Anyhoo. I don’t mind this place. Note this is not the other place down the street people call Sabo. The service here is quite attentive, the restaurant is spacious, and the portions aren’t bad. 

 

Hmmmm dipping condiments. 

The fish fillet slices… I think it’s cod. I can’t be sure. It was pretty good though.

 

 

Hot pot is not complete with fatty beef, right? They always order the fatty beef. Those dumplings have fish in them, I think.

 

Killing some shrimp in the fruit and veggie soup, and there’s some cod head on the bottom right there.
hotpot

 

As a default we also order that mushroom chicken rice that comes in the stone pot. It’s pretty good. I forgot to take a picture of it. Oh well. There’s always complimentary plum juice and tong shui dessert (this time it was red bean soup) afterwards.

 

Sun Tung Kee Hot Pot

1060-8580 Alexandra Road, Richmond (It’s at the eastern end of Alexandra, closer to Garden City)