| 0 comments ]



I decided to take advantage of the 25 dollar promo and attend the East Van Wine Academy put on by the Waldorf.  What I expected to be a bunch of people sitting in a circle talking about tanins and lignins was quite the opposite.  We walked in and we were immediately greeted with a glass of proseco, four drink tickets and a wine zine.  We had a seat in the back of a full room where slides of Spain where illuminated on the side walls and our host stood in front of his Powerpoint slideshow talking about Spanish wines.

| 4 comments ]

I noticed this place a few weeks ago when they were still under renovations. It is tucked between Wicked Cafe and the OC Hair & Spa just off of Robson on Hornby. When I noticed that the doors were open I had to try it. The concept is a "pick ur protein" idea where all sandwiches come with pickled jalapenos, garlic sauce, lettuce, caramelized onions and cilantro. You can also add sides to it like corn, chips, salad or slaw. I chose their signature slow roasted pulled pork.

It came on an aluminum tray reminiscent of cafeteria style serving. I was also told to peel the paper as I ate the sandwich to prevent it from falling apart. The bread was cross between a french baguette and a sourdough. I found it to be a little too heavy and the bread to filling ratio was a little off. With a lot of sandwich shops popping up downtown the price seemed to be fitting with the new standard at $8.49. Overall for that price the sandwich filled me up but I can't say I was fully satisfied. Another interesting thing I noticed was that they charge $0.25 for modifications to the sandwiches. Even though they donate that to charity, I am not cool with paying for being a little picky sometimes.


Kimbo.


Hubbub Sandwich Bliss
859 Hornby St.
Vancouver, BC

| 6 comments ]




There isn't another place in BC or maybe the world where you can get donuts, fried chicken, banana pudding, sushi, Chinese food, sandwiches, Latin food, bubble tea, 40+ flavours of soft serve ice cream and free WiFi.

I wish I knew the story how their menu that included hot torta subs grew to include tamales, horchata, and pupusas.  I had to look and there was a Latin lady in the kitchen which should give Duffin's some authenticity points for those who are looking for it.

For those that who have not ventured to this spot, the sandwiches and fries here are great and are never a let down.  This time, I spotted the pupusas and if my name was Scott Pilgrim a big WTF would have been over my head.  Seeing that their Latin menu has expanded, and the restaurant had a large group of Latin people in it, I had to order try the pupusa and horchata.   I ordered the mix pupusa (bean, cheese and pork) for $2.85.  It took about five minutes for them to prepare the pupusa, which was easily understandable considering how busy it was.

The pupusa was tasty and hot as hell.   We cut it open and stuffed it with the cabbage and the provided sauce.   The pupusas were messy and super tasty.  It has been a while since I had my last pupusa but the Duffins pupusas  rival the ones served at El Rinconcito (Commercial Drive).

Duffins is open 24 hours and considering that it should be the go to spot for those looking to get a tasty cheap late night snack.  You can't go wrong with the sandwiches or the pupusa.  Plus free WiFi.   


Duffin's Donuts
1391 41st Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Duffin's Donuts on Urbanspoon


Matt

| 2 comments ]

A sunny day like today was perfect for BBQing a burger! This dish is pretty simple and there's something gratifying about making your own burger patty. This is a blue cheese stuffed lamb burger. It combines two very bold flavors together, but I find that it balanced out quite well with the bun and other condiments. I also decided to add a mint aioli to bind everything together.

For lamb patties (about 4):

  • 1lb. of ground lamb
  • 3 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • A handful of Panko bread crumbs
  • Approx. 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese

For mint aioli:
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of grated lemon rind
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the lamb patties together in a bowl EXCEPT for the blue cheese.
  2. Use your hands to loosely mix everything together. Be careful not to overmix it or else the patty will be too dense.
  3. Form the patties into rounds and then make a small well in the middle like a pie crust for the cheese. I made 4 patties out of the mix but you can make the burgers as thick as you like.
  4. Put about a tablespoon of the blue cheese in the middle and fold the sides into the center overlapping the cheese. Make sure the meat folds over the cheese and the seams are sealed to prevent the cheese from oozing out on the grill.
  5. For medium rare put it on medium heat for about 3 minutes each side.
For the aioli. Combine everything into a food processor and blend together, stopping to scrape down the sides.

Top the burger off with any of your fave condiments! I used the aioli, red onions, tomatoes and spring greens. Shoestring fries go great with the aioli as well.

Oh man, I cannot wait for more sunny days like this!





Kimbo.


| 1 comments ]




Joe and I will be speaking at the next Asian Canadian Journalism Club meeting being held at East is East on 3243 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC on March 31, 2011.   
I plan to speak about the starting days of Vancouver Slop, listing some blogging tips, writing for the internet, and various other strategies that were employed when I started this blog.  I feel that the information that I present that night would be a strong resource for anyone starting a new blog and trying to increase their traffic.  Joe will fill in the gaps.

Also speaking that night will be Jordana Mah,  a big local fashion blogger http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com/  and the former Editor in Chief for Schema Magazine’s blog.  Jordana will discuss how to engage an audience, how to deal with advertisers and designers , and how to deal with writer’s block and how to maintain content quality over time.

The event only costs 5 dollars per person.  Please RSVP by March 29, 2011 to ACJA.vancouver@gmail.com.  Space is limited so get on it.

Asian Canadian Journalism Club Meeting @East is East 
3243 West Broadway, 
Vancouver, BC
March 31, 2011, 7pm

| 28 comments ]

Nicli Antica Pizzeria
My fondest memories of pizza are hard to divorce from their context. Watching my dad dive headfirst into an oddity of his third homeland. Being half a world away in Hong Kong with other homesick friends, curious to discover that you can get baby corn and sub Thousand Island dressing for tomato sauce on your Pizza Hut slice. The $1.99 slice after one, two, five beers too many. These were all great slices.

We all share similar stories, and that’s why pizza has such a prominent place in our collective consciousness. As food obsessions go, there are few other food items that informs the North American experience as much as pizza, perhaps second only to the hamburger in devotion. So when not one but two new pizza places open up in town, each touted to be the dawning of a doughy new age in Vancouver, steeped in San Marzano tomato sauce, we eagerly await to see how these fit within our nostalgia, to see what novelties they bring.

Both are devoted to Naples, purportedly the dish’s birthplace in the late 18th century. As the A16 cookbook describes Neapolitan pizza, “toppings are sparse and traditional, with few signs that the California ‘gourmet’ pizza revolution ever happened,” and dough that has been labored on and that has developed for hours and hours takes only minutes to cook in a wood burning oven. Apart from a minimalist array of toppings, it’s the dough and crust that are markedly different from the typical chain pizza. As J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats puts its, a reputable Neapolitan pizza needs “a crust that's tender and pillowy inside with charring on the undercarriage and leopard-spotting along the rim.” In other words, deep dish fans might want to look away.

The first, by a matter of weeks only, is Nicli Antica Pizzeria. It’s yet another new addition to Gastown, where the minimalist design does all it can to divorce itself from its surroundings, where tables are so shiny and sleek that it’s a miracle more pizzas don’t get flung across the room when one rips into them (those using a knife and fork should ensure a second person holds the plate). A Napoletana ($13) adds an anchovy riff to the basic mozzarella-tomato theme, while a Funghi ($14) does the same albeit with mushroom. Both are pleasant enough, with a tomato sauce that seems as thin as the slice, which is requisitely soft and chew in the centre (perhaps almost soggy), and a nice charred crust neither bold nor horrific. It’s all very nice, where one can be assured that you won’t be eating the pie in exchange for helping your friends move apartments.

It’s the sort of place that conjures up a recent post on Chowhound, where one commenter wrote that “the snobism wrapped up in discussing Neapolitan pizza gets ridiculous, but so too does the anti-elitism that goes on when some people get so distracted by a pizza costing $18 that they can't even bring themselves to give it a fair shake, flavor-wise.”

The BiBo
Though the second place, the BiBo, also finds itself within the same price range, there’s a marked difference from Nicli. Seats are crammed (almost excessively so) in contrast to Piato, the Greek restaurant which was formerly in the same spot. Most of the tables are jammed into the middle third of the restaurant, and polite manners won’t save you from eavesdropping or even sharing in the conversations around you. The service hasn’t quite found its legs in the first few days either, but all of it stirs up a chaos that is just as messy as a pizza place should be...perhaps a happy coincidence.

The BiBo "Italian Flag" platter, with burrata
The pizza is also richer. The F1 Margherita ($22; a less premium version is offered for $12) follows the standard tomato-mozzarella-basil ingredient list, but here the buffalo mozzarella is deep and soulful, melting into the tomato sauce and mixing into an incredible creamy mixture (it will also make you want to order the Italian DOP burrata plate ($18) as well, which can only be summed up in smiles and sighs.) Leave it for too long – we’re talking minutes here – and it will get soggy. The concern isn’t quite as high with the quattro stagioni ($20), or “four seasons,” pizza, where mozzarella gives way to additional toppings (ham, mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, and anchovies) divvied up into different quadrants, as maximalist as Neapolitan pizza generally gets. In both cases, the pies feel more brazen, more passionate. They’re the sort which might beget new stories, so long as you supply the characters and context.

Joe.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria
62 E Cordova St
Vancouver, BC
Nicli Antica Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

The BiBo
1835 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
The BiBo on Urbanspoon

| 14 comments ]

Sorry for the lack of updates from me but I have been away for the past two weeks in Asia.  Here is something to tide you over.

I spent some time in the Philippines and thought I would give Balut a try.  For those who don't know Balut is a partially developed chicken/duck fetus.  It is then boiled and served warm.  If you go to your local Asian supermarket you may see these eggs coloured in a maroon / red colour.  You may have also seen it on Fear Factor.

The juices were surprisingly really tasty.  Flavours of chicken and something that tasted like the salty fish, not sure how to describe it.   Then I put the rest of the contents of the egg in my mouth.  The different textures, degrees of firmness and the thought that there was an embryo in my mouth was just too much for me to deal with even though the taste was good.

Here is the clip.


I wanted to try it again, but it wasn't that easy to find in Manila.

Matt


| 3 comments ]

I wanted to try a different kind of sandwich this week so I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some Sockeye smoked Lox trim (the one in bulk). Here is what I put together for a super easy Lox and Dill sour cream sandwich!

Dill sour cream:

  • Non-fat sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh Dill
Flourless 16 grain bread (pictured here but you can use any bread of ur preference)
Sockeye smoked Lox trim (the one in bulk)
Red onion (thinly sliced, washed and drained)
Alfalfa sprouts



Et Voila!


I find that the Smoked Lox in the bulk packaging was thicker had a meatier texture than the prepacked smoked salmon. I loved the sour cream so I layered throughout the sandwich. If you prefer you can use either Greek yogourt or cream cheese for the spread as well. Good Lunching Everyone! =)




Kimbo.

| 10 comments ]






Most of us have passed by this place and thought about going in but only a small percentage of those people have actually dined at the restaurant.  If you were really curious you might have done some internet research and found that many food blogs have blogged about this already but for those who haven't let me throw in my two cents.

This place is a must for any Vancouver food hunter that is looking for an enjoyable experience.   The owner, Linda is the sweetest thing.  We were dining on one of their first day that they re opened after they closed for their vacation.  Linda mentioned that she forgot how to do some things so there wasn't any clam chowder available.  This is a scary start, I immediately thought what else did she forget, how to wash her hands, how to fry a steak, how not to spill gravy on my shirt.   Since the clam chowder wasn't available I got the beef barley which was actually pretty good.

I ordered the sirloin steak for $8.95 and it came with the steak, salad, baked potato, cake, bread and soup.  For the price the meal was decent, the steak didn't come with any sauce, and didn't have any charing but it wasn't bad.  It pretty much felt like a sirloin that you would fry in a pan at home.  The baked potato was small but it did come with sour cream, green onions and some bacon bits.

The meal is decent and I would consider it good considering the price but the real story is in the experience.  The owner is amazing and the interior while different and maybe consider seedy is still something I would consider clean.  Find the right friend and go give this place a try.  

The Brave Bull
1298 E Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC


   

| 5 comments ]



I have been to a ton of Vietnamese restaurants but I still don't feel I have a strong barometer for the different flavours.   That said Thaison sits high on my list for Vietnamese spots serving buns and rice dishes sharing the echelon with Green Lemongrass, Song Huong, Bao Chau, and Pho Tai Hoa.

The food has always been tasty and very well priced.  The location is ideal for me, service has been prompt and that running egg has always put a smile on my face despite my egg sensitivity.   For those who want to try something different, I have heard many good things about the egg omelet.

My only gripe is the spring roll which with it's egg wrapper feels more similar to it's Chinese cousin than the ones I normally see at Vietnamese spots.

Thaison
373 East Broadway
Vancouver, BC