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In preparation for the Waldorf's Food Cart Fest, which kicks off tomorrow (noon until 6pm), we thought we'd re-visit a few of the carts that will be participating at the event (which we're sponsoring, btw).  Each of the weeks will have 10 or so of the carts parked over at the Waldorf's parking lot in a PDX pod fashion, so the options are pretty vast.

One of these carts is La Brasserie's cart, which we droned on and on about previously.  It's a simple premise: do one product right (in this case, a great chicken sandwich with fried onions, gravy and a buttermilk bun) and bring the patrons into the brick and mortar location on Davie St.  While cynics of the food carts often point to inconsistency on a general level amongst all of them (hey, sample over 20 restaurants and I'd bet more than a few of those would be inconsistent too), this cart has been churning out this treat for well over a year (as well as a pretty good butter tart), and rest assured this cart does not prove those cynics correct.  

See all y'all tomorrow at the Waldorf.

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We're proud to be a sponsor of the Waldorf's Food Cart Fest, which will run every Sunday starting July 29th until September 2nd, noon to 6pm.

The event will feature food trucks we've featured here before, some we haven't (Brasserie, Soho Road, Off the Wagon, Re-Up, Juice Truck, Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Cartel Taco, Streat Meat, Pig on the Street, Guanco, Holy Perogy, to name a few), setting up shop at the Waldorf's parking lot in a Portland pod stylee, stemming from the Waldorf's huge success with their Canada Day celebration.  We'll try and feature a few of the vendors here as the weeks progress.

Since we're all adults here, there will also be a beer garden accompanying, so instead of lining up at that ubiquitous brunch spot, why not stumble on over to the Waldorf for a different bite and some hair o' the dog?

The Waldorf, of course, is an all-out renaissance venue, so along with drink n' nosh, there will also be a rotating series of Sunday markets: vintage clothes, farmers markets, comic book meet-ups, and more.  Eat, shop, eye everyone in their summer Sunday best: it's all goooooood.

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Mt. Pleasant's second annual Smoking Sausage BBQ Competition Cook-Off takes place on Saturday, August 4th (5 to 9pm) in the laneway just off Main Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Organized by Liveable Laneways Society, the event features various restaurants from the area (including 8 1/2, the Cascade Room, the Rumpus Room and Rhizome Cafe) competing for charity, with Hyde Restaurant defending their title from last year's contest, with sausages provided by D-Original Sausage Co. 

Entrance is a $3 donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

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Some say jamon, some say paella, but if there's one dish that I've equated with Spain, it's the obligatory tomato and toast.  It's not the most glamorous of dishes, nor the most complex: its name sort of says it all, less the usual accompanying garlic.  85% or more of the menus we perused in Barcelona, Madrid and beyond all offered it, much in the same way waiters offer still or sparkling.  And yet few had the same idea of the dish: toast with diced tomatoes; bread with sliced tomatoes; one place even provided a side of mayo.  The wonderful variation of it all, as vast as any place worth visiting should be.


Sardine Can, the newest of the city's few tapas restaurants, offers this dish ($5), with a blizzard of manchego grated atop, while its patrons (well, one) contemplates authenticity and its complexities.  There are few colour-coded toothpicks here, the servings are much larger in scale, and I'm certainly not as vacation-drunk.  The toast is unlike any other version I've had, though the spirit is similar.  It's here, with all its variations.

  
Sardine Can squeezes out those flavour profiles from a kitchen too small for standard equipment, similar to Judas Goat down the street (only the Spanish incarnation of the Waldorf's chef-in-residence saw a kitchen with gas burners). An octopus, potato and chorizo stew ($10), much like the tomato toast, gives a good dose of nostalgia, the sort where the memory's probably not quite right but the feeling is all the same.  The meatballs cooked in Rioja red and tomato ($10) reaches for the same achievement, but for its unfortunate density and heft.  The patatas bravas ($5) provides a good reminder that I didn't get much from the dish across the Atlantic, either.  But it's the arroz la bomba ($10) - little arancina-esque balls of paella rice - that sums it all up best: nothing here is exactly the same as that tiny place in La Ribera, nor should you expect it to be.  Two glasses of grenache later and it all goes down easy. (Particularly if you end off with the chocolate terrine ($5.50) with olive oil and sea salt, a dessert I almost wish I saw more of in Spain itself.)   

Joe.

26 Powell Street
Vancouver BC
(604) 568 -1350
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