My favorite things

Don’t get your hopes up, this isn’t Oprah and you’re not getting these things for free so don’t look under your chair because all that’s there is your feet. I thought that I would share a few of my favorite places around the lower mainland to eat, drink and have a good time, sounds good right?

Best place to hear curse words and eat a huge sandwich

La Charcuterie Delicatessen The biggest sandwich in town and it costs less than $10. There’s also Salam the owner, aka the Sandwich Nazi. He will make you laugh uncomfortable laughter and will put whatever he wants on your sandwich, and you will like it.

My favorite place to get a coffee

Michi Waffle and Espresso Bar This is the best coffee in Vancouver in my ever so humble opinion. Hand crafted coffee using top quality beans and made by people who know what they’re doing. Plus they have awesome waffles!!!

Favorite place to buy beer

Central City Brewing Co. Liquor Store. Located steps from the Surrey Central Skytrain Station they have a HUGE selection of craft beer from all around the world and a pretty impressive wine selection as well. The pub it’s attached to is pretty good too! Extra bonus points for carrying my favorite beer, Deschutes Black Butte Porter.

Favorite place to drink beer

Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar Located inside Waterfront station Rogue is both convenient and awesome. The craft beer selection here is great with delicious on tap goodies like Crannog Backhand of God Stout and Elysian Brewing Avatar Jasmine IPA. The food is also pretty good and it’s proximity to transit also makes Rogue my Favorite Place To Get Loaded Downtown.

Favorite Patio

The Keg Yaletown. Say what you will about the proliferation of chain restaurants in the once super hip Yaletown, the patio at The Keg is by far the coolest patio in Vancouver. Stunning views made even more beautiful at night backed up by decent steaks. The beverage situation could use some attention though as there’s really nothing outstanding about the drink menu.

Favorite place to eat meat

Hog Shack Cookhouse. Burnt ends, Brisket, pulled pork, smoked Spam and the occasional test dish from Chef John make this Steveston BBQ hot spot a personal favorite of mine on many levels. The fact that owners Allan and John are awesome guys is a bonus. There’s also the Flatline Challenge and awesome craft beer plus great events with the Beerthirst crew that keep me coming back for more.

Favorite place to eat a sandwich

Benton Brothers Fine Cheese. There are few things less common in the world than the humble sandwich but when made with love it can be so much more than just a sandwich. Benton Brothers sandwich’s are toasted fresh with high quality cheese and meats and are a treat that I don’t get to have as often as I’d like. Benton Brothers is also my favorite place to buy cheese. You really should go.

Favorite place to not eat meat

Nuba. Yes there’s meat on the menu at Nuba but the best thing there is Najib’s Special, a marinated Cauliflower dish that is so good I could probably give up meat for a week or 2 if someone promised me I could eat at Nuba whenever I wanted to. Get it as a meal with hummus, chickpeas and some pita bread.

Favorite place to people watch

The Coal Harbour Seawall. If you ever have the chance, grab your lunch and head down to Harbourside Park and just watch and listen. people talk about the funniest things while they’re out for their lunchtime walk/run with coworkers/friends. There’s also some people who run really funny, they don’t seem to know what to do with their arms. Guaranteed smile.

Favorite building in Vancouver

The Sun Tower. This building is cool, not just on the outside. I’ve been inside the green dome and it’s like an evil genius headquarters, I want to live there.

Scott.

Advertisements

Potato Chip Showdown

Is this for real? A blog post about potato chips? It’s as real as a swift kick in the beans, and hopefully will show that while I enjoy writing about (and eating) really fancy things I am not a food snob. The humble potato chip is considered a major food group to those who watch a lot of sports on big screen HDTV’s and pairs well with wonderbread-esque mass produces lagers pumped out of mega factories the world over. The “store brand” chip has always been the ugly duckling of the dog eat dog chip market but Presidents Choice is aiming to crush those stereotypes by introducing bold, out of the box flavors.

The first of these unique flavors is BallPark Hot Dog. A thick cut ripple chip made with “hot dog, mustard and relish seasonings”. The term hot dog seasonings frightens me. These things actually tasted like hot dog. I’m not sure if I liked them though, I like hot dogs and I like chips but a hot dog flavored chip is a stretch. As with most bags of chip left open and unattended around me they did not last long. The actual chip was nice and thick and would have been great for dipping sans wiener flavor.

The second chip sampled, and by sampled I mean devoured and by devoured I mean I ate the whole bag, was Sweet Chili Thai. These were more along the lines of a traditional chip flavor, so much so that they probably should be called BBQ because that’s what they taste like. They were good but the name doesn’t suit the flavor. While I’m on the subject of “Sweet Thai Chili” flavored things…ENOUGH ALREADY!! Every restaurant has something on its menu with these 3 words in the title and quite frankly I’m getting sick of it. Sweet Thai Chili is to the new millennium as cilantro, mango salsa and Wolfgang Puck were to the 90’s.

So the title said showdown and this really wasn’t one. I had to get your attention somehow right? Long live chips and beer.

Scott.

Wine Down With Delta!

Wine, food and charity in a hotel/casino? Yep, life is rough… As I walked in to Wine Down With Delta at the Delta Burnaby Hotel the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound Of Music was playing in my head. This was my first event invite as “Media” so I wanted to keep a low profile, ha ha ya right! Low profile and Scott are not compatible.

Wine Down was in support of Habitat For Humanity which is an amazing charity that builds houses for low income families. It featured the 3 Greater Vancouver Delta hotels  and their respective restaurants and many BC wineries. Check out the pictures below and prepare to drool all over your keyboard. For the record my personal favorites were the chicken croquettes with black truffle puree from the Delta Burnaby, the lamb meatballs with chorizo from the Delta Vancouver Suites and the chilled Manhattan Gazpacho from the Delta Vancouver Airport.

Andrew Palooza wrap up post

It’s over, it’s actually been over for almost a week now and I still can’t believe that it all came together the way it did. In total with ticket sales, private donations, raffle sales and 50/50 sales we raised over $10000 for Andrew. I am overwhelmed with emotion trying to say how I feel so I’ll keep it short. Thank you to all the bands, comedians, The Red Room and everyone who supported Andrew in any way.

Here’s some pictures from the show!

Scott.

Quiet Riot from the streets of Surrey

How is Surrey getting blamed for a riot in Vancouver? The answer is simple, people don’t understand Surrey, especially people who live on the “good” side of the bridges and tunnels. There was an outdoor viewing site in Surrey for game 7 in what is one of the poorest and least loved areas of the city. Whalley or “Central City” comes a close second to the downtown east side for its open drug use and visual appeal but has served as Surrey’s public gathering site for a few years now. There were no riots in Whalley, no fights, just disappointed Canuck fans who went home instead of burning cars. They didn’t get on the Skytrain and head for Vancouver, they just went home.

Now I’m not saying that no one involved in the riot was from Surrey, simple demographics and population numbers will tell you that they were there. What I am saying is that the area we live in is called the Greater Vancouver Regional District for a reason. There were people from all over the GVRD involved in this horrible night and to pin it on Surrey just because you have heard that Surrey is a “bad” town is wrong, unfair and is the same mentality of the people involved in this riot. To me it borders on racism given the ethnic diversity of Surrey.

What did I see last night? I saw my hockey team lose, I saw people in a pub in Surrey upset but not angry and I saw a family standing on the side of the road an hour after the game had ended waiving their Canucks towels and cheering to cars passing by. That is what Surrey is to me, my home, a misunderstood place that has always treated me well and a place where I’m proud to raise my daughter.

I’m from Surrey, the best city on earth.

Scott.

La Casita

Mexican food!! I’ve said it before, I am not an expert when it comes authentic Mexican food having grown up in a culture that considers Taco Bell “Mexican” food. I hear there are a few places in Vancouver that offer up true Mexican food and one of those places is La Casita in Gastown.

Raul Pacheco, aka Hummingbird604 has said he likes La Casita and he’s from Mexico so that says a lot. My wife and daughter met me downtown recently and we ended up at La Casita mostly due to convenience. We grabbed a table by the window so Hayley could watch the world go by but we still ended up be the people in the restaurant with the randomly screaming baby…joy.

I ordered the Chorizo Chimichanga which may or may not be authentic Mexican but it was damn good. A deep fried tortilla filled with cheese, beans and chopped Chorizo sausage and covered with salsa and sour cream. The presentation was 100% better than any “Mexican” restaurant I’ve been to, it looked like someone cared how the plate looked instead of being a pile of rice, a similar pile of beans and a tortilla on a plate. The sausage was mild and tasty and cooked just right with a nice crunch from the tortilla. The beans were good, not great and the rice was the same, not outstanding but very good. The vegetables were really quite good though, usually an after thought in a dish like this they were fresh and seasoned with a savory salt and spice mix that took them above and beyond what you would expect from a side of veggies.

Unfortunately we forgot to unhook Hayley’s toys (rattle, ball, rings etc. ) from the highchair when we left. Oh well, I’m sure a less fortunate little one can benefit from them as they are easily replaceable for us.

Mexico, I like the way you cook.

Scott.

Davidson Pitstop

I promised a while ago that I would try and write about more Fraser Valley restaurants and lately I’ve been to a few good ones. First was Five Doors Down in Whiterock and now after years of living 6 blocks away from it I have finally tried Davidson Pitstop. Located at 16225 Fraser Hwy in Surrey it  is a throwback burger joint with Harley Davidson motorcycle imagery dominating the theme, hence the name.

I’ve been told that the burgers here have been named best in Surrey but I’ve never personally seen that in writing. I asked what the best burger they was and I was told to order the deluxe with cheese and bacon. The burger patty itself was good, nice and juicy and not overcooked with a nice amount of seasoning and good texture. The cheese was of the processed American variety so no fireworks there and the bacon was thick cut and noticeable in both flavour and texture. The veggies were fresh but the bun failed to live up to the rest of the burger. It was a typical sesame burger bun that you can buy at the local grocery store and could have used a little time in a toaster.

The fries were double fried and hand cut and should have been quite good but they were over cooked in old oil causing them to be a dark brown color and quite greasy. Fries need to be cooked in fresh oil where as onion rings and other deep fried goodies actually benefit from used oil. Most restaurants have 2 fryers, one for fries and one for everything else so I’ll assume that Davidson Pit stop only has one.

So the overall verdict is a little mixed. The burger was good but let down by a mediocre, soggy bun and the fries would benefit greatly from some fresh oil. I’ll definitely go back though as this food is 10 times better than any fast food joint. Davidson Pitstop is a small tweak or 2 away from having a destination worthy burger.

Scott.

Great Pizza 2 for 1

It’s time for a shout out to a local favorite of mine. There are a ton of pizza places in my hood and they’re all pretty good, such as Royal Oak, but my regular pizza joint is Great Pizza 2 for 1. Now I’m not saying it’s the best pizza ever but it’s pretty good as far as bargain 2 for 1 pizza goes and it’s cheap, much like myself, good and cheap… Great Pizza, located at 15820 Fraser Hwy in Surrey, has been open roughly as long as I have lived here, 10 years or so.

There’s a big Hobart mixer in the back so I’ll assume they make their own crust which is average at best and the toppings are ok too. The cheese is not bad either…but man is it cheap! 2 large pizza’s with 2 toppings for under $20. On this particular visit i had a large Hawaiian and a large “Scott Special”, pepperoni and double cheese. Double cheese is actually DOUBLE cheese, it’s about as thick as a magazine!! Their Lasagna is actaully really good and the staff is efficient. There’s one person who I assume is an owner who knows me from day one and always wants to chat about life but if he’s not there it’s hard to get the rest of the staff to crack a smile. No matter though, I’m not there to chat, I’m there for pizza. If you’re in Fleetwood and need some cheap pizza you can’t really go wrong with Great Pizza 2 for 1, especially if you’re drunk and wandering the streets which is perfectly safe despite what you’ve heard about my fair city.

Scott.

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday

Hey there good looking readers!! Have I told you lately that you’re awesome? No really, you ARE!!! Anyways I wanted to share a little story about my REAL job. I don’t often talk about my real Monday to Friday job in this blog because it’s really not that interesting, I fix elevators, they go up and down and if they stop I get them to go again…ya. It’s a wee bit dangerous at times but it’s really not that bad overall.

The other day we had a delivery to a job we’re doing at Broadway Pentecostal Lodge on Granville island. It was pouring rain and we were out in it for 5 hours straight. Needless to say we were all soaked to the bone. One of the guys that does laundry there (it’s a seniors home) came over to us with clean new t shirts and asked if we wanted our shirts dried. We did and about 20 minutes later we had nice warm and dry work shirts! I know it doesn’t sound like much but we usually get treated pretty poorly when we show up at a building because people are upset about their elevators not working.

So thanks to nicest laundry guy ever, you have temporarily restored my faith in humanity!

Scott.