Quick Bite – Moderne Burger in Kitsilano

Moderne Burger in Kits
Moderne Burger in Kits

Moderne Burger in Kitsilano is a no nonsense burger joint with a great nostalgic feel that isn’t forced or cluttered up with random Elvis and Marilyn Monroe  paraphernalia. They have a small, focused menu that has burgers, BLT’s, grilled cheese, fries, milkshakes, floats and speciality sodas. Their burgers are made fresh daily and have no additives, not even seasoning! The inside of Moderne Burger has a great Art Deco feel and would fit right in under the Empire State building or somewhere similar.

Moderne Steak Burger with bacon and cheese.
Moderne Steak Burger with bacon and cheese

Moderne offers 4 burger choices, Steak, Ground Turkey, Veggie or Wild Salmon fillet, with all the usual additions. The burger is juicy and delicious and doesn’t need seasoning at all. The Bun is light yet substantial and suits the burger very well. The cheese is real cheddar and the bacon is thick cut and high quality. All in all a fantastic burger in every way. The fries are equally as good and are hand cut for every order. I was advised by someone who may have been the owner to arrange my fries in a “deck” to place my burger on so they would soak up the juicy burger drippings. Good advice.

Yum
Yum

Next time you find yourself in Kits go check out Moderne Burger.

Twitter – @moderneburger

Facebook – facebook.com/pages/Moderne-Burger

Interwebs – moderneburger.com

Scott.

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Join me this weekend at the 2nd annual Big Red Barn Burner BBQ competition with Team Hogshack!

bbq2This weekend if you head on out to Chilliwack for the Big Red Barn Burner BBQ competition you you can enjoy amazing BBQ from some of the top competition BBQ teams in Canada! Along with great southern slow cooked BBQ you might just meet the handsome dudes from Team Hog Shack! (Not the guy in the suit, fyi)

Hot dudes, tasty meat.
Hot dudes, tasty meat.

There’s 5 categories at this years comp, Chef’s Choice, Pork, Brisket, Chicken, and Ribs. The judges get the best looking bits but the rest is up for grabs if you happen to be in the crowd! Chef’s Choice is 2 pm on Saturday and the rest of the action happens on Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm. Hog Shack Cookhouse co-owner and head chef (aka BBQ savant) John Lim Hing and I plan to improve on our one lonely ribbon for the single competition we entered last year. Wish us luck!

As always you can follow along on Twitter @WFLBC for all the fun times and late night sleeping bag ghost stories you can handle.

GO TEAM HOG SHACK!!

Scott.

 

Odin Brewing Longtable dinner at The Pumphouse Pub

It’s been a while since I attended a be dinner so when Micah Noble from Kooner Hospitality Group invited me to blog about their upcoming Odin Brewing dinner at The Pumphouse in Richmond I couldn’t resist. Odin was launching their newest beer, Sigrun IPA, at this particular dinner. I vaguely remember a conversation with the owners of Odin about how they weren’t going to do an IPA, I told them that was crazy talk. I’m sure my semi drunken rebuttal had little impact on their decision to jump into the ultra competitive IPA market but I’m glad they did. More about the IPA later, let’s get to the dinner shall we?

 

Asian chopped salad paired with Odin's Freya's Gold Kolsch style ale
Asian chopped salad paired with Odin’s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale

Course 1 was a nice Asian inspired chopped salad with crispy won tons and a ginger sesame dressing. It was paired with Odin’s Freya’s Gold Kolsch style ale. Odin’s claim to fame is their focus on brewing beers that pair well with food and this Kolsch is a great example of that. It’s light, mild and really pairs well with just about everything.

Buttermilk fried chicken with garlic mash paired with Odin Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale
Buttermilk fried chicken with garlic mash paired with Odin Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale

Next up was a tasty buttermilk fried chicken leg on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, comfort food 101. How can you go wrong with fried chicken and garlic mash? The breading was well seasoned, the potatoes were lump free. A very well put together southern classic. This dish was paired with Odin’s Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale, another light, clean and very versatile beer great for pairing with multiple dishes. As expected, this pairing worked quite well.

Beef and blue cheese house made pizza paired with Odin's Gift Nordic Amber Ale
Beef and blue cheese house made pizza paired with Odin’s Gift Nordic Amber Ale

Couse 3 was a rich and tasty beef and blue cheese pizza with a house made crust. Salty, tangy, meaty, awesome. This dish wasn’t a hit with everyone but I liked it a lot. It was paired with Odin’s Nordic Pale Ale (Odin’s Gift) and it was by far the best pairing of the night. Odin’s gift has a great juniper nose but is way more mellow than expected. Still, the pairing was perfect.

Coconut curry seafood baked rice paired with Odin's Sigrun IPA
Coconut curry seafood baked rice paired with Odin’s Sigrun IPA

The 4th course featured a baked coconut curry seafood rice and the afore mentioned Sigrun IPA. The rice dish was good but needed a little more seasoning (salt) and a little less time waiting to be served. The dinner had over 60 participants so it’s not surprising that  a dish or 2 might sit for a little too long. Now, the Sigrun IPA. In keeping with Odin’s other offerings this IPA isn’t the hop bomb that most IPA lovers were hoping for. it is a nice sessionable beer with a pleasant hop profile, maybe a good choice for a hot summer afternoon on a patio? The pairing could’ve used more heat (spice) in the curry.

Salted caramel banana custard tart pair with Odin's Thor's Equinox Strong Ale
Salted caramel banana custard tart pair with Odin’s Thor’s Equinox Strong Ale

The 5th and final course was a salted caramel banana custard tart. The picture isn’t a true representation of how it looked, I tried to remove the tart tin before taking the picture and sort of wrecked it…oops. Man handled looks aside this was a tasty tart, the custard was thick and creamy with nice banana chunks throughout. There was a thin layer of salted caramel at the bottom and a little whipped cream up top. It was pair with Odin’s Thor’s Equinox Strong Ale. Thor’s Equinor is an ass kicker at 9% abv but it is a nice balanced beer that pairs well with sweet food. Odin describes this beer as a “Belgian” style strong ale but there isn’t a whole lot of Belgian-y things going on in this beer, it’s more of an American strong or a thin porter.

Another solid beer dinner under my slowly tightening belt! Thanks to The Kooner Group for the invite, always a great time! Also it was nice to see the Beerthirst crew again, it’s been awhile.

Scott.

Side note… odinbrewing.wordpress.com??? Come on guys, spend the $13 and register a domain name.

Art of taste at Mosaic presented by VANEATS.ca

Running a restaurant in Vancouver can be tough with so much great competition out there. Mosaic at the Hyatt Regency has the added problem of not being located at street level, you’d have to look up to see their sign one story above the side walk. So how does a fantastic upscale hidden gem like Mosaic get noticed in this town? Enter VANEATS.ca and their dining packages. This package moves VANEATS.ca further upmarket then they’ve ever been and gives you arguably the best value of any package they’ve offered in the past. Called “Art of Taste”, it is a 3 course package for an outstanding $22. Chef Thomas Heinrich and his team deliver an excellent culinary experience. I had other menu items not included in the package so there will be a second post to cover those.

For your appetizer you can choose from the following,

Spring Salad
Spring Salad
Warm a la minute smoked Skuna Bay salmon
Warm a la minute smoked Skuna Bay salmon

The spring salad has house made sheep’s milk ricotta , fava beans and a mustard citrus dressing. The ricotta is fantastic and this salad is a tidy little package with all of the flavours complimenting one another. The a la minute smoked salmon is is so delicate and delicious and comes with an avocado terrine and drops of maple matured sherry bourbon oak vinegar gel and a little bit of decadent caviar on top. The salmon is from Skuna Bay, a world renowned salmon farm located near Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and is easily the best quality salmon I’ve ever eaten. Say what you want about farmed salmon, this fish is world class and is raised in way that few other fish farms can even come close to. They call it “Craft Raised salmon”. I like that description. The dish comes covered in a clear dome filled with smoke adding a slight smokiness and a treat for the nose when the dome is removed.

8 hour braised short rib
8 hour braised short rib
Long line caught BC ling cod
Long line caught BC ling cod

For your main course you have a choice of 2 dishes. The Spring Creek beef short rib dish is braised for an incredible 8 hours and is fork tender and full of rich flavour. It’s served with morel mushrooms, BC foraged ramps and sweet onions. This dish is aimed directly at carnivores who have a refined palate (or think that they do, like me). The Ling Cod is long line caught and grilled to perfection. Served with baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and bathed in dashi broth. I loved this dish. Dashi broth is a magical thing.

Mosaic's signature chocolate cake
Mosaic’s signature chocolate cake
Banana split
Banana split

There’s 2 desert choices as well and they’re both outstanding. The Chocolate cake is something out of a chocoholic’s fantasy. It’s a triple layer affair with dense moist cake and a healthy dose of amazing icing that’s texture is somewhere between mousse and fudge. The banana split has caramelized banana, fresh berries, honey almond brittle and of course vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. You can’t go wrong with either dessert, they’re both outstanding.

Conclusion. Mosaic is somewhere you should check out. It’s close to transit, has a great wine/beer (Craft too!)/cocktail list and offers the kind of fine dinning that Vancouver generally lacks in it’s popular restaurants de jour. They offer the highest quality ingredients, gorgeous plating (perhaps a few too many edible flowers but they are quite lovely) and an attentive and well trained staff. This kind of meal for $22 is something you don’t find everyday. You can purchase this package HERE.

Scott.

Legal stuff – My meal was complimentary for review purposes courtesy of Mosaic and VANEATS.ca. As always the fact that meal was free didn’t make it taste any different 🙂

Quick bite – Meat and Bread

Meat and Bread is everything that’s good about the Vancouver food scene. It’s fresh, fast, simple, cool, affordable (really) and it’s very good. They’ve been around for a while now but this was somehow my first visit. Meat and Bread has made an appearance on the Food Network’s uber popular show Diners, Drive – Ins and Dives featuring the inexplicably popular Guy Fieri in all of his frosted tip glory. During his visit he tried the Porchetta sandwich and mentioned the pork was “culinary gangster”. Mr. Fieri aside I think everywhere he visited in Vancouver deserves a look and Meat and Bread is as awesome as advertised.

Porchetta goodness
Porchetta goodness

The Porchetta sandwich is pure magic. Salty, but not too salty, tender and crispy at the same time and very fresh. $8 for a sandwich this good is a steal. Porchetta is a new thing to me but I think I might try to make it at home. The rolled up layers of pork (mostly boneless belly), fat, skin and stuffing make for a tasty filling all chopped up and drizzled with salsa verde all tucked inside a fresh ciabatta roll. So good.Porchetta1

Head to Hastings and Cambie st or Pender between Thurlow and Burrard (near Oceanic Plaza) to try it for yourself. If you work downtown it’s a great choice for lunch!

Twitter – @1meatandbread (Cambie) and @2meatandbread (Pender)

Facebook – meat-bread

Web – meatandbread.ca

Scott.

Quick bite – Merchants Oyster Bar

Sometimes life throws you little bonuses, finding Merchants Oyster Bar on Commercial Drive was certainly one of those moments. We had arrived early for dinner at another spot on The Drive and decided to wander down the street and grab a drink somewhere. The sandwich board outside of Merchants drew us in and I’m glad it did.

Bivalve love.
Bivalve love.

We had was 6 oysters and a drink or two as we had less than an hour to kill but wow, what a great little visit. The oysters are shucked to order and are super fresh. We just managed to get in before happy hour was over so the oysters were $1.50 each. There were 3 varieties available so we tried 2 of each, 2 Joyce Point, 2 Read Island and 2 Little Wings. The variations between the 3 varieties were subtle but noticeable and enhanced by the condiments. The perfect condiment combo for me is fresh squeezed lemon and lime, some Tabasco and a touch of horseradish. If you’ve never tried oysters (I know they look a little strange to the non adventurous among us) give them a chance. They’re right up there with fine wine, single malt scotch, Cuban cigars and films with subtitles. These are things that you need to develop an appreciation for but once you have it you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

Twitter – @MerchantsVan

Web – merchantsoysterbar.ca

Scott.

Falconetti’s East Side Grill presents #FalconettisFix with VANEATS.ca

You may recognize Falconetti’s East Side Grill from a little show called Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by the Food Network’s frosted tipped, backwards sunglasses wearing wunderkind Guy Fieri. Falconetti’s segment was pretty short but the food looked great and the atmosphere looked electric. I was asked by VANEATS.ca to check out their latest dining package called Falconetti’s Fix and I jumped at the opportunity having never been to Falconetti’s.

The package consists of Poutine with house made pepper gravy, house smoked pork ribs, a choice of any of their house made sausages and two rocks glasses of Phillips Blue Buck pale ale all for $16. The food was great, the poutine used shoestring fries which is a little different than most poutines on offer in Vancouver and the pepper gravy was salty, rich and delicious drizzled over real cheese curds.

#FalconettisFix package - $16
#FalconettisFix package – $16

The ribs were outstanding, I didn’t expect these ribs to be as good as they were because I’m a bit of a BBQ elitist. They were cooked just right, not falling off the bone but the bone came clean with little effort, The sauce was simple and had all the right levels of sweet, heat and salt.

For my sausage I chose the Sweet Italian which is made with fennel and basil and comes on a fresh toasted bun with artichoke dip (!) and peppers on top. The sausage had some nice heat and the artichoke dip on top was the perfect condiment. The Phillips Blue Buck is a nice, accessible craft beer for the craft beer novice and is a nice refreshing change from the hop bombs and barrel aged porters I’ve been drinking lately. at $16 this is certainly great value, something VANEATS.ca is known for.

Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops.
Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops.

In addition to the package my hot date and I also sampled a few items from the menu, First up were the Prawn and Prosciutto Lollipops. 4 medium sized prawns wrapped in salty prosciutto, seared and served individually on skewers with vodka cocktail sauce for dipping. Simple, well executed and delicious.

Mac N' Cheese Balls
Mac N’ Cheese Balls

Next up were the Crispy Panko Mac N’ Cheese Balls. Deep fried mac and cheese, how can this be the first time I’ve ever had this? Needless to say it was delicious but probably something that should be enjoyed in moderation.

The most surprising part about Falconetti’s is the second floor. First off I didn’t know they had a second floor and it has a roof that opens and the windows along Commercial Drive open up in warmer weather. The view of downtown Vancouver is beautiful and unexpected. I don’t often think of Commercial Drive as being somewhere with a great view.

Spend the $16 and go check out Falconetti’s, it’s one of a kind. Go to VANEATS.ca for details.

Scott.

Legal stuff – My package was provided at no charge by Falconetti’s for review purposes. All other food and drink orders were paid for by my hot date aka sugar mama aka Lyndsey 😉

Recipe – Creamy Cajun Chicken and Chorizo Linguine

This is my recipe for Creamy Cajun Chicken and Chorizo Linguine, be forewarned, this isn’t health food. I like to make this on a rainy day or when it’s cold out, the heat is a little much for a hot day but you can adjust that to your own taste.

Things you will need:

Some prepared ingredients
Some prepared ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes or small strips.
  • 2 whole Chorizo sausages chopped into small pieces
  • 2 ounces of linguine cooked al dente.
  • 1/4 cup of Cajun seasoning.   http://bbq.about.com/od/rubrecipes/r/bl90515b.htm
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • 1 bunch thinly sliced green onions.
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. (not the stuff in a plastic can…) .
Just before the cream is added
Just before the cream is added
The cream is almost thick enough
The cream is almost thick enough

 

Toss chicken and seasoning in a mixing bowl until chicken is coated. In a large pan, preferably a deep frying pan, add the butter and sauté chicken over medium high heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat and add green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and Chorizo and sauté for a few more minutes then add the heavy cream. Let simmer stirring often until cream starts to thicken and it is heated through. Add to pasta and toss with Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy!
Enjoy!

If you like more heat you can add chilli powder to the Cajun seasoning. Hope you like it, it’s kind of a Louisiana twist on an Alfredo sauce. Not sure where I found this recipe but it’s awesome.

Scott



Breakfast at Acme Cafe

The Downtown Eastside, a good breakfast and running into old friends. When you get all those things in one place you must be somewhere great! I love the DTES, it has an energy unmatched anywhere else in Vancouver. I know it has its share of troubles but you have to look past the obvious flaws, there’s so much good happening and so many amazing, misunderstood people trying to figure out where they fit into a city that has become completely unaffordable for them. Gentrification is an issue for another post but the restaurant scene in the DTES is growing and quickly becoming the place to be for Vancouver’s food lovers.

Baked egg scramble
Baked egg scramble

Acme Cafe has been around for awhile but this my my first visit and who do I run into? The uber handsome Dylan Redekop, Mr. morethanafeelingmusic.com himself! He was having breakfast with Tiffany (who I also know) and Brad ( who I now know). Small world. I love the look of Acme, an updated version of an old style diner. I ordered the Baked Egg Scramble, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese baked into eggs. The eggs were laying on a bed of shredded red skin potatoes and some sauteed mushrooms (shiitake I believe). Everything was high quality, very fresh and delicious. Even the multi grain toast was great (fresh bread) and the little cup of fruit salad was filled with juicy, firm, fresh fruit.

Acme Cafe is a winner, I’ll definitely be back.

Scott.