To say that Tequila and I have a chequered past is an understatement. Being invited to a menu tasting at a restaurant that serves high end tequila and it’s handsome cousin, mezcal, sounded risky. Especially on a week night. La Mezcaleria is the sister restaurant of Vancouver’s popular La Taqueria restaurants and offers a slightly less “taco-centric” menu of traditional Mexican food with an exceptional list of tequila and mezcal. Let’s start with the booze.
Mezcal is made from the Agave plant and has a smoky taste that reminds me of single malt scotch from the Islay region of Scotland. Tequila itself is actually a form of mezcal made from the blue agave plant. I started the night off with a mezcal flight. 3 one ounce tasters that come with fresh squeezed lime juice and house made sangrita. I was told to drink the tasters in the order of the colours on the Mexican flag, Green (lime juice), white (mezcal), red (sangrita). It’s great advice, I tried drinking in different combinations and the proper way was easily the best. The fresh lime juice opens up the taste buds and enhances the smoky mezcal. The Sangrita is peppery and cleanses the palate between sips. Sangrita almost reminds me of a Caesar but it’s thicker and the flavours are more concentrated. The 3 mezcals I tried were Siete Misterios, Fidencio Clasico, and Rey Zapoteco. The Siete Mesterios was my favourite, I like the smokey undertones and fruity aroma.
The first food to arrive was the Queso Fundido, a molten cheese fondue served in a volcanic (read incredibly hot) rock molcajete. I chose chorizo for mine but salsa verde is also an option. It comes with warm tortillas to scoop the molten cheese into. This stuff is like crack, I could eat this until my stomach exploded. The best part is the last bits at the bottom of the bowl that are crispy and a little burnt. Burnt cheese is so good. I could gush about this stuff for another 500 words or so, just go try it.
For my main I had Parillada, grilled beef short ribs marinated in house made pasilla chile sauce with Mexican chorizo, nopalitos, toreado peppers and green onions. It came with warm tortillas and an assortment of sauces to add some flavour or heat or whatever combo you want. The short ribs were tender, moist and full of flavour, the chorizo was amazing and the onions and nopalitos were a nice filler. Nopalitos are diced cactus (prickly pear) stems, they’re quite good. Once again I was advised on how to construct my food for the best taste and once again the suggestion was much better than what I would’ve paired up. Eat the shortrib with the onions and the chorizo with the cactus, not all together. My dining companion had the Enchiladas Clasicas with chicken and green tomatillo. It was incredibly flavourful and produced a lot of colourful language describing how good it was. I didn’t have any but I trust their judgement.
La Mezcaleria is located at 1622 Commercial Drive.
Karma stuff – The food and drinks for both me and my guest were provided free of charge by La Mezcaleria for review purposes. That being said I’m already planning my next visit, it’s fantastic.
102.7 The Peak’s 2013 Peak Performance Project (PPP) has entered the voting phase. This is your chance to vote for your favourite artist and help them win 102.7 thousand dollars towards their music careers. This year’s top 20 is packed with talented musicians and bands and I’m going to let you in on WFLBC’s top 3!
In no particular order (but lets be honest, we all know I voted for Bodhi) here are my top 3 picks for the 2013 PPP. Surrey BC’s own Good For Grapes are competing for the first time. They have a great sound and have a bright future ahead of them. Here’s their latest video “Renminbi Tips”
Rolla Olak, originally from Vancouver Island, Is in the PPP for the first time as well. He has a great folk vibe and his song “Magic Spell” is on heavy rotation at the WFLBC offices, check it out.
Bodhi Jones, the man, the myth, the legend, is competing in his 3rd PPP. Originally from Salt Spring Island Bodhi is a tallented singer/songwriter with a deep catalogue of original music. Check out one of my favourite tracks off “Bones”, Bodhi’s latest album. “Suitcase Packed”
VOTE NOW! Voting closes at 5pm PST on October 25th.
Well, moustache season is almost upon us. This will be my 5th Movember and I have organized a few cool Movember get together’s centred around craft beer. Beer and Men’s Health? Probably not 2 things you would normally hear together but that’s the point! Craft beer is a healthier alternative to mass produced lagers form huge breweries because they’re not full or artificial preservatives and fillers.
Here’s the deal, we’re having 2 events and we’ve formed our very own Movember team that you can join. Our first event will be on Thursday November 7th at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey. Head Brewer Nick Bolton has a cask of Burt Reynolds Moustache Ale for us (Rodeo Red with butter ripple and rum!) with proceeds going to Movember along with a 50/50 draw run by CAMRA South Fraser. We’re tapping the cask at 5pm, join us!
Event number 2 is at Edith and Arthur in Fleetwood on Thursday November 14th at 6pm. This great little pub is part of the Joseph Richard Group and has craft beers on tap. Of course my favourite thing about E&A is that I can walk there :-). The Canucks take on the Sharks that night and CAMRA will be doing a Movember 50/50 draw as well as spreading the good word about craft beer. Mkae sure you say Hi to Megan from CAMRA South Fraser as she’ll be running this one due to prior commitments for me and my liver.
WFLBC encourages you to JOIN OUR TEAM and support Men’s Health! I look forward to seeing you guys out and about this Movember and I can’t wait to see your awesome moustaches! Can’t grow a Mo? No worries, it happens. You can still be a Mo supporter or a Mo Sista! Sign up!
Is sushi healthy? Well, it can be but you have to be concious of what you’re eating. Sashimi is the only sure fire thing that you can count on to be low in fat and salt. Salt and fat are very prevalent in North American style sushi, especially special rolls. Shizen Ya takes Japanese cuisine and gives it health concious makeover with brown rice, low salt content with no MSG, no additives, organic greens and lots of vegetarian options. At this point you’re probably asking yourselves “why the hell was Scott eating at this place?!” Like I said we’re trying to branch out a little at WFLBC. Car reviews, healthy food… It’s crazy days around the office. Turns out that Shizen Ya is really good. The fact that it’s a healthier option is a bonus.
I ordered the chicken udon lunch special that comes with a salad, a 3pc dynamite roll and a 3pc salmon roll. The salad was just like a traditional green salad you’d get at any other sushi joint except the organic greens are way more interesting that iceberg lettuce and the miso dressing is less oily and less salty than the norm.
I was pretty sceptical about the rolls, brown rice sushi has always seemed a little off to me. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the fact that the rice plays a bigger part in the flavour of the roll but I’ve never been a fan. These rolls manage to maintain the texture of a regular non brown rice roll and the rice didn’t affect the flavour as much as I’m used to. The dynamite roll was actually small enough to eat in one bite without looking like an idiot and the salmon rolls were super fresh and tasty. These are the best brown rice rolls I’ve had, period.
The chicken udon is the least oily, least salty soup I’ve ever had at a restaurant. You may think that’s a bad thing but it actually means you can taste things other than the broth. The chicken breast is also unseasoned and very lean. the udon noodles are fat and perfectly cooked and there’s some gomae on top for and extra hit of healthy. It all sounds really bland but they bring a small shaker of seasoning for you to add to your soup that has some heat and let’s you control your own sodium intake. It all works and for under $10 this is a very filling lunch.
Shizen Ya is a great healthy alternative to traditional sushi. They have two locations, one on West Broadway at Spruce and another at Hornby and Nelson.
As you can see from this 1944 image, the Yale Hotel has been called by that name for many years. When it was first built in 1889 it was called the Colonial Hotel, and it was hooked up to the water system in July of 1889 a few months after the Golden Gate Hotel a block to the north, although the Yale wasn’t advertised as complete until 1890. It was designed by N S Hoffar who seemed to have designed eight or nine projects a year in the city at this time, and built for J W Horne, a keen investor in land and buildings with a close connection to the CPR. At one point his assets were said to be second in value only to the CPR themselves.
While it’s been stated that the building survived the fire having been built as a bunkhouse for the CPR, there’s no evidence that this is…
What is this, WFLBC is reviewing cars now? Let’s be honest, most guys love cars and I’m no different. Strap me into a high horsepower machine and set me free!! The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec is Hyundai’s first crack at a sports sedan and they hit a lot of the right notes. A 5 litre V8 pumping out 429 horsepower/376 foot pounds of torque mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission with bigger front brakes, retuned steering and a stiffer anti roll bar out back. It’s a nice jump from the 333 horsepower V6 model. So is the Genesis on par with the V8 powered German sports sedans from which it’s modelled after?
The exterior styling of the Genesis is beautiful. Great proportions, nice lines from every angle and a low, aggressive stance. The ride is a little choppy over uneven surfaces which would lead you to believe that it was tuned for handling. It is not. This car feels heavy (it is heavy) and has a lot more body roll than expected for a “sports sedan”. The seats don’t offer much lateral support either so if you want to throw this thing around in the twistys you better hold on to something.
The V8 heart of this car is where it really shines. The 429 hp are ready and willing at any rpm and with the traction control turned off this thing is a first class tire shredder. I heard from a pretty good source that this very car thoroughly embarrassed a new Camaro on its way out to Surrey. Imagine the feeling of watching a 4 door Hyundai leave you in the dust in your shiny new muscle car. Ouch. 0-60 MPH takes a scant 5.2 seconds and a quarter mile flies by in 13.7 seconds at 103 MPH.
The interior is very high quality with stitched leather panels on the dash and doors, full leather seats that are heated all around and cooled for the driver. The surfaces that aren’t leather are nice soft touch materials but there are still a few cheap plasticy bits here and there. The main issue with the interior is the lack of style, it’s very plain and looks like it belongs in a 10 year old Toyota Avalon. The centre touch screen is a nice size but the angle it’s mounted at makes glare an issue. The 17 speaker 528 watt audio system is fantastic, the rear seats are very spacious and the trunk is absolutely massive.
This Korean rocket ship will lighten your wallet to the tune of just under $55,000 which makes it much more affordable than the German sports sedans it so desperately wants to be. That being said a new Chrysler 300 SRT costs under $47,000, has 470 horsepower, crushes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and has a much nicer interior (seriously, it’s nicer than you think).
The verdict? The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec is a solid first effort at a sports sedan from an auto maker that has improved it’s quality (both actual and perceived) a great deal over the last decade. It’s great bang for your buck and a hoot to drive in a straight line however there are faster, cheaper, nicer cars out there.
Thanks to Dennis Pang for making the “dangerous” trip out to Bridgeview in Surrey so I could check this car out.
Every now and then someone at a big multi national corporation leaves the interns with the keys to the advertising department and great things happen. Take Hot pockets, produced by Nestle, and their latest online ad featuring Snoop Dog (who I thought had changed his name to Snoop Lion? Right??), Kate Upton and a few cameos. Remember Biz Markie? Take his hit song “Just A Friend”, make it about Hot Pockets, add in some Minecraft/getting high references and you get this…
I posted a picture of myself on Instagram/Twitter the other day and got some pretty funny responses. My favourite was “the man behind the tweets. It’s like seeing the wiz of Oz!” from Coralie on Twitter. I guess it never occurred to me that people wanted to know about me as well as whatever I happen to be writing about. Well, let’s fix that.
I’m Scott, I’m pretty sure most of you know my name but just in case. I was born in Edmonton, spent a few years in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, as a kid and I’ve lived in Surrey BC since early 1988. I went to Elmcrest Elementary in Mississauga, T.E. Scott Elementary and Frank Hurt Secondary School in Surrey. I have a sister who lives in Cloverdale with her husband and their 2 amazing kids and I still live within 10 minutes of my mom and dad.
I think a lot of you know about my daughter Hayley because a lot of the things I do are somehow related to her. She has Cerebral Palsy and I try to incorporate fundraising for various charities that benefit children’s organizations into any events I have. She is my hero and is the strongest person I’ve ever known.
I started this blog back in May of 2010 after Hayley came home from the hospital, she was 3 and a half months premature so she was in there for awhile. During that time I ate exclusively at restaurants and talking about them was the only normal thing that allowed me to think about something other than the hospital and whether or not my daughter was ever going to come home. The blog has evolved since the early days, It used to be called What’s For Lunch BC and was really only about what I ate for lunch. That got old pretty fast. These days I mostly write about food and adult beverages with some local politics and the occasional rant thrown in for fun.
I have a real job that is always a big shock to everyone that I meet. Most bloggers are Social Media pros, Graphic designers etc. Generally more white collar or arts related where as I fix elevators from Monday to Friday. It usually takes me awhile to get all the dirt out from under my fingernails before I attend an event but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My job is as interesting and amazing as it sounds and that’s all I have to say about that.
I am a Craft Beer enthusiast and I love Scotch. Islay single malts are my jam but I’ve been known to wander styles and even countries. Japan is making some amazing “Scotch” at the moment. I love bacon, I don’t like avocados or coconut although with coconut it’s the texture I don’t like, not the taste.
I love sports, Hockey, Lacrosse, Football, Soccer, Golf, Motorsports. I’m an Oilers fan (feel free to unfollow me), a Seahawks and Patriots fan and a Whitecaps FC fan. I played Hockey and Lacrosse growing up and I am a HUGE believer that kids should play sports.
I had no idea that this would ever be anything more than an outlet for my random thoughts about food. I’ve met a lot of amazing people and gained many new friends because of this blog. Thanks for spending a few minutes every now and then reading about my adventures.