What happens when blogs die.

Today I read that one of my favourite blogs was shutting down. More Than A Feeling Music is curated by my friend Dylan Redekop. I’ve known Dylan for over 10 years, we met working for Home Depot in Abbotsford. I lost touch with Dylan after he left for other work and I had moved to a store closer to home. The magic of social media reunited us in 2010 and his blog inspired me to start this blog. This made me consider the lifespan of this blog and how long I intend to keep it going. I certainly don’t do it for the money as there is none. The perks are nice but in most cases I would still review places without being comped. I find it uncomfortable to receive a bill with nothing or very little on it when the staff have worked just as hard to serve me as they would for anyone else. Big tips balance out my karma, at least I hope they do.

My weekday version of creativity
My weekday version of creativity

This is going to be slightly hard to follow but try and stay with me. I often lament my job. Sure, I get paid very well to do what I do and I think I’m pretty good at it. That being said I feel I’m a fairly creative person. Being an elevator mechanic there is little room for creativity. My trade demands concentration and a commitment to quality and safety that make me proud of the work I do everyday. This blog offers me an outlet for that creativity and I find myself longing for more. New photography projects, new social clubs, new charitable projects, it’s just my way of throwing creativity at the wall and seeing what sticks.

These are not the hands of privilege.
These are not the hands of privilege.

Then something happens that makes me appreciate the blue collar skills I possess. Today my dishwasher broke. It wouldn’t drain and filled up with water which proceeded to leak out onto the floor. Most people I know would be helpless and would need a plumber to fix it costing them lost time and money. I don’t have to call anyone. I took off the covers at the bottom of the dishwasher and after some investigating found that the solenoid that opens the drain was binding. Over time it had rotated slightly putting sideways load onto the shaft. A quick adjustment and some loctite fixed it right up.

This is what I do, it's so much more than a hobby.
This is what I do, it’s so much more than a hobby.

What the hell does that have to do with a blog shutting down? Nothing, as far as I know blogs just “exist” after they are left for dead. I know that when it’s time to put WFLBC into mothballs I’ll have lots of great memories, slightly higher cholesterol, and the peace of mind that in the end it’s just a hobby. I’ll be more than happy turning my wrenches and picking the dirt out from under my fingernails everyday. The only thing that matters is my family and when it’s time to go I will have no regrets.

The only thing that truly matters.
The only thing that truly matters.

Scott.

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The End of an Era? MTAF’s Final Post

My buddy Dylan is putting his great music blog into retirement. I’ll miss it, but I know I’ll still see Dylan around this great city of ours.

MoreThanAFeeling

They say all good things must come to an end.

In May of 2010 I was working in construction, in my first year of university, and devouring new music by the boatload. Not only was I listening to new music, I was constantly seeking it out in hopes of finding my next favourite artist. This blog was born out of this earnest passion and genuine yearning to spread the new ‘indie’ music gospel. I wanted as many people as possible to experience these acts that had rejuvenated my love for music.

When I started up MoreThanAFeeling Music Blog back in May of 2010, I was overwhelmed with the constant discovery of new fantastic music. At the time, I was 100% tuned in to 100.5 the Peak (now 102.7) who were monumental in shaping my new music tastes. New discoveries consisted of Yukon Blonde, Band of Horses, Tegan and Sara, Modest…

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My favourite eats of 2013

2013 was a good year for my taste buds, maybe not so much for my pant size. Here’s some of my favourite meals from 2013!

Sous Vide Lamb
Sous Vide Lamb – Mosaic Bar and Grill
Cauliflower steak
Cauliflower steak – Mosaic Bar and Grill
Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter – Edith and Arthur Public House
Nigiri
Nigiri – Noma Sushi
Chipotle Braised Pork Belly
Chipotle Braised Pork Belly – Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille
Queso Fundido
Queso Fundido – La Mezcaleria
Peace Country Lamb Chop
Peace Country Lamb Chop – Cache Bistro
Sexy sexy cheese skirt
Sexy sexy cheese skirt – Gordy’s Cafe
Fantastic risotto and another great wine pairing.
Risotto – Mosaic Bar and Grill
Tuna Tataki
Tuna Tataki – Rajio Public House
Mini carpaccio
Mini Seafood Carpaccio – Rajio Public House
Tacos, so hot right now. Tacos.
Tacos, so hot right now. Tacos – The Taco Shack
Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad
Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad – Grain Tasting Bar
3 piece snack pack
Fried Chicken – Mags 99 Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina
The Brownstone Burger
The Brownstone Burger – Mr. Brownstone
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Lobster Mac and Cheese – Mr. Brownstone
Buffalo Brats
Buffalo Brats – Beast and Brine
Amazing Avonlea clothbound cheddar
Amazing Avonlea clothbound cheddar – Beast and Brine
Heritage Bacon (The BEST)
Heritage Bacon (The BEST) – Beast and Brine
Nat's Pizza
Mac and Cheese pizza (and pepperoni but…) – Nat’s New York Pizzeria
Porchetta goodness
Porchetta goodness – Meat and Bread
Crab Cakes
Crab Cakes – Eight and a Half Resto-lounge
Chacuterie Board - Alta Bistro
Chacuterie Board – Alta Bistro
Chili Prawns - Tap Restaurant
Chili Prawns – Tap Restaurant
Braised Beef Cheek with Risotto - Goodwolfe Kitchen and Bar
Braised Beef Cheek with Risotto – Goodwolfe Kitchen and Bar
No WFLBC list would be complete without BBQ! - Hog Shack Cook House
No WFLBC list would be complete without BBQ! – Hog Shack Cook House

Let’s see what 2014 puts on my plate!

Scott.

New photography project – Where In Vancouver

Instagram is pretty cool, right? My personal/blog account is a mix of food, architecture, my kid, and random other stuff thrown in. I wanted to start a side project that was somewhat unique and a little more focused than my regular Instagram page. Where In Vancouver is very simple, 2 pictures per day taken within seconds of each other. One of my feet pointing in the direction I’m looking, up for north, left for east, down for south and right for west. The second picture is the view my feet are pointing at. Pretty simple right?

I’ll be using a Nexus 4 from Monday to Friday during the day and a Nexus 5 for weekends and evenings.

Check out the first 3 days of Where In Vancouver

Day 1. Facing east.
Day 1. Facing east.
Day 1. The Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.
Day 1. The Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.
Day 2. Facing south.
Day 2. Facing south.
Day 2. A murder of crows near Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby.
Day 2. A murder of crows near Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby.
Day 3. Facing south.
Day 3. Facing south.
Day 3. A 1950's Texaco gas station on 216th street in Langley.
Day 3. A 1950’s Texaco gas station on 216th street in Langley.

 

You can follow Where In Vancouver on Instagram – @whereinyvr and on Twitter – @WhereInYVR . To see more pictures of peoples shoes (because why wouldn’t you) check out the #whereistand hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Scott.

 

 

 

What’s happening for NYE – An SFBC/WFLBC Guide

Ah New Years Eve, the one night of the year when married people with kids leave the house and get totally hammered. Thankfully the married people I know aren’t as lame as the stereotype suggests. So what’s happening on this side of the Fraser River for NYE? Here’s some of our recommendations.

This could be you!
This could be you!

Uli’s Restaurant in White Rock is doing a 5 course menu for $69 per person. Check out the menu HERE. You can add wine pairings for $25. Uli’s is always great and White Rock Beach is a beautiful place to ring in the new year. For those of you who don’t want to stay up late there’s an early seating with reservations from 4-6:45 for $40. Call 604-538-9373 to make a reservation.

Tap Restaurant in South Surrey is doing an 8 course dinner from 7pm-10pm. The idea is that people will go to their party afterwards as they will be closed by 11pm. Space is extremely limited so they are encouraging people to book asap. When you make your reservation, you should mention if there are any allergies or food limitations. The 8 course tasting menu (check it out here) is $125 per person and there will be suggested wine pairings. Contact Tap Restaurant at 604-536-1954 for reservations.

The Pumphouse Pub in Richmond is doing a 5 course dinner paired with your choice of wine or craft beer for $50. It includes party favours and champagne at midnight. Contact the Pumphouse at 604-274-7424 for details and reservations.

The Joseph Richard Group is having all kinds of NYE events all over town. There are beer pairing dinners, canapés, champagne and more at all of their locations throughout the South Fraser region and in Coquitlam. Check out their blog for details and reservation info.

Mandalay Lounge in Steveston Is going all out with 2 NYE seatings. The early one, from 6:30-8:30, is a 3 course dinner for $49 and it gets you home in time to watch the ball drop in Times Square at 9pm in case you wanted to pretend you lived in New York. The second seating is from 8:30-1:30 and features a 4 course dinner with party favours and a champagne toast at midnight for $89. Check out the details HERE.

Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey is doing a 3 course dinner for $35 with a champagne toast and party favours at midnight. I hear there’s an awesome new seasonal on the way that should still be around for NYE. You guys are going to love it! Call 604-574-BREW for reservations!

One of my personal favourites, Hog Shack Cook House in Steveston, is keeping it simple but there are some NYE specials to compliment their amazing BBQ menu. $12 appetizer crab cakes, Smoked prime rib dinner with potatoes and vegetables for $23, and a skillet chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream for $8. Add their amazing craft beer line up and it’s hard to say no! Call 604-272-7264 for reservations.

Central City Pub in Downtown Surrey is doing something although we aren’t sure what yet… When we hear what it is we’ll update this post. You could always hit up the new brewery for a growler fill before 5pm on NYE and party safely at home!

O’Hare’s Gastro Pub in Richmond is doing a “Celtic New Year”. They celebrate New Year’s at 4pm on the 31st when the clock strikes midnight in Ireland.  Live band 3-8pm, Irish Dancers @ 5pm, great food and drink features and then they close at 10pm so you can spend New Years at home with your loved ones.

If you hear of any other South Fraser NYE parties that you think we’d like feel free to share them in the comments!

Remember to plan  safe ride home!!

Scott

Noma Sushi – A top notch sushi joint in Langley

Good sushi and Langley are 2 words that are rarely seen in the same sentence. Sure, there’s decent sushi in Langley but nothing that truly holds up to the presentation and quality you see as you get closer to Vancouver. Noma Sushi, located in a brand spanking new retail strip mall development in Willoughby, aims to change my mind about Langley’s Sushi reputation.

Miso soup
Miso soup

My meal started with the obligatory miso soup, nothing really earth shattering here but it’s just miso soup which is pretty much the same everywhere. Actually that’s not true, I’ve had some AWFUL miso soup, this one was good.

Spicy Roll Combo
Spicy Roll Combo

The first thing to arrive was the Spicy Roll Combo, dynamite roll, spicy tuna roll, and spicy salmon roll. The dynamite roll was a pretty standard example but it was rolled very well and didn’t fall apart like a lot of “Fraser Valley” sushi tends to. The spicy tuna and spicy salmon rolls were good with lots of fresh seafood flavour and a little heat from the hot sauce mixed right into the chopped fish. They weren’t the best spicy rolls I’ve had, those come from Mega Sushi in Steveston, and these could’ve done with a little more flare in the presentation and ingredient area. Overall though they were good.

Nigiri
Nigiri

Next up was 3 pieces of Nigiri, 2 red tuna (probably Maguro) and 1 toro. The toro was unbelievably fresh and the fatty texture was amazing. It was fairly pale in colour but wow, so good. The tuna was equally impressive. Super fresh and so tasty. I almost wish I had skipped the Spicy Roll Combo and ordered more Nigiri, almost.

Red Dragon Roll
Red Dragon Roll

I usually try a special roll when I visit a sushi place for the first time and Noma has a lot to choose from. The Red Dragon Roll is prawn, crab meat, avocado, cucumber, and BBQ eel with spicy tuna on top. Beautiful presentation, great flavours, well rolled. As far as special rolls go this one could hold its own in any sushi place in Vancouver.

Noma Sushi is located at 20678 Willoughby Town Centre Drive in Langley. Check them out on Facebook – NomaJapaneseRestaurant

Thanks to Sheldon for taking me out to see what’s good in Langley!

Scott

Four Winds Brewing dinner at Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille

Delta’s Four Winds Brewing is quickly making a name for itself around town as a major player in the local craft beer scene. Every new release is seemingly better than the last and I haven’t found a Four Winds beer that wasn’t outstanding. My latest beer dinner adventure took place at Sharkey’s in Ladner where Chef Brent Fahl put together a 4 course dinner, each course paired with one of Four Wind’s delightful beers.

Four Winds ESB
Four Winds ESB

The first course was a punchy bold move by Chef Fahl. A Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, grilled romaine hearts, poached BC pears, lots of crumbled blue cheese, red onions, and a sundried tomato vinaigrette. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, but really why wouldn’t you be, this salad probably would’ve haunted your dreams for weeks. I, however, love blue cheese in all of its forms and this salad had the right punch and balance to make the copious amounts of cheese work. It was paired with Four Winds Wet Hopped ESB. This beer is incredible, the fresh hops are on full display here and the ESB’s malty nature gives them a counterpoint which a lot of “fresh hopped” beers seem to lack. The pairing worked very well too matching the strong flavours of the salad with heavy handed hops and malt, but not in a bad way.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Course 2 was Chipotle Braised Pork Belly. Beer brined oven braised pork belly, chipotle BBQ sauce, garlic beer fries and roasted butternut squash. The pork belly was tender and juicy with a great crust around the edge. The BBQ sauce was smoky with minimal heat. The fries were great, garlic and salt is something that is hard to mess up. The squash was also tasty but 2 starches was a heavy choice. This dish could’ve used something lighter like coleslaw or pickle slices. It was paired with Four Winds IPA. IPA’s are a perfect pairing for anything smoky or spicy and Four Winds makes a great IPA.

Chipotle Braised Pork Belly
Chipotle Braised Pork Belly

The 3rd course was Crab Cakes. Crispy fried panko breading with a cucumber and wasabi sauce, basmati rice and fresh pea shoots. The crab cakes were a nice size and texture,. They had the right balance of savoury seasoning to accent the sweetness of the crab meat. The cucumber and wasabi sauce could’ve used a little more wasabi and the rice needed a little seasoning but the crab cakes themselves were very good. The Four Winds Saison paired well here. I wish it had been the recently released Saison Brett but the standard saison is equally as amazing.

Crab cakes
Crab cakes

The 4th and final course was a rich Molasses Sponge Cake with vanilla ice cream and candied lemon zest. The cake was great, it had a gingerbread like taste from the molasses and it was super fresh and moist. The candied lemon zest was outstanding, I wish there was more! This rich dessert was paired with Four Winds Malted Oat Porter. This was my first time trying their porter and it’s fairly full bodied for a dark beer that tips the scales at 5.5% abv. The chocolate notes pair well with the molasses. 4 courses, 4 great pairings. Nicely done Sharkey’s!

Molasses Sponge Cake
Molasses Sponge Cake

Follow Sahrkey’s on Twitter @sharkeyladner or on Facebook at Sharkeys-Seafood-Bar-Grille and Four Winds is @FourWindsBrewCo and FourWindsBrewingCo.

Sharkey’s and Four Winds are both South Fraser Beer Club approved!

Scott.