It seems like you guys like pictures of Vancouver. It’s a pretty good looking city so I don’t blame you. Sometimes I take pictures of our beautiful city from some interesting places. I like to sneak into areas that most people never see and show them what I see. Early in the morning before I start my day, during my lunch or after hours only, just to be clear…
Every now and then I find something on the internet that makes me happy. My latest internet addiction is Chris Harris on Cars. Chris Harris is a British automotive journalist who is the only person Ferrari has ever banned from testing its cars. Why did they ban him? He called them out for tuning their cars for journalist road/track tests. One car for the track, another for the drag strip, and another for the road all tuned to make them perfect for each test. Not exactly an honest practice for a car maker, even if it’s Ferrari. He found ways around their ban, mostly by driving privately owned Ferrari’s and now Ferrari loves him again.
Check out some of the videos he does for Drive Network. My favourite is the F40 vs F50 track test. I’ve never seen an F50 track tested and he rips the tires off of it.
This video is pretty funny if not slightly inaccurate. Hipsters do love beer but not just craft beer. Many hipsters can be seen drinking PBR in an ironic fashion. This video is really about the Urban Beer Snob. You know the who I’m talking about, the people more concerned about glass wear and other people’s opinions than they are about actually ENJOYING a nice beer. The kind of people who don’t think it’s good enough that a bar/restaurant only carries craft bottles. The Urban Beer Snob is most likely not a hipster, they’re regular folks with real jobs who show no visible signs of their elitist attitude.
White Rock’s Washington Avenue Grill, known to locals as The WAG, bills itself as an upscale casual dining restaurant. I have no idea what “upscale casual” is so let’s just slide right past that and get to the good stuff. Located at the east end of White Rock Beach The WAG is one of very few restaurants in the area that is actually on the water side of Marine Drive. The views are top shelf, there’s live music most nights, and there’s lots of free parking. The WAG has been around for years but this was my first visit.
I started with their Ahi Tuna Carpaccio, Shaved raw Ahi Tuna, cucumber ginger salsa, wasabi soy, wonton crisps. The Tuna was paper thin, fresh, and very tasty. The wasabi soy dressing added a nice salty heat and the wonton crisps added some much appreciated texture.
For my main I had the Sunday special, Surf and Turf for $22.99. A 10oz Flat Iron steak with prawns, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled veggies and a crab bearnaise sauce. The presentation of this dish is kind of off putting. The steak is sort of half on top of the potatoes making an odd beef ski hill for the copious amounts of crab bearnaise sauce to slalom down ending up in a pool at the side of the plate. You have to deconstruct it in order to eat it but once you do all of the pieces are tasty and well executed. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and I’m a big fan of flat iron steaks. The texture is a little tough due to how it’s cut (with the grain) but when cooked properly it’s a great piece of beef. The bearnaise sauce was good but there was WAY too much of it. The prawns, potatoes and veggies were all quite good.
For dessert our waitress recommended the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. It was everything I hoped it would be. Rich, sweet, salty, amazing. I’d recommend this to anyone.
There’s a pinkish hue to all of these pictures due to the candle on the table and some holiday lighting near my table. I could’ve used my flash but it wasn’t that kind of night. The service was outstanding, the live music was good (I usually hate live music at restaurants) and the prices are pretty comparable to other places on Marine Drive.
Would I go back? Maybe, free parking is great, being right along the water is a plus and they have a couple of craft beers in bottles on the menu. There are other places in White Rock with more modern décor and modern menus, the WAG feels a little dated but overall I would say it’s worth a try if you’ve never been.
It dawned on me today that I’ve never written about Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey. I hold events there, I’ve raised thousands of dollars for charity there but I’ve never REALLY written about their food or their house made beer. I wrote about some crazy hot chicken wings I had there once but they weren’t on the menu and you can’t get them any more. There was also another post I wrote 3 years ago about a pizza that’s no longer on the menu. Long story short it’s time for a new post.
So, it turns out I eat there a lot so I have lots of food to tell you about, hang in there, we’ll get through this together. First up is the Wok Fried Garlic Squid. Battered squid tossed in jalapeños, shallots, and lots of garlic. This is a favourite of mine and most of my friends.
The pizzas are great too. There’s 8 to choose from and on Sunday they’re only $9 and they’re pretty big. My favourites are the Meat Lovers (shocking, I know) and the Beef Taco pizza. Yum.
The Short Ribs are a new thing for me but they’ve been on the menu for awhile. They’re grilled in a Korean inspired steak sauce and the texture is just right. I’d definitely order them again.
The Onion Rings are some of the best in town. Thick cut, beer battered with a black pepper Parmesan dip.
The Steak Sandwich is my go to meal for lunch with my daughter. A 6oz Flat Iron steak that’s ALWAYS cooked to perfection (mid rare for me) that’s marinated for 24 hours. It’s served open face on a garlic buttered baguette with 3 onion rings and fries of salad.
The Meatloaf is HUGE! It comes smothered in a rich mushroom gravy with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The meatloaf itself is seasoned well and has a great meaty texture that isn’t too soft.
The Beer poached sausage is a favourite when I’ve been drinking a lot of their delicious in house craft beers. Beer poached Toulouse sausage grilled and served in a rustic baguette, deli mustard, beer braised onions. It’s rich and delicious and pairs well with many beers.
The Kung Pow is arguably the best dish in the Asian Kitchen section of the menu (although their Butter Chicken is also good and pretty legit, I would know, I grew up in Newton). Water chestnuts, baby corn, carrots, celery, bell peppers, onion & roasted peanuts, wok tossed with dark vinegar & spicy chilies, served with steamed jasmine rice. It’s got a little heat too which is fine by me. You can order it with chicken, shrimp, or as a vegetarian dish.
The last dish I have a picture of is the Mac and Cheese. Baked three cheese macaroni with a crisp panko shell. I get mine with chorizo sausage because it’s the right thing to do.
The best part about Big Ridge? The beer! Brewed on site by Brewmaster Nicholas Bolton, the beer is always super fresh and very consistent. It’s also a really good deal with 20oz pints selling for 25 cents an ounce! That’s $5 for those of you who don’t like math. On Sunday pints are $4. So good.
The Clover Ale is a classic west coast American style IPA and is my beer of choice. There’s always a seasonal beer on tap and every Friday is cask night. You can only get their beer on tap but they have something for everyone from a lager all they way to a porter. You can also fill you growler at Big Ridge no matter where it’s from. Don’t have a growler? That’s ok, you can buy one of theirs!
It’s hard to find a place where craft beer fans with kids can go that isn’t a huge chain. The kids menu is great and my daughter and I have made Sunday lunches at Big Ridge a weekly tradition.
Big Ridge Brewing Company is a haven in the Fraser Valley for lovers of craft beer and good food. If you’ve never been you’re missing out. They also have a free shuttle (Tips are recommended, by me…)from 8pm to close Thursday to Saturday that will pick you up and take you home so you don’t have to worry about alcohol and driving. That’s awesome.
Karma stuff – Every now and then the boss man floats me a free beer of food item but I’ve probably spent more money at Big Ridge over the last 3 years than all other restaurants and bars combined. The opinions of the food and beer are mine and mine alone. Big Ridge is great.
Glen Valley Regional Park is located on River Road in Langley/Abbotsford between 272nd Street and the dead end of River Road just east of Bradner Road. There’s lots to see and do at the parks 3 popular sand bars, Two Bit Bar, Poplar Bar and the seasonal Duncan Bar. Fishing, hiking, the historic Hassall House from 1917. These are all great but there is a hidden gem just out of sight that not many people know about unless you’re a local. Along the banks of the Fraser River there are dozens of old cars sitting, and in some cases embedded, into the dirt and clay. I haven’t been able to find the reason they’re here but one would assume it was for road fill, riverbank stabilization, or they were just dumped. If anyone knows more please let me know in the comments below.
Cars ranging from the 20’s/30’s up to the late 60’s pack the shoreline from just east of Two Bit Bar to just west of Poplar Bar, they may go farther but I didn’t have time to investigate and Chuck Taylor’s are not proper footwear for a river bank walkabout. I visited this place a decade ago on a motorcycle trip with my friend Doug and the cars were much more prominent. There have been some floods in the Glen Valley area since then and I’m sure these cars won’t be there forever. Check out the rest of the photos I took and the map at the end of this post.
If you want to go check out Glen Valley Regional Park here’s a handy map.