Can you believe that Hog Shack Cook House in Steveston is turning 3 years old? To celebrate this milestone they are holding an event, SWINEFEST 2013! On Wednesday October 9th at 6:30 pm (reception at 6 pm) you have the opportunity to enjoy the best BBQ in Vancouver along with some amazing craft beer, including… wait for it… a cask of Driftwood Brewing’s highly sought after Sartori Harvest IPA! Tickets are $65 ($57 for CAMRA members so SIGN UP!!!) and here’s what you get, (I totally stole this from their website)
Join us for an evening of debauchery as Hog Shack celebrates its 3 yr anniversary and our team serves you a competition level BEER & BBQ FEAST like no other! This is our once a year flagship event.
Walking away with several top finishes and awards this past BBQ competition season, Hog Shack’s Chef John Lim Hing will put together a mind blowing Kansas City style BBQ buffet where you will indulge in the city’s finest smoked meats.
Allan and John will pair their top 6 beers of 2013 they have personally chosen to indulge with the SWINEFEST MENU.
One of those beers will be the highly sought after Driftwood “Sartori Harvest Ale” in a CASK!
There will be LOTS of door prizes to win, and an entire evening of BEER & BBQ mayhem.
5 X 10oz pours of amazing Craft Beer
1 X 16oz CASK POUR of Driftwood’s “Sartori Harvest Ale”
THE FINE PRINT
-Must be 19 yr or older to attend
-Please notify us of any allergy concerns by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 days prior to the event
After being a part of the Hog Shack Competition BBQ team for the past year I can tell you that you’re in for a treat. Competition BBQ is like nothing you’ve had before, here’s a shot of some of Johnny’s turn in boxes from this year’s PNWBA events.
And a Sartori Harvest cask?! You can guarantee you’ll see me at this celebration of smoked meat and hops.
Main street is a great place for food lovers to wander around and discover new culinary gems in our fair city. Particularly between 5th Ave and King Edward Ave. There are great places to eat on every block and it seems there’s somewhere new opening up all the time. My latest Main street find is Mr. Brownstone located on the east side of Main at 13th Ave right beside Parallel 49 Coffee. Mr. Brownstone serves up modern takes on comfort food classics, great craft beers and BC wines on tap and offers live music featuring some great local artists. I was invited to try a few items from their menu, find a comfy chair because I ate a lot…
First up are some delicious fried brussel sprouts with parmesan cheese, shallots and lemon. It’s pretty widely known around Vancouver that the Glowbal Group does some of the best brussel sprouts in town but these ones are easily on par with theirs and they’re priced very well. Just $7 for a good portion where Glowbal’s come in at $6.75 for a much smaller portion.
Next up was a really cool twist on a classic pub dish, nachos. Mr. Brownstone’s are made with crispy fried wontons in place of tortilla chips. They’re topped with tomatoes, green olives, jalapenos and a nice mix of rich cheeses. The wontons are amazing in place of boring old chips. They have a great crunch and a lighter feel and stay crisp for longer. They come with tomatillo salsa and wasabi sour cream on the side. The wasabi sour cream is awesome, just enough wasabi to impart a slight heat and flavour that balances perfectly with the creamy, cool sour cream. Great dish.
The third dish I sampled was their lobster mac and cheese. I always cringe when I see lobster mac and cheese on a menu because it’s usually made with a product called “Lobster Delight” which is made from Surimi (ground fish, usually pollock) and is artificially flavoured like lobster. This dish has NO FAKE LOBSTER!! Huge chunks of real lobster are abundant and border on excessive, which is a good thing when you’re talking about lobster. Simple flavours, butter, garlic, cheese and lobster all work in perfect harmony here. Rich, decadent and addictive. Your friends will want to try this, tell them to order their own. Did I mention it’s just $18? A total steal for this much lobster and this big of a portion.
Next up they brought out some duck confit potato skins. Oh man, you guys see what’s happening here right? This place is doing comfort food right. These potato skins were so good. A good amount of duck confit with applewood smoked bacon, smoked provolone cheese, 40 Creek BBQ sauce, scallions and chipotle sour cream on russet potatoes. Another comfort food classic done up for the big city. Amazing.
You guys know where the best burger in town is. I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops for a few years now, it’s at Uli’s in White Rock. The burger at Mr. Brownstone is almost as good but it’s so different than Uli’s it’s a little unfair to compare the 2. This behemoth features a fresh ground chuck patty cooked medium (perfect), Montreal style smoked brisket, a fried egg, sauteed mushrooms, an onion ring, smoked provolone and caramelized onions on a fresh toasted bun with L/T/M (you can figure that out, right?) and some hamburger relish type sauce. Standing about 10 inches high and held together with a steak knife this burger is a towering monster of deliciousness. The price? Just $15.
If you’re keeping track this is course number six, a delightfully rich and sweet dish that is a meal all on its own. Tangy Stilton cheese, pear slices, crispy prosciutto ( I think, my note taking got a little fuzzy at this point) on fresh baked flatbread. Simply delicious.
Ok you guys, this is the one most of you asked about when I posted this picture on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, The maple bacon caramel chicken wings. They sound crazy, like the kind of crazy that would get you locked up for life in some shady parts of the world. In the middle ages you would’ve be branded a witch for even suggesting that this dish sounded tasty. Guess what, these wings are crazy, CRAZY good. If these guys used this recipe on chicken for chicken and waffles they’d easily be the best in the city. Think of these wings as dessert, made of meat. Everything you love about “Maple Bacon” flavoured things kicked up with caramel and tossed lovingly with deep fried wings. You simply have to try these.
So there you have it, Great food and nothing over $20. Solid craft beer on tap from Phillips, Odin, Alameda and others. BC wine on tap including one of my favourites, Blasted Church Hatfield’s Fuse. I’ll be back soon, I need those wings in my life.
Legal mumbo jumbo – My food was provided by Mr. Brownstone for review purposes.
A few months ago I told you about Beast and Brine, a cool charcuterie and cheese (and a million other things) shop that was set to open in South Surrey just up the road from Crescent Beach. Well guess what? They’ve been open for awhile now and it has become a weekend ritual for my daughter and I to visit and stock up for the week ahead. Sausages, high end cold cuts, the best bacon in Greater Vancouver, specialty cheeses, a sandwich counter and much much more. This kind of product used to be the exclusive domain of Granville Island Public Market vendors and a few hidden gems around Vancouver. A lot of their product is made in house by Uli’s Restaurant Executive Chef Ryan Bissell who is a co-owner along with Uli’s owner Tyson Blume.
The staff is incredible and it’s always buzzing in the shop with happy customers eagerly awaiting their meaty treasures to take home and brag about to their friends, it’s that good. Check out some photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks, they’ll make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and drive to Beast and Brine. It’s ok, I would too. Kudos to Tyson, Ryan and the whole Beast and Brine team for totally living up to my ridiculous expectations. I love this place.
Added bonus – Fieldstone Artisan Breads is right next door – food heaven. After you’ve looked at the pics there’s a list of my “WFLBC must buys” at Beast and Brine at the bottom of the page.
Heritage Bacon, Double smoked bacon, Frikadelle, Porchetta, Bavarian Meatloaf, The famous Uli’s hot dog (!), Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (when it’s in stock), Phillip’s Soda Work’s Captain Electro Intergalactic Root Beer.
I know you’ve probably heard enough about bacon. It might be the most overused meat in North America at the moment but who can blame us, bacon is delicious. You can find bacon in everything, doughnuts, Martinis, Pancakes, cupcakes, Caesars, cheesecake, the list is endless. Add that to more traditional uses for your favourite little salty strips of pork and you could eat bacon for or with every meal. Should you? Probably not, you wouldn’t want to overload on something so tasty and ruin it for yourself. There’s also the fat and sodium content but everything in moderation, right?
Screw moderation, The Rumpus Room on Main Street (at 11th Ave) has deep fried bacon and it’s ridiculous. Called “sh-BANG!” on the menu, these tempura battered strips of heaven are something that you should try at least once in your life. They come with some tempura battered avocado and some aioli (aka mayo) and hot sauce with a decidedly BBQ flavour for dipping. This is the pinnacle of self destructive excess and I love it.
Book yourself an appointment with a cardiologist if you get addicted, I’d hate to be the cause of your congestive heart failure. While you’re there say hi to the worlds greatest bartender, Mr. Jason Wheeler.
Tucked away beside South Surrey’s Fieldstone Artisan Breads is an empty store front with it’s windows papered over. Inside this space the team behind White Rock’s Uli’s Restaurant is creating something amazing. Beast & Brine is coming and it can’t get here soon enough for me.
Specializing in Charcuterie and speciality cheeses, Beast & Brine is like nothing else in the Fraser Valley, in fact it’s the first shop of it’s kind in Greater Vancouver bringing a truly European style Charcuterie shop to the masses.
Cured meats, sausage, pates and more made in house by some of the most talented people I know, speciality cheeses brought in from Quebec which aren’t available anywhere else in BC and the bacon, oh god the bacon. If you’ve eaten at Uli’s you know about their bacon, soon you’ll be able to buy it and take it home!
The equipment is on it’s way, top of the line stuff. A smokehouse, a Sous Vide kettle, meat grinders, sausage makers and so much more. Custom coolers, one with a window that faces out to the retail area so everyone can see the product in the making. Add this all to great branding, from the logos to hats and t-shirts, everything with a funky old time feel. The team behind it is a fantastic group of people, if anyone can make this a success it’s them.
Follow their progress on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beastandbrine) and keep an eye on their website (www.beastandbrine.com) which should be launching soon. You should also follow Uli’s renowned chef Ryan Bissell (@chefbissell) and Uli’s Restaurant (@ulis_restaurant) on twitter, they’re the reason this little piece of heaven exists. Opening time is tentatively planned to be the end of January or the beginning of February. Stay tuned for more details.
Every Friday, if I’m downtown, I try to have lunch at a food truck. This week I tried Pig on the Street which is probably the smallest food truck in Vancouver. It’s actually not a truck, it’s a Volkswagen camper van and it’s super cool. They make flatbread sandwiches, soups and delicious sounding (I didn’t have one) Bacon, Bourbon and Caramel Brownie Bites. Almost everything on the menu is “Pork-centric” with the exception of the vegetarian sandwich called the No Piggy. When you place your order you’re handed a small wooden pig with a pork related name on it, it works like taking a number but it’s way more fun.
I had The Porker which comes loaded with locally sourced double smoked bacon, sausage stuffing with apple and sage, goat Gouda, caramelized onion mayo and greens. $10 tax included is a pretty good deal for this epic lunch. I was FULL and very happy as I settled into my pork coma. The bacon is incredible and the smell wafting down the street from the little Volkswagen is intoxicating. The sausage stuffing is amazing, the goat Gouda is a unique but perfect choice and the mayo and greens finish things off nicely. Pig on the Street is the cure if you’re “achin’ for bacon”.
You should make Food Truck Friday a part of your routine. It’s easy, fun, delicious and affordable. Download the free Street Food App for you smartphone HERE and get started!!