Celebrate Oktoberfest all month long with the Joseph Richard Group

October, the one month of the year where I can drink every day of the week because of those crazy Germans and Oktoberfest! The other 11 months I try and keep it to 7 days a week. Every Tuesday in October The Hemingway Public House, located right on the strip in White Rock, is having their very own Beerfest!  With beer from 9 breweries including Hoyne, Central City, Elysian, New Belgium, Parallel 49, Hacker Pschorr, and Schneider Weiss you can guarantee that you’ll see me there at least once this month.

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All Joseph Richard Group pubs are celebrating with awesome beer features everyday! Check out this handy calendar and plan your month wisely, October only comes around once a year! Don’t forget, CAMRA members get awesome perks (aka discounts…) so sign up!

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Twitter – @WEAREJRG

Facebook – WEAREJRG

Interwebzzz – jrgvancouver.ca

Scott.

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Fundraising with the Joseph Richard Group is awesome

Fundraising is something that most pubs do for various organizations. Sponsoring local amateur sports teams or having Pub Night fundraisers for various causes is quite common around the Lower Mainland. The Joseph Richard Group has taken this tradition and reinvented it to be easier, more flexible and just plain better.

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You can fund raise for whatever you want and they’ll donate 10% of your groups purchases to the organization/cause of your choice. Here’s how it works:

• A 10% rebate on all purchases made by any member of the team or company over the duration of the agreed upon time frame.

• Management and main contact person will establish the duration for the season.

• JRG will supply each member of the team/company with a personalized key tag to present on each visit to JRG. each key tag will state the team name and expiry date

• JRG commits to maintaining a detailed ledger on site at all times that will record each and every purchase made by team members. the ledger will contain: team captain/main contact person name and contact info, date/name/amount spent, initials by JRG staff and team member for every purchase made, and copies of every receipt.

• JRG will also commit to allocating an additional 10% of the total spend, to a maximum of $500, towards an ‘end of season’ / ‘wrap up party’.

• JRG will also provide a complimentary ‘JRGmvp’ trophy during the end of season party if executed.

• For regular fundraising ‘pub nights’, JRG will provide the design and print costs of any tickets needed, provided they are within the template of the current fundraiser ticket design. details of such events will have to be discussed and confirmed by the team captain and management at JRG.

• Rebate dollars can be paid out at any time with a minimum 72 hours notice. rebates can only be approved for disbursement by the documented team captain/main contact and senior management at JRG. rebates will be paid out in the form of a company cheque.

But here’s where it gets really cool. Say you like to raise money for a specific charity. For example. I like to raise money for Variety and other children’s charities. Sign up with JRG, get a whole bunch of key tags to give to your friends and family (or Twitter followers or whoever) and BOOM, you’re raising money for charity every time you or your friends hang out at a JRG establishment. For me it’s Edith & Arthur in Fleetwood because it’s within walking distance and they have Fat Tug IPA on tap. Win, win, win.

Also this is in no way a sponsored post, I just think this is awesome and I plan to do good things with it! WFLBC/Variety key tag anyone?

Find a JRG location near you at jrgvancouver.com, follow them on Twitter @WEAREJRG and on Facebook at facebook.com/WEAREJRG.

Scott.

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Photo credit – JRG

Tynehead Regional Park

Tynehead Regional Park is amazing! Located between 160th and 176th street and Highway 1 and 96th Avenue the park has over 10 km of walking trials and over 5 km of cycling trails. There’s a salmon hatchery, a huge off leash dog park, a camp site and it’s all connected to the Surrey Greenways project and the Tynehead Cycling and pedestrian overpass. I recently went for a walk through the park with my daughter so I figured this was a fitting Fathers Day Post. Check out the pictures below and to all dads everywhere, have an amazing day however you’re spending it!

Scott.

Bike to Work Week

It’s Bike to Work week in Metro Vancouver and I have to know, are you riding your bike this week? Surrey is fairly bike friendly with most major roads having bike lanes. The Greenways project also provides some non road options for cyclists but for the most part Surrey’s size and layout prevent it from being a fully bikeable place. So what are your options?

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Most busses have a bike rack but they only hold 2 or 3 bikes. If the bike rack is full you have to wait for another bus which can take awhile in Surrey. If you’re lucky enough to catch a bus with room for you and your bike you still have another hurdle awaiting you at the skytrain station. There are bike lockers at some Surrey stations but that leaves you without your bike when you reach your destination. Translink has been very helpful and communicative about how one would get from Surrey to downtown on a bus but the transit portion alone would take a little over an hour and a half not to mention the cycling time. Most people I know don’t have 3-4 hours a day to dedicate to commuting.

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If you’ve ever been to Portland and utilized their transit system you probably know what I’m going to bring up, Light Rail. Light Rail is the answer to Surrey’s transit troubles. The cost is significantly lower than Skytrain, operating costs are less expensive than buses and Surrey’s Main roads are wide enough (mostly) to have street level light rail run down existing centre boulevards. Portland’s system combines light rail, street cars and buses in a seamless, inexpensive and user friendly way that Surrey is in desperate need of.

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Portland’s Trimet Light Rail system also has dedicated bike storage space in every car on every train, a far cry from Translink’s non existent Skytrain+bike options. I you have an opinion I’d love to here it. I for one would love to ride my bike to work, it just isn’t a sensible option for me.

Scott.

Two EE’s Farm Market

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, organic often means expensive. Two EE’s Farm Market, located at 16411 Fraser Highway in Fleetwood, bucks the trend by offering organic produce grown at their own farm for the same if not less than non organic produce offered at grocery chains and other produce stores. Two EE’s 25 acre farm is located less than a five minute drive from their market meaning that their carbon footprint is tiny, another plus to this true Surrey gem. Get the whole story of Two EE’s history here and check out everything they grow here.

In addition to fantastic organic produce at great prices, Two EE’s also carries a large variety of other grocery items ranging from dairy products, baked goods, imported treats, specialty candy, Boylan’s Soda, flowers and tons of seasonal items all year. Check out some pictures below and check out their full website at www.wegroworganic.ca. Two EE’s is open Monday to Saturday all year round and is yet another reason why Surrey is the bomb (.com).

 

Baselines 2.5 pound burger challenge

Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food is a freak. How do I know this about the Travel Channel’s eating challenge guru you ask? The answer came to me in one of those freaky dreams you have when you’ve eaten something rich too close to bed time. I watch Adam every Sunday night as he traverses America taking on ridiculous eating challenges all the while thinking that he must have the best job in the world. Boy was I wrong. After taking on a 2.5 pound burger at a sports bar in Surrey I had a dream that Adam Richman was chasing me through the streets with a giant pizza mocking my failure and calling me a loser, ouch.

The burger in question is from Baselines Pub located at 8233 166th Street in Surrey, it consists of two and a half pounds of beef with aged cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions , pickles and mayo on an 8 inch sourdough “bun”. Why the quotation marks around bun? The “bun” is a whole round loaf of sourdough bread, the kind you would hollow out for spinach dip. The burger “patty” was basically a 2.5 pound meatloaf made to fit in the “bun”, it was roughly 2 to 3 inches thick.

The rules for this challenge are pretty basic, one challenge burger per person, finish it and it’s free, don’t finish it and it will cost you $25. I opted for no tomatoes or onions as did my co-competitor Kevin. It should be noted that there was a third challenge taker in our group, Lee, but Baselines only had 2 challenge burgers ready to cook and making a third would have taken over an hour so Lee opted out, promising to take on the challenge another day. He did order a regular 7 ounce burger which provided a great visual reference for our monsters.

The burger looked to be around the size of a volleyball. The meatloaf patty was actually very tasty and the sourdough bun was also quite good. Eating this burger with your hands is not an option so I decided to attack the layers one by one. I cut the burger in half to give me a benchmark for progress. I ate the top of the “bun” with the lettuce on it, then the pickles and then I started on the meat. I soon realized that this was not going to go well. Our waitress came by and told us we were doing really well compared to previous challenge takers but doubt had already began to sneak into my mind. As I approached the halfway point I started to really slow down. I thought that it would be the bread that would be my downfall but the meat proved to be too much. When Kevin and I finally gave up neither of us could even look at the meat left on our plates without feeling ill. We came to the realization that spending $25 was better than getting sick all over the table, which allegedly happened to someone who finished the challenge.

I was left with a little under half of the meat and a quarter of the bun while Kevin had a little more bun left but I would call it a tie. We left feeling defeated, bloated, a little nauseous and with elevated blood pressure. Am I glad I tried to tackle this eating challenge? That is a question I don’t really have an answer for. I feel like I needed to at least try, which I did, but failure is a bitter pill.

If anyone out there thinks they can out do us I challenge you to head to Baselines and try. I will tip my cap to anyone who can finish this gargantuan burger but in the words of Mr. Adam Richman, in this battle of man versus food, food won. At least my dog got some yummy meatloaf when I got home.

Scott.

Davidson Pitstop

I promised a while ago that I would try and write about more Fraser Valley restaurants and lately I’ve been to a few good ones. First was Five Doors Down in Whiterock and now after years of living 6 blocks away from it I have finally tried Davidson Pitstop. Located at 16225 Fraser Hwy in Surrey it  is a throwback burger joint with Harley Davidson motorcycle imagery dominating the theme, hence the name.

I’ve been told that the burgers here have been named best in Surrey but I’ve never personally seen that in writing. I asked what the best burger they was and I was told to order the deluxe with cheese and bacon. The burger patty itself was good, nice and juicy and not overcooked with a nice amount of seasoning and good texture. The cheese was of the processed American variety so no fireworks there and the bacon was thick cut and noticeable in both flavour and texture. The veggies were fresh but the bun failed to live up to the rest of the burger. It was a typical sesame burger bun that you can buy at the local grocery store and could have used a little time in a toaster.

The fries were double fried and hand cut and should have been quite good but they were over cooked in old oil causing them to be a dark brown color and quite greasy. Fries need to be cooked in fresh oil where as onion rings and other deep fried goodies actually benefit from used oil. Most restaurants have 2 fryers, one for fries and one for everything else so I’ll assume that Davidson Pit stop only has one.

So the overall verdict is a little mixed. The burger was good but let down by a mediocre, soggy bun and the fries would benefit greatly from some fresh oil. I’ll definitely go back though as this food is 10 times better than any fast food joint. Davidson Pitstop is a small tweak or 2 away from having a destination worthy burger.

Scott.

Tynehead Cycling and Pedestrian Overpass

The new cycling and pedestrian overpass linking Fleetwood and Fraser Heights at 168th street is now open!! Spanning Highway 1 it links the cycling and walking trails of Tynehead Park to the area near Pacific Academy.  This overpass is part of the Greenways Program that will offer alternative non motorized routes to travel around Surrey.

Check out the pictures below!

Art in Fleetwood, Meagan Ann MacDougall Park

Meagan Ann MacDougall Park located at 15385 – 90 Avenue in Surrey’s Fleetwood neighborhood features an art installation by Argentinian born sculptor Alberto Replanski (1938-2008). Know as “Multiples Of Three” the steel sculpture acts as a visual barrier to the Fleetwood Booster Pump Station located within the park.