Where I Ate In Auckland – Part One – WFLNZ

The food in New Zealand surprised me. I had heard the beef and dairy were good but they were SO GOOD. I ate as often as possible in New Zealand because it rarely disappointed. Let’s start in Auckland and see where I ended up.

The Meat Pies…

They said they were good. I thought they were exaggerating. There is something magical about meat pies in New Zealand. From a cafe or a gas station, it doesn’t matter. I tried a bunch of meat pies. Mince, Steak, Steak and Cheese, Beef Potato Topped, the list is very long. You should, no you NEED, to try a meat pie in New Zealand.

MMMMM Pie.
MMMMM Pie.

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The Cheese…

Being a bit thrifty can lead you to some fantastic food discoveries abroad. I made a few trips to the grocery store to save a few bucks while in New Zealand. In Auckland I went to Countdown and New World to stock up on snacks and beer for my hotel room. The cheese, my god the cheese. Apparently the Mainland brand is just regular quality cheeses in New Zealand but it is so far above Canadian non specialty store cheese it’s ridiculous. I ate an unwise amount of cheese in New Zealand, totally worth it. That 24 month aged cheddar made me consider marriage. Hot travel tip, always travel with a multi-tool. The knife and the bottle opener are worth their weight in gold.

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Fried Chicken From A Convenience Store.

I didn’t pack a lot of clothes and planned on finding laundromats to make my small wardrobe last 2 weeks. In a serendipitous turn of events I found one of the best things I ate in New Zealand right beside Bubbles Laundromat in Auckland.  NZ Convenience Store didn’t look like much but their sign said “Sensational Fried Chicken.” The sign didn’t lie. Halal chicken, amazing seasoning, something called “chicken salt.” It was also priced right which is great as New Zealand can be expensive.

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Random Pizza.

Pizza is everywhere in Auckland. I was craving a slice or 2 so I Googled who had the best pizza near me. Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza was near the top of the list and 2 blocks away. Thin crust, foldable, greasy in the best way. Sal’s was way more authentic than I expected to find so far from New York.

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That’s Part 1! In part 2 we’ll talk about sushi, burgers, and pub food.

Scott.

 

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Quick Bite – Brunch at Kove Kitchen

Kove Kitchen, it’s one of my go to spots in Steveston for burgers, Belgian style beers, and waterfront views. I found out a while back that Kove does brunch, giggity! Brunch service runs weekends from 11am-3pm and features Kove’s awesome burgers along with breakfast dishes, small share plates and even a few salads ( what’s a salad?).

Fried Chicken and French Toast
Fried Chicken and French Toast

Kove does Fried Chicken and French Toast, a twist on the ever trendy fried chicken and waffles. You know what? French toast is better than waffles and I don’t care what you think about it. They soak up more syrup, they have a bit of cinnamon in the egg wash, and those 2 things send waffles crying to their mama. The fried chicken is made to order so you have to wait a bit but it’s worth it. tender, fresh, hot, well seasoned, good crunch. Really good fried chicken.

Kove Kitchen is located at 3900 Bayview street, right on the water tucked behind Hog Shack Cook House, in Richmond’s Steveston Village.

Twitter – @KoveKitchen

Facebook – thekovekitchen

Instagram – @kove_kitchen

I need to write more…

Scott.

Local 360 – WFLBC in Seattle

Finding great restaurants is one of my favourite things about travelling. A few weeks before I went to Seattle I asked my Twitter followers for some restaurant recommendations in Seattle. The awesome bearded dudes at Hired Guns Creative recommended Local 360 in Belltown, a few blocks from my hotel.

 

Local 360, 1st and Bell.
Local 360, 1st and Bell.

An Emerson quote on their sandwich board? I approve. Local 360 uses locally sourced ingredients found within 360 miles of Seattle whenever possible. Their website has a sourcing page that outlines their philosophy. So, is the food any good?

Fried chicken* Bacon mousse chicken roulade, cheesy grits, collard greens, sunny-side up egg
Fried chicken*
Bacon mousse chicken roulade, cheesy grits, collard greens, sunny-side up egg

The “Fried Chicken” is actually a roulade made with chicken and bacon mousse. The chicken is tender and juicy, the seasoning of the batter is awesome, We don’t see a lot of collard greens or grits in Canada but they’re both great. The egg was a little over cooked but the yolk was still runny. All in all a tasty dish.

Butcher's grind house burger.
Butcher’s grind house burger.

The Butcher’s Grind House Burger was the Hired Guns recommended dish and it didn’t disappoint. I ordered it medium with bacon and cheese (obviously). The patty was delicious, you could really taste and feel how fresh the beef was. It was seasoned perfectly and came on a fresh bun with the usual burger accoutrements,  lettuce, tomato, onion, etc. I’d put this burger in my all time top 3. The fries are good too, hand cut and nicely salted.

If you find yourself in Seattle and want a good meal you can feel good about eating check out Local 360.

Web – local360.org

Twitter – @Local360Seattle

Facebook – Local 360 Seattle

Scott.

 

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.

The Park at English Bay

Ya ya I know I said I wasn’t posting any more but when Bodhi Jones asks you to come check out the place he works at you don’t say no! The Park at English Bay is located in the Best Western Sands Hotel on Davie St. just off of Denman in a space formerly known as Checkers. There are few similarities between The Park and Checkers apart from its location, the renovations have transformed an out of date room into a very contemporary space.

The beer list is probably the best in the West End and it is still evolving with manager (or “Park Ranger”) Jamison Prystay at the helm. I had a Driftwood Farmhand Ale and a Howe Sound Devils Elbow IPA. Jamison and his food and beverage team are always looking to add new and interesting beer to the list which is great to see in an area not known for craft beer.

I sampled the Charcuterie plate ($15), it was awesome and could easily be on the menu for $18-$22. The quality of the pate, meats, bread and olives is very high. The ingredients are sourced weekly from the Granville Island Market by the chef and are always changing. Charcuterie always pairs well with craft beer so make sure you explore the beer menu while you enjoy this dish.

Next up I tried the Park Sliders ($7.50), 2 house made Angus beef sliders with horseradish mayo, Jalapeño jack cheese and banana peppers. Normally I’m not a fan of sliders but these were great. They had a nice amount of heat to them and the Angus patties were very flavourful. According to the menu “They’re a little spicy, so you’ll probably want to order another beer.” Those are wise words, beer makes everything better.

Last but most certainly not least was the Georgia Straight Fried Chicken ($15). This dish looked like it was going to be heavy and greasy due to the dark colour of the batter but it was quite light. The batter is thinner that it looks and the chicken is VERY tender. The fact that it’s boneless is a plus for me, I’m not a huge fan of chicken on the bone. There’s a honey drizzle that adds and nice sweetness to this savoury dish and it’s complimented by some garlic mashed potatoes with crispy onion straws and steamed veggies. Overall a very good dish.

I have to say I’m very impressed with The Park at English Bay. The food and drink menu are a perfect match to it’s beautiful location. For all of you die hard Checkers fans fear not, THEY STILL HAVE KARAOKE!! There’s now live music as well and it would be a great place to catch your favourite sporting event!

Scott.

For the record my meal and beers were provided by The Park at English Bay but the fact that it was free didn’t change the way it tasted 🙂 Go Check it out!!

Twitter – @ParkVanCity

Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheParkVancouver