La Casita

Mexican food!! I’ve said it before, I am not an expert when it comes authentic Mexican food having grown up in a culture that considers Taco Bell “Mexican” food. I hear there are a few places in Vancouver that offer up true Mexican food and one of those places is La Casita in Gastown.

Raul Pacheco, aka Hummingbird604 has said he likes La Casita and he’s from Mexico so that says a lot. My wife and daughter met me downtown recently and we ended up at La Casita mostly due to convenience. We grabbed a table by the window so Hayley could watch the world go by but we still ended up be the people in the restaurant with the randomly screaming baby…joy.

I ordered the Chorizo Chimichanga which may or may not be authentic Mexican but it was damn good. A deep fried tortilla filled with cheese, beans and chopped Chorizo sausage and covered with salsa and sour cream. The presentation was 100% better than any “Mexican” restaurant I’ve been to, it looked like someone cared how the plate looked instead of being a pile of rice, a similar pile of beans and a tortilla on a plate. The sausage was mild and tasty and cooked just right with a nice crunch from the tortilla. The beans were good, not great and the rice was the same, not outstanding but very good. The vegetables were really quite good though, usually an after thought in a dish like this they were fresh and seasoned with a savory salt and spice mix that took them above and beyond what you would expect from a side of veggies.

Unfortunately we forgot to unhook Hayley’s toys (rattle, ball, rings etc. ) from the highchair when we left. Oh well, I’m sure a less fortunate little one can benefit from them as they are easily replaceable for us.

Mexico, I like the way you cook.

Scott.

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2 Man Pub Crawl = Good Times

I went out last night with my buddy Mark who I haven’t seen in a while and did a little pub crawl through the streets of Vancouver. What a great way to see the city! I took the Skytrain downtown and met Mark at his place and we headed for stop number one, The Lennox on the corner of Robson and Granville. Mark and I used to build elevators together and one of our favorite jobs was at the Payless Shoes next door to the Lennox a couple of summers ago. We would end up at the Lennox most afternoons and it brought back memories of the good old days! I started with a couple of Caesars and then a Killkenny, strange combo but it worked. We also ate at the Lennox, I had a “New York style” corned beef sandwich with fries. It was good other than the rye bread being a little burnt.

Stop number two was The New Oxford at 1144 Homer Street in Yaletown. One of the newest members of the Donnelly Group. It’s a cool room, but feels a little cramped. We only stayed there for one drink because the service wasn’t that great, even though we were sitting at the bar! I guess my boobs aren’t big enough for the bartenders to serve me…they did have Anchor Steam beer for $5 a bottle but I only had one and we moved on.

Stop number three was a personal favorite, Glowbal Grill at 1079 Mainland Street in Yaletown. We grabbed a spot in Afterglow, the lounge at the back of the restaurant. I had a couple of Glenfiddich’s on the rocks and General Manager and all around cool guy Brandon talked us in to some tequila…That’s where the night started to get a little fuzzy. The great thing about a walking pub crawl is the fresh air you get between venues, it gives you a chance to gauge your level of intoxication better than staying in one spot and falling over when you go to leave.

After getting the royal treatment from Brandon it was off to stop number four, The Keg at 1011 Mainland street in Yaletown. We took the elevator up to the rooftop patio, easily the best patio in the city. It was recommended that we try Molson’s new beer Molson M, so we did. It’s a micro carbonated beer which means it has small bubbles. It was pretty good for Molson who’s beer is the equivalent of Wonderbread to me. We also had some bacon wrapped scallops that really hit the spot.

After that we hopped on the Canada Line and headed for Gastown, The Lamplighter, Chill Winston and The Charles Bar all had long lines and Rogue Wetbar was closed for a private function so we made a quick stop, number five, at La Casita at 101 West Cordova street. I had a Negra Modelo, we could tell things were winding down so we headed out but I will be back for lunch soon, the menu looks great!

Stop number six was a random find, The Greedy Pig at 307 West Cordova street in Gastown. I’ve never heard of this place but it was pretty cool, friendly staff, good atmosphere and a guy who claimed to be Canadian that kept ordering Bloody Marys. Even the guy from Latvia knew the difference between a Caesar and a Bloody Mary, you weren’t fooling us pal! If you’re from Saskatchewan you’ll love this place, lots of Riders memorabilia and most of the staff hails from Saskatoon or Regina.

After that I headed for the Skytrain for a long trip back to the burbs followed by a cab ride to home sweet home! Great night with a good friend, can’t wait to do it again!

Scott.