It’s time for a fundraiser! The Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation is building a kids mental health unit and they need our support. Join us at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey on Thursday October 29th for a Halloween themed Monster Ball!
There will be casks from Big Ridge, Central City Brewing, and Russell Brewing with proceeds going to the SH&OC Foundation. There will also be a 50/50 draw and a prize for best costume so break out your costume A-game. Casks will be tapped at 6pm sharp.
Surrey needs a kids mental health unit, and it needs it as soon as possible. Come out, have some tasty beers, build up some karma points, and make a difference.
You may have noticed I haven’t been posting much to wflbc.com lately. Maybe you didn’t notice, I won’t lose any sleep over it. The fact is this site has become a bit of a chore. I used to look forward to writing and I used to worry if I hadn’t posted anything for more than 2 or 3 days. Before I wrote about Famoso Pizzeria last week I hadn’t written anything for over a month. I didn’t know it had been that long until I logged in to upload some photos. I still enjoy writting and I don’t plan on shutting it down but I’m not going to post unless I really feel like it. There are a few new adventures that occupy most of time now and I’d like to share them with you.
The first is civic politics. I am quite active on social media through @SurreyIsTheBomb breaking down mayoral candidates platforms through inappropriate memes and asking them uncomfortable questions. Their responses have shown their true character and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Civic politics impacts the people of a city more so than any other level of government. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for but I hope you research the candidates and cast an informed vote on November 15th.
The other thing that’s become a true passion is photography. Street and architecture photography are my main focus but I love taking pictures of anything and everything. I share my pictures through Flickr and Instagram, Please follow if you like what you see. Back in May my family bought me a Fuji X-A1 mirrorless camera for my birthday. This little beauty cost $399 and came with a 16-50mm OIS lens. It’s small, light, and very versatile. I inherited some old lens from my mom and I use them on this camera with the help of inexpensive lens adapters. I take a lot of pictures with my smartphone too. It’s a Nexus 5 and I love it. I’m able to share this time with my daughter and teach here about her city, the environment, and photography. Here’s a few of my favourites from Instagram and Flickr.
Does this mean I’m not going to write about restaurants any more? No way! I love food and I plan on writing about it on my terms. I opt out of most menu tasting invites or new restaurant previews I get invited to these days. They don’t offer a fair view of the subject, it’s all the absolute best that you’ll ever get in those situations which is quite often not reality. I do the ones that interest me and I go as an individual diner but mostly I just go out and eat without anyone knowing I’m there and write about it without the guilt or influence of free food and drink. That being said I am going to a beer launch and a vodka/gin launch this week… I am human after all. You can still follow me on Twitter @WFLBC, but please don’t turn into a creepy stalker, ok?
Thanks for reading. Remember to vote. Take pictures of cool stuff. Include your loved ones in activities you’re passionate about.
It’s been awhile since my last fundraiser so let’s do this! Big Ridge Brewing Co. and the South Fraser Beer Club present Casks for Surrey Memorial. Join us Thursday August 28th at 6pm to help me show my appreciation to Surrey Memorial Hospital for saving my daughter’s life earlier this summer after a near drowning incident. Words cannot express my gratitude.
I hope to see everyone and I can’t wait to do some good for Surrey Memorial Hospital! The Big Ridge shuttle will be making trips to King George Station and it’s regular area, call 7789387433 to schedule a pick up and get home safe. DJ Alibaba will be playing all of your favourite hits from the 80’s and 90’s too.
I was recently invited to Sabatino’s Trattoria in South Surrey to sample some dishes from their new menu. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a menu tasting as I’ve been blogging less and exploring Vancouver with my camera more these days but it was nice to be back in the game. I was joined by May and Dennis of pangcouver.com and Sherman from shermansfoodadventures.com, good company indeed.
We were treated to Gamberi Napoli as an amuse bouche, Tiger prawn flambéed in Pernod with garlic, grape tomato, onion and basil. There was a very slight hint of licorice from the Pernod and the prawn balanced well with the tomato and onion. A little more seasoning would’ve made this a home run but it was still quite nice.
Next up was the Barbabietola Arrosto, a lovely roasted beet salad. Roasted beets, goat cheese, tomato, and roasted walnuts with spinach and dill vinaigrette. The dressing wasn’t overly oily and the dill worked well with the earthy beets and the punchy goats cheese. When I started writing about food 4 years ago I never thought that beets would end up being one of my favourite foods.
Spaghetti Carbonara was the next dish to arrive. Rich, rich, did I mention it’s rich? I love Carbonara but it’s not something I could eat often. Prosciutto, egg yolk, and Granda Padano wrapped up in tender spaghetti noddles. Slightly more oily than I’d anticipated but the deep, rich flavours were great.
The main course was Brasato al Valpolicella, red wine braised shortrib on the bone with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. The short rib is from Two Rivers Meats and is outstanding. Braised perfectly, seasoned well, juicy, tender. The potatoes are rich and creamy and quite dense, not your average restaurant mash. This dish was a winner from start to finish.
Along with my food there were some great, original cocktails and bold red wine being served. My favourite was the Agavé Julep, a tequila based cocktail with mint, watermelon, simple syrup and soda.
Last but not least is dessert, Frangelico and chocolate cheesecake with biscotti crust. So decadent, so good. I’m a savoury guy so when a dessert wows me it has to be pretty great.
For all of you craft beer fans out there you’ll be glad to know that Sabatino’s has Fat Tug IPA and Whitebark Witbier from Driftwood Brewing on tap.
If you’re in the mood for Italian check out Sabatino’s Trattoria in South Surrey, it’s a nice spot and a bit of a hidden gem.
I have the urge to write this fine spring evening. I haven’t been anywhere in awhile that deserves a full post but I have eaten some great stuff in some random places. I went digging through my Instagram pictures and picked out some winners.
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.
Craft beer? Fancy snacks? A free tour?? That’s the sort of thing that gets this blogger out of the house on a weekday! The shiny new Central City Brewers and Distillers production facility has been open for awhile but the Grand Opening is this coming Friday from 3pm-7pm. In advance of the Grand Opening I was invited to preview the brewery ahead of the crowd. I’ve been to the new space quite a few times already for growler fills and beer sampling but this was an opportunity to have the place to myself (along with the other guests) and go for a tour with Brewmaster Gary Lohin.
In a nutshell the new facility gives Central City the ability to produce 10 times the amount of beer it could produce at it’s original facility. It is a greener, more efficient production cycle that uses state of the art equipment which brings a modern day consistency to a time honoured craft. Thanks to Yvonne Chiang for the invite, Gary for the tour and Tim Barnes, VP of Sales and Marketing, for the great chat about the new facility and the new Seraph line of craft spirits. Central City has made a big investment in the city of Surrey and has cemented itself as a leader in the rapidly growing BC craft beer industry.
Here are a few more pictures of the event, the tasty tapas, and the great new facility in my home town of Surrey BC.
The Joseph Richard Group are really starting to establish themselves as a company that wants to be known for craft beer. Case in point the upcoming brewmasters dinner at Edith and Arthur in Fleetwood featuring Surrey’s own Central City Brewing on Wednesday November 20th at 6pm. 5 courses, each paired with one of Central City’s amazing local beers plus a welcome beer for $35. You can purchase tickets at Edith and Arthur starting Friday November 8th. This event is proudly supported by the South Fraser Beer Club.
102.7 The Peak’s 2013 Peak Performance Project (PPP) has entered the voting phase. This is your chance to vote for your favourite artist and help them win 102.7 thousand dollars towards their music careers. This year’s top 20 is packed with talented musicians and bands and I’m going to let you in on WFLBC’s top 3!
In no particular order (but lets be honest, we all know I voted for Bodhi) here are my top 3 picks for the 2013 PPP. Surrey BC’s own Good For Grapes are competing for the first time. They have a great sound and have a bright future ahead of them. Here’s their latest video “Renminbi Tips”
Rolla Olak, originally from Vancouver Island, Is in the PPP for the first time as well. He has a great folk vibe and his song “Magic Spell” is on heavy rotation at the WFLBC offices, check it out.
Bodhi Jones, the man, the myth, the legend, is competing in his 3rd PPP. Originally from Salt Spring Island Bodhi is a tallented singer/songwriter with a deep catalogue of original music. Check out one of my favourite tracks off “Bones”, Bodhi’s latest album. “Suitcase Packed”
VOTE NOW! Voting closes at 5pm PST on October 25th.
Well, moustache season is almost upon us. This will be my 5th Movember and I have organized a few cool Movember get together’s centred around craft beer. Beer and Men’s Health? Probably not 2 things you would normally hear together but that’s the point! Craft beer is a healthier alternative to mass produced lagers form huge breweries because they’re not full or artificial preservatives and fillers.
Here’s the deal, we’re having 2 events and we’ve formed our very own Movember team that you can join. Our first event will be on Thursday November 7th at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey. Head Brewer Nick Bolton has a cask of Burt Reynolds Moustache Ale for us (Rodeo Red with butter ripple and rum!) with proceeds going to Movember along with a 50/50 draw run by CAMRA South Fraser. We’re tapping the cask at 5pm, join us!
Event number 2 is at Edith and Arthur in Fleetwood on Thursday November 14th at 6pm. This great little pub is part of the Joseph Richard Group and has craft beers on tap. Of course my favourite thing about E&A is that I can walk there :-). The Canucks take on the Sharks that night and CAMRA will be doing a Movember 50/50 draw as well as spreading the good word about craft beer. Mkae sure you say Hi to Megan from CAMRA South Fraser as she’ll be running this one due to prior commitments for me and my liver.
WFLBC encourages you to JOIN OUR TEAM and support Men’s Health! I look forward to seeing you guys out and about this Movember and I can’t wait to see your awesome moustaches! Can’t grow a Mo? No worries, it happens. You can still be a Mo supporter or a Mo Sista! Sign up!