Steveston Photo Walk and lunch at Hogshack Cookhouse

Steveston, home of the worlds tamest Seagulls…

Steveston is a beautiful little corner of Richmond, tucked right along side the Pacific Ocean it is still an active fishing community as well as a popular tourist destination. Home to beautiful parks, a national historic site (The Gulf Of Georgia Cannery), a bustling fisherman’s wharf where you can buy fresh seafood right off the fishing boats and many shops and restaurants all within a very walkable old fashioned town centre.

Hog Shack Cook House

I had lunch at Hog Shack Cook House, a southern BBQ joint and one of my favourite restaurants in Greater Vancouver. Chef/Co-owner John and Co-owner Alan are great guys with a serious knack for making your restaurant visit a great one. I usually order the Smoke Lover’s Combo, So good. Hog Shack also has a terrific craft beer selection.

Smoke Lover;s Combo, Pulled Pork, Brisket coleslaw and fries, Mmmm!

After our tasty lunch Hayley an I went for a walk around this pretty ocean side village and snapped some photos, enjoy!

 

 

Advertisements

Slingers Mobile

When ever I am able to I will always choose street food over fast food for lunch. My most recent street food lunch was at Slingers Mobile located on Burrard street in the heart of Vancouver’s Business district. They offer comfort food in it’s purest form. Case in point the Veal Parmesan Sandwich and hand cut fries I sampled.

The Veal (please don’t send me nasty comments about Veal, if you don’t want to eat it that’s your choice) was a full breaded cutlet that was cut in two making it a double. There was cheese, marinara sauce, peppers, onions and mushrooms all served on a fresh bun. This is a very messy sandwich so if you’re a suit and tie person be warned. Over all it was a tasty sandwich but the breading on the Veal was a little soggy. It’s also a very filling, rich sandwich, the fries I ordered were too much to finish after eating the sandwich.

The fries were a letdown, soggy and lacking any seasoning. Fries from a food truck have yet to impress me. Slingers does get bonus points for having “The Dude” displayed on their truck. Any friend of The Dude is a friend of mine. As is the case with every other food truck I have visited in this city the staff were great and the truck itself looks amazing.

On to the next food truck!!

Scott.

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.

Arturo’s Mexico To Go

Sunny days, short shorts and street food, a good day in my opinion. The short shorts were on other people of course as elevator repairmen have to wear pants. A couple of days at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Place (250 Howe street) meant I was within smelling distance of Arturo’s Mexico To Go, another of Vancouver’s street food vendors. Taco trucks are a regular sight on the streets of LA and have a reputation for being very hit and miss. I had my fingers crossed that Arturo’s would be as good as the rest the street food I’ve had since I started writing this blog.

Arturo’s is run out of a trailer which is spacious compared to any other street food setup I’ve seen, wide and easy to get around. It makes me think that this trailer would be better suited for something more labor intensive and complicated than tacos and burrito’s. I had a Sirloin Beef Burrito ($7) and the Tacotino ($4). Being a sunny day the lineup was long but moved along quickly. I’m not one to normally carry cash so I appreciate street food vendors who offer debit/credit but it really slows down the payment process and I make a point of always paying in cash so I don’t hold up the line.

The food, the Tacotino, rotisserie pork with chipotle and lime sauce in a tortilla was not what I was expecting. The meat had a strange texture that was a mixture of crunchy/chewy/dry which was overpowered by onion and chipotle flavors. The taste stayed in my mouth for hours after lunch even after some water and a tictac. The Burrito was much better, the beef was tasty and the other fillings were nicely seasoned. I especially liked the use of corn which added a nice summery sweetness to the dish.

One winner, one loser. I’ve been told the Gringas are quite good, I’ll have to try them next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Scott.

Booze Reviews, Jura Superstition Scotch Whisky

Jura Superstition is a blend, there I said it, I am drinking blended Scotch. Usually I am a huge snob when it comes to Scotch Whisky, single malt only and nothing less than 12 years old unless it’s Ardbeg or Strathisla. Jura Superstition is my one and only exception to my own rules. Jura is a Scottish island located to the north east of the more famous island know as Islay. Islay and Jura are roughly the same size but Jura’s population is a mere 200. The Isle of Jura Distillery is the only one on the island and produces its own unique single malt whisky line ranging from 10 to 40 years old. Superstition is a blend of both old and new single malts which gives it a unique marriage of peat, smoke, sweet and spice that is unlike anything else I’ve had.

On the nose the peat is quite mild joined by mild smoke and a hint of orange zest. In the mouth the peat and smoke continue their mild ways and are joined by citrus notes and a distinct tobacco flavor that is very similar to a good Cuban cigar. The finish is long with more tobacco and smoke flavors. This is the ultimate pairing with a good cigar. The color is a rich amber.

All told this is a great blend for anyone looking to step away from the mild highland whisky’s and move up to something more sophisticated. It’s not a huge leap like a Lagavulin or Ardbeg would be for the casual Scotch drinker. Jura Superstition will make a nice addition to your  collection.

Cheers!

Scott.

Vancouver food bloggers, throwing stones and naming names.

Oh my goodness what a childish mess. For those of you who don’t already know there was recently a very “aggressive” post on a local food blog calling out all of the big players in the Vancouver food blogging community. It’s a long winded post but read the whole thing, it’s shockingly detailed with the writers opinions of other peoples blogs, their motives etc. Thankfully I was not a part of it seeing as I don’t blog for Urbanspoon and I really don’t give a rats ass how many people read my blog. That’s the real issue here, blogs as a business.

I write because I want people to have a laugh and find some good places to eat, not because I get free food (which does happen from time to time) or because I make money from my blog. I could put ads on my blog and to be honest I might at some point in the future but my main reasons for blogging have stayed the same since day one, I like to eat good food and want to share it with others. To name each and every person who you don’t think is “qualified” to write about food is very immature. The fact is that every single person on this planet likes to eat different things and to say someone shouldn’t be writing about food because they don’t like something is ridiculous.

As far as Urbanspoon goes I’m not interested in my ranking, it seems like a popularity contest, so I have decided that Urbanspoon isn’t for me. It works for some and that’s great but don’t criticize others because you don’t think they should be ranked higher than you. People read blogs because they are interested in their content and if they enjoy the content they will keep coming back for more. A blogs popularity means that people like it and to tell the readers that they’re wrong and shouldn’t like it because you say so is offensive. Free speech is a basic human right and I applaud Kim for having the courage to say what he was feeling but at the end of the day he looks like a spoiled little baby who can’t handle someone getting more attention then him.

I am a huge fan of EVERY Vancouver food blog and as a blogging community we offer the people of this city something truly special and I can’t wait to see future posts about great restaurants from great people. So to Richard, Raul, Melody, Sherman, Mijune, Erin, Diana, Mary, Ben, Suanne, and everyone else who writes about food in Vancouver, whether it’s for a blog, a website, a magazine or a news paper keep up the good work, haters are going to hate but the world keeps on eating.

Scott.

The Teacup, Moroccan Mint

I received a gift from a friend a little while back from her girls adventure to the good old U.S of A from The Teacup in Centralia, Washington.  Located at 204 North Tower Avenue I don’t actually know much about The Teacup other than what I’ve been told so I’ll just tell you about the tea. My gift was a blend called Moroccan Mint, I love mint tea. I don’t really drink tea other than mint tea and I drink it without any milk or sugar because I enjoy the raw, unsweetened mint flavor which is very uncommon in our sugar sweetened society. The blend is a secret but it smelled mostly peppermint based with a hint of spearmint and variegated ginger mint.

Loose leaf teas are not the norm around my house but I think a shift in tea philosophy is in the works. I can’t help but think about all the teabags we throw away every year and we have two “tea balls” at home so why not? Plus they look cool and fresh tea tastes MUCH better. Water boiled, I hung my tea ball (lol) in my mug for roughly 5 minutes and then had a taste. Like I said, fresh tea is so much better than store bought tea bags. Peppermint was the predominant flavor and I didn’t get the bitter aftertaste that sometimes comes with mint tea. If you read my last post about being alcohol free for the month of April you’ll see where this post is coming from. The Booze Reviews will resume in May (hopefully) but until then I will be exploring alternative beverages in the 0% alcohol category.

There’s lots of places to buy loose leaf tea in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley so ditch the teabag, pick up a tea ball and start enjoying better tea!

Scott.

30 days of booze free living

I have decided to lock away the alcohol for the month of April. Why, you ask? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!! Whoa sorry about that, it’s getting to me already. Someone we know is doing a 30 day challenge and has challenged her friends to do the same. She’s doing a raw food diet and asked everyone else to pick something that was achievable and would make a difference to their health.

Now we wait and see if, a: I can actually go a whole month booze free and b: whether or not I will see any health benefits from doing so. I secretly hope that I don’t feel better…I like alcohol.

Wish me luck.

Scott.

April Fools, I got you good!

So as many of you who follow me on Twitter know, today I made a big announcement that I had leased 900 Pacific St in Vancouver, the old Kettle Of Fish, and planned to open a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant. I thought that everyone would be all over this been a prank seeing as it was April 1st…but I was wrong.

I received congratulations from A LOT of people who expressed genuine excitement, even our local cheese heroes at Benton Brothers Fine Cheese sent me a congratulatory tweet and Melody Fury, founder of Vancouver Food Tour seemed almost giddy about the prospect of gourmet grilled cheese. This could not have gone any better as far as April Fools jokes go. I let it go on for a few hours while the accolades poured in and when the time seemed right I revealed that it was a hoax. I then received many more messages from very upset people who really wanted a grilled cheese joint in town, am I actually on to something here? Maybe but truth be told I hadn’t put an ounce of thought into this, I was driving past Kettle Of Fish and the idea just came to me and 30 seconds later it was on Twitter!

Well I got you good Vancouver, but the real story may be that this city seems to really want grilled cheese! Who will step up to the plate and give it to them? Will it be me after all? Maybe (probably not) but stranger things have happened.

Scott.

Great Wall Mongolian BBQ

Mongolian BBQ is a cuisine that causes seizures for those who don’t want the different foods on their plate to touch. Grab a bowl, fill it full of meat, veggies, sauce and what ever else they have and someone cooks it all together on a giant flat top grill, scoops it into a bowl and you eat it, awesome. There are a lot of Mongolian BBQ joints in and around Vancouver but the cheapest (and some would argue the best) is Great Wall Mongolian BBQ.

Great Wall is located at 717 Denman Street about a block off Robson. The lunch special is one bowl for $7.95 and it comes with a bland chicken soup, some rice, a springroll and some water. Those are just trivialities though as the big show is whatever you’ve created in your bowl. I believe I had pork, beef, tofu, udon noodles, bok choi,  sprouts, green onions, zucchini, hot chili oil, soy sauce, garlic and other things I can’t remember. I topped it off with sesame seeds and a copious amount of Sriracha (Rooster sauce as it’s know to white people). Full and happy for under 10 bucks.

If you’re brave all you can eat is only $2 more. Most Mongolian BBQ places have more items to chose from when filling your bowl but I dare you to walk out of any of them spending under $10, it doesn’t happen. Now where did I leave my Tums…

Scott.