Category Archives: Eat Local Buy Local

Cook with your Kids & Family- eat real food 


Happy Monday great foodie friends.

The more I see what people consider food (especially the young and young families) the more I realize that we as a society need to get back to the basics. 

Don’t get me wrong, fast food every once in a while should be ok but making it the rule vs. the exception  begs the term “You are what you eat”.

I fully realize how busy life is and that time is short and a rare comoddity for most families but in some way or another through the generations one could always say the family is busy. 

Let’s look at this way, planning and learning are the keys to what I am proposing.

  1. Stay to the outer 4 walls of the grocery store.
  2. Watch cooking shows or look through cookbooks and plan out at least 5 meals for the week. 
  3. Go to farmers markets 
  4. A lot of foods or meals freeze well so you can make it ahead.
  5. Reduce refined sugars, salts and msg loaded seasoning. There are easy recipes to create your own seasoning, sea salts and healthy herbs that will make your foods taste much better.
  6. Do all of this with your kids! 

When you cook with your family it brings us back to our roots. Think about the “family” meal and sitting around the table with friends. It’s what connects us as people and what feeds our soul as well as our bodies. 

Teaching the young that hamburgers and French fires are not the healthiest way to eat but rather roasting a fresh chicken and serving it fresh vegetables are the “norm” will pay off for the future. 

Please don’t take this as a lecture but rather a friendly nudge to remember to learn where your food comes from. Make things fresh ahead that you can incorporate in your weekly meals (pasta sauce, chicken, beef or vegetable broths) and watch how you reconnect with your family and friends as you sit together, cook together and laugh together.

You gotta try this! 

My Shanti – by Vikram Vij 


Happy Tuesday great foodie friends. Just an update to a wonderful newer restaurant in our South Surrey community. 

There is no mistake that the outside of My Shanti will catch your attention! The outside is proudly sparkling and those “sequin” like discs move with the wind and glisten with the sun or light. 

My Shanti means “my peace” and that is defined as soon as you enter the door. 


The beautiful tapestry filling the main wall tells a story of peace and friendship. Now that you are literally in Chef Vikram’s and Bena’s dining room / living room settle in for a dining experience of a flavor ride thorough India with a twist of having My Shanti and Chefs twist of dishes from yesteryear growing up. 

The beginning of your flavor experience starts hours before entering the dining room. 


The magic starts in the kitchen where the chefs are creating fan favorites as well as new dishes with a twist and house made from the freshest ingredients possible. Some of the fun is seeing it all beginning from the spice pallet and then what shows up the table to tingle your tastebuds. 

My shanti is now open for Lunch Thursday – Sunday and now that the summer weather is settling in the great patio is also now open. 


We really need to be thankful for the diversity of culinary choices that are now in our community and take advantage of them being in our back yard. 

We shouldn’t just “eat” and I think you know what I mean. Rather you should eat real food and take the time to experience the diverse flavors that dance across your mouth and warm your tummy.  The measure for me is if I have a great and quality meal made from real food and seasoned with true spices that create flavors rather than the known flavor enhancers that aren’t healthy, and go home not feeling bloated or God forbid guilty then I know I have just had a quality dining experience. 

Bena and her team have created a perfect summer lunch menu including this flavor packed Naanwhich – yes I said Naanwhich filled with wild boar, lamb and topped with masala paneer and pickled onions, tomatoes, spinach and mint yogurt and accompanied with cassava fries! 


A perfect measure of restaurantuers that care about your experience is coming around your table and truly asking of your are enjoying your dish. You will see either Bena or Vikram walking through the dining room doing just that. Taking the time to honor those who grace your doors is something that we deserve! We work hard for our dollar so shouldn’t you enjoy what you spend it on, and feel let alone be appreciated by the restaurant? That is what you can expect at My Shanti.

Let’s get out and enjoy the summer and support our great new restaurants in our community! 

This is my first write up in what will be a series or short posts celebrating the restaurants on the South Surrey / White Rock Peninsula. We are so fortunate in the lowermainland with top restaurants and fantastic chefs, we also should not forget that many of them have looked and our community and come to feed us! 

You gotta try this! 

My opinion is my own and Soley based on my experiences. This review was not previewed by the restaurant nor influenced by anyone other than me. 

2016 Golden Plates – people’s Choice awards 


2016 golden plates

 

Happy Wednesday great foodie friends. It has been some time since my last post but life just sometimes hops in front of passions. That said my family is my passion and I would t change a thing.

This years 19th Annual  Golden Plates awards are out and what I love about them is though we are all not necessarily food critics, we do know what we like and what we don’t! We all spend to much of our honestly made $ to throw it away so we do pay attention to what we like and what we don’t.

This years awards notably have many of my favorites but there are also so many that no one person could ever try them all in one year (well I suppose it’s possible but not probable)

I hope you enjoy!

TO READ TO DO

Golden Plates 2016 Winners

Neighbourhoods

Cuisines From Around the World

Gastronomy

Entertainment & Drinks

All Winners
GOLDEN PLATES WINNERS

Best restaurant overall

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Forage, 1300 Robson

Best fine dining

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Le Crocodile, 100-909 Burrard

Best mid-price restaurant

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro, 2741 W. 4th

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best budget restaurant

La Taqueria, Various locations

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best hotel restaurant

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

YEW seafood + bar, 791 W. Georgia

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, 845 Burrard

Best hotel café

Bel Café, 801 W. Georgia

giovane cafe + wine bar, 1038 Canada Place

Beyond Coffee, 1015 Burrard

Best resort restaurant

The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane, Tofino

The Great Room, Long Beach Lodge Resort, 1441 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino

The Wildflower Restaurant at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, 4599 Chateau Blvd., Whistler

Best casino for eats

River Rock Casino, 8811 River Rd., Richmond

Edgewater Casino, 760 Pacific Blvd. S

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, 2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam

Best view restaurant

Seasons in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Park (West 33rd Avenue at Cambie Street)

Cactus Club Café, 1790 Beach

Salmon House on the Hill, 2229 Folkestone Way, West Vancouver

Best restaurant considered a Vancouver legend

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

White Spot, Various locations

Best restaurant interior design

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Best restaurant atmosphere

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best restaurant service

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Best use of local ingredients

Edible Canada, 1596 Johnston, Granville Island

Forage, 1300 Robson

Fable, 1944 W. 4th

Most romantic restaurant

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Adesso Bistro, 1906 Haro

Best kid-friendly restaurant

White Spot, Various locations

Old Spaghetti Factory, Various locations

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Best place for food on campus

Biercraft Westbrook at UBC, 3340 Shrum Lane, UBC

Mercante Cucina Italiana, 6488 University Boulevard

Doughgirls Comfort Kitchen & Bakeshop, 3322 Shrum Lane

Best catering company

The Lazy Gourmet, 1605 W. 5th

The Butler Did It Catering, 620 Clark Drive

Emelle’s Catering and Westside Kitchen, 177 W. 7th

Best chain restaurant

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

White Spot, Various locations

Best restaurant for people-watching

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Chill Winston, 3 Alexander

Best restaurant for a birthday celebration

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Nomad, 3950 Main

Best restaurant for lingering over dinner

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Bauhaus Restaurant, 1 W. Cordova

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Best restaurant patio

Dockside, 1253 Johnston, Granville Island

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Bridges Restaurant, 1696 Duranleau, Granville Island

Best restaurant in which to hang out on a rainy day

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Best restaurant in which to hang out on a sunny day

Local Public Eatery, 2210 Cornwall

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Earls Restaurant, Various locations

Best restaurant for a first date with somebody you met online

33 Acres Brewing Company, 15 W. 8th

The Flying Pig, Various locations

Torafuku, 958 Main

Best restaurant for a 3 a.m. meal

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Denny’s Restaurant, Various locations

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

Best restaurant to cure a hangover

Denny’s Restaurant, Various locations

Yolk’s Restaurant & Commissary, 1298 East Hastings Street

Joe’s Grill, Various locations

Best all-you-can-eat restaurant

Shabusen Yakiniku House, 202-755 Burrard

New India Buffet & Restaurant, 805 W. Broadway

Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant, 201-1128 W. Broadway

Best hole-in-the-wall

Hawke’rs Delight, 4127 Main St

Bon’s Off Broadway, 2451 Nanaimo

Bao Down, 12 Powell

Best food truck

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Vij’s Railway Express, Mobile locations

Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mobile locations

Best food court

Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby

Pacific Centre, 701 W. Georgia

Richmond Centre, 6551 No 3 Rd., Richmond

Best takeout/delivery

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Next Noodle Bar, 560 Robson

Bob Likes Thai Food, Various locations

Hon’s Wun-Tun House, Various locations

Best Burnaby restaurant

Anton’s Pasta Bar, 4260 E. Hastings, Burnaby

The Pear Tree Restaurant, 4120 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Hart House Restaurant, 6664 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby

Best North Shore restaurant

Arms Reach Bistro, 107C–4390 Gallant Ave., North Van

Olive & Anchor, 6418 Bay St., West Van

Canyon, 3135 Edgemont Blvd., North Van

Best Richmond restaurant

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond

Best Surrey, Delta, White Rock, and Langley restaurant

Tasty Indian Bistro, 8295 120th St., Delta

My Shanti, 15869 Croydon Dr., Surrey

Central City Brew Pub + Restaurant, 13450 102nd Ave., Surrey

Best New Westminster, Port Moody, Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam restaurant

Pajo’s, Various locations

Cockney Kings Fish & Chips, Various locations

Thai New West, 424 E Columbia St., New Westminster

My Greek Taverna, Various locations

Best Whistler restaurant

RimRock Cafe, 2117 Whistler Rd., Whistler

Red Door Bistro, 2129 Lake Placid Rd., Whistler

Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar, 4222 Village Square, Whistler

Most vegan-friendly

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

The Acorn, 3995 Main

Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W. 12th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best gluten-free dining

The Acorn, 3995 Main

The Wallflower, 2420 Main

Panne Rizo Bakery & Cafe, 1939 Cornwall

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best organic dining

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

The Acorn, 3995 Main

Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W. 12th

Best African

Simba’s Grill, 825 Denman

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant, 2149 Commercial

Fassil Ethiopian Restaurant, 5-736 E. Broadway

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant , 1279 E. Hastings

Best barbecue

Gyu-Kaku, Various locations

Great Wall Mongolian BBQ, Various locations

Memphis Blues Barbeque House, Various locations

Best Caribbean

Calabash Bistro, 428 Carrall

The Reef, Various locations

Havana, 1212 Commercial

Best chicken

Homer St. Cafe and Bar, 898 Homer

Nando’s, Various locations

Phnom Penh Restaurant, 244 E. Georgia

Best Chinese (Cantonese)

Kirin, Various locations

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Hon’s Wun-Tun House, Various locations

Best Chinese (Shanghainese + northern style)

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Shanghai River Restaurant, 7831 Westminster Hwy., Richmond

Best Chinese (Taiwanese + other)

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, 163 Keefer

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, Various locations

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle, Various locations

Best Continental

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Tuc Craft Kitchen, 60 W. Cordova

Bauhaus Restaurant, 1 W. Cordova

Best dim sum

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant, 102-4930 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

Kirin, Various locations

Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant, 1132 E. Hastings

Best fish and chips

Go Fish, 1505 W. 1st

Cockney Kings Fish & Chips, Various locations

The Fish Shack, 1026 Granville

Best fish/shellfish

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Coast, 1054 Alberni

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

Rodney’s Oyster House, Various locations

Best French

Le Crocodile, 100-909 Burrard

Bistro Pastis, 2153 W. 4th

Les Faux Bourgeois, 663 E. 15th

Best fries

Fritz European Fry House, 718 Davie

Belgian Fries, 1885 Commercial

Frites Vancouver, 1011 Granville St

Best Greek

The Greek by Anatoli, 1043 Mainland

Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna, 1124 Davie

Takis’ Taverna, 1106 Davie

Best hot pot

Fatty Cow Seafood Hot Pot, 5108 Victoria

Won More, 201–1184 Denman

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, 405–5300 No.3 Road, Richmond

Best Italian

Ask for Luigi, 305 Alexander

CinCin, 1154 Robson

Anton’s Pasta Bar, 4260 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Best izakaya

Hapa Izakaya, Various locations

Kingyo Izakaya, 871 Denman

Guu, Various locations

Best Japanese

Miku Restaurant, 70-200 Granville

Minami, 1118 Mainland

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen + Sushi Bar, 2054 Commercial

Guu, Various locations

Best Korean

Sura Korean Royal Cuisine, Various locations

Damso Modern Korean Cuisine, 867 Denman

MDG Ma Dang Goul, 847 Denman

Best Latin American

La Taqueria, Various locations

Cuchillo, 261 Powell

Chicha, 136 E. Broadway

Best Lebanese

Nuba Restaurant and Café Nuba, Various locations

Babylon Café, Various locations

Saj&co, 813 Davie St.

Best Malaysian

Banana Leaf, Various locations

Kaya Malay Bistro, 1063 W. Broadway

Tropika, Various locations

Best Mediterranean

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Nuba Restaurant and Café Nuba, Various locations

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, 1133 and 1129 Hamilton

Best Mexican

Las Margaritas Restaurante y Cantina, 1999 W. 4th

La Taqueria, Various locations

La Mezcaleria, 1622 Commercial

Best Middle Eastern

East is East, Various locations

Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, 202-1833 Anderson St., Granville Island

Afghan Chopan, Various locations

Tamam: Fine Palestinian Cuisine, 2616 E. Hastings

Best noodles

Peaceful Restaurant, Various locations

Legendary Noodle House, 1074 Denman

Noodlebox, Various locations

Shaolin Noodle House, 656 W. Broadway

Best North Indian

Vij’s, 3106 Cambie

Indian Oven, 2006 W. 4th

Maurya Indian Cuisine, 1643 W. Broadway

Best South Indian

House of Dosas, 1391 Kingsway

Chutney Villa, 147 E. Broadway

Dosa Corner, 8248 Fraser

Best Pacific Northwest

AnnaLena, 1809 W. 1st

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Best Persian

Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, 202-1833 Anderson St., Granville Island

Zeitoon, Various locations

Cazba Restaurant, Various locations

Best pizza by the slice

Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizzeria, 350 Robson

Nat’s New York Pizzeria, Various locations

Pizza Garden, Various locations

Goldies Pizza, Various locations

Best pizza takeout/delivery

Pizzeria Farina, 915 Main

Pizza Carano, 4241 Fraser

Pizza Garden, Various locations

Uncle Fatih’s Pizza, Various locations

Best pizzeria

Nicli Antica Pizzeria, 62 E. Cordova

Via Tevere, 1190 Victoria

Pacifico Pizzeria Ristorante, 970 Smithe

Best poutine

La Belle Patate, 1215 Davie

Fritz European Fry House, 718 Davie

Belgian Fries, 1885 Commercial

The Spud Shack Fry Co., 352-800 Carnarvon St., New Westminister

Best ramen

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, 1690 Robson

JINYA Ramen Bar, 270 Robson

Kintaro Ramen, 788 Denman

Best seafood

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Coast, 1054 Alberni

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow

YEW seafood + bar, 791 W. Georgia

Best Spanish

España, 1118 Denman

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell

Cabrito Tapas-Bebidas, 2270 Commercial Dr.

Best steak

Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Various locations

Gotham Steakhouse & Bar, 615 Seymour

Hy’s Encore, Various locations

Black + Blue, 1032 Alberni

Best sushi

Tojo’s Restaurant, 1133 W. Broadway

Miku Restaurant, 70-200 Granville

Minami, 1118 Mainland

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen + Sushi Bar, 2054 Commercial

Best tacos

La Taqueria, Various locations

Tacofino, 2327 E. Hastings

Sal y Limon, 701 Kingsway

Gringo, 27 Blood Alley Square

Best tapas

España, 1118 Denman

Bodega on Main, 1014 Main

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell

Best Thai

SalaThai Thai Restaurant, Various locations

U & I Thai, Various locations

Maenam, 1938 W. 4th

Bob Likes Thai Food, Various locations

Best Vietnamese

Phnom Penh Restaurant, 244 E. Georgia

Green Lemongrass, 8180 Westminster Highway

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro, 1184 Denman

Best wings

Wings Tap & Grill, Various locations

Library Square Public House, 300 W. Georgia

Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro, 1184 Denman

Best Chef

Mike Robbins (AnnaLena), 1809 W. 1st

David Gunawan (Royal Dinette), 905 Dunsmuir

Mark Perrier (Savio Volpe), 615 Kingsway

Best new restaurant

AnnaLena, 1809 W. 1st

The Mackenzie Room, 415 Powell

Royal Dinette, 905 Dunsmuir

Best neighbourhood for restaurants

Gastown

Kitsilano

Main St.

Best place for casual cooking classes

The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, 540 Beatty

Quince, 1780 W. 3rd

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

Best professional culinary school

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 101-1505 W. 2nd

Vancouver Community College, 250 W. Pender

Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, 2725 Main Street

Best cooking store

Ming Wo, Various locations

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

Cook Culture, Various locations

Best specialty food store

The Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 E. Hastings

The August Market, 3958 Main

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best farmers market

Trout Lake

Nat Bailey

Kits Farmer’s Market

Best specialty grocer

Urban Fare, Various locations

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best store to buy organics products

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

The August Market, 3958 Main

Choices

Best picnic supplier

Granville Island Public Market, 1689 Johnston

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Meinhardt Fine Foods, 3002 Granville

Best deli

Oyama Sausage Company, 126-1689 Johnston, Granville Island

Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli, 4142 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Santa Barbara Market, 1322 Commercial

Best butcher

Windsor Quality Meats, 4110 Main

Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli, 4142 E. Hastings, Burnaby

Jackson’s Meats and Deli, 2214 W. 4th

Best seafood store

Granville Island Public Market, 1689 Johnston

The Daily Catch Seafood Company, 1418 Commercial

7 Seas Fish Co., Various locations

Best specialty cheese store

Les Amis du Fromage, Various locations

Benton Brothers Fine Cheese, Various locations

Bosa Foods, Various locations

Best grocery store café

Whole Foods Market, Various locations

Urban Fare, Various locations

Meinhardt Fine Foods, 3002 Granville

Best retro café/grocer

Le Marché St. George, 4393 St. George

The Mighty Oak, 198 W. 18th

Harvest Community Foods, 243 Union

Best retro diner

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, 2095 W. 4th

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

The Templeton, 1087 Granville

Best diner

Lucy’s Eastside Diner, 2708 Main

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, 2095 W. 4th

The Templeton, 1087 Granville

Best bistro

Tableau Bar Bistro, 1181 Melville

Au Comptoir, 2278 W. 4th

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Best comfort food

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Best pub food

The Irish Heather Gastropub, 210 Carrall

The Charles Bar, 136 W. Cordova

Mahony & Sons Public House, Various locations

St. Augustine’s, 2360 Commercial

Best appetizers

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Nomad, 3950 Main

Best salads

Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods, Various locations

The Foundation, 2301 Main

Railtown Cafe, 397 Railway

Best sandwiches

The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, 540 Beatty

Finch’s Tea & Coffee House, 353 W. Pender

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Best soups

Burgoo, 3 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

The Stock Market, 1689 Johnston, Granville Island

liquids + solids café & market, Various locations

Best vegetarian

The Acorn, 3995 Main

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Best veggie burger

Meet on Main, 4288 Main

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th

Best burger

Romer’s Burger Bar, Various locations

Vera’s Burger Shack, Various locations

Cannibal Cafe, 1818 Commercial

Fatburger, Various locations

White Spot, Various locations

Best brunch

Medina Cafe, 780 Richards

Nomad, 3950 Main

Fable, 1944 W. 4th

Best breakfast

Yolk’s Restaurant & Commissary, 1298 East Hastings Street

White Spot, Various locations

Catch 122, 122 W. Hastings

Best bagel

Solly’s Bagelry, Various locations

Siegel’s Bagels, Various locations

Rosemary Rocksalt, Various locations

Best bread bakery

Terra Breads, Various locations

Purebread, 159 W. Hastings

Batard Boulangerie and Cafe Moderne, 3958 Fraser

Best pastry bakery

Beaucoup Bakery & Café, 2150 Fir

Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry & Confectionary, 3150 W. Broadway

Fratelli Bakery, Various locations

Best gluten-free bakery

The Smallflower Cake & Bakeshop, 47 W. Hastings

Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery, 3385 Cambie

East Village Bakery, 2166 E. Hastings

Float On Bakeshop & Cafe, 4384 Fraser

Best desserts

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie, Various locations

720Sweets, 3278 W. Broadway

Thierry, 1059 Alberni

Best ice cream

Earnest Ice Cream, 3992 Fraser

Rain or Shine Homemade Ice Cream, Various locations

720Sweets, 3278 W. Broadway

Best gelato

Bella Gelateria, Various locations

Mario’s Gelati, 88 East 1st Avenue

La Casa Gelato, 1033 Venables St

Best frozen yogurt

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar, Various locations

Menchie’s

Pinkberry

Yogen Fruz

Best chocolate shop

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie, Various locations

Purdy’s Chocolates, Various locations

Beta 5, 413 Industrial

Mink, a Chocolate Café, Various locations

Best doughnut shop

Cartems Donuterie, 534 W. Pender

Lucky’s Doughnuts, Various locations

Lee’s Donuts, 122-1689 Johnston, Granville Island

Best restaurant for a working lunch

Tap & Barrel Restaurant, Various locations

Cactus Club Cafe, Various locations

Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar, Various locations

Best eatery with live entertainment

Ten Ten Tapas, 1010 Beach

Libra Room, 1608 Commercial

Guilt & Co., 1 Alexander

East is East, Various locations

Best pre-theatre restaurant

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Siena, 1485 W. 12th

Cibo Trattoria, 900 Seymour

Best pregame restaurant

Library Square Public House, 300 W. Georgia

Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery, 560 Smithe

The Pint Public House, 455 Abbott

Best restaurant for watching the game

Boston Pizza, Various locations

Shark Club, Various locations

Local Public Eatery, 2210 Cornwall

Best hotel lounge

Lobby Lounge Terrace + RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place

1927 Lobby Lounge at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 W. Georgia

Opus Bar, 322 Davie St.

Best bar lounge

The Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer

Pourhouse , 162 Water

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour

Best bartender

Matt van Dinther (Nomad), 3950 Main

H (Notturno)

Julia Diakow (Tacofino), 2327 E. Hastings

Best restaurant B.C. beer selection

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander

Craft Beer Market, 85 W. 1st

BierCraft Restaurants, Various locations

Best restaurant imported beer selection

BierCraft Restaurants, Various locations

Craft Beer Market, 85 W. 1st

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander

Best restaurant wine list (B.C.)

Edible Canada, 1596 Johnston, Granville Island

Vancouver Urban Winery, 55 Dunlevy

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar, 900 W. Georgia

Best restaurant wine list (imported)

Blue Water Cafe, 1095 Hamilton

Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 W. Georgia

Best wine bar

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour

Salt Tasting Room, 45 Blood Alley

Grapes & Soda, 1541 W. 6th

Best winery/vineyard restaurant

Miradoro Restaurant, Tinhorn Creek Winery, 537 Tinhorn Creek Road, Oliver

Quails’ Gate, 3303 Boucherie Road, Kelowna

The Sonora Room, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl.

Best restaurant for cocktails

The Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, 845 Burrard

Best restaurant for drink specials

Colony Main Street, 2904 Main

Cascade Room, 2616 Main

Granville Room, 957 Granville

Best restaurant for a stiff drink

The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, 905 Dunsmuir

Pourhouse , 162 Water

Shebeen Whisk(e)y House, Behind 212 Carrall

Best pub

Doolin’s Irish Pub, 654 Nelson Street

Bimini Public House, 2010 W. 4th

Storm Crow Tavern, 1305 Commercial Dr

Best brewpub restaurant

Steamworks, 375 Water

Yaletown Brewing Co., 1111 Mainland Street

Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall, 97 E. 2nd

Best local distillery

Odd Society Spirits, 1725 Powell Street

The Liberty Distillery, 1494 Old Bridge Rd., Granville Island

Long Table Distillery, 1451 Hornby St.

Best imported beer

Deschutes

Guinness

Sierra Nevada

Best local brewery

Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

Postmark Brewing, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Central City Brewers + Distillers, 11411 Bridgeview Drive, Surrey

Best new brewery

Big Rock Urban Brewery, 310 W. 4th

Doan’s Craft Brewing

Callister Brewing Co

Best brewery tasting room

Brassneck Brewery, 2148 Main Street

Granville Island Brewing, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

33 Acres Brewing Company, 15 W. 8th

Best locally brewed beer

Granville Island Brewing – Lions Winter Ale, 1441 Cartwright St., Granville Island

Parallel 49 – Gypsy Tears, 1950 Triumph Street

Postmark Brewing – Blonde, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Best B.C. beer brewed outside Vancouver

Driftwood Fat Tug IPA, 102-450 Hillside Ave., Victoria

Phillips Brewing Blue Buck, 2010 Government St., Victoria

Four Winds IPA

Best Canadian beer brewed outside B.C.

Steam Whistle Brewing

Mill Street Brewery, 55 Mill St., Toronto

Alexander Keith’s

Best B.C. wine/winery (red)

Burrowing Owl, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl., Oliver

Blasted Church, 378 Parsons Road, Okanagan Falls

Le Vieux Pin, 5496 Black Sage Rd., Oliver

Best B.C. wine/winery (white)

JoieFarm Winery, 2825 Naramata Road, Naramata

Blasted Church, 378 Parsons Road, Okanagan Falls

Burrowing Owl, 500 Burrowing Owl Pl., Oliver

Le Vieux Pin, 5496 Black Sage Rd., Oliver

Best private wine store

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

Firefly Fine Wines and Ales, 2857 Cambie Street

Everything Wine

Best private liquor store

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

The Brewery Creek Liquor Store, 3045 Main Street

Darby’s, 2001 Macdonald

Best private beer store

The Brewery Creek Liquor Store, 3045 Main Street

Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba

My Liquor Store, Various locations

Best independent coffee shop

Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie

Beaucoup Bakery & Café, 2150 Fir

Bump n Grind Cafe, 916 Commercial

Best coffee shop (local chain)

JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, Various locations

49th Parallel, Various locations

Caffè Artigiano, Various locations

Best coffee shop (national chain)

Tim Hortons, Various locations

Starbucks, Various locations

Waves Coffee House

Best fair trade coffee shop

Ethical Bean Coffee, 1315 Kootenay

Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House, Various locations

Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie

Best tea house

The Secret Garden Tea Company, 5559 West Boulevard

DAVIDsTEA, Various locations

O5 Rare Tea Bar, 2208 W. 4th

Best juice bar

The Juice Truck, 28 W. 5th

Jugo Juice

The Juicery Co., Various locations

Best energy drink

Red Bull

The Juice Truck, 28 W. 5th

Rockstar

Best beer festival/event

Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Hopscotch

Brewery and Beast

Best wine festival/event

Vancouver International Wine Festival

Cornucopia

Naramata Bench Wineries Spring and Fall Events

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Dine Out Vancouver

Food Truck Festival

Eat! Vancouver

Congratulations to all of my restaurant friends and for the ones that I haven’t tried yet I will do my best to add at least a few per month.

Please revel in the culinary wonderment that BC has to offer and take a look at how our food scene has changed for the better. Whether you are looking for great chain restaurants or Farm to Table or even gluten free, BC has a plethora of choices abound.

You Gotta try this!

 

 

 

Ham and Split Pea soup 


  
I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas season so far! 

When life hands you ham hock, make split pea soup. What truly motivates me was the memory of my moms split pea and ham hock soup – I can taste it as I write. The melencoly thoughts of missing my mom soften when I bring her culinary soul back into the kitchen.

What you will need:

2 cups dried split peas

*approx 1/2 cup of carrots finely chopped

*approx 1/2 cup of celery finely chopped 

1 cup of onion finley diced 

1 bay leaf 

1/4 tsp of pepper 

1/4 tsp of salt (I use sea salt)

1 tsp fresh Tyme chopped

2 tsp of minced garlic

1/8 to 1/4 tsp of  chili flakes 

1 ham hock

1 1/3 cups (approx) diced ham

7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth 

3 table spoons of unsalted butter ( you could use salted if that’s all you have )    

 

  

What you will do:

In a large pot place the 7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth along with the peas.

  

Bring to a boil and the turn of and cover and let stand for 1 1/2 hours. 

In another pot place your ham hock in and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil on medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer for approx 1 hour. Once it is done drain the water and put your ham hock aside. 

In a deep pot start to melt the butter and then put in the onions and stir until they soften (approx 2 mins). Now add in the carrots and celery and sauté until softened (approx 3 more mins)

Now add in the salt, pepper and chili flakes as well as the diced ham and hock- stir occasionally while the ham starts to brown (deepens the flavor) 

Now add in the peas separated from the liquid and stir. Then and in the liquid and stir. Bring the pot to a medium simmer and stir occasionally. You want the peas to get tender if not mushy. (One step if you like a smoother soup is the not put in the diced ham but add after you purée the soup) 

You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding water or broth to the consitentcy that you like.

Remove the ham hock and bay leaf and top with your favorite adder (croutons, crackers, Parmigina)

   

   
This soup is perfect for a winter / fall day and is the perfect thing to make inexpensively from mostly left overs and inexpensive split peas.

Heartwarming, thanks mom for the inspiration.

  

“You gotta try this!”


We Heart Local 3rd annual awards 


  
Happy Thursday great foodie friends,

As you have probably noticed I am very fond of “buy local” “eat local” as well as getting to know your farmer and equally important where your food comes and what the practices of your food artisans are in growing and preparing your food. 

This great annual people’s choice awards is a great opportunity to vote for and share your appreciation for your favorite local advocate, farmer, artisan, restaurant and the list goes on! 

  
We Heart Local award page
Let’s hear it for local: it’s time for the We Heart Local Awards!
Get ready to show your favourite local food producer a little love: it’s time for the third annual We ♥ Local Awards! For the last three years, this people’s choice awards has highlighted the most popular food and agriculture businesses and organizations across the province. Your vote helps support the local economy, spread the word about why local is better…and it also tells your favourites- in a very concrete way- how important they are to your community. If you want to support your local butcher, baker, or ice cream maker, nominate them for a We ♥ Local award!
Anyone living in BC can nominate and vote for their favourites in the following 15 delicious categories (simply head on over to http://www.weheartlocalawards.ca!)
· Favourite Farmers’ Market

· Favourite Store to Buy Local

· Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier

· Favourite Local Seafood Supplier

· Favourite Local Cheese Maker

· Favourite Local Sweet Treat

· Favourite Local Advocate

· Favourite Local Winery

· Favourite Local Brewery

· Favourite Local Food Truck

· Favourite Local U-Pick Farm

· Favourite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier

· Favourite Local Restaurant or Chef

· Favourite Local Florist or Nursery

· Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower
Ready to spread the local love? Here’s how the We ♥ Local Awards work: nominations start August 17th, and voting is open from September 7th to September 14th, 2015. And when you vote, everyone’s a potential winner: nominating and voting for your local BC favourites also enters YOU into weekly draws for a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to your local BC VQA store. Plus, you’ll be automatically entered in the Grand Prize draw for a luxurious three-night stay at Taku Resort and Marina along with your choice of a cooking course for two, valued at $1,800. This prize includes $300 gift card for BC Ferries to cover the cost of ferry transportation to Quadra Island. It’s an unforgettable way to experience local – especially once you hear Taku’s family story. Grand prize winner will be announced on September 15, 2015.
To cheer on your favourite local loves (and discover new ones), head to weheartlocalbc.ca, or download their mobile app to find what’s in season right from your pocket.