Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vancouver: Tartine Bread & Pies

sweet tooth
:West End:

RESTO open Monday to Saturday, 7 to 7 and Sunday 7 to 6
@770 Beach Avenue Google maps

Must eats:

Banana Cream Pie ($18)

Morning...today is a special day. One of the few days my black heart is pink. I woke up to a lot of love from near and far and well...it actually started coming in yesterday - in the form of sushi, ginger molasses cookies, some of my favourite travel necessities and PIE! 

I love pie...almost like I love doughnuts. Lately I've been all about coconut cream pie, but Jubilee told me about Tartine and its awesome banana cream pie. It's in my hood but I just never got around to popping in. Then my special day rolled around and Jubilee, being the sweet bug she is, brought one to me. She's actually like a little fairy, sprinkling her infectiously happy pixie dust here and there and basically everywhere.

That pie was everything I wanted and needed it to be: a flaky delicious crust filled with a pillowy cloud of whipped delight, bananas and banana cream. Trifecta of delicious - ohhhh ooooh ahhh yumness.

Now I must try their other pies and treats. What a happy way to start a year older.

Tartine Bread and Pies on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vancouver: Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana

friendly neighbours
:Commercial + Grandview:

RESTO open Tuesday to Sunday, 5 to 10 pm (to 11 pm Friday & Saturday)
@1190 Victoria Drive Google maps

Must eats:

Quattro Fromaggi ($16)
Fior di latte ricotta, smoked provolone, parmigiano
Homestyle meatballs in tomato sauce

Via Tevere is hidden on a tree lined street and isn't the easiest to get to - but it is worth the trek.

Best neapolitan pizza in the city. Well crafted pizza. Yes crafted. It's simple but it's in the details. Crusty, chewy crust with flavourful sauce with just enough depth and a cornucopia of fresh ingredients. Delicious. Bon appetit!!!

Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vancouver: Bambudda

generation new

BAMBUDDA open Tuesday to Sunday, 530 to midnight
@99 Powell Street - Google maps

Full post a little farther down, but if you're becoming like me where you don't care why and just want to know what, here are the must eats. If you go, you must:

Potato vermicelli, oyster mushrooms, cilantro sauce vierge ($13)

Crisp oysters, house maggi glaze, egg crepe ($11)

Pork belly,  taro, fermented tofu and lime ($19)
Bambudda has been around a while, but I am weary of modern Chinese or Nouveau Chinese or whatever the kids call it these days. Like many trends, ill qualified people jump on the wagon. If I was driving that cart, I'd hit enough bumps to eject them from my ride. Bambudda can stay on, cause I said so and so did they.

I had dinner with some straight shooters so I'll take my inspiration from them and keep this to the point: Bambudda is worth a visit. There were some standouts and some misses, but overall, things tipped to the good side. Especially because the prices weren't obnoxious. You'd be surprised how many people slap on a nouveau in front of the word Chinese and all of a sudden things go haywire. 

Ling cod foreground, pork belly background
Bambudda is known for their cocktails which are creative to say the least. The restaurant itself had a regal flair without being unwelcoming or pretentious. Service was warm, engaging and attentive: our waters were always full, the bartenders had a heavy pour, the food was pretty and they seemed to genuinely care whether we enjoyed our meal. We did. Especially the potato vermicelli. I don't know what they did to the mushrooms but they were stellar - lightly fried and flavour bomb. I also liked the ling cod served in a sweet and sour style, although my dinner companions thought it was overcooked. I didn't notice. 

The misses were the crisp tofu - pretty pedestrian - and the pork dumplings with watercress sauce and pickled ginger salad. Now it's half my fault I didn't like it. I was expecting dumplings in a more traditional sense - like Hon's potsticker in Vancouver or Mother's Dumplings in Toronto, but not a version of sui mai. Never anticipate as it can ruin your experience, but I didn't like the flavours anyway, and that's their fault.

Bambudda on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vancouver: Oru

brunch buffet
:Coal Harbour:

I love PacRim...why? WILLOW STREAM. Jubilee was kind enough to tell me about it. She also told me about Oru. They do a buffet brunch for $36. Now, when I first posted this - I said I thought it was $18...WHERE DID I PULL THAT NUMBER FROM?!? Oru contacted me via Yelp and advised it's always been about mid-30s - so I obviously have to apologize for my error.

But it got me thinking...why did I think it was $18? Thinking too much can hurt. So I chalk it up to the fact that what I think their buffet is worth. Half the price because it's half way to the quality it ought to be. There. Mistake rectified.

Buffets have Momma GG's name all over them. In fact last week she asked us to River Rock to check out their's. It was terrible. Capital s in *hit. Momma GG and I made the most of it. Then again, I think by now you've all realized Momma GG overfloweth with positivity. She is the epitome of glass half full.

Momma GG and I hit Oru before our appointments at Willow. It was a great deal for $18 (not so much for $36). But get this, Momma GG didn't like it. Surprising right?. She said it looked better than it tasted. I agree. I said it seemed like the selection was bigger than it was. She agrees. I'll put it to you like this: Toronto's Boiler House and Hot House take first and second in the brunch buffet category. Oru didn't place. Points for participation because at least I got this:

You can't really screw this up. 

And a waffle:

Papa GG loved waffles like I love waffles.

And a scone with clotted cream:
Along with a made to order eggs benny:

I know it looks unappetizing.
We were full and that was all we needed before some rest and relaxation at our favourite hideaway in the city. Yes, we're back at Willow Stream. If I sound like a broken record, there's a really good reason. Best spa in the city exclamation point.

Final point of this post: Oru, go again? For $36 not.

Oru on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vancouver: La Tortas

work lunch not working lunch
:South Cambie:

The workplace is much like a buffet. A large selection of this and that, but when you've been to as many buffets as I have, you become a pro at weeding out the crap. I only go for the real good stuff because I like quality. Workplaces, same thing.

Poppette is one of those things I like. We don't get to have lunch often. I think she's like me - either we're too busy and when we're not, sometimes it's nice for lunch to be a solo activity. I see it as my little piece of peace at work. Of course I make sure to consistently schedule social lunches here and there. It's happy time selectively sprinkled throughout my calendar and I look forward to each and every one.

Before my latest lunch date with Poppette, I came back to my office to find she left a post-it. She listed a few restaurant choices and told me to pick. I reviewed them and settled on Las Tortas because I've never had a torta, have you? I've had an arepa and thought it was the same. Nope - different and better. I liked the the bread: a crisp and chewy sandwich roll:

Colourful - like a Mexican banh mi?!
Fresh ingredients and condiments amply stacked between fresh bread:

Serious flavours, great textures
The best part of the meal? The homemade chips:

REALLY good...
Service is friendly and I couldn't have asked for more: cheap and delicious. And it started with a post-it. Yay Poppette!

Las Tortas on Urbanspoon