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vancouver: 3 days, 10 restaurants, and 2 pounds later.

There are two distinct careers I can remember wanting when I “grew up.”

Travel/food writing and food styling.

For the most part I dismissed those, the first because doesn’t everyone want to write and travel for Bon Appetit magazine?…and the second because, well, the creative juices required to be a food stylist just didn’t run through my blood (as evidenced by my ‘quick!…throw the food on the plate and take a picture of it before the family starts screaming and throwing things’ food shots).

But this last week we traveled to Vancouver – just my better half and I – and for 3 days we blissfully ate our way around the city.  It ain’t Bon Appetit, but here’s the roundup:This is quintessential Vancouver – beautiful, clean, metropolitan and right on the water.  We kayaked this bay in an effort to burn a couple hundred calories before eating a couple thousand more.

Lunch at Irish Heather – we shared the Bangers and Mash and both decided the onion rings were deep fried in bacon fat.  Oh…my…goodness.  Amazing.  And to complete our first stop at the historic Canadian pub – a couple pints to wash it down.

Lunch at Lebanese restaurant Nuba where we ordered their famous crispy caulliflower with tahini dressing.

Also we tried their lamb with taziki and this spicy mint/yogurt dressing.  I’m typically not in the habit of ordering lamb but this was fantastic!  Also, what’s great about Nuba is you can sit in their back room at low tables on cushions and benches – very Mediterranean.

Onto Bin941 where we sat at the bar, ordered a couple drinks and tapas and got to know Kelly, the veteran bartender.  Here are  golden beets with a truffle honey oil, fried sage and pinenuts.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

…and the seasonal mushroom risotto.  I can’t even begin to explain how decadent this dish was.

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Northwest without fish and chips.

Lunch at Go Fish, which is right on the water and serves fish caught from local fisherman.  I love that Vancouver is all about supporting local fisherman and farmers – everything is fresh, organic and locally grown/caught.

Appetizers at Maenam, the city’s best Thai.  We shared the prawn cakes and…

Thai sausage made in house and containing the hottest peppers I’ve ever had in my life.  No joke – it took about 10 minutes for my mouth to not feel absolutely and totally on fire.  Good thing Andrew and I order some kind of Thai beer that was the size of a small child.

Now if you have time for one lunch in the city I beg you, please go to Meat and Bread.  It’s a travelling frugal foodie’s dream.  They’ve done it all right – the limited daily menu full of really good, gourmet but not overly stuffy sandwiches, the cohesive brand permeating everything you see and touch, the communal table nearly the length of the restaurant.  We even chatted with owner Cord who told us all about starting the restaurant and how some ‘Food Network’ channel was dropping by the next day and why was his father sweeping the front stoop?, thus sealing the deal as one of our favorite stops along our self-guided food tour.

Their famous “porchetta” pork roast sandwich on a fresh ciabatta, with salsa verde and a dollop of their homemade mustard.

Their meatball sandwich, also on a ciabatta, dripping with sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.  Holy smokes.

Vancouver is a foodie’s dream – some restaurants more frugal than others – but the international feel of the city makes for some incredibly diverse and wonderful eating.  And so my philosophy is, eat frugally 360 days of the year, save some dough, and go splurge with someone you love.

I think you’ll enjoy Vancouver too.

A few others that made the tour (but not the blog):


MARKET by Jean-George


Granville Island Public Market

Head on over to Facebook to see more pics, including the eye candy that was the Granville Island Market.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love this post!!!

    September 2, 2011
    • Thanks Krista! Have you been to any of these restaurants?

      September 2, 2011
  2. MiMI #

    Where do I sign up for the next frugal foodie tour??….but great to be home with the peanut butter and jelly crowd too….love those kids.

    September 2, 2011
  3. If I had seen this earlier, I would have suggested a little hole-in-the wall in Gas Lamp Town called Cafe Dolcino’s. It’s a small coffee shop with the most amazing sandwiches.

    September 4, 2011
  4. Cord #

    Great Blog! I will refer my friends visiting Vancouver here so they too can have the perfect trip! Nice to meet you two.

    September 7, 2011

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