Sunday, September 27, 2009

swedes do it better

What: dessert after having dim sum with family in Richmond
Where: IKEA
When: Saturday
Why: Because for only $1, why not?
Verdict: Really, there's not a lot to complain about when you're happily licking away at a large frozen yogurt cone. I also bought a can of pear cider (all the way from Sweden) and that was only $1.99. All that for a handful of pocket change. Not bad. Not bad at all.

In other food-related news: you know Thanksgiving is around the corner when you see a caramel apple creation in the form of a basted roasted turkey.

The turkey in the center is cute. But I think he feels a little uncomfortable sitting between the two basted turkeys. He might get the idea that he knows them... "Cousin Bobby, is that you?!"

Because it was too cute not to photograph.

Friday, September 25, 2009

food on a stick is always good

What: Early dinner, dinner, late dinner, dessert and drinks
Where: Richmond Night Market
When: After work on Friday
Why: Sample street vendor food before the festival closes down for the Fall
Verdict: Sticky fingers and messy eating is what street food is all about and what better place to sample different kinds of food but at the Richmond Night Market? Me and my coworkers headed out early to the night market (after a pit stop at Aberdeen Centre for some shopping at Daiso and a quick bite to eat at Beard Papa's), so it wasn't too crowded when we got there. There were street performers, balloons and a children's play area that was sectioned off in the back as well as a live band (suffering from the occasional technical difficulties, poor sound quality and maybe a lack of talent). Of course, our first stop was the food court where we wandered around and looked at the food on display. The majority of the food we ate was on a stick, for convenience's sake, and it was damn good eating. Octopus balls, dim sum, sticky rice, chow mein and bubble tea where some of the usual fares, accompanied by some new food options: black sesame creme brulee, grilled octopus, hurricane fries and fried ice-cream (!).

Monday, September 21, 2009

carbs are a good thing

What: Lunch
Where: Cafe Luxy
When: Sunday
Why: Pasta craving (I've been craving pasta for a while now, so I thought it was best to get it out of my system before something happens, like my brain exploding all over my keyboard at work for lack of carbs in my diet. I could only imagine the aftermath.)
Verdict: Good grub. All pasta dishes include a side of Caesar salad (tossed in the perfect amount of dressing) and a slice of garlic bread. I ordered the Penne Quattro Formagi (gorgonzola, brie, mozzarella, parmesan with a light cream sauce) and my dinner partner had the Lasagne Pollo (cream pesto, broccoli, chicken, mushrooms, 3 cheeses). I liked how my dish was creamy and cheesy, but not too creamy or cheesy to the point where you're done after three bites and you don't want anymore pasta for fear of becoming lactose intolerant.

Creamy, cheesy goodness. With a sprinkle of black pepper, of course.

I wasn't able to taste the Lasagne Pollo (it took some persuading to get a photo of the dish before it was swallowed whole in a matter of a few short minutes), but the verdict was good as well. The lasagna looks deceptively small, but it was filling enough to satisfy the appetite of the bottomless pit that is my dining partner.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

i am carnivore, hear me roar

It was a full day of eating for me. After a stop at a jewellery sample sale, where despite the fact that the showroom was picked clean of all jewellery items, I still managed to buy 2 pairs of earrings. Not realizing how hungry we were (jewellery shopping can be very exhausting!), we stumbled outside into the bright sunshine and made our way to the Keg in Yaletown for lunch.

I ordered the Escargot stuffed mushroom caps with garlic and herbs as a starter to share and for my entree, the Classic Burger, naturally grilled with Keg spice on a dry bun with french fries. My sibling ordered the Teriyaki Top Sirloin, grilled medium, with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

The escargots arrived first and I had my sister try one as she has never had escargots before (shock and horror!). She loved it, which was wonderful but turned out to be a double-edged sword of a victory, as we ended up fighting over who got the last escargot (I won that round). As much as I loved the starter, I didn't like the fact that they served it with a simple dinner roll. There was no bread basket filled with hot toasty slices of fresh bread, which would have been perfect for dipping into the oily, gooey mass of garlic and herbs that was slathered (word of the day! This one's for you Lina!) all over the escargots. Instead, I received one small dinner roll, the kind that you could buy at your local grocery store for 29 cents and I had to split that with my sister. I was not impressed.

My sister's steak arrived, and I snagged a moist, juicy morsel along with a quarter of her mashed potatoes. Very tasty. Almost made up for the dinner roll incident. Once my burger arrived, I returned the gesture and shared some of my fries with my sister. Despite being on a dry bun, the burger was flavourful and grilled to perfection: moist and oozing with juice. It was probably one of the best burgers that I've had in a long time.

This cutie was patiently waiting outside the Earls Restaurant in Yaletown. So adorable!

Later on in the day, I met up with my old coworker for dinner at Kawawa Ramen Place at the mall. Since I was still quite full from my previous meal at the Keg (it was a late lunch), I just ordered the gyoza while my friend had the mixed vegetable ramen noodles in miso broth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

q4: where gangstas go to get shot

A quote from a friend. LOL.

Last week, when I saw the email promotion for $10 pastas at Quattro on 4th, I was all over it and quickly made reservations for me and my friend to have dinner there Tuesday night. Well, we arrived on time at 5:30pm to what was virtually a ghost town of a restaurant (it started to pick up around 6PM, when people were getting off work). That's fine, as we got to pick the best seats in the house and we settled in for some good pasta. And it was very good pasta indeed. Shar ordered the Penne con Punte di Asparagi (penne with asparagus tips, Tagiasche olives, fresh tomato, in a white wine tomato sauce topped with toasted pine nuts) and I had the pasta of the day: cannolli stuffed with lamb and served in a light squash sauce. Very nice. I ordered the Shiraz to accompany my dish and my friend also ordered a glass of red wine, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. I think the wine might have muddled by brain. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you...

Hot bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. YUM.

Shar's Penne con Punte di Asparagi. I'm not a fan of olives (too salty), but this dish was still good. It was slightly spicy and the asaparagus was a nice touch. Although, I think it would have tasted better without the olives, but that's just my personal preference.

The special of the day. Really good. Just look at all that goodness.

Dessert was a dark chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream and my friend had the filo pastry layered with sour cherries and mascarpone cream.

The brownie was so rich and moist and I preferred it over my friend's dessert. Despite there being sour cherries in the pastry, it was actually quite sweet. The filo pastry had been dusted with icing sugar and the cherry sauce was also sweet as well. And the sour cherries? Not so sour, apparently.

We had lovely service; an attentive server, but not too attentive since we were the only diners at the restaurant for a little while, which was really nice. I'm sure he was self-consciously putting up a fight with his inner waiter, in an effort to not smother us with attention as we poured over the menu, deciding which pasta dish to try. Only available from Mondays to Wednesdays this fall, you get a great deal on quality pasta dishes. For that price, you can order two dishes if you're really hungry! Just mind the flying bullets.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

pigged out

Saturday night was spent celebrating the big 3-0 (happy birthday Sheila!) at The Greedy Pig, a small hole in the wall kind of place that you wouldn't notice at as you walk on by. But, inside the jazz band was playing, the mood was festive, the birthday girl was in high spirits (and hammered) and the food was mouth-watering good. This was more of an appy/tapas kind of party: meat and cheese platters up front at the bar, plates of tomato and boccacini salad skewers and servers coming around, offering guests mini pulled pork sandwiches and spicy peanut satay chicken skewers. Delish. Of course, this being the birthday girl's big 3-0, we had make a few toasts and drink to her good health: I ordered the Ward Eight (Kentucky Bourbon shaken with fresh lemon and orange juices with pomegranate grenadine. a classic from New York City) and had a sip of my friend's Roughrider cocktail (Canadian Rye Whiskey shaken with pureed raspberries, black raspberry liqueur & fresh lime juice juice topped with ginger beer, served tall). Midway into the party, there was a bit of a medical emergency (no ambulance required), but someone did have to leave early for the night, so a glass of white wine (dr. loosen reisling. 2006, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) was bestowed on me as a parting gift. I'm no wino, but this was exceptionally good white wine: light, fruity and sweet but not too sweet that it didn't make me sick after a while (I've had some very unfortunate encounters with some unfriendly red wines in the past). I would definitely order it again if I saw it on the menu. And I do plan on coming back and tasting the other menu items that the Pig has to offer.

The place was packed when we arrived, which was great but the downside: no air conditioning. So it did get a wee bit hot in the back, where we were sitting. I'm so glad I wore shorts, even though the back of my thighs were glued to the leather seats. I had to peel myself off the seat every time I got up to order a drink or use the bathroom.

A very blurry picture of the pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce. So moist and delicious. This is one of the reasons why I don't think I'll become a vegetarian. At least, not full-time.

My Ward Eight cocktail.

For the rest of the night, I was sipping on this lovely reisling.

The eyes... it just won't stop staring at me...

Crowded bar... those were some good cocktails...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

grab and go

Despite my reluctance to get out of bed this morning, I was still able to get to work on time. But, driven by my panic to get to the bus stop in 5 minutes, I completely bypassed the warm piping bowl of breakfast on the table and had to settle for this:

Nature's Path pumpkin seed granola for breakfast.

Gnawing my way through a deliciously sweet and juicy Anjou pear.

I did manage to grab my lunch as I flew out the door:

My lunch: a slice of fish cake, cauliflower, shrimp and chicken dumplings on a bed of noodles.

Montreal-style smoked meat on a kaiser bun with mustard, aka Lina's "heart-attack" lunch.

I had class today, after work (I cannot believe I'm in class again), so I stopped by the Next Noodle Bar to partake in some fried yumminess:

Salty and spicy calamari (and it was very spicy!)

Close-up of the spiciness. Lots of hot red chili peppers there.

Vegetarian chopstick rolls with mango dip.

Shredded vegetables inside.

I washed all that oil down with a cup of green tea and later on in the night, two Cosmos. Good times.