We’ve moved!!


Hello all you really good looking fans! We’ve merged with SurreyIsTheBomb.com to become WFLBC.com, West Coast Food and Lifestyle!! All of the content from this blog has been transferred over as well as all the Surrey posts from SurreyIsTheBomb. Check out our new home at http://wflbc.com/ We’ve also changed out Twitter/Facebook account to relfect the change, if you already follow us don’t worry, you still do, there’s no need to find us again!! We’re now @WFLBC.

You will have to subscribe to the new site if you’d like to receive email notification when we post something new.

Cheers!!

Scott.

Advertisements

Be’wiched Cafe


You guys know I like Surrey so it’s no surprise that when I find a hidden gem here I have to tell you about it. Be’wiched Cafe is a nondescript looking sandwich shop in a typical suburban strip mall, the same strip mall that houses Big Ridge Brewing Co. It’s modest appearance is in no way a reflection of the food.

I had heard about Be’wiched from a few people but mostly it was my cousin Kurt (author of the Bibo post) who kept telling me I had to go. I did and I’ll definitely be back. I ordered the Cubano Caliente, a spicy twist on the classic Cubano. It had roasted pork, ham, Swiss Cheese on pressed ciabatta. The classic Cubano has pickles but they were replaced by banana peppers hence the “caliete” (spicy) annotation. The pork was great, so was the ham. The bun was crisp and fresh, pressed just the right amount and just soft enough to not fall apart. The peppers added a nice little kick to this classic sandwich, it’s REALLY hard to find a good Cubano in the GVRD, this one might be one of the best.

The sandwich came with a side of Orzo salad which is made fresh, actually almost everything Be’wiched sells is house made, even their meats. The salad was a great version of a traditional pasta salad. I’m seriously impressed with this place.

I’ll be back soon to dig deeper into the menu, stay tuned for another post!

Twitter – @bewichedcafe

Facebook – facebook.com/be.wiched.cafe

Scott.

Bibo Brunch Party


Introducing our good friend Kurt who is a Seafood salesman, husband, father and singer. Loves food, and is a cousin of the father who birthed WFLBC. 

Arriving at BiBo

When Scott asked if I could attend a launch party for Bibo’s new brunch menu, I believe I may have said “YES” before he finished asking the question. With my beautiful wife on my arm, I headed to Bibo at 1835W.4th Ave. in Vancouver.

Bibo is owned and operated by Andrea Bini and Lorenzo Bottazzi (hence Bibo). Their mission is to present the most authentic Italian dishes possible, and I have to say I was impressed.

When I arrived there was wine and Antipasto aplenty. The wine is from their 400 year old family winery. The cheese and meat were great (I am looking at you Chili Gorgonzola), but the star for me (and maybe for the whole night) was the Bagna Cauda. Although it is a very common dish of the Piedmont
region, I have never had it before. It is a warm dip made from olive oil, butter, garlic, and anchovies. Served with fresh vegetables for dipping, it was everything I need food to be. Rich, deep buttery flavor, and a little salty kick from the anchovies. I think I stood in front of it for a while so that
nobody else could take any (I am like that).

Yummy sauce for dipping things in

The focus was on the Farinata and the Foccaccia Al Formaggio Genovese. Farinata is a flatbread made from chick pea flour, and cooked in a wood burning oven. Foccacia Al Formaggio is a thin Foccacia with cheese, also baked in the wood burning oven. Farinata and Foccacia joints are as common
in Italy as pizza joints are in North America (This according to Lorenzo Bottazzi). Matteo Ortu owned one such restaurant in Italy, and is now part of the Bibo team. Unfortunately I did not get to try the farinata, but I can give you the low down on the foccacia.

Focaccia di Recco… or baked heaven

The particular foccacia that came out was a focaccia al formaggio di Recco. It is made by dotting soft cheese between two thin sheets of dough then baked in the wood oven. This dish was much anticipated and it barely hit the table before it was gone. Imagine dropping a sack full of free Coach Bags in a mall on Black Friday, it was kind of like that. Even though I elbowed my way past a few very attractive girls that were all taller than I (I am 5’11”), I only managed to
get my hands on one sad little piece. Looking back, I should have let my wife have some of it, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. It was crispy, cheesy, and oh so delicious. It had a slight fried cheese flavor that reminded me of saganaki (Greek fried cheese). With one tiny piece left in my hand, I knew what I had to do……I gave it a bagna cauda bath and deposited directly into my pizza pie hole. Perfection!!

I finished off the meal with a nice house-made chocolate gelato, and I was out the door. Although I was bit bummed to not get my hands on the farinata, it gives me a good excuse to go back. I definitely will, and I can already taste the bagna cauda.

Matteo and Salvatore

Pho Tao Bay – Langley


Pho is a source of heated debate among those who love it. People will swear up and down that their favourite Pho place is better than your favourite Pho place and it quickly escalates into a “my dad can beat up your dad” school yard shouting match. Pho Tao Bay in Langley is probably one of those places I’m going to argue with people about. It’s a contender for top Fraser Valley Pho, right up there with Pho Tam in Whalley, one of the best Pho joints in the GVRD.

I realize this opens me up to great amounts of criticism from the Pho elitist community but I can take it, plus I had my Pho Jedi Master, Sheldon, with me to back me up. I had a large bowl of the rare beef/well done beef with the usual plate of bean sprouts and herbal goodness, I added a TON of hot sauce and chili oil, probably a bad move on the hottest day of the year (sweaty). The beef was tender and awesome, the broth is out of this world, it’s some damn fine Pho yo!

I also had a spring roll, pretty average to be honest but I’ve had way worse. The restaurant itself is that magical kind of “almost unclean” that makes you feel right at home, the service is pretty good for a Vietnamese place and the prices are average.

Go check it out and tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

Scott.

Pho Tau Bay – 5790 203 Street, Langley

The Park at English Bay


Ya ya I know I said I wasn’t posting any more but when Bodhi Jones asks you to come check out the place he works at you don’t say no! The Park at English Bay is located in the Best Western Sands Hotel on Davie St. just off of Denman in a space formerly known as Checkers. There are few similarities between The Park and Checkers apart from its location, the renovations have transformed an out of date room into a very contemporary space.

The beer list is probably the best in the West End and it is still evolving with manager (or “Park Ranger”) Jamison Prystay at the helm. I had a Driftwood Farmhand Ale and a Howe Sound Devils Elbow IPA. Jamison and his food and beverage team are always looking to add new and interesting beer to the list which is great to see in an area not known for craft beer.

I sampled the Charcuterie plate ($15), it was awesome and could easily be on the menu for $18-$22. The quality of the pate, meats, bread and olives is very high. The ingredients are sourced weekly from the Granville Island Market by the chef and are always changing. Charcuterie always pairs well with craft beer so make sure you explore the beer menu while you enjoy this dish.

Next up I tried the Park Sliders ($7.50), 2 house made Angus beef sliders with horseradish mayo, Jalapeño jack cheese and banana peppers. Normally I’m not a fan of sliders but these were great. They had a nice amount of heat to them and the Angus patties were very flavourful. According to the menu “They’re a little spicy, so you’ll probably want to order another beer.” Those are wise words, beer makes everything better.

Last but most certainly not least was the Georgia Straight Fried Chicken ($15). This dish looked like it was going to be heavy and greasy due to the dark colour of the batter but it was quite light. The batter is thinner that it looks and the chicken is VERY tender. The fact that it’s boneless is a plus for me, I’m not a huge fan of chicken on the bone. There’s a honey drizzle that adds and nice sweetness to this savoury dish and it’s complimented by some garlic mashed potatoes with crispy onion straws and steamed veggies. Overall a very good dish.

I have to say I’m very impressed with The Park at English Bay. The food and drink menu are a perfect match to it’s beautiful location. For all of you die hard Checkers fans fear not, THEY STILL HAVE KARAOKE!! There’s now live music as well and it would be a great place to catch your favourite sporting event!

Scott.

For the record my meal and beers were provided by The Park at English Bay but the fact that it was free didn’t change the way it tasted 🙂 Go Check it out!!

Twitter – @ParkVanCity

Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheParkVancouver

What’s for Lunch Global: Shanghai Airport Edition


May I introduce a new guest blogger, Russ. This marks his “writing anything, ever” debut. He’s a systems engineer and he’s currently working abroad in China. His crepes are soooooo good he puts me to shame, I’m hoping he’ll do a guest post for those one day. Oh, and I’m married to him 🙂

When in need of some fast food when I first arrived in China from Vancouver, I stumbled upon a KungFu restaurant at the ShangHai Pudong Airport.  Intrigued, I thought I would try it out, as an alternative to vastly more accessible and familiar KFCs.   If you have ever been in a lineup at fast food restaurant in China, you will know it’s not really a line up. When one person has finished ordering everyone else tries to be the next person to order, and it can be a little overwhelming if you find yourself at the front of the line and you have not really decided what to order.  You are not allowed to take up space at the front of the line if you are not ready to order.  Orderly line-ups just take too much time…  I found myself hastily pointing at a picture of a meal and ordering a beef rice bowl combo.
The beef and onion steamed rice bowl was decidedly satisfying.  It was served with a side of boiled lettuce salad dressed with slightly salty and vinegary dressing.  I had never had boiled lettuce before, but surprisingly, it was very tasty, and I definitely could have used a larger portion.  A cool lemon iced-tea drink was a good choice when the outside temperature was more than 35 degrees …. and to top it all off, a nice view of Bruce Lee… Going head-to-head with Colonel Sanders of KFC right next door.  While you can find KFCs in China like Starbucks in Vancouver, a rice bowl is nice change from chicken burgers and fries when you need something quick.  And I do mean quick.  My order was filled before I had even thought I finished deciding what I wanted.  In fact I did change my mind once, and they quickly swapped what was on the tray in front of me.  The decor is like that of most fast food places, but with a nice inspiring Bruce Lee keeping watch.  So if you ever find yourself passing through the Shanghai Pudong international airport, take a short stroll to this restaurant section near the Maglev train station.  You’ll find 2 KFCs, and of course KungFu.  You won’t be disappointed.  (pictures attached)

Bruce Lee is watching you

Beef Rice Bowl with Steamed Lettuce

Kungfu

Bruce Lee looks tense

 

 

 

Time for a break


One week ago I posted about love, birthdays and family. Today that post is a distant memory no longer taking up space on this site. The truth is I’ve screwed up, you guys. This blog has given me tons of great opportunities and I’ve met some amazing people through it over the last two plus years but is has ended up costing me more than I could’ve ever dreamed.

This little townhouse once filled with the infectious laughter of my beautiful daughter and the radiant smile of her mother is now empty, quiet and dark and it’s all because I let this blog take over my life at the expense of the two most important people in my world. The saddest part is that I was so wrapped up in my own little world I didn’t even see it happening until it was too late.

It is with a heavy heart and a broken heart that I’m stepping away from WFLBC for the time being to focus on fixing what I have so carelessly destroyed. I’m not sure how to fix it but I will spend the rest of my life trying.

To all those who’ve supported me and this blog I’d like to thank you. I’ll be back one day but only after I figure out how to balance my real life with blogging life. Until then the lovely Rochele has the keys, sorry to spring this on you Ro, I’m sure you understand.

Don’t ever lose sight of what’s important in your life because one day you’ll turn around and it will be gone. Take the time to accept the love you are given and to give the love you have inside to your partner, don’t end up like me.

Scott.