Monthly Archives: February 2012

Main and Kingsway, open your eyes


Battle lines have been drawn by a small but vocal group opposed to a planned 15 story mid rise building at the corner of Main and Kingsway in Vancouver. They argue that the proposed building doesn’t belong in their neighbourhood but if they opened their eyes they would see that it is already there.

Three blocks away on the corner of 12th and Kingsway sits Stella, a 13 story residential building that also houses Kingsway Honda. The height difference between Stella and the proposed development at Main and Kingsway is roughly 20 feet. Given that Stella sits farther up the hill than Rize.ca’s proposed building Stella will actually be the same height if not slightly taller than the new structure.

Give your head a shake Mt. Pleasant, it’s time to move forward.

Scott.

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Pumphouse Pub Longtable dinner with Anderson Valley Brewing Co.


Longtable dinners have to be my favorite thing about my partnership with Beerthirst. Multiple courses of food paired with craft beer from one of our great partners, this time it was Anderson Valley Brewing Co. from Boonville, California. This dinner was at The Pumphouse Pub in Richmond and was a 5 course affair with Anderson Valley’s owner/president Trey White in attendance all the way from Boonville.

Course 1 was deep fried oysters in a remoulade paired with Anderson Valley Boont ESB (Extra Special Bitter). The oysters were quite large and cooked very nicely, not greasy or rubbery and the remoulade was well seasoned, The ESB was a nice pairing with it’s bitterness offsetting the salt and breading of the oysters. Chef Daniela Iaci did a great job on the food and the pairings, as she always does.

Course 2 was an iceberg wedge salad with crumbled blue cheese, bacon and toasted hazelnuts. The iceberg wedge might have been a little too big given the amount of other things on the plate being a little less than needed but if you took a little of everything in a single bite it was awesome. The salad was paired with Anderson Valley Horse Tongue Wheat which was a great pairing with the blue cheese of the salad given the beers strong Brett character.

Course 3 was honey and IPA marinated salmon with spiced vegetable cous cous paired with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA. The salmon was cooked perfectly as was the cous cous and the flavors of this dish were well balanced. The Hop Ottin’ IPA probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to pair with this dish but what do I know, it worked! The Hop Ottin’ IPA is a very well done west coast style IPA with great balance, I’m going to pick up a few of these for the beer fridge very soon.

Course 4 was spicy tangerine beef and fried rice paird with Anderson Valley Imperial IPA. Spice + IPA = happy Scott. There are 2 beer pairings that can’t miss, spicy food with IPA and sweet desserts with stout. The beef had a nice citrus kick from the tangerine and a slight heat. The Imperial IPA is also a west coast style IPA but this one is a hop monster. So good.

The fifth and final course was beignets with espresso pudding and stout syrup paired with Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. The beignets, which are deep fried dough sprinkled with confectioners sugar typical of New Orleans. were warm on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. The pudding and stout syrup were very sweet on their own but dipping the beignets into them was great. The Oatmeal Stout was rich, chocolaty and dark, just the way I like my stouts. Unlike a lot of really great stouts this one checks in at a somewhat low 5.7abv which is good news for those who want to have more than one and carry on a normal conversation.

Check out Beerthirst.com to get in on the next longtable dinner, it’s a great time!

Scott.

Green Flash Brewing Co. – Rayon Vert – Booze Reviews!!


Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego, California is probably best known for making one of the best India Pale Ale’s in North America, West Coast IPA. They also make a very impressive Double Stout but the subject of this Review is their Belgian style pale ale called Rayon Vert which is french for “green flash” (roughly). Rayon Vert is a beautiful copper color and builds a very nice foamy head when poured. It’s a cloudy beer with a strong brettannomyces flavor typical of Belgian beers. My fairly inexperienced palette is usually turned off by strong “Brett” type beers but there are a few that are so well balanced and refreshing that I’m starting to appreciate the subtleties of these complex brews. Rayon Vert is one of my favorites.

Rayon Vert is available at finer wine and beer retailers all over Greater Vancouver and where ever Beerthirst products are sold. Look for amazing beers like this on the menus of your favorite restaurants very soon and if you love craft beer let your favorite restaurants know that you want it on their menus!! Stay tuned for some new restaurant announcements in the near future, the craft beer revolution is coming Vancouver, are you ready?

Scott.


D

MoreThanAFeeling

The story of Behind Sapphire goes back to the days of high school, as most great band stories do.  Mildly rebellious student Grant Cassell was sitting in the same English class he had been bitterly attending day after day when his teacher told the class that they were going to listen to a piece of music. The teacher asked the students to close their eyes and concentrate on the music they were about to hear. Cassell reluctantly closed his eyes, and heard the song that would shape the way he would approach and composed music from that point on.

The singer was Billie Holiday and the song was Strange Fruit.

Cassell, along with guitarist/pianist extraordinaire, Matthew Mazankowski, formed Behind Sapphire, and have carved, shaved, shaped and grown quite an impressive, unique 5-piece band in a matter of only a couple of years.  The Vancouver group released their debut, self-titled…

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Suika-To-Me with VANEATS.ca!!


Suika Japanese Snack Bar on Broadway and Fir is the location of the latest VANEATS.ca dining pass called Suika-To-Me! A four course meal for $18 at one of Vancouver’s best Izakaya restaurants is something worth checking out. Suika has great atmosphere and super cool decor with an awesome light fixture made from colored bottles.

The first course is a salmon carpaccio served with home made sesame dressing, wasabi mayo, scallions and yuzu zest. The salmon is high quality and the salt from the sesame dressing, the slight heat from the wasabi mayo and the freshness of the yuzu zest and scallions make for a very nice mouthful.

The second course is a AAA beef fillet on a hot stone plate with soy onion sauce and fresh garlic and a side of potato wedges sprinkled with shichimi seasoning. The beef was cooked between medium rare and medium and was tender and hot. the soy onion sauce had a nice flavor and the potato wedges were very good, the shichimi which is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients was great, not too salty as it can sometime be.

The third course is an out of this world oxtail ramen noddle dish that was my favorite dish of the night. Slow braised oxtail in a soy broth with noodles, dried fish powder and scallions. Oxtail might be visually unattractive and texturally a little outside of some peoples norm but the flavor it gives this soup is incredible. The oxtail itself is very tasty if not a little hard to eat with chopsticks but this soup…it’s worth the whole $18. Ok maybe not the whole $18 but it’s very good.

The fourth and final course is a pumpkin creme brule. For any regular readers of this blog, my love of creme brule is a common theme. I’m not a dessert person but creme brule and I are kindred spirits, soul mates even. This one was another in a long list of very good creme brule’s I’ve eaten in this city. The pumpkin adds a subtle richness and a velvety texture that’s quite good.

Thanks to VANEATS.ca and Suika for inviting me to sample this package. Check out all the details HERE!!! For $18 you really can’t go wrong here folks.

Scott.

Why I NEVER miss my Blackberry


Blackberry cameras are garbage, here’s why you should switch to Android or Apple if you like taking pics with your Smartphone. These Photos were taken with my Sony Ericsson X12 Android smartphone.

 

WFLBC vs. VancityBuzz Superbowl showdown


What’s the craziest thing that Karm from VancityBuzz has ever done?? He has agreed to a Superbowl bet with yours truly which will see the winner choose a new Twitter avatar for the loser. The image can be absolutely anything as long as there’s no nudity and the loser must keep this as their avatar for 24 hours.

I’ve taken the Patriots and Karm has the Giants. This should be fun!!

UPDATE!!! I lost…

Scott.