Monthly Archives: July 2012

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 There are few similarities between The Park and Checkers apart from its location, the renovations have transformed an out of date room into a very contemporary space.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

Advertisements

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.

Maurya’s Spice Dining Pass from VANEATS.ca


The joy of living in a temperate rain forest sometimes means that your heat turns on in the middle of the day on July 2nd, and the weather resembles late October. Originally I was scheduled to go to Maurya later on in the week, but all the rain and grey and yuck outside prompted me to seize the moment and move up my reservation.

I had the luxury of obtaining a complimentary dining pass for Maurya’s Spice through VANEATS before they went on sale to the public. I thought the restaurant was beautiful with its high ceilings and subtle, but elegant décor. It was the perfect place to go for date night.

The service was impeccable. Moreover, I was seated promptly, the wait staff was polite and intuitive, and I never had to ask for a thing. Our meal started with Papadum, which is a thin, savoury, crispy, wafer-like appetizer.  We casually broke off small pieces, and dipped it in the mango chutney and the cilantro paste that was provided while we waited for our food.

We’d been given the heads up by a fellow food blogger that this dining package is a lot of food to eat on your own, so we decided to share the meal. When it arrived I was a little skeptical about the portions, but it actually worked out well for us.  Included in the dining pass was:

  1. Garlic and Basil Naan, Indian leavened bread flavored with chopped garlic and basil
  2. Mixed greens & beets salad, lightly tossed with vinaigrette
  3. Seekh Kebab, minced lamb mixed with spices & skewed in charcoal oven
  4. Mixed Vegetables, seasoned and pan fried broccoli, bell peppers, green beans, zucchini
  5. Chicken Chettinad, Marinated chicken in South Indian chettinad paste of coconut and poppy seeds – 2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award Winner!
  6. Daal Maurya, Maurya’s Pride! Black lentils cooked overnight. A real accompaniment to an Indian meal

Some of the Garlic Basil Naan, I started munching before I took a pic. So typical.

The Garlic and Basil Naan bread was so amazing with the Chicken Chettinad and Daal Maurya heaped on top of it. We ordered another basket of the Garlic and Basil Naan (at an additional cost) at the end of the meal to sop up the remainder of the sauces, and that put us at a comfortable level of full. It’s no wonder that the Chicken Chettinad won a Dine Out Vancouver award. The lovely flavours of coconut and Indian spices and poppy seeds blend together for rich flavours; there were big smiles from both us after our first bites.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Daal Maurya, and I’m glad that a very traditional element was included in the meal.

Chicken Chettinad, award winning for sure!

Maurya Daal- spicy, delicious lentils

Salad, Veggies, and Lamb Kebab

Perhaps I would have had more of an opinion of the Seekh Kebab if I wasn’t sharing, but I did enjoy the texture which was less like lamb and more like sausage meat and the spices were quite fragrant. It was nice to cleanse our palette with the mixed vegetables and the salad, but the stars of the meal were definitely the Chicken Chettinad and the Daal Maurya.

That concludes the VANEATS portion of our meal, but we decided to prolong our date and went ahead and ordered us each of a cup of Masala Chai and the Ras Malai to share. Please do yourself a favour and try real Indian Masala Chai. The stuff that is sold in grocery stores and cafes all over Vancouver doesn’t hold a flame to the real thing.  You’re missing out on the bold flavours of whole spices and tea that have been simmered together, rather than ready to use syrups or bags for steeping. I had Ras Malai for the first time not too long ago, and I will confess that it has grown on me big time. I have fallen in love with the sweet, spongy dessert. This delicate, milky dessert has silky flavours of rose water, pistachios, and saffron.  I highly recommend that in addition to your VANEATS package that you try these items, your tummy will thank you!

Ras Malai, minus one bite because again, I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture beforehand

Be sure to get your Maurya’s Spice Dining Pass from VANEATS, there are limited passes available for a limited time, so don’t wait. Happy dining!