Nuba Restaurant

January 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

 

This Lebanese restaurant is a favourite of mine and the lunch special comes with a variety of healthy and vegetarian items. I often meet one of my good friends there for lunch as her office is right around the corner from their Kitsilano location. I usually get either the Falafel($12.75) or Najib’s special($13), crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt.  The lunch plate comes with hummus, salad, pickled cabbage, pita, olives and brown rice or potatoes. I get the potatoes and my friend orders half and half.

It’s a pretty big plate of food so I time my appetite and go fairly hungry. The service is quick at lunch and it caters to those who work in the area. Sometimes I get a seat a few minutes before my friend arrives and place our order so that we can relax and not feel rushed. The great thing about Nuba is that each of their four locations are designed differently and each one has its own unique personality.

I often run from Kitsilano beach along the Burrard Street bridge and eventually end up at the one downtown on Seymour Street. This one is more like a quick service cafe and after a 10K run, it’s a great reward. www.nuba.ca 

 

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Rangoli Restaurant

January 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

People always ask me what my favourite Indian restaurant is. Hands down it’s Vij’s Rangoli because I love, love, love their Portobello Mushroom and Red Bell Pepper Curry on paneer with beet salad & naan ($15.50). The mushroom is cut thick and has a nice chew to it and the paneer is soft and melts in your mouth. Not to mention the perfection of the delicate spices that make the sauce.

Vij’s original restaurant just moved to Cambie and I was surprised there was not a line up to see the Celebrity Chef’s new space. The food and service was amazing as usual but I do have to say, that I love this dish the best. I take all of my visiting clients to Rangoli at least once during their stay and many go back again. Rangoli Restaurant is located in South Granville on 11th Avenue. www.vijsrestaurant.ca

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On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, my daughter and I really enjoy Best Quality Restaurant which is more of a traditional Indian restaurant with authentic food and minimal service. This restaurant is pure veg and only serves vegetables and dairy products. The meal that is shown here is the puri with chickpeas ($4.99) and my daughter got the vegetable kofta with rice ($9.99). The place makes you feel like you are transported to India and the prices make you feel the same.

The flavours are authentic and the food arrives a few minutes after you order. As the name implies, they use quality ingredients unlike other traditional restaurant and I have never gotten sick or a stomach ache from eating their food. We usually pick up a small box of assorted sweets when we leave which comes to around $5.50 and a box of veggie samosas ($0.75 each). Best Quality is located on Main Street at 57th Avenue in Vancouver.

 

 

Bees Knees at the Hot Chocolate Festival

January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I opted out of my daily coffee fix at 49th Parallel Coffee and tried one of their offering for the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival. I got The Bee’s Knees which is dark chocolate  infused with lavender syrup, topped with steamed milk and a honey marshmallow. It was served with a honey/lavender biscotti dipped in white chocolate ($6).

The hot chocolate was smooth and felt silky as it went down my throat. I drank it quite quickly and then tried the freshly made and still soft biscotti. The honey flavour was prominent and the white chocolate finished it perfectly. I only ate one of them as I quickly reached my sweet tooth threshold.

My daughter, a queen concoctor of hot chocolate got the Saturday Nut Fever ($6). A hazelnut hot chocolate with hazelnut amaretti and a hazelnut truffle. Every bite tasted of nuts and is perfect for the nut lover.

It was a fun experience to try these creative drinks with delectable sweet pairings. We will most likely try a couple more places during the festival. For more information on the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival, you can visit their website for a list of participating venues and their hot chocolate menus at http://www.hotchocolatefest.com.

 

 

 

Noodlebox Restaurant Vancouver

December 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

noodle box

My son and I went shopping for the Black Friday Sales that were happening in Vancouver. We left our house around 11am on Sunday morning and went to 3 stores including Costco. In less than 3 hours my 12 year old had bought gifts for all seven people on his list and within his budget.

I commented that I was so impressed with his budgeting and decision making skills and the amount of time that it took him to shop. He replied that he thought that it took long because I kept looking at stuff. He also said that he already had an idea of what to buy people and researched prices online.

We had worked up an appetite and decided to stop at the Noodle box Restaurant downtown on 839 Homer Street. I got the Spicy Peanut Noodle box and my son got the Kung Pao, both with tofu.

Mine had ribbon noodles with a coconut curry and veggies. My son’s was an egg noodle with a sweet chilli sauce and veggies. I love the Noodle box because the meals are huge and you always have leftovers. The wait is never more that 15 minutes and the atmosphere is nice for a casual quick service restaurant. Plus they always play good music and usually hip hop. Best of all, it’s a place that both my son and I enjoy and can share an experience over a bowl of noodles. Visit their website for locations, hours and menu, www.noodlebox.net.

Farmers Market Veggies

October 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

romanesco broccoli

l found this usual Italian vegetable at the Vancouver farmers market called Romanesco broccoli. It looks like an alien vegetable with pyramid shaped tips and tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It feels like something straight out of Star Trek. This vegetable had so much character that I named it Gino.

I cut it into florets, steamed it and sautéed it with butter. It held it’s shape and really tasted like an exact cross between the two vegetables. It was really tasty and kind of freaked my kids out.

brussel sprouts

This stalk of brussel sprouts was so beautiful with the purple stalks that I could not leave it behind. The brussel sprouts at the top were small babies and got bigger near the bottom of the stalk. The taste of them was much milder than usual brussel sprouts, probably because they are so fresh.

Coconut Curry Alfredo

July 11, 2013 § 1 Comment

coconut alfredo

Heirloom Restaurant is a beautiful open space concept restaurant just off Granville Street on 12th Avenue. It has been open for some time, but it took an invitation to a going away party, to get me in the door. I have no idea why I waited so long to try this vegetarian haven. The menu has many vegan and gluten free options to choose from and they source their ingredients locally and from organic suppliers.

The restaurant has a casual laid back vibe with an artistic edge. Our party of eight was seated at a long banquet table off to the back. The restaurant was packed on the friday night with couples on dates and groups out for the night.

As I looked over the menu, I was overwhelmed and could not decide what to order. I snuck a look at the food around me and noticed that the portions were very generous. I decided upon the vegan and gluten free coconut curry alfredo ($18.50), with the Aloe Rose ($11) cocktail to start.

My cocktail took forever to come and I even had to remind the server. She said that it was coming and that there was a long wait ahead of us. My drink finally arrived just before the food. The Aloe Rose  was quite lovely. It had hibiscus infused vodka with cointreau, rose water, lemon, agave and aloe vera. It was quite refreshing on the warm summer’s evening.

When the food finally arrived I was very hungry. The coconut curry alfredo was a clever spin off of the classic pad thai. The thick rice ribbon noodles were taught and chewy. The transparent and creamy sauce tasted more like coconut oil than coconut milk which left a clean taste on the palate. Each bite was delicious. The firm asparagus and eggy tofu with crispy fried onions perfectly complimented each other.The dish was so full of flavour that I could not finish it.

Overall, I thought the food was amazing and I will definitely go there again. The beautiful atmosphere in combination with a chill vibe and amazing vegetarian food guarantees a good night out. Heirloom Restaurant is located on 1509 West 12th Avenue in Vancouver. You can contact them at (604) 733-2231 or email them at info@heirloomrestaurant.ca.

Gluten Free Pizza

June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

SKP gluten free margherita pizza

To celebrate a close friend’s move to Toronto, I took him out for dinner and he suggested the restaurant SKP in my neighbourhood because of the gluten-free options. The Italian Restaurant in Vancouver Point Grey has gluten-free pizza dough and gluten-free fusilli pasta.

We arrived at the restaurant at 8:30pm and were the only table seated in the dining area. The bar area was busy with guys hanging out who had come to watch a basketball game and were having drinks.

While we looked over the menu, I noticed that the restaurant had two floors.One which is perfect for private parties and large groups. The downstairs, where we were seated had a comfortable atmosphere which is inviting for a first date.

The owner, Travis Davidson came by to say hi and was very helpful at explaining the menu and telling us what was popular. I love a basic Margherita pizza and wanted to try their gluten-free crust. So I ordered one with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Our food arrived quite quickly as we were the only table in the restaurant. The pizza crust was thin and a bit chewier than a regular crust. The toppings were very fresh and the pizza was delicious. For $13 the pizza was a good deal as I ate 4 pieces and my friend ate 2 with his starter.

All in all, I had a surprisingly great experience at a neighbourhood restaurant that I had not tried before. The service was good and staff was very friendly plus the food was delicious. I will definitely go there again with friends who are gluten-free or when I feel like a Margherita pizza. SKP restaurant is on 4409 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6R 2H9, (604) 222-0220.

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