Food Under the Microscope

July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

“I thought, in a society where we are obsessed with our food (either over-eating or under eating), let’s see if we really “are what we eat”. I wanted to deconstruct that very thing that I’ve spent so many years recording. I wanted to show what was there, but what we never actually saw — through the eyes of a fine art photography student, turned photo editor, turned commercial photographer, turned fine artist”.

via Caren Alpert

Good Choice

June 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

Further exploring gems in my new neighbourhood: dim sum at Good Choice (formerly called “Super Happiness” – real talk). We made reservations for 1pm on a weekday and good thing we did: the place was packed! We ordered steamed sticky rice with dry scallop, BBQ pork buns, har gao, steamed gai lan with oyster sauce, chicken feet, a “schezuan-style” rice cake dish with pork belly and chan chuen fun (steamed spareribs and rice noodles) which took quite a bit longer than everything else and isn’t pictured above.

This was a lot of food! Standouts were the BBQ pork buns which were light and airy, the chicken feet which were cooked really well and the chan chuen fun which I wish I could have ate more of, but at that point, I was already so stuffed. I thought the sticky rice didn’t have a very strong lotus leaf flavour and the rice cake dish we ordered, while not being schezuan-style at all, was still pretty appetizing and flavourful.

Good Choice Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Meat and Bread

June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is the meatball sandwich from Meat and Bread. The last time I had this the meatballs were drenched in tomato/sambal sauce, which soaked through the bread, and made the whole thing – while delicious – quite difficult to eat. This time around it seems like they’ve held back on the sauce a bit, making for drier, but nevertheless tasty, experience. Their house mustard is so good and tart; we were tempted to take a jar home.

Did you know that from 3-5PM you can get a meatball sandwich and a beer for $10? It made for a very good lunch well, I’ll be honest, midday snack.

Did you know that you can check their twitter for the daily special? Today’s Confit Turkey Thigh Sandwich, Bacon Gremolata, Gherkin Aioli, Sliced Tomato with Watercress sounds delicious.

Meat & Bread on Urbanspoon

El Caracolito

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have recently made the move from Kits/Point Grey to South Vancouver. It’s been really exciting to explore a “brand new” area that I rarely had the motivation to visit previously as being without a vehicle makes food trips across the city a long, tedious journey. I actually used to live in this neighbourhood as a child nearly twenty years ago, and while some aspects have remained constant, others have changed quite dramatically.

Walking along Victoria Drive, there are three restaurants that stand out which never used to exist when I lived here as a tot: Dona Cata, El Caracol and El Caracolito. We popped into the latter for the first time recently and were really happy with the food and general atmosphere. We were one of two tables, the other spending a lovely afternoon with a bowl of soup and a plate of tacos, gossiping while watching soaps on the TV.

There were only two people working there, a lady who took our order who then went to help a gentleman cooking in the kitchen. The food took a while – something I actually appreciate. I like knowing that everything is made fresh. We had horchata while we waited, which was absolutely delicious and so refreshing on a hot summer day: creamy, spicy and aromatic.

We ordered tacos al pastor and a camarones dish (can’t remember the exact name, but it was in a slightly spicy chipotle sauce). Both were really good, but very much “caf” style dishes which might deter some folks. By that I mean, both the shrimp and the pork were ever so slightly overcooked, presentation is quite rustic and, my most significant complaint, the tortillas were flour-based. But for us, we were big fans of the place. We talked to the friendly chef for a while about our upcoming trip to Mexico (again!) and enjoyed our meal with a side of telenovela.

El Caracolito on Urbanspoon

PS: We also explored Killarney Market which, despite having a clover in its insignia, actually has a pretty amazing selection of Mexican goods including purple corn and tamales.

Jethro’s Fine Grub

June 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

While much has been written on breakfast at Jethro’s (big portions, long lineups, slightly hostile service, etc) I had been curious about their lunch options for a while now (has anybody tried the alligator nuggets?). I ordered the pulled pork sandwich. While it was no Re-Up, it was pretty darn good. Would have liked the pork to have more flavour on its own, but with the sauce and the slaw, I was pretty content. While their servings are never the prettiest thing on a plate, it’s good to know that Jethro’s is more than just breakfast.

Jethro's Fine Grub on Urbanspoon

Sea Urchin Party

June 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I managed to get my hands (well, tongs) on a generous bundle of sea urchin via Fisherman’s Wharf in Granville Island. I love uni, and while I never dissected a sea urchin myself, I thought it could be a challenging experiment with delicious results.

First, while holding the sea urchin in place with tongs (or with your naked hand as the well-seasoned fisherman demonstrated for me) make an incision through the “eye” then cut out a circular hole. We experimented with the size of the hole: smaller ones made it difficult to scoop out the “roe” while larger ones rarely left the “roe” completely intact.

(I should state now that it’s not actually the roe, it’s the gonads. I’ll just say uni from this point further so I don’t have to repeatedly type “gonads” on this blog).

So after cleaning the uni in a couple of bowls of salted water this is what you get: fresh, delicious, raw. Incredibly texture, creamy, silky, with flavours of the sea. My mouth is watering as a type this. You get a significant amount of uni per urchin, and since we had about 5 or 6 of the little guys, we had a lot of uni to play around with.

A quick google search on sea urchin recipes gave me this clip from Rick Stein (have you seen his “Far Eastern Odyssey”? It’s amazing!)

Lots of olive oil, lots of garlic, sea urchin is just warmed through. Wine wine and parsley if you have it (we didn’t). Lots and lots and lots of pepper.

It tasted pretty damn good. Reminded me of spaghetti alla botarga but a hell of a lot creamier. You have to eat it quickly however; as it cools the “cream” released from the uni causes the linguine to stick together.

Bandidas

June 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

While I absolutely abhor the vegan Mexican “cuisine” this city has fallen in love with (Budgie’s, I’m looking at you), I actually adore the tortilla soup at Bandidas Taqueria. Really flavourful, incredibly generous and always satisfying.

Bandidas Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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