Last weekend, I took a couple days off work for my birthday and flew out to Vancouver to visit my sister and some friends from library school. I spent most of the time wandering around Kitsilano and Granville Island and eating at some truly fantastic restaurants. Here’s a recap of the best places I hit over the four days:
Friday’s lunch was at Pelican Seafood Restaurant where I ate enough dim sum to last me about three days. It was the first time I’ve ever eaten dim sum, and now it’s something I’ll be seeking out whenever I’m in a big city. Lovely stuff, especially the little radish cakes, pork sticky rice and steamed donut-y things. We also had spicy tripe and tendon, which was a tasty surprise.
My birthday breakfast was at Solly’s Bagelry in Kitsilano. I haven’t had a good bagel in years – possibly since I left Montreal. The bagels at Solly’s were chewy and yeasty and perfect when smothered in a schmear of fresh dill cream cheese. Their cinnamon buns are also fabulous according to my sister’s friend.
After bumming around Kits for a while, I headed downtown to meet my sister at one of the coffee shops where she works. Wicked’s downtown location isn’t as cute at their original Hemlock Street cafe, but the food and coffee are still great. I had a super cheesy, melty tuna panini for lunch; the sister and her friend had freshly made tomato-basil soup. A nice little spot to duck out of the hustle and bustle of Robson Street.
Saturday night we went out to the Alibi Room in Gastown for birthday beer and dinner. Wow. Their beer menu is as long as their food menu – and it’s all on tap. I had a great burger and we all shared the charcuterie plate as a starter. My favourite beer of the night had to be the Big River ESB, brewed in Richmond. Beautiful stuff.
After dinner we wandered through Gastown to Irish Heather, and then wandered through Irish Heather to their backroom whiskey house, the Shebeen. One smoky Scotch flight later, I was one happy birthday girl.
My last meal in Vancouver was on the patio at The Eatery, a Japanese fusion joint that’s been around since 1983. We had some tasty and creative maki rolls with some gyoza and age dashi tofu for starters. I could have spent my whole night there, trying out the different rolls and losing myself in big gorgeous slices of tuna sashimi.