This week on Pacific Palate, my secrets of the city…and the Cowichan Valley. These are my favourite haunts, not the high-end, white tablecloth places, but spots I can go to on my budget and not worry about breaking the bank.
Don’t forget to enter my ‘Most Memorable Meal Contest’ to have a chance at some fabulous prizes:
Copies of Mama Now Cooks Like This, by Susan Mendelson, and Had a Glass 2007: Top 200 wines for under $20, by James Nevison and Kenji Hodgson, courtesy of Whitecap Books.
As well as copies of Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, and The Cocktail Chef: Simple, Chic Entertaining by Dinah Koo and Janice Poon, wine notes by John Szabo, courtesy of Douglas & McIntyre.
And a Breville stainless steel panini grill from Ming Wo Cookware.
To enter the contest, go to the bottom of this blog entry.
Now for the list: I haven’t had time to look up all the addresses and phone numbers or websites of these places, so please try searching on your own before asking me for more info. I’ll try to add to the listings in the next week or so.
– In Chinatown, I love the prawn turnovers and Pina Coco Buns at the New Town Bakery on East Pender Street just west of Main
-down the street, Ming Wo Cookware, for the best selection of anything you need in the kitchen
-on the other side of the Skytrain station from the CBC, T and T Supermarket for fresh Asian groceries and dried and canned goods. I also just like hanging out at the seafood tanks and watching all the live stuff wriggle around
-In Yaletown, Rodney’s for oysters and mussels and clams
-Urban Fare to shop the world
-any branch of Hon’s Chinese restaurants. I like to sit near the kitchen at the one on Robson Street and watch the chefs make stir-fries under the huge wok burners in less than 30 seconds
I used to live around the Main and King Edward area…and still have a few favourites there:
-Legendary Noodle, where you can watch them make the noodles at the back of the restaurant, try the noodles in spicy peanut sauce!
-Windsor Meats, the best butcher shop in the area for quality meats at good prices
-Jasmine Halal Meats and Deli for anything you need from the Middle East, and just north of King Edward, Sun Sui Wah for great dim sum, including duck tongues
-my new neighbourhood centers around West 10th Avenue near UBC…
-Ginger and Chili Restaurant for ginger beef and spicy green beans
-Mix the Bakery for great baked goods and bread, of course
-Hime Sushi for well-made sushi at great prices
-Perfetto’s pizza, for the Sicilian
-Gold Train Express Noodle House for fragrant Vietnamese beef noodle soup
-on campus…One More Sushi for the excellent agadashi tofu
-on West 4th and Vine, Simpatico for great lamb shoulder and ribs
-and Memphis Blues on West Broadway for excellent barbecue
-Osteria Napoli at 1st and Renfrew for what they call casa linga food, homestyle cooking from Joe.
-On West 2nd at Burrard and at Granville Island, Barbara-jo’s Books to Cooks for the best cookbook selection in the city
-on East Hastings, Gourmet Warehouse, a foodies delight of cookware and tasty products
-stores like Capers and Choices and Whole Foods for bringing people more organic and local foods than ever before…
In Victoria and the Cowichan Valley (my weekend and summer place is in Cobble Hill)
-Zambri’s, in Victoria, an excellent Italian restaurant that has been a regular hangout…
-the Market on Yates
-Thrifty’s Supermarkets, anywhere
-Sooke Harbour House….for culinary innovation, romantic settings and devotion to organic and local all year round.
-Cowichan Bay Farms
-Chuck Ford’s asparagus
-True Grain Bakery
-downtown Duncan Farmers market
-Mad Dog Crabs
Why am I divulging all of the secrets now? I’m moving to Italy for a year, and I want you to patronize all these places while I’m gone! More details next week…and if you’d like to add your own favourite places in Vancouver or Vancouver Island to this list feel free to do so in the ‘comments’ box below.