The Casual Restaurant Critic is on vacation from his “relaxed and carefree lifestyle” in Merida (phrase borrowed from a real estate TV show featuring Merida) and lounging in a relaxed and carefree manner in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Here are some random, food-related thoughts.
Having become addicted to Monique’s Sourdough Bread (available at the Slow Food Market ie. her bakery in Colonia Chuburna and soon to be in a new, as yet undisclosed, location, the Critic was looking forward to some great sourdough in Vancouver. Alas, it has not yet been found. There is plenty of excellent looking sourdough but to bite into it, you might as well be chewing hardened Bimbo. The Critic will, in the name of personal research of course, continue his quest to find a sourdough that matches what is available in Merida. Merida!
The Ravenous Raven
The name is so West Coast isn’t it? In the space formerly occupied by the Treefrog restaurant (another good eco-friendly West Coast kind of name) a group of talented women have formed a business partnership and are running this restaurant which also features two guest suites which the Critic did not get a chance to try. But the food is great! Homecooked, abundant and well-priced, it is worth your trip to Texada Island, just off the coast of Powell River. Ideally you would go to Texada Island for something and take advantage of the Ravenous Raven for a good place to lunch. It is good enough though, that you could go to the Ravenous Raven for lunch and then find something else to justify the trip over. Say hello to Wendy. Website here
Havana is a great little spot on Commercial Drive for lunch or dinner whether you prefer your lunches and dinners of the liquid variety, or not. Their drinks are delicious and their yam fries and chipotle mayo are highly addictive. Eat at your own risk. If you order the Latin Burger, you will find, along with the usual trimmings and a thick beef patty, a chunk of sausage in there as well, making this burger impossible to eat with your hands. Website here
The Critic has reviewed or written about The Keg before so he won’t bore you with more of the same. It’s still good, the service is gushy-friendly, the room is relaxed and you can have dinner in front of a fireplace! Nice to warm one’s buns while you’re eating on a chilly September evening. Website here.
One of the things the Critic likes to do on a Canadian visit is to stop at fruit stands and buy fresh peaches, cherries, organic apples etc etc etc. The peaches this year are, apparently, a little late in ripening due to a terrible British Columbia summer and so at the moment the Critic consoles himself with nectarines, which are unbelievable; juicy and sweet. And to bite into a crisp apple is a delight after the mushiness of what is available in the Yucatan in the apple department. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, a mango here costs 84 pesos EACH while in Merida during mango season people are giving them away.
Speaking of fresh fruit, if you are renting a house or apartment in Vancouver and have an oven, do visit Whole Foods, formerly Capers market on Robson Street, downtown, and pick up one of their fresh baked pies made with whatever fruit is good and ripe at the moment. Heat that pie in your oven, add some vanilla ice cream and feast ’till you burst. Last night it was the sour cherry pie for this Critic. It was an OMG moment. Mouthgasms, even.
8 thoughts on “The Casual Restaurant Critic – Vancouver, Canada”
I’ve never chewed a hardened Bimbo. Could you please describe?
Gracias. The fresh fruit pies with vanilla ice cream sound mighty good.
I suppose chewing on a hardened Bimbo would be difficult to describe, especially if one is not referring to the infamous bread brand. However, it can be done and the process usually softens said hardened Bimbo up.
Thank you for that, John!
I hope you are going to “India Town” to the Himalaya. And to dim sum in Chinatown in Vancouver or Richmond. Vancouver is gorgeous.
While you are in the land of nectarines and rhubarb, you should try my rhubarb nectarine cobbler recipe. I promise you will never be happy living without these 2 fruits again.
1 and 1/4 LB rhubarb stalks cut into one-inch pieces
4 nectarines cut into eighths
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs. cornstarch
1 cup oats
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbs. / 1 stick / 4 oz. / 113 g. softened butter (however you like to measure it)
Place fruit mixture in buttered large deep pie dish. Top with crumble. Bake 350 F for 45 min. Eat and sigh. With or without vanilla ice cream on top.
Bill I had a great lunch at the Ravenous Raven in May, it was a surprise as my friend who took me had raved about the Treefrog. They had a good selection of local craft beer too.
Havana used to make the best smoked salmon benny I’ve ever eaten. My grandson inhales the yam fries. I like sitting outside on a mild wnter day, it can actually get hot with the heaters on.
PS: Re. cobbler recipe: I have a photo at home, will try to remember to email it to you so you can post it here.
PPS: I am writing this comment because I just dropped in to this page to see if my recipe had been published…and I scrolled down and the CAPTCHA code is 7777. It seems like if I DON’T post a comment with such a code to enter, it would be like walking away from a slot machine win!!!
I will see if I can get my resident baker to make this, Juanita!! Thanks! Meanwhile, I will continue to shop at Capers/WholeFoods on Robson where they make the best baked goodies this side of a well-known Merida cookie shop!! Just finished off a Rhubarb & Raspberry pie last nite. Peach Crisp today!! Mmmmm…
Good to hear you liked the Raven – let ’em know, they are on Facebook! And those yam fries, damn!