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Sunday, October 15, 2006

EATING SPREE IN VANCOUVER

Best Blog Tips We've just returned from four days in Vancouver. We went to see Bob Dylan in concert Wednesday night, which was great! I expected the audience to be all "old fogies" like us, but there were plenty of teenagers there!

We were also visiting with lots of family, including my youngest daughter and youngest grandchild, who we haven't seen since April. He's 2 1/2, and he's getting so big, and talking and counting! He's such a happy little guy!

I forgot my digital camera on this trip! What a dummy! So, I couldn't take pictures of all the food! But, I gathered some photos that look pretty much like some of the dishes we ate.

Of course, we ate way too much, since we stayed with my cousin Chris and his partner Roxanne who live near Commercial Drive. "The Drive", as it's called, is a hotbed of ethnic restaurants and markets!

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"The Drive"

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Chris and Roxanne's beautiful house (taken before the garden was put in!)

The first day we had a fantastic and cheap lunch at a little Syrian felafel joint-- wonderful felafel on pita with lots of veggies, tahini sauce and hot sauce, dolma, tabbouleh (with tons of parsley), and hommous.

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Dolma (rice-stuffed grape leaves)

We ate Japanese before the concert-- veggie gyoza and a tofu-soba noodle soup with "green roll" sushi (asparagus rolls wrapped in paper-thin avocado) for me; gyoza and veggie yaki-soba (sort a a stir-fried noodle dish) for Brian.

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Gyoza or Potstickers

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"green roll" sushi

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Yakisoba

We were downtown on Thursday. My cousin treated us to the movie "Mystic India" at the IMAX theatre, and also a 3-D movie about ocean creatures-- pretty astounding..made me seasick, though! Afterwards, we were standing on a corner trying to decide where to eat lunch. Contrary to the popular opinion that city people aren't helpful, an elegantly dressed Chinese woman stopped to ask if we needed help and then proceeded to tell us where some good eateries were. While this was happening, another young woman in business clothes stopped and asked, "Are you all right?" and then she and the elegant lady discussed restaurants for us some more!

We took their advice and went to a little Greek place-- really busy and cute. I had a wonderful, chunky vegetable minestrone soup. Everyhing was kind of spicy-- I think because the cooks were Indian!

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We ate in that night at my cousin's house, hosting his daughter Myriah and her partner James, and my daughter Justine and her son. Roxanne and Brian went down to Olivieri's market on The Drive and got fresh crusty bread, fresh spaghetti and marinara sauce, wonderful olives, pestos, marinated eggplant, and tapenade. (And Brian got me a few boxes of my favorite Star Brand Italian porcini mushroom bouillon cubes). With the pasta, Roxanne made a great salad of organic baby greens, pears, pecans and poppy seeds.

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Tapenade (olive spread)

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Marinated eggplant

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The pasta looked just like this!

Friday morning I didn't think I'd ever be be hungry again, and I had tea and toast for breakfast. But, that night we had a family meal at the Bo Kong, a Chinese Buddhist vegetarian restaurant on Main and 14th that we love (and so do all the omnis in our group!). It's huge and has a huge menu, too. There were 12 of us, I think, there. My peruvian cousin, Charo, came, and Justine, George and the little guy, three of my cousins on my mother's side, and some cousins of those cousins, who are good friends. Unfortunately, my sister Karin and her family couldn't make it. They have big round tables there where we can all fit, and Chinese families are just as noisy as we are, so we don't have to whisper! We had a wonderful, noisy meal of: (these were all vegan dishes, BTW)

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Spring Rolls

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Wonton Soup

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Spicy Green Beans

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Mock orange "Chicken" Cutlets

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Deep Fried Oyster Mushrooms with pepper and chili in the batter

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Chinese broccoli (gailan)

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Beancurd skin rolls (yuba) in black bean sauce

We also had a wonderful dish called "Spinach Noodles with Pan-Fried Vegetables".

During the day today, we had gone shopping at my friends Kiriakis and Paula's big Greek and Middle Eastern market, The Parthenon. I stocked up on gigantes (giant lima beans), orange flower water and a few other things. We had a quick light lunch at "Green Ginger", a little hole-in-the-wall place (but very nicely decorated) on Broadway specializing in fair trade, organic foods and spices, mostly vegan. I had a really nice jerk tofu rice bowl, and Brian had an Indonesian rice bowl with peanut sauce (both with organic brown rice), and then we shared a vegan cashew-apple bar. Coincidentally (since we just happened on the place), it was run by the son of one of our neighbors on Denman Island!

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I was groaning one morning to my cousin about eating too much, and he said, "That's what you do on these visits-- see family and eat!" And he's right!

Cheers!
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11 comments:

Gaia said...

That's it, we're moving to Vancouver ! You are making me very envious !

Anonymous said...

Vancouver really is the only place to live and still feel on the island... there really is nothing else but Vancouver if you want it "All" ...but if you would like to know the most wonderful, great tasting cooking in the world on Commercial drive its called "The Latin Quarter" and you will never do better than eating there!!

Spice Island Vegan said...

Wow, I would love to visit 'the Drive'! That's my kind of place. Hhmm....how does Brian likes the Indonesian rice bowl?

Thanks for the pictures. They look very yummy. Great blog!

SIV

jocelyn said...

mmm, Bo Kong is great! especially with lots of people!

bryanna, i recently bought 3 of your books at the vegetarian food festival here in vancouver, which was a few blocks down from the main part of The Drive. i just wanted to say thank you for writing such wonderful and informative books!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Anonymous-- does the "Latin Quarter" have any good vegetarian dishes?

SIV..yes, Brian liked his Indonesian Rice Bowl very much!

Jocelyn...thanks for purchasing my books! I hope you have fun with them! I missed the festival this year, but will probably be there next year! BTW, I read your blog and saw that you are concerned about eating too much soy. You might want to check out my "Soy Concerns" page on my website (there's a link on the left side of my blog page).

veganmum said...

What a wonderful trip! And your cousin is absolutely right - visits like that should always be about family and food.

I'm extremely envious of all this westcoastness right now, though.

Thanks so much for sharing.

:)
Krista

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Latin Quarter does have many veg/vegan dishes...I'm not vegan but I rarely eat meat just because there are so many other choices..and there is a place you can get such great food without meat! Especially the latin potato's in spicy red sauce!

2000 year old Jesuit said...

That was a fine blog. All I'm wanting now is recipes for all the food you described. Last time I ate mushrooms(not chanterelles) all the houses kind of looked like Chris and Roxanne's. Flower power. Does your family accomodate your vegan tastes with enthusiasm, or do they always eat that way? My Northern European ancestry leaves me feeling rather outcast at family dinners. Even Germans have 2 or 3 emotions. ("We are not all smiles and chuckles Mr. Burns")

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Jesuit...LOL! Yes, my family is mostly pretty accomodating about our vegan food, but we and my sister are the only vegans. Fortunately, the others are pretty adventurous.

jocelyn said...

i read your writeup on concerns about soy, it was very informative and i sent the link to a friend of mine who claims that excessive consumption of soy products makes him and his male friends natter like women!

i never believed him, but i suppose my soy concerns stem mostly from my concerns about eating a varied diet. in an effort to get as many nutrients as possible (as a healthy person i don't believe in multivitamins) i try not to eat the same foods more than twice in a day. a lot of wonderful recipes use soy, but i'm glad your books have great suggestions for alternatives to soy, most of which i will try just for a change once in a while! :)

Søren said...

Love reading your blog, Bryanna! Vancouver sounds like a great town. Thanks for the delish pictures! I could almost smell the food you stuffed yourself with :-D