I finally realized what would be a better word for these mini-reviews that I seem to do all at once – Food Journeys. It took a daytrip with my cousin (visiting from Taiwan!) and her friend all around Vancouver for me to realize it really was a food journey.
We started off our day with a visit to the mini-donut vendor at Lonsdale Quay. I know it’s not the best place or time of year for them – mini-donuts have always been a fair/carnival food or a night market food for me – but it was the best we could do on short notice. The owner was super friendly and fired off a fresh batch of cinnamon sugar ones for us. Soft, hot and fresh, they didn’t survive long enough for me to get a photo. He also sells Republica Coffee by the cup. He has a unique special blend (100% Colombian I think) which I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Next, lunch at food carts.
Items ordered: Moroccan chicken sandwich
I love the color of the truck! It’s a vibrant teal green. I’d never eaten here before but I think it’s Mediterranean/French. Tasty tasty sandwich made to order. You can kind of see the hummus peeking out on the top half of the sandwich bread and the dijon chicken was delicious. The flavors worked, but looking back on the sandwich 2 weeks after eating it, it wasn’t particularly memorable. Of course, my standards are pretty high – when is La Brasserie food cart coming back?! Anyway, for $9 I would like a bit more filling.
Items ordered: Seafood Poutine
This is one of the food trucks that’s been around since the beginning, but I’ve never made it there. I think last time I went on a food truck tour we missed out on this because my sister and I were stuffed. They have an interesting little seating area attached to the truck though, which is awesome for those wet rainy days. They probably have one of the biggest food trucks in Vancouver too.
Recently, I think they’ve been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives so they may or may not be slammed with business. Luckily I went before the episode aired. We ordered the seafood poutine and it was more than enough to feed me, my cousin and her friend.
If you’re looking for old fashioned poutine with gravy and cheese curds, this isn’t the item you should order. This is like poutine meets seafood chowder in the best way possible. The portion was giant and had a good mix of vegetables and seafood – we identified mussels, clams, halibut, and salmon, though I’m sure I’m missing a few ingredients. I think we ended up being a sitting advertisement for them as many people walking past stopped to order the seafood poutine too.
Next time, if they still have chicken fried oyster sandwich, I’d like to try that. It sounds kinda weird but apparently it’s an oyster sandwich that’s deepfried like fried chicken. Confusing name. Sounds tasty though.
I haven’t really noticed a dessert food truck, so instead we headed over to Thierry.
Items ordered: Macarons (chocolate caramel, gianduja, pineapple/banana/ginger), cappuccino mille feuille, triple chocolate mousse
Cost: $16 (?)
Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s so worth it. I’m puzzled by some of the bad reviews on urbanspoon about their service. Even when the shop is completely full, I’ve never had trouble getting someone to clear tables or take my order. If you don’t have the patience to wait 5-10 minutes for service when there’s 10-20 people in line, then Thierry is not the place for you. It gets busy!
I’ve had the gianduja macarons before but not the other two. I think it was probably an unwise decision to order so much chocolate as the sweetness was overwhelming. Their flavor of the day exceeded my expectations though. It was a pineapple, banana, ginger macaron, and I made a really skeptical face at first. I don’t like banana, and 3 flavors in a macaron can be kind of overwhelming especially when you have to make it work with the almond flavor inherent to the shell. But it was pretty good and had pineapple chunks in the center. It definitely tasted more like pineapple with a faint hint of banana. I couldn’t really taste the ginger though. Please bring it back!
The cappuccino mille feuille was probably my favorite dessert of the day. Classic coffee and pastry flavors went well with the other chocolate desserts. It wasn’t as sweet as the chocolate trio mousse. I think I had too much sugar that day so didn’t enjoy the mousse as much. It is a very pretty cake though.
Lucky’s Doughnuts at 49th Parallel
Items ordered: Tiramisu donut, apple bacon fritter
Cost: ~$4 each
Overall: 6.5/10 for the tiramisu, 8.5/10 for the apple bacon
Gourmet donut flavors and donut shops have been popping up everywhere in Vancouver recently. Cart’ems have been around for awhile now, Lee’s Donuts even longer. I’ve never actively sought them out because donuts aren’t one of my favorite foods. I’ll eat Timbits if people buy them for me but I won’t actively seek it out. I think it’s partly because the caloric content is ridiculous. However, I did have an amazing mango madness donut at Lee’s Donuts (mango filling instead of the traditional cream).
I was convinced to go to Lucky’s donut by my roommate and we decided to split the two.
The tiramisu donut wasn’t a cake donut. It had a vanilla glaze and cocoa powder, with a coffee filling. It wasn’t a bad donut, it just didn’t taste much like tiramisu. I think I would actually have preferred this donut without the filling. The coffee they used was a little too acidic and wasn’t mellowed out by the sugar.
This donut didn’t really have a filling but it had bits of apple throughout the dough. And the bacon! I couldn’t stop eating it. I actually wanted to buy another one and eat it all myself. It was a surprisingly good balance of salty and sweet. And, it reminds me of bacon chocolate chip cookies. Mmm. Bacon. The funny thing is I don’t ever have bacon at my house so I never have it at home. That might be why I enjoy it whenever I do get some.
And last but not least…gratuitous photo of 2 dozen beautifully shucked oysters. I realized I can’t eat more than about 6-8 in one sitting though.