Those who follow us on Instagram might remember this shot from last weekend. Taken at Bestie’s first ever brunch service, it shows a “Bennywurst” (sliced pork thuringer sausage with poached egg, and a mess of first-rate hollandaise on golden hashbrowns) above a special plate of asparagus with fried egg and ham. And yes, they were both as delicious as they look. Bonus: hot Elysian coffee!
Brunch service: 11am-3pm on Sat & Sun | 105 East Pender St. | 604-620-1175 | bestie.ca
by Grady Mitchell | In anticipation of the Interior Design Show West coming up September 25-28 at the Vancouver Convention Center, we met with Nancy Bendtsen from Inform Interiors to discuss the importance of design in everyday life.
Nancy’s husband, Niels, launched Inform half a century ago when he was just 19. At that time the Pacific Northwest was an epicentre for progressive design. Originally the store sold the handiwork of Niel’s father, who at 12 was pulled from school to apprentice as a Danish cabinet maker. Gradually Niels added other brands and designers, and now Inform, with its twin Gastown locations, is a touchstone of home design in Vancouver.
Like Niels, Nancy is genetically predisposed to be a design lover. When Allan Fleming updated the CN logo in 1960 – a long-overdue revamp that Marshall McLuhan declared iconic – Nancy’s mother found the sleek new lettering so alluring that she packed a young Nancy and herself into the car, drove to the nearest station, and took the shortest possible round trip, just to be on a train featuring the polished logo.
Later Nancy studied architecture at L’ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and at the University of Toronto. Architecture, she says, is less about schematics and flair than it is a general education. “You think over a lot of big things. It was more overall thinking; about humanity, about how people live.”
The things Nancy deems important are often small details that others overlook. “Everything you touch,” she says. “Door handles, cutlery.” Rather than a Dwell-ready house packed with curated spaces, it’s important to slowly collect pieces you truly enjoy, on both an aesthetic and functional level. “You don’t have to have a lot of stuff,” Nancy says, “just stuff you really love.”
As far as IDS West’s imminence is concerned, Nancy is excited for London-based lighting designer Michael Anastassiades, whose work she describes as “very architectural, geometric.” Rub shoulders with Nancy, Michael, and a host of other design aficionados at the Vancouver Conference Center from September 25-28 for IDS West.
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | Odd Society Spirits has been quietly selling their wares at Vancouver Farmers Markets since the province and the city announced liquor policy changes allowing alcohol sales at select farmers markets earlier this summer. Odd Society is sampling and selling their complete line of spirits and liqueurs including Wallflower Gin, East Van Vodka and Creme de Cassis at select markets until the season ends.
With the first day of fall fast approaching, it’s easy to forget that there is still a ton of fresh seasonal bounty to be harvested and enjoyed. While searching for fresh finds at the market, don’t forget to pick up a locally crafted bottle of Odd Society Spirits made with agricultural inputs sourced solely in B.C.. You can visit Odd Society Spirits at the Mt Pleasant Market on Sunday, September 14 and Sunday, October 5, and the Yaletown market on Thursday, September 18. Read more
by Rebecca Slaven | Cycling to Victoria is perfect for a long weekend and even better if you’re able to take a day off and avoid the ferry crowds. The route from Swartz Bay to Victoria is (almost) completely flat and mostly shaded, which makes it a great ride even during the final hot days of summer.
You can either take public transit or cycle to Tsawwassen. Each method has its disadvantages. The route to Tsawwassen is not the prettiest or the most straightforward. However, public transit brings with it a risk of delay. To take public transit, hop on the Canada Line to Bridgeport, and then take bus #620. Each bus has two racks for bikes, so cross your fingers that you’ll be first in line because the #620 only leaves once every 40 minutes.
You’re best off following a Map My Ride route or checking out HUB because I’ve gotten temporarily lost every time I’ve ridden to Tsawwassen. Whichever route you follow, you’ll have to take the George Massey bike shuttle, which is free and large enough that I’ve never seen it fill up past capacity. The waiting area simply has a bench and a small sign and so it’s easy to miss. The driver is very nice about being waved down by latecomers. Nevertheless, check the schedule carefully before leaving and try to get there early because there are large gaps between shuttle times, with not a lot to do in the area.
Once at the ferry terminal, you’ll be directed up to the front and loaded on after the big trucks and before the cars. The ferries have one or two bike racks and when those are full, cyclists simply lock their tires to their frames and prop bikes against the side of the ship.
When you’ve arrived at Swartz Bay, follow the cycling signs off the ferry to the Lochside Trail, which is fairly straightforward the whole way. There’s one point early on at which it looks like you may need to go on a bridge to cross the road but continue on the flat path to the left, instead. The only bridges you should be crossing are the wooden ones close to the city.
If you have time for a break on your route, stop at Sea Cider. The tasting room has a gorgeous view and the ciders are excellent. The completely vegetarian food from Re-bar makes for a perfect end to a long ride and their cookbook is definitely worth picking up while you’re there.
When heading back to Swartz Bay, stop at Fol Epi and pick up a sandwich to take on the ferry. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place until my last visit to Victoria. I’ve missed out on so many delicious macarons! Happy late summer cycling…
Rebecca Slaven is a librarian, writer, and cyclist. Her subject specialities include law, beauty, and croquet. Her format specialty is the how-to guide. She mostly rides her bike to work but has cycled as far as San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
by Sean Orr | More voyeuristic, romantic, hagiography regarding the DTES. I expected better from Vice: A look at the punk scene coming out of one of Canada’s Poorest Postal Code. “The scene is, I think it’s getting a bit more real, which sounds kind of lame”. It sure does. No mention of any actual punk bands, and no mention of The Astoria, Emergency Room, Alf House, Red Gate, The Cobalt, Secret Location/Nite Prison, or Chi Pig. You know that I’m wary of the G-word, but the piece just reeks of middle-class, neo-colonial adventurism.
Devil Chilling Park? New guerrilla art lasts less than a day.
Cue the inevitable petition to bring it back. “Just as some were offended by the price tag and substance of the porcelain dog, others may have been offended at the sight of Lucifer’s Plastic Love Pump, but none would be offended at its price tag”. You leave the poor Main Street Poodle out of this. It’s suffered enough!
Oh noes! Jamie Lee Hamilton leaves COPE, alleges Left Front blocking her nomination. Best reader comment: “I hope I don’t confuse online voter registry with a Buzzfeed ‘Which Ninja Turtle Are You?’ quiz.”
Gregor Robertson can’t stop tanker traffic or build a subway, so why leave that impression? ”The National Energy Board will make a decision on Kinder Morgan’s application”. Shh, don’t tell Burnaby! Burnaby asks court to block Kinder Morgan B.C. pipeline.
Meanwhile, Gregor can’t stop the teacher’s strike either, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t comment on it. Why has Vancouver’s ‘progressive’ Mayor been so quiet about the BC teachers’ strike? Update: Vancouver mayor adds support for binding arbitration in B.C. teachers’ strike.
Now if we can only get him to do something about his transparency problem…
— Mike Howell (@Howellings) September 5, 2014
But if that bit of journalism isn’t sexy enough for you: Vancouver mayoral race now a three-way. “The 53-year-old mental health worker and longtime community organizer will battle Mayor Gregor Robertson and NPA challenger Kirk LaPointe for votes in a multicultural city that has never had a female mayor or one of Chinese descent”.
You-probably-haven’t-heard-of of the day: Palestine Awareness Coalition protests at Deltaport.
A Hitchcockian urban nightmare! City life’s a rat race in Vancouver — and the rats may be winning. With raw video of…you guessed it, rats! Who is this mysterious Johnny Appleseed of East Van? Can he be stopped?
Bonus: Mark’s Work Wearhouse Announces Rules for Who Gets to Wear Plaid. Beware, it’s a joke. A lumberjoke!
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is excited to offer a unique way to celebrate the holidays this year. Through Mealshare, the restaurant will feed 100 individuals in need for each and every private party booked. We’ll be celebrating the season of giving by giving back.
Mealshare, the buy-one give-one non-profit that feeds people in our neighbourhood and abroad, has made an immediate impression on the dining scene in western Canada. The Parker is proud to be one of its first members in Vancouver.
The Parker’s intimate room paired with thoughtful service and beautifully crafted menus helps create the perfect private holiday celebration for the discerning diner. Our award-winning innovation and sustainable practices make it a unique choice for companies looking for something different this year. And helping to feed those less fortunate at the same time is what the spirit of the season is all about.
For bookings, the restaurant is ideal for groups of about twenty to thirty. Please e-mail us at info [at] theparkervancouver.com for details. We look forward to creating an unforgettable holiday event with you and your company this year. Read more
The GOODS from Campagnolo
Vancouver, BC | ‘Upstairs’ at Campagnolo, a late night oasis for cocktail aficionados, is setting their alarm clock early in order to open on weekend mornings for brunch. Starting Saturday, September 13 brunch will be served on weekends and holidays from 10:30AM until 2:00PM.
Chef Nathan Lowey of the award-winning Campagnolo Restaurant, first expanded his menu to coincide with the opening of the bar located above Campagnolo, appropriately referred to as ‘Upstairs’, in February of 2014. Upstairs does not adhere to the strict dedication to Italian cuisine as Campagnolo but does honour the same ideology that respects British Columbia’s bounty and the culinary skill required to make the most of it all year round. “Our brunch menu offers the style of brunch I like to eat,” says Lowey. “I want quality ingredients prepared with love by professional chefs, but I don’t want to feel like I have to get dressed to the nines to enjoy it.”
Lowey’s brunch menu boasts hearty comfort foods with an emphasis on fresh baked pastries and bread, house made sausage and bacon, and locally sourced seasonal ingredients. A sampling of the many brunch dishes on offer include dangerously addictive sticky buns, fresh made brioche and honey butter, heirloom tomato salad, free range fried chicken and biscuits, baked eggs with pimento cheese and basil, house smoked wild BC salmon Benedict, blueberry flapjacks, and the infamous ‘Dirty Burger’.
The brunch beverage list created by Barman Peter Van de Reep, showcases simple yet thoughtfully created cocktails, local craft beer, fresh squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, plus cold pressed and drip 49th Parallel Ethiopia Chelelektu coffee.
The door to Upstairs is located to the right of Campagnolo’s front entrance at 1020 Main St. and will officially open for the first time during the light of day this coming Saturday. Read more
The next Pecha Kucha Night goes down September 18th as part of Vancouver Design Week. As you can see from the bill above, there are some great folks in the line up from diverse design slants and backgrounds. It should be fascinating, and a sell-out, so pounce on a pair of tickets while they’re still available. Bonus: the musical guest for is Jody Glenham.
The GOODS from Doi Chaang Coffee Co.
Vancouver, BC | It’s 8:30 a.m. and you’ve returned to work after a few blissful days of vacation. It can be an adjustment, which is why one local coffee company wants to help you with its organic, ‘beyond fair trade’ coffee. Thai Doi Chaang Coffee Company wants you to get back into the swing of things with ease by adding a buzz to your mornings (or afternoons and evenings, if that’s more your speed.) The 50% farmer-owned company is offering 15% off on one of its special blends, Hardwired, all Fall-long. Learn more after the jump… Read more
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | We hate to be alarmist or the bearers of bad news, but the time has come to squeak in one of the last veggie seedings into your garden. You can always employ the warmth of hoop houses, cloches, and cold frames once the cold hits, but you need to get some seeds in the ground before it’s too late! Here’s a list of our top 3 seed varieties you should get in the ground now if you know what’s good for you…
1. Spinach | Remember when you tried to seed spinach in the summer and it “bolted” right away? It produced a flower stalk and it was all over? Well, now is the chance to rectify the situation and have success with seeding spinach. Spinach prefers cooler weather, which is why it’s best to seed in spring or late summer. Spinach will overwinter (and you can harvest all winter into spring) if we have a mild one upon us. If it gets chilly, throw up a protective cloche over it to keep it warm. Choose a cold hardy variety to further ensure success. We love the semi-savoyed leaved “Bloomsdale Savoy”. Remember to make sure the soil has adequate drainage. Bonus: you can pick individual leaves throughout winter into spring for your health blast of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium, all of which serve as powerful antioxidants.
2. Radishes | These mature very quickly. As with spinach, radishes prefer cooler weather, so they’re an ideal veggie to seed right now. You might want to choose a variety that matures quickly, like Easter Egg or French Breakfast. If you missed your window on getting carrots or beets in the ground, you can still enjoy the goodness of roots. Remember to thin your radish patch or row, as they need space to grow. Any seedlings that are crowded need to be properly spaced for maximum growth.
3. Pac Choi | Another veggie that tends to bolt, or go to seed quickly in the heat. The plant freaks out, finishes its life cycle, and there you have it. Remember that veggies that are best planted in the early spring are usually good bets for planting now, too. Think of it as “mirroring the weather”. Pac Choi grows very quickly, and you can harvest individual stems, harvest the whole plant, or treat as a “cut-and-come-again” crop. Snip, and watch it re-grow. We recommend seeding this crop by the weekend!
A few other seed varieties you can get in the ground right now are: arugula, corn salad, mustards, mizuna, and gai lan. And don’t fret – the time has not yet come to plant garlic, and you can still seed your broad beans or fava beans either now or by the end of the month. Happy growing!
The GOODS from Forbidden Fruit Winery
Cawston, BC | On the banks of the Similkameen River near Cawston, Forbidden Fruit Winery has been welcoming guests to its tasting room for ten years. The winery gets its fruit from the family-owned Ven’Amour Organic Farms, which encompasses 142 acres of orchards, vineyards and natural habitat. The farm is bounded to the east by pine and sagebrush slopes, and to the west by a cottonwood riparian forest nestled into a bend in the river.
The tasting room is in a modest bungalow. Open the door, and the character and passion of the owners Steve Venables and Kim Brind’Amour are immediately evident. Kim’s brilliant-hued paintings, mosaics designs and jewellery glow from walls and shelves, reflections of the fruits, flowers and natural landscapes of the farm.
Steve purchased the property in 1977 and by 1984 it was a certified organic farm. On most summer days, Steve is behind the tasting-counter so visitors can hear first-hand how the wines are made and how the winery developed. Forbidden Fruit is best known for its stellar fruit wines with cheeky titles such as “Crushed Innocence”, “Adam’s Apple” and “Pearsuasion”. “Caught”, an apricot mistelle, recently won a Gold Medal at the 2014 WineAlign National Wine Awards. Read more
The GOODS from L’Abattoir
Vancouver, BC | Originally offering an evenings-only menu, Gastown’s French inspired L’Abattoir restaurant will now be opening its doors earlier to include lunch during the week.
From Monday to Friday between 11:30 and 2:30 a simple and elegant menu has been crafted to please afternoon appetites. The classic and clean flavours that characterize L’Abattoir’s nightly fare have been carried onto their lunchtime menu. Highlights include Steelhead served with fried potatoes, dill and horseradish; a shrimp, tomato and potato frittata finished in creamy hollandaise and peppery arugula; and a beef dip with tongue, salad, thickly cut fries and jus gras for dipping. Diners can choose between a two or three course menu or select a meal a la carte.
Behind the bar, resident expert Shaun Layton has designed some new cocktail creations to compliment lunchtime dining. This includes the House Aperol Spritz, which bottles charged white wine with Aperol, seltzer and orange, as well as their daily feature Vermouth on the rocks served with a seasonal garnish. In homage to the power lunches of the past, a martini also graces the midday menu, made with Tanqueray 10, Dolin Dry and pickled onions. Non-alcoholic options include daily bottled house made iced teas and bottled cold brewed JJ Bean coffee.
Lunch aside; L’Abattoir is also pleased to announce the debut of their private dining room. This 1,200 sq ft. facility is situated just adjacent to the regular dining room and features historical architectural elements complimented by a contemporary design aesthetic. Exposed brick walls, beamed ceilings and steel framed windows speak to the history of the space while sleek glass, steel accents and custom chandeliers add a modern finish.
Entering through the kitchen the vintage Bonnet range oven takes center stage and denotes the quality dining experience awaiting guests. While large enough for 50 people seated or 80 standing, the room retains an intimate ambiance and a noise-reducing barrier blocks out the nightly hustle and bustle of the regular dining room. Basked in ample natural light, the private dining room at L’Abattoir is an elegant space with old world charm easily suited for any occasion, from private gatherings and celebrations to corporate functions and meetings. Read more
If the baristas at Starbucks have been spelling names wrong on take-out coffee cups by accident to date, this satirical video by comedian Paul Gale gives them an out: they’re just ”fucking with you”.