Strangely, to date, there remains no credible explanation for any of it. Bonus: dude at 0:52 wins the internet.
Chef, a new comedy about an executive chef’s life and times following a dust-up with a critic, is coming out next month. From the looks of the trailer above, what makes it authentic isn’t Scarlett Johanssen as a hostess, the food critic’s beautifully expressed assholery (Oliver Platt is always amazing), the social media errors in judgment, Dustin Hoffman’s restaurateur hissy-fit, or all the food porn, it’s John Leguizamo shaking corn starch on his testicles. Whoever their kitchen consultant was deserves an Oscar!
(via) You know how when it’s sunny there are a million things to do and everyone is super excited about all of them, but when it’s raining nobody gives a damn about anything and they just want to go home and sulk until the sun comes out again? It would be nice – cool, even – if we had reasons to look forward to the rain. Not for our gardens, slip-and-slides, or Fred Astaire fetishes, but rather to appreciate some public pieces of art that were only visible in the wet.
Such is the case on an old building’s brick wall in Hartford, Connecticut, where artist Adam Niklewicz created a 30ft x 45ft “Charter Oak” tree – a symbol of American independence – using sealant, stencils, and graphite transfers. According to Niklewicz, “Public art should embrace the existing environment and work to enrich reality.” We couldn’t agree more.
While it’s true that Vancouver doesn’t have the deep well of historical context to draw from that Hartford does, I’m sure we could come up with a few ideas for similar wall treatments. How about the iconic maple tree that Vancouver’s early settlers used to meet under to seek shade, shelter, and gossip? It was located in Maple Tree Square (the heart of Gastown), right where the statue of Gassy Jack Deighton stands today. I’d like to see it again, wouldn’t you?
by Andrew Morrison | 55 Dunlevy St. has seen a lot since the Vancouver Urban Winery took it over a couple of years ago. The old railtown address, all 7,700 sqft of it, is home to not only VUW – with its own Roaring Twenties Wine label, retail shop, and 36 tap wine lounge open to the public – but also FreshTAP, the company that brings BC wine to Vancouver’s forward-thinking restaurants serving the stuff on tap. It can be a little confusing with so much going on under one roof, so they’ve gone ahead and rebranded the whole building, sort of as an umbrella moniker. As of this afternoon, it’s called The Settlement Building. The rebrand is just as well, as the place will soon shelter two new companies.
The first of these is a 65 seat eatery called Belgard Kitchen. It’ll offer day/night service, low and cozy hideaway booths, and bar height tables. Overseeing the food program is 19 year Earls veteran, Reuben Major. Together with chef de cuisine Jason Masuch (ex-Brix) and sous chef Mark Reder (ex-Fish Shack), Major plans on serving shareable small plates in the evening (eg. Swiss cheese fondue, bacon mushroom pate) and a larger lunch program that will see sandwiches, chile, soups, salads, slaws, a house special ramen, and a daily crockpot. I looked in on construction yesterday and they were just about to start installing the bulk of their kitchen equipment.
What’s in a name? I had to consult a 20 volume version of the OED to find the answer. It turns out that a belgard came to English (the poets, natch) from the Italian in the 16th century or so, and it means “a kind and loving look.” ”The team felt the meaning captured what they’re all about and what guests through the doors can expect,” The Settlement’s PR person, Kate MacDougall, explained. “It’s their everyday disposition – made easier, I’m sure, surrounded by wine – and their service style.”
Opening Day for Belgard Kitchen is set for the middle of April.
The second new company in The Settlement Building is a microbrewery called Postmark Brewing. It’s being led by managing director Nate Rayment, formerly of Howe Sound Brewing, while the “brew chief” is none other than polymath Craig Noble, who made the engrossing 2007 Tableland documentary (also the brother of JoieFarm‘s Heidi Noble).
Postmark will produce four sessionable beers that will be available for growler purchase/refill, on tap (one presumes) 20 feet away at Belgard Kitchen, and in local beer-loving restaurants around town. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be drinking their first beers in June.
The one catch to it all is that FreshTAP is moving out to make room for Postmark, which matters not to the public because it never provided any on-site services to the end consumer. In the grand scheme of things, however, it’s worth noting that the little company with the big idea of selling local wine in steel kegs to local eateries has already outgrown its nursery (slow clap all around). They’re looking at options for a new and scaleable space as we speak. Good luck, and well done indeed.
by Andrew Morrison | The West End will land a new and very interesting eatery called Exile tomorrow. The 20 seater is located at 1220 Bute St. off Davie in the old House of Empanadas spot.
The owner is Vanessa Bourget, a young import from Quebec with some 14 years in the trade. You might remember her hosting the Holistic Cocktail Bar in The Waldorf’s hideaway back in 2012. Most recently, the Holistic Nutritionist and Chartered Herbalist was Head Bartender and Creative Beverage Director (respectively) for Nuba and Heirloom Vegetarian.
I took a walk-through the other day and was immediately struck by how much it reminded me of The Acorn. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but the look – marked by dark stained wood, angled mirrors, and bespoke polyhedron light installations – appeared to be virtually identical to that of the celebrated vegetarian restaurant on Main Street. Indeed, I’d cry bloody foul if the two restaurants didn’t share the same designer: Scott Cohen (see also Les Faux Bourgeois, the Waldorf redux, Pronto, and remember Gastropod). If Exile served Argentine steaks instead of “plant-forward” cuisine, it might be less of a bang on the head, but the ingredients – like Acorn – are foraged or sourced almost entirely from small local farms.
And yet – despite the overt similarities – I’m not at all convinced that Bourget’s goal was to copy or even emulate any other restaurant. Far from it. Judging from her obviously dedicated affections for healthy foods, I expect everything about Exile to be entirely genuine. And I further trust that Cohen – as a designer – is in the midst of fleshing out an aesthetic in a series of interiors that began with Acorn. Exile was merely next, and whatever comes after that should count itself lucky. So if/when a knee-jerk reactionary diner next to your table says “These guys totally ripped The Acorn off,” politely let them know that the two restaurants share the same designer. Either that or just stare at them with crazy eyes and growl until they run from the place afraid, leaving you to feast on their leftover beet bacon, rabbit liver, and foraged pistou.
The menu from Northwest Culinary grad Lina Caschetto (ex-Fable, Wildebeest, Cuchillo, Les Faux Bourgeois) focuses on fermentation, curing, dehydration, pickling and preserving. It will also incorporate sustainable, land-based aquacultured trout and a selection of game meats such as elk, venison, boar and duck. Caschetto is also part of the Elementa culinary crew, which is sort of a loose brain trust of young, fiercely talented cooks who – by individual reputation – I believe will one day serve as the core of the next generation of Vancouver’s best and most exciting executive chefs and restaurateurs.
Also in the kitchen is former Nuba cook Kaylie Barfield and Caschetto’s Elementa cohort, Melanie Witt, who most recently toiled at Wildebeest and Montreal’s Lawrence. Front of house manager Camille Flanjak, I’m told, is a master forager “whose obsession with plants, mushrooms and permaculture has been an invaluable resource” to the restaurant. Bourget, of course, has not only designed the list of apothecary-inspired cocktails, but also made room for some small batch beers and a selection of sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines.
Exile clearly has talent, purpose, and drive up and down the ranks. By accident or design (it’s unclear), it also looks to be an all-female operation, which is definitely a rarity in the restaurant world. Its ethical bent doesn’t come across as preachy, and the cooks are only absolutist in their sourcing. ”This is not a vegetarian restaurant,” Bourget points out. “It’s a considerate restaurant.” To wit, they avoid the top four mono-crops (corn, wheat, soy, canola), and don’t use pork, beef, or chicken. As for the general absence of seafood from the menu, Bourget says “We wanted to give the ocean a break.” With the philosophy, cooking methods and ingredients employed “exiled” from the norm, naming the eatery was easy.
Exile will function as a healthy artisan cafe in the day Monday through Friday and as a restaurant and bar Wednesday through Sunday evenings. They will also serve a weekend brunch, complete with vegan french toast, root vegetable hash, boar bacon, and 49th Parallel coffee. The complete dinner menu is below, with prices ranging from $6 to $16. We wish them well.
‘Oyster’ mushrooms, bloomed seeds, seaweed & spirulina
Naturally fermented and pickled vegetables, sprouted nuts
Levain rye bread, infused oil & vinegar, cultured butter (V)
Seed pate & nut cheese, stone fruit
Pemmican: wild berries & cured big game (M)
Cured rainbow trout, fennel choucroute, cashew cream, smoked roe (F)
Farm House ‘lady jane’ cheese, hot pepper brittle (v)
The mushroom soup (VE option)
Foraged & cultivated plants, nori
Roots, foraged & cultivated
Shoots, coconut oil & smoked salt
Fermented buckwheat porridge, beet bacon & foraged pistou (V)
Game saucisse, lentils, rabbit liver, apple, horseradish (M)
Cast iron broth pot
Game meats, seasonal sauces, roots & shoots | Choice of bone broth (M) or mushroom bouillon
‘Cake in a jar’ – our daily whim
Apple, nut crumble, honeycomb & nettle sorbet
Maple pie, dates & chocolate buckwheat soil
Handcrafted vegan chocolates
(via) Well, this is terrifying…
“This spring, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (Red Robin) is rolling out a new adult-only wine milkshake that will give dessert-lovers and wine connoisseurs alike a reason to raise their glasses! Developed by Red Robin’s master mixologist Donna Ruch, the new Mango Moscato Wine Shake will be available through Sept. 1 exclusively at Red Robin restaurants nationwide [and Canada, too]. Guests 21-and-over will enjoy this deliciously daring combination of Alice White® Moscato and SKYY Infusions® Moscato vodka with mango puree and creamy vanilla soft serve.”
So good luck ever sleeping again.
by Andrew Morrison | There have been rumblings about this for several months, but today it’s official. As of this morning, the Aquilini Group is now in full possession of Toptable, the collection of eateries developed over the past 33 years by legendary Vancouver restaurateur Jack Evrensel. The official announcement will be released to the media this afternoon.
Evrensel opened some of the most successful and impactful eateries we’ve ever had. These included them Araxi (Whistler) in 1981, CinCin in 1990, Blue Water Cafe and West in 2000 (two months apart), and Thierry in 2011. Many of Vancouver’s top bartenders, servers, sommeliers, managers, and chefs honed their skills under the Toptable umbrella – so many that they’re hard to count. And the staff they currently have on payroll are some of the best in the business.
“Our team has never been stronger nor this rich in talent,” Evrensel is quoted as saying in the official news release that is coming out this afternoon. He attributes this to the commitment and passion of the company’s “award-winning chefs, renowned restaurant and wine directors, and dedicated employees,” but at least some of the credit needs to be pointed his way. I’ve seen perhaps one of two restaurateurs in my life who are as dedicated to the higher standards of hospitality. What has set Jack apart, however, has been his penchant for managing from the background. There’s never been any personal glory-basking or attention-seeking. In all the years that I’ve been reporting on restaurants, I’ve managed to take his photo just once, at an Araxi long table supper on Pemberton’s North Arm Farm several years ago (see above). I remember him shifting his weight to one leg and tilting his head as if to say, “Aw, c’mon” like a little kid. I trust that he’s doing that right now as he reads this.
Evrensel will stay for the next three months in a consulting role to help manage the transition, and operations will continue as normal. On the phone yesterday, he couldn’t tell me what he was going to do after that. “I really don’t know. I’ve never really had a five year plan. I go with the flow. I’m at peace. I don’t know the future, and that’s the way I like it.”
I don’t expect the Aquilini Group – a real estate, development, renewable energy, sports, and entertainment behemoth - will mess around with a good thing. The managers currently in place at every Toptable property are at the top of their game, so the maintenance of the status quo sounds ideal.
All I know for certain is that Jack deserves a round of applause, not only for a long career of excellence, but also for finding and locking down the one deep-pocketed buyer who could afford to take his considerable life’s work off his hands.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
by Andrew Morrison | Rumpus Room co-owner Rachel Zottenberg announced on Facebook today that she and business partner David Duprey had lost a lengthy scrap to keep their Main St. restaurant, which was known for its laid back attitude, 70′s-inspired decor, deep fried pickles, and flamingo-strewn patio. Their staff were told the bad news earlier today.
So I’m writing this with the most heaviest f$%&ing heart in my life. After the most brutal battle, we are being kicked out of the Rumpus Room at the end of the month. Condos.. right.. you’ve heard this all before. Yay for the new Main Street. Good for you. I LOVE THIS PLACE. This, my first restaurant. This, the place I opened with my best friend in the world David Duprey [...] This wonderful wonderful place. I’m going to miss you so much!
The allusion to a future of “condos” at the address – a prime piece of Mount Pleasant real estate – will come, I’m sure, as a surprise to no one. “We occupy a piece of land that is worth a lot more than a little restaurant,” Zottenberg reminded me this afternoon, adding that the eatery will remain open for another month before calling it quits.
UPDATE | It should be noted that it was my understanding that the owners were aware of this eventuality/possibility by way of a “demolition clause” in their lease, so if I’m not mistaken this should not have come as a complete surprise.
by Andrew Morrison | The long awaited second location of the Fraserhood’s excellent Matchstick Coffee Roasters is on the verge of opening at 213 East Georgia St. in Chinatown (the same block as Phnom Penh and Mamie Taylor’s). If all goes according to plan, they could open as soon as this Wednesday.
So what can we expect? First and foremost, it should be noted that this Matchstick will be licensed. They’ll be serving five beers and one cider (all on tap) in addition to their own coffee line up. On opening day, we’ll see Four Winds’ pale ale and porter, Hoyne’s pale ale and pilsener, Moon Under Water’s IPA, and Merridale Cider.
They’re also upping their food game with – get this – a toast bar. They’ll be using their in-house, naturally leavened organic bread and spreading slices with plain butter, walnut butter, seasonal preserves, tapenades, and chutney. Oh, and cinnamon toast, because when you have a toast bar, there has to be cinnamon toast (it’s in the rules). They’ll also be baking their own croissants and making their own granola, plus they’re working on perfecting a hash as we speak. The lunch menu will see all of the above (if there’s any of it left), plus sandwiches of both vegetarian and meaty persuasion, the latter employing cured meats from Drew Driesson of D’Original Sausage Co. on Main Street.
And dinner! They’ll be doing dinner, too, with Mac & Cheese (with or without bacon), meat and cheese boards, and a variety of savoury flatbreads. The food program is being run by the Ballymaloe-trained Annabelle Choi, who is back home after toiling at Tartine and Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco. According to Choi, the food at Matchstick is meant to “underscore and reinforce the connection between coffee and community.”
Their communal philosophy clearly comes across in the design on the cavernous space, which can seat upwards of 80 people in cozy window nooks and on little red stools that front a series of shared wooden tables. The massive beech plank table in front of the giant map of South America is particular awesome, but my favourite detail is the black wood cladding of the bakery and one of the walls at the front by the door. It looks painted black from afar, but if you get up close (or spy the shots above), you can see that they were toasted.
They’ll be playing their hours by ear to start, but I’m told the ballpark is around 7am to 9pm. Cross your fingers for Wednesday and take a closer look at the interior below.
Hastings-Sunrise is an ethnically diverse working class neighbourhood that stretches from Clark to Boundary Road and from Nanaimo to the waterfront. It’s marked by its dizzying array of ethnic restaurants and independent shops, large and heavily utilised parks, large house lots, and a family-anchored sense of community. East Hastings is its main commercial and transport artery.
In Hasting Sunrise at the moment (our HOOD palettes are ever-changing), we’re seeing the sidewalk fruit stand tricolour in front of Donald’s Market; the hard plastic turquoise slide in Pandora Park; the awning of Red Wagon; the neon “boot” signage above Dayton’s Boots; the green branding and shimmer flags above the J.J. Motor Car lot; Church’s Chicken tri-colour; slate awning at Gourmet Warehouse; summer sky at dusk from a Playland rollercoaster; good pair of jeans score at Value Village; mosaic frontage of the Star Tile building.
PEOPLE EATING DEEP FRIED FOOD AND THEN GOING ON RIDES AT PLAYLAND
OLD GUY TENNIS GAMES IN PANDORA PARK
22,000 SQFT (TEMPORARY) COMMUNITY GARDENS IN THE 2500 BLOCK OF EAST HASTINGS
THE OLD REGULARS IN THE RED BOOTHS AT MASTER CHEF CAFE
CHERRY BLOSSOMS MATCHING THE PINK SPIRE OF THE ST. DAVID OF WALES CHURCH
WEEKEND BRUNCH LINE-UPS AT THE RED WAGON CAFE
THE HASTINGS AND LEESIDE SKATEPARKS
SORRENTO BARBERSHOP’S BEAUTIFUL TYPEFACE
THE BENCHMARK COMMUNITY GATHERING AREA AT KAMLOOPS AND EAST HASTINGS
KITSCH AND COLLECTIBLES AT THE MAD PICKER
EAST PENDER ‘S TREE “BOULEVARD” BETWEEN VICTORIA DRIVE AND TEMPLETON DRIVE
FUNDIDO TATER TOTS AT TACOFINO COMMISSARY
CHINESE BBQ CHICKEN THIGHS FROM SY FARM MARKET
WELSH RARE BITS FROM THE BRIGHTON
PALESTINIAN MUJADARRAH AT TAMAM
CLASSIC ROMAN-STYLE (EGG & GUANCIALE) SPAGHETTI CARBONARA AT CAMPAGNOLO ROMA
PAIN AU CHOCOLATE AT EAST VILLAGE BAKERY
DEEP FRIED CRAB AND SEAFOOD CONGEE AT JAMES ON HASTINGS
BBQ PORK WONTON NOODLE SOUP AT PENNY RESTAURANT
THE “SOPA DE PATA” AT EL PULGARCITO
PATTY MELTS AND $4.95 BREAKFASTS AT THE SLOCAN
LOOSE TEA FROM THE SMALLEST TEA HOUSE IN BC
LAKSA & ROTI FROM LAKSA KING
POLISH FARMER’S SAUSAGE FROM POLONIA SAUSAGE HOUSE
SCOTCH PIES FROM RIO FRIENDLY MEATS
REUBEN SANDWICHES AT RED WAGON CAFE
CHERRY WOOD-SMOKED BACON FROM WINDSOR MEATS
- The Hastings Townsite, as it was originally known, didn’t join the City of Vancouver until 1910 – twenty-four years after incorporation.
- Prior to the launch of Rogers Arena in 1995, Hastings-Sunrise was the home of the Vancouver Canucks. They played at the Pacific Coliseum at Hastings and Renfrew. The iconic building witnessed two (ultimately unsuccessful) runs to the Stanley Cup Finals by the Canucks, first in 1982 against the New York Islanders, and again in 1994 against the New York Rangers.
- The city’s first road, hotel, wharf, post office, and museum, among other distinctions, were established in the Hastings-Sunrise area.
- The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) was established after residents lobbied for more “wholesome” area attractions other than the Hastings Racetrack.
- Hastings St. got its name not from the 1066 Battle of Hastings but from the original Hastings Townsite, which was named in honour of Admiral George Fowler Hastings, a 50 year veteran of the Royal Navy.
- In early 2012, the Hastings North Business Improvement Association saw fit to rename the core 12 block stretch of East Hastings as “The East Village”. They did this autocratically without consulting residents or non-HNMIA member businesses, and City Hall gave them permission to hang banners declaring the “rebrand” from lamp posts. The move was/is widely considered to be imperious folly, with next to no one using the new name. The area will forever be known as Hastings-Sunrise.
- The sheltered, DIY Leeside Skatepark under the Cassiar Connector was named posthumously for its original DIY builder, local artist/skateboarder Lee Matasi, who was shot to death in 2005.
- In 2012, the Hastings North Business Improvement Association attempted to rebrand a large section of the Hastings-Sunrise Area as the “East Village”.
- The Hastings Racetrack is rumoured to have used old cars from the PNE Demolition Derby to level the 19-foot slope difference when it was renovated in 1965.
The aptly named Commercial Drive is the most popular street in Grandview-Woodlands, a wh. It got its start in Vancouver’s own beginnings as a lengthy trackway for dragging felled logs down to the waterfront. An 1890′s streetcar line connecting New Westminster to Vancouver ensured its rise as a small business high street, and eventually earned it its name-change from Park Drive to Commercial Drive. It had it ups and downs between the wars as its peripheral blocks were filled in with houses, and it wasn’t until the 1950′s that its present day cultural character would begin to metastasize. Post-war Italian immigration and an increasingly heavy Italian business presence on Commercial Drive would result in the area garnering its “Little Italy” moniker. Later immigration from Portugal, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia added more diversity to the mix, as did a slow but vital trickle of artists, musicians, and politically activists. A distinctly permissive counter-culture had a lock on the neighbourhood by the 1980′s, and despite the creep of gentrification it has never really let go. Today, Commercial Drive is one of the most vibrant and culturally exciting streets in the city. A walk of its length, from Venables to Broadway, is always a enlivening breath of fresh air.
On Commercial Drive at the moment (our HOOD palettes are ever-changing), we’re seeing several shades of incense amalgamated into one dun brown; high quality marijuana; Prado coffee tri-colour; aspirational Italian male Ferrari red and yellow golf shirts; yoga mat lavender; VW Type 2 van rust; Joe’s Cafe rainbow (six colours); summer day sidewalk.
LOTS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN AWESOMENESS AT ATTIC TREASURES
CUSTOMERS SHAZAMMING WHATEVER RECORD IS SPINNING AT AUDIOPILE
PLENTY OF GROWN-UP SUPER PRIVATE FUN TIME TOYS AT WOMEN’S WARE
SHOP KEEPER & CAFE OWNER SENSITIVITY TO “OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK”
BLACK VELVET PAINTING COLLECTION AT LITTLE MISS VINTAGE
SAUSAGE AND FISH SMOKE ON CAR FREE DAYS
THE CONSTANT THREAT OF HACKEYSACK
THE INTOXICATING INCENSE SMELL INSIDE (AND OUTSIDE) OF PARANADA TRADERS
HAPPY HARMLESS PEOPLE SMOKING MARIJUANA LIKE IT WAS LEGALISED IN THE REAGAN YEARS
BEDOUIN WORLD TRANCE WIZARD YOGA*
THE TIMELESSLY GARISH INTERIOR OF CAFE CALABRIA
HOMELESS DOGS IN NECKERCHIEFS GUARDING A LIQUOR STORE
MIDNIGHT MOVIES AT THE (LICENSED) RIO THEATRE
EVERYBODY WEARS PATCHOULI TUESDAY
BEER FETISHISTS SCHOOLING SERVERS AT BIERCRAFT
PEOPLE PEOPLE WATCHING THE PEOPLE WATCHERS ON THE PATIO AT HAVANA
SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ AT TANGENT CAFE
MIDDLE-AGED ITALIAN MEN GOSSIPING OUTSIDE ABRUZZO CAPPUCCINO BAR
SKATEBOARD WHEEL VENDING MACHINE AT BLVD SKATESHOP
SCHNITZEL SANDWICHES AND GERMAN CHEESECAKE AT ANDY’S BAKERY
PAPUSAS FROM RICONCITO SALVADORENO
SAINT HONORE CAKE FROM FRATELLI’S BAKERY
THE FALAFEL AT DONAIR TOWN
WING WING CHINESE SAUSAGES FROM SOUTH CHINA SEAS TRADING CO. (ON VICTORIA DR.)
AL PASTOR TACOS AND COLD, SPICY, TAJIN SPICE-RIMMED MICHELADAS AT LA MEZCALERIA
COLD WHITE WINE AND FRESH OYSTERS AT MERCHANT’S
“LEMMY” POBLANO BRUNCH AT BANDIDAS
DIY ITALIAN SANDWICHES AT LA GROTTA DEL FORMAGGIO
UK-STYLE FISH & CHIPS AT WINDJAMMER’S
PEANUT BUTTER CUP AT BUMP & GRIND
BOMBER BEER AT BIERCRAFT
PROPER SAMOSAS AT SWEET CHERUBIN
HEATHER’S BUTTERMILK LOAVES AT UPRISING BREADS BAKERY (ON VENABLES ST.)
AUTHENTIC NEAPOLITAN PIZZAS AT VIA TEVERE (ON VICTORIA DR.)
COFFEE AND SUNDAY BRUNCH AT PRADO CAFE
EASTER COOKIES AT ELIZABETH’S BAKERY
JERK CHICKEN AT RIDDIM & SPICE
SPAGHETTI & RIBS AT NICK’S SPAGHETTI HOUSE
MONKEY’S LUNCH SMOOTHIES AT ETERNAL ABUNDANCE
- The name “Grand View” is said to have originated from a hand-painted sign located on First Avenue in 1892.
- Commercial Drive started as a skid road for logs en route to the old Hastings Mill on Dunlevy.
- Ice hockey can be played year round at the Britannia Rink.
- Following World War II, many of Vancouver’s Italian-Canadian population migrated from Strathcona to Commercial Drive, leading to its nickname as “Little Italy”.
- In the Blvd Skateshop there is a gigantic photo reproduction of the 1986 Thrasher Magazine cover that put Vancouver’s skateparks on the world’s skateboarding radar. It features a young Chris Miller tucking a frontside air over one of the hips at Seylynn Bowl in North Van.
- Early Squamish settlers identified the southern section of Grandview-Woodland as Khupkhahpay’ay, which translates to “cedar tree”.
- Trout Lake (or Blackie’s Lake as it was originally called) is the only lake in the city of Vancouver.
* NOT A REAL THING
by Andrew Morrison | Oh, it’s very close. This sublime fellow is a fat bastard of ground tenderloin, ribeye, and chuck flavoured with onion, garlic, and long peppercorns. It’s mounted with double smoked bacon, aged Canadian cheddar, a perfect onion ring, crisp lettuce, and fresh tomato. The sesame seed bun sustains quite a bit of squeezing and juice, and it comes generously smeared with an incredibly tasty ketchup-based house sauce that includes licks of sweet smoked paprika, ancho chilies, herbs de provence, Worchestershire sauce, brown sugar. With a side of hot and crisp-edged frites served with mayo, it weighs in at a hefty $19 and is absolutely in contention despite the high price tag (for a burger). Also in the running for the totally subjective title are the burgers of currency at Pourhouse, Mamie Taylor’s, The Oakwood (the new one), Cannibal Cafe, and Campagnolo Upstairs. Not in the running are the ghost burgers of gluttonies past at Feenie’s, DB Bistro Moderne, Au Petit Chavignol, and Fray. If basic is your bag, try Save On Meats or the internet hype machine known as Hamburger $2.85.
Hawksworth | 801 West Georgia | Vancouver, BC | 604-673-7000 | hawksworthrestaurant.com