As Scout recently reported, Bao Bei owner Tannis Ling and pop-up organiser Ken Tsui have joined with the Vancouver Chinatown Merchant’s Association (VCMA) to reinvent the 18 year tradition we know as the Chinatown Night Market. They’re now calling for vendor applications!
This year, the Chinatown Night Market is mixing it up – old and new, imports and originals, mainstream and handmade – in an effort to celebrate our love of art, culture, summertime and the ever-changing Chinatown neighbourhood.
If what you do jives with this atmosphere, a vendor stall might be for you!
The New Night Market’s performances, workshops and attractions will draw a wide, culturally diverse audience with a full season seeing over 100,000 unique visitors. There’s something here for families, friends, young and old; for those from within the Chinatown community and beyond. Ideally, the assortment of vendors we assemble will collectively have something to appeal to one and all.
The right fit of wares–be it pins, preserves, perfumes or paper–can be unique or not, charming or simply utilitarian but should be “easy on the pocketbook”. In all practicality, keep in mind that the Night Market is a walkabout street fair, so smaller, “carry-able” items or those with innovative, transportable packaging are ideal.
The 2013 Chinatown Night Market is currently offering stall rentals on a monthly basis, half or full season. If you would like more information please email: contact [at] vancouverchinatownnightmarket.com
Learn all you need to here. Spread the word.
by Andrew Morrison | The Everything Cafe has closed down after three years at 75 East Pender (next to the Wing Sang building). The cafe seemingly did a brisk enough trade, but not enough for owner Sean Heather, who plans a rebrand and reopening, possibly as soon as mid-April. He’s thinking about doing a new creperie concept, which would be open from 8am to 9pm with coffee, wine and beer. Quality crepes are few and far between in Vancouver, so – pre-supposing that it’s good – this is a win. Downside/upside: those who feel robbed of the Stumptown coffee hook-up that the Everything Cafe so dependably provided (that would be me) can get sorted out nearby at the recently opened Rainier Provisions.
From the inbox comes good news via FeastVan, an awesome initiative from East Vancouver restaurants that Scout has been very proud to support since the start:
FeastVan organizer Joe Chaput announced today that over $2500 had been raised by a combined effort from participating restaurants as well as donations from customers and staff during the two week FeastVan campaign (January 18-Feb 03, 2013). All of the participating restaurants donated $1 from the sale of each prix fixe menu or from a specific menu item. All of the funds raised will be donated towards the Strathcona Community Center Backpack Food Program. The annual dining event was established to introduce diners to the vast array of restaurants in East Vancouver. Each year, local foodies and visitors to Vancouver are invited to enjoy a selection of specially priced three-course meals from some of East Van’s best restaurants. $1 from each meal sold is donated to the Strathcona Community Center’s Back Pack Food Program, which provides back pack meals for both the Strathcona Community Center and the Raycam Community Center.
The primary objective of the Strathcona Community Center Backpack Food Program is to bridge the weekend gaps when school food programs are not running. Regular school programs provide for the food requirements of children on weekdays, but this program provides kid-friendly nutritious snacks and meals for food insecure elementary school-aged children over the weekends. Children from both Seymour and Strathcona Elementary Schools receive food back packs every Friday afternoon.
2013 FeastVan participating restaurants included: The Acorn, Au Petit Chavignol, Bao Bei, Campagnolo Roma, The Cascade Room, East of Main, Eight ½ Restaurant Lounge, El Camino’s, Habit, Harvest Community Foods, Les amis du FROMAGE, Les Faux Bourgeois, Nicli Antica Pizza, The Parker, Pat’s Pub, R&B Brewing Co., The Union Bar, and Vicino Pasteria & Deli.
Hats off to Joe Chaput and all the chefs/restaurateurs and staffers who got involved!
by Andrew Morrison | We first broke the news about the coming of Mamie Taylor’s back in November of last year. We didn’t know much about the Chinatown restaurant back then, except that it was a project by Gastown fixtures Simon Kaulback and Ron Oliver, and that it was to be located in the old Keefer Bakery space at 251 East Georgia. We didn’t even know the name at the time, or who the chef was. Still, knowing the principals was good enough for us. The pair, who manage Boneta and The Diamond restaurants respectively, are widely considered tops among their peers, and the address – just a couple of blocks from the Scout office – is on one of our favourite stretches in the city (between Gore and Main, right across from Phnom Penh). This 100 seater also marks their first trip into the wilderness of independence, so they’ll be pouring a lot of heart and soul into it.
The only other thing that we had some inkling of back then was the food concept…
…it sounds to me like they’re planning to do something akin to adventurous American comfort food, the kind of gastropubbish, rough and ready (but nevertheless refined) sort of thing one eats at Calgary’s Model Milk, Portland’s Woodsman Tavern, New York’s Spotted Pig, Charleston’s Husk, and San Francisco’s Park Tavern…
They have since hired a chef, and I’m glad to say that it’s the young and talented Tobias Grignon (below, between Kaulback on the left and Oliver on the right).
Grignon comes to the job via Kitsilano’s super steady Bistro Pastis, where he toiled as executive chef for two years. Previously, he was the sous chef at The Vancouver Club and chef at the now defunct Senova. I’ve seen the first draft of his menu, and it reads similarly to how I imagined it would, which is to say rather attractively, with the refined, old school American streak unmistakable. Think fried chicken with creamed nettles, buttermilk biscuit, and cumin raisin jam; grits with duck egg, prosciutto, white cheddar, and tomato relish; pork chops with squash corn bread, bacon-wrapped apples, tiger blue cheese, and cider reduction — among other flashes of Lower 48 familiarity (yea, verily, I even spied a burger).
It’s tempting to call such items “modern twists on American classics”, but that’s a lazy turn of phrase (usurped by the Guy Fieri set) and I’ll be damned if I’m going to use it. To me, given the name – Mamie Taylor’s – and what I’d already been told of the concept, Grignon’s dishes read like the sorts I would imagine Teddy Roosevelt would regularly dig in to. Why? Because Roosevelt was emblematic – in my opinion – of the United States before anything was “classic” about it. He was rotund but boundlessly energetic, always cajoling, ever hopeful, quick to smile, and projecting quiet power with dirt under his fingernails and sweat on his pocket square. And yet, even though he led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill and was one of the most prodigious big game hunters to ever haunt the continent of Africa, he was still a bit of an asthmatic fancy boy who studied biology at Harvard. He had great taste, and he loved food. I mean, just look at him.
Roosevelt’s presidency – especially his first term – exemplified the pre-war, pre-Prohibition era; a crazy time when new inventions – telephones, radios, automobiles, airplanes – came fast and furious. It also welcomed the first hot dog, New York’s first pizzeria, the first hamburger, and a great many other American culinary cornerstones. The USA was a rambunctious teenager on his watch, keen to try just about anything but knowing full well what it liked.
Contemporary with these developments was the “Mamie Taylor”, a new cocktail invented in 1899 by a Rochester, NY bartender named Bill Sterritt. The combination of scotch whisky, lime juice and ginger ale was named after a young and popular actress/singer who starred in a traveling troupe (her real name was Mayme Taylor – the misspelling being immediate and universal). It was while visiting Ontario Beach, according to a 1902 article in The Post Standard, that… Read more
Dig this short Zack Lazarus film on the making of The Pie Shoppe, the recently opened, deliciously aromatic 300 square footer at 721 Gore St. in Chinatown from sisters Stephanie and Andrea French (it smells of apple pie and very good coffee). It took them just 9 days to build the place! Our own shots from the first week are below…
The GOODS from Bestie
Vancouver, BC | Bestie is looking for a Sous Chef to come on board, help launch, and ultimately be awesome in the kitchen of our soon to be open 25-seat sausage and beer parlour. Applicants must be passionate and, at times, nerdy about food. Professional kitchen experience is required. We need someone who is capable of working as an integral part of a small team, has leadership skills, and can create and work with food budgets and seasonal ingredients. This position will be a crucial part of our team and we need someone who will hustle hard and take ownership of their role. This is an opportunity to be a part of getting a small restaurant off the ground. The role has the potential to grow as the business grows. Bestie will be a collaborative and creative little restaurant with a tight crew where each member will contribute to make something special happen with food, service and the overall experience. Work ethic, character, and positivity are things we value. Hard work will be required, duties will overlap, and a sense of humour will be necessary. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate all applications but due to the overwhelming amount of work we have on our plates right now, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Read more
We’ve invited our neighbourhood food store, Harvest Community Foods, to join our GOODS section. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our awesome list of goodnesses. We’d like to take this chance to thank them for their support, and for making Vancouver a tastier place to live.
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is excited to showcase the very best that the Pacific Northwest has to offer during the Vancouver International Wine Festival with paired flights from the Columbia Watershed selected by owner/barman Steve Da Cruz. Steve’s program utilizes some of our region’s most respected producers and includes highlights from many of the AVAs within Washington & Oregon. Wine lovers can look forward to sampling some of the best Pinots, biggest Cabs, adventurous Malbecs, some carefully selected reserves and a few hidden gems; available in flights of white ($14) or red ($15). To accompany the wines, Chef/owner Jason Leizert will plate from his ever-changing and seasonally inspired menu. Giving voice to some of the underrated and surprising ingredients from our local farms, Jason’s dishes sing with pairings of likewise care. After all, what grows together goes together! Read more
This picture was taken from my studio listing at The Taylor located at 550 Taylor Street. So this picture was taken from the 20th floor. The building to the left of the picture is the Europa building at 63 Keefer Place. This view is looking West over the roof from the East.
If you look closely, it’s WTF o’clock.
Vancouver Detail is an offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the less macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.
The GOODS from Union Bar
Vancouver, BC | | Want to work at an awesome restaurant with great staff and clientele for (and with) a dynamic growing company? The Union is seeking an innovative, passionate and motivated FT assistant manager.vWe are looking for an energetic person with strong leadership skills who is a great communicator and has the ability to problem solve. This is potentially an upward position for the right candidate. Please only send resumes if you have had lots of experience in the industry and live in the Vancouver area. We would love to hear why you think you’d be a great fit for our company! Please email (only) your resumes to email@example.com. Only those to be interviewed will be contacted. Read more
The Year of The Snake is upon us! Chinese tradition holds that thoroughly cleaning your home prior to New Year’s Day sweeps away any bad luck from the past year, so spend a little time cleaning up your digs. Once the elbow grease has been applied and everything is in tip-top shape (dust bunnies banished and fridges sparkling), there will be lots of room for good luck to settle in. IMPORTANT: cleaning on new year’s day is considered a bad idea because you could be sweeping away all the good fortune that will see you through the year ahead.
So…Saturday: Clean. Sunday: Don’t clean.
Once everything is sorted on the home front, consider taking yourself out for a nice dinner somewhere where you can relax and plan for next Sunday’s Chinese New Year Parade (Feb. 17th), which starts in Chinatown at 11am. We like Landmark Hotpot House, Bao Bei, Kirin, Fortune House, but choose your own adventure. This year is the 40th anniversary of the parade and attendance is something of a Vancouver tradition that you’ll want to participate in. Top tips: leave the car at home, dress for the weather, and anticipate pipes, drums, and dragons.
The GOODS from Union Bar
Vancouver, BC | Celebrate Chinese New Year and the arrival Year of the Snake by eating your way to health and happiness with the Good Luck feature menu, Snake Punch cocktail, and all night $6 Banga drinks at The Union Bar. Afterwards, tempt fate with our misfortune cookies. We’re open from 5pm until 1am this Sunday, February 10th. Best luck of all? Monday is a holiday… Read more
Clinton McDougall & Dane Brown, co-founders
Bestie is a friendly little sausage and beer parlour in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Inspired by German street food, Bestie serves up a selection of finely crafted sausages, hand cut fries, tasty side salads, fresh baked pretzels, and Chinatown’s finest currywurst. We work with master butchers and urban farms, whole ingredients, and sustainably raised meats. We’ve got three curated taps of local beer, some odd German bottles, both colours of wine, and a storied selection of schnapps. Bestie is open for snappy lunches, friendly dinners, late night eats and thirsty visits anytime. Just look for the neon sausage.