The GOODS from Matchstick Coffee Roasters
Vancouver, BC | We’ve decked the cafe out in its Holiday best to welcome December, the most joyous of months! We have a tree! (and what a tree!)
During this Holiday time, it’s important to cherish the people in our lives, and to support one another in the spirit of the season. With this in mind, we’re teaming up with Not So Fast and Strathcona Community Centre for a Holiday Fundraiser during this upcoming week. From Monday, December 9th – Thursday, December 12th, 100% of our whole bean sales will be donated to Not So Fast for their kid and family instructional cooking program.
This program hosts volunteer-run lessons every month for kids and families living in the neighbourhood of Strathcona. At these classes, each child is given the ingredients and knowledge needed to create a healthy meal for themselves and their families. They are also provided new recipes for new and lively culinary creations at home. We were quite excited to learn of this program, and immediately knew NSF’s values of sustainability and informative outreach were aligned with our own.
Our fundraising goal for this Holiday drive is to cover food and supply costs for these cooking classes throughout 2014. With your help, we can absolutely hit this target. Pop into the cafe this week, grab a bag of beans in preparation for holiday guests and fight off the cold snap with the warm feeling of helping others as you wrap your hands around a fresh mug of coffee. Two birds, one bean! Read more
The GOODS from Beta5
Vancouver, BC | Join us this month in the Chocolate Union, as we celebrate a Parisian Christmas. Full of traditional French chocolates and confections, and some twists on a few favourites this pack will have you dreaming of wandering the streets of Paris and basking in the glory of the Eiffel Tower.
Start your day like any Parisian, with a light as a feather butter croissant. We’ve taken our croissants, sliced them thinly to expose their beautiful honeycomb interior, dusted them with cinnamon sugar, then enrobed them in our favorite 45% milk chocolate. A perfect way to begin your Christmas morning…
A trip to the fruit market is up next in your journey, starting with a collection of six pâte de fruits including pear + vanilla, nectarine, raspberry, apricot, pineapple, and elephant heart plums. Christmas just isn’t the same without chocolate and orange, so don’t miss the delicate strips of candied orange peel hiding beneath the thinnest layer of 63% dark chocolate.
Warm up with a bite of our vin chaud caramels, made from a base of red wine, cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg and finished with a splash of brandy. Your adventure is complete as you stumble on a little chocolate shop and discover a box of traditional, hand-rolled truffles. This delicate ganache is made with a single plantation, 67% dark chocolate from the volcanic island of São Tomé. Close your eyes, and enjoy the unique flavour of this amazing chocolate – a little spicy and herbaceous, almost smoky and even a little salty, thanks to the oceanside terroir where the cocoa beans are grown.
Our ‘Christmas in Paris’ Union Packs are now available. Don’t wait too long in booking your flight to Paris with us, as these packs won’t last long. Give the gift of chocolate this holiday season, with a membership to the Chocolate Union and reserve your spot on this adventure and many more to come. Read more
The GOODS from Much & Little
Vancouver, BC | Much & Little is chock-a-block with great stock at the moment, like the six items pictured above. They are clockwise from top: locally made knitwear $45-$95 and leather mittens $120; Japanese kitchen tools – bottle openers $32.95; and copper graters $46.95; Embroidered linen tipis $45 – $62; Mason jar cocktail shaker $36 and cocktail recipe book $28.95; Locally designed, Canadian made Sleep Shirt ($195 -$210); and Pigeon Toe ceramics $39.95 to $135. Learn more after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | When Scout first broke the news about The Fish Counter coming to 3825 Main St. this past June, we were pretty excited. I mean, wow…a fishmongers from Rob Clark and Mike McDermid, the two founders of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program!? What could possibly be better than a sustainability-savvy and doubt-free fish store where the staff knew the fishermen? How about a fish store that not only does all of that but also dresses up the catch and cooks it for you, too.
Yup, there’s a tidy food-service component to The Fish Counter, too. You can choose your battered fish and local Kennebec chips from a list that includes salmon, halibut, ling cod, and oysters. These can be ordered to eat in or take away. Chances are you’ll want to stick around and watch for the first little while, because the guy doing the cooking at the start is none other than Ian Johansen, who is not only the brother of Cpt. Steve Johansen of the good ship Organic Ocean (co-founder of the Spot Prawn Festival), but also a capable cook at Go Fish! on False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf, which is incidentally home to Vancouver’s best fish and chips (for now).
They’ll also be serving three soups – a New England clam chowder without wheat or dairy, a vegan option, and a seafood special soup du jour. We can also expect to see Baha-style fish tacos made with ling cod and “Salmonitos” – a cylindrical, burrito-ish wrap of salmon, slaw and chipotle mayo (nice rice or beans).
On the retail side of things, they’re offering branded/prepared meals like nicoise salad (minus the tuna – you build your own at home with the tuna you buy at the shop), fish cakes. crab cakes, mac and cheese, et cetera, plus prepared seafoods like octopus salad, poached salmon, smoked salmon, candied salmon, and so on. There’s a two-level glass display case for fresh fish, plus boxes for live crabs and lobster that will go online in a few weeks.
This was a hard, long slog for Rob and Mike. The construction was a lot more than I think they both expected (they’re five months past their first “hopefully open by” date), but in the end it looks like they’ve done a fantastic job, even with the little details like the garage window frontage and the octopus carved into the bench (hats off to Wendy Taylor for the overall design of the space). They’re opening “for certain” this Saturday. Hours will probably by 10am to 10pm, but that’s not yet set in stone (“The community will let us know when they need us,” Rob says.) Break a leg, fellas! We wish you the very best of luck!
Local dreamers Stewart Burgess and Julien Thomas have launched a campaign to have a public “parklet” inserted into the two parking spaces in front of the lovely Prado Cafe at 1938 Commercial Drive. The plan sees artist Jordan Bent creating an art piece for the parklet’s planter boxes (to be laser etched by Derek Gaw of the Laser Cutter Cafe) with the steel fabrication done by BCIT Ironwork students. The project has received $5000 in funding from Prado’s owner (yay, Sammy Piccolo!), $1000 from the Awesome Foundation, and a Parks Board Grant. They’re currently looking to raise the difference, some $3,500, via Kickstarter. If everything comes together like gravy, we can expect to see it open to the public this March.
The GOODS from Campagnolo
Vancouver, BC | Campagnolo Restaurant turns 5 years old on Thursday, December 5. To honour the birthday, Campagnolo will be giving away free Crispy Ceci to all tables of 2 or more to complement their order. In 5 years, the Main Street restaurant has sold enough Crispy Ceci to stretch over 40km. That is enough to go around the seawall twice, line the Sun Run 4 times and to reach Crescent Beach from 1020 Main Street. Can’t make it in on Thursday? Don’t worry. You can celebrate at home with our recipe for Crispy Ceci, which you will find after the jump. From our kitchen to yours, grazie… Read more
The GOODS from The Acorn
Vancouver, BC | This is the last week to enjoy items from our Autumn Menu before we launch the Winter Menu this Thursday, December 5th. Highlights of the new menu will include the return of old favourites like the Potato and Parsnip Croquettes with Okanagan Apple, Aged Cheddar and Pale Ale Sauce, and the winning dish from Gold Medal Plates Victoria: Seared King Oyster Mushrooms, Braised Shallots, Roasted Carrots, Sherry Gel, Carrot Meringue and Mushroom Jus. We’re also featuring a new cocktail called “Darkhorse + Stormy”. It puts Reposado Tequila and Mezcal next to Odd Society Créme de Cassis, Ginger Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Jamaican + Spicy Charred Pineapple Bitters. Learn more about the award-winning vegetarian restaurant after the jump… Read more
Don’t Argue might be the newest pizzeria in Vancouver, but it’s already so well loved that it’s a no brainer for this list. Their pies have everything going for them. Since Andrew wrote a story about the place just a couple of weeks ago, we’ll just crib from that:
I recently tried out Vancouver’s newest pizzeria, Don’t Argue, on the recommendation of Zulu Report columnist Nic Bragg. The 30 seater (estimate) is located at the very beginning of the Riley Park stretch of Main Street, just a couple of doors down from El Camino’s.
It’s on the stark side of charming in more ways than one. To begin with, they make some very good, uncomplicated pies, tossing the dough discs front and center (as you can see above). They don’t go the authentic Neapolitan VPN route, but it’s pretty close. Diners can expect a firmer-than-VPN crust (no immediate floppery) and a gently acidic tomato sting. If I had to pin them locally, they’re more akin to Pizzeria Farina than anywhere else. They use fiore di latte cheese on their Margherita and the basil is “live” on the line. Pizzas come in small (12″), large (18″), and Calzone, but if you’re just feeling a little peckish or flying solo they always have a few slices at the ready. A very limited but adequate selection of beer and wine makes it easy to choose a tumbler of Red Racer or a Sicilian Nero D’Avola for the win. Dessert is a panna cotta, simple but satisfactory.
There’s nothing to really dislike about the place, save for the first timer’s momentary lack of clarity as to whether or not it’s counter or table service (it’s the former). The prices are fair-ish (their Margherita costs a buck more than at Nicli Antica), and if you’re flummoxed because they don’t have a website or a social media program, tough luck. You’ll have to Tweet your dismay to the echo of their indifference.
The overall design leans a little towards the barren, but not in the modern sense. 1930′s is more like it, a la Norman Rockwell. The jukebox of CDs at the rear of the long room is discordant, but only in its ugliness (the tunes, however, are great). I really dig the seamless train station-style bench seating. Seriously, whoever did the joinery on that one deserves a case of beer.
3240 Main Street | Vancouver, BC | 604) 876-5408
The East Hastings cousin to Main Street’s Campagnolo takes a more regional Italian focus, zeroing in on the cuisine of Rome (spoiler alert: the original Campagnolo is higher up on this list). “Camp Roma” dishes some fine exemplars of the Eternal City – particularly their Spaghetti Carbonara – but their pizza offerings are in the circular Neapolitan tradition rather than the rectangular pane romano style. Yes, Roman pizzas are made in rectangles, not circles, and its slices are square, not triangular (for evidence of this, visit Sciué on Pender).
Roma makes quality standards like margherita and marinara, but its chili-spiced bianca with provolone and cauliflower stands out as best in show, surpassing even the romana with olive and anchovy as a must-have on account of its unique taste. If they have a salsiccia pizza on special, be sure to pounce on it, remembering well that the restaurant is home to some genuine meat nerds who make their own charcuterie and sausages. Bonus: toasted angel food cake for dessert.
2297 East Hastings | Vancouver, BC | 604-569-0456 | www.campagnoloroma.com
Neapolitan brothers Dom and Frank grew up in East Van with the dream of one day opening a pizzeria – yada yada yada. The story of Via Tevere will charm the hell out of pretty much anyone, because it’s real and true and awesome, but the stars of the show here aren’t the people, it’s the gorgeous centrepiece wood-burning oven and the VPN-certified authentic pizzas that it produces.
The pies here kick ass as much as the little mustard yellow Fiat that’s perennially parked out front. Baked at 900 degrees for a little over a minute (never more than 90 seconds), they toe the line of perfection with beautiful crust blisters and a dreamy San Marzano sauce, arriving uncut at the table so as to maintain the integrity and temperature of the centre.
Faves include the prosciutto with fresh arugula and the Napoletana with tomatoes, fior di latte cheese, anchovies, and fresh basil. Bonus: superb, almost always celebratory atmosphere.
1190 Victoria Drive | Vancouver, BC | 604-336-1803 | www.viateverepizzeria.com
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | The 6th annual Ice Cream Social New Years Eve Party, The Winter Social is upon us. From 9pm to 4am, we invite you to join us for an evening featuring free champagne for everyone at midnight, all our fave 50′s and 60′s dancing hits all night long from DJs Tyler Fedchuk, Cam Dales, Trevor Risk, and Justin Gradin, and a vintage German black & white photobooth (the Fotoautomaton) capturing everyone looking sharp! Tickets are available at The Biltmore Cabaret, Red Cat Records, Dandelion Records & Emporium or Ticketweb.ca. Act fast, as pre-sales have a tendency to sell out! Learn more about Biltmore Cabaret after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Aloe Designs
Using offcuts salvaged from deck, fencing, and other landscaping projects, as well as old-growth wood foraged from salvage yards and garage sales, owners Caitlin and Owen Black handcraft one-of-a-kind objects that are as beautiful as they are useful.
“World Reclaimed was born out of our love of working with our hands,” says Owen. “Our products reflect our respect for old-world craftsmanship, combined with our attraction to modern design.”
Responsible consumption and the re-use ethic are also driving forces: “Our aim is to create beautiful objects out of materials that, for one reason or another, were discarded or destined for the landfill,” says Caitlin.
The initial World Reclaimed product line includes breadboards, mason bee houses, bird feeders, end-cut coasters and “living desert” cactus planters. Caitlin and Owen plan to expand their offerings as new materials and reclaimed objects come their way.
Part of what makes this line special is that each object is unique to its origin. The seats of old chairs are sanded down and repurposed as bread boards, for example, while leftovers from an ipe-wood deck project, are transformed into mason bee houses.
All make welcome holiday and hostess gifts. Available at Walrus and worldreclaimed.com, as well as at the Aloe Designs holiday party and pop-up shop launch of World Reclaimed, set for Thursday, December 5, from 6:00-9:00pm at the Aloe Designs studio. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 4th. Learn more about Aloe Designs after the jump… Read more
Sal y Limon had us wrapped around its finger from day 1. We wish it wasn’t as busy as it is (people call it “the Mexican Stepho’s of the East Side” for good reason), but life goes on. At least the line-ups during peak hours move quickly, and one knows that at the end of it lies good chow and cold bottles of good ‘ol Mexican Coca-Cola (different from Canadian/US Coke in that there’s no high fructose corn syrup). Our favourites include the carnitas tortas (beef sandwich on bolillo roll), the chorizo and cheese-stuffed quesadillas, the addictive house-made potato chips, and pretty much every type of taco they offer from porky al pastor to the zucchini-laced veggie option.
The thing to pounce on whenever it’s available is the tortilla soup (so very rich and restorative). The thing to avoid at all costs is the taquitos dorados, which sound tasty but appear unappetizingly like a pair of artillery shell casings greased up and stuffed heavily with bland potatoes. The thing to explore is the DIY salsa bar, with its options ranging from the gentle to the terrifying. Bonus: the burritos are densely fabulous, and everything is wicked cheap.
701 Kingsway at Fraser | Vancouver, BC | 604-677-4247 | www.salylimon.ca