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
by Andrew Morrison | 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.
There’s definitely better pizza in Vancouver, but not this far south on Main. Its closest rival would be Barbarella on East Broadway. If I had to choose between them, I’d choose not to.
3240 Main Street | Vancouver, BC | 604) 876-5408 | Tue-Fri 3pm – 11pm | Sat-Sun 1pm – 11pm
Le Marché St George turns three years old today. The good folks behind the excellent corner store and cafe are celebrating by sharing treats, offering 20% off of all their stock and launching their annual Winter pop-up shop. Poke your head into the garage at the rear of the property and check out all the gorgeous textiles – think Mexican wools, beautiful cashmere and linen scarves, chunky knit sweaters, pillows, throws and blankets – as well as a fresh batch of ceramics by Janaki Larsen, art work by Klee Larsen, sturdy leather satchels, Scatter/Gather pendant lights and some great jewellery. The 20% off sale is for today (Saturday) only, but the pop-up continues through December.
Saturday, November 23 | 9am-6pm | Le Marché St. George (4393 St. George) | DETAILS
Our friends over the Rio Theatre are getting set for another Wine Tasting + Film Night, this time featuring the Western Canadian Premiere of Red Obsession on Tuesday, November 26th. The film looks at the great and storied chateaux of Bordeaux as they struggle to accommodate the world’s increasingly voracious appetites for their rare and expensive wines.
“We are excited to have the support of Marquis Wine Cellars, Bella Wines, Direct Wines, Rich Massey Wine and Spirits, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, and Okanagan Crush Pad, who are all set to pour their fantastic wares next Tuesday.”
Co-director Warwick Ross will be there in person together with veteran broadcaster, wine-lover, and host of Tasting Room Radio, Terry David Mulligan, who will lead the post-screening Q&A. This looks like a fascinating documentary. Watch the trailer above.
The GOODS from Beta5
Vancouver, BC | As the weather cools, and the leaves continue to fall, our team is busy preparing for the coming holiday season. Holiday products make their way onto our store shelves this weekend, with some of last year’s favorites leading the charge.
Our Holiday Polygon Bar, cast in 63% dark chocolate and studded with cocoa nibs and organic candy cane is back again for another holiday season. Also making a comeback are our Peppermint Patties, a house-made fondant flavoured with natural peppermint extract. Our ever popular chocolate Snowman will be back again, this year filled with hazelnut, cherry, and milk chocolate marcona almond pebbles. Two new edible sculptures will be joining the club - Santa’s Hat is filled with Peanut Butter Pretzel Pebbles, and our Holiday Tree is filled with hazelnuts, cherries, and milk chocolate marcona almonds.
Some new arrivals this year include a new selection of Signature Holiday Chocolates(pictured above) – Chestnut, Egg Nog, Sweet Potato Caramel, Hennessy Cognac, Mandarin Caramel, and Sparkling Praline round out this year’s collection. We’ve also re-invented the Christmas Cracker, and filled it with an assortment of pebbles. Read more
by George Giannakos and Robyn Yager | Slowing down a little and breaking out a good book is never a bad idea. But what to read? You could walk into any bookstore and roll the dice on a recent release, but here’s another option: pick up a book that you last put down 5, 10, or 20 years ago. For the next book in Scout’s Read It (Again) series, we’ve picked Ray Bradbury’s master work, Fahrenheit 451.
Why You Should Read It Again | Fahrenheit 451 is considered one of the greatest dystopian novels of all time, tackling censorship, the suppression of ideas, and propaganda. Bradbury once stated that the book was about “the dangers of an illiterate society infatuated with mass media,” which is amazingly prescient since it was published 50 years ago, almost to the day. Clearly the dangers have yet to pass! More importantly, the book encourages resistance to passivity and apathy. It tells us to not be so caught up in our own concerns; to look around once in a while and taste the rain. Cheers to that!
Pair It With | A drink with heat. We would suggest something along the lines of Mezcal. The obvious venue for that is La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive, and the obvious drink is their Lucia’s Garden. The fiery burn of its chipotle-infused Mezcal combined with the freshness of mint and the sweetness of agave makes it the perfect match for Ray Bradbury’s darkly balanced tale of censorship and liberation.
The GOODS from The Shameful Tiki Room
Vancouver, BC | The Shameful Tiki Room on Main St. has unveiled Vancouver’s first and only “Rum Club”. Connoisseurs of the multi-faceted spirit can now take part in a journey around the world of Rum. Just come in, receive your passport and begin! Upon completion of all 50 Rums, you will receive the highly coveted “Honorary Member” shirt. What’s more, a wooden plaque with your name on it will be nailed to our wall to commemorate your feat. Learn more on our Facebook page and after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited East Van’s Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina to join our GOODS section as a recommended place to grab a casual meal and a well-made drink. 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 curated list of independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making Vancouver a tastier place to be.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | This long weekend at the Biltmore (and continuing into next week) we’ve got a lot of exciting and frankly off-the-wall events happening. Tonight is EAST VAN SOUL CLUB with DJ’s Jarrod ‘SlimRoy’ O’Dell and Jonny ‘I Got It Bad’ Grayston. This is the kind of event where dressing up is highly encouraged, while getting down to the sounds all all-vinyl, all night is inevitable. Every month the crowd gets a little thicker and the name is quickly gaining notoriety in East Van.
Saturday is a KEN mode early show featuring the metal/hardcore outfit hailing from Winnipeg. Afterwards, Glory Days takesover late into the night. This is the Official After Party to the Teen Daze set at the Electric Owl and the Cold War skate video premiere hosted by Color Magazine at the Rio Theatre – a stamp from either event gets you in for no cover. After the raging success of the Glory Days Halloween parties, we expect a pretty crazy night. They’ve recently released a new promo video which is perfect for getting you in a Saturday night kind of mood (via Vimeo).
And this Sunday we have Kitty Nights presenting TRANSFORM-HER - a Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground Tribute burlesque night with a live backing band. This is going to be a packed evening, so we recommend that folks come down early to guarantee the best seats up front. Information on large bookings and reservations can be found on KittyNights.com. Cover at the door is $10.
Bonus: next Tuesday the 12th is our Ping Pong Club Night: ‘Let’s Get Lost’ Edition. This night has received a lot of great press over the past year and we are back running it monthly after a summer hiatus. All skill levels are welcomed, with free drinks going out to participants throughout the night, music spinning, a more than dapper host, 3 tables, balls & racquets provided and great prizes for the eventual winner. This is a great night that we’d love to bring fresh attention to! Read more
Vancouver designer Stephanie Schneider works with waxed cotton and leather. The minimalist style and quality workmanship of her line, Glasnost, is timeless and strong and totally built to last. “Inspired by necessity, and designed to be practical and functional”, Glasnost coats, aprons, back packs and wallets are handmade in a little East Van studio. Scout took a short tour of the Glasnost workspace this week and immediately fell for a navy waxed cotton Parachute coat ($400), a small and simple snap wallet ($50), and a new line of Roll Top Backpacks ($225). Because Stephanie makes everything by hand, batches are small and get snapped up quickly. If you’re interested in checking Glasnost out, make a stop in to see Stephanie at Circle Craft this weekend or visit her at Make It at the end of the month.
There was a gnarly fire at Woodland Smokehouse at 485 Commercial Drive early this morning. Crews arrived at 5:00am to find “the fire had spread through the building and flames were rising out of the windows.” The business, which provides commissary kitchens to food trucks, workshops, and culinary start-ups, was launched by restaurateur Tyson Reimer and builder Ryan Murfitt in 2011. Many small food operations were germinated within, among them the now flourishing Cartem’s Donuterie and Earnest Ice Cream. The place played host to many events, including the Hillbilly BBQ during Craft Beer Week, and was the place of origin of the hot dogs served at the No. 5 Orange strip club. Woodland Smokehouse was fronted by a retail food shop and deli, and was home to the Eastside Boxing Club, which was resurrected with the help of Vancouver restaurant workers who raised money for it via Aprons For Gloves. We’re unsure of the extent of the damage, but by the looks of the photo above (supplied by reader N.A) and the ones we’ve seen through various news reports, it’s pretty bad. Here’s hoping that at least some of the equipment (see images below) can be salvaged. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Bummer all around.
603 Kingsway | Vancouver B.C. V5T 3K5
Hours: 5pm – 11pm Monday to Saturday
Owners: Gilles L`Heureux, Andreas Seppelt, Stefan Gagnon
Chef / Operations Manager: Gilles L`Heureux
Front of House Manager: Elizabeth Murphy
About Los Cuervos
Los Cuervos Taqueria opened in late July with one guiding principle: to bring the best tacos to Vancouver. With this in mind chef and proprietor Gilles L`Heureux, fresh from a five-year stint at the helm of Les Faux Bourgeois bistro draws inspiration from his six years of living in Mexico City, to that very task.
Quite simply we want to replicate the experience of a Taqueria in Mexico. To us, that means making everything fresh to order (there are no steam tables here!). Inspired by classic recipes and using locally produced meat and vegetables as well as sustainable seafood the incredible diversity of Mexican street food is given the respect it is due, and a beautiful forum in which to shine.
Tucked in to the original Che Baba space that was lovingly designed by Stephan Gagnon (Les Faux Bourgeois and Jules), and designed by Scott Cohen (of Waldorf, Les Fauxbo, Nuba etc fame!), the space has been playfully tweaked with a vibrant colour palate.
At the heart of our kitchen is a four-foot flat top griddle, used to emulate a ‘Comal’, the ubiquitous cooking utensil of Mexico. Its intense radiation of heat gives a perfect sear to meat and fish alike, while providing the only authentic way to heat tortillas, the basis for any good taco.
And the perfect accompaniment to any taco is our hand made hot sauces. We offer a variety including Salsa Roja (with charred tomatoes, chilies and onions), Salsa Verde (with three fresh chilies and tomatillos), Chile Seco (with four kinds of dried chilies for some seriously smoky goodness) and La Fantasma (our indefatigable super hot sauce loaded with habaneros and ghost chilies!).The drinks too have been selected for quality and value. After many years of extensive research we have honed a great selection of Tequila’s and Mezcal’s that we offer at very reasonable prices. Or you can try one of our expertly mixed margarita’s (lime, tamarind, hibiscus or cucumber) all hand shaken and using only fresh squeezed juices and organic agave syrup.
Under the guidance of Elizabeth Murphy (ex Libra Room and Fisher’s, Oxford UK) of servers are there to help you come and enjoy a casual and fun dining experience with great tacos as the star of the show.
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Interested in seeing a steampunk make your coffee? The 49th Parallel café on Main Street will have an Alpha Dominche steampunk hooked up on Wednesday morning between 9am – 11am. Everyone is welcome to come by and check it out in action. What’s an Alpha Dominche steampunk? A new way of brewing individual cups of drip coffee that’s making its way into serious cafes in the US but, as of yet, you can’t find one in Canada.