The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | Adding some butchery techniques to your kitchen skills can give your menu and wallet a boost. New skills can open up a whole world of new menu possibilities while you save by buying economical larger pieces of meat to be broken down for preparation.
Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is offering the chance to learn a variety of new skills with the launch of their Fall classes on Sunday, September. 21st. Their expert team will lead both a Whole Hog butchery and a Sausage Making course in-store at 269 Powell Street in Railtown.
Entry is $175 per person for either course and class size is limited to six people to allow participants plenty of instruction and hands-on practice during the session. Whole Hog participants will leave with 12 lbs of non-medicated Fraser Valley pork cuts while Sausage Making participants will take home 5lbs of sausages to enjoy.
The Whole Hog Course will run from 11:00am-1:00pm and the Sausage Making course will run from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. The shop will be closed while the classes are being run and more classes are planned for the 3rd Sunday of October and November, depending upon demand.
Places can be reserved by stopping in or calling the store at 604-566-9229, though fees must be paid in person. Learn more about Big Lou’s after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Postmark Brewing
Vancouver, BC | Postmark Brewing’s newest beer – a traditional Belgium Wit conditioned with mango puree – is the perfect summer send off (4.8 ABV). The sweetness of the mango harmonizes the wheat bitterness to create a well balanced session fruit beer for the last warm days of summer. The limited release brew will only be available at the brewery’s Growler Window and in Belgard Kitchen. Learn more about us and our home at The Settlement after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited the Railtown Cafe to join the Restaurants section of our GOODS program as a recommended source of good eats. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making Railtown a more delicious place to be.
THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Dan Olson – Executive Chef / Partner
Tyler Day – Chef / Partner
Marli Anderson – Director, Operations and Events
ABOUT RAILTOWN CAFE
The up and coming district of Railtown, home to entrepreneurs, designer businesses and chic professionals, has adopted a hot little lunch spot called Railtown Café. In the heart of this commercial neighbourhood, just east of Gastown, Chefs Dan Olson and Tyler Day are dishing up the best of their combined international experiences, sharing their passion for everything food and drink.
The 35 hour smoked beef brisket and pork shoulder, served in sandwiches and on salads, have become neighbourhood favourites, along with the build-your-own salad bar, and the newest addition – handmade ice cream served in cones or take home containers. Treat yourself to a well-crafted selection of house-baked breads, artisan pastries, local beers, and cold pressed juices, or pop in on BBQ Fridays for a heaping plate of varied meats off the 12-foot smoker grill.
The design of the café is rustic and modern with antique chairs, locally built tabletops and customized wallpaper filled with chicken scratched chef notes. Look closely and you may find a few secrets to help with your next culinary adventure.
Having a special event? Whether a corporate lunch, an intimate gathering or a massive gala, Railtown’s catering division promises a refined, first class event with customized menus and an elite service staff. Experienced event planners can assist you with every detail.
Railtown Café and Catering is built around an extraordinary team of industry professionals and fosters a sense of community for its customers and staff. Come visit us between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. There’s no shortage of warm smiles and quality ingredients, so get to the café early before the noon hour rush.
PRESS & ACCOLADES
Vanfoodster – “Hidden in the heart of Railtown which is off the beaten track just East of Gastown. This is a go to spot for an amazing lunch.”
JelgerandTania.com – Feature interview
CTV News Vancouver – Oscar Party Dishes Feature
Vancouverscape.com – Railtown Cafe Chefs head up Canada’s Bocuse D’Or Team
BCLiving.ca – “Railtown is what happens when a bunch of world class chefs… play around in a test kitchen with sous-vide prep methods. The result is a sophisticated yet simple cafe menu.”
Raitown Cafe at Bocuse D’or: Dan Olson – Coach 2013, Apprentice 1999
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | Diner en Blanc will return to Vancouver on August 21st and this year guests can add delicious French-inspired flair to their evening with a range of delicious Big Lou’s Butcher Shop boucherie-style picnics loaded with locally-sourced and house-made specialties. Along with house made pates and roasted local meats, the picnics include artisan-baked treats like tarts, macaroons, meringues and baguettes; indulgent local cheeses, and fresh salads. The Classic French Picnic and Dinner in the Park are sized for two people can easily be modified for bigger groups. Big Lou’s is also be able to prepare a wide range of made to order meals and baskets for any-sized group. Big Lou’s house specialties include classic smoker BBQ platters, Charcuterie and local cheeses, smoked local seafood plates and much more. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from THE SETTLEMENT
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver Urban Winery and Belgard Kitchen are looking for some great people to join the growing team at The Settlement Building in Railtown. We’re looking for outgoing, passionate and hard working front of house team members including management, hostesses, part-time servers and support staff. We are specifically looking for a full/part-time evening manager, a weekend brunch manager, full/part-time hostesses & bussers/expos, and a part-time server. Please email your resumes to info [at] settlementbuilding.com. Read more
by Sean Orr | Peter MacKay’s emails to staff: Moms change diapers, Dads form leaders. Women everywhere would be outraged, that is if they weren’t so busy running around changing diapers and making home-cooked meals…
Related: Are you suffering from Rushing Woman’s Syndrome? Yes, The Province newspaper just pathologized the modern mother. It is a sickness, ladies, and you need psychological help (and no, it has nothing to do with sustaining a a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption). Related tweet:
Service notice: All our “Queen” vessels are busy raising their offspring. Expect delays.
— BCFerrys (@BCFerrys) June 24, 2014
Eureka! Participants with mental illness, addictions thrive after being given apartments: five-year national study. They needed five years to come to that conclusion? “The findings mean residents should not be afraid of social housing mixed into neighbourhoods throughout the city”. The findings also revealed that residents should not be total NIMBY assholes who only ever look out for their best interests and harbour irrational fears about the value of their property.
Railtown: On Track to Gentrify? Wherein Vancouver Magazine reveals itself to be a recently divorced 55 year old man in a leased Porsche sadly cruising the DTES after being passed over for the role of Captain Obvious…
Legalized marijuana in Washington state could hurt B.C.’s multibillion-dollar pot economy. Our mainstream media finally figures it out four years after Douglas Haddow did.
“You can be rich too, you just gotta believe really hard”: S**t Harper Did Punks Tories With Action Plan Parody Website.
Smoked bannock and mirrors: City of Vancouver formally declares city is on unceded Aboriginal territory. “Coun. Andrea Reimer of Vision Vancouver introduced the motion and said she isn’t concerned about possible legal ramifications of declaring the city is on unceded territory because Vancouver is not involved in treaty negotiations and has no such authority over land”. Which is to say the move is about as impactful as declaring Vancouver a unicorn-friendly sanctuary.
More good news that I’m too cynical to properly enjoy: Supreme Court expands land-title rights in unanimous ruling. “If the Aboriginal group does not consent to the use, the government’s only recourse is to establish that the proposed incursion on the land is justified”. Justified, eh? So…like, a pipeline?
Vancity Buzz tries its hand at Columbusing with potentially terrifying consequences: 8 Must-try Dive Bars in Vancouver. Jackalope a dive bar? They just opened a couple of months ago and serve kale eggs benedict, craft beer, and Belgian waffles. What’s wrong with you? Try West Bar, Grand Union, Funky Winkerbeans, The Savoy, Balmoral, or The Empress. Or don’t. Actually, please don’t.
Canada Scraps Work Permit Requirements for Touring Musicians. Now if we can only get the USA to reciprocate.
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is pleased to announce the arrival of a shipment of fantastic, 55-day dry aged Certified BC Beef from the Horn Family Ranch outside 100 Mile House. These humanely-raised, unmedicated cattle are grazed on the natural pasture in the ranchlands around 100 Mile House and raised without hormones or antibiotics.
While most beef is butchered before dry-aging, this beef is uniquely dry aged as a full carcass allowing for a longer dry aging process – 55 days – and ultimate taste and tenderness. Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is offering a wide range of cuts, including strip loins, sirloins, and more.
The Horn family has long history of ranching in the 100 Mile House area dating back to the 1940s when Chris and Helen Horn founded the ranch. Much later on, the Gregg family moved to 100 Mile House and Karl Gregg of Big Lou’s vividly remembers standing next to the fence as a child, impressed at the size of the cattle grazing in the next farm over. Who could guess at the time that years later, Karl would be stocking Horn Family beef in his own butcher shop? Read more
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | While BBQ and beer is a combo which tastes great at any time of year, there’s something about summer sunshine which makes it taste even better. That’s why Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is so pleased to announce the launch of a series of regular Sunday BBQs this spring and summer at 33 Acres Brewing.
The Big Lou’s Butcher Shop team will be on hand cooking up a range of locally-sourced slow-cooked treats to enjoy with some delicious 33 Acres beers. Alongside signatures like the Big Lou’s Red & White Burger and Pulled Pork Sandwich, the menu will include meaty treats that haven’t been served at Big Lou’s before.
33 Acres Brewing Company is an ideal partner for these BBQs, sharing the same dedication to small-batch crafted excellence. Located just off Broadway at 15 W. 8th Avenue, the Sunday BBQ at 33 Acres will be convenient one-stop for delicious summer eats and drinks, whether enjoyed in the tasting room or taken away to be enjoyed in the sunshine. Details after the jump… Read more
The GHOST HOOD series dovetails with the new HOODS section of Scout
by Stevie Wilson | Railtown-Japantown is a compounded micro-hood that is part of DTES. Its boundaries are Main (some say Columbia) in the west to Heatley in the east and from the railway tracks (hence the name) south to Alexander Street. What was once a thriving industrial zone of warehouses and workshops has become something of a tech/design hub over the last decade. Railway St. itself is now a parade of local fashion houses (Aritzia has its head office here), design shops, tech start ups, interior stores, and even an urban winery. You’ll often find a food truck or three parked hereabouts, too, and a whole lot of Instagramming going down. What does the future hold for it? Either breweries and condos. Probably both.
Vancouver’s historic Japantown, however, is vastly different. Once home to generations of Japanese families and businesses, the area now features only a few remnants of the large community that once thrived there. The history of this cultural enclave is unique, and offers a startling look at the effects of racism, intolerance, and indifference in a city now celebrated for its multiculturalism.
Though the modern diaspora of Japanese-Canadians is now found throughout Vancouver, at one time this neighbourhood was the epicentre of local Japanese culture and business. The site spans from Cordova Street to Alexander Street, between Gore Avenue and Jackson Avenue, just north of Chinatown, with Powell Street as its (former) commercial center. It features several character buildings, primary historic sites, and a handful of municipally protected buildings, each indicative of the neighbourhood’s development – and its subsequent losses – experienced over the last century.
While Japanese (and Chinese) workers had been present in British Columbia as early as the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in 1858, the first “official” Japanese immigrant to Canada arrived in 1877. Following this, an influx of Japanese immigrants came to Vancouver near the turn of the century to work in the booming fishing and forestry industries. While they were a welcomed labour force for local industries in the city, particularly the nearby Hastings Sawmill at the foot of Dunlevy, many white Vancouverites were wary of what they perceived as a failure of the Japanese to assimilate, observing that they had their own cultural and religious spaces, generally did not speak fluent English, and had a perceived (potentially dangerous) loyalty to Japan. Additionally, many non-Japanese fishermen were concerned about the growing majority of Japanese fishing licenses being granted, fearing that their jobs were at stake. The federal government aggressively limited Asian immigration and originally only men were allowed to enter the country, forcing them to leave their families behind.
While many white Vancouverites tolerated the Japanese community, prejudice found a strong foothold in the Asiatic Exclusion League, a racist organization with aims “to keep Oriental immigrants out of British Columbia.” Following the 1885 imposition of the Chinese Immigration Act, which placed a head tax on Chinese immigrants entering Canada, racism and racial segregation had been a common sight across the country and extended the growing Japanese communities. This tension culminated in Vancouver on September 7th when members of the Asiatic Exclusion League rioted in the streets of Chinatown after being roused by racist speeches at City Hall (then located near Main and Hasting).
They marched into Chinatown shouting racist slogans, smashing windows, and vandalizing buildings. By the time the rioters reached Japantown, members of the Japanese community were waiting with makeshift weapons and bottles, ready to defend their neighbourhood. In response to the growing anti-Asian sentiment in Canada, the Canadian Minister of Labour Rodolphe Lemieux and Japanese Foreign Minister Tadasu Hayashi declared what is known as the “Gentleman’s Agreement” in 1908, wherein the Japanese government voluntarily limited its approved number of immigrants to Canada each year.
As white settlers migrated out of the area and into newer, more affluent communities – particularly the West End – Japanese business, cultural centres, and mixed-use buildings developed in the Powell Street area. Shops along Powell began opening in 1890, but the retail industry of took shape later, during the commercial building boom from 1907-1912. Multiple residential buildings, often with street-level shops, became popular in later decades as the boarding room trend developed. These apartments typically housed seasonal workers; many now function as SROs.
Business development in Japantown – which locals called “Nihonmachi” (derived from the Japanese words for “Japan” and “Town”) – culminated in the 1920s and 30s, when local shops and restaurants flourished, and ties to nearby Chinatown also became strong. A shared sense of Asian identity – and likely a shared sense of the effects of racism – joined these communities. Fuji Chop Suey at 341 Powell, which offered Japanese-style Chinese food, is a unique example of the link between Asian cultures during this period, and is heralded as one of the important locales contributing to the area’s rich multiculturalism from 1931-1942. Japantown’s famous Asahi baseball team, established in 1914, won several championships and were a popular draw during the 1930s and early 1940s for the Japanese and non-Japanese communities in Vancouver. In 2003, the team was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ultimately, Japantown and Vancouver’s Japanese population fell victim to the xenophobia brought forth by World War II. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, a series of legislations were imposed on Japanese-Canadians under the guise of national security. In addition to curfews, interrogations, job loss and property confiscation, all persons of Japanese heritage were forcibly relocated to Internment Camps in remote areas of the province. Their property and belongings were sold, and all mainstream Japanese newspapers and publications were shut down. In 1944, Prime Minister Mackenzie King declared that all Japanese-Canadians were required to relocate to eastern Canada or face repatriation. By the end of the 1940s, however, many individuals had been granted re-entry to the west coast and, finally, the right to vote. The variety of Japanese shops, restaurants, and vibrant community culture in Japantown never fully recovered from these events, and until the resurgence of Japanese cuisine in the 1980s only two ethnic restaurants remained on Powell.
Today, Japantown still retains a few visible reminders of its past, but has yet to be designated as a Historic Site by the City of Vancouver. This means that many of its remaining historic buildings are at risk. In 2013, the 122 year-old Ming Sun building at 439 Powell was threatened when city officials deemed it structurally unsound. Without proper heritage designation, it was up to the local community to save the site and propose restoration, rather than demolition. As a reminder of the rich history of the area and the continued legacy of the Japanese community in Vancouver, the Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park is the largest annual Japanese-Canadian festival in Canada, and the city’s longest-running community celebration since its inception in 1977.
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.
Staff Meal is a new column by Ken Tsui. The photo essays will detail the stories behind the family-style meals that some of Vancouver’s busiest restaurant crews get either before or after service.
by Ken Tsui | Before service, the team at Railtown’s Ask for Luigi rallies for their staff meal. Chef and owner Jean-Christophe Poirier and cook Edward Jordan decide to nostalgic for their days together at Pizzeria Farina, Poirier’s sister restaurant. They begin by rolling out some tempered dough while general manager Matthew Morgenstern does his mise en place for a Caesar salad. In the back, Ales, a former dishwasher-turned-kitchen apprentice is on “smoothie duty”. He puts together a different fresh fruit smoothie every day in the chef’s bid for a healthier staff meal. Today, it’s a delicious melange of blueberries, pineapple, mint and blood orange. Within half an hour, a variety of pizzas are passed around, smoothies are poured, and the salad is mixed tableside. A strong sense of family pervades the room as the team takes a moment to enjoy their meal and each other’s company before the first tables arrive.
The GOODS from Vancouver Urban Winery
Vancouver, BC | Two Sommeliers enter the ring, but only one exits with their ego intact. Equal parts ‘Bloodsport’ and ‘Sideways,’ this seminar sees instructors David Stansfield and Lisa Cook pitting their favourite wines against each other in a vicious cage fight for wine geek supremacy from 7pm to 9pm on Sunday, March 30th. You act as the judge and jury over five rounds of tasting in this epic rematch, and you can expect flights of wine served blind alongside tips and tricks on reading labels and understanding aromas and flavours. It’s perfect for novices and enthusiasts alike. Tickets are $40 + GST. Purchase through Vancouver Urban Winery or phone 604.566.9463 to book. Read more
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | The namesake of Big Lou’s Butcher Shop was the long time butcher at Red & White grocery store in Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast. Lou’s home made burgers, grilled and served up in the backyard, were a favourite summer treat for local kids.
After months of working on testing and tweaking all the ingredients, Big Lou’s Red & White Burger is ready to launch and has been added to the Big Lou’s menu just in time for the arrival of sunny Spring weather. It’s a tribute to those simple, tasty backyard burgers, made with beef ground in house, and topped simply with Iceberg Lettuce, melted processed cheese, house made sauce and served on a soft sesame bun.
The Red & White Burger costs $7.50 including a bag of Miss Vickie’s chips and will be available daily to enjoy at lunch or as an impromptu picnic in one of the green spaces in Railtown. Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is located at 269 Powell St. and is open 7 days a week. Read more