The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage
Vancouver, BC | Les amis du FROMAGE, Vancouver’s most critically-acclaimed cheese shop, is set to deliver their famous macaroni and cheese directly to the doors of Lower Mainland residents thanks to their new partnership with SPUD – Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery. The aptly named “Best Macaroni and Cheese” can now be ordered online at spud.ca.
The Best Macaroni and Cheese from les amis du FROMAGE is based on a family recipe and is lovingly produced in small batches with quality ingredients at their East Vancouver location, just down the road from SPUD. Priced at $7.99 for 400g and $18.99 for 950g, this decadent four-cheese macaroni blend includes Cheddar, Gruyère, and Stilton. Each order is delivered frozen and ready to heat.
“I was honoured when SPUD asked if they could add our macaroni and cheese to their stellar line-up of ready to eat products,” says Joe Chaput, chef and co-owner of les amis du FROMAGE. “We are now able to reach areas well outside of Vancouver, including West Vancouver, Richmond, Langley, Mission, and Chilliwack.”
SPUD delivers local organic groceries to the doorstep of houses, apartments, and offices within Vancouver and surrounding municipalities. Customers simply sign up online and shop; their selected groceries are then delivered on a set day that following week. Read more
You know when the weather starts to change and you get confirmation of it in a restaurant? You can get yours now at The Parker with roasted turnips, house-made cheese, crispy bread, radishes, and generous spoons of parsley puree ($12) – so simple, strikingly pretty, delicious, and seasonally suggestive. As is the case with so many other dishes currently on the menu at the Strathcona/Chinatown eatery right now (pretty much the entire menu), it was like eating a sunny day in Spring. More plates and a cocktail or two of similar impact below…
237 Union Street | Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com
The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage
Vancouver, BC | Spring is here, and we can’t think of a better time to host a Pop-Up shop for our friends at Petit Four Pastries. We recently discovered Petit Four Pastries during a visit to the Bakers Market in South Vancouver.
This pop-up will showcase the talents of the four bakers: Ada, Alyssa, Carol and Minnie and feature their decorative cookies, confections and small, bite-sized desserts – otherwise known as… petit four! The pop up pastry shop will be open on Saturday April 5th from noon until 5pm at the East Vancouver location of les amis du FROMAGE located at 843 East Hastings. Take this opportunity to do some sweet shopping and show some support for this new start-up business.
Petit Four Pastries is a fun-filled collaboration between four bakers who come from three different cities and backgrounds: Minnie – a native of Hong Kong – was focused on make-up artistry. Alyssa – originally from Moose Jaw – worked throughout Europe in childcare. And while they didn’t know each other while in New York, both Carol and Ada had corporate positions in the finance and advertising industries, respectively.
Two years ago, they met in pastry school in Vancouver – and decided that Petit Four would be one forum that would allow them to work together – creating delicious and beautiful treats – with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of heart.
Since opening in January 2014, they have been growing fast – selling out weekly at the Vancouver Bakers’ Market and taking frequent custom / special orders. Read more
by Stevie Wilson | As one of Vancouver’s most unique neighbourhoods, Strathcona has plenty more to offer than just a grouping of heritage homes. The “East End”, as the area was originally called, was one the first residential settlements in the city and, unlike many other communities, it never developed its own commercial sector, preferring instead of rely on a handful of locally-owned convenience and bodega-type stores.
A great example of Strathcona’s continued romance with small markets is the street-level corner of the Jackson Apartments at 501 East Georgia. Built in 1910, the Italianate-style apartment building was designed by E.E. Blackmore, the same man behind the storied Pantages Theatre on East Hastings.
Georgia Street, which was then known as Harris Street, had been poised to be a direct streetcar route to downtown via the original Georgia Viaduct, but when those plans fell through (because the viaduct couldn’t support trams), the neighbourhood still had the BC Electric line, which not only guaranteed its popularity as a residential spot but also gave it enough commercial viability to attract some trade.
The first recorded main-floor business at the Jackson Apartments was the Costalas Costa Grocery in 1911. It began the address’ unbroken “market” tradition that continues to this day (though Finch’s Market specializes in coffees and sandwiches, it also functions as a neighbourhood grocery, selling everything from apples and dairy products to preserves and pasta).
It was here on this corner in 1917 that police chief Malcolm MacLennan famously met his end. He and an 8 year old bystander were shot and killed by a local man named Bob Tait in a shootout with the VPD. There is a mosaic memorial to the fallen chief set into the sidewalk just outside the front door.
In the 1970s, when the streetcar rails were removed, it was known to the community as Fung’s Grocery. More recently, locals will recall it as the infamous U-Go-2-Store, which featured a variety of smokes, pops, Mr. Noodles, No Name bags ‘o chips, and a few candies that cost just a nickel apiece.
Today, the address operates as Finch’s Market, whose owners, Jamie Smith and Sheryl Matthews, gutted the space and built from the ground up to reveal and maintain much of the space’s historic charms, including the original brick walls, large fenestration, radiator, and corner entrance to match the oriel windows (see above). Scout Editor Andrew Morrison lives close by and took plenty of pictures during the construction process, so be sure to also take a close look at the gallery below. You can really see just how big of a transformation it was. Oh, and pop inside sometime for a quiet lunchtime retreat (they do some seriously great sandwiches) with a little local history on the side.
Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she branched out with a cryptic agenda: to encourage the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with Scout columns that aim to reveal to readers the many fascinating things that they might walk past every day without noticing.
by Sean Orr | Coleman Country: BC Gov’t Poised to Move Against Portland Hotel Society. Behold the old standby of divide and conquer, and it’s really quite genius: federal and provincial government neglect creates a vacuum; organization steps in to do the work of government; organization is flawed (duh) but entrenched and stands in the way of government’s plans; government rides back in on high horse and “exposes” organization for profiting off poverty. The irony? If it was run like a bloated government bureaucracy it would get nothing done and have to pay three times as much to their employees.
And speaking of divide and conquer, Irwin Oostindle blames PHS for failure of W2 space: “If PHS had left even 1% on the table that could have seen the community amenity succeed, instead they strong-armed the process for their own benefit.”
I’m developing an appetite. Lunch, anyone? Vancouver condo king invites $25,000-per-person donations to Vision Vancouver. Not sure how The Province can feign outrage when this is pretty par for the course.
Cone but not forgotten: City of Vancouver taken to court over view corridors. Best comment: “Sure housing prices are out of control because demand vastly exceeds supply, but MY views!!! MY VIEWS!!”
Illuminating: Stunning Rodney Graham chandelier to be installed under the Granville Bridge. I’m not sure if Graham is using the chandelier as a symbol of the aristocratization of housing in Vancouver, but if he is maybe Westbank [the property development company] could also dress the homeless people who sleep under the bridge in tuxedos. After all, they believe “the entire environment should be designed in the public interest.”
Or maybe they could just dangle this free rancher from the bridge instead to keep costs down (because tuxedos are expensive)…
Schadenfreude of the day: Last call: Shark Club closing its iconic downtown Vancouver location on April 30. Iconic? No. Alas, it’s not a permanent closure either. It’s just a transition to new owners. Sorry.
Rat poison left in East Vancouver dog park, neighbourhood warned. Name change to Dog Illing Park?
Dave Grohl shocks local drummer, reveals he’s a big fan. Congrats on all the exposure, guys! This one’s for you: We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.
Game of Homes: If B.C. Were Westeros From ‘Game Of Thrones’ It Would Look Like This. Winter complaints are coming.
Ladies and gentleman, this is your new Canucks goalie.
Gastown, so named after one of its unofficial founders, “Gassy Jack” Deighton, occupies the western stretch of the Downtown Eastside. According to our read of the landscape, its the area between Columbia (east), Cambie/Homer (West), Hastings (North), and Water (South), save for the 300 block Carrall and the blocks of Hastings east of Abbott, which we classify as being part of the Downtown Eastside’s core. It has come a long way since its day as the Township of Granville and the great conflagration of 1886 (which burned most of it to the ground), ebbing and flowing over the decades as a hard-edged entertainment nexus where much of the rest of Vancouver feared to tread.
Over the last ten years, however, Gastown’s slice of the city’s zeitgeist was fattened by a large number of interesting, independent, and cocktail-forward eateries launched by a new generation of young restaurateurs. It also saw a new wave of higher end retail shops and fashionable boutiques open during this same time frame, not to mention the arrival of new lofts, condominiums, and the new Woodwards building. All of these new developments have transformed/gentrified the neighbourhood, some argue for the better and others for the worse. Doubtless it’s become something of an “it” destination, similar to Yaletown in the early 2000′s, which is to say it’s quite possibly cursed with a future full of stretched SUV limousines, shitty chain restaurants, and people who want to fight for no good reason at all.
History and angst aside, it’s no longer easy to get a table as a walk-in on a Friday night, so if you’re headed this way (and you really should), be sure to make at least the roughest of game plans.
Standard post-1886 fire brick red/brown; stained copper green barrel base of the Gassy Jack statue; soft, spherical yellow streetlights at night; Blood Alley beer piss; broken fake cobblestone grey; ubiquitous Corbel Commercial Real Estate “For Lease” sign blue; Juice Truck pink; Guinness brown; green summer leaves of Maple Tree Square; the new “W” sign atop the Woodwards development; Meat & Bread house mustard yellow; cigarette filter brown.
GOOD GRAFFITI AND WHEAT PASTE/STENCIL ART
FOOTBALL MIKE KEEPING THINGS IN ORDER
THE OLD FIREPLACES OF “THE NEW FRISCO HOTEL”
A RESTAURATEUR HAPPY HE NEVER JOINED THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION
ALEX “RHEK” USOW CREATING INTERESTING THINGS
AN ANCIENT, UNUSED BAR HIDDEN IN A HOTEL BASEMENT
OLD SCHOOL POWELL PERALTA SKATE SHIRTS
DESIGN MASTERPIECES AT INFORM INTERIORS
THE STENCH OF STALE URINE AT THE EASTERN ENTRANCE OF BLOOD ALLEY
A PARADISE FOR SHOE FETISHISTS
SOME VERY PRETTY AXES
THE FULL BRUNCH SPREAD AT WILDEBEEST
MAPLE BACON CHOCOLATE BAR AT MEAT & BREAD
BRUSSELS SPROUTS & PORK BELLY AT POURHOUSE
SUMMERTIME PATIO PINTS AT CHILL WINSTON
A MINT JULEP AT THE DIAMOND
THE FONDANT POTATOES AND AN AVIATION COCKTAIL AT L’ABATTOIR
A CUP OF COFFEE AT REVOLVER
PIZZA AT NICLI
BEEF & PORK ALBONDIGAS AT THE SARDINE CAN
FRESHLY MADE CHOCOLATE AT EAST VAN ROASTERS
GARLIC BUTTER & PARMESAN POPCORN AT SIX ACRES
WILD SOCKEYE NIGIRI AT SEA MONSTR SUSHI
AN H-MADE COCKTAIL AT NOTTURNO
A PINT OF THE DARK AT THE IRISH HEATHER
- The triangular Hotel Europe on Powell Street was Vancouver’s first reinforced concrete structure and the first fireproof hotel in Western Canada.
- In 1971, police arrested 79 people in Maple Tree Square after a protest against drug laws and raids escalated into a bloody brawl between protestors and armed police. This is known as the Gastown Riot.
- Blood Alley’s nomenclature is not so spooky: the alley is actually named Trounce Alley, and the connected “Blood Alley Square” was named by a city planner in the 1970s as part of a project to revitalize and draw attention to the area.
- In 1869, Vancouver’s first jail was built in the Township of Granville (informally known as Gastown). It consisted of two cells constructed of logs, and later was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886.
- The Boulder Hotel at 1 West Cordova (the original Boneta location, RIP) was once the central point of the Granville Township in the 1890′s, and features stones mined from Queen Elizabeth Park.
- The massive 1972 street “renovation” of Gastown was noted as being the first time in North America that perfectly good roads were torn up to be rebuilt in the old style.
- The “historic” steam clock, an iconic Gastown landmark, was actually built in 1977 and features three electric motors.
- Chef/Restaurateur John Bishop got his start cooking in Gastown in the 1970′s.
- The NABOB Coffee Company was founded in Gastown in 1896, in what is now The Landing (home to the Steamworks Brewing Company).
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is very excited to be adding full dinner service on Sundays and, of course, Meatless Mondays. Diners can now book their table from their cell phone for what has become the hottest Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free dining destination in Vancouver. With the extraordinary value of the $29 five-course Chef’s Choice Dégustation, along with Steve Da Cruz’s ever-changing showcase of wine and cocktails to pair with Chef Curtis Luk’s playful and inventive cuisine, there have never been better reasons to try something different. Any day you like. Read more
PBS just dropped an excellent animated treatment of Jimi Hendrix’s last interview on September 11th, 1970 (a week before he died). Hendrix spent a lot of his childhood in Vancouver, living in Strathcona with his grandmother, Nora, who was a cook at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House. The eatery used to sit near the corner of Prior and Main in what was then known as Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver’s first (and last) black neighbourhood, which was largely destroyed when the City tried to get into the freeway business and failed (as evidenced by the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts). In case you didn’t know, there is a shrine/micro museum dedicated to Hendrix where the eatery used to back onto the alley that now faces the Union Bar.
by Stevie Wilson | The Hastings Dance Studio at 828 East Hastings sits like a bright orange beacon just east of Hawks Avenue in Strathcona. Unless you’re an avid flamenco dancer or table tennis star you might not know much about what goes on inside. For decades, this building has been a community center and hotspot for swing dances, readings, boxing matches, punk rock shows, weddings, and even political rallies. It was constructed with funds collected by the local Veneta society, debuting in 1928 as the Silver Slipper. It was the first Italian Hall in the area, catering to this growing cultural demographic in the area.
Soon after launching, the building’s purpose broadened in scope, blooming brighter as a general community hub. By the 1930s, The Celestial Gents (Canada’s first modern Chinese swing band) were playing here to much fanfare, as were The Pony Pals, an early version of the 1940s BC country band The Rhythm Pals. Various dances and sock-hops geared towards Vancouver’s growing teen population were also a fixture.
Following the Second World War and the forced interment of Japanese-Canadians, the Vancouver Buddist Temple utilized this address as their interim space before moving to their current location a few blocks to the southwest on Jackson Avenue in 1954. By the 1960s, the building had been renamed the Hastings Auditorium and featured a unique neon sign depicting a couple in the midst of a ballroom-dancing. In the 1970s, it continued to operate as a meeting place for a variety of community groups and gatherings, including the Vancouver chapter of the notorious Fair Play for Cuba Committee (made famous by the membership of Lee Harvey Oswald prior to his assassination of JFK).
With the 1980s came another transformation: the venue became well known for alternative music shows. It became a mainstay in the growing Vancouver punk scene alongside other spots such as the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. The name changed, too: fans of local bands, including the Pointed Sticks, D.O.A., and Young Canadians (formerly The K-Tels) will remember it as Viking Hall.
The hall was also the site of Charles Bukowski’s last poetry reading outside of the United States. It was in 1979, and entrance cost $6. The evening featured Bukowski’s typical boisterous banter with the 650-person crowd in-between a 17-poem set. Video footage of the reading, thought lost for several years, was eventually organized by fan Dennis Del Torre into a documentary film nearly 25 years later, entitled There’s Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here. Those in the know might also recognize the venue from Dennis Hopper’s 1980 cult classic Out of the Blue, which features a (half) live scene of the Pointed Sticks playing two of their songs for the crowd.
These days the address still serves as a community space. Known as the Hastings Dance Hall, it’s home to Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy and the Vancouver Table Tennis Club. Much has changed inside, but the exterior – aside from a few coats of bold paint and missing original signage – remains much the same. Enjoy a peek next time you’re in the area, and maybe try out a few moves!
Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she’s decided to branch out with a cryptic agenda: encouraging the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with You Should Know, a Scout column that aims to reveal to readers the many historical things that they walk past every day without noticing.
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is proud to deliver Chef Curtis Luk’s new Dégustation Menu as a permanent menu feature. We’re very excited to start 2014 off on the right foot by delivering outstanding value for all our guests with 5 courses shared for 2 or 4 people for only $29 each.
Much has been made over the healthy lifestyle that vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dining can offer, and we’re thrilled to help lessen the wallop on the wallet. Each dinner is unique and designed toward each diner’s specifications. We love wowing our vegan and gluten-free clients with our beautiful plating.
The Parker is also looking forward to introducing some new wines from the old world in 2014 as it continues to discover the best of BC and beyond. Wine lovers can expect small lot selections and unique pairings from Steve Da Cruz as well as an ever-growing prowess on the wood from Nich Box.
The GOODS from Campagnolo & Campagnolo Roma
Vancouver, BC | Main Street’s Campagnolo and Hastings-Sunrise’s Campagnolo ROMA are both serving up family-style feasts on New Year’s Eve. Alla famiglia groups of 4 or more at Campagnolo will receive multiple dishes of antipasti, primi, pizza, secondi and dolci for $48 per person from 5pm until close. To reserve, call 604-484-6018. At ROMA, it’s a chef’s choice feast of antipasti, primi, pizza and dolci priced at $39 per person for parties of 2 or more with bookings from 5pm until close. Call 604-569-0456 to reserve. Note that a credit card number is required at the time of booking at both restaurants and that reservations are only available for the New Year’s Eve menu. Learn more about both restaurants after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | I looked in on the construction of the upcoming Chinatown location of Matchstick Coffee today with owners Annie and Spencer Viehweger (and wee little Abraham, all of six months old). If you need a refresher, the exact address is 213 East Georgia, which puts it on the same block as Mamie Taylor’s, The Brixton, East Of Main, and Phnom Penh.
It looks like a tiny little spot from the street, but inside it’s a voluminous 2,800 sqft! That’s enough space to accommodate 70 seats, an office, a glassed-in bakery, four communal tables (3 made from the same birch tree, the 4th being maple), and a coffee bar as long as – if not longer than – the original Matchstick at Fraser & Kingsway. It’s big, and I expect it will be beautiful when it’s finished off with its polished concrete floor and reclaimed wood wall panelling.
The real kicker is the bakery. It sounds especially awesome. They’re going to be baking all of their own stuff in house, including rustic country loaves, croissants galore, and maybe even a rye. The oven is an 8 foot high, four deck, steam injection Bassanina beast from Italy that weighs a whopping 20,000 pounds.
Though it looks a bit of a dusty shambles in the shots above and below, they’re on track for a late January or early February opening. We’ll take a look again when the time is ripe.
The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s
Vancouver, BC | Chinatown’s Mamie Taylor’s is now taking reservations for its all-inclusive New Year’s Eve bash. Expect an endless stream of canapes and hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and plenty of odd entertainments besides (“think along the lines of lumberjacks and ballerinas”). The evening starts at 8:30pm and runs until late. Tickets are $100. To book, please email either simon [at] mamietaylors.ca or ron [at] mamietaylors.ca, phone us at 604-620-8818, or come on down and pick up a ticket in person. Read more