by Chuck Hallett | And you thought 2013 was a big year for breweries. 2014 is off to a bang, and not quite two months in we’re already welcoming the opening of our second local brewery (the first was Black Kettle of North Van in early January). Now, crouched at the starting blocks in East Van and awaiting their official Friday opening, we have Bomber Brewing.
Bomber Brewing, with it’s connection to BierCraft via founder cum brewer Don Farion, joins Vancouver’s two other existing brewery/restaurant duos: Brassneck/Alibi Room and Parallel 49/St. Augustine’s. Between those two examples, Bomber is a bit closer to Parallel 49 in terms of both beer styles (session-able beer sold by the six-pack), and in terms of raw location (1488 Adanac).
You read that right. Eschewing the rapidly growing, painfully hip and increasingly crowded Mount Pleasant/Brewery Creek neighbourhood for the more industrial confines of East Strathcona, Bomber is the first to open of three planned breweries clustered around Venables and Clark.
They join relative veterans Powell Street, Parallel 49, Coal Harbour and actual veteran Storm Brewing a short distance away to form a tight, walkable pod of breweries that some are already calling Yeast Van.
Tucked deep in the belly of their warehouse at 1488 Adanac is a cosy, darkened tasting room in which plentiful use of natural wood and stone contrast sharply with the cold, brightly lit steel fermenters on the other side of a large glass window, in which the beer is made. It’s a great place to whittle away an afternoon, or four.
Bomber opens Friday February 14th 2-7pm for growler fills (1 & 2 L) and six-pack/bottle sales, with the tasting lounge following shortly on Monday February 17th with their regular hours of 11am-11pm. Beer lineup at launch will be their IPA, ESB, Stout and Belgian Blonde (Blonde in growler fills only).
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.
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
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.
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.
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | Kelly Ann Woods, who proudly helms the bar at La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive, is smitten over canning, fermenting and curing. This is how and why La Mezcaleria can offer it’s own shrubs, ginger beers and tepache, a traditional alcohol from Mexico made from the flesh and rind of pineapple, then sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. In the spirit of Dia De Los Muertes (Day of the Dead), she will be making a special Tepache Cocktail this evening. The recipe is after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited The Cannibal Cafe on Commercial Drive to join our GOODS section as a recommended place to chill and knock back a burger with a beer. They are now a proud member 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 goodnesses. We would like to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making Vancouver a juicier place to be.
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | Looking for a way to celebrate Dia de los Muertos? La Mezcaleria is proud to announce our upcoming tasting with partners Chocolaterie Nouvelle France and Celestial Tequila at Legacy Liquor Store in Olympic Village on Saturday, November 2nd from 2 to 6pm. Featuring custom cocktails by La Mezcaleria Bar Manager Kelly Ann Woods using La Chocolaterie’s hot and cold drinking chocolate, house fermented Tepache (made from pineapple) and silver, reposado and anejo tequilas from Celestial. And in the spirit of Dia de los Muertos, we will have an elegant Katrina (think white face, flowers, skeleton-like) on site with whom attendees can be photographed while enjoying libations. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | The best burger I’ve had since Mamie Taylor’s was recently wolfed at The Cannibal Cafe on Commercial Drive. They invite diners to build their own, and mine was a beast on brioche that was layered with applewood smoked bacon, BBQ sauce, horseradish mayo, iceburg lettuce, tomato, onion, and smoked gouda. It was really well constructed and balanced (if not designed, ahem), and I like that diners get to choose the “doneness”. I also love how they crisp the circumference of the bun so the sauces don’t get all uppity in their soakitude. The modest set of taps (and mason jar pours) magnetise the bar, as do the no-nonsense but wicked friendly staffers. It was my first time in, and aside from all the few loud Edmonton Oilers fans out for their opener (see you in five more years, rookies), I really dug the space, which felt about authentic as it gets for The Drive. The punk rock gig poster wallpaper effect is charming, and as an ancient fan of local band SNFU, I think the branding is spot on. It definitely had me humming away…
The food ain’t bad and the food ain’t good Come with me, I’m on my way
Don’t dare order the “Leper’s foot”
I recommend the “Ass of a farmer’s wife”
Very tender, not too juicy, heavy on the cellulite
To the Cannibal Cafe
Won’t you come to the only place
Where you can be the Special Of The Day
The food ain’t bad and the food ain’t good
Come with me, I’m on my way
1818 Commercial Drive | Vancouver, BC | 604-558-4199 | www.cannibalcafe.ca
1818 Commercial Drive | Vancouver, BC | 604-558-4199 | www.cannibalcafe.ca
Owner: Matt Thompson
General Manager: Jen Temple
Kitchen Manager: Hannah Goodwyn-Fewings
About The Cannibal Cafe
The Cannibal Café is Commercial Drive’s newest restaurant, serving up hand ground beef burgers and authentic milkshakes in a nostalgic, rockin’ diner-esque environment. Inside you’ll find a gorgeous bar, a sleek and clean atmosphere and walls decked out in concert posters from the 90’s heyday of Vancouver indie rock from forgotten venues like The Town Pump and The Hungry Eye.
The Cannibal Cafe grinds 3 cuts of Alberta Beef; Brisket for it’s flavour, Short Rib for it’s rich marbling and Chuck, cause he’s a nice guy. The meat is hand ground daily in house to very specific standards then cooked to your preferred doneness. Open 7 days a week, we are located at 1818 Commercial Drive, serving up the freshest and tastiest burgers to come to this city!
We love what Tony Marzo and Sachi Iwamoto, owners of Kessel & March, did with their ARC building space at Powell & Commercial. We also dig how the new foodshop/eatery’s simple and clean aesthetic extends to the affordable chow, none of which disappoints. If (when) you go, try the lemon/ricotta tart with salad trio (1), the bright and perfect saffron risotto (2), the berry pavlova as a chaser (3); the cured meat plate with toasted walnuts, olives, and house toast (4); and the carrot cake to close (5). They’re licensed, plus they have a swell patio and a curated selection of retail food items like tinned San Marzano tomatoes, preserves, salts, oils, and more. Kessel & March are open for lunch and dinner, as well as Saturday brunch (closed Sundays). Bonus: they launch a “family-style” supper program this Wednesday night!
Unit No. 109-1701 Powell St. at Commercial Drive | 604-874-1196 | www.kesselandmarch.com
by Andrew Morrison | I recently had the chance to walk through what will soon become Vancouver’s newest distillery. It’s called Odd Society Spirits, and it’s located near the foot of Commercial Drive at 1725 Powell Street. Owners Gordon Glanz and Miriam Karp – who are already members of the BC Artisan Distillers Guild – expect to receive their manufacturers license any day now (so they can start distilling), and hope to have the public side of it up and running at some point before the end of the summer. Miriam is handling the marketing side of things, while Gordon – a graduate of the Masters in Brewing & Distilling program at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University – will be the distiller (he’s been making spirits since high school).
Odd Society will be a small batch craft distillery with strong “estate” thinking, meaning they’ll be doing everything themselves and sourcing all of their ingredients close to hand. They have a great set up with three 100L fermenters with three stills that can produce up to 100 bottles a day. We can’t wait to try some!
It’s a neat building, too. Previously a motorcycle shop for some 18 years, the long and then space is now split with the 550 sqft. frontage given over to a tasting room/bar, where sippers can try their East Van Vodka, Mongrel Moonshine Whisky, and Wallflower Gin (down the road they also hope to make a Canadian Rye and several liqueurs). The rest of the space is reserved for all the magical booze-making machinery that you can see in the shots above and below. In addition to tastings, we can also expect tours, classes, and maybe even a supper or three.
Andrew Morrison is the editor-in-chief of Scout and BC’s Senior Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and TV shows on local food, culture and travel. He live and works in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, where he also collects inexpensive things and enjoys birds, skateboards, whisky, shoes, many songs, and the smell of wood fires.
The GOODS from La Mezcaleria
Vancouver, BC | We at La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive are looking for skilled and experienced line cooks, prep cooks, and bartenders to join our growing team. Experience in fast-paced environments is an asset. Email your resumes in confidence to email@example.com. Read more