The GOODS from La Taqueria
Vancouver, BC | On Thursday, July 17th from 8:30pm to 11pm, La Taqueria on Cambie Street will be hosting an evening featuring the traditional Mexican game of Loteria to benefit The Canadian Cancer Society. Loteria is just like the American game of Bingo, except it’s played using traditional ‘Loteria’ cards and beans (here’s a short video that shows you how to play). Doors will open precisely as service finishes at 8:30pm. Make sure to get there early to get a spot because this event will reach capacity. Not only is this a great chance to raise funds for The Canadian Cancer Society, but there will also be a live mariachi band, 10% off all tacos during the event, $3 beers, and incredible prizes to be won via 33 Acres Brewing, El Kartel, La Mezcaleria, O5 Tea, The Vancouver Canadians, and more. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Get all the details after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited Kerrisdale’s new (and super delicious) Bufala eatery to join the Restaurants section of our GOODS program as a recommended place to dig into some exceptionally good pizza. 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 The West Side a tastier place to be.
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Chef – Lucas Earthy
Manager – Caryn Sturhahn
Owners – Josh Pape & James Iranzad
Bufala is an independent restaurant born out of a passion for pizza and beautiful design, and the belief that all neighbourhoods need a great restaurant. For Kerrisdale, Bufala is that gathering place – where friends and families can gather for delicious food and drink every day of the week.
We prepare fresh, scratch-made classic & contemporary pizzas in the Napolitana style – blistered to perfection in our 800 degree stone oven – along with a tasty selection of Italian-inspired small plates and desserts. And as great meals require great drinks, we also offer a delicious selection of cocktails, wines, craft beers, and coffees.
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Owner: Marcelo Ramirez Romero
Co-owner: Alfonso Sanz
ABOUT LA TAQUERIA
La Taqueria was born in 2009 as a pinche taco stand that could replicate the taste and feel of street tacos around Mexico. We make our tacos from traditional recipes with local, organic and sustainable products whenever possible. Our menu offers different types of fillings that can be served as a taco (soft tortilla, made locally) or quesadilla.
THE GOODS FROM BUFALA
Vancouver, BC | Bufala is open and serving out delicious food and drinks at a fast pace! We are hiring in all three of these positions to start as soon as possible. Be experienced, be passionate, be funny, and be a consummate professional and you’ll be a perfect fit for us. Great pay, great tips, full benefits, and lots of action. Please email a resume and a few personal words about yourself to eat [at] wildebeest.ca (received in confidence of course). Learn more about us here.
by Andrew Morrison | Bufala, the new pizzeria from Wildebeest owners Josh Pape and James Iranzad, is now officially open at 5395 West Blvd (Arbutus) at West 38th in Kerrisdale. We broke the news of the 55 seater’s imminence exactly a month ago, so it’s been a quick turnaround (find out more about the build here).
Granted, it wasn’t a big construction job, but I like what they’ve done with the place. The booths and the communal table fit the room nicely, and the wee little kitchen bar is pretty adorable. My favourite thing? The corks piled high against the front window (see the first and last photos in the gallery below). These were collected over time at Gastown’s now shuttered Boneta, where the bartenders used to toss the corks behind a partition every time they opened a bottle of wine (I tossed quite a few myself). There must have been a thousand of them by the time Boneta closed last Christmas. It’s nice that Pape and Iranzad – both long-time regulars at Boneta - were able to save them and put them to decorative use.
Anyway, like a good sport I tried to eat my way through the menu last night with the help of friends and family, but I feel like I hardly made a dent. The feasting was fast and furious, but I took a few staccato notes, the first of which reading as follows: “the crust is really good”
And I mean really, really good. Rather than go the traditional Neapolitan “00″ Caputo flour route, they’re using a mix of bread flour and Pape’s family wheat flour (from Vancouver Island) with a sourdough starter. It’s turned out to be an excellent blend, and despite the comparative low heat/slower baking time of their double decker electric oven (compared to wood-burning ovens and most other electric ovens), the dough still achieves good char-pimpling and retains its heat and structural integrity long enough for a full pie to be enjoyed (ie. it doesn’t flop but can fold, libretto-style, without creasing). The taste is there – subtle, singed, superb - and so is the chew, which is consistent from rim to center. And to have the crust play a different tune, simply anoint it with any of the four different bottled oils provided (ham, parmesan, herb, chili).
As for the sauces, the rosso is made from Italian plum tomatoes (not San Marzanos) and the bianco is straight bechamel spread thinly with a hint of nutmeg. The toppings, mercifully, stay at home in both sauces, which is to say that they don’t slide around like messy, untrustworthy bastards.
And that’s a good thing, as the toppings are really what makes Bufala special. The house smoked ham and pea bianco pizza with truffle oil and taleggio, for example, is absolutely revelatory, on par with the best pies I’ve ever had at my favourite Vancouver pizzeria, Barbarella (It’s already 24 hours later and I’m still thinking about it). The unlikely bedfellow oxtail and kale pizza was also a winner on account of its originality and the punch of its roasted garlic, as was the far more standard (but equally impactful) pesto and ricotta bianco.
In all, there are 11 pizzas to choose from, and nearly all of them will lift your brow. Think bacon and clam, bresaola and horseradish, sausage and Wildebeest’s famous smoked castelvetrano olives, et cetera. Given the kitchen’s background in butchery and charcuterie, and the proximity of the Kerrisdale Farmer’s Market (across the street), every ingredient that makes it onto a pie is either going to be made in-house or vetted, hawk-like, for quality and provenance.
The menu also includes many starters (love that kale Caesar!), sides, and shareables, not mention a full spread of desserts, wines, beers, and cocktails. But it’s the pizzas that’ll make people swoon. The West Side – when it finds this new arrival in its midst – will almost certainly rejoice…
by Andrew Morrison | Josh Pape and James Iranzad, the owner-operators of Wildebeest in Gastown, are opening a new restaurant, this time in Kerrisdale. It’s to be a 55 seater called Bufala, so named – one assumes – after the Italian water buffaloes that provide the world’s better pizzerias with milk for mozzarella cheese (wildebeests and buffaloes are also a tidy pair of bovid ungulates).
Bufala is currently under construction at 5295 West Blvd (Arbutus) at West 38th, so not far from Kerrisdale’s epicentre. I toured the space before the weekend, and it was clear that they weren’t far off from finishing (despite the state of the interiors depicted in the images above). When it opens, probably before the end of the month, it will do day and night service, and presumably a brisk take-out trade.
For pizzas, they’ll have a high temperature double decker electric oven making 10-12 types a night. A few of these will be of the traditional sort (eg. Margherita), but the majority will be originals built for taste. In addition to the pies, there will be several sides, including 3-4 staple salads, plus a pasta feature or two. There’s a new Farmer’s Market located right across the street, and they hope to make use of it. ”There are a lot of farmers at the market that we already deal with at Wildebeest,” Iranzad says, “so it’ll be nice for us to just walk across the street and build features with them.”
And speaking of Wildebeest, in a two-way street arrangement their amazing smoked olives will be on offer at Bufala, while Bufala’s bread will be tabled at Wildebeest. Doing the cooking will be Lucas Earthy, formerly of Les Faux Bourgeois and La Pentola della Quercia, and Wildebeest’s own Graham Marceau.
The design will see the space dominated by two long communal tables running down the middle of the room with four booths on one side and an open kitchen bar complete with four or five stools for prime viewing/dining on the other. There is no sit down bar, though there is – naturally – a bar program. “It’s definitely a smaller program than what I’m used to,” Pape – a former Bartender of the Year – explains, “but it’ll have a good mix of classic Italian and contemporary cocktails.” I trust we’ll also see a well chosen selection of wines by the glass and some quality beers as well.
So what to make of it?
For sure, Vancouverites like pizza. In recent years they’ve been rewarded for their decades of patience suffering mostly second rate pies by an explosion of quality pizza joints, especially in East Van. But the people of Kerrisdale – and the West Side in general – haven’t been as fortunate. So it would be hard to view this development as anything other than is an absolute win for them.
And excellence aside, the award-winning Wildebeest is very much a fun-loving eatery, so I imagine they’ll get a lot of kicks out of doing pizza. “We want to be a neighbourhood restaurant,” Pape says, “but want to play a little bit, too.”
I’ve had a day to digest what I saw on my walk-through yesterday with owner Angela Maida, and I can’t think of anything that I don’t completely adore about the place. Scott Cohen did the design, and I think it’s one of his best to date (see also Exhile Bistro, The Acorn, Pronto, etc.). It’s a sort of stylish, high-wire balancing act between super casual and especially cool. It’s woody but not clubby; old school nautical but wholly unpretentious; more Arthur Ransome than Ralph Lauren, more Florence than Rome. For certain, it’s very pretty, the sort of place you’d happily surrender hours and dollars to just to stay in its embrace with glass in hand. You will likely wish to hell and back that it was around the corner from your house. And damn your good luck if it is.
For drinks, they’re serving plenty of Italian classic cocktails (eg. Americano, Negroni, Aperol Spritz), twists on originals (eg. a Sicilian-styled mule), wines by the glass, and a few beers. For food, it’s bang on the milieu. Think walnut pesto and gorgonzola crostinis, prosciutto-wrapped prawns, 12″ Margherita pizzas, insalata caprese, stuffed dates, and tasting plates of charcuterie and cheese. Drinking food. Cheers.
After a week of opening softly, they’re ready for their grand reveal after 8pm this evening. Hours will be Tuesday through Sunday, 5pm-12pm.
by Stevie Wilson | When it comes to adaptive re-use in historic architecture, it just doesn’t get much better than The City Square Shopping Centre at Cambie & 12th across from City Hall. Designed in 1989 by Paul Merrick Architects, it’s truly a unique blend of history and modern design, with two of its core structures designated as separate municipal heritage sites.
On the western side sits the former Model School, a Romanesque Revival Style building established in 1905 as an elementary training school for teachers. In addition to its large original fenestration and institutional-style sandstone design (the work of famed Vancouver architect E. E. Blackmore), its ornate arched entrances on its north side are still visible and accessible.
To the east of the mall is the 1909 Normal School, a Gothic-style building designed by Pearce & Hope Architects that also served as a training centre for Vancouver teachers. The two sections feature stained glass windows and (renovated) slate roofs to complement the original architecture.
The Model School continued to operate as an elementary school before it was closed briefly in 1963; it reopened the following year as an annex of the King Edward Continuing Education Centre. Over a decade later in 1979, after a few years of being boarded up, the Heritage Advisory Committee recommended the site for heritage designation. In 1986, both were designated as municipal heritage sites.
The newer section of the mall is a classic example of 1980’s postmodern architecture, with an interesting use of glass creating a courtyard-style promenade and showcasing the copper cupola perched atop the roof. In 2005, several of the original stained glass windows were unveiled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Model School. The following year, the City awarded the mall a Heritage Award of Recognition.
So take a closer look next time you’re picking up a few groceries or dollar store gems. You’ll be amazed at what you find!
The GOODS from Chocolate Arts
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts chocolate shop and café is your one-stop shop for sweet surprises this Easter. Offering a tempting selection of edible artistry, from bite-sized confections to show stopping centerpieces, award-winning chocolatier Greg Hook lends the harried Easter Bunny a hand.
Chocolate purists will delight in Chocolate Arts’ high-quality cacao selection of solid, dark or milk chocolate eggs in a variety of sizes. Mini eggs are available in elegant 3-or-9-piece packages and optionally embossed with silly faces for the young at heart. For co-workers, friends and neighbours in need of a vacation, offer a tropical twist with limited-edition dark chocolate-coated Coconut Lime Eggs, filled with white chocolate, organic lime reduction and organic coconut milk ganache. For an element of surprise, let your Easter hunters crack open 40g and 240g chocolate eggs filled with either a single foiled solid chocolate or five mini chocolate figurines, and decorated with cocoa butter in your choice of several colourful designs.
For those who prefer hares over hens, Chocolate Arts provides the demure and decadent Fleur de Cao Bunny, made of silky single origin 72% dark chocolate. Also available from the rabbit warren is the charismatic Chocara Charlie, a handsome handcrafted chocolate bunny available in dark or milk chocolate, filled with five bestselling mini Chocara bars carefully crafted of house-made caramel, peanut butter and organic rice crisps. The adventurous chocoholic will enjoy the decidedly unconventional Pop Rocks Bunny made of rich milk chocolate and effervescent popping candy.
To complete the Easter menagerie, Chocolate Arts offers their aww-inducing chocolate Cheeps—dark chocolate eggs filled with a bright and playful house-made passionfruit marshmallow and decorated as plump chickadees—and the portly, wide-eyed chocolate Piggy, concealing a small fortune of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs in its generous potbelly. For the truly deserving, pick up a Chocolate Arts statement Signature Egg. Available in two sizes, in either dark or milk chocolate, they boast intricately decorated lids and are filled with a curated selection of assorted and seasonal chocolates and truffles. Read more
The GOODS from Thomas Haas
Vancouver, BC | Spring has sprung — and so has the annual Easter collection of signature chocolate confections from Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie. For 2014, Thomas Haas’ selection of melt-in-your-mouth Easter Truffle Eggs is available in three exotic flavours: milk chocolate infused with fennel pollen and cinnamon, dark chocolate with the essence of lavender, and white chocolate accented with tangerine-lime for $1.80 each. Also headlining the holiday collection is a Handcrafted Easter Chocolate Box, featuring an assortment of nine delectable Easter truffles in an edible package as pleasing to the eye as the palate for $39 each. Details on more Easter selections after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Chocolate Arts
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts chocolate shop and café is pleased to announce the debut of their high tea inspired hot chocolate service, Haute Chocolate.
The Haute Chocolate experience features a choice of three unique hot cocoas, a rotating selection of chocolates and pastries, and the option of either a house made marshmallow or whipped cream garnish. Cocoas on offer include the versatile feature hot chocolate, made to order from one of twelve possible single-origin cocoas to be sampled and selected according to personal preference; a spicy hot cocoa, expertly flavoured with a subtle, balanced blend of chipotle, cardamom and cayenne; and a classic bittersweet or semisweet cocoa, crafted from cubes of creamy ganache. The service, priced at $15.95, is available from 3–5 pm Monday to Friday, with extended seating times running from 1 –5 pm on weekends. As seating is limited, reservations are recommended but not required.
Carafes of hot chocolate are served with an evolving lineup of 4-6 house-made chocolates, pastries, petits fours and pâte de fruits. Guests also receive mini-slices of banana bread and butter or seasonal jam.
Chocolate Arts continuously strives to make their products and services accessible to everyone. Hot chocolate can happily be substituted for tea or coffee, and soy and almond milk options are offered for hot cocoas. Guests are invited to choose their chocolate from amongst the boutique’s extensive selection of artisan chocolates, which include a number of vegan options. Read more
We’ve invited West 3rd Avenue’s excellent Chocolate Arts to join the Chocolate & Caffeine section of our GOODS program as a recommended room place to get a fix. 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 and for making BC a more delicious place to be.
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The GOODS from Heirloom Vegetarian
Vancouver, BC | South Granville’s Heirloom vegetarian restaurant is in hot pursuit of talented servers and an experienced bartender. Applicants must have a passion for the service industry. All interested parties can email their resumes to info [at] heirloomrestaurant.ca or deliver them in person between 11am and 4pm daily. Learn more about us after the jump… Read more