We just spent eight days in Vancouver. Beautiful, sunny, gorgeous Vancouver for the first four days and then it turned to dark and rainy Vancouver, the more typical version, for this time of year. No worries for us! Our first four days were planned for our private time and for the second four rainy days, we were working anyway. Fun work, but all inside, of course.
Vancouver is situated beautifully with the Pacific Ocean and inlets all around, surrounded by mountains crowning it in the background. The first four days were glorious!!! Granville Island is beautiful, street performers and all. The Granville Island Farmers Market is not to be believed. The most gorgeous, perfect and unusual fruits and vegetables are there along with amazing cheeses, meats, fish and chocolates as well as local crackers and mushrooms and a myriad of other things, including beautiful flowers and the most delicious cappuccino at JJ Bean, except for my son’s, of course.
So here are some highlights. Every salad we ate was so fresh and scrumptious, very reflective of the farmer’s market fare. Complete meals at touted “best restaurants” were unfortunately, fair, by our opinion. We went to Raincity Grill, C, and Hawksworth. All just okay. But the smaller, more local fare, like Banana Leaf on Denman (Malaysian) and Kadoya Japanese Restaurant were terrific. Are we just spoiled New Yorkers I wondered? But no, I don’t think so. These fancy, expensive places mentioned, missed on so many things. To me, they tried too hard, used too many ingredients or elements in a dish that complicates things, instead of just tasting the amazing goodness of truly great ingredients combining to make unique flavor sensations. The salmon is not what we’re used to – it’s so lean it’s actually rather dry or they overcooked it and it wasn’t so tasty. At C (a restaurant right by the sea – cute eh?), our grilled scallop appetizer arrived cold with a “crispy special flatbread” that was soft and soggy. Unconscionable in my opinion, (they were not busy), and I got my money back for my $18.00 (Canadian) serving.
But the people are lovely, the city is clean, safe and beautiful and the Asian restaurants are so very good. Apparently a whole influx of Asian people began to arrive in the mid-80’s when it was announced that Hong Kong would be turned over from English rule back to the Chinese in 1997.
I wish we would have had a chance to bike ride in Stanley Park but that didn’t happen. I did get to run along the Seawall one morning and that was lovely and we did do a 5 mile hike around Buntzen Lake from South Beach to North Beach and back. We had the foresight to buy some local cheeses (go to Benton Brothers Fine Cheese and get some Alpindon local organic raw cow’s milk cheese – it’s divine) and some local Ambrosia Apples. We also picked up some bagels (well, they really weren’t bagels by NYC standards but they were a good piece of bread) and we were set for breakfast in our hotel room. The UBC Museum of Anthropology is a must see (love the Multiversity Galleries) along with the Nitobe Japanese Garden across the street.
We arrived home at midnight on Saturday night. I am happy to have traveled to a new place and happy to come home – to cook a meal in my kitchen. Crazy I know, but I did miss cooking!
Cooking a meal at the end of the day is something that I look forward to; it completes me and completes my day. I wasn’t always like this, but this is where I am now.
More photos to come in the next few days.