Vancouver Olympics – New Foods 9

About now, those who are attending the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver are beginning to learn a little more about the City, and those of you still to come have even more time to do your research. I think that you will enjoy these local foods and businesses, as these are mostly unique to Vancouver, BC. Continuing on my list of 100+ delectable and delightful foods to try at the XXI Winter Olympiad and the Paralympics which follow:

71. Sweet Georgia Browns
Founded in Vancouver in 1907 by Richard Carmon Purdy, this venerable company is where you want to start a calorie marathon. How do you get a day’s worth of calories in three or four chocolates? Just take jumbo Georgia pecans, smother them in viscous caramel, add Belgian milk chocolate and open wide. These are Turtles on steroids. They’re impossibly rich and rag-tag wonderful. In addition, Purdy’s Chocolate Company, uses sustainably produced cacao for its products and is trying to help the lives of the cocoa bean farmers in West Africa. Find their chocolates at various locations or see Purdy’s online

72. House Special Pho
A very plain, inexpensive place which serves a good bowl of Vietnam’s famous pho soup which banishes the rainy-day blues. It’s good for kids and is handicap accessible. Consider something traditional like the sliced meat bowl (beef or pork), but live a why not live a little closer to the edge — order the House Special, which features tripe, beef brisket, tendon, meatballs and other mystery treats. Usually the meat is not pre-cooked, rather the properly done, the hot soup brings the slices to safe target temperatures. Also consider the Bun Bo Nuong, Rau Song (grilled beef ribs) served with lots of sauces and whole lettuce leaves for wrapping, rolling and dipping. Also check out Hu Tieu Mi Kho (dry noodles with seafood). Thai Son Vietnamese, 373 E. Broadway, 604-875-6436 Cash only! Also at: Garden City and Leslie Road,. It’s just across the road from Fabricana. They are also at: 230-2800 East 1st. Avenue, Vancouver and 201 4501 North Road, Burnaby.

73. Sandwiches From So.cial
This place makes the best deli sandwich in the City from house-cured charcuterie with marinated peppers and cheese, piled high on soft focaccia. The accompanying bag of salty house-made potato chips just seals the deal. 332 Water St., 604- 669-4488 Deli: 604-669-4422
So.cial Sandwiches, Vancouver Hours: Mon-Fri. 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sat-Sun. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sat-Sun. 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. No take-away; not good for kids; live music, not wheelchair accessible. Others like Finch’s nearby. Some people say the portion size has dwindled for a fairly stiff price at So.cial in the intervening years since this list originally came out. You might consider it for Weekend Breakfast, as it has gotten good marks then. The Oyster Bar is not recommended. The Deli section closes earlier. The complimentary house-made chips are serve-yourself bags.

74. Old Vines Foch
Made with fruit from vines planted 44 years ago by Richard Stewart Jr. at Quails’ Gate vineyard in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, this wine is a lush, intense red, reminiscent of dry cassis. The Marechal Foch grape is a French hybrid with very small compact berries. It combines Old and New World wine styles, offering bright acidity along with intense dark fruit and complex earthy notes. The viticulturalist ferments it with vigorous French yeast strains and then matures it in spicy new American oak barrels. This has become a Vancouver cult favorite. 604-841-1325

75. Financiers
There’s more than a little bit of Paris in Vancouver’s Ganache Pâtisserie in Yaletown. I’m not sure that these sinfully moist little cakes, topped with cocoa nibs, which come in six-pack grab bags and are perfect with a dark-roast coffee in the morning, are still on the menu. But there are plenty of other delights! Croissants, Pain au Chocolat and Croissants aux Amandes are available only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Ganache Pâtisserie, 1262 Homer St., 604-899-1098

76. Hy’s Stuffed Potatoes
Pure masochistic genius: the mashed innards are fattened with butter and sour cream and piped back into the skin, then baked again. Finish with an extra pat of butter, dollops of sour cream, bacon bits, and chives. Surprisingly, it’s not considered as a good choice for kids. It is handicapped accessible and offers take-out. It has a dressy designation, too, so be aware; you will be dining in a wood-paneled room that could be your rich grandfather’s den.

This company is owned by the same family which opened The Keg chain throughout Canada and in some US states. Concentrate on the meat, which they do well; the other side dishes and courses vary. Pecan pie is done decently. Find the best steak in Vancouver at 637 Hornby St., 604-683-7671 Hy’s Encore Steakhouse, Vancouver.

77. Ethical Bean Coffee
Fruity, earthy, smoky and nuanced — not only are these locally roasted coffees complex and delicious, but they are 100% certified Fair Trade, which is critical. Widely available at several locations: including Choices, Whole Foods, Safeway and London Drugs. Read why supporting Fair Trade is important, at their website, Ethical Bean Coffee, Vancouver

78. Farmhouse Alpine Gold Cheese
This washed-curd, washed-rind artisan cheese greets you with a deceptively pungent aroma. But don’t be fooled — it gives way to a surprisingly soft flavor, and is just perfect for enjoying with a glass of Gewürztraminer white wine. Try it at Bluewater Café and possibly Raincity Grill. Questions? In Agassiz: 604-796-8741

79. Muc Tuoi Rang Muoi
Also known as lemon-pepper squid, it’s is lightly battered and deep-fried, tossed with garlic and chilies, and served with piquant pepper sauce for dipping. Phnom Penh, 244 E. Georgia St., 604-734-8898

80. Chocoatl’s Hot Chocolate
Chocolate drunk in these inventive ways is a revelation. Try the chili version like they served on Mexico City’s streets, or take a walk on the Wonka side with lavender, rose, or orange. Marshmallows are not required or missed. It’s not clear if they are still open, so call first. Chocoatl, 1127 Mainland St., 604-676-9977

Enjoy!

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