Our office was invited to the annual Tourism Vancouver Open House on Oct 7. Having only worked for a year, this is my first time attending the event. And leading up to the event, I have been told by a number of people that it’s one of their favourite industry events. Especially the great food they serve at the event. That definitely set up some high expectations.
And it didn’t disappoint me. The Open House took place at the Visitor Information Centre on Burrard Street as well as Tourism Vancouver’s office right upstairs. Food and drinks were served at both locations. Thirteen food and beverage operators participated and gave out samples at the event. They are:
- Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant
- Floata Seafood Restaurant
- Fortune House Seafood Restaurant
- Granville Entertainment Group (Roxy, Doolin’s Irish Pub, the Cellar)
- Granville Room/Republic
- Lux Lounge & Restaurant
- Milestones Grill & Bar
- Moustache Cafe
- Nyala African Cuisine
- Peake of Catering
- The Refinery/Sip Resto-Lounge
- Steamworks Brewing Co.
- Westward Ho! Public House
Each attendee was given a stamp card. We were told to visit each booth, try a sample, and collect stamps. With the fully stamped card, we were entered to win some great door prizes. After going around all booths, these are my highlights:
- Fortune Restaurant’s “Beggar’s Chicken” (They used bread dough instead of clay for the outside. They probably wouldn’t serve it just yet if my colleague didn’t ask about it. Glad that I was there to see it.)
- Nyala (First time ever tasting Ethiopian cuisine. It wasn’t bland like how I imagined it would be)
- The Refinery‘s Hot Sopressata and Smoked Tuna (The pickled flavour in piccalilli worked very well with the salami. The tuna was smoked nicely.)
- Steamwork’s Great Pumpkin Ale (Never a huge fan of pumpkin flavoured anything, but this one actually tastes really good. Like the combination of flavours.)
It was overall a fun experience to drop by each booth and sample their dishes. I have actually never been to most of the participating restaurants. Now I’m intrigued to pay them a visit later.