On a Monday evening, I checked out the Vancouver Christmas Market with my coworkers. In its second year, the Vancouver Christmas Market is modelled after the German Christmas Market. Located at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, you will find Christmas gifts, craft goods, a giant Carousel (which I forgot to take a picture of) and of course, food and drinks. Here’s a quick take of what I had while I was there.
Bavarian Sausage at Black Forest Meat & Sausages – tasty sausage mixed with caramelized onions and sauerkraut. I wish they would toast the bun too, but I think it’s a bit of work to manage that. The various sausages are of decent size, not bad for $8. If you are tiny like me, make sure to get their attention when you’re waiting for yours by the grill. They do shout out the orders but they might miss one here and there, and with a tall counter top, they may not see you and forgot your order. Just shout out politely what you ordered again and it’ll be ready for you in seconds!
Melted Swiss Raclette on Ciabatta at Dussa’s Ham & Cheese – this, you can smell it miles away. In fact, this is the first thing you’d smell when you get to the market. Just follow your nose and you will find the booth. It’s quite entertaining to watch the staff prepare it, as they place half a wheel of cheese under a special Raclette grill and the top layer of cheese bubbles away and turns golden brown; then the staff would scrape the cheese off and put it on top of the Ciabatta bun. It definitely is an acquired taste. It’s stinky and its smell translates right into its taste too. Although creamy, it’s rich and quite strong, and gets greasy after finishing just half of the order. It’s good that they included a couple slices of air-dried beef (Bündnerfleisch) and Cornichons to balance it out. $8.50 an order.
Schupfnudel with Bacon and Sauerkraut at Das Deutsche Nudel Haus – I didn’t order it but took a tiny bite out of my coworker’s. Schupfnudel means rolled noodle in German, similar to gnocchi in Italy. It’s really dense and doughy, not as fluffy as gnocchi. I honestly couldn’t see myself finish an order, so it’s good that I only just tried a piece from my coworker’s plate. It might seem pricey at $9.50 but it’s actually quite filling, so not as bad as I first thought. My coworker paired it with a glass of beer. Sorry, no picture taken of his plate.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Hendl & Haxn Rotisserie. To the contrary of the last one, I didn’t try this. When I got to the booth, I was interested in the Pork Knuckles. At $6, I thought the Pork Knuckle sandwich would be worth a try. Unfortunately they ran out and it would be an hour wait for new ones to get cooked, so I didn’t get any. My coworker ended up getting a grilled chicken sandwich instead, and her comment was, “it was OK”. She too wanted to try the Pork Knuckle. We should’ve just ordered a whole knuckle for $12, which was available right away. I suppose sandwich meat was prepared separately.
It was a quiet Monday evening so we didn’t have to wait long for food (except for the Raclette but you have to wait for the cheese to melt), but weekends could be a whole different ball game. Other F&B vendors that I didn’t try include baked potatoes, roasted nuts, baked apple, chocolate fountain, pretzels, beer, mulled wine and Feuerzangenbowle (spiced wine with rum). Overall I find the food and beverage items a bit too expensive, somewhere around $8-9 per dish easily. Apparently some items have gone up by $2-3 from last year. Even so, the Vancouver Christmas Market is one of the fun, festive locations in Vancouver to check out with your kids, family, friends, coworkers, partners, etc. Not sure about making this your first date, though, especially after a couple of drinks and perhaps an exchange of a few dirty jokes (seriously, you won’t be short of ideas while you’re eating there!). Anyway, what was said there stays there.😛
The Market will remain open until Dec 24, 2011.