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Archive for the ‘Hang-Out with Friends’ Category

While I’m on my quest to a tasty cup of brown sugar pearl latte, I’ve also noticed the increasing number of bubble tea franchises popping up in Vancouver. One of the latest addition is Onezo Tapioca in Burnaby, with its location only steps away from Metrotown.

Bubble Teas

Of course, I had to order its Dirty Tea Series to try its brown sugar pearls. For an apple-to-apple comparison, I chose the Brown Sugar Dirty Milk 脏脏茶. As usual, the brown sugar pearls are of limited availability. We caught it just in time, showing up at 3:45pm for the 3:30pm batch on a Saturday. Luckily, there was barely a line up, only a few people in front of us. The pearls were nice and warm when the drink first got into my hands. They had good, soft yet chewy texture. The flavour reminded me of creme caramel — the warm toffee, caramel flavour. Almost buttery.

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Have you heard of the trendy Brown Sugar Pearl Latte? Almost all, if not all, bubble tea shops are making those. I have jumped on this BBT bandwagon and the most recent stop was visiting the Exposure Social House in Richmond. It took over the Shake Shake Tea space at Empire Centre.

Exposure Social House in Richmond

Bubble Teas

Their Devil’s Fresh Milk (aka the Brown Sugar Pearl Latte) uses Avalon Organic Milk. The choice of milk made it taste quite rich, along with the caramel flavour in the brown sugar pearls. The pearls were warm, soft yet remain in good texture. Their sign said the Devil’s Fresh Milk is available at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 8:30pm but we were there at 2:30pm on a Saturday and they still had it available.

Devil's Fresh Milk at Exposure Social House

I’ve always liked a good roasted milk tea at BBT places.

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[Editor’s Note: Keep scrolling past the delicious food pics for a meat-sweaty giveaway!]

Mechanical bull, southern BBQ, country music…do they all exist in one place in Vancouver? Yep, Yale Saloon.

I was invited to a tasting at Yale Saloon, featuring their southern style BBQ selections. Right away at the door I was greeted by a mechanical bull. Then country musicians, the front-end of an old Chevy pick-up, and a moose head mounted on the wall.

Yale Saloon Yale Saloon Yale Saloon

We got to sample a number of items on the menu:

  • Pulled Pork Tacos
  • Cauliflower “Wings”
  • Bite Sized Brisket
  • Texas Smoked Spare Ribs
  • Mac n’ Cheese
  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Potato Salad
  • Nacho

BBQ menu at Yale Saloon

My favourite bites were the Pulled Pork Tacos; the meat was flavourful and juicy. The Cauliflower “Wings” — which are supposed to be the veggie substitute for wings — were surprisingly tasty. They had a nice tang, spicy, almost reminded me of buffalo wings. On the other hand, the real Smoked Chicken Wings had a good coating of BBQ sauce, yet the skin remained crispy. The Brisket and Spare Ribs also had good flavours. 

Texas Smoked Spare Ribs Smoked Chicken Wings Pulled Pork Tacos

Bite Sized Brisket Potato Salad

We also got to take home one of their Jalapeno Cornbread and it was very moist, with nice crumbs. One of the best cornbreads I’ve had around.

The restaurant has a nice, casual atmosphere. It’d make a good hang-out spot with friends on the weekend.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t get on the mechanical bull. I heard it’s fun, though, especially if you’re tipsy. Not recommended for when you’re drunk.

So, would you like to check out Yale Saloon? Here’s your chance:

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[Editor’s Note: Read till the end to enter our giveaway!]

The Butcher & Bullock is very close to my office. One time when I was hanging out with friends at the Butcher & Bullock, I discovered the “Build Your Sausage Plate“. You get to choose two sausages crafted in collaboration with Two Rivers Meats + two types of mustard + fries & kimchi. I paid extra for a piece of pretzel on the side because I didn’t think there would be enough food. (Excuse the grainy photo – like the mustard haha – it was an impromptu meetup so I didn’t have my camera with me!)

Build Your Sausage Plate - The Donnelly Group

I chose a bratwurst and a chorizo. The sausages were juicy, flavourful. (more…)

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It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit.

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[Editor’s Note: Sorry we took a writing break, but it’s good to be back!]

When I was contacted by our friends at Ford Canada that I’d have a Ford Focus for a week, the hopeful boy racer in Mr. asked, “is it an ST? Is it a hatchback?”

As it turns out, it was neither. It was a fully loaded (Titanium) sedan with a pretty blue paint job.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

It also happened to be the same week as we threw a surprise birthday weekend in Whistler for CL, one of Mr.‘s close friends. So we gave the Focus a thorough test on a 36-hour trip.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

36 Hours in Whistler

We kicked off the weekend at Stonesedge Kitchen, where we surprised CL with a birthday brunch.

Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

There were 6 of us – and there were 5 orders of Breakfast Poutine. Except for me, the adventurous one. I ordered the Woodsman’s Bowl, with pulled venison and roasted butternut squash. Let me just say, I was happy with my choice. There was a good combination of flavours and texture. The slightly gamey venison made the dish more interesting than the maple sausage in the Breakfast Poutine.

Breakfast Poutine, Stonesedge Kitchen WhistlerWoodsman's Bowl, Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

Then, a stopover at Whistler Brewing.

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When Mr. and I planned a dinner out with my colleague SM and fiance CD, we were looking at a number of restaurants in Gastown. In the end, we decided on Wildebeest because its menu was quite intriguing.

Intriguing, how? There’s a lot of game meat on the menu. And we ordered a lot of them.

Food

I don’t think I’ve seen duck hearts on a menu before. These Popcorn Duck Hearts were addictive – they’re crispy outside, meaty inside. Slightly bigger than chicken hearts, and not gamey (to me). The batter was thin, and it wasn’t greasy. The yogurt sauce was like a dipping sauce, bringing freshness and creaminess to the dish. You really could keep popping them in your mouth like popcorn.

Popcorn Duck Hearts

This Bison Carpaccio looks like a typical carpaccio, except with the use of bison instead of beef. The bison was lightly seared on the outside so it’s practically rare. Even though it’s leaner, it’s still tender, buttery. The sorghum “popcorn” added some crunch. The highlight of the dish was the sous vide egg yolk.

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