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Posts Tagged ‘Dine Out Vancouver 2012’

As part of the Dine Out Vancouver festivities, a new component called “Street Food City” was introduced this year. It’s a gathering of a number of food carts in Vancouver at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza for just three days during the DOV period. Thankful to have a boss who enjoys food as much as I do, we made a trip down to Street Food City as part of our team building exercise.

After checking out all the food carts, we have decided to try La Brasserie Street. My boss actually has tried it before, but he did recommend this cart and said he would have it again. For me, sadly I haven’t done my part in visiting all the food carts in town, even though my office is close to many of them, so I was happy to give this a try.

La Brasserie Street

La Brasserie Street

La Brasserie Street is a food cart that belongs to La Brasserie on Davie. Its menu is simple. One sandwich, the Brass Chicken Sandwich, and one dessert, its “World’s Best” Butter Tart. Someone may think that the offering is limited and it’s boring. In my opinion, if you want to be successful, all you need is one item on your menu, and this, is exactly that.

Chef taking orders

Chef taking orders

Food

We each ordered the sandwich combo (sandwich + drink) and a butter tart. Three items come to $10 including tax. Genius! Easy way to manage transactions and an easy up-sell for those who pay with a $10 bill (imagine “would you like to add the ‘World’s Best’ Butter Tart to your meal? Everything will come to a total of $10) – OK maybe that’s not their intent so I’ll take off my marketing hat now.

Brass Chicken Sandwich

Brass Chicken Sandwich

The Brass Chicken Sandwich was very good. It has pieces of meat from their famous rotisserie chicken, along with gravy and crispy onion strings. The chicken was a mix of chicken breast and thighs, and some of my chicken came with skin. (more…)

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I received an invitation to a sit-down media dinner at C Restaurant, to sample its Dine Out menu. I said yes without a blink. C Restaurant and I go way back. In fact, it all started with a DOV dinner back in 2004, when the menu was – hold your breath – only $25. That was before my photo-taking/food-blogging time, but I remember it was a very enjoyable dinner, especially for the value of it. Then, I went back for another DOV dinner in 2008, and the price already went up to $35, nonetheless a wonderful meal. In 2011, I visited C again for one of its tasting menus, courtesy of deal coupon discounts; it was a different experience because the dishes were smaller in portion and I could tell that the culinary direction had changed since my 2008 visit (sorry, was in hiatus mode so there wasn’t a post on this). This media invite has piqued my interest in trying the now more upscale C Restaurant, at an affordable $38 DOV price.

C Restaurant by False Creek

C Restaurant by False Creek

Food

Keep in mind that this is a media event so it may not necessarily reflect the true quality of food, but this should serve as a good indication of what you should expect from this restaurant. And I won’t be commenting on its service quality because it’s hard for me to judge when we were considered the “VIPs”.

I must start by saying that C’s DOV 2012 menu includes four courses. Actually, it’s amuse bouche + 4 courses, so by the sound of it, it’s already a better deal than other $38 restaurants. The only down side is that there’s no option for each course. Well, there is, but at extra cost. On the positive side, the menu is more focused since chefs and cooks are making same dishes, so they should have better control on quality assurance and consistency.

Shall we begin? The Amuse Bouche were presented beautifully on skewers. On the menu it lists smoked cannelloni as the only item, but I was watching other diners and they seemed to have received a variety of skewers like we did. It probably depends on the number of people at each table.

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

Here is the list of items we got:

  • Organic Ocean Spot Prawn
  • Golden Beet & cheese
  • Quail Egg
  • Wild Pacific Smoked Salmon
  • Albacore Tuna Tataki

Because there was not enough for everyone to try everything, I only tried three of the five items. They were simple, one-bite skewers that whet your appetite for the meal ahead.

The first course is Pickled Beet Panzanella Salad. Panzanella is a dressed salad of greens and stale bread. It’s basic, but in this case the beets and harissa dressing brought a lot of flavour to the dish. Beets were sweet, and a bit sour from the pickling, and the harissa dressing added a tiny kick and was probably the highlight of this dish for me.

Pickled Beet Panzanella Salad

Pickled Beet Panzanella Salad

Throughout the dinner we received bonus dishes, so we could have a better understanding of what the entire menu has to offer. At extra cost, $9 to be exact, you could substitute your salad with Sauteed Spot Prawns. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver 2012 is set for Jan 20-Feb 5, 2012 and is now open for reservations. In its 10th year, 230 restaurants are participating in this event, offering prix fixe menus at $18, $28 or $38.

While I understand this event is meant to be a filler to help restaurants through its down time (January is usually the slowest month due to post-Christmas blues), I have always hoped and expected restaurants to treat this as an opportunity to showcase and market themselves and bring their A-game. Not usually the case. In fact, I’ve heard many stories where restaurants completely flopped during Dine Out, but redeemed themselves afterwards on a separate visit. I don’t quite get why restaurants would want to ruin customers’ first impression on them if Dine Out were their first point of contact. Perhaps thinking people are being cheap to go the Dine Out route?

Grilled Alberta AAA Beef Striploin from La Terrazza

Grilled Alberta AAA Beef Striploin from La Terrazza

Anyway, I thought I’d round up some past Dine Out experience that we have had in recent years (2009-2011), good and bad. Maybe this will help your research as you try to determine which ones to try. Here’s the list in alphabetically order, but I also included its menu price: (more…)

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Still Looking for Christmas Brunch Ideas?

I’ve always been a Christmas buffet brunch person, since you have a wide range of selection and more food items to choose from. If you’re like me, here is a list of restaurants, as far as I know, that are offering buffet brunch on Christmas Day. Reservations required, and some do get booked up really quickly so you may be out of luck, but hopefully this list will help give you some additional ideas:

Buffet @ Herons

Buffet @ Herons

Dine Out Vancouver 2012

It’s been confirmed that Dine Out Vancouver 2012 will run from Jan 20-Feb 5, 2012. This marks the 10th anniversary of Canada’s largest restaurant festival. (more…)

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