Friday, 31 May 2013


I had been wanting to try Campagnolo for years.  Each and every time I tried to go there, I spent too much time trying to figure out what shoes to wear and, by the time I picked a pair and got my butt to the restaurant, the wait was hours long.  So, when my food club buddy (yes, I said food much better than a book club!) and I decided it was time to try Campagnolo, we made sure to get there before 7 to ensure we got a table....and it worked!

So, was it worth the wait?  Definitely.  The food was yummy...very unique dishes made with fresh, home-made ingredients, for reasonable prices...the service was great, and the ambience was spectacular!  I now understand why the wait is normally so long.  So, if you're in the mood for Italian and don't want to break the bank, Campagnolo is definitely a good bet.

Things to note: (1) Campagnolo does not take reservations for groups smaller than 8 people.  (2) The restaurant didn't seem to get really busy until about 7:30pm.  However, it was a sunny day, so I would guess it would probably start to get busy by 7pm on a rainy day.  (2) There is free parking right in front of the restaurant.  (3) Campagnolo has a sister restaurant called Campagnolo Roma ( located at Hastings and Nanaimo, which I'm looking forward to trying next!

Crispy Ceci: chickpeas, chilies, mint and citrus.  ($8.50)  We would have never considered ordering this, but our server suggested it and we were glad she did.  Very yummy in our tummies!  Definitely keep this item on your short list as you narrow down the menu items.

Local Octopus: fregula salad, red endive, grilled coppa (pork sausage), grapefruit.  ($13)  If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away to know that we have local octopus.  Who knew?  Needless to say, I had to try it just for that reason.  This dish was delightful!  The fregula was definitely a big hit for me.  It's a small pasta ball, similar to cous cous.  

Rigatoni: chorizo ragu, spot prawns, 'sole food' arugula.  ($18)  Who can resist spot prawns when it's spot prawn season?  This was really nice.  The pasta was super fresh, the sauce was nice and light, the spot prawns had a lovely flavour and texture, the greens were oh so fresh, and the cheese (we think fresh ricotta)...well cheese is always the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned!

Flank Steak: semolina gnocchi, ramps, roasted radishes.  ($21)  This was very nice.  The gnocchi literally melted in your was like they were only solid until they hit your mouth...the flank steak was cooked very nicely and the radishes were awesome!  I've never had roasted radishes before, but I think I'm going to have to figure out how to cook them at home.
The X that marks the spot.

Twitter: @Campagnolomain

Thursday, 30 May 2013


I had been intrigued as I walked by Scoop! many a time, but little did I know that there was a land of fun inside!  I knew they had frozen ice cream but I had no idea that there was also a never ending supply of board games and a foosball frozen yogurt shop ever!! 

So, how does it work?  Pick your size and pick your flavour for a base cost.  They weigh your container and then the fun part begins...the toppings!  Once you've finished your artwork with the toppings, they re-weigh it and charge you for the toppings according to weight.  Then comes the best part, pick your seat, eat, play some games, challenge people to foosball and have a great night!  I'd definitely recommend this fabulous little shop to satisfy a treat craving and have a fun evening out.

The big goodies: Oreo bits, berry Oreo bits, Yogurt chips, M&M's and Peanut Butter M&M's.

The small goodies: Fruity Pebbles, chocolate chips, chocolate coated animal crackers, sour gummies, hazelnut wafers, butterfinger, home-made graham cracker crust, coconut jelly, Reese's pieces, Whoppers, coconut, nuts, Mango whoppers, fresh pineapple, fresh mango, fresh strawberry, fresh kiwi and syrups.

My frozen yogurt partner in crime's large mango frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, Reese's Pieces, Hazelnut name it!  (approximately $6).  Looked very yummy and it all disappeared quickly.

My small raspberry frozen yogurt with hazelnut wafer, oreo cookie bit, sour gummy bear, coconut, home-made wafer crust, whopper, mango poppa and piece of Butterfinger for toppings.  (approximately $4)  Very yummy!  When we were figuring out how to order, the fellow said that most people preferred the original yogurt and then just added toppings.  The raspberry was nice, but it's made with a syrup rather than fresh fruit, so I found it a bit sweet.  Next time, I think I would go with the recommendation of plain yogurt and add fruit on.  One must-try condiment was the mango poppa...when you bite into it, there is literally a little explosion of mango yumminess in your was awesome!

Trouble!  This was one of my favourite games as a much fun! 

The view from our table.

The neverending game selection.  I totally missed Battleship when we were there...I'm so sinking some ships next time!

The foosball table!  No more needs to be said.
Twitter: @ScoopYogurt

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

EAT! Vancouver

This past weekend, I had a blast of an evening when I went to EAT! Vancouver.  For those of you who haven't been to this event, imagine the entire floor of BC place full of food-related vendor booths with free samples galore, restaurant booths with mini food plates available for purchase, a live Chef Throwdown (similar to Iron Chef), cooking classes available for purchase, and a whole wine and beer was a food lover's dream!

My favourite vendors?
  1. Blaze's Beans - one of the best pickled beans I've ever tried (that didn't come out of my kitchen of course)! (
  2. Island Farms - best ice cream ever!  (
  3. Kidd Bros Honey - did you know they had different flavours of honey?  The cinnamon and glacier are out of control!  (
  4. Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss - now I love my dairy ice cream and normally any non-dairy ice "cream" just doesn't cut it for me.  However, Luna and Larry's coconut milk ice cream was delicious...thoroughly surprised me.  Definitely a good go-to when you have lactose intolerant or vegan friends coming over.  (
  5. Mash - this low calorie water drink was delightful!  It took me by surprise because it's carbonated, but it was a nice surprise.  Tasted like pop but lighter and less sugary.  Although, I also enjoyed their sister drink, Boylan's pop.  I went old school and got the grape...delicious! ( (
  6. Fresh Ginger Gingerale - I may be a bit biased because I love gingerale and they gave me a cheat sheet on how to make alcoholic cocktails with their different flavours, but this gingerale was delightful!  (
Now, on to the restaurant vendors!, not exactly a restaurant vendor, but the Ring Pop lady completely made my night!  Picture one of those old school Vegas Casino ladies with the tray of cigarettes she's selling.  Now, imagine that tray full of Ring Pops instead of took me straight back to being 5 years old.  It was awesome!  Things to note: Ring pops are now completely jelly candy (like a jelly bean).  No more hardness and stickiness getting all over your hands.  I quite liked it, and it's probably a lot more hygienic.  And, yes, my hand looks like it's been stretched by some medieval machine in this photo.
Tickets have been purchased...let the restaurant vendo tasting begin! 
(Sheet of 20 cost $10)
Ssam Shrimp Lettuce Wrap from Noodle Box...delicious!!!  Had I been with family instead of friends, I probably would have licked my plate clean.  (4 tickets, $2)
Clam Chowder in a sour dough bowl from Glowbal Group.  (Unknown number of tickets)  This looked very yummy. 
Butter Chicken from New India (8 tickets, $4).  Very nice and completely filled my belly and satisfied my craving for butter chicken!

Naan, a Chicken Skewer and a Mango Lemonade.  The naan and chicken skewer looked and smelled delicious!  Unfortunately I can't remember what restaurant it was from for the life of me...I'm so sorry restaurant!  The mango lemonade was nice and light and refreshing and was from New India.  (4 tickets, $2)

Pakora from New India.  This was actually free when I bought my mango lemonade, because we'd picked up our 30 day free trial Foodie Cards.  I didn't try the pakora but I was told it was very good, but very spicy.  As for the Foodie Cards...very intriguing concept.  The card gives you deals at specific restaurants around Vancouver within certain limitations and restrictions (e.g. 2 for 1, up to a max of 2 people, excludes Saturday and Sundays, reservations must be made).  I'll keep you posted on what I think of my 30 day free trial.

The live Celebrity Chef Throwdown!  Erin Cebula of ET Canada hosted with Bal Arneson (the Spice Goddess) while Trevor Bird (Chef/Owner of Fable...LOVE this restaurant), Anna Olson and Rob Feenie competed in an Iron Chef-like competition.  The secret ingredient?  Granville Island's Ginja Ninja beer!  Trevor Bird made a gazpacho with poached halibut on top, served in his signature canning jar (love this about Fable!).  Anna Olson made a dish with an appy asparagus and a dessert asparagus with a lunch salad inbetween. And this is horrible, but I can't remember what Rob Feenie made for the life of me, but it looked yummy and must have tasted yummy because he won.  Not quite as exciting as I thought it was going to be, but still lots of fun to see these fabulous chefs at work.

A bit of Raclette from the Swiss Cheese house!  Look at that cheese boil and bubble.  If you're a cheese lover and have never tried need to figure out where you can try it and get to it!

Action shot!  The warm and gooey raclette being scraped off onto bread by the cheese master himself.  (7 tickets, $3.50)

Low and behold, the Ring Pop lady was not alone...there was also a Rockets lady!  The five year old inside of me was definitely as giddy as a school girl when I got these!

And for dessert...a scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream from Island Farms.  (3 tickets, $1.50)  Perfect way to end the evening!

My only regret for the evening was not keeping an eye on the time and missing last call in the Beer and Wine section.  Seriously...all of those delicious BC beer and wine options and I didn't get to try any of them.  Sniff sniff.  Next year, this will definitely be my first stop!

Twitter: @Eat_Vancouver

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Perfectly Poured Pints - Tap & Barrel (1 of 22)

After our fabulous time at the Granville Island Brewery, we weren't ready for the fun to end, so my sister, her boyfriend and I continued our walk along the seawall and made our way to Tap & Barrel.  I know, I know, I've already done a post on Tap & Barrel...however, this is different.  This is the first instalment of Perfectly Poured Pints!

What is Perfectly Poured Pints, you ask?  My summer challenge!  I recently discovered a map (included below for your viewing pleasure) of 22 different establishments in Vancouver that are leading the way in the Perfectly Poured Pints department.  Some I've been to before, some I haven't...but I figured it would be a lot of fun to try and check all of them out this, challenge accepted!  That, and the fact that I had such a fabulous afternoon with my sister and her boyfriend that I couldn't not include it on my blog. 

On to the fun!

Starter caesars and yam fries...yum!  (Caesars - $unsure...but it was reasonable, yam fries - $5)
And the sampling continues!  I opted for the R&B Brewing Company Sun God Wheat Ale (very yummy!), the Whistler Grapefruit Ale (one of my all-time favourites!) and the Parallel 49 Watermelon Wit (unreal!).  The great thing about having so many beer on tap, you literally have over 20 beer and ciders to choose from for your sampler.  It was awesome!  (approximately $8) 
 The weather was still a little bit iffy and chilly when we got to Tap & Barrel, so we sat in their enclosed downstairs patio so we could feel like we were on a patio but still be warm.  We got lucky, though, and the sun broke out while we were there, so they simply rolled up the "walls" and we were on an open air patio.  It was awesome!  My sister and her boyfriend, with the gorgeous view of False Creek and BC Place in the background.

After a couple of hours, we felt like it was time to move on to a different patio, but we were having so much fun that we decided that a move to the upstairs patio was move enough!  Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Pale of the best beer every brewed.  If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favour and order it next time.  ($6.75)

Sisters being sisters!  Word to the wise, if you ask nicely, you can get any beer poured into the absolutely spectacular beer much more fun to drink out of!  Parallel 49 Watermelon Wit and Orchard Hill Estate Red Roof Cider ($7.50 each).
The holy grail of perfectly poured points.  #17 officially checked off!  Only 21 more to go.
Twitter: @tapandbarrel

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Ginja Ninja...

If any of you are radio listeners, I'm sure you've heard the new Ginja Ninja commercial from Granville Island Brewing.  I love it!  It takes me back to the days of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (so going to be my Halloween costume this year), and it makes me want to jump up and do a karate kick while hurling ginger (my secret weapon) at the bad guys.  So, when my sister, her boyfriend and I meandered down to Granville Island last weekend, we couldn't resist stopping in at the Granville Island taproom for a sample of the Ginja Ninja.

For those of you who haven't been to the Granville Island Brewery, it's a lot of fun!  They still brew their special release beers there and you can take a tour of the brewing facilities, plus they have a Taproom where you can sample their beers and eat some nibblies.  The taproom has vaulted ceilings, lots of natural light, servers who are very knowledgeable about Granville Island's different beers, and a very fun atmosphere.  It's a great way to spend part of an afternoon.  The only thing to note is that you can only have a total of 12oz of beer, due to the taproom's liquor license.  The good thing is that if you find a beer you like, you can go next door and buy some more of it to take home!

On to the fun!

The Tasting Map.  I thought this was brilliant!  Each square provides info on the different beers, and then they serve the beer on to the appropriate square, so you know which one is which.  Made taste testing so much easier.

Our samplers ready for sampling!!!

The most fun people to sample with ever!!!

My sampler (clockwise from top left): GI Honey Lager, Ginja Ninja, and Raspberry Ale.  (approximately $8 for the three)  The GI Honey Lager was yummy as always, the Ginja Ninja rocked (think of a lager with a kick of ginger at the end), and the Raspberry Ale was sublime as always.  Definitely a great way to spend part of an afternoon!
Twitter: @itsgoodtobehere

Friday, 24 May 2013

O5 Rare Tea Bar

If you're looking for a fun night out that doesn't involve a hangover the next day, look no further than O5 Rare Tea Bar.  I have been dying to try this place for months and when I finally made it there, it didn't disappoint!  An amazing assortment of delicious teas, tapas, desserts, very knowledgeable staff, a tea serving experience like I have never was a tea drinkers dream come true!

Interesting Facts Learned While at O5
  1. White tea is what you get when you steep tea leaf buds.
  2. Black tea is what you get when you steep tea leaves that have grown out of the bud.
  3. Herbal teas are normally made from flowers and herbs.
  4. Hibiscus tea is high in anti-oxidants.
  5. O5 is not just a tea bar.  They serve tapas and desserts and you can buy tea, tea cups and tea paraphernalia to take home as well.
  6. In traditional tea ceremonies everyone sits on the floor so each person is at approximately the same eye-level.  O5 built their tea bar high so that the people enjoying the tea are at approximately the same eye level as the people preparing the tea, in order to keep with tradition.
  7. Tea should be steeped, poured into a "serving dish," and then poured into cups.  This ensures everyone gets the same strength tea, as the tea doesn't steep further during pouring.  
  8. O5 has movie nights on Tuesday nights!  They normally post the movie to be played on their facebook page (, the movie starts when a good chunk of people have arrived and, if there's a big group, they'll sometimes even make a batch of popcorn and sprinkle it with matcha!
  9. O5 hosts special events...some alcohol based... (  They're even applying for a full liquor license.
  10. O5 is open late (11pm Monday - Saturday, 9pm on Sundays).
The tea bar!  I just love the look of this place...the light fixtures are amazing!

Page 1 of the menu.

Page 2 of the menu.

Page 3 of the menu.

Our tea setup!  In the background: the kettle on a crazy fast hot plate, our tea leaves in our tea pot for steeping, and our pouring cup.  In the foreground: our absolutely amazing hibiscus tea! 

My hibiscus tea!  It tasted like grapefruit, cranberries and flowers all at you could eat the flowers!  It was delicious.  Our leaves made 3 pots and could have made another one. Unreal! ($6 + tax for two people).
Twitter: @O5Tea

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Ze Bite

In an attempt to get myself one step closer to having tried each and every food truck in Vancouver (it's going to happen folks...according to my handy-dandy tracking spreadsheet I am 26% of the way there!), I ventured to Ze Bite recently.  Seriously, who can resist "A Taste of France in One Bite?" 

Well they definitely kept their bite of that baguette and you couldn't help but think of France.  My only disappointment was that they weren't serving any stews.  Why I was in a stew mood on a nice sunny day is beyond me, but hopefully they'll add those back to the menu for the winter!  I was pleasantly surprised to see crepes on their menu, though.  I definitely foresee me and a butter and sugar crepe spending some quality time together on a hot sunny day this summer.

Things to note: (1) They're parked down on Cordova, pretty much right across the street from the Lion's Pub.  (2) There is a fair bit of seating right in front of the truck both near the flowers and near the water fountain.

Ze truck.

Ze Menu.

Ze Moroccan Chicken: marinated chicken with spices, hummus, dijon, mixed greens.  ($9)  The flavours were very nice and the baguette was definitely baked fresh that day.  It was also a solid size for lunch.  For you bread-adverse people, I feel I should warn you that there is more bread than there is filling..but who doesn't love a fresh baguette? 

My lunching partner's Ze Dijonnaise: marinated chicken with dijon, home-made mayo, tomato sauce, mixed greens.  ($9)    
Twitter: @eatzebite 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pumpkin Loaf

I recently went over to a lovely lady's house for my first ever Stella & Dot party.  A morning full of jewellery, delicious food, lovely ladies, a baby with the cutest cheeks ever and mimosas...I don't think a weekend could start off any better than that!

When it came to the food, the hostess with the mostess completely outdid herself!  Granola, fresh fruit, homemade pumpkin loaf, fritatta...amazing!  I absolutely adored the pumpkin loaf and, lucky for you and me, the hostess was willing to share her recipe...yippee!  She originally found it in the October 2007 issue of Shape magazine but has made some modifications to it since.  I've included the modified version below since it was so darn good!

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup canola or safflower oil
  • pumpkin seeds
Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In another bowl, mix the molasses, brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, yogurt and oil together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased glass loaf pan and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 50-55 minutes and enjoy!

The fabulous assortment of food!  The pumpkin loaf is top right.  I forgot to take a photo of it on its own.  That, of course, had nothing to do with the mimosas. 

The fritatta!  Eggs, cherry tomatoes, potato, asparagus, feta and a whole lotta love.  Scrumptious!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tacos + Cookies + Sun + Cousins = Happiness

I recently had a treat of a lunch when my cousin came and met me for her first food truck experience ever!  When she gave me her short-list of potential food truck options and Tacofino was on it, I knew we had to go there.  Not only is it an original, but it is classic, the food is delicious and it never disappoints.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to try more of their menu!  The best part of the meal, though?  As we're about to order, I say "We have to get a Chocolate Diablo cookie to share" and my cousin says, "Actually, I found their recipe online and made a batch fresh this morning" and whips a ziploc bag full out of her bag!  How awesome is that?!  Totally made my lunch.

Interesting Tacofino facts: (1) Tacofino does catering.  You can either phone their Commissary location (2327 E Hastings St.) or tweet them (@TacoFinoCantina) to make your order, 24 hours notice is plenty of time, and they deliver.  Definitely keeping that in mind for our next office lunch.  (2) Tacofino has a restaurant!  So, when you're craving some tacos in non-food truck hours, make your way to 2327 E Hastings.

On to the photos:

My cousin's first food truck meal (left to right): 1 Fish Taco (crispy ling cod, cabbage, chipotle mayo and salsa fresca - $5) and 1 Black Bean Taco (salsa fresca, crema & queso fresco - $4.50).  The fish taco is classic and is an absolute must if you haven't eaten at Tacofino.  My cousin thoroughly enjoyed both tacos!

My culinary delights (top to bottom): 1 classic Fish Taco and 1 Tuna Ta-taco (soy, sesame, wakame, ginger and wasabi mayo - $6.50).  I was going to try two un-tried menu items, but just couldn't refrain from ordering a fish good!  As for the Tuna Ta-taco...delicious!  I was very impressed with the amount of tuna (I would guess the size of a deck of cards), it was cooked perfectly (no raw bits but not over cooked) and tasted like it had been lightly marinated in soy sauce...and I absolutely loved the seaweed salad and pickled ginger on top.  I'd definitely highly recommend this one!

Dessert!  My cousin completely outdid herself on these...amazing!  Just the right amount of spice and salt, not to mention they were hard on the outside and soft on the inside, but not gooey.  The best part?  They were made fresh that morning and the sun warmed up the chocolate chips so they tasted like they were fresh out of the oven.  Unreal!  If you want to give these a try yourself, you can find the recipe here: .  My cousin said she wished she'd had dark chocolate chunks instead of milk chocolate chips...I thought they tasted great as is, but it could be an interesting variation to try.
Twitter: @TacoFinoCantina