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

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