Ah Vancouver - a true feast for the senses. I'm a blessed to have friends and family on both coasts, and all over the U.S. and Canada. Vancouver is truly one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. The photo above simply cannot do it justice. Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean there, visible from pretty much any point in the city.
I shouldn't wax poetic too much, you do come here to chat about food. When I escape my everyday life and head out on vacation, it's all about the food for my husband and me. I had a wise uncle once say, "Kimmy, it's all about the eating and drinking." He was completely right.
While in Vancouver and Seattle, I was treated to fabulous salmon, dim sum, and local produce. I also got to hang out at two of the largest public markets in the Pacific Northwest - Granville Island in Vancouver and Pike Place in Seattle.
This is the view from Granville Island in Vancouver, not too shabby, eh? Granville Island is mostly a tourist area filled with shops, restaurants and markets. However, do not let that deter you. Locals enjoy the area as well, and the picking at the public market, well, it's ripe. It's also cherry season.
Your choice of salmon (of course) is large and super fresh. I was super eager to try the smoked maple salmon, however, our day was long and it just wasn't going to happen. I didn't think I'd be too popular with a bag full of smoked salmon several hours old.
The butcher section seriously made my mouth water. Alberta, grass-fed, perfect cuts of beef, a case-load of them.
A ton of Asian influence in Vancouver, from Thai to Cantonese to Japanese... these thai red peppers are like the ones I'm growing in my backyard, I hope they turn as red as these. The tea company was intoxicating... and those pot pies. Let's just say it was hard to leave.
The husband and I are beer lovers as well. There are few cities we don't visit without trying local brews along with whatever local dishes we're after. Show us a brewery and we're inside in a few seconds for a tasting. Granville Island, fittingly, has "Granville Island Brewing". I've had their beer before and was instantly a fan. Fresh, crisp, and they have options for every palette. I tried the Maple Cream Ale (sweet and a dash of bitter all at the same time), the Honey Lager (very smooth, sweet, easy if you're planning on having more than one) and the Amber Ale (my favorite, complex, enough hops but not overwhelming).
So, unfortunately the time had come to leave the beautiful and beloved City of Vancouver. We flew in and out of Seattle (direct non-stop from Boston! Yippee!!) so we decided to spend a night there to take in some baseball and some good food. It was my first (and very quick) stop at Pike Place Market.
Beautiful, isn't it? I didn't have time to poke around too long, however, I had to see the famous fish-throwing area of the market, filled with its salmon and Dungeness crab. Dungeness is by far, my favorite type of crab overall. Everywhere you go in Seattle, you see something that's truly amazing - the Dungeness crab grilled cheese sandwich. An epic combination of crab, cream cheese and other local cheeses fried up to perfection.
We're heading to a baseball game, so that definitely means a brew or two before heading into beautiful Safeco Field. We headed over to FX McRory's to sample one or two of their 22 beers on tap. I really enjoy that most of those beers are local. I enjoyed the Hale Cream Ale, my husband took down Hale's Supergoose IPA.
The game came and went and we found ourselves back at the lovely Hotel Andra (which I can highly recommend). It's in a great neighborhood with a couple of great restaurants like Assaggio and Serious Pie. We were lucky enough to grab a Buffalo Mozzarella pizza from Serious Pie right before closing to snack on. Try one. It's worth it. Fabulous, sweet tomatoes and creamy mozzarella on a wood-fired crust.
Sadly the trip had to come to an end. Before packing up and heading to the airport we grabbed some sweets from Dahlia Bakery (affiliated with Serious Pie). If you're in the area, try their vanilla-bean coffeecake and chocolate truffle cookie. Decadent but not over the top - a perfect way to end a perfect week in the Pacific Northwest.
So that's our adventure for this month. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go figure out what to actually COOK for lunch here at home!