A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Vancouver: the land of food and beer

Okay, so maybe Vancouver's not all about food and beer, but it sure felt like it to this non-skiier. While we were there, we ate lots of good food and drank lots of good beer. And walked a lot. We visited neighbourhoods, friends, pubs, shorelines, mountains, and took plenty of photos to document our trip.

Vancouver has about half the population of Toronto, making it seem small to me despite the fact that it is the third largest city in the country. The city is also fairly young and is filled with a lot of new buildings, earning it the nickname "City of Glass". It was hard to not make constant comparisons to Toronto - both positive and negative - but the one positive that kicked the asses of most of the negatives was the gorgeous views of mountains in the backdrop of the city.

The easiest way to do this, I think, is to write our trip in chronological order. We start with Boxing Day.

After a pretty quick flight, too early on Boxing Day, during which my vegan meal was neglected as usual and I was thankful I brought food with me, the boy's friend from childhood, who moved out to Vancouver a few years ago, picked us up at the airport. He and his girlfriend (ahem, their names are Dave and Michelle. no kidding.) graciously offered us a place to stay at their apartment, including use of the apartment when they left for a ski resort a couple of days later. The first place we went to in Vancouver was Granville Island, where most things were closed, being Boxing Day and all. But we walked around, saw the Island without the crowds, and got coffee. And took photos.

Seagull Hooligans
This seagull warning sticker was on the inside door of Granville Market's food building. It made me laugh and was the first photo I took. When I walked outside, I could see why the sticker is necessary - the gulls are huge and plentiful. And are milling around like thugs, waiting to snatch your food.

Sea Houses
On the Island, there is this crazy little community called Sea Village. The village consists of 14 homes floating in the marina. There's more info here if you'd like to read about it!

For lunch, we went to one of those standard trendy places like Milestone's, but it was called Joey's. Scanning the menu, it looked like it was going to be a baked potato and salad lunch, until I saw a little note in the bottom right corner of the menu stating that certain chicken dishes could be made with mock chicken! Ding! So, the boy had a vegetarian butter "chicken" and I had a vegan "chicken" souvlaki sans tzatziki! (tzatziki - not taziki, please.) With these incredible ultra skinny fries. And local beer.

The next day, the Davids and I hopped over to Commercial Drive for some brunch.

After some confusion, we finally found WaaZuBee Cafe, where I had the biggest roti have ever had in my life. The restaurant had a great vibe - eclectic with an industrial feel, and a touch of retro. There was a very cool chandelier above our table, made of twisted flat ware. It was too dark inside, even during brunch, to get a good shot. And a flash would have made me feel too conspicuous.

But I did find a photo online of one of the other installations, a pteridactyl, taken by a flickr user.

Humongo Roti
And here's the biggest roti ever. It came with sweet potato fries and coleslaw, and the roti leftovers even fed the three of us as a decent snack later in the day.

On some very full tummies, we went walking around the area, which is in the east part of the city. It reminded me of a mix of Danforth, the Annex and Kensington Market in Toronto.

Vancouver from the East
A view of downtown

Community Mural
a community mural

abandoned bear on a bench

Later in the day, we visited...

Gastown Alley
"Phuck yer xmas"

Gastown Flat Iron Building
Gastown Flatiron Building

Something about something
Portside Park on Burrard Inlet, the waterway on the north end of the city

Monkey Does Vancouver
Monkey came too! Those are the sails of Canada Place in the background.

Looking towards Stanely Park
Coal Harbour

That night we went to see a nice winter light display at VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Then, dinner at The Naam! It was a toss up between veganizing the Reuben or having the Naam Steak Platter. The latter won. I'd been told about the miso gravy, and it was very good. But I think I'd like it better the second time around.

Day 3, our generous hosts left for the mountains and we spent the day with Robert and Elva. Robert was the boy's housemate before we moved in together, and has since gone back to Vancouver to finish his studies at UBC.

David and the Icelanders waiting for the ferry
We took the ferry to Granville Island,

Chocolate from Granville Market
I bought gourmet chocolate bars (yes, the purple one contained garlic!),

English Bay
and walked around English Bay. They had us over for dinner and cooked a vegetarian meal (really, it was vegan and they all added cheese to their's), which was unexpected since they are Icelandic and eat whale and stuff like that... ;)

Day 4, our last full day in Vancouver before joining the other Dave and Michelle and their friends 4.5 hours away in the mountains, it finally rained. The entire time people kept telling us "This is not a normal Vancouver winter day" as the sun shined and the skies stayed dry. But the last day it rained a bit. We told ourselves that the city was sad that we were leaving :) We spent the day walking around, eating lunch at Slickity Jim's (I had awesome scrambled tofu) and spending more time with Robert and Elva, ending the evening with a movie - Borat, our second time.

Since this is getting way too long and I have a few things to do for Claire's birthday party tonight - Happy (one day after your) Birthday Claire! - so I'll write about our trip to the BC interior and Big White mountain possibly tomorrow. More then!

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Blogger Carla said...

Happy New Year! I've not been to Super Natural BC yet, but my friend who moved there says there are lots of people "just like" me there. Looks like you had a lovely trip, welcome back. Let's SnB in the new year.

5:02 PM, January 09, 2007

Blogger vania said...

Can i come to SnB?

I loved my trip to Vancouver too. I went in the summer, but we went to just about all the same places. The Naam was great, and i loved walking around Gastown. Touristy or otherwise, there were great crafty stores there.

9:43 PM, January 09, 2007

Blogger mishka said...

Carla - you definitely should go to BC! I couldn't get over how fresh the air was - even in the downtown core.

Vania - I could also see you living there.

Both Carla and Vania - SnB. Definitely. Maybe we could even make it a regular event...

11:14 AM, January 10, 2007

Blogger gwern said...

great photos! lovely recap! totally envious!

4:42 AM, January 12, 2007

Blogger michelleknits said...

Glad you had fun in the Pacific Northwest! The Canadian Part! Gosh, I'd love to go there!

p.s. I just looked at boy's photos!

12:16 PM, January 12, 2007

Blogger jane said...

sounds like you had a great trip! those boat houses are one of my very favourite things in the couve!

and you even managed to miss this snow/slush mess we've been getting this year! : )

1:11 AM, January 19, 2007


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