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Elkano - when to book?

Thanks Adam and SB. I guess with all these things its very personal and subjective. We have a couple of nights in SS to try the pintxos and are thinking about trying Bodegón Alejandro for lunch on the day of arrival; so am hopefully targetting all except the big hitters in terms of what is available (though will not come close to trying everything available).

Re Elkano I expect we'll just have fish and a bottle of white and save some room for evening eating

Jul 24, 2015
stanleyk in Spain/Portugal

Elkano - when to book?

I am off to San Sebastián in August and want to head to Elkano for lunch, was just wondering how far in advance I can book and is it possible to request outside dining if the weather allows?

Thanks in advance

May 09, 2015
stanleyk in Spain/Portugal

Saussignac - wine/restaurant/produce?

Just to be complete - I thought people would be interested to hear that lunch at Tour Le Vents was excellent. Vineyard wise, Chateau Richard and Le Chabriers were amazing, great saussignac and interesting dry wines. Good little boulangerie and farm shop outside Gardonne on way to Bergerac on the D936, maybe 2 miles out.

Obviously ate a lot of suck (tasty) and some good white asparagus, strawberries were a bit hit and miss, but then I always find them a bit like that.

May 22, 2014
stanleyk in France

Saussignac - wine/restaurant/produce?


I am off to Saussignac in a couple of weeks and am after any recommendations people may have for vineyards/restaurants/producers to visit.

We will be with car, so am happy to travel and am expecting already to head to Monbazillac and St Emilion for wines; though less sure on which vineyards; no preferences on wine type or cost, if good then am happy to try and get a visit in. So far have Chateau Richard, Luc de Conti properties and Château Tirecu as places to get to and am staying at Haut Garrigue.

As travelling with a six month old then restaurant recommendations would be best placed for lunch; again no preference, though would certainly veer towards places serving local produce; current thoughts are Tour de Vents and Lou Peyrol.

In terms of produce, what will be best in season in early May and are there any particularly good producers I can visit/at the local markets?

Thanks for any help

Apr 28, 2014
stanleyk in France

Stockholm - Coffee/Beer/Food Tips?

Many thanks for the tips, I think food halls may be the way forward for trying a lot of the local produce I want to. Actually staying in Ostermalm so that should allow easy access to the hall there.

May 19, 2013
stanleyk in Europe

Stockholm - Coffee/Beer/Food Tips?

Hi all,

I am off to Stockholm next weekend and am keen to experience all good things it has to offer. I have had a quick look through the board and not a huge amount jumping out at me, I have done some other research though and have a short list of places that I want to visit, any additional recommendations would be much appreciated

Coffee - Drop, Kura, Snickarbacken 7, Mean and Johan&Nyströms
Beer - Pubologi, Akkurat, Oliver Twist, Bishop Arms (various), Brewdog (possibly)
Food - Flying Elk (Not going to Frantzen, unfortunately priced me out)

As you can see I am not doing to bad on the first two, but distinctly lacking food thoughts. Am keen to try traditional Swedish along with some of the more modern Scandinavian places/styles. More than happy to eat at lunch to keep costs down (have self catered for dinner if needs be) and also to eat none trad Swedish if they do anything else particularly well in the city.

Thanks in advance

May 16, 2013
stanleyk in Europe

London (and beyond) with Sydneysiders

Just the person I was hoping for! Didn't want the subject to be "A question for PhilD", but thought the phrasing may bring you in.

Thanks for this, much appreciated, always enjoyed your thoughts and posts, so very much thankful for this full and useful response. Just need to check the bank now and see how many I can squeeze in and if some (read Sportsman) are logisitcally doable I am travelling from Winchester so...

Feb 25, 2013
stanleyk in U.K./Ireland

London (and beyond) with Sydneysiders

Hi all,

Long time since I last posted, reading frequently and inputting occasionally, but not much in way of asking, so...

Friends (fellow foodies) arriving from Sydney for a week or so in London at start of april, hoping to show them all the great stuff we have to offer them, but, with them coming from such a great food and culturally rich city, where do I take them to interest/wow them? Am thinking little point in Asian or Middle East to show them, or Italian for that matter, so maybe Spanish, British (whatever that means these days) and Indian, but where?

Thoughts so far

St John (probably B&W)
Tayyabs (Bombay brasserie brunch)
Sportsman (if can get out east)
Dinner (if can afford/get booking)
Burger Joint (maybe MeatLiquor, Patty and Bun, Codrington)
Bull and Last/Ten Bells


The Sampler
Prufrock/Tapped and Packed (Show how we borrowed from Aussie coffee and made it ours, and better)
Brewdog Camden
Craft Beer Company

Then after leaving London, entertain with the delight of Winchester and head west to the countrys best fish (in my eyes) and show them cheese and cider.

Any thoughts thoughts, misses, etc, please point them out


Feb 24, 2013
stanleyk in U.K./Ireland

Bruges - Where to eat traditional?

Hi all,

Off to Bruges for three nights at the start of November, am hopefully booked in to De Jonkman for dinner on the Friday night but am after some more traditional bites too. The thought of pork cheek, cherry and beer sounds great, it appears Den Huzaar is highly regarded for this sort of fare, and have also been recommended the following for alternative eats

- lieven
-hertog jan (3 stars)
-dijver (beer restaurant)
- kardinaalshof (20m from the house)

Any other thoughts much appreciated.

Will also be hitting up multiple bars, top of the list being Brugs Beertje, but welcome to other suggestions, particularly looking for Geuze and Lambics

Thanks in advance

Oct 11, 2012
stanleyk in Europe

UK Michelin stars

Sorry Phil S, auto correct on phone made it look very formal

Sep 29, 2012
stanleyk in U.K./Ireland

UK Michelin stars


Also ate here first in 09, even celebrated my thirtieth there in the same year. I think initial cooking was following their training, over the years moved into more pub style, possibly more local friendly, fare, but have now found a happy medium between the two, really good cooking.

Sep 29, 2012
stanleyk in U.K./Ireland

UK Michelin stars

I am so pleased that Red Lion have got their star. Ate there on Saturday evening following a shortish drive from Winchester, it was worth the 40 minutes and then some. Fish cooking was exemplary as ever, showcased by perfect Hake and Halibut. Dessert of courgette cake with soaked raisins was delicious and the little sampler of sage ice cream fantastic. Wine from Stone Vine and Sun in Twyford (Hampshire) creates a great list and the beer from Pewsey helped wash a few things down too.

Sep 28, 2012
stanleyk in U.K./Ireland

Mendocino eat and drink

Arriving late into Mendocino meant we were hungry and ready for recommendations, are landlady at the bnb for the night recommended next door for reasonably priced, well prepped fare, who were we to argue?  Off we ventured, initial signs were good, busy, and some locals in there too.  Reasonable choice of beer allowed us to continue our tasting of pnw  brewing, enjoying racer 5 and peeko (I think).  We ordered our food from a tasty selection of relatively healthy food, as you may expect in mendo I guess.  The Thai style burrito was tasty, as was the noodle soup and the nachos, all in all what we needed after the drive down.  On to the Irish bar for a few night caps, well this surprised me, there I was expecting the usual monstrosity of a place but was actually welcomed by a charming little boozer with yet more good beer on tap and bottle.  The Rasputin imperial stout was very good, although almost too much by the pint.

Confusion arose the next day when we visited two bakeries in town to be met with responses they had no bread, not that they had sold out,just they didn't have any, bizarre!  So we took ourselves up to the store and purchased supplies for the days travel through Anderson Valley to Sonoma.

Aug 22, 2012
stanleyk in California

Three great willamette wineries and a bit of cheese

I was lucky enough to pick up some contacts for the valley while in england, so was in a good position from the off.  We had three excellent tastings in the lower end of the valley in the Eola hills region, firesteed, cristom and brooks all delivered fantastic tastings that really showcased what the area can do.

Highlights were the citation Chardonnay and 2002 Pinot, the Louise vineyard Pinot at cristom, the tour of the vineyard and cellar Steve gave us while there and finally everything brooks offered us, they really were fantastic to us, showcasing a real dedication to interesting approaches to production, good acidity in their wine and the end result of silky pinot and racy Rieslings, highly highly recommended, a highlight of the entire four w eek trip if ever there was one, oh why did I say I would drive that day?

Unfortunately due to all the tasting lunch was missed, we made it to the cheese producer nearby.  For me far too any cheeses being made, cheese doesn't need any ingredients adding to it, but their raw cheddar and 80/20 cow/sheep cheese were very good, good enough to purchase some even.

Aug 22, 2012
stanleyk in Pacific Northwest

Final three days of Portland trip and conclusion

Previous two -

The following days had a much more relaxed approach to gastro searching, due in part to an early onset of eating out fatigue and also the need to do some tourist type bits too. That's said we still covered a lot of ground and ate pretty well.

Day three consisted of lunch and dinner only, ok a coffee stop too but.... Potato champion offered up their delights to kick it all off, the poutine and their daily special (lime chicken and sour cream) delivered good flavours and excellent chips.  This being my first poutine experience I must say I like the combo, although personally I think I would prefer slightly hotter gravy to allow the curds to melt more, I may experiment back in uk with a few cheese options.  The special was great, slow cooked dark meat, citrus and heat, cooling sour cream.

Hiring bikes we set off for mt tabor for views over the city and a sit down in the sun.  On route we stopped at rain or shine cafe, a cute little corner cafe with a good iced coffee on hand and a peach smoothie using a homemade peach sauce.

Happy with our bikes we set off on a mammoth, for us, ride across town for BBQ.  I must say for me pod has delivered.  I know that true BBQ can only be found elsewhere in the states tc, but coming from the uk I liked the full rack and sides they delivered.  Pork was soft, sweet, smoky and all good, the sides of chilli mac cheese and BBQ beans great and cornbread with honey a real find.  How anyone can finish those ribs on their own I don't know, between two we still had four left, but what a breakfast they'll make!

Day four proved to be much in the same vein as the day before, a much more relaxed approach to visiting picked out spots.  The highlight, one of two, for me was a cupping session at stumptown annex.  I have been very lucky to be supplied amazing coffee for the last few years from a same day roast and post guy here in the uk, I have also been to many wine tastings, but never have I combined the two.  The experience was fantastic, we got to try five different coffees, through the process from whole bean, grind, breaking the crust and final taste, and all for free, a real bargain if ever there was one, kudos to stumptown to putting such a thing on twice a day, the stand out coffee was a Guatemalan, the lowlight the Indonesian, interesting but not my thing really.  Following coffee we lunched at miras on Hawthorne, opposite the new season, following recommendation from landlady at the time.  We enjoyed the zucchini pancakes with sour cream and the interesting addition of apple sauce a nice contrast to the richness.  Not quite fully sated we ventured on to the next highlight of the day, the mortadella and pork loin sandwich at evoe.  Finished with dandelion leaves and pont eveque it offered and amazing richness and depth of flavour, initially worried it was too small the sheer impact of the flavours made it more than large enough, the accompanying zucchini salad with mint was also very tasty.  The final meal of the day was at bar Avignon, again on recommendation from landlady, this was a nice meal, I did get to try a Kumamoto oyster, which I liked, and my main was nice enough, as was the SOs roast chicken, but again it lacked something to make it better than nice.

Day five was our last before the willamette so we decided to opt for a final food cart session, so back to tenth and alder.  A number of things were consumed, the cheese sandwich (grilled cheese grill) was good, the Korean taco tasty (korean twist) the Vietnamese rolls disappointing (mai pho), the winner was the banana pudding from little bit of smoke, like a softer version of banoffee pie, cream, lecce, banana, what can go wrong?

The afternoon meant a drive up the gorge to hood river with an earlyish dinner at double mountain.  A surprisingly good last meal in the area, a large, nicely cooked, white pizza with ricotta, mozzarella and portobello with truffle oil, all set off excellently against their seasonal sours, devils oriel I think, lots of cherries and pinot barrels, tasty!

So, that concludes my days of eating and drinking in Portland, my first comment should be a massive thank you toll the people who have posted previously and I have borrowed ideas from, those who responded to questions and those who took the time to read my rants.  

In conclusion I think Portland is offering some excellent food, the commitment to local food is massively admirable and the beer accompanying it is very good, but, I must say that I felt a little disappointed at the end of the trip.  I must put this in context, I have been building up to the trip for nearly eight months and had huge expectations on what I would be eating and drinking, so it was always likely a little of this may creep in.  But, as good as the food was, I often found myself thinking that there was something missing from each dish, be it a nice hit of quality sea salt to lift a piece of meat from good to great, or a splash of citrus to take a vegetable dish up another notch.  Now this may be my palate, it maybe that by not applying these things to dishes the chefs are truly honouring the produce they are putting In front of people, but I was left a little wanting.

All that said, I had a fantastic time and would highly recommend Portland to anyone wanting to eat and drink well, I would merely advise the to reign in expectations otherwise they may fall short slightly like mine did.

Aug 22, 2012
stanleyk in Metro Portland

First two days of trip - great, good and average

So having arrived in Portland from a much nicer than expected train journey, thought Seattle to Portland would be prettier, we embarked on a day of eating and drinking.  Having found accommodation and refreshed we headed out to pok pok for lunch, only a ten minute stroll.  Having been defied drinks due to forgetting passport we decided to go for the vinegar drinks, a good choice, to make up for it.  The tamarind suitably sour, the pineapple possibly the winner.  The papaya salad was fresh with a nice bit of heat, would have personally preferred a bit more zing from the lime and chilli but nice enough, the peanut a good hit of salt and fat, but more coriander would also be welcome.  The pork loin skewer were tasty and moist, the addition of the fat at the end of the skewer a welcome addition, the nut sauce good and the dipping sauce also.

A long stroll up to laurelhurst for dinner was well rewarded with excellent bread with ricotta, rich and lemony at same time, and a very pleasant charcuterie plate.  Mains of bavette and frites was excellently prepared, the meat well rested giving good depth of flavour and succulence, shame we couldnt get the full grass fed that was at the butchers as think that would have been another class.

Day two offered more opportunity for a full day of eating and drinking.  After a walk in along Hawthorne we went to Nongs khao man gai for the chicken and rice, we opted for livers and skin as additional.  After a short wait and a long walk to find seating we stuck in, the walk was detrimental to the skin, soggy and disappointing, but the rest was moist, flavourful and satisfying.  A stroll to barista was in order for the distinct coffee hit I have been missing, they managed to hit on one level but fail on many others. The espresso was good, a Guatemalan, short, thick, slightly salty and very tasty, but the rest was a total fail, service very poor and the knowledge of service staff lacking I think they were training but still, the barista herself very good though.

After a trip to powells we went to kenny and zukes to see what they had to offer, again disappointing, the pastrami was very good, but the service was distinctly average and our choice of bagel not a good one, like fake smoked salmon and cream cheese, no natural flavour at all, poor!  

Before our trip to willamette we wanted to try some Oregon Pinot, be educated slightly if possible, so went to Oregon wines on broadway, well, yet again the service failed miserably and the interaction was very poor.  The wine, from the premium flight was good and a nice introduction to the region, but the room lacked any intermacy and the person serving seemingly had no interest in us or the wine.

More coffee was required after the drinking, courier was on hand, the space was the nicest I have been to thus far in the north west, finally an intimate space, unfortunately for me the espresso failed, not an african single origin fan in that format, pulled well, but bitterness ensued, still well worth a trip.

Clyde common was next in line, really liked the space, bartender good for the majority of the time. All the drinks were good, particularly the bourbon renewal, like cold Shiraz, all oak and berries and the pre bottled Americano, all Campari and orange zest, tasty.

Wanting for more cocktails we went to teardrop, this delivered the hit of Portland so far, the wing and a prayer cocktail; not on happy hour. Pueblo Viejo reposado tequila, tamarind nectar, lemon, TDL blood orange Amer Picon, maple syrup,  chilli threads, amazing! More than highly recommended, sour, sweet, depth of flavour, great.

After wine and cocktails i needed beer, we ventured to baileys to see what they had on offer, again am surprised by the space, too big a room for me but the beer good, so I guess that is what is important, mostly.  The tasting paddle was good with a mix of ipa, through porter and sours, nothing stood out, possibly a fatigued palate, but was tasty enough.

Needing something to soak up the day we headed to por que no on hawthorne for a Mexican nibble or two.  Following a queue and a try of horchata, first time and never again for me, like chalk in water, we sat down to tamales, quesadilla and taco.  The food was nice enough, but for me lacked any depth of flavour and needed additional spice and acid; lime and cilantro was deeply needed, this seems to be my preference and maybe not how many Mexicans eat their food, my knowledge of this type of cooking is minimal.

All in all a good start to Portland, really enjoyed the day exploring, but I must say the service so far has been distinctly lacking, the food fresh but lacking any real depth of flavour, I hope the time in and around hawthorne tomorrow delivers more.

Aug 07, 2012
stanleyk in Metro Portland

Seattle - day one and a bit

Correction, my SO just informed me it is BB butcher, either way, awesome meat!

Aug 05, 2012
stanleyk in Greater Seattle

Seattle day two and three of eating - quite long

The relatively slow start to eating and drinking picked up a pace on the following two days.  Following a recommendation from a fried we headed to Toulouse petit for breakfast, the space was light, airy and busy, never had to wait for breakfast seating before, glad we did.  Dungeness scramble was a very pleasant breakfast with bits of asparagus in there too to keep it light, went very well with the grapefruit cocktail, the pork cheek hash was also very good, the pig particularly tasty with hints of star anise.  From here we ventured on up to Sitka and spruce, am sure we did something in between but just walking I think.  S and s was housed in the market space with some other very tempting looking shops, including butcher and wine, but press on we did and we grabbed a stool at he window, enough to be able to see the blue angels practice.  Three plates were shared, escarole with anchovy dressing, smoked salmon and a beets dish with goats feta.  All very tasty, the salad maybe a bit pricey for what it was, good ingredients, but eight bucks for some salad leaves seemed a bit much.  The beets were also good the feta tasty and the marinade with fennel, cumin and coriander pulled it all together nicely, the winner however was the salmon, four generous thick slices of home cured fish with good clean salad alongside, very nice.  A great space, although maybe not as good as had hoped would be.  A quick stroll around the corner to victrola was well rewarded with a very decent espresso, short, viscous and rich, followed by a very pleasant natural processed yirgacheffe on the v60, some of that lovely funk you get from natural but still clean finishing, impressed.  A further stroll to Molly moons for salted caramel, very good. When ordered I was asked if had tried it before, which made me think that it was going to be pretty salty, it was, and delicious with it.

Following all this consumption a lie down was in order, so across from mms into the park for a sunshine laze.  Fully rested it was time for drinks so we headed over to hopvine.  The smallest of the bars we had found so far and all the better for it, much more like am used to in the uk.  We proceeded to work our way through the beers on the list enjoying them all, ipa obviously dominating, but some of the wheat, a raspberry one, also showing well.  With beer hunger kicking in we ventured on down to quinns via Elysian.  The latter ok, didn't like the blocks at all, too sweet and malty for me, and the space far too big and lacking charm.  Quinns though was great, a Russian river beer and a burger was enough for me and the beer soon can't up with me.  The burger was excellent and the walk home enough to sober me up for bed, ready to make the most of final day in the city.

Or not!  Due to the climatic conditions we opted for a jaunt on the ferry to bainbridge island, the ride offering great views of the city skyline and rainier, about time we saw it as our trip there was clouded out pretty much.  N arrival on the island we stopped at island vintners for a cheeky tasting.  What welcomed us was half an hour or so of great chat with the owners, some very good wines and a tasting of salumi meats, a real treat from a pretty ordinary looking spot, highly recommended if not been, it far exceeded any expectations.  From there we found ourselves at Hitchcock deli for a bite, the Reuben was really good, the pulled pork tasty, but maybe a little dry for my taste, needed more of that good pig fat in there.  over the street to Mira for some fantastic ice cream, the monitor sorbet was very flavourful and refreshing on such a hot day, the coconut I liked too, possibly better than Molly's in my opinion.

Returning to the city a hard decision to make, what would our last meal in town be?  Spinasse or revel?  Well, having been to Italy recently we opted for the latter, and very glad I was too.  A really great feed indeed, the salmon roe and fennel salad was light, salty and generous, the pancake crispy with good shrimp.  The dumplings were really tasty, although kinda wish I hadn't opted for the vege option, e killer dish though was the dungeness crab noodles, wow!  Really fantastic food, a very hot location, both in popularity and air temp, and even better, ideally located for a try at brouwers.  A great bar, again big, with a fantastic selection of beers, nicely broken down by country, state etc.  I stuck with Washington and enjoyed them all, the tumulo nimbus double ipa being the highlight.

All in all Seattle was a great city to visit, the food and drink very good and the people great along with it, Portland has a fair bit to live up to now, t minus one hour and we shall see!

Aug 05, 2012
stanleyk in Greater Seattle

Seattle - day one and a bit

That was them, thanks. Today going well at present, Toulouse, Sitka and Victrola, roll on the afternoon

Aug 03, 2012
stanleyk in Greater Seattle

Seattle - day one and a bit

Day one

An early morning run set me up for a day of eating and drinking, the first stop of which was at the ubiquitous market.  A stroll around the inside was enough for me in a pretty quick time, I knew it was popular with tourists but.... I much preferred the bit out on the street which seemed to be much more local producers trading their wares.  Having not decided on an eating venue we turned our attention to the evening feed, a rare opportunity on this trip to cook for ourselves, and one I was much looking forward too.  But first we needed to find what to drink, so a stop off at soul wines.  Really nice little shop, good selection of local wines and knowledgeable staff made for a great shopping experience.  We were lead towards a Colombia valley fizz made from muller thurgau by treveri and a syrah from syncline, basically I can't say no to,fizz and I fancied some steak so the decisions were easy.  After that we found an incredible butcher dd, at the downstairs of the market, all self aged meat on display in his ageing fridge, looked incredible, we opted for a 48 day fore rib, amazing marbling and not an ounce of water, was looking like a good evening! To go alongside we just wanted salad, so picked up some amazing mustard greens from the outside part of the market, almost wasabi like in taste, really interesting and what was hopefully a good match with the beef.

Now around midday and having been surrounded by all this food a decision was made to hit somewhere local to our apartment for brunch, having dropped bags off.  Having no wifi, can't get it to work, in the apartment we had to refer back to alternative guides than ch, which took us to steelhead diner.  I must say we were pretty impressed, a lovely outside terrace overlooking the hubbub of the market, some local ales and a good looking lunch menu.  Salad of goats cheese and watermelon was tasty and refreshing, as hoped, the Bristol bay salmon with polenta was immaculately cooked and tasted great, the beers were good, sorry cant remember which, and the bill reasonable.

After an afternoon in the sun at the sculptures garden and on the seafront a plan of attack was formed, unfortunately this meant the meat would have to wait as happy hours were calling.  Due to the late call on this we actually ended up back at steelhead for their offerings, not bad, maybe a bit too fried for my liking, good hush puppies and onion rings, and good drinking food to be fair, but maybe next time will opt for some lighter fare.  From there we ventured to zig zag for cocktails, a great bar, if a little big for my liking.  Three very good cocktails were served in martini glasses, one included a mix with Barolo, tasty and dr, almost sobering, which was good having tried both the Ballard brewery beers they had on, a double ipa specific for them and an unfiltered wheat, both very good, but alas I can't remember brewery name, must take notes!

For those of you still reading, there may be a few, the second day was a tour of rainier so no real foodie consumption occurring however the evening  did mean we could finally cook that beef, and what beef it was.  Fifteen minute broiled and same rested and it was good to go, possibly the tastiest bit of beef I have had, I have had beef cooked better, 24 hour rib for example, and possibly better tasting beef following saucing and or preparation technique, but as a single handed piece of meat goes it doesn't get much better.  Buttery fat, crispy exterior, tender, but still a bit of chew inside, and a gaminess that rarely get in uk beef. I think from now I am going to have to ask butcher for minimum forty day hung if they'll hold it back for me.  As for the wine, the fizz was possibly too sweet for me, a Demi sec of sorts, tasty and interesting, but not quite there, be great for those who like prosecco.  The red on the other hand, initially started closed and light, but opened up into a really great, ,dark fruit, pepper and game wine, soft tannins allowed for that powdery mouthfeel I so like and it matched great with the beef.

Today am hoping for more of a gastro tour, will report back

Aug 03, 2012
stanleyk in Greater Seattle

Vancouver thus far

Please note I have a beard and my brain tends to act as notebook.

Day two here

Vancouver day two and whistler

So! Day one may have been a rented tramp around town, think we covered 20km or so in flip flops but ate very well and saw a lot of sights, day two was much more based around the SOs list of places to visit so eating was moulded around this.

Breakfast at Abigail's party was a good start, short rib with spinach, egg and hollandaise was tasty, although could have done with more, maybe something to do with the previous nights imbibing! From there on to 49th parallel for coffee, not as good as revolver by any means, but a piccolo latte was still just short enough to retain the flavour, the accompanying almond croissant very good.

After a trip to Lynn canyon a stop on the north shore at sushi bella followed, a bento and mixed sashimi were ordered and enjoyed, very good tuna I thought, certainly compared to my uk experiences,, oh and the tempura prawns to kick things off were juicy, crispy and tasty.

Following grouse mountain dinner was required, however due to previous days walking a venture around too far was not possible, so we opted for some local feed on west broadway, Nuba obliged and delivered some serviceable Lebanese, the lamb dishes were a highlight.

Monday morning kicked off with croissant from baguette and co and sollys bagels on west broadway, both enjoyable enough and set me up for the day, the croissant a little doughy to what I expected following recommendations from hosts.

Off to whistler. Lunch at brackendale, a river view joint to see some eagles, other didn't show but the meal ok. Dinner was at creekbread (thanks to meghany for previous post) a tasty salad with local goat cheese and sock eye, all good. The pizza, half half, was tasty, with really nice chewy base, toppings were sausage and the special, more sock eye, the latter winning, very good.

Breakfast at gone bakery served up a good breakfast burrito and was very tasty banana/blueberry muffin, set us up a treat for a morning up the mountain. Lunch at south side diner was as expected, good honest fair of burger and chocolate shake, assisted by beach volley ball on tv!

Thanks to all I read and 'borrowed' from in my research. I am back now off to enjoy the view from the train window on route to Seattle, posts on that to follow!

Apologies if typos, new iPad wants to change all my words!

Vancouver thus far

One and a half days in and I must say am very impressed with Vancouver eating and drinking, a quick reflection on what I have managed since arriving Friday evening from pei and the long journey from there.

La Quercia - an early sitting was ideal for us following the long journey of the day and the lack of needing to choose what to eat by opting for the tasting menu was a given. I can't recall everything but bread and oil was excellent, the buratta as a starter was creamy and giving, pastas were excellently prepared and so simple but full of flavour but a stand out dish, rare for me to choose a main for this, was hanger steak with rocket, Parmesan and pine nuts, depth of flavour incredible and meat like butter, very tasty indeed. Food was very good value at forty five dollars, wine on the other hand, although good, was very expensive, all in all an excellent start to three days in the city.

Saturday was all about grazing, too many places to try to sit and eat properly, so coffee was had at revolver, this came highly recommended by prufrock in London and it didn't disappoint. A fantastic flat white was poured, good milk texture and shorter than most serve so a real flavour of coffee withheld. A Colombian as pour over was also very good, although I think I stand by my preference for African beans in brewed coffee, shame they are shut today. A fantastic cafe.

Over the road to meat and bread for the porchetta sandwich, amazing! One of the great sandwiches of my life so far, chewy bread, a good thing, with very good quality pork, a hint of heat from the stuffing and salsa verde to pull it together, fantastic.

Mid arvo snack at gyoza king for some dumplings and noodles went down very well, the dumplings in particular had great filling, texture and flavour.

After yet more walking I headed to what I expected to be a shrine for beer, in fact I found a cathedral. Alibi room is massive! I was expecting a small bar with bearded men and note books, in fact I found a two storey bar full of all walks of life. The beer, needless today, was amazing. Two frat bats allowed me try a great selection, with a couple more third pints thereafter to quell my thirst. Can't remember all I drank, but the red racer ipa and storm lambic were stand outs.

Beer done and time for cocktails!

on to l'abattoir for these, and they didn't disappoint. Three fantastically prepared cocktails, no recollection of names, were prepared for me and two more each for my companions, all flawless in execution and bang on the money for delivery of our drinking preferences. The steelhead salad that was a suggestion on ch was also fantastic and helped with the alcohol consumption too.

Who knows what today may bring.

Crenn/Saison/Coi or Benu? (Commonly asked I know, I have read, I still cannot decide)

Funnily enough I was just about to post asking if tasting vs alc was the way to go with three of us. Regarding other thoughts below and experiences is it a good choice? Plenty of opportunity for more traditional fine dining in UK, but have a nagging feeling I should try the Cali equivalent, I guess still holding out for tfl to come good with a cancellation. When I say traditional I mean med French influence not techniqu

Crenn/Saison/Coi or Benu? (Commonly asked I know, I have read, I still cannot decide)

I am currently thinking that a good way to see the three of us out of SF would be the tasting menu at Aziza, menu looks great, cocktails highly rated and should be good for a few of us to make the most of. I was wondering how long to allow for the meal, ie what time should I book for if I do opt for tasting? I have tried to email them but the email is bouncing back everytime.

Good Bar/Beer/wine in Richmond (Inner/Outer)

Thanks all. Can probably do without Irish bars if possible (have their place I am sure but not what I am after). Maybe I will have to have a think as to where and when to sample beer/wine and plan that around confirmed meals I have planned. At present think erring on the side of Aziza for a proper feed and then maybe Nopalito or another mexican another night, that said the two starrers are still claling my name so we shall see!

Good Bar/Beer/wine in Richmond (Inner/Outer)

HI all,

Have posted elsewhere on food to get to in SF, but am interested in beer in Richmond area now. I am staying out that way and am keen to base myself there for food and drink, should I leave the fine dining restaurants alone. Have had a number of recommendations and think my last meal in the city may well be Aziza, but before that would like to drink some good beer ifpossible. In the city I will head to Toronado (probably before Nopalito) and the like (doubt will make Oakland for Trappist, more keen to sample california/american beer if possible), but for out where I am staying I was hoping for a good bar with 'local' beer and or wine.

Thanks in advance

one dinner in whistler-good food and beer

That is amazing, thank you very much, making me wish I had much longer ni Vancouver now, alas three nights just doesn't seem enough, particularly as Air Canada made me arrive later than planned.

La Quercia was opted for as close to where we are staying, as was Darbys suggested, after 8 hours flying in from PEI an early dinner and a beer or two should be plenty.

Noted on Alibi, I think plan was to settle in for a session, if my girlfriend allows it ( i thin the cocktails at l'abbatoir may be more of a draw!) rather than eat, so may well end up dim summing on the saturday and getting some food in the stomach and then eat a bit of seafood later.

Sushi tips are great, not enough of it here in UK (where i live anyway) and have loved it since trying tuna belly in Tokyo many years ago (althogh I didn't feel like that at trying it for the first time ever, and at 6am!)

one dinner in whistler-good food and beer

Hey gray!

Have been enjoying your posts on Vancouver and Portland over the last few months (not stalking I promise!). Can't wait for our trip to start, next week, PEI, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Coast, Russian/River/Sonoma/Napa, SF (inc Monterey). Vancouver wise (I know off subject and happy to move if required) am booked in to Querca for early Friday feed, all they had available already, then looking to a few oyster places in town before settling in at Alibi on the saturday (possible lunch at Darbys in Kits s doing bbq/beer tasting thing), then Sunday dim sum hopefully and maybe l'abbatoir in the evening. Any thoughts most welcome (eds please move if want too)

A researched trip to Portland, anything I have missed?

Hi all,

I am visiting Portland for 5 days in August, 5-10, with the sole aim to eat well and drink beer, oh and a bit of coffee too. I will no doubt need to post on the latter another time, but to kick things off I thought a quick run down of where I plan to eat and any thoughts on things I must try. Quick background, staying on SE Harrison and 30 something, travelling from the UK, two of us, like fine dining as well as burger/pizza etc (not that they can't be FD too), will have been to Vancouver and Seattle prior and off to SF after, so current list includes (in no order)

Pok Pok
Clyde Common (cocktails)
Podnahs (no real bbq this side of the Atlantic so keen to try some)
Ned Ludd and or Wildwood (for the quintessential PNW)
Kenny and Zukes
Tanuki (possibly a late night if open as friend arrives from Cayman)
A Pod Cart of some kind (once or twice)

Think that should keep me busy, and the love handles happy

Thanks for any thoughts on what I must try/do,and if you fancy throwing in recs for the beer/coffee fornt then much appreciated, already have

Barista, Ristretto, Stumptown cupping at annex

Jul 17, 2012
stanleyk in Metro Portland