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MikalaT's Profile

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Farmers' Markets in Vancouver

I am a Trout Lake addict - great vibe, lots of selection and with this summer being absolutely blindingly sunny, tons of amazing fruit produce. Best to get there super early (it's at Victoria Drive and E. 15th/16th somewhere) and just about a 10-min walk from Broadway Skytrain. I also pick up amazing albacore tuna and salmon from the Iron Maiden vendor (she's awesome), and I highly recommend you get a buckwheat crepe from the vendors (whose name I forget) at the back end of the market, right near the Community Centre. There's always a queue, but for good reason. The crepes are filled with all sorts of yumminess. Get there super early - the vendors sell out quite quickly. I'm always there right at 9am.

I also passed by the newly moved Wed market out front of the Main Train/Bus depot. It seemed pretty extensive but I have yet to check it out. I think it's 3-7pm.

Here's a video I did about Trout Lake on YouTube - it was my first time using my FlipCam so it's really shaky but should give you an idea!

Jul 17, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Gourmet food delivery/caterer for new mom in London/Herne Hill?

My friend is a new, exhausted mum living in Herne Hill and I'm wondering if there are any good catering companies or delivery services that would offer some nice freezable (think gourmet rather than OAP-y TV dinners and frozen lasagnes) meals. I'd like to get her sorted. Any ideas? Thanks!

Jul 11, 2009
MikalaT in U.K./Ireland

Really excellent buffalo mozzarella in Vancouver?

Absolutely, great tip on Scardillo. I'll have to check that out, and thanks for all recos, everyone!

Jul 10, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Really excellent buffalo mozzarella in Vancouver?

As usual fmed, you are my hero. :) Thanks.

Jun 12, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Really excellent buffalo mozzarella in Vancouver?

Hello all,
Just returned from London, where I used to live, and was reminded at how plentiful and amazing the buffalo mozzarella can be. Really unctuous, all squishy and soft and creamy and fabulous. Hell, even the local Pret A Manger sandwich chain makes an amazing mozzarella and pesto bloomer sandwich. Yum.

We have yet to find such a thing in Van - most seem to still be rather hardened balls, though and though they are claimed to be buffalo, they're typically totally expensive, tiny golf balls of cheese. Can anyone recommend where we can find a decent blob of mozz? I live Commercial Drive area and yes, I've tried that cheese shop on the Drive, but the mozz we had from there wasn't overwhelming.

Jun 12, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Anything funky, inventive in Kamloops?

I'm there on a business trip next week. Staying downtown. Bit of a foodie but have had the Keg and Earl's recommended to me. Surely there's more? I'll be dining on my own one night, I think...recos? Thanks all!

Apr 28, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)


A couple of things: first, Japadog has opened its second, amazing stand at the corner of Burrard & Pender. Just outside 510 Burrard St (convenient and delicously where I work!). They're only out when it's not raining and seem to be there about 11am until 6pm ish. They also offer slightly different dogs to the one at Burrard and Smithe - you can have the Terimayo (teriyaki, onions, seaweed flakes, mayo) with all types of meat, including turkey, fish, kurobuta, bratwurst etc.

Secondly, to your point about wanting the kurobuta but ordering the oroshi, at the Burrard and Pender one I ordered the oroshi but with kurobuta pork and they said no problem! I always have the kurobuta - it's sooo delish!

Apr 26, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Lunch in Victoria - need recommendations

I love ReBar's veggie/fish menu - a funky and not too expensive place. And definitely second the Red Fish Blue Fish option for either fish and chips or their seared tuna salad. Kinda expensive but soo fresh and wonderful!

Mar 27, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Peppadew Peppers in Metro Vancouver

I know they definitely carry them at the Granville Island location too - they're my fave and used to eat them all the time when I lived in the UK. Add a dollop of cream cheese inside of them and a sprig of chives and they make a great little hors-d'oeuvre. :-)

Mar 27, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

a brit in van. missing home ..

Am married to a Brit, so we're always on the lookout.

The Celtic Treasure chest is awesome for British food, Cornish pasties and pies, deli stuff, crisps, PG Tips (though I saw these were being sold in Safeway!), biccies and chocolates - it's just expensive and you have to be sure to check the Expiry dates as with most import shops as these can be dodgy.

But a mate of ours recommended the Three Lions Cafe on Broadway. Check out this blog about it, I found: Apparently our mate recommends the Sunday roast and claims its better than the Cascade Room....

...which, on Main Street, is a fab funky resto but not particularly British though has a UK owner. What I like about them is the UK cocktail/resto vibe, and the fact that they do proper Sunday roasts with Yorkshire Pudding at lunchtime on Sunday. Their menu for $28 will feed you for the entire day (and beyond) and there's usually two or three roast options. Pretty good - plus I think they also do pub quizzes on Monday, which is very UKish and what we miss from back in London.

There's also a pub downtown, on Burrard near Hastings called the Elephant & Castle, which is about as British as Madonna, but has some good beers on tap (Newcastle Brown, Bass, Guinness etc. It's got that horrible upscale chain pub vibe (ie totally soulless) but they do purport to have British Inspired food. I'd just go there if you were downtown and were gasping for a pint...

Haven't been to the new Irish Heather location BUT SALT Tasting Rooms in Gastown on Blood Alley, which is around the corner isn't UK-themed per se, is a charcuterie that brings in lots of great UK and Irish cheeses etc. You choose meats and cheeses and get nice "pickles" (relishes) with them.

Hope this helps and report back on the Three Lions!


Feb 09, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Gastropub-y or Funky Places in Toronto

Hey! Thanks so much for this recommendation. I checked out Oddfellows last night and posted a review here:
Enjoyed it muchly. wanted to get to Torito tonight but too frakkin' cold here to go out LOL. Many thanks again TorontoJo and everyone.

How IS Oddfellows?

Just had a meal at OddFellows last night after a reco from a Chowhound here - I was only in Toronto for one week and wanted to check something out. Great to go somewhere even my friends hadn't heard of. :-) Really enjoyed it. Even with a nearly full table of 26 people, I still felt it wasn't too loud and it didn't bug me as much as I thought. (The Neil Young blasting loud over the speakers did up the ante in terms of volume but we could talk just fine without having to earwig too much on others' conversations). Plus, the indoor kettle wood-burning fireplace was awesome.

Foodwise, we had a non-descript veggie stir fry starter (chinese greens, green beans, garlic) which was tasty but nothing you couldn't do at home.

My mate had the pork belly/shortrib combo which was really sweet and unctuous. I think it was two or three squares of each with a rather molassesy sauce.

I had the venison burger which was gorgeous and covered with all manner of cheese and relishes and very tasty - shame, though, because I recently I read a bad review calling out the totally rubbish burger bun that comes with it and I'd hoped they would have corrected something this stupidly easy to fix, but alas. The burger bun was one of those dryer, crap store-bought ones and should have had a slighly more egg-bread or soft, fresh one. Disappointing. But if you get the bugers or their fries, ask for their homemade mayo/relish/tartar-type sauce. It was gorgeous. People next to us had the lamb/pressure-cooker stew (now $39 for two), and on the other side, some folks had the rather odd-looking tempeh club sandwich. Looked plentiful though.

It's simple food, done well-enough (though they could have totally made it excellent by fixing a few simple aspects) and heavy on the meat or straight veggie. Meats are dark and gamey (venison, pork belly etc). Wasn't any fish that I can really remember. Think there was a vegetable pasta too.

No martinis - just simple mixed drinks, basic wines. Service adequate.

I would go actually go back. Didn't feel pretentious when I was there - a cross between hip middle-agers and hipsters, but as my friend said, with only 26 people in the room sharing a table, it's hard to be too snobby.

Gastropub-y or Funky Places in Toronto

"so just try it" - yeah, good point abailiey77 - but you know how it is, limited time, want to enjoy every mountful, LOL. :-D Thanks for the tips on the others. Much appreciated.

Looking for those "hidden gems" in Vancouver and Victoria

Red Fish Blue Fish DEFINITELY. Expensive but amazing quality.

Jan 14, 2009
MikalaT in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Good, inexpensive restos near Second City?

Hi all, second post. Just planning my business trip to Toronto and taking some colleagues to Second City. Any nice, cool, good food (with vegetarian options) places nearby? I know there's a ton of posh expensive places, but I'm looking for something more affordable, easy but buzzy. Thanks in advance!

Gastropub-y or Funky Places in Toronto

Thanks all. Anybody been to the Harbord Room? I heard it was good last time when I was out, but haven't yet visited...

Gastropub-y or Funky Places in Toronto

Should clarify: doesn't have to be pub-/beer-related - just smallish, cosy, buzzy, not cavernous or too posh. Kinda like what I've been hearing about the Harbord Room , that sort of place. But I haven't been so I'm just going on guesses.

Gastropub-y or Funky Places in Toronto

Looking for great, fresh food, inexpensive to mid-priced, great people-watching, funky places in I am coming for a business trip next week and need some inspiration. I also need to take some work folk out and they've never been to Toronto.

I used to live in Toronto but now live in Van and feel woefully out of the loop. Any style, but with a twist or different vibe on the usual. I'm a real foodie so I'd prefer good food, done well, rather than picky little amuse-bouche/fusion wannabes. Recos HUGELY appreciated!


Bistrot Bistro is indeed lovely French fare but I have to say I was seriously let down when I was there a few months ago - I had a lovely cod dish that was brilliantly cooked, but was a TINY portion for its extortionate price - my mate had a different fish dish and hers was double mine, plus, in all Frenchy-ness, they make you buy side veggies. So didn't stand out to me, I'm afraid.

And not sure if we're over the Breakfast/Brunch convo, but I would skip Sophies (though it's "okay") and instead go down to Granville & Helmcken and opt for the Templeton diner's brunch. Small, crazy 1930s diner wedged between crappy shops, with either nice or harrassed (or both) waitresses and great, well-cooked diner brunches, but not greasy, just yummy. Weekends they show old cartoons on the wall screen. And they do good veggie stuff too. Huge portions, very satisfying. Not super-cheap but an absolute hangover-curer. And amazing milkshakes. You'll leave here feeling like a blimp but it's sooo worth it.

Also on Broadway (2511 W. Bway) is Dan Japanese restaurant. Odd little place with warm service that serves some amazing sushi and sashimi as well as strange little concoctions with just the right hint of fusiony-twists (because let's face it, Vancouver can screw this up massively), sancho steak, inventive tempura, grilled fish (think we had grilled sablefish or something, and when we'd finished, they took the bones away and deep-friend them and brought them back to us to eat - was delicious actually!). And some excellent shochu (japanese vodka) as well.

I also second Hapa Izakaya (downtown or Kits on Yew) and Zakkushi - I love Z's grilled stuff on sticks. Just reserve first as I think the place holds about four people. ;-) And steer clear of the umeboshi & vodka unless you know what you're doing - a friend and I were adventurous and tried this salty plum mixture and nearly had to dump it in the bathroom sink. The waitress was sympathetic and only charged us for one, but I soldiered on only after mixing it with another can of soda!

Funky restos in Victoria?

Absolutely brilliant stuff, anewton, thank you so much for taking the time to put all this down. Very helpful. And good to know re: Tapa bar. I know Victoria is touristy (don't they call it the town for the "newly wed and nearly dead?" ;-), which is why I wanted local foodies to guide me, LOL. Now my stomach is forearmed (or something), and we're ready to rock. Much, much appreciated, everyone!

Funky restos in Victoria?

Thanks - doesn't have to be all veggie, as I eat meat. Has anyone been to the Tapa Bar? I like the look of the variety served there. Something like that: meat/fish/veg ie, not small, restricted menus. Cheers!

Funky restos in Victoria?

Hello all,
I'm doing a business trip to Victoria next week and returning again at the end of the month. Could I get some tips on some funky restaurants with excellent choice, fresh foods, cool atmosphere, not too expensive? I favour something with lots of veg. I've heard that Mo:Le and Rebar are good? Any suggestions or tips? Something fairly central but known to locals...


In a panic: funky resto, lots of veg, no starches recos! HEEEELLLP!

Difficult one for you from this West Coaster:

I've been on a killer diet and want to maintain my new sveltness, and am about to celebrate my birthday in next week. I cannot for the life of me find a place that comes really recommended where I can get really good veg dishes - I want to load up on these - as well as protein (I can eat any meats/fish) but I can't have bread, floury stuff, rice, couscous, potatoes, pasta, chickpeas, you get the gist. Sayonara starches, basically.

Don't want to do Japanese because Vancouver's sushi is unparalleled but almost all other cuisines (including anything fusiony) will do (anyone know of a really amazing and cozy Indian resto that has a good vibe and isn't too pricey?).

I need a funky, mid-priced resto (Queen WW, Danforth, Downtown, Kensington, hell, at this rate I'll go anywhere) that offers lots of choices of gorgeous veg (but isn't all veggie! I need my meat or fish!), has a nice vibe and where I can chill with a few friends over a leisurely dinner, where I've got lots to choose from/stuff my face with. Something along the line of Caju or Pomegranate vibe/price point- but alas, these rely heavily on "need some bread/rice to mop up the goodness". Just want to eat, drink and be merry, you know?

I'm going insane. Please, please help this ridiculously obsessive foodie!

Thanks chowhounds!

Non-starchy, unique birthday resto?

Hello all,
I'm visiting Toronto at the end of the month and celebrating my birthday there. As I'm still trying to stay svelte and am on a diet, I'm on a hunt for a really nice, funky, fresh but good portion place to celebrate. Italian's not so good (too much wheat/cheese/oils), nor anything with lots of breads/rice/starches (so, no burgers) and I'm looking for a resto that has the following:

-excellent, fresh food, good portions
-or something tapasy/fusiony/small plates that you can nibble and choose from. I like a bit of dabbling
-funky vibe and/or cool people watching, but lite on pretension
-feels like a nice enough place to celebrate
-not too expensive, you know, mid-range
-any type but with a preference for Asian, Persian, Indian, Spanish, Latin/Venezuelan/Brazil, non-descript mix-n'-match

LOL - so not that picky! ;-)

And can be in any 'hood in Toronto, with a preference for the Danforth, Queen West West, Bloor West etc...

Any ideas? Your tips are muchly appreciated! I'm quite the foodie and from Vancouver so really want to experience the best insider places in Toronto...