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North Vancouver -- green grocer/vegetable store

T&T is certainly worth considering. I live on the east side of the North Shore and actually have not been in the West Van T&T. I used to shop at the 1st Avenue store in East Vancouver and enjoyed their produce.

I was in the Parkgate Village produce shop (close to Seymour Parkway) again today and thought the prices were about 1/3 lower than the nearby Safeway. Yellow onions for example, excellent quality at 39 cents a pound. Safeway was 79 and the chain store was claiming this was a reduction from 99 cents. Mushrooms lower by a lot as well and I bought fresh spinach of perfect quality at the independent, which is called Parkgate Farm Market. Present operators have been there for a year or a bit more.

Feb 07, 2012
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

North Vancouver -- green grocer/vegetable store

Produce wholesalers offer Kins good prices on items that have limited shelf life remaining. If you are one of the suppliers (BC Hothouse for example) or an importer looking at too much of a product in the warehouse, you'd offer it to Kins at a good price. Kins have a number of stores and they are busy so they can move a lot of product. It works well for the consumer if you can use the produce quickly but you might not get the shelf life you expect. Another situation may be that a shipment contains inferior produce on arrival. For example, citrus or watermelon may have defects that are only apparent through testing a high proportion of fruits. A wholesaler might discount suspect products to an operator such as Kins. Consumer gets a better price but the quality might be less than optimal. Whole Foods put quality ahead of price and they do a lot of QC to ensure hidden defects don't slip through to the customer.

I'll buy from Kins if I can accurately assess quality and I'm going to use the item without delay. However, if I'm buying when quality matters most, I'll pay the higher prices at WF because of higher certainty that quality will be satisfactory.

Feb 07, 2012
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

North Vancouver -- green grocer/vegetable store

I tend to agree about the lack of well-priced, decent produce on the North Shore. Whole Foods is probably best for quality and selection but you pay a price for that. I was in the small produce shop at Parkgate Mall recently and was impressed with selection and service but also pricing. This store has been up and down over the years but the current operators appear to have a commitment to excellent product.

Feb 04, 2012
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Coming home to Van for a while -- are these places still worth eating at? If not, please add.

Hawksworth and Maenam were your "standby spots" six years ago?

Dec 12, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Online kitchen retailer for Canadians

I'm looking for reliable online sellers of kitchen products that ship to Canada and offer decent prices and fair shipping costs. Suggestions?

I don't mind paying Canadian retailers a small premium but often, the differences between prices north of the border and those south of the line are ridiculous.

Cooks Illustrated recommends the Kalorik Stick Mixer as their favourite immersion blender, at a price of about $25. The Kalorik USA website shows MSP of $30. Walmart USA has it on sale $16. Amazon.com offers it at $25. Amazon.ca offers it at $70.

Amazon.ca offers Victorinox #40520 Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife for $47. Amazon.com = $26. Cookware.com = $23. House of Knives in West Van charges about $46.

I could add many examples.

Nov 15, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where your favourite butcher

I understand that choice and I'm sure it is a thoughtful one. My wife and I made a choice for ourselves to try and buy from places that have a direct link with the farmer raising the animal, from start to finish. It is a higher cost way to go for sure but one makes personal choices about what is important. At least the extra dollars we spend don't go into the hands of mega-corporations, they go to the family farmer and the small retailer.

Nov 09, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where your favourite butcher

I prefer to judge purchases by value, which I think of as a factor of quality and price. The price per pound of factory food is going to be less because of the sheer volume of these massive operations. In August, Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground meat prepared in Arkansas and shipped nation wide to be sold under a variety of brand names. Illness and death resulted from salmonella contamination. Undoubtedly, old style neighbourhood butcher shops are safer. Cheaper, maybe not.

To answer your question as I've reframed it: In my opinion, Moccia provides excellent value.

Nov 09, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where your favourite butcher

Nov 09, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where your favourite butcher

In West Vancouver, Sebastian & Co. is the place for top quality organic meats. Sebastian is a trained professional chef-turned-butcher. After worked for renowned Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy, he studied the art of butchery. After working as a head butcher at a busy organic butcher shop in Toronto, Sebastian and Jessica moved out west and opened a West Vancouver shop inspired by artisan butcher shops of Europe and South America. We recently hosted a large family dinner with a 10 lb. slow roasted pork shoulder, skin-on and bone-in, prepared by Sebastian. Perfection!

http://www.sebastianandco.ca/

Nov 09, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where your favourite butcher

We avoid buying supermarket and big-box retailer meats, preferring butchers that deal with local farms growing animals humanely. Moccia Urbani Foods, a multi-generation family operation, produces Italian style dry cured meats that are as good as you can buy anywhere. Because of their commitment to the best quality, they source heritage breed meats from Fraser Valley farmers they know and trust. The animals are pasture raised, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed, and humanely treated.

Much of the Moccia output goes to restaurants and specialty shops but on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays they open their small retail store at 2276 East Hastings. Along with cured products, you can buy fresh meats, especially pork. We regularly bring home thick cut beef rib steaks and freshly ground pork and beef as well. There is simply no comparison to the products found at high volume butcher shops and supermarkets.

Nov 09, 2011
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

serrano ham in Vancouver

In West Vancouver, Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats had some very good looking Spanish Serrano when we last visited. Plan to shop there when you want (and are prepared to pay) the finest meat available.

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Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats
2425 Marine Dr, West Vancouver, BC V7V, CA

Feb 23, 2009
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Chocolate in Vancouver - Reasonable Price

Charlie`s Chocolate Factory Limited. 3746 Canada Way , Burnaby, BC

Feb 01, 2009
NRF in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

To buy or not to buy... a bread machine.

I retired my bread machine without ever making a really worthwhile loaf. There is a better way though to make excellent bread. Google "almost no knead bread." That should link you to a page from the excellent Cooks Illustrated magazine (America's Test Kitchen on TV). I have made bread this way repeatedly and it works very well. The bread is created over two days but requires little effort from the baker.

Oct 20, 2008
NRF in Cookware

Comox and Powell River Recs needed

We spent a few days in Powell River last week and had some very fine dining. The first place overlooks the water near Lang Bay. Our table of four enjoyed free range chicken served with an herbed white wine and cream sauce, with a medley of fresh picked local vegetables. Reservations at this exclusive place are hard to come by. The kitchen only opens when we visit our vacation cabin and I put on a chef's hat.

That's not too often but you can find some other great dining spots in Powell River. We regularly visit the Laughing Oyster at Okeover Arm, about 15 miles north of town, close to Lund. Here local guy, Chef David Bowes, creates elegant comfort food served with a magnificent view of Okeover Inlet. If you are a seafood fan, plan your visit for Wednesday when Chef David features the seafood buffet.

On another night we stopped at the Alchemist Restaurant on the main street in the Westview area of Powell River. This room has the pleasant colors and style of Provence and good food is artfully presented. The wine list is simple but well balanced and well priced. Service was faultless, professional but friendly and knowledgeable. This earned a must return mark for our next visit.

South of Powell River by about 8 miles, diners find the Eagles Landing Bistro. This is another place that offers more than one expects in a small town. The room overlooks Malaspina Strait toward Texada Island and, if you are lucky, you might see a pod of Orca whales swim past. We've eaten at this friendly place a number of times and found it enjoyable with good variety and good value.

Sep 01, 2008
NRF in Western Canada Archives

Vancouver: BC wine

We drink product of two BC wineries at our house this year: La Frenz (Viognier, Chardonnay, Riesling) and Herder (Josephine blended red, Three Sisters blended white, and Pinot Noir). These small wineries don't produce much and have no trouble selling everything but you might find them in restaurants. These are good examples of the latest generation of BC winemakers. They have serious education and great international experience.

Recently, we visited Gastropod and enjoyed the 9 course Grand tasting menu with wine pairings. Angus An is a young chef with plenty of confidence. I can still taste the fresh oysters with horseradish snow served over sauternes jelly and shallot reduction. This little dish was bright and assertive but so delicate. The restaurant is small and simple. We encouraged the servers to talk about the dishes and the wines served for each course. I don't think that should have taken prompting but that's my only complaint about the evening's experience.

Sep 01, 2008
NRF in Western Canada Archives