El Azteca Mexican Kitchen & Bar

El Azteca Mexican Kitchen & Bar, is a stylish restaurant located near Yaletown / Roundhouse Station. The tequila & mezcal specialists was a location that impressed us on a recent Tasting Plates event. Having just had a small tasting on the event, we decided to return to explore more of their full menu’s flavours.

I’d always been intrigued (and a bit worried) as to why it never seems busy when I walk past on my commute home from work, but have since realized that its clientele appears to eat later in the evening.  It was busier when we arrived about 7pm and then was quite busy when we left just over an hour later.

We sampled a few items from the menu and were pleased with everything from the taste to the price.  The varied menu and massive tequila & mezcal menu makes it a tough decision to settle on what to choose.

Starting off with the day’s special; Queso Fundido a rich and creamy zesty melted cheese and sausage mix, eaten with tortillas.
For a main, I chose Chorizo Tacos – spicy Chorizo sausage and creamy avocado in warm tortillas.
Billy (@billyforce) chose Carne Asada for his main; chile adobo rubbed, grilled Angus steak strips with rice and refried beans. We also added a side of house made quacamole & chips from their revolving $5 appetizer & drink menu.

Overall everything felt authentically Mexican (not that I’m sure of its authenticity) and judging by the patrons and staff, they seemed to agree.

Try El Azteca Mexican Kitchen & Bar for yourself and get your own taste of Mexico at 1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver.
Open for Lunch and Dinner Tuesday to Sunday.
Call 604.683.0127 or visit aztecavancouver.com for information.


Picks of the Week – September 17, 2014

Mid September already, autumn is just around the corner but the sun has been shining to keep us clinging to the last vestiges of summer.  My Picks of the Week include;

Play: The Arts Club Theatre Company’s new season is underway with 4000 Miles on stage at The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until October 12

Boats: The 8th Annual Boat Show at the Creek, Western Canada’s largest floating boat show takes place tomorrow, September 18th until Sunday September 21st at the Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver

Gig: Dance act, La Roux is sure to have the Commodore Ballroom hopping as they take to the stage on Thursday evening.

Stage: Pay What You Can, Thursday and Friday night when The Pacific Theatre, presents a staged reading of Beautiful Things by Shawna Johannesen. 

Lions: Friday evening, BC Place will roar with excitement as the BC Lions host the Toronto Argonauts.

Rock: Brit rockers, Temples, bring their critically acclaimed sound to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

Country: The Voice and country super star, Blake Shelton headlines an evening of country music with The Band Perry, Neal NcCoy and Dan + Shay at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

Trinity: Heaven’s Door opens for RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumni, Trinity K Bonet for a special Monroe. Saturday night benefiting AIDSWalk Vancouver.

BigApple: Head out to Brooklyn in Gastown where DJ Adam Dreaddy presents NEW YORK hosted by Berlin and special guests

Showtunes: The popular monthly Friday night event, adds a new night to the calendar with Showtunes at The Junction making it’s debut for the third Sunday of each month.

Party: Sunday at the PNE Amphitheatre is Mad Decent Block Party  with Bear Mountain, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Fatboy Slim, Stfrkr

AIDSWalk: Sunday marks the 29th Annual Scotiabank AIDS Walk Vancouver, kicking off at 1130 at Sunset Beach



Culture Days 2014

culturedays14Create, participate, celebrate is the theme of Culture Days, a weekend filled with arts and culture throughout communities across the country.  This year’s Culture Days run September 26, 27 & 28, 2014, bringing you three days of free, hands-on, interactive experiences with artists, creators, designers, curators and educators.

Culture Days are a participation based event, relying on the involvement of the public to help form the programs throughout the weekend.  There’s a huge array of activities to experience; Self-Guided Architecture Walks in Vancouver, hands-on printmaking on Granville Island, a Studio Open House in Richmond, Art Exhibits in Whistler or behind-the-scenes tours of the Archives in North Vancouver.

To find an event near you visit bc.culturedays.ca and follow @bcculturedays on Twitter to see what’s hapening.

Tegan and Sara open The Prismatic World Tour

Tegan and Sara – Rogers Arena – September 9, 2014

TeganAndSara_4082Starting with the Vancouver dates, Tegan and Sara join the fun on Katy Perry’s The Prismatic World Tour.  Performing before some of the largest audiences they’ve ever played for, TeganAndSara_4076the twins’ charismatic stage presence won over the audience and had them hopping in their seats as their 35 minute set warmed up Rogers Arena.  While the audience might not have know them by name, Tegan and Sara’s songs were known as the crowd sang along to Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie (played live for the first time) and Closer. TeganAndSara_4077


Tegan and Sara take part in The Prismatic World Tour with Katy Perry throughout September and October. Find them on Twitter and Instagram at @TeganAndSara


Katy Perry The Prismatic World Tour

Katy Perry – Rogers Arena – September 9, 2014

Last week, Vancouver was abuzz with excitement as thousands descended upon Rogers Arena for two nights of fun with Katy Perry The Prismatic World Tour.  Mother’s and Daughters dressed up together, Dad’s brought their kids to their first concert, adults young and old were eagerly anticipating the to begin.

Emerging in a blaze of light and burst of smoke from within an onstage prism, Katy Perry got the night off to a roaring start with Roar. For the next two hours the party never stopped as the singer, her dozen backup dancers, and 7 backing musicians energetically filled the stage. Multiple-set and costume changes, including an over-the-top Egyptian with Katy riding in on a life-size man-powered horse puppet and a Cats inspired set complete with scratching post.

Always personable and engaging, Ms Perry knew her audience and kept it age appropriate, providing the boisterous crowd of Katy Kats entertained and dancing, singing and screaming along to the show as she played a selection of her biggest singles and much of the current Prism album.  Wrapping up the show with the effervescent Happy Birthday, complete with birthday cake throne for a lucky audience member, Lisa, celebrating her birthday, while Katy flew around the auditorium suspended a bundle of balloons. The final performance of the night was a kaleidoscope of Prism-Vision for Fireworks, as the whole audience lit up singing to the mega-hit.

Katy Perry The Prismatic World Tour continues across the continent; this week in Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.  Follow Katy on Twitter & Instagram @KatyPerry

Shopping Night Out at Metropolis at Metrotown

Get ready for fall at Metropolis at Metrotown with Shopping Night Out, an exciting night filled with one-night only discounts, bonus gifts, and swag bags to the first 150 shoppers spending $150 or more at the shopping centres 400+ shops. Thursday, September 18th from 5pm to 9pm, shoppers will experience unique activities throughout the mall and its shops; including a pop-up nail bar, selfie stations, entertainment and more.  LouLou Magazine will be on location celebrating its 10th Anniversary by offering style tips and trends from style editor Claudia Laframboise.

The Shopping Night Out VIP area offers shoppers more than just deals. The purchase of a $5 VIP ticket extends an array of sweets, treats and sips to the night.  100% of the ticket sales will be awarded to the following local charities: Beauty Night, Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC, Burnaby Neighbourhood House, MS Society of Canada, and The Cinderella Project. A limited number of tickets will be available at the Metropolis at Metrotown Customer Service counter during  regular mall hours until September 18th.

To add to the excitement of the evening, SONiC Nation will live on location, giving shoppers who use the hashtag #MetropolisSHOPS in either their Twitter or Instagram photos a chance to win a shopping gift cards.

Shopping Night Out at Metropolis at Metrotown takes place Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 5pm until 9pm.  Metropolis at Metrotown is located at 4700 Kingsway and on SkyTrain . Find @MetropolisatMet on Twitter and Instagram

Tasting Plates West End – recap

Wednesday night,  hundreds of people descended upon Vancouver’s West End for Tasting Plates West End edition.

IMG_2591.JPGAfter checking in to collect Tasting Plates map cards at Marquis Wine Cellar on Davie Street, and sampling a Domaine de la Provenquiere Merlot and Chardonay, the tasters took off on a flavourful tour of the neighbourhood.


We made our way throughout the West End starting off at

Photo 2014-09-10, 19 03 26Milestones Denman
To start Tasting Plates we were served a flavourful cup of spicy Roasted Poblano Soup & a nicely grilled Halibut served upon quinoa pilaf with a smoked tomato ragu, and finished with a serrano creme.
The plate was paired with a Tasting Cup of Dreaming Tree Chardonnay.


Photo 2014-09-10, 19 30 23Buckstop Denman
For the second Tasting Plate of the night, the Buckstop board came up with a trio of flavours; a house-made Smoked Sausage, signature spiced Corn Bread with Autumn Slaw



Photo 2014-09-10, 20 27 28Pizza Fabrika
The line-up at the recently opened Pizza Fabrika certainly drew interest to the business as passerby’s peered at the crowded pizzeria, as they served a selection of their fresh from the fire pizzas.

Photo 2014-09-10, 20 48 12Oollo Tea and the West End General Store
Next up took us into the centre of the West End, where The West End General Store featured a trip of tastes.  Oollo Tea was featuring a pair of their cold brewed whole leaf tea.  The Oollo Teas were also featured in Livia Sweets tea infused maracons. Photo 2014-09-10, 20 49 15 More sweet bites came from Living Lotus Matcha Coconut Cashew Bar and a cool spoon of Ernest Ice Cream




Photo 2014-09-10, 21 01 18PappaRoti

Down the street at Pappa Roti their signature hot from the oven, Coffee & Caramel bun was served with Labeneh Cream Cheese and Kaya (Coconut Jam). This was served with a tasting cup of Kara Ginger Milk Tea


Photo 2014-09-10, 21 17 36Morocco West

On the patio at the always flavourful Morocco West, we were offered a quartet of bites, with Hummus and Zaalouk on bread, a Chermoula Prawn and a Merguez Sausage Samosa


Photo 2014-09-10, 21 39 12SPAGHeTEI

For the final Tasting Plates of the night, SPAGHeTEI served a plate with two Japanese topped spaghetti dishes – Yakiniku Chaliapin (sliced beef with tomato and mushroom), plus Clam and Scallops topped with nori and mushrooms.


If this looks tasty to you, why not check out the next Tasting Plates – West Vancouver on September 23rd.  Find info and tickets on the Tasting Plates website. Find more Tasting Platers’ photos and tweets follow hashtag #TastingPlatesYVR

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