Tasting Plates Downtown Vegetarian Edition – Recap

Last night, a sunny Fall evening brought out a bounty of the season as downtown restaurants participated in Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.

Dozens of hungry tasting platers, explored downtown Vancouver on the plant-based journey.  Participants checked in and collected their menus and map cards then set of to find that the harvest has put on the plate.  Chefs were invited to be creative and present items that best exemplifies their restaurant’s meat-free options. Don’t let it be said that vegetarian food can’t be satisfying and substantial, the tasting platers were rewarded with a global journey of vegetarian menu to fill their bellies.

Tasting Plates included:

Living Produce Aisle: 1168 Hamilton Street

It’s always harvest season at Living Produce Aisle, the check-in and first stop on this Tasting Plates tour. The fresh greens and produce hydroponically grown in store makes for a fitting location to start of the first Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.  A quick shot of wheatgrass was followed by a light salad of fresh picked greens, alongside a creamy PB&J smoothie.

 

Saj & Co: 813 Davie Street

Chef Malik was working the piping hot, domed saj overtime as he cooked a platter of Middle Eastern flavours, a hearty flatbread wrap, beautifully creamy traditional and squash hummus, along with a refreshing chickpea, couscous salad were all packed with taste, textures and colour.

 

 

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria: 808 Davie Street

The choose-it-yourself pizzeria is a dream for any fussy eaters, dozens of selections (veggies and meat) to top your pizza truly customize each crispy crust. Choosing one of the “We Build” vegan selections makes the decisions simple the Salsiccia Vegano consisted of Italian Tomato Sauce, YamChops Vegan Crumbled Italian Sausage, House-Made Vegan Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Davie Dosa Company: 1235 Davie Street

Davie Dosa delivers the flavours, their plant-forward South Asian dishes pair perfectly for a vegetarian menu.  A traditional potato filled dosa, Idly – a rice and lentil steamed cake, Medhu Vada – a savoury lentil donut, vegetable and lentil soup, with tomato and ginger chutney on the side.

 

La Cantina Urban Taco Bar: 722 Nelson Street

Head south of the border in the middle of Downtown Vancouver, La Cantina has almost as many vegetarian options as meat fillings. The Portobello – mushrooms, bell peppers, tamarind sauce topped with coleslaw, and the Mestizo – rice and black beans, avocado sauce and radish, were both substantial, filling and full of flavour.

 

If Tasting Plates tickled your taste buds, get ready for the next edition, Tasting Plates Gastown coming October 24, 2018. Also check out one of the Vancouver Foodster Food Challenges; Best Sangria Challenge, or the Best Sushi Roll Challenge both running until October 7, 2018

3rd Annual Pizza Palooza Corners Vancouver Pizza

Wednesday night, the snow was coming down but the pizza ovens were heating up Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza.  Guests visited all corners of downtown Vancouver to try out some of the city’s pizzas and flatbreads.  From Neapolitan, to Lebanese, and Indian, to Roman, the ovens and flattops were cranking out the pies for the crowds of guests exploring the world of flavours.

To start off the night, the Pizza Palooza check-in location, Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown brought out some palate cleansing and healthy fresh juices made some some of their wholesome house-grown greens.

 

Then we were off, and pizza hunting.

One of Yaletown Davie Street’s newest spots Manoush’eh, is a recent winner of the Vancouver Foodster 2018 Flatbread Challenge, and you could taste why from their layers of Lebanese flavours in their offerings.  A dual serving of Falafel Flatbread (house-made falafel mix coated flatbread topped with tahini, tomatoes, pickled turnip and parsley) and Lahm be Ajeen (a thin crust, open face meat pie with organic spiced ground beef, with diced tomatoes and onion)

 

Just a couple blocks away, a traditional Neapolitan pizza becomes a one of a kind creation as a “You Build” pie from Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria.  Starting with a hand-stretched 6 inch dough we chose from dozens of sauces, meats, vegetable and cheese toppings before our own creations were fired into the stone oven.

 

 

Further along Davie Street, into the West End, Davie Dosa Company turned their Indian pancakes into Indian pizza by topping their dosa with curried lamb on one half and vegetables (bell peppers, tomato, carrot, cottage cheese and cilantro) on the other half.  Alongside a zesty lentil soup dip, coconut and tomato/ginger chutneys added more flavour to the Indian pizzas.

Crossing the city to Gastown, the recent addition to the neighbourhood, Ignite Pizzeria Express near Waterfront Station offered a pair of slices from their rotating selection of artisan Neapolitan style pizzas.  The Ignite crew was quickly turning out a variety of topping combinations hot from their oven, like Four Formaggi, Spicy Soppressata, Pesto Chicken, Fresh Ricotta and others.

Finally the original Gastown location of Stretch Roman Pizza Co. offered another pizza pair; Pancetta e Scamozza (pancetta parmigiano and smoked mozzarella) plus Caprese Pizza (bocconcini, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil) piled on their signature long stretched soft dough.

With the snow lightening up during the evening, the 3rd Annual Vancouver Foodster Pizza Palooza was a great evening of flavour exploration.  If this sounds appealing join the next Vancouver Foodster event, Tasting Plates Coquitlam coming March 14th

Get your tickets for Vancouver Foodster Pizza Palooza – Feb 21

Pizza Pizza Pizza! Early bird tickets are on sale now for Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza.   Get your fill of great pies as you explore Vancouver’s pizzerias and experience the different styles of pizza and flatbreads from across the world.

A roaming food tour, Pizza Palooza invites food lovers and friends to meet up and register at the to-be-designated restaurant, pick up their Pizza Palooza passport then set off and find what great tastes the participating restaurants are offering for the guests.  From Neapolitan to Roman to NY-Style and even South Indian and Lebanese are some of the flavours to find upon the tossed and stretched dough.

The restaurants featured on the 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza include;

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria – 808 Davie Street, Vancouver

Ignite Pizzeria – 508 West Cordova, Vancouver

Davie Dosa Company – 1235 Davie Street, Vancouver

Manoush’eh – 620 Davie Street, Vancouver

Stretch Roman Pizza Co. – 415 Abbott Street, Vancouver

Find more details about the restaurants and get tickets online 
Tickets for Pizza Palooza are on sale online from Eventbrite
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person before February 11, 2018
Advance Tickets $45 per person after February 11, 2018
Regular $60 per person after February 18, 2018

 

Vancouver Foodster Taco Crawl – recap

A sunny autumn evening was a perfect occasion for Vancouver Foodster’s first Taco Crawl.  The selected Vancouver restaurants created their take on their best taco bringing a balance of flavours and styles for the Taco Crawl patrons.

TacoCrawl_img_8927Meeting at Kalai’s Dosa Hut on Fraser Street we collected our Taco Crawl cards and menus.  Then we sat down for Dosa Hut’s unique variation on the taco, taking one of their signature dosas, and wrapping it around a nicely spiced tomato chicken (or vegetarian) filling.  Watching some of the other dishes and massive dosas coming from Chef Kalai’s kitchen made us put Dosa Hut on the list for a return visit.

TacoCrawl_img_8949Over in Cambie Village, we had a traditional pair of tacos from the always reliable Los Tortas Gourmet Mexican Sandwiches.  Soft tortillas enveloped rich, barbecued pulled pork or Mexican Zucchini, tomato and cheese.

TacoCrawl_img_8943Across the street, Tmix Tea & Dessert served up another unique ‘taco’. Tmix brought together hot and cold for a sweet taco. Wrapping one of their hot-from-the-griddle bubble waffles around ice cream.  From the list of a dozen plus flavours we settled on frozen brulée banana and red velvet cheesecake. The warmth of the waffle softened the frozen flavours enough to make it a soft ice cream sandwich or more like a burrito.

TacoCrawl_img_8955Downtown La Catrina Tacos, said to be Vancouver’s Best Mexican Tacos, presented another pair of traditional style tacos.  Hot tortillas piled high with filling; Papas Mexicanas – Mexican potatoes drizzled with cream and Res En Cascabel -zesty braised beef cooked in cascabel chili sauce. Add hot sauce, pickled onions, hot peppers to taste and make the tacos your own.

TacoCrawl_img_8963Getting into Patron Tacos & Cantina just before the Canucks and Whitecaps let out, let us wrap up Taco Crawl with another pairing with another unique ingredient.  Cochinita is tender, braised pork butt with achiote paste and onion. On the other side Nopales, the tender new leaves from a prickly pear cactus, were cooked with corn salsa and topped with cheese. Served with refried beans to add to the filling or eat on its own.

While we may think we can never get enough tacos, the Taco Crawl certainly satisfied us with great tastes for the evening.

If you missed out on this great tasting Vancouver Foodster event, get your tickets now for Tasting Plates Yaletown on October 19th.