Dining Out For Life 2013

logo_dofl This Thursday, March 7, 2013 dine out and make a difference during the annual Dining Out For Life fundraising event.

Dining Out For Life is BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser, benefiting A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life, organizations supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.

Restaurants all around Metro Vancouver, Whistler and the Fraser Valley will contribute 25% of their food sales to people living with HIV/AIDS.  Over the last 18 years Dining Out For Life restaurant partners have raised over $3 million for HIV/AIDS support services.

If supporting a great cause isn’t enought there’s an added incentive of the chance to win some great prizes.

Visit any participating Dining Out for Life restaurant tomorrow, March 7 and ENTER TO WIN one of three prize packages donated by Dining Out For Life BC’s partners.

  1. A Weekend Getaway to Victoria – Enjoy roundtrip harbour to harbour flights from Helijet, two nights at the Coast Victoria Hotel Harbourside & Marina, dinner for two at the award winning Blue Crab Bar and Grill plus an Ocean Magic Cruiser Tour, from Prince of Whales, Whale Watching.
  2.  A Night on the Town at the River Rock Casino Resort including a two night stay in a one bedroom penthouse, $250 dinner certificate for Tramonto Fine Dining Restaurant and a buffet breakfast for two!
  3. A Vancouver Sports package including four Touchdown End Zone tickets to a regular season BC Lions game, four tickets to a 2013 Vancouver Giants game and four tickets to a Vancouver Whitecaps FC Match this spring.

Make plans now to invite your Vancouver friends & dine out on March 7,

2nd Annual Tasting Plates Vancouver

vf_tastingplates_2nd-272x300This Wednesday, treat your taste buds to a tour around several restaurants in downtown Vancouver! Tasting Plates Vancouver runs from 6pm until 9:30 pm, this evening tasting extravaganza is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy as you visit a variety of restaurants throughout the evening, meet fellow foodies, the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants. (vegetarian options will be available at many restaurants)

Live music will be featured at Vancouver Fanclub (which is also the registration location) starting at 5:30pm.

Registration: Vancouver Fanclub – check-in with your printed or digital tickets to pick up your Tasting Plates Cards. Then visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, car, transit, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

 

Participating restaurants are:

 Pink Elephant Thai
1152 Alberni Street
Twitter: @pinkethai
Web: http://www.pinkelephantthai.com/
Cuisine: Thai

 

Lolita`s Cantina
1326 Davie Street
Twitter: @LolitasDavieSt
Web: http://www.lolitasrestaurant.com/
Cuisine: Mexican

 

Zachary`s on Robson
121 Robson Street
Twitter: @ZacharysRobson
Web: http://www.zacharysonrobson.com/
Cuisine: West Coast

 

Betty on Burrard
1100 Burrard Street
Twitter: @BETTYatBURRARD
Web: http://www.theburrard.com
Cuisine: Café & dessert

 

Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery
560 Smithe Street
Twitter: @RedCard_
Web: http://www.redcardsportsbar.ca/index.php
Cuisine: Italian

 

Soho Road Food Truck
Corner of Georgia & Granville Streets
Twitter @SohoRoad
Web: http://www.facebook.com/EatSohoRoad
Cuisine: Indian

 

Soirette Macarons & Tea
1433 W Pender Street
Twitter: @SoiretteMacaron
Web: http://soirette.com/
Cuisine: Tea & dessert

 

Vancouver Fanclub
1050 Granville Street
Twitter: @VancityFanClub
Web: http://vancouverfanclub.ca/
Cuisine: New Orleans Inspired Gastropub

 

Le Tigre Cuisine Food Truck
Alberni & Bute
Twitter: @LeTigreTruck
Web: http://www.letigrecuisine.ca/
Cuisine: Modern Chinese

Tickets: $45 per person (eventbrite fee extra). $100 for 4 pak of tickets or $135 for 6 pak of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pak or a 6 pak (eventbrite fee extra).

Purchase Tickets at Eventbrite

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants). $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support one of VanFoodster’s charity partners

Gastown Shop Hop – Winter 2012

Just in time for the Holiday shopping season, Gastown Shop Hop returns for another edition tomorrow night. Whether you’re shopping for gifts or treating yourself there’s lots of great finds to find throughout the Gastown precinct.

Gastown’s more than 50 merchants are opening their doors from 5-9pm on Thursday November 15, 2012 with special offers, food, drink, music & much more. One of a kind finds from fashion forward men’s and ladies’ boutiques and designers, vintage shops, homewares, footwear, optical stores provide a great selection for everyone. Then after you’re satisfied with your shopping experience step into one of Gastown’s many restaurants, lounges or bars for a little r&r to wrap up the evening.

To help get the shopping started, The Georgia Straight is giving away a $50 Gift Certificate to use at some of Gastown’s favourite merchants. Head over to straight.com to enter to win.

Tasting Plates Vancouver: Kitsilano Edition

Cleanser your palate and warm up the taste buds, Tasting Plates Vancouver is taking over Kitsilano on September 12th!
Tasting Plates is a food networking event that takes diners around several area restaurants; sampling and learning about their menus, meeting chefs, new friends and catching up with old friends and fellow foodies. Wednesday September 12, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm each restaurant will offer up a tasting plate to highlight what the restaurant and its chef have to offer.
This edition’s participating restaurants include:

ATITHI INDIAN CUISINE
THE BIBO
PETE’S MEAT
GRAMERCY GRILL
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FLATBREAD CO
THAI HOUSE
CHOCOLATE ARTS CAFÉ
ESTABLISHMENT
more restaurants may join closer to event.

Buy tickets from Tasting Plates via eventbrite

Tickets: $30 per person (eventbrite fee extra) before September 7, $100 for 4 pak of tickets or, $125 for 6 pak of tickets
After September 7, Tickets $40 per person (eventbrite fee extra)
Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. A donation of $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Farm Folk/City Folk.  (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

2 Days In Seattle

Thanks to Klout and Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau I’ve just returned from a great 2 Days In Seattle.  The two organizations teamed up to offer an awesome Klout Perk to the social media community in neighbouring cities to come and experience as much of Seattle as they could in two days. With so much to see and do around the West Coast metropolis, two days can be as action packed, fun-filled or leisurely as you desire.
The perk provided us with accommodation, some spending money and since Billy (@billyforce) drove they also provided the gas money.  No set itinerary or obligation to write about the weekend was put forward but Desa at Klout (@desafernadez) and Ann at the Visitors’ Bureau (@SeattleMaven) were very helpful in setting up the weekend and suggesting activities.

Arriving in Seattle on a busy Friday rush hour, we easily found the Homewood Suites Seattle, located on Pike Street in the centre of downtown Seattle, adjacent to the Seattle Convention Center. The super friendly staff informed me I was “Guest of the Day” and greeted me with a goodie bag of treats and nibbles.  With lots of space and full kitchen, great free wifi, complimentary hot breakfast every morning and evening reception (Mondays to Thursdays), our large 1 bedroom suite would be a perfect home from home for two days or any length of time.

After unpacking, we realized we’d forgotten a couple of items, one being a swimsuit since I’d not realized the hotel has an outdoor pool, so we ventured out to the new City Target at Pike Plaza just a few blocks from the hotel at 2nd & Pike. All the bargains and selection you’d expect from a Target but a smaller scale. Armed with our purchases, I realized we were around the corner from one of my favourite restaurants, anywhere, Wild Ginger, a great Asian restaurant specializing in Malaysian Satay. After our fill of tasty soups, dumplings and satay skewers we ventured onward for a bit more shopping before heading back to the hotel. Since Homewood Suites is on the edge of Capital Hill we thought we’d wander up to find somewhere fun to wrap up our first night with some dancing and drinks. R Place ticked all of the boxes, a bar, lounge, grill and nightclub spread across 3 floors we danced, drank and people watched until bedtime.

Saturday, we had to be up early to get some breakfast before embarking on our Explore Seattle Tour with Evergreen Escapes, our driver/guide Joslyn picked us up at 7:45 for our 3.5 hour tour. The fun and knowledgeable Joslyn gave us a great overview of the Emerald City and took us to places that are not usually on the list of most tourists, especially those of us who usually just swing into Seattle for some shopping and show or game. It was a great way to get a sample of the unique neighbourhoods & people that make up Seattle.

After an amazing pizza lunch at, the Joslyn recommended, Serious Pie followed by a wander through the legendary Pike Place Market it was time for a relaxing soak in the hotel’s hot tub. Rejuvenated, we headed down to catch the Monorail over to Seattle Center and Pacific Science Center.  The current featured exhibit on until January 6, 2013 is Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs a great exhibit featuring antiquities from the Egyptian Museum including a great section on Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.  Spend some time wander all the exhibits at Pacific Science Center, there’s fun and interesting activities for the whole family.

Needing sustenance after a long day of seeing Seattle we searched (with some help from Yelp) for some dinner, although Tango, across the street was recommended for mojitos and tapas, we opted for Ristorante Machiavelli. Also located close to the hotel, it’s a great little Italian bar and restaurant tucked into a corner on Melrose and Pine.  After a post-pasta dinner nap we went out to the very stylish Social, for more drinks and dancing. Sharing the space is Evo a tapas restaurant and bar which looked like a great place to start an evening before heading into Social to end it.

Sunday morning we were able to catch up on some sleep before going downstairs for breakfast then a quick and soothing hot tub.  Packing up, we left the car at the hotel for a bit while we went to grab a quick bite.  We’d passed Melrose Market the previous evening and thought it was worth a look again. A great little renovated space on Melrose Street filled with an array of food purveyors and shops. We sat in the open sunny windows, people watching and eating our sandwich and soup from Homegrown.  Full and satisfied we got on the road again wrapping up our 2 Days In Seattle following the theme of exploring new things by taking the alternate route home. Rather than taking I-5 and whizzing past the cities on the freeway we opted to take Route 99 and pass through the northern suburbs of Seattle, passing through the diverse neighbourhoods like Shoreline, Lynnwood and Everett before stopping at the bustling Seattle Premium Outlets for a bit of shopping before heading to the border and the end to our 2 Days In Seattle.

Reserve now for Dine Out Vancouver 2012

Vancouver is home to some fantastic world-class restaurants and with many more popping up each year, it’s hard to find the time or budget to try all of them.

Dine Out Vancouver is the city’s effort to get us through the winter doldrums by encouraging us to get out and taste the city.
From January 20 to February 5, 2012, hundreds of restaurants around the city are offering three course set menus for $18, $28 or $38 plus suggested pairings with Wines of British Columbia and Kronenbourg 1664. In conjunction with Tourism Vancouver some terrific “Dine Out” Hotel and Restaurant packages are being offered from just $96.
Building on the exciting and interesting culinary events begun last year more special offers are being offered this year; Plated and Paired at Granville Island, Dine Academy, PuShFestival and Arts Club Theatre’s Act 1 Eat 1, or Secret Supper Soiree.
Dine Out Vancouver reservations open today January 9th, check restaurant menus on the Dine Out site and make your reservations quickly, they book up fast!

Caesars Palace – Las Vegas Vacation

“…because every guest is a Caesar”, that’s the logic behind Caesars (not Caesar’s) Palace.

Every thing a guest could look for is available at this leisure and entertainment mecca in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. This is not a Griswald Vacation!

Begun in 1966, Caesars Palace is an every evolving complex that’s grown to include 3348 rooms spread over 5 towers, a major casino, swimming pool complex, Michelin starred restaurants, shopping mall, nightclubs and entertainment theatres.  Guests really do not need to ever step outdoors to experience the best of Las Vegas.
The standard guest rooms are very spacious and feature large, deep soaking tubs and walk-in showers while suites in the newest

Augustus Tower

Augustus Tower are luxuriously appointed, large and many feature amazing views of the Las Vegas Strip.  In the Forum Tower guests will find rooms with over 1000square feet of space.

Whatever type of holiday tickles your fancy it’s probably available at Caesars Palace; I recently attended one of my best friends’ wedding and the 50+ guests all had a great time.  Whatever activity we could think of, we found it;  gambling in the huge casino, laying by the swimming pool,  pampering in the spa, enjoying world renowned Michelin starred restaurants like Restaurant Guy Savoy and Mesa Grill.  Libations were had in some of the many bars, lounges and nightclubs found throughout the complex and making a safe bet on some great shopping in the Forum Shops adjoining the casino were also on our list.  Whatever we needed it was all waiting downstairs from our guest suites.  When we felt like venturing out beyond the resort the central location meant we were easily within reach of all the other casinos, resorts and malls along The Strip.  I would definitely base my next trip to Las Vegas around Caesars Palace too.