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

Early Bird Gets The Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition

To welcome in autumn, Vancouver Foodster is hosting the first Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition, coming up September 26, 2018.  Harvest season is the perfect time for a tour of the city’s abundance of plant-based eateries.

Like all Tasting Place events, guests will check-in at their starting location, this time Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown, collect their Tasting Maps & Menus then set off on a flavourful adventure.  Not confined to a single neighbourhood, Tasting Plate Vegetarian Edition will explore vegetarian options all around downtown Vancouver.  Chefs will present the meat-free dishes and cups that they think best exemplify what their kitchens are all about. It’s your chance to learn from them and mingle with other foodies and friends as you devour the tasting plates offered.

Ultra Early Bird tickets are now on sale, before the full line-up of restaurants have been released. A few of the locations that plan to participate in Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition include:

Living Produce Aisle – 1168 Hamilton Street

Davie Dosa Company – 1235 Davie Street

Saj & Co – 813 Davie Street

La Cantina Tacos – 722 Nelson Street

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizza – 808 Davie Street

More restaurants may still be added to the vegetarian tasting adventure but get your tickets now on Eventbrite (fees & tax extra)

Ultra Early-Bird Tickets:  $29 per person until September 14, 2018
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person after September 14th
Advance Tickets: $45 per person after September 20th
Regular Tickets: $60 per person after September 24th

If you can’t wait until September 26, check out Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates South Granville on September 12th, for another great neighbourhood taste exploration.

Exile on Bute Street

Photo 2014-05-24, 12 51 00Located on the 1200 block of Bute Street (at the rainbow crosswalk) in Vancouver’s Davie Village, Exile Bistro is a great new addition to the West End dining scene. The small 25 seat bistro and cocktail bar prides itself on using ethically grown, locally sourced or foraged ingredients that are as organic as possible.  While there are many vegan or gluten-free options on the menu, Exile doesn’t forget the meat eaters with BC Bison, Trout and Boar as options.

I recently visited for brunch with my friend Michael (@vegandall) choosing to sit outside on a nice spring day, the fresh air balancing the fresh ingredients.  I choose the gluten-free breakfast biscuit benny; a pair of nicely poached eggs with wild kale and mushrooms, sitting atop a flakey rusk-style, gluten-free biscuit with a yoghurt based hollandaise sauce.  A nice balance between the flakey biscuit and the egg yolks and hollandaise.  Michael opted for the Farinata, an eggless omelette alternative made with chickpea flour, topped with mushrooms, shallots, and juniper aioli (cheese can be added if you don’t want to keep it vegan). The Farinata was more of a flatbread or frittata style than a classic folded omelette but all the flavours worked to create a satisfying breakfast.  A side of multi-coloured potatoes sauteed in olive-oil added a simple addition to round out the brunch.

 

 

A return visit is in order to try dinner and cocktails, with a patio still to be built along on the quiet block of Bute Street, a summer evening of al fresco dining will be perfect.

Exhile Bistro is located at 1220 Bute Street, Vancouver. Hours: Monday to Sunday 5pm – late, Saturday & Sunday Brunch 9am-2:30pm  Phone: 604.563.8633 Facebook.com/exhilevancouver