Posts by Senses Inspired

La Mezcaleria

Full disclosure: This was a tasting menu invite from the great folks at Popcorn. I’ve been to La Mezcaleria before so I can vouch that the food here is amazing.

La Mezcaleria has become a cherished spot in the Commercial Drive area where each night is packed like a Friday after work getaway. When you enter the restaurant, it has that lively buzz that marks it as the ‘IT’ place to be. Even amidst the hum of chatter and kitchen noise, you can still find an intimate spot at the bar or booth to share food and drinks.

La Mezcaleria

There were a few items that my dinner partner in crime and I decided to tackle and the first obstacle was the customized Espadin Mezcal Flight served with Sangrita and Lime. I’ve never been a straight up clear liquid type of drinker..but there’s always a first time right?

lemez_tequila

The mezcal clearly primed my palate for our appetizer – the Queso Fundido
La Mezcaleria

This now must have signature appetizer is a molten cheese fondue served in a pretty awesome hot volcanic rock molcajete which looks like a large mortar with a choice of salsa verde or Mexican chorizo..we picked the latter. The manager deftly demonstrated how to twirl and swirl the cheese into the warm soft corn tortilla. Seriously how does one critique a cheese fondue? It’s a delicious greasy mess of hot gooey melted cheese with the additional grease from the chorizo. And all you can do is failingly try to contain all that hot cheeseness in the tortilla. Fair warning that this will make you full but since I decided to gulp instead of sip my flight mezcal I didn’t face this issue.

As my main, I picked the Parillada
La Mezcaleria

It’s a hot plate of grilled beef short ribs marinated in a home made pasilla chile sauce served with Mexican chorizo, nopalitos, toreado peppers and green onions. It came with tortilla so the idea is to combine all of that up with a good serving of their homemade chilli sauce. The beef short ribs was lightly seasoned with that essential charred flavour to give it that slight smokiness. The spice and savouriness is rounded out by the hot peppers when you wrap all of that up in the tortilla.

My dinner mate ordered the wonderfully bright and delicious Tostadas De Pato
tacos

It’s a tostadas of Fraser Valley duck confit, guava, fruit mole sauce (aka manchamanteles), chayote squash and radish. The pulled duck was soft and tender with the sweet mole sauce combined. The chayote and radish gave the balancing touch of crisp, crunch and citrus.

There’s something personal and intimate with eating your food with your hands. There’s no room for pretences when grease is dribbling down your mouth and fingers, mysterious crumbs land on your lap, and laughter erupts when one puckers up while downing the mezcal (oh wait that’s me). When you enter La Mezcaleria, leave your table manners and modesty at the door and come forth with an empty stomach.

La Mezcaleria
1622 Commercial Drive
La Mezcaleria on Urbanspoon

West Coast Christmas Show and Marketplace 2013

I bet you’ve seen the Christmas decorations on sale at Costco. I’m in denial right now that 2013 is coming close to the end but it won’t prevent me from getting ready.

The One Stop Holiday shopping event, West Coast Christmas Show and Marketplace, returns for its sixth year from November 22-24 at the TRADEX Trade and Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford, B.C. The West Coast Christmas Show brings together unique gifts by artisans and commercial brands, holiday-related food, personal services, and festive seminars and workshops to help attendees prepare for and celebrate the holiday season. Nearly two hundred businesses will offer one-of-a-kind products.

From for the wardrobe

to the home

to the kitchen

CONTEST ALERT!

Here’s your chance to get a head start on your Holidays shopping. Tweet the below message for a chance to win a Tea Sparrow Box Tea Set ($25 value) with a pair of tickets to the West Coast Christmas Show.

Follow @SensesInspired and Retweet to win a @teasparrow set and @WestCoastXMas tickets package http://bit.ly/19jxZsv

OR

Just comment below!

Tea Sparrow Package

Good luck!

Dinner with Wyndham Estate Winemaker Steve Meyer and Mark Brand

I had the opportunity to attend the recent Wyndham Estate dinner and wine event at the current Save On Meat pop up / Old Boneta’s spot. This intimate dinner was hosted by Gastown’s own Mark Brand and Wyndham Estate’s Chief Winemaker Steve Meyer.

The featured wine is the George Wyndham Founder’s Reserve Shiraz 2010 Vintage. It’s a full bodied luscious Australian wine with a smooth tannin on the tongue. This vibrant versatile wine had notes of ripe plum and blackberry.

George Wyndham Shiraz 2010

Executive Chef Elliott Hashimoto was tasked to create a multi-course tasting menu that would go well with the Shiraz. And I’m sure it was no easy task to tackle.

To start the dinner we had a delicate bite of Unagi, Kawarre and Cinnamon Daikon (sorry no photos…we just inhaled it immediately because we were hungry)

Next came the Shiraz Poached Ling Cod with golden beats, king oyster mushrooms and truffle.
Shiraz Poached Ling Cod

It was a smart approach to poach the ling cod in the wine and the fish came out nicely delicate and flaky. However, it could have been a bit more seasoned.

The pan roasted duck breast with charred peaches with roasted celery root puree was a favorite at our table. A classic combination that was done well: the duck meat was moist, succulent, and way too easy to eat.

duckbreast

I think the braised veal cheeks with ox tail ravioli and caramelized brussel sprouts paired the best with the shiraz; a rich earthy dish paired with an earthy somewhat oaky wine.

Braised Veal Cheeks

And to cap off the evening, we indulged in a spiced pear tart fine with fennel ice cream and sweetened shiraz syrup.

Pear Tart Fine

 

The dinner menu was well thought out and varied, and each dish in its own unique way paired fairly well with the shiraz.

As with any dinner parties, the company of fellow food bloggers and media was the highlight. It was a fun night of random conversations of stinky tofu, t shirt prints, dating in Vancouver, and the supernatural (….you just had to be there).