Posts in category "- Little Mountain"

Vancouver Winter Farmers’ Market

I’m in love with farmers’ markets. When I travel, that is one of the first things I would add to my itinerary. I just love walking from one stand to the next and discovering new foods to try. Raising my hand in guilt, I also sampled too but with each bite my environmentally friendly grocery bag gets heavier too.

This year I bought a bevy of healthy items such as vegan pates, root chips, lots of mixed greens, and cheeses. Also, I didn’t deny myself trying the many street food trucks that were at the market.

Of course I had to grab a bite from the famous pink La Boheme Creperie truck, the popular farmers’ market mainstay. It continuously gets the longest lineups and there’s a reason why. Their crepes are no regular crepes you get when you have hunger pangs while walking through downtown. Their buckwheat style crepes menu is innovative, fun, and experimental. The nuttiness from the buckwheat went well with the savoury crepe of greens, bechamel, cheese, tomato and vinaigrette.

La Boheme Creperie

I’ve been meaning to try Yolk’s Breakfast Truck…especially since it’s regular spot is only a block and a half away from work. It’s an excellent breakfast sandwich of poached free range egg with your choice of toppings and bread. I went for the somewhat classic of english muffin, poached egg, portobello mushroom and hollandaise sauce. It’s a deliciously messy sandwich as within one careful bite the yolk oozes all over your sandwich (and your hand). Of course I felt major fomo when I saw the plates of chicken waffles being handed out.

Another popular truck that was at the farmers’ market this year was Le Tigre which is run by the tag team of Chef Clement Chan & Chef Steve Kuan. You might recognize Chef Clement as he made a run for Top Chef Canada. They serve Modern Asian cuisine made with high quality sustainable seafood and organic meats. I’d say they are serving fusion food right….finally.

Their beet fries were addictive and they remained hot for awhile
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The beet wedges were crispy and had a nice blend of umami with plum powder in the batter and the accompanying 7 spice mayo.

The finger licken popcorn chicken was pretty finger licking good.

The marinated chicken bites was tender, moist, and oh so very crunchy. It reminded me of pieces of karaage.

The very tongue in cheek named kick ass rice with pork belly was my favourite from what we ordered. It’s a bowl of complex and savoury.

Each bite was full of flavour as the rice is cooked in sake, butter, dashi and topped with a perfect poached egg,fresh herbs and thai chillies. I think we tried half of their menu that day.

As much as I like to indulge and get excited about trying the food trucks, it’s looking at the different produce that is inspiring. The type of inspiration where recipes whirl in your imagination, and you can’t wait to concoct a dish in your very own kitchen.

I look forward to rest of the summer and the many farmers’ markets that will liven up our city

La Boheme Creperie
La Bohème Crêperie on Urbanspoon

Yolk’s Breakfast
Yolk's Breakfast on Urbanspoon

Le Tigre Cuisine Mobile Food Truck
Le Tigre Cuisine Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Pho Tan Vietnamese

Pho Tan Vietnamese has been in the Riley Park neighborhood for a number of years now. I should know as I use to live 10 minutes away and our family would go there often for lunch and dinners. It’s located on the quiet part of Main Street and 30th where it’s just at the cusp of SOMA. It grew in popularity over the years and the quality still remains the same. I do remember the years when the patrons were mostly Chinese and Vietnamese, and nowadays you see the Main Street hipster crowd lining up to get in. I’m hypothesizing it became a happy victim of the Au Petit spillover: long lineups at Au Petit, then people figured out there’s another Vietnamese restaurant nearby, then people realized it’s a good darn alternative.

I’m not surprised it has gotten so popular: the prices are affordable, service is fast, and the food is decent. Also the restaurant occasionally adds new items to the menu just to mix it up. For example, as of last year they’ve added the banh mi sandwiches.

The decor is simple and spacious and feels like you’re dining in someone’s old 1970s kitchen. We arrived post lunch rush so we got a table right away. We immediately asked for our basic fave Vietnamese dishes.

Whenever I can, I try to order the Vietnamese crepes

The steamed rice rolls is stuffed with minced pork, mushrooms and topped with greens, sprouts and Vietnamese ham. There’s nothing fancy with these crepes but I do like its simplicity and that it’s a guilt free healthy appetizer.

The selection of pho noodles is plentiful and varied. We ordered both the pho noodle soup and ‘dry’ version. My usual combo of meats for noodles is rare beef, beef flank, and tripe.

It’s a pretty hearty bowl with generous servings of the meat and noodles. I usually share a bowl as I know I would not be able to slurp more than half of it. The noodles were chewy with a slight bounce with each bite..all good indicators of noodles that are nicely cooked. The biggest indicator of a good bowl of pho noodles comes to the broth: the flavours were light and soup colour had a nice medium dark hue. For me, a good broth is even after finishing the noodle soup you don’t have an aftertaste.

For the dry vermicelli noodles bowl, we ordered Grilled Pork and Spring Rolls on vermicelli.

It’s pretty much a bowl of cooked vermicelli topped with a piping hot spring roll, sliced flavourful grilled lemon grass pork chop, cucumbers, pickled julienned daikon and carrots, and a sprinkle of peanuts and green onions.  It’s usually served with the tangy fish sauce dip which you can just dump in and mix it up.

Lastly, I had to order  the moist grilled lemon grass chicken filet

If you want to mix it up, try out Pho Tan instead of Au Petit during a cold day day before you indulge in some Main Street shopping (they also have a Kerrisdale location)…even though Au Petit Cafe’s sandwiches still kicks butt.

Pho Tan Vietnamese Restaurant
4598 Main St
Pho Tan Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

Locus on Main

Locus on Main has been around for awhile now. I’ve been going to the restaurant for around the past five years and witnessed the slight changes to its quirky Monolithic-ish decor. At one point, it had similar candle wax structures like the ones found at Subeez.  Right now, they have tree branch like extensions that stretch from the walls to the ceiling.  Once you walk in, you could either sit at the bar, at one of tables, or in one of the not so comfortable booths.

Over the years, Locus has served a variety of eclectic classic items with a twist.  In the SOMA area, before I start my shopping, there’s only a few places I go to for brunch and one of them is Locus. Aside from L’Abbatoir, they serve one of the best baskets around.

It’s a selection of different types of breads so over the years I’ve had slices of raisin bread, pimpernickel, sour dough, multigrain, whole wheat and herbs.

I actually went to Locus twice this past month so I’ll post both of my meals.

Brunch #1 was Egg White Omelette

It was filled with wild mushrooms, sauteed spinach, roasted garlic, goat cheese. Most of the brunch items are served with fruit and roasted potatoes but I asked for extra fruit instead. It’s a very simple omelette but the egg was very fluffy and the garlic and goat cheese added the necessary subtle flavours.

Brunch #2 was Tomato and Basil Eggs Benedict

As indicated in its name, it’s egg benedicts with fresh tomatoes, basil, warm goat cheese & hollandaise. I do like my goat cheese apparently. I like how they ask you how you want your eggs done (mine’s usually soft or medium). The eggs were delicately and deliciously runny while the hollandaise sauce was nice and smooth. For an eggs benedict, it wasn’t too heavy or salty at all.

If you want the mother of all brunches to get over a hangover, check out their signature brunch dish, The Main St Eggs: 2 eggs any style with edam cheese, baked beans, sour cream & choice of bacon, ham, spicy lamb sausage, Mennonite turkey sausage, chorizo or veggie links.

Most of the time, the service is casual and friendly and the manager (and is the owner too I think) is always eager to serve witha  smile

Locus is a pretty good spot to make it your regular go to for brunch or as the ideal place if you want to dine at a hip, dark, atmospheric, trendy spot for dinner.

Locus on Main
4121 Main St
Locus on Urbanspoon