Here’s my inaugural post on my food blog – gotta start somewhere right? Maybe in the future if I have time, I will try to publish my old food pictures and hopefully have a blurb to say about them. Anyhow, for any Vancouverite that enjoys dining out, the past 2 weeks have been nothing but a killer on the wallet because of the annual DineOut Vancouver Festival. I myself managed to cross off a chunk of my list of restaurants to try (conveniently located under my “Places to Try” page) and squeezed in 7 restaurants between January 17th and February 2nd, either during lunch, dinner, or all of the above.
My final DineOut experience ended off with a lunch at Water St. Cafe, down at Gastown. For this, I must thank my good friend Geena for picking such a wonderful restaurant situated right across from the iconic steam clock. With the menu priced at $18, I felt this was extremely appropriate as a single entrée of pasta at the restaurant alone would have costed on average around $15.
I am someone who uses instagram religiously like there’s no tomorrow, so when I choose places to eat I absolute love restaurants that have beautiful lighting. As you can see in my pictures below, I would boastfully argue that these pictures could adequately compare to the quality of a DSLR. Speaking of that, I should really get into the habit of lugging one around… I mean, considering my dad is a photographer he’s got hundreds of cameras for me to pick and use with my eyes closed. However, since I transitioned from Android to iOS at the end of 2012, I have stopped carrying a digital camera around with me. Bad, bad, bad! Maybe my New Year Resolution (kinda late I know, since it’s already February) should be to carry a better quality camera around with me on my adventures.
On to the food now.
For the appetizer, as with 98% of my other meals, I decided to go for the soup of the day. A part of me hesitated when the waitress uttered a super long phrase, dropping the words “curry-based” somewhere. I was never really able to eat spicy food, but some reason that day I was feeling adventurous so I just went along with it – and I’m glad I did, because it was delicious! Geena went for a healthy caesar salad with romaine lettuce, fresh grated parmesan, anchovies, and garlic. Oh and of course, there was the staple food, bread and butter for the both of us!
As for the entrée, I decided to stick with a safe choice; and that was my favourite, spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, scallions, and egg. Whenever I order pasta at a restaurant and the waiter/waitress grates my fresh parmesan, I have a tendency to say “stop” because of the awkward silence where they don’t know how long they should continue for and I feel like I am making them work too hard (but in fact, I actually love showering my pasta with cheese). Anyway, the portions of the bacon were just right and I really enjoyed the carbonara – if I were to complain about anything, it would be the amount of water I had to drink after to quench my thirst. Not a big deal though.
Geena had trouble deliberating but I told her to go with the spinach & ricotta ravioli, which she apparently enjoyed quite a lot as well. Some of the ingredients listed on the menu were fresh Roma tomato, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t try her plate at all, but just for looks I’ll upload her dish here:
I find that DineOut is most worth the money when you go with a couple of friends, because that way everyone can each order one entrée and be able to taste all of them. Unfortunately, there were 4 options at Water St. Cafe (I’m not complaining!) so we were only able to taste 2 out of the 4. The only dessert option offered was fruit sorbet, but from what I observed, there were various flavours being served. We were the lucky ones to have raspberry and mango, which offered the perfect (and chilly) finish to our meal.
(That is an awfully big strawberry, by the way.) After our lunch, we decided to look nearby for some cafés using Urbanspoon on my phone. We both were terrible at directions, so navigating around Gastown was not necessarily our forté. We stopped by Nelson the Seagull, but decided it wasn’t really what we both wanted for the day so we left and kept walking. I wanted to go to Soirée Macarons & Tea, and according to Google Maps that had to be reached via the 19 bus. We ended up walking… and walking… and walking, bus stop after bus stop, because Chinese New Year parades were underway in Chinatown. When we saw Pacific Centre we decided to just give up and settle at some nearby café. Bel Café then instantly popped up in my mind, as I had visited the place before during the summer and really enjoyed their food.
We sat down, and after much deliberation and calculation, decided to order 3 macarons each ($6) – 2 x cookies and cream, 2 x strawberry & lemon, 1 vanilla bean, and 1 passionfruit. I personally enjoyed cookies and cream and passionfruit the most. I can’t remember the last time I had macarons… maybe L’Opera in Richmond a few months back.
What’s better than catching up with a friend over good food? NOTHING!