Tag Archives: Vancouver

Sandwich love

Yesterday the mr and I ventured out of our burrow to find fodder and fresh air. It was a lovely cloudy day, not a cool temperature but not too warm either. We passed houses we would want to live in and others we could see potential in. We sure do enjoy daydreaming about our future. However unreachable it may be.

Seeing as I had never been to Edgemont village before, we made our way on foot to discover whatever delights may lie on the one street that makes up this village.

The street is very cute with it’s colonial old times street lamps and greenery, but I was a bit dissapointed that, although from a glance it looks as though it may be filled with one of a kind and cute little stores, it’s actually just the big name stores cleverly disguised. I had heard there were some good places to eat and this was mostly what I was expecting.

We walked up one side, searching for these quaint places to eat but only encountered two of the larger coffee chains with poor food selections and overpriced coffee and a rather “proper” looking breakfast cafe with a shut door and more of an older clientele. Not very welcoming.

There was a gorgeous little church fair fundraiser happening with a “throw the ball at the hole and dunk the person into water” type game that I have only ever seen on American tv shows. There was face painting and a wall climb among other fun things inside that we weren’t privy to as we weren’t going to buy tickets. More for small children and families anyway.

The first side didn’t yield much of the awesomeness we sought. The opposite side of the street seemed to be just as uninteresting until we set foot inside a store with a butchery on the left and an artisan sandwich counter to the right. The smell was BBQ mixed with slow roasting meat wrapped up in freshly baked bread. Heaven!

After the initial fog of the nasalgasm had cleared, I remembered that I don’t generally eat bread and said to mr “it’s mostly sandwiches which I’m not really gonna eat, shall we go check out big coffee chain and see what they have?” He conceded but I could see the pain behind the smile. That smell…all that meat… Wince.

Big coffee chain lacked anything palatable and barely even had an aroma of enticing coffee goodness. Our rumbling tummies and coffee deprived brains were slumping into a sad grey defeated mess when I said “fuck it! Let’s go back to the sandwich place! I will ignore my glutardness this time to try something that smelled like meaty, bready dreams!” To which he said “yeah, let’s go back”.

We trotted across the road, ignoring traffic and human decency in our ravenous state and triumphantly set foot inside of Windsor Meat Co. Albeit a little bit awkwardly in front of the dividing wall so I couldn’t really see the chalkboard menu to begin with. Silly me.

They don’t have a vast selection, maybe five or six choices and a kiddy pick as well as a special of the day but what they offer is hard to choose from because it all sounds bloody delicious. I love that there were only a handful of choices. Simple is key. Especially for someone as indecisive as me…

Coffee wasn’t on offer but beer and wine were and as it was after 10am (actually about 2pm by this time) it seemed appropriate to toast our sandwiches and a (now) sunny Sunday afternoon stroll.

Mr chose the special which was an Asian pulled beef sandwich with a chipotle coleslaw. Ah, yum. And I got the slow roasted pork belly WITH CRACKLING I might add, arugula, artichoke aioli and pesto. He had a beer, I had a wine, there was free water which was married nicely to the cucumber and mint floating in it.

A sunny spot outside beckoned us and we waited in hungry anticipation for our sandwiches. When they arrived, we were not disappointed at all.

The first bite was a prelude to the tastiness that followed. Every single bite was more and more awesome. They hit the spot perfectly and had barely, if any faults. Being the little critic that I am, if I had to point out a flaw it would be that I think I was missing the aioli and my brown ciabatta roll was heading towards the stale end of the freshness spectrum. But not in a bad way, just slightly more chewy on the outside but still very fresh and warm on the inside. To be fair, we were there on the later side of what I can only imagine to be a busy lunch rush so I forgave the tiny details. Plus I was starving.

I have never loved a sandwich so much. Seriously, never. That I can recall right now. There was perhaps one in the Czech Republic but that was more of a cafe style thing and… Anyway it doesn’t matter. The meat is supplied by the organic butchery on the other side of the wall and you can tell it led a wonderful life and an even better afterlife.

Both our sandwiches were outstanding and needless to say, I raved about it to anyone who would listen at the BBQ we attended later that day.

I have since learned that there is another one in Vancouver at 2276 E Hastings street as well as the Edgemont village one (and a few more in the general Vancouver/north shore areas).
So go there. I don’t care where you are, get your arse to the Windsor Meat Co for, quite possibly, the best artisan, organic meat sandwich you will have this lifetime. It’s that good.

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Vancouver Christmas Market

Dashing through the snow (even though there is none yet), in a four door rented car, over the bridge we go, laughing all the way!!! Ha ha haaa! Everybody now!

I am quite excited about heading to the Vancouver Christmas Market tonight, mostly for the German food delights that are to be found there, but also for that crisp wintry feel of visiting a market at night and holding a cup of Gluhwein (a hot, spiced mulled wine). I haven’t actually ever been to a night market in the winter and held a cup of spiced wine but I imagine it’s magical and with all my layers of winter clothes, will be somewhat cosy. And the Christmas lights!!! All of the lights…all of the lights….wooooah ooh woaahhhh… just me? Nah, you were singing along too 🙂

I first heard about the markets from reading THIS BLOG – the girl knows how to find a good time, I’ll tell you that much! I knew I was ending up in Vancouver and it was cool to see that there was something a little bit different to be done around this festive season that wasn’t elbowing your way through crowds to get your last minute Christmas shopping done in packed malls. Blerk!

Ok, mostly it was the German food that got me excited. But again, also the ambiance.

I should really go and get ready. I will try to remember to take my camera with me so you too can see the magical wonder of a Christmas market. You’re welcome in advance. I’ll apologise for the shoddy camera work now and also the potential that there could be no photos or follow up blog on this as well. You could always just read Rachel’s blog and go to the website. Equally as good at portraying that markety goodness.

Don’t be disappointed at my lack of effort; at least I’m letting you know in advance. xx

Help! Short term accommodation for a quiet, clean and friendly couple required in Vancouver!

How to find short term, non scummy, self contained rental accommodation in North Vancouver? There are quite a few options but nothing that either fits the budget or the requirement. I’m reluctant to use craigslist until I can physically go and see any of the options and meet people in person due to the amount of scammers that use the site.

Reluctant also to move in with strangers who we may not gel with and then end up having to find another solution as well as getting used to being far, far away from family and friends. I like to cook so there needs to be a workable kitchen and if you live with people who are territorial, being in the kitchen a lot gets on peoples nerves. 

I just don’t want to potentially be rattling anybodies cage, so the self contained, keeping to ourselves with no body else but ourselves to worry about option is probably the best one.

We have friends but they live in shared houses or don’t have the room to put us up for as long as we might need. Which could be anywhere from two weeks to two months! 

We aren’t loaded so we can’t just splash our cash left, right and center, to get what we want.

And because we don’t know how long we’ll need the accommodation for, we can’t commit to anything definite.

Argh… putting it in the too hard basket for now as I get back to the emails piling up in my inbox. Yay Monday!Image

Could be worse

As the (work) week starts to wrap up and I procrastinate actioning the emails in my inbox, I sit here listening to some relaxing, meditative music via the you tube and think about how my week unfolded…

I’d love to say it was a box of fluffy ducks but it wasn’t. It was a pretty average week, if you forget about the “the day that shall not be named”. It was Tuesday (oh no, I said it!) and it was not a good day. I went to bed grumpy on Monday, for no good reason at all; had nothing to be grumpy about. I woke up grumpy on Tuesday morning and it slowly got worse as the day unfolded. Nothing bad happened. Nothing at all! I couldn’t put my finger on why I was a little dark cloud all day long. I expressed my grumpiness to my sister and to Scott who both took it upon themselves to do lovely things for me to try and cheer me up. 

After a phone call to my sister, I was looking forward to going over to her house for tea (enchiladas…arreeeba!) and picking up something really bad for us for pudding. I got home to a lovely letter from the Mr outlining all the reasons he loves to love me which was so sweet it made me cry. Not his intention, but effective none the less because, if you’re a lady, you’ll know that sometimes it’s just quite nice to have a good bawl. Which I did. I realised I’d had a stressful weekend trying to arrange a friend’s surprise 30th birthday within a time frame of less than 48 hours. It was exciting and as I’m fairly good at coordinating people in secret, it was pulled off (with help from others) and she was surprised. But the concentration on the task at hand meant my other good habits slipped by the wayside. Like drinking enough water, eating actual meals instead of grazing on things I’m mostly intolerant to and avoiding too much alcohol. I’d internalised the stress of it all and it must have started to surface on Monday night.

So after the letter and the cry and some meditation on my bedroom floor, I felt 85% better and thought “it could be worse”.

This was affirmed as I ventured towards my car, off to my sisters, and saw the following on the road…

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Not the greatest photo as it was taken with my phone and the light was disappearing into night time. A well timed car was passing as I took the shot so you get a better look at what appears to be a large, three scoops ice-cream crying it’s way down the side of the road.

I actually laughed out loud as I was taking the photo because as bad as my day had been, at least I hadn’t dropped my three scoop ice cream on the road, meters from the dairy I bought it from, as well. 

Dinner was delicious and I was gifted a pretty long stemmed, orange rose from my sister to add to the cheer. She also told me not to bring my grump to her house so I had to consciously decide not to be grumpy in order to be a good house guest instead of one you wish never turned up. 

The rest of the week has been largely uneventful and I’m thankful for that. It could be worse, I could be Miley Cyrus or live in Syria. 

Or I could be Rachael in Vancouver who seems to be in good spirits despite a series of unfortunate events: read here

I hope you all had/are having a good week and that despite any of the bad things that could have happened to you in the last few days, it could always be a lot worse. Happy Friday! xx

 

There’s something in the air – Hockey night in Canada

If you know a Canadian, you will probably have heard them mention hockey once or twice. If they haven’t, they’re not authentic and you have cause to be very suspicious. To be more specific, “hockey” = ice hockey. Here in NZ we know hockey as field hockey so I want to be clear. The game I am referring to is a game played on ice, by feisty men who glide like ballerinas despite being covered from head to toe with padding. Men, burly in stature, armed with sticks, who crave blood and victory. It sends shivers up the spine!

Some of my fondest memories of being in Vancouver were the warm twilight times I spent walking home from work, feeling the electricity in the air when it was “hockey night in Canada”. The buses have it on their overhead destination signs, cars sport flags, a sea of blue and green shirts adorn the masses and if you work in hospitality (like I did), you KNOW it’s hockey night in Canada because you’re slammed just before the game starts and the phones are silent when they’re playing. If you’re not watching the game, or you are but you’re watching it on cable and someone else is watching it not on cable, you can hear the delayed yells of the fans, through the walls, the floors and from across the road, every time something major happens. The energy is infectious and it’s exciting!

There is a real sense of comradery and you can feel it. Unless the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup Final and then there’s riots… but that aside, it’s something special to be a part of.

I learned to appreciate the sport after being subjected to watching it in the early stages of being with Scott. I found it hard to follow because they moved too fast! I lost sight of the puck pretty much the whole time. I would find my mind wandering because I couldn’t concentrate on the game – I was getting dizzy trying to follow them. What just happened? Why did that guy just get sent off? Why are they fighting, are they allowed to do that? Why isn’t the ref doing anything? Woah! is that legal?! What is icing? Nope, it’s not something on a cake. There were too many questions and I was in danger of being on the verge of “annoying questions from the girlfriend when watching hockey”. Luckily, I kept my questions in check and any questions I did have, were answered politely (because he’s Canadian). We were early enough in the relationship that Scott probably didn’t want to piss me off by getting annoyed at me for being so sweet and innocent when it came to his favourite game 🙂 Plus he likes to know the answers to stuff.

I eventually began to concentrate on the game and tried my hardest to follow that little black circle as it darted back and forth. I started to really appreciate the level of skill these guys actually have in order to be able to switch direction at a moments notice, to keep an eye on that puck when I had no idea where it was half the time, to be covered in all that gear and still be able to glide gracefully like big bulky, sweaty, swans on water. And to get the puck past that giant, lithe goalie and several other players in front of that tiny net?! Pretty impressive stuff.

I may not know the rules, I have kind of forgotten what icing actually is and I still have to ask for clarification on the “power play“, but I really like watching it. It’s something Scott and I can do together and when it gets down to the nitty gritty games, it brings a really good bunch of pals together to yahoo, or commiserate, in unison.

If you’re Canadian, or you’ve been in Canada during the hockey season, you’ll know what I’m talking aboot. If you aren’t and you haven’t been to Canada you’ll never quite understand.

I leave you with this video which epitomizes the excitement and intensity that I’m trying to get across:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vczq0HbgEZo