I arrived in Vancouver with several members of my family last Wednesday late in the morning and after an interminable wait in line to get through customs, we made it to our hotel (Times Square Suites on Robson, a lovely place) around 1:30 PM, dropped off our luggage, and with my son & daughter in tow, I set off to find lunch.
I had been set on trying a poutine for some time, and previous inquiries here led me to seek out Fritz’s European Fry House. (This also afforded us the opportunity to explore the businesses along Denman and Davie streets. Seeing a KFC right next to a sex toy shop is something you can’t see just anywhere.) I had never had a poutine before, so I don’t know if this was a good one or not, But I know that I really liked it. I had smoked meat of some kind (beef bacon?) added to mine, my son had one with chicken, while my daughter opted for fries with a couple of dipping sauces. It was all heavenly, and while I could feel my arteries hardening with each bite, it was well worth it. I can’t understand why there aren’t 20 booths selling poutine at the Wisconsin State Fair.
CH was extremely helpful in choosing a place for dinner. Since there were 8 of us, I felt the need (possibly unnecessary, but I didn’t want to take chances) to make a reservation well in advance. The only reason I didn’t choose Parkside was that I had no idea of what the June menu would be in April, and there were several in the group with either health or religious related dietary peccadilloes. So I opted for the Fish House in Stanley Park. This turned out to be a perfect choice. The weather was ideal for a walk from the hotel, and the setting was idyllic. I started out with Oyster Motoyaki, oysters baked in wasabi mayo with ginger & sesame, and it was delicious. I recall that my sister in law had the whole leaf Caesar salad and loved it. My mother had the steamed mussels; there was one that wouldn’t open, but she said that the others were wonderful.
The special that day was Copper River Sockeye Salmon served with local potatoes, kale, and asparagus. Since we knew that we would probably never be closer to the Copper River, affording the opportunity to have this fish this fresh, my sister, my mother’s husband, and I opted for this choice, and it was superb. My daughter had the Salmon cakes, my son had the sticky chili Sablefish, and I think it was my sister in law who had the porcini dusted arctic Char. I think Mom had the mixed grill. My sister, the lead oenophile in the group, selected the Oak Bay Pinot Meunier, a BC wine, to accompany, and it was excellent. Everyone was extremely pleased with their dishes, and with my choice of restaurant. Our waitress was a little inexperienced, but did a very good job in spite of it (i.e. she was unfamiliar with the wine, but instead of faking it, she asked my sister to point it out to her on the wine list so that she did not get it wrong.)
Breakfast the next morning was at the Central Bistro on Denman, in the company of my son & daughter. The choice was made based on the fact that it was raining, none of the Asian restaurants around seemed to be open for breakfast, and Central had been noticed on a ramble after dinner the previous evening to have a variety of benedicts, which I really like. I had the roasted shrimp & fresh avocado Benedict, my son had croissant French toast with fresh fruit, and my daughter had the classic Benny. It was all quite good, and the service was efficient and very friendly.
My return flight was at 2:00, and had I known that going through customs on the way out would be MUCH faster than on the way in, I would have had time for lunch, and I really wanted to try one of the Korean restaurants nearby. But I left for the airport at 11:30 and missed that opportunity. I only had one day, and I don’t think a month would have been sufficient to try all the really good looking restaurants that I just happened to walk by.
And that was my day in Vancouver.