Automatic updates enabled. If only.

Hey all,

Don’t you wish you had an update hub so everyone can just be filled in with what’s going on with your life instead of you having to repeatedly tell people or different groups individually? But then again, I guess that wouldn’t make for much conversation or seeing each other I suppose.

Not being in school this term was a big change for me. Never have I ever missed a term of school and done something else, but here I am doing co-op while I see pictures of everyone back at UBC. Do I miss it? Yes. But at the same time, it’s a nice change. Plus, work is letting me get a glimpse of the real world— it’s not the most exciting and makes me wish I can stay in school forever, but it’s manageable. Or maybe I’m still waiting to find something I’m uber passionate about.

Working also means that I’m no longer just seeing my friends randomly around classes or on campus, and I realize it meant that I had to reach out in order to see people. I’m glad I realized this sooner rather than later, because I’ve got many dear friends that I would hate to lose contact with! The past few weeks have been me filling my schedule up so that we could check in on each other’s lives and also just talk in general! It also meant that I got to try out lots of new food places 🙂 It’s Vancouver and it’s currently fall/winter time. If you’re not at the movies or in a restaurant, where else would you be?

I finally tried Gyoza Bar with my friend Amy. Heard about it over the summer when it first opened, but never got a chance to go! I must say, their ramen broth really is something else! It’s thick and really flavourful! The egg isn’t as good at Marutama Ramen’s, but everything else was quite nice! We also ordered their special which was a chickpea karaage. It was very interesting since the chickpea was soft and warm on the inside, with its crispy karaage exterior.

Carmen showed me this dessert place near where I used to live in Marpole. It’s relatively new and it’s called Doolami Dessert. The mango pomelo sago was delicious and my friend got the durian one. It’s not easy finding Chinese dessert places in Vancouver, especially in the Vancouver West area, so this was great to know about! This place also makes their own pints of ice-cream (I know it’s winter, but hey, ice cream) with interesting flavours. Carmen got a pint of durian ice cream and I was contemplating the blueberry lavender. But apparently, the blueberry overpowers the lavender and I’m more for the lavender.

I also met up with my ex-supervisors from work (they had both moved on to pursue other opportunities!), and we went to Bella Gelateria’s new location in Yaletown! I ordered a meat-filled pizza (I remember salami on it, but don’t remember its fancy name), and one of the other girls ordered one with eggplant. I never liked eggplant, but thinly sliced then stone oven baked made it delicious. This may be a turning point between me and eggplant’s relationship. Overall, the place is kind of expensive, but you can get away with sharing 2 pizzas between 3 people.

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Doesn’t this look super artsy? A shot from the interior of The Greedy Pig. My hand shook when I took the photo and it blurred. So pro.

Last but not least, I met up with C, a fellow blogger here! Well, technically no longer on WordPress since he actually has his own domain now and blogs from there, but it was through WordPress that we had met. Talking to him made me realize that we had actually known each other for three years. I had first started my blog when we came across each others’. He had also moved away from Vancouver for a while, but now that he’s back we managed to meet up and chill. He had suggested this place called The Greedy Pig. Sadly, my appetite was crappy that day, but their mushroom soup was still good! C chowed down his mac and cheese fairly quickly, so I’m going to assume it was good. I’ve been by that place before, and was even going to eat dinner there once, but the line up was so ridiculous my friends and I ended up going elsewhere.

Of course, there’s other updates in my life. Another first for me was updating my Facebook relationship status. Never done that with a boyfriend before, so he’s something special 🙂 But that’s probably another story for another time.

– Karen

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2013

Hey everyone!

If you live in Vancouver, and have a Facebook, you may have seen an increase in pictures of food appearing on your Facebook Feed. I sure did, and it is making me crave all the delicious plates of food my friends post up!

A lot of these pictures came from friends who did Dine Out Vancouver, a festival that encourages people to go and eat at the many amazing restaurants around Vancouver. What is so great about having this festival in Vancouver is that our city is the home to many different cultures and ethnicities, which can be reflected in the food we serve. If you look through the list of participating restaurants, you are bound to find at least one you will want to visit!

Dine Out offers set menus at different restaurants, all for a fixed price of either $18, $28 or $38 depending on the restaurant. The set menu still offers a bit of flexibility, as they usually have two to three choices for each course of the meal. Reservations are easy, since you can simply do reservations online for most of the restaurants (though some require you to call them), but I highly suggest you book your reservation well in advance. We had some trouble securing a spot in the restaurants we had picked even though we tried making reservations four days in advance. This is understandable as they are busy, and the dates we wanted were all on weekends, which is when everyone else has time to eat out too.

A group of my friends and I went on the first day Dine Out was offered this year– January 18th. We decided to go to the Sandbar Seafood Restaurant located on Granville Island. We wanted seafood, and a menu that was not the most expensive, nor the least.

We all had a lot of trouble deciding what we wanted to eat, and our waitress patiently waited as we hemmed and hawed. I went with the salmon and shrimp salad for my appetizer, and the grilled salmon with rice for my main. I ended it off with a peach and apple crumble, served with gelato!

Overall, it was a good meal, and I enjoyed the ambiance of the Sandbar. It was not our first time there, since one of our mutual friends had her last birthday there, but with the set menu, it really does force you to try out something you would otherwise probably not have ordered! If I had to put a numerical rating on my meal, I’d give it a 7/10.

The menu

The menu

Warm bread that just kept coming!

Warm bread that just kept coming!

My appetizer

My appetizer

My main course

My main course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second time I went Dine Out this year, another one of my friend and I went to Ciao Bella Ristorante & Piano Bar down by Denman street. It was also a $28 menu restaurant, offering dishes with an Italian flair. I ordered the lobster bisque for my appetizer, grilled lamb chops for my main, and as my dessert, I got the tiramisu! My friend who went with me got their dessert of the day: zucchini chocolate cake. Props to her for being so brave and getting the zucchini cake. Turns out that you cannot taste the vegetable, but what it does is make the cake more moist! Overall rating: 7.5/10.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

The lamb main

The lamb main

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

A chocolate cake with zucchini!?

A chocolate cake with zucchini!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So did you guys go try out a restaurant or two during Dine Out Vancouver? Let me know if you have any you recommend!
(Also, I am hopelessly trying to fit pictures onto WordPress, but I obviously am not doing it correctly! I want to place them side by side…is that too much to ask for!? Anyone know their way around positioning images on here? Much appreciated!)

-Karen