My last complete day in Vancouver has come to an end, and I finally decided to take it a little easy since the past few days have been go-go-go. I hit up nearly every place on my must-see list within the first three days, so today was reserved for the “extra” things – like revisiting some places, having a few drinks, and judging some tacos and some fish (and in some cases, some fish tacos).
My first stop of the day was to Fratelli Bakery and La Grotta del Formaggio for a morning snack. There’s no picture because there wasn’t much to see – with a name like La Grotta del Formaggio, I expected a huge cheese castle, but it was about 1/4 of the size of Penn Mac in the Strip in Pittsburgh. I snagged some Canadian swiss cheese and then headed next door to Fratelli’s for a sourdough roll and made myself a little cheese sandwich. Not bad, but not the best. I also grabbed an infamous Nanaimo bar to take back home to Pittsburgh. I’m considering going to my parents’ house on Thursday when I get back (otherwise I’ll need to sit through morning rush-hour traffic to get home), and if I do, I’ll probably end up sharing the bar with them.
I took a bit of a hike and ended up back at Granville Island for a re-visit. I didn’t love all the crowds on the island on Saturday, so today was a lot more manageable. My first stop on the island was to Artisan Sakemaker for a sake sampler. I’ve had sake a time or two before, but never a sampling. They were different, but a good different.
From left: Osake Junmai Sparkling Sake, Mirai Traditional Method Sparkling Sake, and Osake Junmai Ginjo Nigori Genshu. I liked the middle one the best.
The next stop was to The Liberty Distillery, where I grabbed a “liquid salad,” so to speak. I got The Whistle Punk, which is wheat vodka, ginger cordial, fresh lime, fresh basil, soda water, a chili pepper, and cracked peppercorns. It was good (and so pretty!), but a little weak. Then again, it was only around 12:30…
After the drinks, I needed some sustenance, so I headed to a place near Granville Island called Go Fish. The place is kind of hidden away, directly on the dock. As I approached at around 1:30, I was surprised to see the place was still slammed that late (late for lunch).
Go Fish is known for their super-fresh seafood, and they’re reported to have some of the best fish & chips around. I went with one piece of cod with chips and enjoyed it with a lovely view in the background.
I was pretty stuffed after all the drinks and lunch, so I headed to the apartment for a 20 minute siesta. I never take naps – they mess up my sleep schedule in the evening – but I just couldn’t help it today. I haven’t slept much this week, and I wasn’t sleeping well before I left on this trip. Those 20 minutes of being horizontal did wonders for me, though. As did the goodies at my next stop, happy hour!
I’d scoped out an awesome happy hour deal at a fancy schmancy hotel restaurant called the Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. This ridiculous happy hour deal consisted of $1 oysters (“buck-a-shuck”) and $6 Moscow Mules. Two of my very favorite things, so count me in!
Sorry, pictures of oysters never look appetizing… but these were some of the largest oysters I’ve ever encountered, and they were awesome.
I decided to do a little retail therapy after happy hour and ended up in the Gastown area. I loved all the shops; it was a cool little place. Maybe one of my favorite places in Vancouver so far. I bought a couple souvenir-type things (maple candy, mmmm!), and then went window shopping at John Fluevog.
The shoes were a bit eccentric, but I could actually see myself wearing a few of them, if not for the price. The ones in the picture here were, I think, $395. Pocket change, right? Ugh.
I walked a little further and ran into the Gastown Steam Clock, the first steam clock in the world. Who keeps track of these things, other than the Guinness book people?
I turned a corner near the clock and ran into one of the taco restaurants on my list, which just so happened to be in the proximity of another taco restaurant on my list. I considered saving both of them for tomorrow, but then I figured I’d carpe diem the crap out of those tacos.
The first taco shop was Tacofino, where I ordered a fish taco.
That one taco was $6, but it was rather substantial. It was also rather tasty. The fish darn near rivaled the fish from Go Fish earlier in the day, and I loved the crunchy cabbage. However, this taco was a pain to eat. Like, cabbage and tomato went errrrrrywhere except for in my mouth. But dang if I didn’t mind licking my fingers clean.
The second taco shop in #TacoWar2k16 was Tacomio. From Tacomio, I ordered a Carnitas taco and a Rajas Con Crema taco, plus a hibiscus aguamia (hibiscus tea + orange foam).
People seem to love the Rajas Con Crema on the internet, but I wasn’t super-impressed. The Carnitas taco, however, was pretty darn good. Not quite as good as Taqueria Pinche’s, but very tasty nonetheless. The hibiscus aguamia was good, too, but a little too sweet for my liking. I’m used to Tazo Passion tea unsweetened, so this was similar, but sweeter (and more orangy).
If I had to rate all of the taco shops I’ve been to here in Vancouver, I’d rank them as such:
1. Taqueria Pinche
But really, there are no losers in #TacoWar2k16; just winners (my belly and me).
Out of non-food shops on my to-do list, I walked back home and got in at a very reasonable hour. I suppose I have some packing to do, and I wouldn’t mind unwinding for a little while before bed.
Tomorrow is my last day here, and I have almost the full day to explore – I need to leave for the airport at around 7pm. Unfortunately, that means a red-eye flight is in my future (ugh). Better go get some rest now! 🙂