Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sugar Sugar: Original Cupcakes

Original Cupcakes (a.k.a. Cupcakes Online, a.k.a. Cupcakes by Heather & Lori) may have an identity crisis when it comes to its name, but its wares know exactly what they are -- huge hunks of hand-held happiness.
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The small whimsical franchise has six locations in the Vancouver area.

We brought a box of four cupcakes back to our hotel.
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Blueberry, 24 Carrot, Lemon Drop, and Red Velvet -- a sweet afternoon delight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Scrumptious Shawerma: Babylon Cafe

Babylon Cafe (716 Robson Street, Vancouver) can barely fit a half dozen people in line.
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But the wraps certainly pack a punch.

We walked over to the nearby Vancouver Art Gallery.
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We made ourselves comfy on the steps and dug into our sandwiches.

Chicken shawerma wrap and beef shawerma wrap (CAN $5.70 each).
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Are these shawerma wraps luscious or what? Such a great lunch on the go.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lights Out: Lumiere

Daniel Boulud's Lumiere (2551 West Broadway, Vancouver) closed earlier this month. I'm not surprised. Our experience was disappointing.
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Lured by an interesting menu, many positive reviews, and -- of course -- the Daniel Boulud name, we were excited to dine at Lumiere.

Notwithstanding the dazzling presentation of every single dish, good taste escaped us. Further, we felt uncomfortable in the stodgy dining room. Service was cold and formal.

Even so, I still want to share these pretty dishes with you. The one positive thing I can say about Lumiere is that the kitchen was staffed with true artists. It was so sad that the flavors didn't match the beauty of the plating.

We chose the five-course summer tasting menu (CAN $115).

Amuse bouche.
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Dungeness crab with champagne mango, pickled papaya, piquillo pepper coulis, coriander.
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Pan-roasted Qualicum Bay scallops, sweet corn succotash, fried okra.
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Polderside Farm duck, poached cherry, Hennessy XO glaze, cardamom duck jus.
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Duo of AAA Prime Beef -- red-wine-braised short rib with potato fondant and rosemary soubise, seared rib eye with braised romaine and shallot.
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Apricot consommé, almond sable, lemon mousse, thyme ice cream.
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Madeleines and petit fours.
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It doesn't make sense, right? How could food so gorgeous not be totally awesome?

Mr. Monkey just looked over my shoulder and said, "That place sucked." It seems he is a good predictor of a restaurant's success. Au revoir, Lumiere.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Doggone Good: Japa Dog

Right outside of our hotel was a famed Japa Dog stand! How's that for lucky?
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Japa Dog has several locations in Downtown Vancouver.

Kurobuta Terimayo -- (CAN $6.75).
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Okonomi -- Kurobuta pork, Okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried cabbage, bonito flakes (CAN $6.25).
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Spicy Cheese Terimayo -- jalapeño and cheese smokie, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, seaweed (CAN $6.25).
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Nom nom nom.
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We loved Japa Dog so much that we grabbed some dogs during both of our Vancouver trips. Why don't we have Japa Dog in Los Angeles?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our First Vancouver Digs: The Sutton Place Hotel

We went to Vancouver twice in a short span. Both times, we flew on Allegiant Air to Bellingham, WA for just $15 each way and then drove across the border. Yes, you read that right. $15!
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The best place on Earth? You are a confident region, British Columbia.

Our room at The Sutton Place Hotel in Downtown Vancouver was lovely. I'm told that this was where the cast of Twilight stayed while shooting. I suppose that's interesting if you're into Twilight.
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Our room was very spacious and had a pretty view of the city.

Our room also included this.
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Good job, Mr. Monkey, for booking The Sutton Place Hotel!
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