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The Hungry Nomad: 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011

February 27, 2011

Sweet Tooth (Istanbul, Turkey)

This week I leave you with little words but with all the more sugary and syrupy goodness hailing from Turkey. Kadayif, lokum (turkish delights), traditional candies, baklava… My favorites: coffee, mastic and bergamot flavored candies from this lovely historic store. Can you make out all their awards hanging there on the wall to the left?

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February 24, 2011

A Winter Day at Granville Island Market (Vancouver, Canada)

Whenever back in Vancouver, the first place I like to visit is the Granville Island Market. It is actually my favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday. Located under the south side of the Granville Bridge, Granville Island market has everything you can ask for. From fresh produce at the Public market to art galleries, theatre, restaurants and my personal favorite: stationary shops...I promise you won't leave empty handed. 

I start my voyage by taking the water taxi across the inlet. It's a great way to get there and pretty affordable. First stop is the public market: a never-ending row of colorful stalls, showcasing homemade products, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, Mediterranean products, teas, coffees and the list can keeps going. 

Enjoying the view from Burrard Street Bridge

Directly adjacent to the Public Market is the stores and galleries including my favorite stationary shop, hat shop, and postcard shop. One of my favorites is Beadworks. Here you can make your own jewelry from a wide array of colorful beads.  

Next are the flowers (located in the Public market). I absolutely LOVE flowers and am trying to make it a habit of having fresh flowers in my apartment at all times. What can I say flowers make me happy!  

The Count and I absolutely LOVE cheese, cured meats and other such delicacies. So much that we would both choose to have a meal consisting of bread and cheese over a nice meal any day.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this particular section of the market always makes my mouth water. 

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February 21, 2011

Wo ai ni- Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie (Vancouver, Canada)

Ok! So I finally got a chance to eat at Bao Bei last night. I've been there several times since its opening but every time the wait has been too long and we have ended up walking down the street to Phnom Phen restaurant (which deserves a post of its own).  

The food was great.  I guess you could say it is more of a tapas-type joint.  Amongst my favourites were the  the Mantou (steamed buns and braised beef shortrib), Sticky Rice Cake which consisted of  stir fried julienned pork, salted mustard greens and mushrooms (however, for those of you who have had rice cake before you will note that this is actually more like rice noodles with delicious toppings...either way I am almost pretty sure you wont be disappointed),  the Pearl Bok Choi (so yummy), squid served in a wonderful array of sauces and bok choi, and prawn and chives dumplings.  The 'whole bean' black bean sauce on the Bok Choi and other dishes was delicious and really added the flavor to the dishes. For desert I had the Deep fried banana served with sorbet(I wasn't particularly blown away). (See Menu)

The Rice Cake

Pork Buns

Tofu dish served hot & cold

What adds on to the food is the great ambiance. Located it Chinatown on Keefer street, I assume this is a new hip joint in Van city (but don't take my word for it since I've been away for much too long). The design is pretty cool: A delicate-looking row of white-painted knives fastened into the wall, antique trays crowding another vertical section, tall branches shooting out of dainty vases, an olde-tyme-looking bar, dim lighting and gorgeous wall paper lining the back wall of the restaurant. 

The servers and owner were all nice and helpful (which is always a bonus these days). OH! I guess its worth mentioning that if you are not too fond of pork then you might want to stay away as many of the dishes have stir fried julienned pork sprinkled all over. 

I am sure critics will say that there is better chinese food out there and I wont disagree (after all we do live in vancouver) but if you are looking to add a little ambiance to your friday night meal then this place will definitely do. 

Bao Bei is located at: 163 Keefer Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1X3  T. 604 688 0876  E. info@bao-bei.ca
Tuesday to Saturday 5.30pm - midnight.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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February 20, 2011

A Weekend Out (Athens, Greece)

Athens is a city which has lots to offer: history, culture, arts, food. You name it, you'll find it. And if there is one thing Athens is good at, it's entertaining its visitors. Two places I'll share with you today. Both a little outside the city centre, both equally enjoyable but each with its own distinct flavor. I apologize for the slightly dim pictures, I sometimes still struggle with my camera after dark..

The Railway Carriage Theatre 'To Treno sto Rouf' (The Train at Rouf) runs theatre and music shows in some beautifully renovated train wagons. The music wagon of today is the original restaurant wagon of the famous 'Orient Express' dating back to 1924. While enjoying a meal, a small band plays on around you in the intimate surroundings of the wagon. I haven't experienced any concert like this before and I absolutely love the concept, especially for a romantic night out. If you're in town, be sure to check out what shows are on.

Another nice stop for the weekend- but in size exactly the opposite- is the Kitchen Bar in the Kalamaki area. This spacious bar/restaurant offers coffee, drinks and American-style food. I am a big fan of the traditional Greek cafés and small taverns in the centre of Athens. But if you're looking to escape the city bustle just for a bit, the Kitchen Bar offers you a view of the bay and an island-feel from their airy and pleasant restaurant. You'll find a mixed crowd here, which makes for great people watching.

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February 14, 2011

Boulangerie Chopain (Vancouver, Canada)

Back in Vancouver and first thing is first...I must find a  neighborhood bakery to buy fresh french Baguettes.  My boulangerie hunt did not take long. As I was walking along Davie street, I noticed a long line up of people waiting to buy bread at  Boulangerie Chopain.  Never one to miss out on an investigation opportunity involving food I decided I would join the line-up. And folks I was not let down. One word for you, Chocolate-Almond Croissants (to die for). It's gooey, creamy and chocolaty and just the perfect amount of sweet. They have a wonderful range of french pastries, breads and sandwiches to choose from. While originally on a mission to buy fresh baked bread, I did end up inhaling a croissant instead. It was very fresh and I assume everything else is baked fresh to serve. On further investigation, I will write more. 

Boulangerie Cho Pain is located at 1165 Davie Street Vancouver, BC

Boulangerie Cho Pain on Urbanspoon

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February 13, 2011

Summer Inspiration II (Sicily, Italy)

Number two of Kim's post on Sicily, enjoy!

Today I'll be sharing a bit more of sunny Sicily. My favorite part of the island was by far the Southeast, where the pretty baroque towns of Ragusa, Modica, Noto and Syracuse are to be found. On the East coast Catania, Acireale and Taormina are popular tourist destinations. Rightly so, they're gorgeous towns close to the impressive volcano Etna and with some beautiful spots for swimming nearby. I'd also suggest not to miss out on beautiful drives around central Sicily and the Unesco World Heritage-listed Valley of the Temples in the South.

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