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The Hungry Nomad: 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011

October 31, 2011

La Brasserie- French Food (Vancouver, Canada)

La Brasserie is a 35 seat small cozy Franco-German restaurant located on Davie street between Thurlow st. and Burrard st. 

If you feel like French food with a twist of German you will love La Brasserie. Everything from the decor, the wine and beer list and food will take you straight to a french bistro. 

I have been there a few times and it has been hit or miss each time. Some times the service is amazing...other times like my last visit the service is off. Sometimes the food is fabulous other times its nothing above average. 

Things started off with a serving of onion soup which was less than amazing... it had no real flavor and was too watery, not enough salt and not enough cheese on top. But to make up for the soup was the delicious warm bread, butter and chicken pate paste which was served as a starter. I didn't touch the soup and instead went straight for the bread. For those who know me well it just goes to show how tasteless it really was because I rarely   pass up food. 

On a brighter note, for our main dish I ordered the 'steak onglet and fries' and my friend ordered the moules-frites. The steak was great (although a bit chewy) but I guess that is really dependent on the type of meat served rather than anything else. I LOVED the mushroom sauce and the fries were really good. My friend's mussel and fries were in her words 'very average' but just more expensive. 

I hear that La Brasserie also serves an amazing brunch. I'll definitely have to go back to experience it for myself. But for now I'll have to get my Brasserie fix through the Brasserie food truck located close to my office. 

La Brasserie on Urbanspoon

October 30, 2011

Sunday in the Gothic Quarter (Barcelona, Spain)

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October 26, 2011

Khoresht Kangar & Karafs (Artichoke and Celery Stew)

I discovered this wonderful creative dish through one of my favourite bloggers: My Persian Kitchen- and so I immediately set out on a quest to make it.
This is a combination of one of my favorite Persian stews (Celery Stew) with the addition of artichokes!!! Now artichokes is not a vegetable (or is it a fruit?) that is found in Iran or anywhere in the middle east so you will not see it used in middle eastern dishes. But given our globalized world its so easy to take original recipes and make them better. That is exactly what My Persian Kitchen has done with this dish
This is a pretty easy and simple khoresht to make unless you choose to use fresh artichokes and remove the outer leaves yourself. I chose to use canned artichokes (which are also delicious but obviously not a fresh choice). 
1 lb stewing meat
2 12oz bags of frozen artichoke hearts, fresh artichokes or canned artichokes
1 large onion
1 tsp turmeric
4 cups parsley, packed
2 cups mint, packed
2-3 tbsp brewed saffron
3 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper

Mint, Parsley, Canned Artichokes, Celery, Onions, Beef Stew Meat, Turmeric powder

Saute the celery with some olive oil. Separately chop the herbs and saute slightly then add to the celery. [if you are using fresh artichokes, cook separately and add to celery]

In a separate pan, saute onions until golden, add meat and saute until no longer pink, add turmeric and water and cook for 30-45 minutes on medium heat
Once meat is cooked add the celery and herbs and the canned artichokes with a teaspoon of diluted saffron and let simmer for another 30 minutes. If you like a bit of citrusy flavor add a spoon of lime juice or several Persian dried lime (limoo amanee) [although limoo amanee must be added earlier in the process to allow the flavors to mix

Enjoy with a side of Basmati.

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The Pourhouse (Vancouver, Canada)

The Pourhouse is one of my favorite places in Vancouver. It's got a great ambiance, good live music on the weekends and great food for the soul. It also reminds me a bit of many places in New Orleans- which makes it even more special in my eyes.

They serve a special lunch menu with some delicious sandwich options during the week making it a great place for a quick work lunch. I personally opt for the burger each and every time (it comes with a delicious serving of fries). On this particular occasion a friend and I went there for lunch. The prices are a bit on the steeper end but then again most restaurants of this calibre in the area offer similar prices (without the live music and great ambiance).

I definitely recommend the Pourhouse for any autumn/wintery day.

Lunch special: Sandwich and Soup

Cod, Pepper, Red Wine and Chorizo

Pourhouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

October 24, 2011

Sunday at Barcelonetta (Barcelona, Spain)

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October 23, 2011

The Italian Kitchen (Vancouver, Canada)

The Italian Kitchen is another one of the the Global group restaurants. It offers authentic Italian dishes in an upscale setting located in the heart of downtown. I personally enjoy all the G group's restaurants. Their food is good, consistent and the ambiance is great for a night out. 

On this particular evening, we opted for the beef carpaccio which was one of the best I've yet to try and for the main dish the portobello mushroom hand crafted pizza. They also offer an extensive list of wines. It is a bit on the pricier side but I guess you pay for the location and atmosphere. There are definitely better Italian restaurants in the city but this offers an overall great experience. Buon appetito 

Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

October 19, 2011

Le Troquet (Paris, France)

Today I'd like to share with you a long overdue post on one of the most lovely restaurants I visited during my trip to Paris. Le Troquet is one those places that just make me happy, I could've eaten there everyday that trip and be extremely content. 

Le Troquet is a small charming restaurant in the 15th with traditional cuisine, and as my local friend told me, always super busy. On the day we visited the place was packed. Lucky us, we managed to get a table without a reservation. Ha! 

The restaurant offers a 3-course menu, but you can also order some extra side dishes. All dishes are written down on chalkboards which together with the friendly service, the very good food and the homely presentation of the dishes themselves give the place an effortless warm French vibe. On the whole, I'd say Le Troquet is a great restaurant for a relaxed, cosy dinner with your date or some good friends. 

Le Troquet
21, Rue François Bonvin
Metro: Sèvres-Lecourbe

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October 18, 2011

Via dell' Amore (Cinque Terre, Italy)

As many others I prefer not to be surrounded by too many other tourists when I'm out and about doing touristy things. Silly, I know. But sometimes it just doesn't matter how touristy a place is, it's just too beautiful and stunning to pass up. Cinque Terre (a group of five gorgeous villages in the Liguria area)was exactly such a place to me. Never have I seen this many tourists packed together, but also never could I have cared less. Here is a sneak peek of one of the trails between the villages. More to follow! 

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October 16, 2011

Sunday at Panepistimiou Street (Athens, Greece)

Athena overlooking her city

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October 13, 2011

Origenes (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)

The Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is more traditionally thought of as dead space for the adventurous foodie. Most (like myself) assume that, like Cancun, it’s filled with American chain restaurants and overpriced resort food (although there are some good places in Cancun as well). To some extent that’s true, but there is also some excellent street food, regional restaurants not aimed at tourists, and a growing group of internationally trained chefs that are utilizing the products of the Yucatan. 

If you want to escape from the 5th avenue tourist crowds and restaurants walk to 38th street (calle) and down to the water to Origenes restaurant. Not only is the food amazing but they have one of the most incredible Spanish guitarist and vocalists. The Count and I went there on our last night in Playa for a romantic candle-lit dinner. The service and ambiance was absolutely wonderful. 

Tuna tartar with avocado and mango

Green salad with prawns

Victor Mayer

Origenes is located at: 

  • Calle 38 y FlamingosPlaya del Carmen 77720Mexico
  • 984 8732270 

October 11, 2011

Sugar High at Thierry Patisserie (Vancouver, Canada)

Could it be true?  A french patisserie in Vancouver offering a colorful range of Macaroons, pain au chocolats and cafe au lait? 

Words cannot describe how ecstatic I was as soon as I stepped into Thierry for the first time. Vancouver definitely needs more desert shops. I have a major sweet tooth (especially after 6 pm) and have often struggled to find good dessert spots in Van city and have often had to turn to my bottle of Nutella. Thierry is  a well needed (and  well deserved for the sweet tooths) addition. 

Folks this is the real thing.  The maitre patissier Thierry Busset (formerly at Cin Cin) has done a fabulous job of bringing a bit of his homeland France to our city.I don't know if I should admit that I've been there everyday over the weekend...I was really doing it for my readers- how can I review a pastry shop if I have not tried everything on the menu? At this point, I feel confident enough to recommend Thierry to my readers. But do be careful as it is highly addictive and open late. On my last visit (or second to last visit) we went around 11 pm and the place was packed with stylish Vancouver fashionistas and foodies. It also has a liquor license which is great when you want to try one of their fabulous baguette sandwiches. 

Day 1: Latte and Pain au Chocolat

Day 2: Apricot danish

Day 3: I heart you too Thierry- Latte and apple turnover- crispy and delicious

Day 3 (Night): OK. I went twice in one day. But I was dragged there by friends...really its true. They made me. 

Day 4: Macaroons (Pistachio and Raspberry... there was no chocolate :(

Thierry Patisserie on Urbanspoon