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The Hungry Nomad: 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012

February 29, 2012

Pizzeria Barbarella (Vancouver, Canada)

In an essentially dead zone in terms of the night life/dining scene goes, Pizzeria Barbarella has opened its door bringing the neighbourhood authentic Italian Pizza. It seems these wood oven baked pizza shops are popping up all over the place and the competition is tough (competitors including Nicli Antica and Pizzeria Farina). 

We entered  at 8 pm on a Friday night to a half empty restaurant, the walls were dark with very limited decorations which I found to be a bit depressing. Lit candles at each table with light music in the background. I found it to be a really weird atmosphere. Perhaps its the fact that the restaurant has not yet received its liquor license but it was a really sombre setting.

The pizzas were good but pricey- the same as those found at downtown restaurants but assuming the rent is lower- shouldn't the food be less expensive? Pizzas ranged between 9-20 dollars. We ordered three pizzas: the Funghi, Margherita and the Amatriciana (see menu). The first two were good although I found the margherita lacked the necessary mozzarella cheese to make it really cheesy; however, it was a good solid pizza with the pizza dough perfectly chewy yet crispy. The Funghi pizza was the best of the three with a perfect amount of cheese and mushrooms.  My pizza (the Amatriciana) was awful to the point that I could only have a slice. It was covered with tomato sauce and onions which pretty much took over other flavours which were so desperately trying to reach out to my senses and also lacked in cheese. It tasted pretty much of bread and onions. I really wanted to love this restaurant as I love nothing more than pizza but I have to say I left unsatisfied. I do hope they step up their game as the area really needs more restaurants and the place has so much potential. The restaurant has received great reviews by other bloggers so perhaps its was just that particular evening and that particular pizza. However, it is worth a try for the pizza lovers amongst us.

Pizzeria Barbarella on Urbanspoon

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February 27, 2012

Brunch at Italian Kitchen (Vancouver, Canada)

I've been to Italian Kitchen on various occasions but never had gone for brunch. The service was great from finish to start. Our server very attentive- going through the menu with us and being patient with older members of our party. The food was really good. We ordered the Spaghetti and Kobe meatballs, the Lamb Sausage Hash and Prosciutto Pizza. I didn't find the Kobe meatballs to be out of this world like many have suggested instead I found the lamb sausage hash to be bursting with flavours and very delicious preferring it over my own Kobe meatball spaghetti dish. The best part of the meal had to be the dessert. We ordered the Italian donuts and Tiramisu. The Italian donuts were out of this world. Hot and chewy with melting milk chocolate in the middle making for an explosion of flavours in your mouth. The tiramisu was light, fluffy and the perfect amount of sweet. 

The restaurant is on the pricier end of the spectrum but the ambiance, service and menu make it well worth it. 

Spaghetti and Kobe beef meatballs
Italian Donuts


Hungry Nomads Must Try Brunch Menu Suggestions: 
1- Italian Donuts
2- Lamb Sausage Hash

Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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February 22, 2012

Milk Bar (New Orleans, USA)

The Milk Bar is hands down the best sandwich shop in New Orleans. It serves a variety of gourmet sandwiches, po boys and salads. The likes of Psycho Chicken, I Dream of Aubergine and Clooney's choice are available- and are all delicious. The space is small and always full- conveniently located across from Touro hospital for the doctors amongst us who crave a sandwich here and there. The walls are pink covered in cow artwork and the delicious smells permeate the room.  You order your sandwich and take a seat while its prepared by the team.  The menu is extremely creative with sandwich combinations I've never tasted. We tend to order the psycho chicken and the Clooney. I've never tried the milkshakes but also hear that they are to die for. You also get a free lolly pop which always brings a smile to my face. If you are not from New Orleans you may have a hard time finding it since its tucked away into a small side street off of Saint Charles. Just follow your nose and stomach I am sure they will lead you there. 

Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

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February 20, 2012

Hubbub Sandwiches (Vancouver, Canada)

The quest to find the ultimate sandwich has resulted in a search through town for the best and tastiest.   A few months back while walking back from the courthouse I discovered Hubbub Sandwiches: A small sandwich shop located conveniently for my sake across from the courthouse. It was love at first bite. Their sandwiches are each made with detail and love. You can feel it in every bite. I have only tried the turkey sausage and pulled pork which I love equally. However, the turkey sausage has carved a special place in my heart...or rather stomach. The sausage is made locally and tastes extremely fresh with the right amount of herbs and spices for that extra punch. The bread made in house is chewy and ever so delicious. Each sandwich comes with a long strip of onion and a delicious messy sauce. I am a big fan of adding chips to my sandwiches so you can imagine how delighted I was to find out that you have the option of ordering a side of house made chips, corn cob, quinoa salad or coleslaw. 

Hubbub also makes delicious salads...although I am yet to try. I have gone in there with the intention of getting a salad but have succumbed to my stomach's pressure and ordered their turkey sandwich on most occasions. In my humble opinion, Hubbub has created the perfect sandwich.

The Boys hard at work

House made chips
My favorite: Turkey Sausage Sandwich
The Killer Combo
Turkey Sausage Salad
Pulled pork sandwich

Hungry Nomad's Must-Try Suggestion: 

1- The Turkey Sausage Sandwich
2- House Made Chips
Hubbub Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

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February 17, 2012

Savary Island Pie Company (West Vancouver, Canada)

For those of us growing up on the North Shore Savary Island is a household name. Sadly, I have long since moved downtown and on rare occasions travel back to West Vancouver. What occasion could be better than wedding dress shopping for a dear friend at Blush wedding store located a block away from the best Pie company in Vancouver? 

We went on a rainy winter day and it seemed all of Vancouver had gathered in this small shop. I found that its hard to get around since the tables are overly large and chairs are spread all over making it hard to maneuver. The line up extended all the way to the entrance. To say the space is cramped is an understatement but I guess as long as they continue baking the best best breads and sweets in town than no one will complain. 

We tried the blueberry pie and their breakfast wrap which were both delicious. I also bought some baked goods to take home with me including their olive oil infused bread...which I found to be too greasy- the oil leaked through the paper bag and covered my friend's car's leather seats. They do offer more healthy treats and if you do go don't give up on the opportunity to try what they are best known for: their pie. 

Slice of blueberry pie

Savary Island Pie Company on Urbanspoon

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Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...in New Orleans

Nope! Its not Christmas....Its almost time for Mardi Gras!!!

I will take a wild guess here and say that many of those reading this blog have  never experienced carnival season or 'mardi gras'. Others don't even know what it is. I had read about Mardi Gras in my high school french class and always wanted to come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Who knew that destiny would make New Orleans my home allowing me to experience this wonderful time of year first hand.

For many here, Mardi Gras season seems to be more important than any other holiday. That is because Mardi Gras brings with it weeks of music, parades, floats, parties, balls and playing dress up. (Any excuse will get your average N'awliner playing dress up). Many are part of 'societies' or 'krewes', have balls to prepare for, and most importantly ride in a 'float'. Now not anyone can ride in a float...you have to earn your place in a krewe. The whole process and tradition is still a little cloudy to me but all in all in simple language modern day mardi gras season is an excuse to party day and night for one whole month (it seems like a month at least) leading up to fat tuesday and lent. Basically the average Christian is getting it all out of their system before lent.  There are different parades everyday. And you have to attend all of them. Since each has its own creative theme and floats. Riding the floats are many in really beautiful outfits (other times not so much) throwing colorful beads and other goodies at those who yell loud enough and manage to make eye contact. I happen to have mastered the 'googly eye' and so was happy to have my neck full of beads by the end of each night (that and having a really tall fiance that can reach over everyone else).  Everywhere you look you will see flashes of purple, green and gold. Purple being my favorite color you can imagine how happy this color scheme makes me.

The city pretty much shuts down for the duration of the mardi gras season. There are people running around the streets day and night in crazy costumes. And generally everyone is just happy. As happy as I have seen such a large group of people.  I'll be writing more about my mardi gras experience along with adding a bit of a historical context and explaining the traditions. I am also on a mission to eat my way through all the king cakes in town to find the best one. What is a king cake?  A delicious treat to be found in most bakeries around this time of year. I've had many kingcakes in Europe although New Orleanians have  added their own flare to it (as they do to all things) and splash it with purple, green and gold colored sugar and fill it up with delicious fillings including cream cheese, pralines, etc. Any suggestions as to the best King Cake in town? Do share your thoughts. (Also note: I collected the photos below from the wonderful world wide web. I will be adding my own collection shortly). 

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