Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Canada: Day One – Vancouver!

Well…in truth, about half of Day One was spent in an airport on on a plane somewhere.  But we landed in Vancouver around 2pm PST (4pm CST) and were starving.  So we hit up The Italian Tomato in Richmond, which was close to the airport and recommended by the agent at our rental car company.  The neighborhood looked a little sketchy, but the food was quite tasty.  They were dead, but I think that has more to do with the fact that we were there at 2pm.  I can personally recommend the Fettuccini Veneziana, a spicy chicken & sausage pasta dish.  The lunch portion is $11.95, but HUGE.  The Hubs & I split it and each had a small salad, and we were STUFFED.  Good stuff.

After that, we meandered our way north to Granville Island to do some exploring (and to hit up the 4pm tour of the Granville Island Brewery).  After spewing a few choice words at our GPS and getting turned around about 3 times, we finally made it to the island, just in time for the tour.  Actually, we ended up being the only people there, so we got a private tour!  Tours run $9.75/each and include three 4 oz samples of any of their brews on tap.  They had eight taps, so we each picked three and shared.

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Personal favorites: The Winter Ale and the Hefeweizen.

Our tour guide, Chloe, was awesome, sat around & chatted with us for quite a while, and made some recommendations for places we should check out before leaving town.

After finishing our tasting, we walked around the island a bit & headed to the Public Market…

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… where we learned that a) Canadian groceries are more expensive than U.S. groceries, and b) our stereotypical American lack of metric math skills gives us quite the handicap when it comes to guesstimating prices of things.  We averted this potential roadblock buy simply not buying anything. :) 

(FYI—there’s about 28 grams in 1 ounce, or 450 grams in 1 pound.  Just in case you need it for the future.)

The view from the pier behind the market is FANTASTIC, especially at night!!!

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After leaving the island, we headed to Gastown (aka downtown) on Chloe’s recommendation to check out Steamworks Brewing, another brewery that, unlike Granville, also has a restaurant attached.  They have a “Beer of the Day” special that will get you a 20 oz “sleeve” for $5.50 rather than $6.75 (score!).  We tried the Pale Ale and the Lion’s Gate Lager, and got a plate of Poutine to share for $7.95.

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Ahhh…poutine.  It was everything I imagined.  In the words of my Hubs: “It’s like crunchy mashed potatoes…with cheese.”  AKA: Delicious.

(Also—just so you know, the parking meters in Vancouver accept American change.  Just in case you run into a coin crunch….which may or may not have happened to us.)

After dinner, we made the drive further North over the Lion’s Gate bridge to North Vancouver where our hotel was.  And then we crashed around 8pm.  Because we’z wuz tired, yo.  Getting up at 4am CST will do that to a human. :)

More tomorrow!


  1. Glad you enjoyed the poutine ... although I'm a bit embarrassed that our national dish is so unhealthy (hanging head in shame). And yes, I'm well aware of the price of our groceries, which is why I go a little crazy when I travel to Buffalo! I swear the farmers must feed our chickens solid gold or something ...

    1. It's okay. Everyone says equates "apple pie" with America, but I'm fairly certain if they did a consumer report, we probably all eat more Krispy Kremes and McDonalds than we do pie.

      We had to buy groceries while in Whistler (I'll post about that eventually), and paid about $6 for 125g of deli meat. Which is about 4 that would equate out to $24/lb....for pre-packaged slices of sausage & salami. We typically pay about $3/lb for deli meat. Ouch...