Foodie Festivities

My mom and sister came out to BC last week to run the BMO Vancouver 8K race with me, help move everything out of my apartment in Victoria, and to get a tour of UBC in Vancouver (my sister will likely be starting undergrad there in the fall! Yay!). So, we decided to make a culinary adventure out of the whole thing. Basically, we ate our little hearts out all around town. It was absolutely positively completely delightful! And, I took pictures! 😀

The afternoon before our run, I met up with my ma and sis in Vancouver. We picked up our race packages and bee-lined it straight for Burgoo Bistro for a late lunch/early dinner. This place serves comfort food at it’s very finest.

My sister got the Gooey Cheese Grillers (Mozzarella, Gruyere, Emmenthal and White Cheddar Grilled Cheese, Oh my) and a side of Grains and Greens.

I had the Macaroni Italiano (Mac’n’Cheese with Aged White Cheddar, Basil, Garlic, Tomato and Parma). It was a fine piece of golden crusted goodness.

The next morning was race day! We were up and Adam and ready to go bright and early. Our race started at 8:00AM and we had to take an Aquabus across the water to get downtown because the streets were all closed off for the marathon. It was kind of fun actually!

Anyways, the race was a great success. We took our time and jogged the whole way, crossing the finish line, linked holding hands. It was such a sweet feeling and we even got a medal at the end of it all, and lots of free samples and tastings.

We went out for brunch at The Naam after the run and had a big tasty meal to refuel our bods. Yum, my sister and I both ordered the Dragon Breakfast Bowl, which came with a luscious miso gravy, fresh-baked toast and homemade jam! Yum yum in my tum!

Dinner that nights was sushi at my FAV Japanese restaurant – Iki Sushi. I was so engulfed by the food that I completely forgot to take pictures. But I’ll tell you what we shared: the Yammy Roll with yam tempura, avocado, radish sprout and hollandaise sauce, the Teppan Roll with fresh tomato, cream cheese, pesto, lightly sauteed and garnished with olive oil and balsamic soy, a spinach and feta roll, a crispy artichoke roll, and a Veggie Roll. They were all absolutely spectacular.

Breakfast the next morning was at Benny’s Cafe on Broadway, on our way to check out UBC. They bake delicious fresh bagels in house and serve really yummy americano’s using the espresso beans from Bean Around the World. So, naturally, I got a bagel (multigrain, toasted with peanut butter) and a double americano. Mmmm.

Then it was off to tour the school. I think my sister fell in love (even though it was pouring rain and gloomy overhead). It’s hard not to fall in love with it – it’s a gorgeous campus!

We had lunch at Aphrodite’s Cafe & Pie Shop – Field of Greens Salad and a big slab of Apple Pie for dessert. Delicious as always.

We took a ferrie over to Victoria that afternoon and had dinner at Rebar, one of my all-time favourite vegetarian restaurants. As always, the meal started with a basket of Cascadia Bakery’s mouth-wateringly scrumptious Garlic and Rosemary Foccaccia. I then had a delicious portabello mushroom quessadilla. My mom had my fav dish – the Monk’s Curry, and my sister ordered a stir-fry. Everything was wonderful. Once again, unfrotunately, I was too distracted by my enjoyment of the meal that I totally forgot to snap some pics.

Breakfast our first morning in Victoria was at Mo:Le. My mom and I both had the Mo:Le Benny with poached eggs, avocado, and thyme roasted tomato on the most heavenly buttermilk biscuit I’ve ever eaten, topped with smoky paprika cream sauce and served with pesto hash browns. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Sara had the Feature Organic Oatmeal, which was infused with strawberry and served with seasonal fresh fruit. I snuck a little taste and it was really really yummy!

For lunch that afternoon we headed over to Cafe Bliss for a fabulous raw vegan meal. I really wish I’d remembered to take a picture of this one, but it just completely skipped my mind. Anyways, Everyone but me got the raw pizza, which is to-die-for, but I’ve eaten it a thousand time before. So, I decided to order the Bliss Grain Bowl Special, which was a Sprouted Quinoa Salad with assorted veggies and raw hummus. We all ordered dessert – I had the Nanaimo bar, my sister had the Tiramasu, and my mom got a mango mouse cake. I obviously sampled everyone’s, and they were all amazing.

I did get a couple photo’s of dinner that evening, which was at Pagliacci’s – seriously, the best Italian restaurant of all time. I had the dish called My Secret Garden, with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms marinated in red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and fresh basil on linguine with fontina cheese. Sara ordered my favourite pasta, which I’ve had about 5 times already – the Manhattan Transfer – spinach fettucine in pesto sauce with fresh basil, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, fontina cheese and mushrooms sauteed in garlic. Need I say more?

Next day in Vic was a delicious-filled adventure. Brunch was a super extravagant, piled-high, frozen yogurt waffle at Qoola. I topped mine with strawberry-banana gurt, mango, kiwi, pineapple, shaved coconut, sliced almonds, maple syrup and raspberry syrup! Yes, I know, and it tasted EVEN better than it sounds!

It was a gorgeous sunny day, so we went for a 10K walk around Elk/Beaver Lake afterward. We kind of got a little lost at the end, so it was more like a 12K walk really. And we’d already gone for a jog that morning before brekky, so by the end of it we were extremely pooped. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Royal BC Museum, grabbed a snack at the cafe and watched an IMAX movie about orphaned elephants and orangutans called Born To Be Wild. It was adorable!

For dinner, we went to my absolutely favourite restaurant EVER – Stage Small Plates Wine Bar. Words cannot describe the love I feel for this place. I seriously can’t even fathom what goes on when I’m there. It’s just the best food, best atmosphere, friendliest waiters and good times. I, obviously, forgot to take photos, though. But here’s a list of the dishes we shared: Langos Fried Potato Bread with Garlic, Quinoa Fritters with Raita and Curried Carrot, a salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini, Basil, and Grilled Bread Stuffing, Sauteed Mushrooms with Parsley, Garlic, Sherry & Grilled Bread, Pommes Frites with Parsley, Piave, Garlic & Lemon Aioli. And we finished the meal off with shared dessert, of course: Crème Brulee, Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Coulis and Crème Fraiche, and Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Langos with Crème Fraiche and Caramel Sauce for Dipping. Best experience of my life.

We had Afternoon Tea on our second to last day in Vic at the beautiful Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The meal started off with a cup of fresh strawberries, topped with cream. There’s a menu of teas to choose from, so we had the Fairmont Earl Gray while we snacked on an assorted plate of the cutest little tea sandwiches (the carrot-ginger cream cheese and the egg salad croissant were my faves, but everything was divine).

They seriously serve the most amazing scones I’ve ever tasted with an unbelievably delicious clotted cream and adorable mini jars of raspberry jam. They are, honestly, to die for.

We ordered the Kea Lani Orange Pineapple tea to enjoy with the dessert spread, which included chocolate mousse truffle, strawberry cheesecake squares, chocolate-vanilla marble cake wrapped in marzipan, tiny lemon meringue pies, and rose petal shortbread. I’m sure you can just imagine how good that was!

By the end of it all, we felt well-nourished for our day of walking and shopping. We strolled all around downtown Victoria. I picked up a couple new tops, a big comfy black cardigan and an adorable locally-made feather necklace. For dinner that night, we went to Pizzeria Prima Strada in Cook Street Village and had a phenomenal salad and Margherita Pizza.

Then it was moving day, so we picked up giant muffins from Willie’s Bakery the day before and enjoyed them for brekky in the morning. They are seriously the size of my head. Best muffins ever. The movers did their thing and then we were off to Vancouver and caught a flight back to TO the next morning. It was sad to say goodbye to the apartment and Victoria in gerneral. I had a lot of fun living there, but it’s on to bigger and better things, so I think I’ll be okay!

I’ve already been baking & cooking up a storm since I arrived home just a couple days ago, so look forward to some yummy recipe posts in the near future. I’m also back to training for my half-marathon on June 26th in Vancouver, so I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress with that too. It’s good to be back… I’ve missed this!