DAVIDsTEA’s Choconut Oolong

DavidsTea Choconut Oolong

I’ve been a fan of DAVIDsTEA for a while now (who isn’t??).  My longtime favorite has always been and still is Mulberry Magic (why haven’t I blogged that yet??).  One holiday shopping day though I tried one of the limited edition flavors – Choconut Oolong – in latte form…and it blew my mind.

DavidsTea Choconut Oolong

I can only describe it as Nutella-in-a-cup. You are immediately hit with a shot of earthy nuttiness similar to biting into a Brazil nut. Ingredients include cocoa husks and cocoa beans along with natural and artificial flavoring (I’m betting hazelnut’s in there). The addition of liquorice gives it a natural sweetness so no additional sweetener is necessary!! The cocoa flavor is the least prominent though.

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Nuba (Kitsilano) & the Ra Energy 7 day challenge

A couple of weeks ago Wendy and I attended the Ra Energy product launch at Nuba in Kitsilano.  Ra Energy is a local company that produces seed mixtures to top your favourite foods with to add texture, flavour, and nutritional value.  Ra comes in garlic, plain, and naturally sweet varieties.  They teamed up with Nuba for their launch party to allow attendees to sample all three versions of their product in a variety of the restaurant’s dishes.  We took on Ra Energy’s 7 day challenge, but here’s the Nuba portion first:

Nuba and Ra Energy: Red Lentil Soup

To get us started as soon as we walked in we had Red Lentil Soup ($4).  The soup was blended and creamy in texture, and we both found the garlic flavour Ra was a great addition.  They don’t use sodium in any of their products, so they add a lot of garlic powder to ensure flavour in this blend.  It also has a nutty flavour and a crunchy texture that worked well in the soup.

Nuba and Ra Energy: Adam Hart

Once everybody had arrived the founder of Ra Energy (and author of healthy eating book The Power of Food), Adam Hart, gave us a pep talk about his product.  All I can say is this guy is living proof that Ra Energy works; he was so animated and full of energy that I had to snap quite a few pics before I finally got one of him standing still!  The enthusiasm was contagious and everybody was in a great mood when we sat down to partake.

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El Pulgarcito

We were on the block of Hastings which El Pulgarcito inhabits because we were trying to get into Bo Laksa King for a late lunch, another authentic foreign food experience that we reviewed.  You can read our review of Bo Laksa here.  Alas, that day we arrived during Bo Laksa’s mid-afternoon closing period in the dead zone between lunch and dinner.  But it turned out to be a happy accident as you will see…

El Pulgarcito exterior

Wendy has had a love affair with pupusas ever since I introduced her to them back at Fusion Fest in Surrey a couple of years ago.  So when we spotted this little Mexican/Salvadorean restaurant we had to sample their version of the Salvadorean staple.

El Pulgarcito interior

El Pulgarcito

Inside, the theme is the bright, bold colours of the Salvadorean flag (blue, white and yellow).  The name is also nationalistic, pulgarcito meaning Tom Thumb, which is a kind of slang term for El Salvador since it’s the smallest country in Central America.

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La Charcuterie Delicatessen and the Sandwich Nazi

After months and months of pestering I finally agreed to take the drive down to Langley to visit the notorious Sandwich Nazi at La Charcuterie Deli.  Hitman’s been there multiple times before and raved of the humor and amount of food you get for less than $10.  Less than $8 to be exact.  But the trade-off is that you have to succumb to the Nazi’s insults, crude humor, and uninvited visuals.  Hitman’s given me a preview to the stuff the Nazi has said during his visits in the past, x-rated and all, and I honestly wasn’t too keen on the uncomfortableness that’s about to ensue.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen exterior

Honestly it was only a 30 minute drive from our place.  It’s located in the middle of an inconspicous industrial area and if you didn’t plan to come here specifically, you wouldn’t even bat an eye, despite the eye-catching and quite lovely exterior paint job.  When we arrived on a weekday afternoon, the parking lot was already almost full.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen sign

As we were entering, a couple was just leaving and the lady warned us “Good luck in there~”.  Great.   Inside we found that there were about 3-4 people ahead of us, with more coming up behind.  You can hear the boisterous voice of the Nazi right away.  He sounded cheerful actually, and was in the middle of making fun of someone’s age.  When he caught sight of us, first thing he said was “I don’t believe in mixed-race marriages.  Unless they’re girl-girl, man-man, or girl-girl-man.”  Followed with a fit of laughter.  Hitman then countered, “Last time I was here, I was with a black guy friend and STILL you said you didn’t believe in mixed-race marriages!!!”.  More laughter.  Apparently the way to deal with the Nazi is to join in the banter.  That’s why the place is always so loud and lively.

La Charcuterie Delicatessen interior

This deli is also a grocery store of sorts selling imported European goods.  But I don’t think people come for the grocery much.  The main attraction has got to be his personality and ginormous sandwiches.

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Dine Out Vancouver 2013: Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company ft. Stanley Park Brewery….plus GIVEAWAY!!!

How is this year’s Dine Out fest treating everyone so far??  If you’re having trouble deciding on a final one, or even ONE, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company (RMFC) would be a great choice.  Extremely family-friendly (there’s a play area for the kiddies….and step stools in the washrooms too!!), it’s a break from the many other hoity-toity establishments around!

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company and Stanley Park Brewery

As with previous years, they are offering a great menu at $18 that includes an appy choice of either one of their salads or a soup of the day, an entree of either a pizza or flatbread creation from their regular menu, and a choice of dessert.  They were kind enough to extend an invite for Hitman and I to “dine out” at one of their locations and we took up this offer to visit their Main Street digs.

It just so happens that on the night of our visit, RMFC joined up with Stanley Park Brewery for a night of pizza making and beer tasting.  At first I didn’t pay much attention to the partnership, but as the night went along and after talking to both parties, we got an idea of how these two companies were such a great match…one word – Sustainability.

First and foremost, I really appreciated the fact that both companies are locally owned and operated.  As for the environmental side, in every step of the brewing process Stanley Park Brewery minimizes strain on the environment either by reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, or improving efficiency (more information here).  To up their cool factor, they have a specialty-built wind turbine for power to lessen their environmental impact!!  And this, my friends, is how they can boast themselves as Canada’s first sustainable brewery.

As for their beer itself, it’s free of preservatives and additives, which is why it takes them 21-28 days for a brew compared to the typical 7 days.  The result is a fresher, cleaner tasting beer.

Not to be outdone by the brewery, RMFC has maintained a green initiative since day one.  Their efforts include accomplishing a zero-waste integrated menu (use or reuse all components of what makes up their menu one way or another, including composting any waste generated, recycling etc.), using energy efficient lights, reclaimed wood, non-toxic paints, biodegradable take-out ware, efficient taps and toilets in the restaurants, utilizing green electricity, purchasing carbon offsets, and buying locally-sourced produce.  What a list huh?!

That’s all very impressive…but how does the food taste???

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