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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Anatolia’s Gate

While the name might conjure up spooky images of a bad ’80s horror movie or a cheesy black metal band, Anatolia’s Gate is actually a Turkish restaurant offering plenty of delicious and interesting departures from the usual Middle Eastern donairs and such.  We’ve stopped by a few times since I first heard about it through a coworker this summer and each time were pretty impressed with the food so it’s high time for a review.

On the first visit we ordered Chicken Guvech, Urfa Kabob, Ezme, and Lavash.  There were a couple of mistakes with our orders but the staff was extremely polite and friendly so all was forgiven.  And besides fixing our orders they let us keep an extra order of lavash on the house so that was nice too of course 🙂

Anatolia's Gate: Lavash

The Lavash bread ($2-$4-$6) is the star of the show at this restaurant and was selected as one of the 101 things to taste in Vancouver by Vancouver Magazine.  My coworker had gushed endlessly about it at work and seemingly drooled at the mere thought of it, so Wendy and I made sure to include it in our meal.

Anatolia's Gate

Anatolia's Gate: Lavash

It’s baked to order right in front of you at their traditional hot stone oven along with many of their other dishes.  You can choose whole wheat or white for this or any of their other dishes that use this dough and we ended up trying both (they’re both equally delicious).  Sprinkled with oil and sesame seeds and served up warm and fluffy with a side of haydari/cacik dip (not listed on the menu but it was one of these Turkish dips which are similar to a tzatziki), it’s something we have since stopped by to pick up just to have as a side dish for a home cooked meal.  So it’s good enough that a trip for lavash alone is worthwhile!

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Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana

A thing about Hitman is that he is into good, authentic food as much as I am. He’s always looking for the truest form of preparation for a certain type of cuisine and in reality, he is much, MUCH pickier than I am =P On our first date we were at a Thai restaurant and I ordered a green curry. He asked if they actually had Thai eggplant instead of the usual westernized version made with peas…
Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana exterior

So if we were to have pizza….of COURSE we have to have the most authentic one!! Somehow he found out about Via Tevere. Located near Commercial Drive, Via Tevere makes and serves authentic, Napoli pizza. Visit their website for the strict list of criteria.  In essense, true Neapolitan pizza, as required by the Associazone Vera Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), must be baked in a wood-fired domed oven using precise amounts of certain ingredients from specific locations.

.Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana interior

They open at 5pm every day. We arrived at quarter after and the restaurant was busy but we still managed to get a table right away. However a lineup formed pretty soon after.  The wood-fired dome oven is situated in the back.  The server was very attentive.
Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana: Frittura Napoletana

We started with an appy of Frittura Napoletana ($16 for 2) which is a sampling of deep fried Neapolitan street food.  From the left, it’s mac and cheese, risotto, potato and cheese, and pork meatballs.  Honestly, for the price I really did expect something a bit more extravagant…think about it…the two meatballs would be $1 each…and they were a quarter in diameter…and taste-wise not especially spectacular to boot.

My fav of the 4 would be the mac and cheese, but that really isn’t say much…the risotto is mixed in a tomato sauce, and the potato cheese concoction was kind of doughy, like a fritter I suppose.

But I digress…the star of the shows were supposed to be the pizzas anyways….

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Dine Out Vancouver 2011: Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

Last year my friends and I discovered the gems that are there in the $18 menu choices of Dine Out Vancouver.  This year L and I continued that trend and our (well, mostly mine…my friends spoil me!!!) choice was Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company, which is mainly a pizzeria.  An organic one mind you.  It IS in kitschy Kits after all.

I like the fact that their Dine Out menu offerings are all available on their regular menu, which means that if I enjoyed something a lot, it wouldn’t be “limited edition”, never to be tasted or seen again (I’m talking to YOU!  And YOU!!!)

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

Rocky Mountain basically has two large dining areas.  The inner area houses the open kitchen where you can see the pizza-making people at work!  We were lucky to be seated right beside the kitchen.  They didn’t even have to walk out of the kitchen to serve us our food!

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

There they also have the pizza oven.  The stone exterior is just for show though.  The inside of it looks completely industrial.

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The King’s Head Pub

The King’s Head Pub really isn’t a place I would’ve chosen to go to, based on how it looks.  It looks really dingy and dark and dirty.  However the reviews mostly seem to be good, citing good food, good drinks, good atmosphere.  Plus, the new friend that I made  suggested we go there as it’s one of his favorite haunts, so there I was as an adventure~

It’s your basic pub restaurant with the usual types of food- steak, burgers, fish & chips, pizza, beer, etc.

The King's Head Pub: Steak & Mushroom pizza

It was actually $6.99 pizza night, so we both ordered one.  My choice was the Steak & Mushroom.  It was decent.  It had a thin crust, but the middle part seemed to be soggy.  There was an abundance of topping though, with lots of mushrooms and steak pieces.  It was very tasty despite the soggy parts.

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