Vancouver Vacation

Day 4

Though we turned in early the night before, we were exhausted by all the walking we had done the day before and headed downstairs to Milano Coffee. They had special “house” drinks, such as the hedgehog with hazelnut and chocolate. The decor was very interesting inside and they stayed open pretty late.

While filling ourselves with caffeine, we rode in a Taxi to Kirin Seafood Restaurant. But, after looking at the menu and space in addition to those lining up trying to get in without a reservation, we gave our reservation to someone else and headed to Motomachi Shokudo which we had originally planned for Day 1 but weren’t hungry enough after JapaDog. We were thinking very hard between this place and Santouka since they are located very close to each other and had comparable reviews and scores. In the end, we went with Motomachi and I’m glad we did. Santouka is an international chain so we can always try it later.  I would call Robson street “Ramen Row” since we passed a lot of ramen shops on the way to Motomachi and I had to keep telling myself “hold out for Motomachi!” Motomachi is very authentic and intimate. They have a weird “$8 per person” policy, but since the space is small, I can see why they don’t want people chilling out taking seats that could be making money. We got the Spicy Miso with Chicken and the Cold Noodles. The broths were each great in their own way and had nice fresh toppings balanced with rich but bright flavors. The spicy miso was multi-note and wasn’t just hot heat.

While we were heading to the SkyTrain station towards Commercial Drive we spotted the Roaming Dragon food truck and got their Lychee Basil drink which was like bubble tea, but instead of bubbles there were lychee chunks. It was nice, but a little sweet after a while. Before we had encountered Roaming Dragon, we stopped by a Safeway next to Motomachi and hopped in to get a Canada-only cereal called Pops Cannelle. I got the Churros cereal in Florida so these required tasting.

It was raining while we were walking around Commercial Drive so we popped in to Falconetti’s for a nice long talk with some locals over some house made sausage and Canadian cider. Dan heard about this place on Food Network’s DDD and they make all their meats in-house at the meat shop next door. The Thai chicken sausage was very flavorful and the bun was nice and crispy; definitely a very different dog than JapaDog. On the way to the bus stop from Falconetti’s Dan pointed out a cupcakery called Cassia Cupcakery. Cupcakes don’t seem to be too popular in Vancouver, but they had a lot of different flavors and the option for minis. We got a chocolate with peanut butter frosting and it tasted good, but this isn’t a destination-type place.

Once we got back to Gastown, we hung out a few places while we waited for our dinner reservation, starting with Pourhouse  where the atmosphere was friendly and the drinks were good and strong. The bartenders let us try some samples of two types of Victoria Gin, and though there was a group there for a food tour, I didn’t even notice until they left. We then rounded the corner to visit L’abattoir again for drinks–Slaughterhouse (Cognac, sugar, Elixer Vegital, orange oils, aromatic bitters,
green chartreuse mist) for me and a mystery drink for Dan. Across the street was our next stop, The Diamond, which had a very interesting set-up. The Diamond is upstairs above some retail shops with large, airy windows. We sat at the bar and enjoyed watching the mixologists make everyone’s drinks which were very interesting and complex. I wish we could have had more than one drink here, since they have a mini-binder with various options organized into sections.

Our last dinner of Canda was at Nicli Antica Pizzeria. We got a pizza with lamb sausage and basil; the sausage was actually very sweet and over-powering due to the amount of cinnamon in it. I liked it, but it can be polarizing. The crust was alright. We had heard so much about Bella Gelateria that I made it a requirement to go. Thankfully they’re open late and we took a taxi just so we could eat this gelato. The flavors aren’t the most interesting I’ve seen, but they have a good variety. This place was very busy, so I understand their 2-sample per person rule. We opted for the belgian chocolate brownie and milano espresso and weren’t disappointed. It was creamy yet firm, rich and decadent yet not heavy.

The next day we woke up early to go to Amtrak, checked out of our lovely condo, and left lovely Canada! Unfortunately I had to throw out the BC-grown cherries we bought on Granville Island at the border because they weren’t allowed in the US, but I bet they tasted great!

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