Monday 5 July 2010

Vancouver: An accidental food odyssey

When I first arrive in a new city I like to go for a stroll to get a feel for the place. And I like to do it without a map, since in order to find your bearings, you have to lose them first. And you never quite know what you will find that way. Having finally dragged my sorry ass out of bed, I went for a bit of a wander around Vancouver and stumbled upon some unexpected culinary delights.

I'm staying in downtown, and decided to head for the nearest stretch of water, the brilliantly named False Creek. The other side of it I go for a walk, take a few snaps, but I'm getting hungry. I follow a fresh fish sign and inadvertently discover Go Fish. It might look inconspicuous enough, but the queue goes round the block. Actually, it goes so far that they've closed it off for the day, so I have to come back the next day. Which was annoying, because I'd already set my heart on the chilli miso fish soup. Bummer.

I returned for lunch on Saturday. They apparently sell the best fish and chips in the world, but being English, I doubt it. Instead, I plump for a seared scallop sandwich with sweet chilli sauce and caramelised onions. It's a proper sauce too, none of that orange crap out of the bottle. Scallops are one of my absolute favourite things to eat, and here they are rich, sweet and juicy and I could eat this over and over again until I die. Just looking at it makes me want to eat it again.

Next up I accidentally discover Granville Island, and it's excellent food market. I sniff around a few stalls but the real gem has to be Lee's Donuts. Forget Krispy Kreme, these kick ass. They're the best doughnuts I've ever eaten, anywhere in the world. Period. Honey dipped Heaven. One just isn't enough.

Later on I walk past this hot dog shop and somehow resist going in. I'm back later to sample their delights which, if you like hot dogs, are reasonable enough. Somewhat bizarrely, they only sell Root Beer, and carry about fifteen different varieties. They're big on the provenance of the meat they use and the casings, which is promising enough, but somehow I don't see gourmet hot dogs ever reaching dizzying heights. That sign must pull in a fair few punters though.

This was more than enough excitement for my first three days in Vancouver. The good (or bad) news is that I'm going to be here for a few days yet. Having finally got to see an eye specialist with my corneal herpes, he wants me back on Thursday. So there's more than enough time to discover a few more treats yet, assuming I can get out of bed.

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