Friday, February 27, 2009

Vancouver -- A Ketchup-Free Zone

Vancouver has been chosen by The Economist as the most livable city in the world in which to live, and by Mercer as the third most livable, following Zurich and Vienna. Well, we who live in Vancouver already knew that. I have been to Paris, London and New York, and I love them all. They are wonderful cities. Truly wonderful. But when I fly back to Vancouver I am gobsmacked by the beauty of the place. We are really fairly isolated, situated on the edge of the ocean, with the mountains on one side and the rain forest on the other. But somehow the world has found us and in so doing has brought a cosmopolitan flair to Vancouver. The rest of the major cities in Canada didn't even make the top ten...

One of the things Vancouver is famous for is its restaurants. I was reading some of my favorite blogs yesterday, and I saw a comment from someone who had visited Vancouver not long ago. The commenter said, "I had been warned about Canadian food (someone had even told me the ketchup was bad), but it really was (with the exception of my host’s stew which was excellent and most delicious)!"

We get our ketchup from Heinz, which is the same as everywhere else. We don't make our ketchup here.

Anyway, Vancouver is a ketchup-free zone.

Kidding, kidding...

The the consensus opinion from the people that visit here is that Vancouver has amazing food and there are restaurants of all ethnics and cultures, and no, we don't all eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a wonderful little diner here called Café Medina, and they specialize in breakfasts and brunches. One of the dishes you can get is waffles with a topping of dark chocolate, mixed berry compote, lavender milk chocolate, pistachio white chocolate, raspberry caramel, fig orange marmalade, maple syrup, or yogurt -- for $3.15. Hold the ketchup.

Here is a "brief" list of the different types of restaurants we have in Vancouver, and how many of each there are.

• Afghan (3)
• African (3)
• Afternoon Tea (10)
• American (61)
• Argentinean (1)
• Asian (28)
• Bagels (14)
• Bar Food (45)
• Barbecue (23)
• Basque (1)
• Belgian (2)
• Brazilian (3)
• Brazilian Steakhouse (1)
• Breakfast (76)
• British (1)
• Burgers (70)
• Cajun (5)
• California (4)
• Californian (3)
• Canadian (186)
• Caribbean (5)
• Catering (52)
• Chinese (67)
• Comfort Food (33)
• Contemporary American (17)
• Contemporary Asian (24)
• Contemporary French (20)
• Continental (33)
• Creole (3)
• Crepes (12)
• Cuban (2)
• Desserts (102)
• Eastern European (3)
• English (5)
• Ethiopian (4)
• Euro-Asian (3)
• European (33)
• Fast Food (64)
• Filipino (5)
• Fish and Chips (24)
• Fondue (3)
• French (33)
• Fusion (38)
• German (8)
• Global (24)
• Greek (44)
• Hamburgers (47)
• Hot Dogs (9)
• Hungarian (1)
• Indian (39)
• Indonesian (6)
• International (55)
• Irish (4)
• Italian (88)
• Jamaican (4)
• Japanese (127)
• Jewish (2)
• Korean (16)
• Kosher (2)
• Latin (1)
• Latin American (7)
• Lebanese (5)
• Malaysian (11)
• Mediterranean (42)
• Mexican (30)
• Middle Eastern (13)
• Moroccan (5)
• Northwest (14)
• Organic (17)
• Organic Food (16)
• Pacific Northwest (130)
• Pan-Asian (3)
• Persian (1)
• Pizza (48)
• Portuguese (4)
• Ribs (12)
• Rumanian (1)
• Russian (2)
• Sandwiches (84)
• Seafood (110)
• Singaporean (4)
• Soul Food (6)
• Soup (46)
• South African (2)
• South American (1)
• South Pacific (3)
• Southeast Asian (5)
• Southern (2)
• Southwest (1)
• Southwestern (3)
• Spanish (7)
• Specialty Wines (27)
• Stadium (3)
• Steak (27)
• Steakhouse (35)
• Sushi (42)
• Swiss (2)
• Tea/Coffee (95)
• Tex-Mex (1)
• Thai (39)
• Thai French (1)
• Turkish (3)
• Tuscan (5)
• Ukrainian (1)
• Vegan (18)
• Vegetarian (84)
• Vietnamese (18)
• Wild Game (5)

Oh, and the host who made the "excellent and most delicious stew" referred to in the above-noted commenter's remarks? I made the stew...!


budh.aaah said...

Mmmm, that looks and sounds absolutely delicious..

B said...

I've heard great things about Vancouver (and I love the U.S. pacific northwest) so, it's definitely on my list of places to visit.

scarlethue said...

I've always wanted to visit Vancouver. How far is it from Seattle? My older brother is (supposedly... it's a long story) getting married in October in Portland, and my husband and I are thinking about making it into a northwest extravaganza. Might as well, don't know when we'll make it back up there. How's the weather in October?

Lorna said...

But Jo, I hear that the bathrooms are all really weird.

Kidding kidding....

Lorna the American Samurai Shiksa

Russell said...

I have always heard Vancouver is one of the best places in the world for restaurants. Anyone who visits a city like Vancouver and can't find something incredible to eat is, well, probably from some place like Texas! Heh!!

However, I do have one concern... where does a person go to have a ketchup sundae?? Heinz ketchup over vanilla ice cream... now that's living!!

jackc50 said...

sounds like you have a great big melting pot of cusine up in vancouver. tasty, you suppose that all the ketchup in the world comes from a gigantic heinz bottle...heehee. only one british restaurant? and what are canadian restaurants like? just wondering. bye 4 now, jc

Anna Kauz said...

I'd love to visit, someday I know that we will! I've never been to that part of Canada before, only Ottawa and a little beach on Lake Huron.

I do have a question, what is Canadian Food? Is there anything specifically Canadian? I noticed it on the list, and well since I'm not Canadian, I wasn't sure.

John said...

Having visited there, I can sure imagine it being the most livable city. I love Vancouver (and Victoria)!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You would have to post a picture of I am hungry and off to the kitchen to make waffles, to be topped with homemade applebutter (from the trees on my property) and I'm thinking a little whipped cream on top of all that. I will walk an extra rotation round the park...maybe.

Lover of Life said...

I loved Vancouver, although we passed through on our way to Banff from Victoria, and didn't have nearly enough time there. We will rectify that at a later date. Speaking of stew - I am currently working on the perfect stew - would love some tips if you are willing to share. I'll post my recipe once is is "perfect".

A Borg said...

Unfortunately, I have never been to Vancouver. I have a friend from there and he misses it something fierce. I had heard (not through my friend) about the quantity and quality of the restaurants there. It sounds like a great place to live... and eat.

I visited Montreal for a few days some years ago. They have some good restaurants. Though I can't name them there was an Italian restaurant attached to the Marriott which was very good. If you like Chinese, there are plenty of restaurants and buffets in Chinatown. It is also a beautiful city with a rich history.

Andrea said...

I want the stew recipe!

Leslie: said...

And don't forget Presto Cucina, our little Italian place just around the corner from you. We MUST take our "friends" there one evening. :D

SweetPeaSurry said...

I'd love to visit Canada, as it is I haven't been out of the continental US of A. With the economy the way it is, you may all need to be prepared for an invasion though. LOL (J/K)

wulfine said...

Well, I disagree with the notion that vancouver is one of the best places to live. It used to be a great place, but its deteriorated. The shootings ... the corrupt police force ... the incredible homelessness and the open drug scene ... transit that can't meet the demands of the population. Indeed, we live in a pretty city ... but, looks are only skin deep.

As for restaurants ~ sushi ... chinese ... thai ... indian. yum. oh yeah, and salmon.

DUTA said...

The diversity of restaurants may indicate a diversity in ethnic groups living in the town and its surroundings. This diversity in itself makes the city more lively than other places which are "boringly" homogenous.

Miss_Nobody said...

Wow,Vancouver sounds like a lovely place and I would SO like to visit.The picture you posted is lovely.Absoultely breathtaking.good food?All the more reason to visit. Someday,someway..

nomore said...

I'm not interested in any nice restaurant and various of foods field during my traveling...But I nbu so live in a nice place the Vancouver!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

After ten years of living in Vancouver, the restaurants are what I miss the most.... Olympia Pizza, Burgoo, the hot dog cart on Broadway.... yum!

introspection said...

Vow...! I had missed this post. now that I have read it, I also have read all the comments about Vancouver etc. I am foodie. I love to cook and entertain. With the wonderful list of resaturants you posted, I am sure the town is full of lovely food and great people, Just like you Jo.

Carla said...

I've seen a little of Vancouver. Just enough to know it's gorgeous and I'd like to go back!

Lots of Mexican and Chinese I'd be okay. And I've never liked ketchup. :-)

Deb said...

LOL...first, I am writing a piece on ketchup so I thought that was very funny you mentioned it. And just for the record, Heinz is the only ketchup in my mind suitable for eating.
Secondly, how I wish I was having those waffles and fruit for breakfast this morning.
OK, now I am officially hungry.