FOURTEEN: PINKBERRY, BERRY GOOD
Best summer treats in Vancouver
If you live in Surrey or Langley or Delta or Arkansas, you might need guidance in finding Vancouver's best street food. Well, you've got it: Eat Your Cart Out, a culinary tour brought to you by The Tour Guys. For $35, they'll take you to five street food locations with primers on and samplers from each. They work with 15 street vendors. by the River Rock Casino. Last count: 85 food stalls. The rival Summer Night Market took over the old spot at 12631 Vulcan Way in 2008, with 61 food stalls. At the new spot, I'd look for Le Tigre's signature dish, Kickass Rice, cooked with sake and dashi and topped with lots of refreshing herbs and a poached egg a $3.50 dinner. (Any wonder? Bajus used to be in sales for Energizer Canada Goose Heli-arctic Parka Outlet Ireland batteries.) Her bars contain locally sourced dried fruits, nuts, seeds, gensing and honey. Fans include professional athletes, triathlete Killam Nathan and long track speed skater Kevin Jagger. $2.99 at Whole Foods, Nestor's Markets and some independents.
SEVENTEEN: VEGAN POP BY BETA 5
FIFTEEN: BACON BOURBON MILK SHAKE
The Juice Truck makes cold pressed juices. It involves a pulverizer ("best said with an Arnold Schwarzegger accent") and a hydraulic press to avoid pulping, heating and oxidation. They sell blended juices and smoothies like Almost Chocolate (banana, medjool dates, almond butter, rawn cacao, raw maca, soy milk) and The Glove (pear, banana, cacao nibs, raw maca, hemp seeds, medjool dates, vanilla, maple syrup and almond milk). You'll find them in the red truck at the corner of Abbott and Water St.
Musette Cafe's motto: "We eat and drink to ride." You can actually wheel right into the cyclist friendly cafe or make a pit stop. Secure bikes with locks provided and a security video gives you eyes to the outside. Grab a house made Musette energy bar, a sandwiche, Liege waffle, gluten free baked goods or the popular To Die For (brand name) banana bread. They make a damned good cuppa coffee (49th Parallel) too. 1262 Burrard St.
One of my guilty pleasures is a Dairy Queen soft ice cream cone but I found something better. Fat Dragon BBQ's fresh daily soft ice cream cones. Flavours change daily. As name might suggest, they're fatter than DQ's. 566 Powell St.
Beta5 's Dairy free Fudge Pop is the vegan's answer to the better Fudgsicle. Made with banana, chocolate, coconut milk and honey. But who needs to be a vegan. While there, have a little love affair with the excellent chocolate products. 413 Industrial Ave.
The best meal I'd had in a long time was at Lummi Island's Willows Inn. Dinner is do able without an overnight stay at the inn but why not stay at the waterfront inn? The young chef, Blaine Wetzel, picked up a few tricks at Noma, oft cited as the best restaurant in the world. His umpteen course meals are amazing. The Deighton Cup, on August 10 and 11 is a mini Kentucky Derby, named after city pioneer "Gassy" Jack Deighton. On the 10th, it's pearls and swine Big Smoke event with a pig roast dinner, scotches, craft beers, cigars and of course, betting. It's a $95 package. The mango lassi is a delicious summer cooler. (Earlier plans to set up the truck at Fisherman's Wharf at False Creek on weekends didn't pan out.)
EIGHT: BORDER CROSSING FOR A TASTE OF HEAVEN
A family friendly chain. Choose the frozen yogurt flavour, scoop up how much you want, select toppings (fruit, berries, nuts, candies, sauces) and go to the counter and pay. It's 55 cents an ounce. There are 100 flavours with about 14 displayed each day. (pina colada, mocha almond fudge, red velvet, no sugar). 15775 Croydon Dr., Surrey (Morgan's Crossing); 2315 Cambie St.; another to open any moment on Westbrook Mall, UBC.
It's so blasted cold you don a Canada Goose down jacket to enter Bearfoot Bistro's ice vodka room. Once inside The Belvedere Ice Room, choose from 50 vodkas perched in the ice walls or go for the $48 flight. The room accommodates 12 and sometimes, vodka inside the rocks is part of the restaurant's tasting menu. "Vodka is meant to be enjoyed at this cold temperature because it takes some of the burn out and you can appreciate the flavours more," says publicist Dee Raffo. If teeth are rattling, step back into summer and food on the patio with views of Sprout and Rainbow mountains. On August 30 Vancouver has its inaugural 'white dinner', a la di da flashmob dinner where everyone dresses in white, brings a small table (and white tablecloth). The location is kept secret until shortly before the event but it'll be somewhere urban, very public and very large (1,200 diners). It costs $30 (includes international Le Diner membership and Paypal). There's an option of a catered option a three course meal prepared by none other than Top Chef Canada, Dale MacKay. Catch them at farmers' markets (Trout Lake on Saturday, Kitsilano on Sunday, Main St. on Wednesday). "Salted caramel is far and away our best seller," says Ernst. The cardamom and the whisky hazelnut aren't far behind. "Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos," says Ernst's favourite fridge magnet. They sell for $5 or you can take home a $9 half litre glass jarof ice cream which can be refilled every week. $58 pays for admission to the garden and a picnic basket for two with sandwiches, salads, beverages, cheese, crackers, grapes and cookies. Insiders recommend The Meadow Garden, the Great Lawn or the hidden bench along the fragrant Azalea Path. Two dollars from each picnic basket sale goes to Karma Exchange, a non profit which funds education for girls in Ghana.
At Save on Meats milkshakes are made the old fashioned way, with house made ice cream, in a 1942 Hamilton Beach milkshake maker. They make the classic vanilla, chocolate or strawberry as well as special creations like bourbon milkshake or bacon bourbon. The ice creams are also soda float and banana split ready, if you so desire. 43 West Hastings St.
Summer is a speed demon, racing to autumn. To help you figure out what to do, where to go, what to eat in that precious sunshine, here are 20 ideas to munch, sip, lick and enjoy.
Low fat, not too sweet, with natural toppings and healthier than ice cream who cares that Pinkberry is an international chain. Served in cone or dish. Located at Park Royal South and Metrotown in Burnaby.
EIGHTEEN: MENCHIES FROZEN YOGURT