After surviving the Grouse Grind, I felt that I deserved a culinary reward. Thankfully, I live in a city that has no shortage of good food, so I went on over to CityTV’s 5th Annual Taste of the City. I went to the same food festival last year, but I found the venue to be much more inviting this time around. The food, on the other hand, was nowhere near as classy, nor was there as much variety as I had seen in the year before.
The way that Taste of the City works is that you go to a ticket booth and buy a sheet of food tickets (not to be confused with food stamps). They were available in sheets of 10 for $5 or sheets of 20 for $10. In both cases, it works out to 50 cents a ticket. I would have liked if there was some sort of incentive to buying the larger sheet, because otherwise you have no real motivation to pony up the extra five bucks up front. In the end, Susanne and I split 30 tickets between the two of us.
One of the first stops that we made was at the Nando’s Chicken booth. Nando’s is well-known for making some truly fantastic barbecue chicken and our experience at Taste of the City was no exception. The outdoor BBQ could be detected from blocks away. The chicken itself was cooked on an open flame, and then you had the choice between three sauces that they would then slather onto the crispy skin. There was lemon herb, medium hot, and extra hot.
Joey’s Restaurants was in attendance, and we decided to give their Ahi tuna taco a go. The girls manning the booth, so to speak, were nice to look at, just like the servers in the restaurants themselves. Unfortunately, the food at this outdoor venue wasn’t nearly as attractive. I’ve had the Ahi tuna at Joeys before and it was definitely better than what they were offering at Taste of the City.
We went later in the evening (around 6pm), so there weren’t as many people around as there would have been earlier in the day when Taste of the City opened its doors at noon. The festival ran until 8pm.
Keeping with the barbecue theme, I walked on over to Sate Satu, a place that specializes in modern Indonesian food with a distinct Dutch influence. Their barbecue skewers looked a lot like the food at Richmond Night Market, so I wasn’t all that interested. I believe it was 6 tickets for 2 skewers (which works out to $1.50 per skewer). They had beef balls and chicken chunks.
I know that there is more to Indian food than just butter chicken, but it’s a staple and I couldn’t help myself. Here is the plate from Maurya Indian Cuisine. For four tickets ($2), you get some rice and a few chunks of succulent butter chicken.
One of the newer eateries in town is Cassis Bistro, located near Homer and Pender in Downtown Vancouver. They were offering Coq au Vin (free range chicken braised in red wine, mushrooms and pancetta) and the pot that you see below, Daube de Boeuf, which is basically a boneless beef shortrib stew with Porcini mushrooms and red wine. The meat was tender and very tasty.
Last, but definitely not least, the BC Chef’s Association was in attendance, but they weren’t doing anything fancy at their booth. Instead, they were serving up bratwurst with sauerkraut on a hot dog bun. I topped it off with a little ketchup and dijon mustard. Yum.
Yes, I stuffed my face and it was great. It wasn’t quite a Japadog and I’m not quite Kobayashi, but that bratwurst was satisfying nonetheless.