I like to eat. This is hardly a secret. In fact, when I asked my Facebook friends to name something I love, they came back with two main answers: my daughter and food. There’s a reason why I call myself a “voracious foodie” and why my Instagram profile lists me as a “foodporn aficionado.” One of my favorite things to do is to try new restaurants, so we decided to go on a bit of a foodie adventure for this week’s vlog.

For the first stop on our culinary journey, we enjoyed some weekend brunch at The Gray Olive Cafeteria in North Burnaby. This neighborhood really does continue to evolve and change with new restaurants popping up all the time. In this case, The Gray Olive took over the space previously occupied by Ana’s Trattoria.

In some ways, you could say that they’re trying to tap into the same kind of trendy breakfast demographic as places like Yolk’s or Fable Diner. This is stark contrast to the more classic and straightforward approach of places like the now closed Jules Cafe. The Gray Olive offers familiar comfort with a bit of a twist.

Perhaps the next closest thing in this area would be Chez Meme or even what Jane’s is trying to do, but I think Gray Olive is still filling a much-needed niche in the area. Brunch came to about $35.

Simmer Huang

For the second half of our journey, we ventured over to the Metrotown area to try out Simmer Huang. A restaurant chain based out of Beijing with some 500 franchises in Asia (plus two in Toronto and one in Saskatoon), Simmer Huang isn’t your typical hot pot restaurant. It’s more like a braise or a faster-acting slow cooker.

At Simmer Huang, located next door to Trattoria Italian Kitchen and across the street from Crystal Mall, you don’t really have to do any of the “work” normally associated with having hot pot. The serving staff do all of that for you, laying out the meat and vegetables in the shallow dish, coating it with sauce, and telling you when it’s ready to eat.

The end result is a giant, mostly brown pot of food for everyone at the table to enjoy. It’s a fun concept for communal dining. The bill for our table of four came to right around $100.

I know. After trying to be all healthy for last week’s vlog, I couldn’t help but to indulge in some giant vats of carbs, cholesterol and sodium. All in a day’s work for this foodie adventure, right?