Monday, March 09, 2009

Friday, March 6th - Granville Island Market and Cognac Cream Crevette

Breakfast was cereal at home with soy milk. O, my sister had cereal and toast.

Lunch was at the Granville Island Market. It's a great place, close to downtown across the False Creek, that has fresh produce and other market goods. They also have a decent food court. O had a perogy plate. (photo coming) I never go there because I find it a bit dodgy that it's run by an asian family and not a polish family. If I want to pay extra for perogy other than the frozen kind at the supermarket, I sort of want to know that they're somewhat more authentic than what I could do myself. Years ago when I first visited vancouver I went to the same stand and it was a eastern european woman running it but still the same mass produced, perfect looking perogy. Actually, right behind the counter you can see the freezer with the perogy in there. That first time I came, when I was still living in Montreal, there were far less sushi places and there was this GREAT perogy place on Denman near sunset beach around where the Vera's burger place is now. I think the shop that had the perogy place is now a sushi place. I tried to go back five years later and it was gone. But they had clearly handmade perogy with a dozen different flavours. I imagine that the white dough filled with cheese and potato fell out of favour during the Atkins craze of the late nineties. Oh well. Progress. Whacha gonna do.

O's perogies, steamed, came with a 'healthy' dollop of sour cream and fried onions and a side of boiled cabbage salad.

I had a salad at the Fresh Salada and Smoothie stand near the top end of the food court near the Coffee bar. I had a selection of three salads and a half pita pocket. I had the, couscous and fresh basil, mini cheese ravioli with broccoli and carrot in a vinagrette and a three bean salad.

Afterwards, O had a walnut and carrot muffin and I had a vegan brownie at the bakery next to the Soup place. They were just okay so I'm not going out of my way to remember the name. Though I have to say the muffin was a good size and looked chocked full of nutty and carrotty goodness. My brownie on the other hand, though chocolatey was very cakey and not fudgy AT ALL.

O and I also bought a bottle of craft Sake on Granville Island. It is handmade in small batches and sells out all the time. It is just amazing. You've had sake in sushi restaurants or at a bar, you don't realise the full extent of the potential of this rice wine. It is well and truly a WINE. But the good stuff in the stores are REALLY REALLY expensive and for the most part, people don't perceive the value but you would if you tried it. There are hints of fruit and body that is not found in the cheaper more 'methyl' varieties. But if you buy it on Granville it's a reasonable price for VERY VERY good sake.

O bought a half bottle of their most expensive one, for 22$ and 35$ for a full. The black label, the Jenmai Nama Gensu. It is the most subtle, dry and full bodied with hits of maple. It does not have as much sediment as the blue but really do not fear the sediment, it's part of the craft charm. We also bought a bottle of their NEW SPARKLING SAKE. It's made from their 'middle' line in the red label called Junmai Nama. It is sweeter and lighter and melony, strawberry elements. The small stoppered bottle cost 24$ and the effervescence added to the delightfully complex flavour. Since it is unpasteurised and not boiled beyond recognition, you are encouraged to finish the bottle in a month of opening and 3 months of purchase. We had the sparkling for dinner (photo to come)

For dinner, D had house guests staying from Montréal and they cooked us dinner. (photos to come) We had a few lovely wines, courtesy of D our host. The first was a great Cava, Pares Balta Brut. Spain makes alot of great sparkling white wines that I think rival very decent champagnes. There are some that I even prefer to champagne and prosecco. Under 30$ a bottle, this is a great alternative to the french selection. With dinner we had two reds, Southermost from Patagonia in Argentina. For around 20$, it is a FANTASTIC cabsav choice. Full bodied, decent length not too sharp, like I like to say, it has round corners. The other was a Matchbook Syrah 2006 from Bunnigan Hills. Lighter than the Southernmost but still has decent length. I can't stand reds that give up right after they hit your tongue.

G and G made dinner. To start was an avocado salad with chopped red onion and apple and simple vinagrette. Lovely. The main was a shrimp in a creamy cognac sauce with the classic frenchy mire poire, or aromatic staple in french cooking, carrots, celery and onion minced. Similar to a sofrito in spanish or holy trinity in cajun or ginger/garlic/scallion in korean, it forms the base to alot of the cooking. They served it on rice. Very rich. the shrimp they bought on Granville island were amazingly plump and fresh. Dessert was a lemon tart.

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