Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feb 27 - Solly's Bagelry, Fairview and Dinner and JMcF's

Solly's Cinnamon Buns
We had no food in the house. That is obviously an euphamism but not far from reality. There was half a glass of milk and even less orange juice. We normally do a warm breakfast on the weekends unless we're heading to snowboard/ski. Those mornings involve bad coffee and a granola bar. I had a craving for a big breakfast at the Elbow Room but with the Olympics still on, I didn't dare wander into town or I wouldn't get anything done. We had to go pick up our repaired blinds near Cambie Street so we decided to go to the iconic Vancouver Bagelry, Solly's on 7th and Yukon.

It is one of the only places outside Montreal and Manhattan you can get a decent bagel that is not basically a bread doughnut. Even still, a skosh too much air. I wonder if there is a float test I could perform to make my point to the uninitiated.

I have to say, though, that eating in is a tad annoying. We walked up to the pastry cabinet and tried to order a few pastries, coffees and a Eggel. Even though we'd been standing in line for a while, the rather curt cashier told me I needed to get back into the other line at the other end of the restaurant and order my Eggel and then comeback. I asked if I could pay for my Eggel first since I'd already stood in line and ordered other things and she would have none of it.

UNBELIEVEABLE. What is this, the SATs? or the DMV? So I walk to the other end of the counter, stand in line for another 10 minutes to say "Eggel on a Pumpernickel". Couldn't I have said that to the unhelpful girl at the cash? No. I was given a laminated bagel with the photo of a famous Jewish person with my order written on a note paper clipped to it and told to go pay. SERIOUSLY? Yes, it is 9h30 AM and this is far too complicated and unfriendly. I had to get back in the cash and pastry line. I stood there with my laminated bagel for another 10 minutes while a couple at the front discovered the same mistake I had made but they held up the line while the girl ran to the back to order her Eggel and then run back to the front of the line while the cashier did nothing else. It was a different guy during that 10 minutes. The original came back in time for my cash out. NICE.

The Eggel? Was a great disappointment. It comes on a sad little plate with an orange wedge and a bit of melted mozzarella. The egg is so thin and spread out it has no flavour. The yolk was entirely over cooked and the white had that browned plasticy texture. The orange wedge was paper thin. I will NEVER order this again. They have a collector card that will forever only have one punch in it. From hence forward, I will takeaway my bagels, ordering only from one simple counter and make my medium Eggel-wiches at home with a decent cup of coffee.

D had a cinnamon bun and a cappuccino and a date square for home. Well, their cinnamon buns are legend and today was no different. Their trick is to have very thin layers of dough wound several more times around. This allows for way more layers of butter, sugar and cinnamon. YUMMO! The cappuccino however was horrible. Their coffees are not worth the sit in, really, The cappuccino came in a large soup bowl sized mug full of hot milk. Last time I checked, that was a latte. In fact, as D walked up to the coffee pick up counter, yet another counter, the lady had just put out a latte before his cappuccino. They looked exactly the same.

D saved his date square for a good cappuccino at home. I ordered a half dozen pumpernickel bagel for home to go. The date square was very good. Nice mix of crust to date filling. Solly's also has all sorts of yiddish goodies to take home like, white fish, beet and horseradish, apple streudel, chicken soup, cugel, babkas, all of which I would recommend before sitting in to eat again. It felt like the Seinfeld epidsode with the soup.

Cost: $-$$
Ambience: none, house kitchen
Staff: Not service oriented and not helpful, take out is the only way to go.
Food: Coffee terrible, Eggel overcooked
Location: convenient from transportation, shopping

Solly's Bagelry
368 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Y 1M4

(604) 675-9770

for sit-in

Dinner was at my friend J's. She is so adorable. She cooked all day for us. She's a resident so I don't know where she finds the time. Actually, she used one of my brownie recipes to make for the nurses on her shift.

We started with a yummy classic and one of my favourites, Curried Carrot Soup with Yogurt and Mint. It was a delicately flavoured pureed soup with a dollop of plain yogurt topped with a fresh mint leaf. It was delicious.

The main was a Boeuf Bourguignon that was J's mom's recipe. No, that's not what I had. She was so thoughtful to ask what I could eat and she had a salmon filet with a dijon and lemon crust. It was very tastey but even more kind of her to ask. The stew, however, smelled amazing.

Despite the wonderful aroma, J was worried and called her mom before we had arrived concerned that the meat wasn't tender enough. Her mom asked her if she had remembered to marinate it in red wine for 24 hours. Um no. Everyone seemed to thin it was tender enough. But stew is funny that way. Wine does help somewhat to tenderise but so does the temperature the time you cook it. Meat does have a tenderless window in the middle. It is nice at the medium to medium well in a stew then not, then after a long long stew, it becomes more tender as the connective tissue starts to breakdown. Well, even though she was worried, everyone lapped it up and soaked it up with the bread. Stews are so comforting and are such a demonstration of care and effort from the host.

Dessert was a Strawberry and Rubarb pie from Wholefoods. Decadent. It is one of my favourite flavours of pie! One of the other guests brought some organic vanilla ice cream to go with the pie. YUMMO. I never eat ice cream anymore. No reason in particular. Just not really a good idea to have it in the house or I'll eat it all. More to the point though, I'm lactose intolerant. We both are. If I don't have too much, I'm okay but a bit uncomfortable.

Wonderful evening! Thanks J!!

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