I’m sorry, Vancouver

Vancouver Canada

A while back I was discussing something with a Canadian friend in Paris. Until – at one point, she stopped the discussion and said, “Y’know, I’m Canadian. I don’t have an opinion.” And while that may be true, before touching down in Vancouver, I decided to give crowd-sourcing where I should go for dinner another go, since I knew almost nothing about where to go in Vancouver. The only thing I knew was that it was known to have especially great Asian food. And it seemed a shame not to indulge in some of it.

Mexican food truck

Vancouver Food Truck

Since my plane was coming near the tail end of the dinner hour, and I had to be up-and-at-‘em early the next morning, I needed somewhere to go that was near to my hotel. After a day of flying, I wasn’t up for wandering around an unfamiliar city in my dazed stupor. And since I only have the barest minimum of free time, I needed to use it wisely – and make sure I didn’t eat any meals that were duds.

food truck

For an opinion-free culture, folks on Twitter sure had plenty to say about where to go, although many were eliminated since “near” was the operative word. I also learned that apologizing for everything was another trait Canadians were known for. And as we were lining up to exit the plane and race toward the border patrol area, which is usually a scrum elsewhere, I heard plenty of people apologizing and saying “Oh, I’m sorry” to each other. And letting them pass.

canada flag

On the food front, a few places kept popping up repeatedly, and looking at a map once I landed, and talking to the nice folks at my hotel, I saw thatShuraku was just a five minute walk away from where I was staying. So that was the deciding factor.

I tend to shy away from “modern” Asian, since I’ve seen so many Asian cuisines brutalized, but – wow! – the first course of cherry tomato kimchi changed my opinion, pronto. A tall, footed glass came out filled to the brim with cherry tomatoes that had been peeled and partially cooked, just enough to soften them to a silky texture. The slippery little devils were floating in a fiery red sauce with edamame and seaweed -honestly, it was one of the most curious, and spot-on-the-mark things that I’d ever tasted.

Not wanting to miss a drop, I was tempted to pick up the glass when all was said and done, but the very nice waitress – and “nice” seemed to be the operative word in Vancouver – told me it’d probably taste too salty. So I stuck to sipping my little carafe of sake on ice, which is something you almost never get in Paris – even at Japanese restaurants. And if they do have it on the menu, it’s painfully expensive. So folks stick to beer.

I didn’t take any pictures so you’ll have to trust me that the rest of the meal was excellent, including a spicy mayo spider roll with soft-shell crab, and warm yam tempura rolls. Hoo-boy, was I glad I made a beeline it over to this restaurant as soon as I landed. And to the five or six locals online who recommended it, I’m sorry. I mean – thanks.

Trees Coffee shop, Vancouver

It was confirmed how kind people in Vancouver are when, the next afternoon, between appearances on my book tour, I took a break at Trees coffee to dial up my vitality with a vegan “power” cookie and a double espresso. Spotting an empty table on the sidewalk with my treats, I went to sit at it, which seemed to cause some uncomfortable shuffling from the fellows behind me. Slipping out of my Parisian mindset, I asked if someone was sitting there. They apologized profusely and said that yes, someone was. And, they were sorry,…but did I mind?

Butt bin

Because I was visiting another continent, if not another planet, I offered to move and they thanked me for moving. In Vancouver, even the smokers are respectful, and all that I saw were kind enough to stand out of other people’s way. So they could smoke in peace, and others could eat and walk, and breath in the clean air. Plus the city is kind enough to recycle the mégots (hello, Paris?…) Vancouver is a very eco-friendly city; there are recycling bins everywhere, and, if they could, I’m sure the parking ticket machines apologize to the sun for borrowing some of its energy to power them.

solar cashier

My days and evenings were ridiculously packed, as book tours are supposed to be. But in the free moments that I had in Vancouver, I hoofed around town on foot, passing a gazillion food trucks offering everything from Mexican food, to Asian fusion.

fusion

Like “modern”, the word “fusion” on menus and restaurant signs scares me. But here in Vancouver, where Asian food is integrated into the culture, it seemed natural that people would want to take it in various directions. And they do it right.

Sushi in Vancouver

I experienced that same brilliance that I did at Shuraku, at Hapa Izakaya, which no one at my hotel had ever heard of. Which they apologized for, of course. But I found it pretty easily on my own, and pulled up a seat at the sleek bar for a quick lunch.

Hapa Izakaya, Vancouver

Even though I was pressed for time and on a highly charged schedule, the menu bowled me over since I wanted everything. And in addition to not having a lot of time, the bane of traveling solo is that there’s no one to share dishes with you. (Some locals kindly offered to join me, but I couldn’t plan in advance where I was going, or what time I would be there, or had to be back.) After gorging myself on sushi and other Asian fare the previous evening, I dialed it down just a bit (although the night before, my check for four different dishes, plus small carafe of sake was only $40), and asked the very friendly woman tending the bar what to order.

She suggested the yellowtail and another tuna dish that was on the menu. And since it’s a rare treat for me to eat fresh, raw tuna (all the seafood here is sustainably raised), each bite was savored as if it was a precious, rare gem that would never pass my lips again. The fish that was long-forgotten to me was so good, I thought I was going to cry.

Oshinko Hapa Izakaya, Vancouver

Being a big lover of anything pickled, I ordered oshinko, an overly generous bowl of pickled turnips, cucumbers, and another crunchy vegetable whose name escapes me – and operating on four to five hours of sleep a night, I’m sure you can understand why my brain was taking a leave from reality. (It may be Shibazuke.) I also had big bamboo pitcher of sake which never seemed to be empty (even though it was only 250ml, or about one cup), and I left Hapa Izakaya, I’m (not) sorry to say, a very happy man.

That afternoon I gave a talk and demo at the great Barbara Jo’s Books for Cooks in Vancouver, one of the many marvelous cookbook stores that I’m getting to visit on this trip. During my signing afterward, another one of those very nice Vancouver people, told me that she worked at a great doughnut shop, one that used only all-natural, organic, and fresh ingredients.

Vancouver

While I wasn’t exactly craving a doughnut when I finished up at 5:15pm, and needed to be back in the shop at 7pm for the big dinner I was hosting, the kindly escort from my publisher in Canada told me that she’d be happy to take me to Cartems Donuterie – even though she had worked at a doughnut shop in her younger days, the midnight to 8am shift. And, understandably, doughnuts weren’t really her thing.

Blood orange doughnuts

After apologizing for dragging her along, we gazed at the glazed, crazed, and dazed doughnuts, featuring everything from doughnuts flavored with Parmesan & honey, to brûléed hoops of fried dough, and rings coated with everything from candied blood orange to crisp tidbits of bacon.

bacon doughnuts

Neither of us, I’m sorry to say, were very hungry, but there was another orange doughnut that was dusted with a scattering of intensely flavored dried citrus peel, according to the chef (who also smokes his own walnuts for another doughnut), which we somehow devoured in a flash. And the bacon number, imbibed with Canadian rye whiskey then glazed with bacon fat, had somehow called out to us as well. And that went quickly, too.

To be honest, I’ve been eating bacon daily since hotel breakfasts seem to feature that – or at least the selections that I’m drawn to (although the granola with spent grains from a local beer maker at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle was outstanding.) But this afternoon, bacon (again) it was, and we didn’t need to apologize for our choice. I could imagine this doughnut being perfect in the morning with a cup of dark coffee. And a strong constitution. And sturdy arteries.

Japanese doughnuts

There were also savory doughnuts, in the Asian tradition, called Kare pan, to cover all the bases. (So there would be no need to apologize to anyone for only having sweet doughnuts, I suppose?)

At the risk of disappointing the “should’ves”, in the end, I didn’t get to go to any of the food trucks or carts in Vancouver. I was only half-joking to folks, who were kind enough to bring me gifts on my tour, that my little carry-on suitcase was so packed that the only place I could carry anything else was in my stomach. And that was threatening to burst as well.

blackberries

bagels

Fortunately the last day, a journalist who was meeting up with me rustled up that Canadian kindness to arrange our interview at the Granville Island Public Market, as she knew my time was pressed, which offered a terrific mix of everything, from tropical produce and fresh local berries, to pastries and charcuterie made from bison and elk.

IMG_3507

I was happy not to have that same old argument about which bagels are better, the excellent, delicious ones from New York, or the floppy Canadian ones, which both sides have pointed out are the “true” bagel. To which I point out that there are probably a number of people in Eastern Europe (or somewhere close by) that would have something to say about that. And hopefully, whoever they were, put salt in theirs.

Bagels in Vancouver

Although these looked pretty good, and I’d be the first to say that I was sorry if I had tried one and enjoyed it.

health club vancouver

(However, on a side note, I was also not happy to find that my hotel room overlooked a health club, which made me feel like a slug, because – God love ‘em – people were in there working out, starting as early as 4am. And yes, that’s when I was up every day.)

IMG_3508

Holy mère of pâtés! – even in France, I’ve never seen so many rich, shiny topped pâtés in a showcase, in my life. (On a tangentially related note, in the twisted way that I eventually get around to what I’m really trying to say _ which you’re probably used to, I was surprised to see bilingual stop signs, whereas in France, all the stop signs say STOP rather than ARRÊT.)

Stop sign

And then, all-too-quickly, it was to the airport, my only souvenirs being some great meals under my belt (which moved over a notch), and a few boxes of locally made chocolates collected in advance by my friend Pam Williams of Ecole Chocolat, who was back in Paris while I was in her lovely city. As my plane took off, I had hoped she was eating as well as I was in the lovely city of Vancouver. But if not, I’m sorry.

Vancouver chocolates

76 comments

  • I knew you were coming to Vancouver, but I’M SORRY I wasn’t able to make it to you book signing. Glad you got to enjoy your stay!

  • I remeber that my favourite place in Van was Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna, Greek Restaurant in Robson Street. It’s been 5 yrs ago, though.

  • Thanks for checking our beautiful city on the west coast. Glad to see you enjoyed it. Come to Calgary next time if you can. And thanks for pointing out the French/English thing on the Sop sign. It drives most of us nuts over here, but it’s the way it is so we don’t even bother with it/them anymore. Safe travels!

  • Vancouver is an awesome city! So green and the food is awesome. Lived in Canada for a couple years and definitely had to get used to some of the more polite mannerisms; instead of saying “excuse me” you say “i’m sorry” and instead of saying “what?” when you mishear something you say “pardon?” even amongst friends.

    Of course then moved to the US and had to unlearn all this, people thought the ‘pardon’ thing was especially odd.

  • One fave is a bistro offering “French” food, but something tells me you wouldn’t have been interested.

    Love Sun Sui Wah for dim sum.

  • David! I’m *also* sorry I missed that you would be here! Barbara Jo’s is one of my favourite shops in the city, and there are some really fabulous little cafes and food shops in that neighbourhood. Did you check out Les Amis de Fromage?

    Super glad you found Hapa Izakaya and Cartems, but next time you are here definitely try to make time for Vij’s–it’s another local legend, and well worth a visit.

    We really are spoiled here as foodies, and it’s fun to see an outsider’s perspective of these places. In any case: Loving the new book, and hope the rest of your trip goes swimmingly :)

  • Another vote for Vij’s. Very special.

  • David, I am sorry but I already prepared some chocolate gifts for you! Did you consider purchasing another suite case? See you soon in DC!

    • The problem with a 2nd suitcase is that I have to check it and with very limited time, I’d rather spend it eating than waiting for my luggage. Plus, if one bag goes astray, I’m sunk, since I’m only staying in places 1-2 nights.

  • Glad you finally made it to Canada if only to the Left Coast. Perhaps head over to Alberta to our two wonderful cities that welcome cookbooks and their authors. Vij would have been a great choice. So many great places to eat in Vancouver.

    • Thrilled that you were in my city! Sorry I missed you though. Seems like you made it to some great spots. Were you staying at the new Fairmont? (Just my guess from your photos.) If so, you missed the best gelato in the city at Bella Gelateria.
      Shocked the hotel staff didn’t know Hapa Izakaya, as it has 3 or 4 locations and is pretty popular.

  • This post had me laughing out loud ( although, for full disclosure, I am at the tasting room or vines of Mendoza… You capture the American perception of those wonderful Canadians perfectly.

  • Sounds like you are still in the whirlwind; safe travels! The Alexis Hotel is charming! Good choice. Thanks for taking us along with you. Pate-heaven, indeed!

  • The incredible lack of rudeness that is Vancouver (and the rest of Canada actually) is the polar opposite of Paris. Like sweet and sour – you have to have tried one to appreciate the other. Glad you enjoyed your visit to this lovely city.

  • Glad you had a wonderful visit to the best city in the world Vancouver. Yes, we all need to stop saying we are sorry for everything!!! You’ll love the Thomas Haas chocolates…his sparkle cookies are amazing…I make them often. Food trucks – Japadog – most tourists at least try that one…we are a little crazy here! You should have had some halibut…best fish ever!!!

  • I’m so sad I couldn’t make it to your book signing in Vancouver! I wish I had known you were in going to be in town before I made my moving plans. Pam definitely took good care of you! Thomas Haas and Beta5 chocolates were my favourites!

  • Glad you enjoyed Vancouver so much. I go there about 4 or 5 times a year and agree – the food is amazing. Even the tiniest hole-in-the-wall places have great food. As a Canadian I am NOT sorry that we have access to all the many delicious foods and beverages that have made their way to our shore from around the world. We are very lucky indeed.

  • haha… i probably say “sorry” way too much. it is definitely ingrained in us Canadians. not such a bad way to be, though – extra polite! :) glad you got to experience some Vancouver cuisine!! for your next trip, here’s a mini list of places i always recommend: Phnomh Penh (Cambodian Vietnamese food on E.Georgia St in Chinatown), Beaucoup Bakery (W.6th and Fir St), Kirin for dim sum, Le Marche St George for coffee and croissants (although perhaps you’ve had your fill!) So glad you found Japadog! And Hapa Izakaya has beeng going strong in Vancouver for years, they are nice people! Cartems is a great spot, too! Gahh just so much to see, eat and experience in so little time, it’s tough to cram it all in! I’ll agree that Vij’s is really delicious, and I’m certain the proprietors are fans of you and your work! ^__^

  • Thrilled to hear you enjoyed your time in my home town! We are an apologetic, but friendly, bunch of folks coast to coast. I stand with others recommending Calgary, Halifax & Quebec City (I know you’ve haunted the streets of Montreal & Toronto) for more great Canadian fare. If you make it to our Nation’s capital, Ottawa, I will gladly tour your though some amazing bites!

  • I was lucky to grab a book and signature when you were in Berkeley, but I really enjoyed your comments about the Canadians. They are, indeed, an “I’m sorry” group of people. But wonderful. It’s quite a pleasure to visit any Canadian city; I hope you get a chance to return, and visit Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal. All filled with terrific food … and apologetic people!

  • Safe to say you will be back. We all love Vancouver.

  • Vancouver wins hands down for the best food in Canada. I’m just so very sorry that you did not come to Toronto on this book tour! Next time?

  • I once made a Canadian friend shriek with laughter when I told her that my wife and I (both American) have been mistaken for Canadians in Europe. “That’s because you’re POLITE,” she laughed.

  • I read this while I was coming home on the skytrain, trying to contain my laughter when someone stepped on my foot. Of course I apologized because it was obviously in her way. Too bad I missed your book signing! Hopefully you’ll swing back our way one day soon.

    • I thought all the apologizing was adorable and equally funny is that people in Vancouver joke about it as well. Great food, good-natured locals, and bacon donuts? I’ll be back!

  • You stayed at the Metropolitan. From the angle of your photo of the rooftop gym, we could have had the same room. (we stayed there at Christmas.)

  • I recently went to Vancouver and ate some of the best food I’ve had in my life at Peckinpah down in Gas Town. Wow. It’s a barbeque restaurant, and they gave me this massive knife to eat my ribs, but all I needed was my fingers. So. Good.

  • Pleeeeeease come to Toronto next time.

  • Ha, I never thought we said sorry that much! When I lived in the States I also always got comments on how I pronounced sorry ( a s/a/rry vs. s/oe/rry… and would you believe I nearly just typed an apology for not knowing correct phonetic spellings of each word!)

    I’m glad though you enjoyed Vancouver. It’s one of my favourite places, although I might be biased since I was born there :)

  • Maybe they get the sorry thing from the English. I remember visiting my friend in Cambridge and she must have said sorry at least once a minute while we were out and about. I found it fascinating if not a little wearisome.

  • Ah, people from other cultures will never understand that the Canadian “I’m sorry” doesn’t really translate as “I apologise” (except, of course, when we have something to apologise for, in which case I’m delighted to live in a country where we have no objection to doing just that). “Excuse me”, “I feel bad that…”, “poor you”…it’s delightfully simple.

    Really we’re not apologetic at all. Most of us like it here. Bilingual stop signs included.

  • Sounds like you hit some of the great hotspots in Vancouver! I’m originally a Vancouverite who now lives in France and it was great to read about my hometown.

    If I had know I you were going, I would have recommended my brother in law’s restaurant, Kessel & March, a European eatery, kind of a new concept in van. It’s really amazing, my French husband says it’s better than a lot of restaurants in France. They started not too long ago so they’re struggling but I think it’s a place that deserves to become a hotspot as well.

  • Glad you enjoyed our city; granville island is pretty special on a sunny day. With a young child, we don’t get out tons, so I love getting restaurant recommendations for when we do! Thanks for that!

  • A few blog posts ago you made me super homesick for LA but with these great food recommendations just in time for my trip to Vancouver, all is forgiven again :)

  • Vancouver is my home town. And I’m seconding Lydia’s recommendation for Bella Gelateria. Their team took top honours at a recent world gelato competition, upsetting the Italian teams that normally win.

    I was lucky enough to attend a workshop at Bella last year, and every one of their 50-odd flavours is made fresh, from scratch, every day using incredible local ingredients.

    The gelato is, needless to say, unbelieavably good, and the prioprietor has a bottomless well of fascinating insights into the art and craft of making it. You would absolutely love it there.

  • I keep hearing lots of good things about Vancouver from friends in Perth who have visited. I love the food vans you featured – fun eating! Great information for a future journey to this great city.

  • Go to Scoozi’s on Howe St. (Vancouver) and get their breakfast pizza. Good enough to eat!

    I was up there on day before a King’s/Canucks game where the Kings made a dog’s breakfast out of those Nucks.

  • Soooo glad u found some of our faves Hapa Izakaya and Cartems. The earl grey donut is actually one of my faves. Haven’t tried Shuraku yet so will definitely give it a go – thanks for the recommendation where I live! Usually I just have to read your blog and dream of one day… Have a great rest of your trip and glad you enjoyed Van!

  • Vij’s is amazing!

  • Hi David,

    Over the years of happily reading your blog, I’ve had many things to thank you for, most recently inspiration for my trip to Sevilla this April. I felt like such a local, requesting a cafe cortado right off the bat. The photos from your trip there kept me going during the gray Seattle months before my own trip.

    I’m sorry (we say that here in Seattle too) that I wasn’t able to participate in your meal here or book signing so that I could personally thank you.

    One final note — I just learned that someone found my blog Slice of Mid-Life by using the search term: David Lebovitz personal life.

    I’m sorry to say, I have no idea how that connection was made!

  • Aha, Shuraku has been added to my “must try” list. Thank you!
    Vancouver is a wonderful city. We’re in Seattle, and make the Van restaurant rounds at least 1x per year. Hapa Izakaya is fabulous. We’ve forgotten to go there lately, since we discovered Kingyo (another izakaya around the corner and a block down from Hapa) a few years ago. You must try the shiso flavored shochu (tantakatan). Enjoyed your Seattle talk at the Book Larder. Happy and safe travels!

  • Sad to have found you were all booked up at Barbara Jo’s for the book signing but happy that you went to my favourite (note spelling :)) Japanese restaurant, Shuraku

    If you are ever in town again, try their monkfish liver. It’s one of the few – if not only – places that have it.

    Echo the thoughts on Bella Gelateria.

  • So happy to hear you enjoyed my hometown, wish I could have been at the book signing.
    I love Europe and am always scheming another trip there but am equally happy to live in this beautiful place.

  • Loved it when there. The food was as good as the scenery…would love to go back.

  • I heard about the book siging after it was sold out :(. My neighbour got in on it. I am looking forward to pouring through his copy!

  • Very funny article and glad to see you enjoyed what culinary treats Vancouver can offer in your short stay. Yes, “I’m Sorry” also for missing your book signing, but my wife and I have a very good excuse. We are on the last few weeks of a 77 day Europe tour which started in Valencia for “Las Fallas” March 14th and will end in London, but we will be in Paris for 10 days this starting this Saturday.

    We kind of wish that we could’ve met up with you in Paris, but we’ll follow some of your posted suggestions.

    A funny related story: We went on an historical/wine tour of Madrid wine bars/tabernas with an ex-Brit/professor guide who admonished us Canadians for saying Gracias too much.

    Oh, and Lydia, Bella Gelateria is one of the best in the world! After all, he won the world gelato contest in Florence.

  • I LOVED Vancouver when I visited in the 70th, the food obviously got light-years better since and I’m happily grinning at your description of a true food-task-force-parcours……… wonderful stuff, truly enchanting! Wish I had a reason to visit again (not likely to happen). Especially loved the double espresso pixie, something nobody knew anything about in the seventies (neither did I – but drinking terrible drip coffee and/or horrible instant brew for nearly 2 years when I lived in Canada cured me of instant stuff for the rest of my life) Life is too short to drink bad coffee (same goes for wine, and anything you put in your mouth, really….)

  • The lovely pate looks like it’s Oyama’s shop at the Public Market at Granville Island. We almost always make a run by there when we we’re in Vancouver for the day. They have the most wonderful charcuterie.

    Those of us here in the fourth corner of the US (Bellingham) head up that way for a closer-than-Seattle big city fix to eat some of that great food while the lovely Canadians head this direction to buy gas and stuff at Costco and Home Depot.

    I also recommend Vij’s.

  • Thank you for the great recommendations. I live a sweet life halfway between Seattle and Vancouver. The next time I head north, I will feast like David in that great city!

  • Great post, David. Sounds like you had a fabulous and delicious trip to Vancouver!

  • This is such a wonderful article on Vancouver, you truly encapsulated the warm and polite reservedness of Canadians. Next time you are in town, you should try Mink Chocolates (they make delicious treats with whimsical names like Mermaid’s Choice and Open in Case of Emergency), The Banana Leaf, a Malaysian restaurant with mouth watering food and Vij’s for magical Indian food.

    Wish I could have been at your book signing but I was busy getting ready to move to Paris for the summer! Looking forward to more of your inspiring posts.

  • Another vote for you to come over to Alberta. Edmonton’s cooler (erm, colder) than Calgary, so you have to come here first, sorry :) And yes, Vij’s. He makes food that even my mom, that nitpicky Indian mother, would love.

  • I’m sorry, David, but I love your blog. Love your newsletter. Love this post especially.
    Love from Vancouver! :)

  • VIJ!

  • I’m so glad you had a good trip! It was great to meet you at the book signing and your interview was very entertaining, just like the stories in your current book! I agree that Vj’s is not to be missed on your next trip! Hope you enjoyed your time with your ‘sisters’!

  • So pleased you enjoyed your stay out West – another time you must try out East….they are even more polite there!!!!!!!

  • I wish you could have made it to Calgary on your journey up to Canada! I guess you will have to visit next time you are in the country!

  • So happy you enjoyed Vancouver. I’m sure they enjoyed you too! I haven’t made it to Vancouver yet but my nephew lives there and I’m hoping to get out west for a visit this year.

  • David,

    I”m so sorry that I wasn’t able to attend your book signings :(

    I’m so happy that you enjoyed Vancouver. You visited during the perfect time too. Spring is my favourite time in Vancouver! I’m also very happy that you took some photos of Oyama Sausage. It’s my all-time favourite place in Vancouver. I can stand there for hours and smell the wonderful smokiness of the charcuterie :)

    Come visit again soon!!!

  • So sorry I missed you in Seattle by a day. I love reading about your travels. I’m an American/Canadian who, while now living back in the US, lived the majority of my adult life in Montreal, a Canadian city very different from Vancouver. Your experience of politesse when getting off the plane in Vancouver does not resemble anything I experienced in three decades of living in Montreal (and yes, I do speak French).

    One thing about your comments and photos that caught my attention was the mention of Canadian bagels. From the picture you posted I concluded that, while clearly different from New York bagels, “Canadian bagels” are distinctly different from “Montreal bagels” – the best in the world! If you haven’t tried them, you must. They can now be found in the US in Brooklyn; they are imported weekly! I’m told another must is Montreal Smoked Meat (I don’t eat beef so haven’t tried it).

    Great posts, and great pictures! Also, I am thoroughly enjoying reading
    your new book.

  • You know, I’m Canadian, so I KNOW that we apologise all the time, but seeing someone write down the constant sorries was hard to read. I’m annoyed by it and guilty of it en même temps. It was a good piece nonetheless…

  • Wow, I didn’t realize (although I’ve heard) that Vancouver was such a culinary city to be reckoned with!!! I have to say to…I’m so jealous that you got to visit all those food trucks ;-)))

  • Sounds lovely. I was only once in Vancouver for a very short working visit, and the only thing I did other than work was have lovely Asian seafood – sadly, I don’t remember the name of the restaurant; was in a work-induced haze.

    Jackie, if you eat poultry, Schwartz also does smoked chicken, turkey and duck.

    Indeed, we aren’t as polite as Vancouverites, nor as “clean-living”, but in general, we are more polite than Parisians – though these are terrible generalisations.

    Montreal bagels are traditionally small and hard, not floppy. They are slightly sweet.

  • :) I am sorry, you need to come to Montreal for the REAL Canadian bagel (sorry Vancouver) (but I really am not, cause we’re keeping them all to ourselves :))

  • When ever I travel around the world (even June-July), I hear the same thing. There are about 193 nations in the world and the two favourite nationalities, wherever you go, are Swedish and Canadian. Swedes and Canadians on the whole don’t bomb citizens of other nations, they don’t gun down citizens on their own countries, they are polite, well paid and gentle human beings.

    So free of opinion and apologetic? Perhaps. But warmly welcomed, yes!

    • @ Hels: Wd you be kind enough to add Switzerland to your list?! :)
      I’ve been to Sweden twice and lived in Canada but you haven’t been in Switzerland… We’re the ultimate friendly peeps…. (just kidding, but only a bit!). Sorry to have replied on David’s site! ;)

  • Hello, hello!

    I’m so delighted that you loved our fair city! It’s more of a big town with great big city food ideas. The crazy thing is that I thought I saw you outside of Trees one afternoon but shrugged it off as your doppelganger! What’s even more bizarre was that I had just finished listening to you on the KCRW Good Food podcast with Evan Kleinman so I attributed my sighting as one “by association”.

    Good luck with the rest of the book tour! I love Paris Kitchen and I can’t wait to try the recipes.

  • I am so happy to have this post to read just three weeks before I head off to Vancouver. So sorry to have missed the location for all that lovely paté. That spot is a must see and eat for me.
    Do tell the name.
    I am so excited to pick up a copy of your new book at the SF public library today!

    • Hi Renee – that pate place is located inside Granville Island market and they are called “Oyama”. Have fun in Vancouver!

  • So glad you enjoyed Vancouver David. Calgary is just a short one hour flight away and not only do we have a donut with bacon, but phenomenal artisan chocolate. Sorry you didn’t make it this time, but next time I hope!

  • Hi David,

    I tried to obtain tickets to see you at your book signing but they were sold out much to my dismay.

    However, what a delight it was to read your blog about my city. I am pleased, and not surprised, that you managed to find food that tickled your palate. I am also thrilled that you offered a new place for me to try in Shuraku: thank you for that bit of information.

    I moved to the city in /89 when it was possible to try every new restaurant but that time has long since passed. My regret is that you did not have more time to enjoy the many, many great ones that have popped up over the years; Vij’s being one of them.

    So pleased that you loved our city: Vancouver need not apologize.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your tour as much as is possible.

    Cheers!

  • As a Montrealer, I have to protest there is no such thing as a “Canadian” bagel – Montreal is the bagel place-to-be, and they certainly are not “floppy”! Still, Vancouver is such a lovely place, with friendly people and breathtaking scenery- so glad you enjoyed it.

  • We were at Barbara Jo’s for the dinner with you and it was a wonderful evening! Thanks for the opportunity to meet the man behind the pen. You are living a life I think we all wish we could.

    My wife Deb and I were just about on a trip to Paris this year where we were going to spend our days eating at lots of the great places that your app guides to. I’m sorry to say her father passed away the day we were to fly so now we will wait until the next time we can get there. The insights you provided at Barbara Jo’s only served to whet our appetites even more.

    If anyone has not uploaded your app, they are missing out on a fabulous collection.

    I think we all sometimes forget the impact our lives can have on others. Although you know the numbers of cookbooks you sell, the number of downloads you have had, and the number of hits to your blog, I think you can safely assume that there is a very large multiple of those numbers when it comes to moments of enjoyment from your efforts and committment.

    Thanks David for making our lives a lwhole lot better and a whole lot tastier!

  • Having moved from Portland Oregon thirty years agoto live now in Vancouver, you so nailed the city. The cosmopolitan/all things asian, the overly politeness and yes the food food food. Cannot wait to get your new book. Glad you enjoyed my city

  • I’m a Canadian living in Europe and I was actually surprised to learn that people find Canadians overly apologetic. It all seemed so normal to me, and always thought the rest of the world was just impolite ;-). Jokes aside, I’m glad you had a good experience in Canada or better yet Vancouver. One of the things I miss about Canada is multi-ethnic food done well.