Optimistically Cautious

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vancouver Day 4: Tourists for the Day

When Mack and Dickson booked their flight for this trip using Air Miles, their choice of return flights were slim. So between late Saturday and early Monday departures, they selected the latter. So I may ultimately have to thank Air Miles for their indirect provision of Sunday as my day to play tourist.

I had in mind weeks earlier that the only thing I wanted to do in Vancouver was to dine at Feenie's (2563 West Broadway). As I could not possibly afford the expense of Rob Feenie's other restaurant, Lumiere, it seemed its more casual neighbour was the economical compromise.

I made brunch reservations for us a week earlier (keeping in mind that by the day of the conference on Friday, we had a place to eat on Sunday but no place to sleep). If you know me well, you'll know that I managed to build up a set of monumental expectations in the time in between. Well, in all honesty, I wasn't shattered by disappointment, but I wasn't floored either.

Feenie's is separated into three dining spaces: a bar area; a sequestered, almost private dining room in the back; and a windowed main room where we were seated. I felt a bit claustrophobic actually, as we were mere inches from the next table. Secondly, this is my personal bias and connotation of the meaning of brunch, but sunshine is part and parcel of my favorite meal. This day offered quintessential Vancouver grey, and is one of the reasons Feenie's didn't shine for me.

Dickson and I both opted for the Omelete (which for that day included red - not green - onion and mozzarella), while Mack and Megan selected the Croque Madame, and Megan's friend Kelsey ordered the Granola.

While the presentation of all three dishes was clean and with good color, the quality of the food left something to be desired. Dickson disputes this, but I found the egg far too runny, though we both agreed the portion size was much too small. Mack surprised me, and out of all of us, seemed to enjoy the restaurant the most, even offering his opinion that the accompanying salad was meant to be a "palette cleanser" of sorts (we will make an epicurean of him yet, methinks). He was, however, quite upset with the fact that coffee cost $4, the price of which we weren't aware of beforehand.

Feenie's at last!

Our dining area

Menu

Omelete

Croque Madame

Granola

All smiles

Megan, Kelsey and I were pretty excited about Cupcakes (2887 West Broadway), located just a few blocks down from Feenie's. So after brunch, despite the rain, we trekked onward. Surrounded by pink, the shop was everything you'd expect from a cupcake bakery. I found they had an even better selection than Buttercream Bakeshoppe in Calgary or the Cupcake Bakeshoppe in Edmonton, with the option for mini 'cakes, which were great for sampling.

Having tried cupcakes from the three major western cities in Canada, I have to say Cupcakes takes the cake - I didn't even mind the buttercream frosting. So if you're in the area, it's definitely worth a visit!

We found it!

Cupcakes galore

Kelsey with menu

Yum!

Our stash

Is it just a coincidence the cupcake is called "Sweet Sixteen"?

I've seen this picture countless times, and it still makes me laugh every time...

Mack, Dickson and I parted from Megan & Kelsey (Megan was scheduled to leave that evening), and took the bus downtown, passing up both the Vancouver Art Gallery, and a movie at the nearby Paramount Theatre. We ended up chilling at Blenz, where Mack, ever the blogger, took advantage of their free wireless internet. The "London Fog Tea Latte" I had was a soothing alternative to coffee - a light tasting steamed milk/Earl Grey blend. After days of being on the go, it was nice to be able to just sit and people watch for a while, without having to be conscious of time.

The Robson Rush

Dickson looking suspiciously at Mack

Quick 'Snack at Tiffany's'

In my continuous quest to see and do as the locals do, I had picked up one of the Vancouver equivalents to Edmonton's See and Vue Magazines, The Georgia Straight. In it I saw an ad for an annual festival called Winterruption on Granville Island. The program brochure online listed numerous free events, so I thought it would be the perfect outlet to play tourist.

Entering Granville Island

Boats

This was my first time on Granville "Island," surprising especially because the area is extremely tourist-oriented, with gift shops and information booths at every turn. The mini-harbor was beautiful at dusk, with docked boats and glassy condos completing the picturesque feeling.

Mack & Dickson on the "harbor"

Not minding the paparazzi

The Public Market was amazing - had we stayed in Vancouver longer, I would have definitely purchased a few bags of groceries to cook with.

Fresh produce

Novel pasta

Amazing seafood (and I despise seafood)

Thumbing through the Winterruption brochure, I came across a free jazz concert featuring the Amina Figarova Sextet. In hindsight, we shouldn't have sat so close to stage (second row), as the trumpet especially was awfully loud. But other than that, it was quite enjoyable. Though yes, there was a movement during the September Suite where I realized a caffeinated drink at Blenz would have been a good idea.

After the concert, we were right on time to watch the Fire Show performance outside. It was brief but entertaining (though that could be the kerosene fumes talking). Under the twinkly lights of the decorated crane, breathing in the crisp-not-cold air, I couldn't have been a happier tourist.

Fire Show (Mack's shot)

For dinner, we selected the waterfront restaurant Bridges (1696 Duranleau Street). Though our dining companion Robert claimed that Bridges was at its best in patio weather, I thought the glass enclosed bistro was a wonderful bookend to a fabulous day. Classy, chic, and boasting a menu with many excellent non-seafood choices, it was my favorite Vancouver dining experience thus far. I ordered the Asiago, Mozzarella & Parmesan Pizza, served with Tomato and Basil. Delightfully thin and crispy (the product of a pizza stone), it was the best pizza I've had in recent memory.

Bridges (a beautiful shot by Mack)

Corner view

Mack & I

My pizza (which Mack ordered as well)

Dickson's stir-fried rice

With that, and an 8am flight the next morning, my abbreviated vacation came to a close. While I will long for Vancouver's trenchcoat weather, I will always be thankful for friends who are there to remind me to get off the bus. It was a blast guys! Thanks!

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Mack D. Male said...

That was arguably the most memorable moment of the entire trip..."oh my god why is Sharon still on the bus!" - it was a mix of panic and humor!

Excellent recap post - thanks!

March 3, 2007 at 12:48 AM  
Blogger Gravitas said...

You're welcome. And I'm sure looking back, that near-miss moment will continue to amuse for years to come :).

March 3, 2007 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger betty said...

Too bad that Rob Feenie and partners have separated...and edged Feenie out... Must be like having your baby adopted out from under you...

January 21, 2008 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Dolan@D Liche said...

i want to try that croque madame its look very delicious and your trip was very wandeful..

July 1, 2015 at 4:48 PM  

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