Noodles from head to toe at Van Foodster's Noodle Mania
How much do you love noodles?
Enough to go to nine different restaurants, sampling different types at each one? Well your eyes may say "YES, PLEASE", your belly might just say "NO MORE" after slurping, or shoveling, in the sixth or seventh plate.
That seemed to be the average number of restaurants completed during Vancouver Foodster's first ever Noodle Mania. If you followed the Twitter hashtag #NoodleManiaYVR at all during the event, you'd have noticed as the night progressed there were more and more "roll me out of here" and "uber full" comments flying around.
On a mission, I made it to all nine restaurants, and even had time to enjoy some pear tea at the start of my journey with the co-owner of Shaktea, Maria.
Driving from place to place was key that night, as my normal biking pace may have been slowed down by my ever-growing belly, bite after bite. It also helped because the distance between restaurants was vast, at least in the mindset of a girl from the island. We covered almost all of Vancouver, venturing from Yaletown, over to Kensington, down to Kerrisdale and back up to Kitsilano.
Let the journey begin.
Noodle Stop #1
Re-visiting The Mac Shack in Kerrisdale for some tex mex delight, the Bacon Cheeseburger Mac.
Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni and Vegetarian Macaroni
Noodle Stop #2
Being tempted by $2 wine shots while enjoying good compay at NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar.
Noodle Stop #3
Eating Pad Thai beside a rainbow at Bob Likes Thai Food. Imagining myself back in Thailand but being brought back to Vancouver as I discover I have no chopsticks to eat with, but a fork.
Noodle Stop #4
Chatting with the volunteer, loving the decor and taking photos of the monkeys in the tree as I eat Pad See-lw and Pad Thai loaded with peanuts at Urban Thai Bistro.
Pad See-lw and Pad Thai
Noodle Stop #5
Twisting Pinot Grigio infused spaghetti elegantly around my fork at Yaletown L'Antipasto and attempting to do the same with the delicious papperdelle with fennel sausage.
Spaghetti in a Pinot Grigio sauce and Papperdelle Rosse
Noodle Stop #6
Staring at the wall of whisky (over 360!) at Fets Bar & Grill on Commercial, chatting it up with the Chef and loving the spice in the Makers Mac & Cheese.
Makers Mac & Cheese and Cajun Cream Chicken Linguini
FYI I found the recipe for the delicious Cajun Cream Chicken they made that night -- I'll be sure to test it out.
Noodle Stop #7
Taking ridiculous photos of James eating Shrimp and Crab Paste Noodle Soup at Hai Phong on Kingsway.
Shrimp and Crab Paste Noodle Soup
Beef Noodle Soup
Noodle Stop #8
Staring at special CHAU cookies and thinking about sunshine as a twirl the mini umbrella in my fingers at CHAU veggiexpress.
Soft Tropical Rainstorm and Sliding down the Sanddunes
Noodle Stop #9
Slurping a Fire on the Ice slush with coconut jellies and painfully, but happily, eating the vegetarian ham and enoki pan-friend noodles at SOHO Tea Room.
Vegetarian Ham and Enoki Pan-Friend Noodles
DIY Fish Soup with Beef and Scallop
Stuffed belly, the journey is done.
Considering that there were roughly 200 people participating in the event that covered all parts of the city, it wasn't surprising that I didn't run in to some of my good friends who were also on the tour. It was surprising though to only encounter one moment where I was told the wait time would be roughly twenty minutes; the rest were all within ten. Restaurant owners and staff handled the large crowd in a polite and efficient manner with (almost) all of the food being warm and freshly made to order.
A unique experience? Definitely. Do I want noodles for a while? No, but when I'm ready for some more, I have a pocket full of places that I know I'll return to.
For more information on the event check out http://noodlemania.ca/
If you love staring at noodles, check out my Noodle Mania set on Flickr.