Exploring what Vancouver's culinary scene has to offer at Tasting Plates
There are so many restaurants in Vancouver that even if you go to a new restaurant every day in a week you're only just scraping the surface AND you'll be wishing you had a second job to cover costs. Wouldn't it be nice to just sample a bunch of them so you could get a general feel for what they have to offer without breaking the bank?
Enter Tasting Plates put on by VanFoodster. The premise of the event is exactly what the name suggests: to introduce hidden gems, and to offer opportunities for restaurants to gain more exposure. The summer edition of Tasting Plates (the first one was in February 2012) focused on restaurants in East Van from as far south Main and 27th and branching out to Fraser Street, Broadway and Kingsway.
And so the journey begins....
Salt Spring Coffee Company @SS_Coffee
Since registration was right by Saltspring Coffee it only made sense that`s where I would start my Tasting Plates adventure. Many people had the same idea making it a packed house inside the coffee shop with the employees were working hard to pump out coffee after coffee with a smile on their face. We had a choice of four drinks: La Labor, a seasonal coffee from Honduras, a spiced mocha, Metta Espresso, ristretto style, or a dark decaf. It seemed that the spiced mocha was the most popular most likely due to its unique flavours and wonderful presentation.
There was no shortage of spice in this beverage and it took many people by surprise by the almost overwhelming flavour it held. For me it was a great start to the night lending energy from the revitalizing citrus, the slap in the face spices and the strong espresso beans.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co @FlatbreadCo
With handcrafted and organic tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese topped pizza it seems hard to choose something bad at Rocky Mountain Flatbread. This pizza with love and caters to both the carnivore and the vegetarian. Realizing I had a night of pulled pork and meatball sliders ahead of me I opted for the one of the veggie types this time.
Sun dried tomatoes sauteed in garlic, brown mushrooms, artichokes, Capriny goat’s cheese & fresh chopped herbs.
The three other choices were: the Farmer`s Market (veggie), the Naturally Meaty with herbs and asiago, and another with ham, mushroom and mango.
Trafiq Café & Bakery @TrafiqCafe
The tasting plate at Trafiq gave the option of either a trio of sweets or savories. This is where it was useful to travel with a partner or an entourage so that you weren't limited and could try them all. After reading the choices I was glad that I had just met @wongers and @kcclaveria who were willing to share and ended up being my tasting plate buddies for the entire night.
The canape plate was vegetarian and showcased some of Trafiq's artisan breads & pastries: an artichoke quiche with sundried tomato, baked brie toast points with dulce de leche served on cranberry pecan bread and walnut rosemary bread with roasted red pepper & chevre.
The dessert plate consisted of a salted caramel pecan cookie, a decadent brownie and a lemon raspberry tartlet.