Since August of 2012, Girls on Food has grown from a team of 2 bloggers to a team of over 40, all over USA, Canada, and Mexico. My goals are to host someday a GOF convention, where we can all hang out but in the meantime, your favorite girl-gang will be hosting foodie events regionally.
Our first ever blogger meet-up was hosted by Smoke’s Poutinerie (thanks to our friends at All Points Public Relations) in Hollywood.
For those not quite sure what poutine is, it’s a French-Canadian dish that originated in Quebec; French fries get topped with cheese curds and a light brown gravy. It’s a hot, savory and cheesy dish. And while a lot of Americans aren’t familiar with it, it’s growing in popularity after being referenced on South Park and now with Smoke’s Poutineries popping up nation-wide in the US.
The owner of this Smoke’s franchise location, Alan Goldstein admits he’s been educating LA-locals on poutine, since the opening in 2015 but that’s all right with him. Even if some of the newer customers walk in a little confused, they walk away educated, full and happy.
GOF bloggers who attended this party were TinTin, Tania, Sara, Christina, Julieta, and Libby. Now usually, we’re a little more demure with our wardrobe choices, but considering Smoke’s is all about 80’s glam rock and flannel, we decided we’d take a more fun approach with this one. Nobody wants to chow down on poutine in Herve Leger. And besides, who doesn’t love an 80’s/flannel party?
My trip to Vancouver schooled me in the art of poutine. I ate a lot of it. This classic Canadian dish originated in Quebec but I figured Vancouver was close enough for me to indulge in it. For those who are not familiar, poutine is fries, fresh cheese curds topped with a brown gravy (stock can vary from beef, chicken or veal). Now that I learned what I think makes great poutine, I wanted to share a couple of places with you.
First stop on the poutine trail was Wendy’s…. JUST KIDDING!!!!! But I was seriously entertained that all the American fast food chains hype up their poutine. Maybe next time I’ll lower my standards and try fast food poutine…
A post about the Granville Island Public Market will be coming soon, but on the island, my boyfriend and I stopped into a place called Cats Socialhouse. I hadn’t read up too much on it and I was blown away on how great the poutine was. I know a lot of people are partial to the darker gravy (usually made from beef or veal stock) but I prefer the lighter turkey or chicken based gravy. I also prefer not adding meat to it, it’s just not necessary for it.
Airports have a reputation for having terrible, overpriced food. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from Canucks Bar & Grill (the theme is devoted to the NHL team) but I walked away a very happy American on her way home.
Canucks Bar & Grill (in Vancouver International Airport)
3211 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC V7B 1M8
More glorious poutine! I actually requested lighter gravy and regretted that, this could’ve taken a little more. I had just been overwhelmed by other places serving that thick, beefy gravy, I got a little worried it’d be like that. Darn. I should’ve enjoyed my last plate a little more. The Canadian IPA by Alexander Keith was awesome, hoppy and light, just the way I like it.
Obviously not poutine, but I couldn’t resist trying a Tim Horton’s Canadian Maple Donut. Stuffed with cream, topped with a thin layer of maple frosting. Probably not the best donut I’ve ever had, but I’m in Canada, aye.
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Vancouver, BC is a great weekend getaway for anyone on the west coast. It’s only a 3 hour flight, English is the main language, going through their customs is shockingly easy and the weather is a perfect break from the heatwave (it’s 99 degrees in October, not the pumpkin spice weather the other Girls on Food are enjoying…). I fell in love with Vancouver and I can’t wait to come back here one day. Even after I came home, I even went as far to look into professional realtors such as Eddie Yan, as one day I would love to call this place my home. I was only taking a look, but it may come in handy one day. Anyway, below are a few of my favourite foodie highlights from my 3-day vacation. Part 2 is coming soon!
My boyfriend and I had the best soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan in East Village, NYC, and we haven’t been able to find good ones since. We’ve tried almost all the dim sum places in Northern and Southern California, and we can’t seem to find any nearly as juicy. So one of our goals in Vancouver was to find soup dumplings as good as our beloved Grand Sichuan. Luckily, we found one just as good, if not better. Now we just to plan to fly back up to Vancouver whenever we get a craving…
This place was my favorite from the entire trip. When you first enter, you can see the cooks making the dumplings in house. Everything is so freshly made; the soup dumplings gush out of the wrapping with pork juices and flavor. The filling/broth ratio was absolute perfection. These are the best dumplings I’ve had since I’ve been in NYC. They also provided me with instructions on how to properly eat soup dumplings; don’t just shove it in your mouth!
Poke the dumpling and let the broth release onto the spoon, and then pop it in your mouth.
We also fell in love with the Simmer Chicken w/Basil & Triple Sauce. Dark and white meat is sautéed in a lovely dark sauce with bits of crisp basil and whole garlic cloves. We couldn’t leave without something sweet, so we got a round of Steamed Mashed Taro Buns. Perfect for those who aren’t big on sugary dessert.
This Chinese inspired luxury hotel offers all the amenities you’d expect from a high-end hotel. It’s quiet; the service is prompt, and the towels are fluffy. What I loved about my stay here was the options in food. Right when you walk in the room, you are welcomed with fresh plums, ripe and ready to snack on. The fridge is stocked with plenty of healthy (and a few not so healthy) options. I loved that my boyfriend could order a lighter breakfast, and I could indulge in a full traditional Chinese breakfast, which is what we did.
There is no way I could eat this entire breakfast, but I’m flattered they thought I could. It starts with a selection of fresh juice (I chose carrot), congee, a Chinese porridge, with choice of meat (I chose chicken), assorted dim sum, a scrambled egg dish, “small” fruit salad and Sencha green tea. It’s more than a mouthful! The dim sum was a mix of pork bao, pork shu mai, and shrimp dumplings. I need to find an excellent recipe for congee, cause I forgot how much I love it! Love a savory start to the day.
Stay tuned for more from Vancouver soon, including poutine, smoked salmon and cocktails!
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