OK, this is not going to be my “usual” kind of post, but I figure it’s summer-time, so why not!
How can I not share such a wonderful experience!
I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a food tour with The White Moustache Vancouver and, oh my, what an experience! Myself and 5 other teachers/administrators planned a day together for this foodie adventure.
One of our Assistant Superintendent’s, and someone I would call a mentor and friend for the past 8 years, just retired. In his retirement, he wanted a new adventure. He decided to connect his passions to develop another job that he could be as passionate about as he was in his education career. So, he took his love of travel, meeting new people, and food and decided that he’d love to create a business where he can give food tours of some sort. It was when he was introduced to The White Moustache in Seattle that he realized that THIS was IT.
So, you might be wondering what on earth is a food tour? These sum it up quite nicely (you can click on the messages below to go to the White Moustache Vancouver Facebook page):
Let me have the honour of describing our adventure for you . . .
As a way to celebrate the end of the school year, 5 of my friends and I got together to go on this food tour with the White Moustache. Prior to going on our tour, we talked about any food/dietary restrictions and then passed these along to Rick.
No gluten and no pork. This could be a challenging tour to plan and organize. But, without skipping a beat or asking many other questions, he planned everything (how nice).
We all met at one of our houses for pre-tour drinks and chats. Then, right on time, Rick arrived with our ride. He was going to be our driver for an amazing night full of fun, adventure, and wonderful food. Here we are before we are about to leave:
Once on the road, Rick called ahead to Lee who was already downtown Vancouver to let him know we were on our way. To help with timing, Lee goes to the restaurant before us, gets a table ready and orders the food we are going to have (food that that particular restaurant is famous for or most proud of). This means there is very little waiting for us (which is lovely). On our drive downtown (we began our journey about 45 minutes away in Cloverdale), Rick told us stories of different locations we were not going to visit that evening. He had many recommendations that rolled easily off his tongue, but he kept our destinations secret. I think he could talk about food all night! Oh yah, he did!
Our first stop was Bestie, a German street-food inspired sausage and beer parlour. They have the most amazing home-made iced tea as well! To be honest, I was a bit leery when, almost at our location, Rick mentioned that we were going to be having sausages. Since I don’t eat pork, I don’t eat sausages much either. I actually can’t remember the last time I have had a sausage. But, I must say, these were delicious! We were served two types of sausages: turkey and bison. They were so delicious! Best of all, as we talked with one of the owners, he explained where the sausages are made and how they are made with all natural ingredients. They were served with a curry-ketchup. I know, that sounds funny, but it is really good! It was so nice to learn about the origin of this wonderful little restaurant from the owners. The personal service and attention made the visit very interesting and inspiring, especially when we heard that the owners designed the inside of their establishment and hammered every nail in as well. We could tell that this was a business that was built from their heart. We wish Dane and Clinton well in their new venture!
Here are a few pictures from this stop:
Our next stop was Nicli Antica Pizzeria. Wow! I’ve never been to Italy, but from those who have, they say that the pizza here is authentic Italian pizza. In fact, this restaurant is the first VPN certified Neapolitan Pizzeria in Vancouver (VPN stands for Verace Pizza Napoletana “true Neapolitan pizza”). To become VPN certified, Niclia Antica have to follow some pretty strict and rigorous standards to ensure authentic Italian pizza. It was so delicious and truly not like any other “Western” pizza I’ve eaten. I found it interesting that the pizzas come to the table uncut. Apparently, this is how pizza is served in Italy. Who knew? You are supposed to cut your piece yourself (or not cut at all) and fold the pizza and eat. The salad was also lovely (and the gluten-free option for my gluten-free friends).
We were grateful for the beautiful evening and for the ability to walk a bit to the next destination. The photo to the left is Lee and Rick leading the way to our 3rd stop, a Carolina-style BBQ restaurant named Peckinpah. It smelled so amazing when we walked into the restaurant. Truly. But, we were already getting so full! The six of us looked at the two platters of food that arrived shortly after we were seated and just giggled. “How on earth are we going to eat all this food?” is what we shared with each other! We did, however, make a fairly significant dent in the platters. How could we not? The food here was amazing! We had the most incredible beef: ribs, brisket, pulled beef, that I have ever tried. It was so tasty! There were also a number of different salads served on the platters as well. All the salads were lovely too! This visit was really quite outstanding! (Rick had a cooler in the back of his Food-mobile, so we took the leftovers home for one of our husbands who was also impressed.)
And then, it was time for dessert… As if we had room for dessert. Oh my!
Our final destination was a lovely organic restaurant called Aphrodite’s Cafe. They make the most incredible pies! I am not much of a pie fan, but these pies were so incredible I could eat them every. single. day! We shared a number of different pies: Raspberry Rhubarb, Strawberry Rhubarb, and blueberry. Our gluten-free guests were very excited to try the gluten-free pies! Can you imagine? Rick could have just brought us for ice-cream somewhere, but no, he took the challenge and found the most amazing pies which all of us could enjoy. Again, our group was pleasantly surprised when we learned from the owner that everything made at the cafe was made with almost completely organic LOCAL ingredients! It was also lovely to get the chance to talk to the owner of Aphrodite’s and learn about how her father started Aphrodite’s in 2003. After he passed away in 2008, she felt the need to carry on the business and we are so glad she did!
With full bellies, lots of photos, and great memories, Rick took us home. The conversation was great the entire evening. On the way home, Rick shared with us more hidden gems he had done “research” on for his tour. By the end of the night, not only will we return to the restaurants we visited, but we also had an arm’s length of other restaurants to visit as well.
What an adventure. What a wonderful evening together! We experienced wonderful restaurants we would never have gone to on our own. There were no “chain” restaurants on the list, that’s for sure. I can honestly say that I would welcome a future opportunity to go to any one of the restaurants we went to that evening. The food, the owners, and their stories were all phenomenal.
One of my friends on the tour made a video of our evening. Take a look at the video Iram made here for even more photos and stories about our wonderful night together!
I would highly recommend a food tour with The White Moustache to anyone! It is a really great concept that is full of wonderful possibilities.