Friday, July 15, 2016

vancouver eating

In life, on vacation, you can choose two paths. You can eat to live, or you can live to eat. We chose the latter on this vacation.
Honest to goodness, one of the core reasons we came to Vancouver was to eat. You can judge all you want, but we ate some of the most incredible food. I mentioned before that Vancouver has a booming Asian population, so that is what we ate. More specifically, we ate Japanese food for every single meal except one dinner and two lunches.
I know these food posts aren't helpful for anyone who isn't going to Vancouver, but if I could save the food life of one person who finds this post and IS going to Vancouver, it's my duty to do it. I also included a story with each picture to keep the rest of you entertained. A coloring book of sorts.

Best gyozas of my dang life. It had white fish, shrimp and scallops. YUMMM!

Mark found this sushi place on yelp that had AMAZING reviews and it was close to our house. Toshi's Sushi. It opened at five and the tips on yelp said, "come early!" We took that a little less seriously than we should have. We showed up at 4:45 and there was a line DOWN THE DANG STREET! That's how you know it's good! Anyway the doors opened and people just filed in and were scrambling to find a table in this tiny place. We barely didn't make it in, so we had to wait an hour. BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT! This sushi was amazing, fresh and CHEAP. It was so cheap, it was almost weird. Definitely a must visit, but go at 4:30.

 We were in Canada on Canada Day and it actually was the worst day because everything was closed and everywhere was absolutely packed. We went to this Salmon Festival and waited for an hour to get a Japa-Dog, which sounds just offensive to me? Anyway, we had seen it on Bizarre Foods so we had to. It was good but...not worth the wait. Also this guy was getting so mad at the teenage girls that were working the cart because they were being idiots and giving hot dogs to people that had waited five minutes as opposed to the people who had been waiting 45 minutes. He was getting so angry and yelling at them in Japanese, figuring they would understand because they were working a Japanese hot dog stand...but nope, they were Korean and were 100% freaked out by this man. I was dying of laughter.

 One night we decided we were going to have ramen. It was really late, (now I don't even remember what we did that day, but I was so tired) and I was hangry. When we got to the ramen place the line was down the street, again. I had...for lack of a better word, a temper tantrum because I just wanted to eat NOW. Mark just looked at me and said, "you can't do this right now." and I just was silent and whimpery until we got seated, which was only about 25 minutes later. The ramen was good, even for me. I don't really love ramen because I hate pork belly. However everyone else really enjoyed it. It was called Ramen Soutka on Robson Street.

Okay, sorry if this raw meat grosses you out, but the first meal we ate in Vancouver, and the last meal we ate in Vancouver was Gyu Kaku, which is a form of Japanese BBQ called yakiniku. They have these little grills at each table and you grill your meat yourself. It's definitely not a relaxed dining experience because someone always has to be worried about the food, and you have to wait your turn to get a tiny piece of meat, but it's really yummy. I didn't appreciate it as much as Mark's entire family did, but that's probably because I didn't grow up with it. We don't have a yakiniku place in Utah but they are everywhere in Japan, so Mark's family was really happy to get the chance to eat here.
 Random croissant we had for breakfast! It was white chocolate raspberry and very heavenly from Little Mountain Coffee Co

We bought a dragonfruit at a little market we went to. I had never tried it but Mark ate it a lot in Thailand. IT WAS SO GROSS! Haha! The texture was so grainy and disgusting. Mark also bought mangosteens and they were sooooooo good. 

So about the Salmon Festival I mentioned earlier. We waited in line for an hour but only bought one hot dog because we thought there would be better food (like salmon!) in a different area of the festival. So after we finished sharing our hot dog we went to the food area. It was INSANE. There were so many freaking people and every line was so long. So we decided to leave to eat somewhere because the hot dog did nothing but fuel our hunger. As we were leaving I pulled up a place on yelp and we drove 20 minutes to eat there. Only, it was in the weirdest building I had ever seen. It was basically this huge shopping mall except every store was selling Chinese goods and everything was closed. Literally nothing was in English and the building was empty. We couldn't find the restaurant for the life of us. We also hit a car trying to park. It was so stressful and fueled by stress and hunger we got into a fight, as you do when you are hangry. So we just decided to go home and cool down. On the way home we saw this place that we had on our list to visit, The Fish Counter, and decided to stop.
 You guys, all of that CRAP at the Salmon Festival and the weird zombie apocolypse asian mall  and the fighting and the hangry was 510 million percent worth it for these fish tacos. I HAVE NEVER TASTED SUCH A BEAUTIFUL THING. The fish was so damn fresh that I just have to use the word damn to describe it. THIS TACO WAS PERFECTION and i'm so sad that we found this on our second to last day and didn't go back. mark got two pieces of fried fish and it was also amazing. My MIL got a fried oyster po'boy and it was magical. Basically I would drive to Vancouver to eat here again no exaggeration. THE FISH COUNTER. GO. 

The one thing I didn't actually eat...squid.

The lighting sucks but this is guacamole with tuna!

Okay, I saved the best for last. There are a bunch of restaurants in Vancouver called Guu, but they are all different so I don't want to say it's a chain. There is Guu with Garlic, Guu Otokomae, Guu Kobachi, etc. They all have different menus. They are basically izakayas. Basically just like a Japanese pub. They offer really small plates so people can generally just drink a lot and have these small plates. 
I don't want to over exaggerate this so i'm going to be careful...
this. was. the. best. meal. I. have. ever. had.

Okay, technically they are two meals because we had dinner at Guu Kobachi and went to lunch at Guu with Garlic the next day, but holy crap. The cool thing is, at dinner, we got to try so many different dishes since they were each only a few dollars. Everything was delicious. I originally ordered tandoori chicken and fries because #whitegirl aka I was nervous to eat raw fish, but once I tasted the guacamole tuna I just couldn't stop myself and ate evvvvverything.
Their lunch specials are different, you get to choose what you want to eat off a little tray for an appetizer so I chose potato salad (Japanese people make potato salad mashed and it's amazing) and I also got a salad. Then I got miso soup which I loove. I got a pork garlic dish and it was so freaking good. Mark had Japanese fried chicken with a pink tartar sauce and it was heavenly. It was so good you guys, I can't stop thinking about it!

Or any of the food we ate for that matter. It was so yummy and in the pictures toward the end of my trip I have a visible food baby, but it was worth it! I would go back for the food, and we just might!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

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