Just about 1 minute before this whole pandemic thing started, I spent a week in Houston with my brother. Perhaps you read about it on this blog. That week included a lot of eating of really amazing barbeque concluding with Pinkerton's which was truly the best barbeque that I have ever had (you can search it on the web version of our blog. Be sure to include the apostrophe). I declared in that post that I was sure that brisket and ribs were ruined for me unless I returned. Sure enough in the year and more than a half since, although we have not eaten barbeque often, nothing has approached Pinkerton's....until now.
Chaiiwala of London
Well, this is exciting! Chaiiwala of London has opened its first BC outpost in Abbotsford, with 5 more to come (in Surrey and Langley) in the near future. With 43 locations already in the UK (and 2 more in Toronto), this brand which has proven itself has arrived here and we are not sorry about that!Located at the corner of South Fraser Way and Gladwin Road, parking is not immediately evident. There is some behind the Scotia Bank accessible off Fraser Way via a driveway to the west, or in the strip mall off Gladwin Road to the north. Try not to piss off the strip mall tenants. The process inside is to order at the counter, find a seat and they will buzz you when your food is ready.
I'm a little surprised that Mharie and I have never been to any of Marutama Ramen's locations. A quick search of our blog reveals that it was our intention to eat at the Robson Street location after a Jazz Festival event (remember the Jazz Festival?) but it was closed and we ended up at YaYa Ramen.
I had kind of dismissed Egg Bomb as a social media opportunity kind of place but with not so much substance as their various less photogenic food producing neighbours. And yet, there we were! While it is true that EB was blowing up Instagram for a while with pretty sandwiches and breakfast dishes, we found that there were actually some pretty good eats to be had here.
Don Chepe's Latin Food
We have known about Don Chepe's for a long time but you know, so many restaurants, so little time. We love family-run restaurants that feature unique cuisines, so we finally found the time. DC serves Latin food specializing in the cuisine of El Salvador. We should have come sooner.
"Call Mr. Siopao, that's my name. That name again is Mr. Siopao." I wish to apologize for the early Simpson's reference (Mr. Plow) but I couldn't help myself. Mr. Siapao is a Filipino couple working out of The Core Kitchen in Langley. CK is a shared commercial kitchen where you can also find The Biryani Chef and Dipped Donut Co and I'm not even sure who else. There is no dining room and no front counter. You need to get in contact, place your order and arrange a pickup time. A little complicated but worth the effort.
First of all, why is Weirdo Cafe not more of a big deal in the food person community? I don't know that I've ever read a blog post about them, nor have I seen a posting on Instagram among the people that I follow. They are certainly guilty of a wildly creative menu and the dishes that we tried were successful for the most part. So am I missing something? I will admit that I'm not a big fan of the name Weirdo Cafe, although I understand that it refers to, said creative (weird) approach to fusion cuisine.
World Vegan Day
I'm not a vegan. I'm not even a real vegetarian. I call myself a week-day vegetarian which means what it sounds like. Some of you might therefore call me a flexitarian but that is a bullshit label. Literally, every human being on the planet is a flexitarian and the label holds absolutely no commitment other than to eat exactly what you feel like eating anytime or anywhere. At least I've got the weekday thing going on and to be honest, I'm not even religious about that. I stick to it for the most part. So go ahead and call yourself a flexitarian. We all will know that you just want to sound like you're doing something.
I started fooling with a vegetarian diet four decades ago after reading Frances Moore Lappe's book, "Diet For A Small Planet." It taught me about the problems that a carnivorous diet causes for the planet. I learned that 16 pounds of plant protein go into making one pound of meat protein. I also learned about protein complementarity and how all the talk of not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet is crap.
Three further personal elements went into my leaning into plant-based eating. The first was that I really like legumes and whole grains. I always loved the rice and beans that came on the side when we went for Mexican food and I realized that many world cuisines rely heavily on these two food groups which just happen to work together to produce complete proteins. Secondly, I was an inherently cheap guy and I loved that a plant-based diet was much less expensive. You could save the animal proteins for weekends and much less of your income would go towards feeding yourself. Thirdly, evidence was mounting even at the time that cutting animal proteins was far better for your health. We weren't overly aware of climate change back at the end of the 70s but that factors in a great deal now. Not to mention, the unethical treatment of animals.
Just a note about organic foods. I am not a fan. Not that I am in favour of raping the earth but organic food is the food of the privileged. Many organic crop yields are literally half of that of conventional farming. If all farmers went organic, how would the world feed itself? Not that conventional single crop massive farms are the answer either but organics are promoted by "big organic" in the same way that "big oil" continues to push its own money-making interests to the exclusion of evidence-based science and the interests of people in general. Don't be fooled. Sorry folks but the answers lie in GMOs which are safe having been exhaustively tested and investigated before being made available to the public. All you now furious organic eating people need to read some peer-reviewed science and not the health magazines available at your local health food store.
Here is what I ate today on World Vegan Day:
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