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Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant took us to French pastries, authentic Mexican food, glorious pizza pizza and Northern Chinese food – a mosaic of flavours from new establishments.
Pane de chocolate, mini Croquembouche, croissant, chocolate eclair, almond cream brioche, cheese scone , lemon meringue tart
Panidor Bakery Cafe
080 Main Street, Vancouver
Web: Panidor Bakery
Cuisine: European bakery and cafe
I’m a huge fan of La Baguette Bakery, a French artisian bakery that has been operating in Vancouver since 1982, as my company used to order numerous cakes from them for our monthly birthday bashes, so when I heard that Panidor Bakery is owned by one of La Baguette Bakery’s original founders, well…. you can scarcely blame me for running around and stealing everyone’s tasting plates at Panidor Bakery. Well, not really running as I’m hobbling from my injury from last year, but my cane is a great weapon to have to defend my stolen goods. Our samples at this Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant bakery consisted of an array of pastries accompanied by a sample of hot fragrant mint hot chocolate which had a subtle touch of mint and just enough sweetness, both of which didn’t overpower the rich chocolate flavour.
Mini Croquembouche – this pastry made me cry as it brought back memories of the Sutton Hotel’s defunct decadent chocolate buffet where they had a croquembouche tree of chocolate cream filled balls of pastries strung together by golden brown caramel threads. All I can say is that if you want to taste a little piece of heaven, you have to try this as the caramellized caramel threads around the soft pasty shells prepares your tastebuds for the creamy whip cream center. Guaranteed to make your eyes roll back in your head/.
Chocolate Eclair – pure chocolate goodness with pastry shell full of fresh chocolate cream. Hello have you seen my waistline – it’s gone missing.
Croissant, Chocolate Croissant, Almond Cream Brioche, Cheese Scone – before I cultivated my lactose intolerance to a serious dairy disorder, one of my hobbies was eating French pastries. So I can tell from one taste how much butter is in a pastry. I swear that I can smell the butter wafting from pastries I’ve had from most French bakeries even before I’ve taken a bite. I’m happy to say that these pastries had a texture more firm than most which means there’s not as much butter which gives the other ingredients a chance to shine, such as the chocolate in the odd shaped Chocolate Croissant which actually looks like a Pane Au Chocolate. Okay, it’s not as flaky, but I like the firmer texture and it’s just as delicious and is probably better for those people like me who have a sensitivity to dairy.
Lemon Meringue Tart – this is one of my all time favorite desserts as I love the tart flavour. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also one that doesn’t contain as much butter as others. Here it has a nice balance of sweet and sour being just tasty enough to make lemon fans ha-ha-happy.
And while I was waiting for my tasting plate to arrive, I saw these Crispy Donuts on the counter which look suspiciously like Cronuts by Dominique Ansel which I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to try on my numerous trips to the Big Apple as I’m not one for getting up at 5 am to line up for a piece of pastry unless there’s a bonus stud muffin thrown in as a bonus – wink wink.
Pastor Taco, pineapple and pork
Tostado & black bean, crispy corn tortilla flat topped with black beans puree, lettuce, fresco cheese, sour cream & tomato salsa
Miniature Churro with cajeta and Homemade Horchata
2815 Main St, Vancouver
I’ve been to Mexico about 5-6 times and never once did I stay at an all-inclusive, as I prefer to eat at local eateries where the aesthetics of the restaurant were not the focus, but where the food was flavourful and served by locals who put their heart and soul into their food. I’ve always been a big fan of Pastor Taco which is a traditional Mexican taco with pulled pork and pineapple. It was a healthy portion of pork that was flavourful and not dry on top of a in-house soft corn taco. The black beans were baked on the Tosado and then a handful of shredded lettuce with a sprinkling of cheese on it which made it look like an destructed taco salad. A nice complement to our meaty taco.
The Horchata is rice milk with spices and it was delicious as I’ve had some that were just flavourless and were not creamy at all as rice milk tends to have a consistency thinner than other non-vegan mills. I also had a chance to try their Jamaica drink which is a drink made from hibiscus pedals which tastes like a combination of grape and guava and is sweet and a little tangy at the same time – pure deliciousness. As a side note, in Mexico I added tequila and pomegranate juice to Jamaica for a potently delicious cocktail.
I really liked the Churro as it tasted light and crispy instead of dense like some I’ve had in Barcelona, Spain. My only wish was to have it with the typical thick chocolate sauce.
Menu prices are reasonable with tacos starting at 3.5 to $3.95 which I think is a good price as they do give you a decent amount of meat. I know I’ll be headed back soon to try more of their authentic Mexican dishes.
Spinach, Giuseppe’s choice, Chicken and Pesto and Beef Pastrami
2588 Main St, Vancouver
Web: Ignite Pizzeria
Just like sushi, it seems that Vancouverites can’t get enough of pizza. Ignite Pizzeria is another pizzeria that’s bound to be popular with the neighbourhood as they have a variety of flavours such as the cheezapoolza Four Formaggi with fior di latte, ricotta, gorgonzola and parmesan, oodles and doodles of mushrooms on the Marinated Mushroom. There’s also a Vegan’s Favorite with tomato sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, red onions which I’ll be trying at happy hour Monday to Friday 2-6 pm where $9 gets you two slices of pizza and a beer/wine.
I allowed myself two little bites of my Chicken and Pesto and Beef Pastrami pizza slices and dare I say that it’s up them with Brooklyn Pizza as the crust is crispy, not too thick and the fillings really tasty with the ooey gooey cheese. They also have a happy hour Monday to Friday 2-6 pm where $9 gets you two slices of pizza and a beer/wine.
Peaceful Beef Rolls,five-spice beef rolled in a crispy green onion flat-bread ad sweet hoison sauce
Spicy & Tangy Dumplings, soft pork dumplings served in a spicy and sour soup base
Dan- Dan noodles, spicy and tangy Sichuan pepper peanut sauce, spinach and minced pork
43 East 5th Avenue, Vancouver
Web: Peaceful Restaurant
Cuisine: Northern Chinese
Having grown up eating authentic Chinese food, I’ve become a real snob about it. Well, Peaceful Restaurant does live up to its hype and I’m not surprised that they have seven locations. Because my parents grew up in the south of China there are a lot of Northern Chinese dishes I haven’t had, so our Tasting Plates at Peaceful Restaurant truly was a real tasting adventure.
The Spicy and Tangy Dumplings was a huge pork dumpling that sat inside a bowl of what tasted like hot and sour soup but not quite as it had its own unique flavour. The dumpling itself was tasty and the soup as just gave it that extra wow factor. The Peaceful Beef Roll looked like pastrami beef and had a good potion of meat and wasn’t greasy, I could have eaten three of these in a minute. The Dan-Dan Noodles were a little greasy (but hey aren’t all noodle dishes), but had plenty of ground pork meat and spinach with the peanut sauce being spicy without being overbearing. All in all, Peaceful Restaurant offers typical Chinese cuisine which I’m eager to try more of as we also received a 20% coupon for our next order such I’m planning to use and one of their locations is downtown near my workplace.