Tasting Plates Commercial Drive Review
Once upon a time before iPhones roamed the earth, it used to be that only Italian restaurants thrived on Commercial Drive. Now Commercial Drive contains a hodgepodge of cuisines from every corner of the world from injera bread from Harambe Ethiopian, makanik lamb sausages from JamJar to vegan cheesecake from Eternal Abundance. You can spend your whole day by starting with a macchiato with biscotti at The Drive Coffee Bar as a teaser to the more substantial Hastings-Sunrise breakfast bagel of smoked meat, egg and cheddar from Rosemary Rocksalt Bagels, head to Pasture to Plate Natural Products to purchase organic pork for tacos for the children’s lunches. And then head to Hustle Pizza for a quick slice of pizza happiness aka the Oinkers Supreme with Signature Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Panchetta, Double Smoked Bacon, Country Ham & Mushrooms. And while your stomach is quietly digesting, shop along the street at some of the unique shopping boutiques until it’s time for dinner where you’ll have a hard time deciding which Asian poke bowl to order at Daddy’s Kitchen.
Yes the 2018 Tasting Plates Commercial Drive was that and more. The following is my review of Tasting Plates Commercial Drive.
The Drive Coffee Bar
1670 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Cuisine: Coffee and cafe
For the Tasting Plates Commercial Drive, registration was at The Drive Coffee Bar but this wasn’t the first time I’ve been to The Drive Coffee Bar, and it certainly won’t be the last as I loved the Raspberry Flat White with coconut milk that I ordered (which they did not charge extra for the coconut milk). You can see the layer of raspberry yumminess at the bottom and when stirred, it sends up a cloud of divine happiness as the raspberry flavour is very distinct. For triple happiness, add your favorite liqueur (I won’t judge!) I’m coming back to have a double as this just officially became my favorite coffee. There was also a sign outside indicating that Cartems Donuts were in the house and there is also four craft beers on tap! There’s only one outside table but so you might want to take your coffee to go and enjoy it at Grandview Park. But if you’re not on the Drive and have a yearning for European coffee beans, the Commercial Drive Coffee beans which are locally roasted, ethically purchased, carbon neutral and USDA Organic and sold on Amazon and London Drugs!
Fungi and Sicilian vegan pizza With vegan cheese
SICILIAN (VG) – Signature Tomato Sauce, Slow Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini, Kalamata Olives & San Marzano Tomatoes topped with House-made Almond Ricotta
Hustle Pizza Co.
1110 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
When I read the online menu for Hustle Pizza, I thought I would love their pizza, as I was excited that a pizza joint could offer both traditional and vegan pizza with the ability to substitute the regular cheese for vegan cheese on traditional slices. Although I do frequent vegan pizza restaurants due to my lactose intolerance issue, I’m dying to have a traditional Hawaii pizza with vegan cheese. On the menu for Hustle Pizza, there are some great selections such as the Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower, Silician with eggplants, olives and almond ricotta cheese and Making Bacon with Signature Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, pancetta, Double Smoked Bacon, Country Ham & Mushrooms. But hello, although the cheese was wonderful (they buy it from Vegan Supply), there wasn’t enough tomato sauce or Italian spices to please my pizza loving soul. You can’t call it pizza if you’re stingy with the tomato sauce and yes, put enough garlic so that vampires won’t date me ever! The crust was crispy and thick – no complaints there but in order to compete with so many vegan and regulation pizza restaurants in Vancouver, you gotta be on top of your game and remember that it’s not just all about the cheese, but a combination of great tomato sauce and spices with fresh ingredients on top of a crispy crust.
Mont-Royal: Montreal smoked meat, mustard and Steveston: Wild BC sockeye salmon, cream cheese, red onion, capers plus cheesecake
1350 Commercial Drive
Cuisine: Bagel Sandwiches
You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy a bagel or a woman in childbirth – hey I didn’t make this up because when you google the word “bagel”, Wilkipedia says that bagels were originally made by Jewish Polish people specifically for women in childbirth. Hopefully, eating this bagel doesn’t cause you to be pregnant because if it did, it’d be another miracle for me, the Not-so-Virgin Mary who lol. I guess not as I’ve had quite a few of Rosemary Rocksalt bagels and the extra bump around my waistline is caused by too much good living instead of loving! So why are Rosemary Rocksalt’s bagels so good? Well, the recipe for them is from a 22-year-old receipe from Joel Siegel’s of Siegel’s Bagels as Rosemary Rocksalt is co-founded in 2012 by Joel’s daughter Parise, Ken Sim and Teena Gupta. It’s also Montreal style bagels which are fresh and chewy and paired with Montreal style meat, it’s a passport to Jewish heaven!
The only complaint I had about my tasting plate is that the Cheesecake to me seemed to be just a mound of cream cheese as I didn’t detect any other flavours any other cream cheese. There usually is more structure and flavour to cheesecake. But the bagels themselves were as good as all the other bagels I’ve had at Rosemary Rocksalt before – fresh and chewy. And Montreal smoked meat and sockeye salmon, absolutely delish. One thing to note is that no matter what location you’re at, the high quality of the food never seems to change. There’s about five locations of Rosemary Rocksalt and even one in Richmond!
Pasture to Plate
1420 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Cuisine: Butcher Shop
Oh give me a home where the organic buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope don’t have growth hormones…. Unlike 9 year boys in Puerto Rico who grow breasts after eating chicken that are fed growth hormones, the chicken here won’t increase your bust size (darn). At Pasture to Plate, they believe that a healthy body begins with healthy food. At the Commercial Street location of Pasture to plate, the focus here is allowing the consumer to buy organic meat to cook at home. They also sell whole pigs here so start planning your next luau. The Davie Street location has tables and a food menu with very tasty options that you can enjoy on site as the Davie Street location was featured in the Tasting Plates West End a couple of months ago.
Our Tasting Plates Commercial Drive for this venue were very tasty as the pulled pork in the taco was not dry, but tender and I found the combination of avocado sauce and pico de gallo very flavourful. I’m not an expert of organic meat being Asian but why eat regular meat when organic meat tastes as good (or better) and is much healthier for you?
Chipotle Prawn – sweet corn, black beans, olive, smoked chipotle sauce
Dragon breath – Atlantic salmon, Sriracha Aioli, Kimchi, Pineapple
2586 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Cuisine: Poke and Sushi
If you love sashimi and you love salad, then you’ll love poke as it’s a combination of the two with rice, salad and various other ingredients that you can choose to add in your poke bowl such as edaname beans, carrots, masago, pineapple, mango and so forth. We arrived, expecting to have a bowl of raw fishiness, but instead had a choice of two Asian tacos which wasn’t on the menu. I had the Chipotle Prawn and Dragon Breath, both of which were delicious – this was definitely my favorite venue on the Tasting Plates Commercial Drive. We found the Chipotle Prawn to be ass-kicking spicy and the prawn tender and flavourful. The Dragon Breath was an interesting combination of protein with pineapple and beans. I’m hoping that they will put these tacos on the menu as the online menu only has sushi, sashimi, poke bowls and vegan tofu bowls and sushi. The Thai Iced Tea was delicious, although I forgot to ask them if there was milk in it so I didn’t chance it and only had one very big delicious sip.