I call the Yaletown Brunch Crawl the 10,000 calorie Yaletown Brunch Crawl as I enjoyed enough pastries and sweets on this tasting adventure to hibernate on my fat for the rest of the winter. As with any brunch crawl, you never know what food adventures await you and on this particular brunch crawl, it was sweet, sweet surprises.
1271 Homer St, Vancouver
75% dark chocolate crackers, Black Truffle & Goat cheese chocolates
Registration started at Xoxolat who offered hot chocolate made the way the Mexicans like it hot, thick with a rich dark chocolate that tastes like the essence of chocolate. Paired with the hot chocolate was 75% dark chocolate crackers, Black Truffle & Goat cheese chocolates which all tasted amazing as I’m a big fan of Xoxolat who sells every organic bean to chocolate bar and offers in-house eclectic bars such as Tortilla Chips & Lime or the Westcoast Breakfast which has three of my favorite things – Maple, Caramelized Bacon and espresso. And for the diva in your life, there’s also edible chocolate stilettos – champagne is extra…
Bella Gelateria Yaletown
1089 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver
Feature: Pizzeria & Gelataria
Salmon brioche and Napoletano pizza – thin crispy with mimosa – with orange sorbetto – flavourful , not too much cheese
Not just another pretty ice cream parlor, Bella Gelateria in Yaletown serves not only gelatos like the Coal Harbour location, but authentic Italian fare such as pizza, cannelloni, risotto and meatballs and brunch items such as the Tasting Plates items we received. Crispy thin with just enough cheese to please, the Napoletano pizza with pancetta was tasty – at least the 1/2 inch square I could only eat due to my dairy allergy. The salmon brioche was another tasty brunch item with the salmon being tender and the egg cooked lightly. Pair it with with a mimosa with one of Bella Gelateria’s in-house orange sorbetto and its a winning brunch.
And in case you don’t know, Owner and maestro gelatiere James Coleridge was named International Gelato Master of the Year in 2014 by the International Fair of Artisan Gelato (MIG), won the Gelato World Tour North America the same year, and was the double gold winner at the 2012 Florence Italy Gelato Festival and that is the reason why sometime the lineups for both locations can be quite long, but well worth the wait.
Small Victory Bread & Coffee
1088 Homer Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Bakery cafe
I’ve been to Small Victory Cafe at another Tasting Plates event, where I practically inhaled the various pastries I received as all were flaky, buttery and moist and paired so well with the coffee they serve. The savory scone, pain Au chocolate & apollini was just as flaky and buttery as good as any pastries I’ve had in Paris, although I was a little disappointed that the only dairy free alternative they had that day was soy milk and not their in-house house almond milk. I’m still allergic to the less than 1% of diary that is still found in some brands of soy milk which isn’t listed in their ingredients as manufacturers are allowed to label their product as dairy-free if it contains less than 1% of the total mass.
Lime and Moon Pie Co
1066 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Pie shop
Can Vancouver have too many shops dedicated to pies? Apparently not, but Lime and Moon uses purely organic ingredients and even has some gluten-free crusts and dairy free pies such as Banana and coconut cashew cream
The walnut pie was buttery but not overly sweet and the gluten-free crust tasted just as good as normal crusts. The lemon tart has enough sourness to make me happy. Paired with this was a ginormous cup of Americano which I had with almond milk – hooray! Lime and Moon also takes custom orders so I’m hoping that I might be able to persuade them to make me a Black Forest Cake with coconut cream but in the meantime lemon lime meringue pie anyone?
Zend Conscious Lounge
1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Vegan and vegetarian
I’ve been a fan of Executive Chef Karen McAthy since she cooked at Graze Vegetarian, so I was happy to learned she took over Zend’s Kitchen in December. So our Tasting Plate although it was completely vegan and healthy, did not disappoint as the sweet potato pancake had more dimensions of taste than the usual pancake which is just sugar, milk, flour and eggs. My friend wondered how a pancake made of sweet potato could be as fluffy and tasty – my answer – great chef. The other two items – vegetable quiche and matcha crepe were also as tasty with a wonderful combo of flavourful ingredients that more than overcompensated for the lack of meat.
For refreshment, we had a virgin Caesar which was light and refreshing and seemed to be less heavy than others I’ve had. We also received a sample of the Zend Elixir which apparently helps with stress. Zend doesn’t serve alcohol but offers a variety of organic fruit juices elixirs to complement the organic vegan fare. If you’re sensitive to dairy try the cheese tray as its delicious and made with nut cheese and served with gluten-free crackers. And then end it in a sweet note as the avocado chocolate mousse is just as decadent as the real thing. I had both at the Zend a lounge opening party.
1022 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Plant based ice cream
Since the posting of this blog post I’ve been to Nice Vice a few times – opening party and on my own dime – as I’m allergic to dairy and let’s just say I was more than enthusiastic to be introduced to s shop that didn’t just offer one or two measly choices of dairy free ice cream but 12! Made from sweet potato or coconut milk owner replaced his not so nice vice with a dairy free, GMO-free and organic ice cream.
The verdict – it tastes like the real thing. My favourite flavours: blueberry sage, lemonhead, chocolate and strawberry fiend. You can also order a float or a sundae with all the fixings and there’s an assortment of flavoured salts such as hickory, lime and raspberry as a topper which isn’t extra. Rumour has it, there will be an ice cream sandwich being offered!
At the Brunch Crawl event, Kelly from Cold Brew Bike also made us Affogato’s with the Nice Vice ice cream – finally one that I won’t have to spit out.
1000 calories or less Brunch Crawl, who really cares when all the items are all so tasty!