The Year's Favorites

Schweppe's Bitter Lemon - Sweet fancy moses, I've finally found the soda for me! Not sugary, but fresh and lemony with a slightly quinine taste. Individual cans are sold at Famous Foods on Kingsway, though I've yet to see them available by the case or in bottles.

Pastes in tubes - Tomato, anchovy, wasabi, harissa. Tubes are the way to go.

Porcelain grater - Made for grating ginger, this is also fantastic for garlic. I've never liked using a garlic press and this grater makes short work of a couple of cloves. It's also much easier to clean and can be had for $2 in Chinatown. It made the list of 15 Useful Kitchen Items over at The Kitchn

Non-stick cheese grater - I hate washing those big metal box graters, when the cheese bits and residue stick around the sharp edges. Years ago I found one at HomeSense, with a black non-stick coating, and it takes all of three seconds to clean.

Best new bread bakery - Mediterranean Bakery. Select Safeways carried them for a time and they have a location at Park Royal in West Vancouver, but I trek to Meinhardt's to pick them up. I prefer their Italian loaves over others' because they're consistent and reliably good, as well as being 95% certified organic.

Favorite Breads - Swiss Bakery's Country Rye and Onion Walnut. The latter is fantastic for a roast beef sandwich, or with turkey and cranberry chutney. Mediterranean Bakery's Parmesan Bread toasted with heapings of extra cheese and eaten with tomato soup. Terra Bread's Fig and Anise, my favorite bread to snack on.

Still thinking about... - The warm madelines from DB Bistro. Like eating baked, little, fluffy clouds. The gyu tataki and buttery rich Monkfish liver at Nanchu. The Opera a la Noisette from Ganache, the best treat I had this Halloween.

All I want for Christmas - Was for Congee Noodle House (on Main off Broadway) to reopen. It's been under renovations since early November, and I just can't get my congee fix anywhere else.

In Memoriam - Farewell, Think! cafe (W. 10th at Sasamat). Goodbye, Pho Bich Nga (this legendarily-named Vietnamese restaurant was at Victoria & Kingsway). See ya, Caffe de Medici.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried the Congee King at Joyce & Kingsway? I've only had own personal favorite congee there, but it was up there with Congee House.

Celia said...

Bill: I have indeed been to Congee Noodle King--apparently they are sister restaurants and have similar menus. The rice-wrapped donuts and congee are as good as CNH's, but their beef brisket noodles just don't cut it for me. The location isn't as good for me either.

But while in that area, I check out McKim Wonton Mein Saga. It's a good late-night Chinese eatery on Kingsway, near Rupert. It's near Top's restaurant. I haven't tried McKim's congee, but their noodles and other offerings are quite tasty and very well priced. Great staff too, even if the clientele can get a tad sketchy some nights.