Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Phancouver! Best Meal of the Year Award Goes to La Régalade.

Sniff sniff, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I started this whacky food blog adventure. I remember it like yesterday … sitting around, dreaming up a catchy name for myself with RW and SC, having that ‘Eureka! moment’ when the name ‘Phancouver’ was born, writing down a list of Vancouver’s best and posting my first blog on Swiss Chalet. AND, til this day, I rave about that place. Heck, I even had it for dinner on Saturday with my homie LW! Some things never change. Especially my love for food. Before I begin this post on the most fabulous French food OF MY LIFE, I want to give a special shout out to one of my BFFs SC. She has been a strong supporter of my desire for food, creativity to blog and she designed my new Phancouver banner which I am debuting to all you lovely people tonight! And, of course I can’t forget all of my other wonderful friends, family and readers aboard this Phancouver food train for this incredible year of encouragement, inspiration and foodie quests to blog about. I couldn’t have done it without y’all. From the bottom of my satisfied stomach, THANK YOU!!! :)

Now, back to La Régalade. I’ve had my fair share of French food in the city, spanning from my favourites La Faux Bourgeois to Mistral French Bistro, but this contender knocks the competition out of the park. This is THE go-to restaurant for ultimate food flavour extravaganza. The service is impeccable. The taste is like you’re high on food ecstasy. The portions are unforgivable and the overall experience is enchanting. It feels like you’ve been mindfreaked after. It really is, THAT magical.

My dining companions, CS and SC traveled to West Vancouver on a cold January evening to find ourselves cozily seated in France. We started off with their Mussels Marinieres which consumed every ounce of us in their buttery, white wine broth. We shucked, slurped, and dipped (and repeat) to our heart’s content. Honestly, by the end of this appetizer, we already felt well fed and happy with our experience there. We had no idea, just what we were getting ourselves into …

I opted for the succulent and perfectly cooked Beef Shortribs in Peppercorn Cream Sauce. Imagine a nice plump, generous cut of meat, juicy in flavour and tender in just the right places (look at that, a little naughty comes out on Phancouver’s anniversary). Soaking in a bath of rich, creamy goodness and quoting CS, ‘the best damn carrots I’ve ever had in my life’, this meal truly took my breath away. I also love the fact that these entrees come in a unique cast iron pot, as if it came straight off the stove of a chef genius and plopped right on to your lap for instant enjoyment. Paired with crispy fries for dipping, this French country fare really hit the spot.

Next up on this magical journey, their bountiful ½ Roasted Duck served with Sautéed, Glazed Apples - a combination of SC’s favourites. Arriving on a hot skillet, this giant duck portion rests atop a sweet and tangy mixture of perfectly cooked apple bits. This dish is excellent for the duck lovers of French food. Paired with a side of potato gratin, 1/3 of this meal was able to satisfy us 3 gals. One of the best things about this experience was lunch for the day after! I LOVE LEFTOVERS!!!

And of course, a staple in French cuisine, the dish that made Julia Child who she is, the Beef Bourguignon. This was actually the first time I tried this dish and I’m so glad I experienced it here. This dish needs no words, it’s simply comfort food at its best. Coupled with their light and fluffy mashed potatoes, this meal had CS begging for more!

After we ate ourselves into an obvious food coma, the server invited us to browse their dessert bar. We somehow got our ‘roly poly’ selves up to feast our eyes on the wide selection of drool inducing sweets, laid out all nicely for us, essentially calling out our names. The pleasant pastry chef behind the counter even took the time to describe each and every delight to us but we three piggies were way too BULL to even consider dessert. BUT, to our surprise and winning them 100 brownie points in my books, he sent over a Floating Island to our table, boasting how this airy, light dessert wouldn’t even make an impact on our already overly stuffed stomachs. Like the eating champions we were, we picked up our spoons and continued our indulgence in this meringue, guarded with a caramel and almonds crème anglais moat. In the center of this island was a sweet vanilla-like custard and he was right – this ended our meal splendidly.

La Régalade was such an amazing, euphoric dining experience and I truly recommend you all to visit this restaurant. If you’re in need to impress your luva, friends or family, make a reservation and prepare them for a beautifully rich, all-consuming meal here. I must admit that when I’m eating good food, it’s one of the happiest moments of my life and I love sharing this with you. Girl, you know it’s true. Oooh Oooh Oooh, I love food.

La Régalade on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beard Papa's Vanilla Cream Puff. That is All.

Need I say more? Now that they've opened up multiple Beard Papa's locations and I don't need to haul ass to Richmond and stand in an annoying long line up to buy a case of these bad boy cream puffs, I'm a happy camper! Though they have many different daily flavors, my heart belongs to their original vanilla oozing, airy fairy puff of magic. AND their new mini size is perfect for that little afternoon delight. Scrumptious, I say!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Looking For That Plump and Juicy Shrimp Burrito? I Found It!

I've had me a few burritos around town but I'm settling down for this plump-and-juicy shrimp burrito from Salsa and Agave in Yaletown. Introduced to my by new new pals at McCrea & Associates, this fat burrito is stuffed with aromatic Mexican rice, and crunchy cut up shrimp sauteed with garlic, onions, cheese and their original pico de gallo sauce. Served with guacamole and sour cream, this reasonable $8 lunch is perfect for both dine-in and take-out (as you can tell from my pictures)! Yum in my tum. Once again, gotta love that Blackberry Bold camera!

And here are a few specialty drinks of theirs. A nice milky, cinnamon-y 'horchata' to the left (think of a liquid churro, MMMM) and their 'Jamaica Juice' to the right (made from the Hibiscus flower!).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fluffy the Donut - By Lee's

If I could talk to this donut, I would say: 'Hi Fluffy. You are the fluffiest donut in the whole entire world. Perfection is you. Dipped in honey and flaked with sugar, you and my mouth are partners in crime. I could have half a dozen of you. And I'd kiss you before every bite. Thank you for being in my life." Love, your biggest Phan, Phancouver.

My dear friend SS and co., surprised me on a work weekend with Lee's donuts. They arrived nice and toasty, traveling just a few minutes from Granville Island, across the water on the ferry. As soon as I saw the nice grease marks on the brown bag, I started salivating. Haha. Lee's Donuts top Krispy Kremes any day. Give them a whirl people, you are missing out!