Saturday May 18, 2013
Eating tasty Thai food at the new eatery from chef Angus An was an easy excuse for visiting New Westminster on Friday. Longtail Kitchen serves Thai street food in a corner of New Westminster's River Market. The bright space has a food-court-meets-café feel, and there's also a garage door that can open up onto a riverfront patio on sunnier days.
The menu is short, sweet, and very affordable. A medium-sized bowl of Chiangmai curried noodles cost just $10. I only missed having some plain rice to soak up the spicy drippings from the tender chicken legs.
I was also tempted by the menu's mussel curry, a traditional pad Thai, and papaya salad, but one dish was plenty for lunch.
More in New Westminster:
Wednesday May 15, 2013
The Grouse Grind is open for the season. My advice? Go before the crowds do.
About 100,000 people hike up this intense, 2.9 km (1.8 mile) trail each year. The route is an unpaved odyssey of rocks, roots, and slippery slopes. And you step up nearly 3,000 stairs over the hike's 853-meter (2,800-foot) elevation gain.
You'll want to carry water, snacks, and a warm layer (it gets chilly on the mountaintop) along with you.
There aren't many views until you reach the top. There, on the balcony of the Grouse Mountain chalet, you can sip a drink and watch people finish the final leg of the hike.
Note that you can't hike down the Grind. The congestion is too much for that. Instead, buy a SkyRide ticket ($10) and head back down with the families and tour groups who took the easy way to the top.
More Vancouver Hiking:
Photos © Chloë Ernst
Monday May 13, 2013
In Vancouver, we are lucky to have a trio of bright and frenzy-filled night markets either in the city or a short Canada-Line trip away in Richmond. The three markets all offer low-cost wares, tasty food, and live entertainment.
But more than anything, it's the atmosphere that keeps people coming back. After one visit you'll love the crush of the crowds, being with chattering friends, and the line-ups (because some things are worth the wait).
Of the three, my personal favorite is the Richmond Night Market because it's so close to the SkyTrain station and is always lively. But I'm also excited to re-visit the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market this year -- it's looking to be bigger and better than ever. Plus, the promise of ping pong tournaments and outdoor movies sounds too good to pass up!
More About the Night Markets
Friday May 10, 2013
Expect legions of spot-prawn-hungry people at the Fishermen's Wharf this Saturday, for the annual Spot Prawn Festival. Most folks line up, plate in hand, to sample the fresh spot prawns -- though you'll need to already have a sold-out ticket.
But the festival, which celebrates the start of spot prawn season, also features free cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, and a chance to buy caught-that-morning crustaceans. The event happens Sat. May 11, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m at the Fishermen's Wharf, located just west of Granville Island.
If you miss the one-day festival, most Vancouver seafood restaurants will be serving up spot prawns in classic cocktails and inventive dishes (deep-friend prawn heads anyone?) for the next two months.
More About Vancouver Seafood:
Photos, from the 2012 festival, © Chloë Ernst