Monday, August 21, 2017

Vancouver Cheap Eats - Dosa Factory

Everyone has talked about the Monday Dosa specials and I missed going with the large group of colleagues.  So I asked my Indian friend if she wanted to go again and bring me there.  Of course she said "Yes" as it's hard to resist a meal for $5.99.  That's the Monday special where you can order a dosa for $5.99.  At that price she basically told us to order one to go so we all would have lunch the next day.  Initially I wasn't going to but then I really thought about it and figured out that $5.99 is cheaper than a McDonald's Big Mac combo.  I might have offended my friend at that time for comparing authentic South Indian Food to McDonalds.  That justification won me over and I ordered one dosa to eat-in and one dosa to go.

Mondays at the Dosa Factory on Kingsway in Vancouver is a big deal so it's natural that you have to put your name down on the wait list and wait.  With a smaller group of 4 people it was easier than with a group of 10 people.  I did notice that they had many tables of 2 so a dynamic duo is a good number.  

It was worth the wait.  When we were seated there were bottles of water on the table for us.  The Monday menu was simple and we ordered one dosa to eat in and one order to go.  They were able to keep track of our order.  Even though it was busy and cheap, they still take the time to provide good customer service which I appreciate.  

I ordered a prawn dosa to eat in and the lamb dosa to go.  A dosa is pictured below and it's hard to see but inside it has the delicous filling of vegetables, potato, and the "prawn" or "lamb" or "menu option" of your choice.  What was more surprising is that it was filling and I was stuffed after eating one dosa.  I would definitely return to the Dosa Factory.  Everyday they have specials but Mondays are the cheapest.  I'll return again for another Dosa Day.  

Find out more about their daily specials here:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chef's Plate Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon

Chef's Plate is a meal delivery service that delivers all the ingredients for fresh and local meals made in 30 minutes to your home or office.  I was lucky enough that my friend who was going out of town forgot to cancel her subscription so she offered it to me.  WOW!  Of course I jumped at the chance.  I had heard about Chef's Plate before but since we live in an apartment building, it's not as convenient because I need to be home to accept the delivery.  Even though it can be delivered to the office, the delivery box seemed so large that I would have trouble carrying it on public transit.

My friend Chef's box had two easy dinners inside for a Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon and a Bean and Goat Cheese Salad, both dinner were for two people.  When I received the box at work, it looked large on the outside, I opened it and realized that the bulk of the box was the ice packs and packaging to keep the salmon cold.  I transferring the easy Chef's Plate bags (1 per dinner with the ingredients inside) to a shopping bag and just kept one of the ice packs to the keep the salmon fillet cold and it much easier to transport.  
The Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon photo impressed me that I decided to create a vlog so you can see the process and to see if I did a good job or not.  

Using Chef's Plate saved me time that week because I didn't have to go grocery shopping.  All the ingredients I needed was in the Chef's Plate bag in a tidy package.  They remembered everything and the recipes were easy to follow and read.  Normally I wouldn't be able to afford Chef's Plate so I'm happy that luck followed me.  If you are curious, email and I can ask if my friend has a referral code to send to you.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Vancouver Restaurant: Ramen Butcher

R is for Ramen Butcher which is a Japanese comfort food restaurant in Chinatown on Georgia Street.  It is a lovely gem admist the hustle and bustle of the streets.  

The Ramen Butcher has its specialty menu which focuses on as the name suggest "ramen".  Since this Japanese Ramen restaurant makes fresh noodles and provides extra noodles as a part of their service.  This is a great way to ensure that people leave with happy with a full belly.  

I've tried ramen before but had never heard of Tsukemen so I had to give it a try.  Tsukemen is a dish where the noodles are served separately from the soup concentrate and instead of drinking the soup, it is enjoyed by dipping the noodles in the soup concentrate.  It's flavorful and fun to be dipping noodles.  After the plate of noodles, they provide "soup wari" which dilutes the conentrate so it can be consumed.  Those who wish may ask for rice to combine in the soup.  It was a fun experience and I was full without the rice.  

This might be because we started with Karrage and they were plump pieces of fried chicken served with sauce and is meant for sharing. 

One friend had the classic Tonkatsu (Pork Broth) Ramen with the marinated egg and thin noodles.

Another friend had the Tori Ramen (Chicken Ramen) served with medium thick noodles and after he finished the extra noodle ball with his leftover soup, that was enough to keep him full.

The Ramen Butcher was a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy the Japanese comfort food.  Everything on the menu was delicious!  They have monthly specials and at $10-$15 per bowl, this makes the Ramen Butcher worth returning for. 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - D is for Done

D is for Done the #AtoZChallenge.  As you might have noticed I started to get behind in the daily blogging challenge.  It's weird because in November I do National Blog Posting Month and am able to finish writing daily blog posts everyday in November.  For some reason the added challenge of writing blog posts with specific letters makes it more difficult and harder for me to complete.  I gave it my best effort!  I give kudos to all of the participants who have survived or will survive the #AtoZChallenge!  It was fun while it lasted.  

What I have realized is that attempting the #AtoZChallenge during the beginning of my busy work season does not seem to work.  Last year I did well during my days off but when I was back working the regular Monday to Friday 9-5 schedule, it threw me off track.  

Guess the same thing happened this year!  But I did try the #AtoZChallenge!  Good luck to all of those who are carrying on!  I'll be thinking of you!  As for me, I will retire the #AtoZChallenge banner and say maybe next year....or someday....maybe.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - C is for Como Lake

C is for Como Lake Park located in Coquitlam, BC.  It was a spontaneous day and I ended up at Coquitlam Center and I never knew how close everything was when you drive in Coquitlam instead of take the bus.  My friend still had a bit of free time so I asked to get some exercise and go for a walk.  We found that Como Lake Park was only a 10 minute drive away.  Of course that is only when you don't go down the wrong residential streets and get U-turns at the end of the lane instead of the park parking lots.  With being so close to Como Lake and being able to see the lake, it was frustrating to be within reach but still had to drive around to find the real parking lot.  

When we did I was happy to have finally arrived at Como Lake Park.  It was a small lake to walk around and since it was a sunny day there were others walking that day.  A few with their dogs and what was more popular was the lake itself for some people.  It's because people can go fishing in Como Lake.  I saw someone in full fly fisherman gear in the lake fly fishing.  Others were on the pier.  Como Lake Park had beautiful views and reflections on a sunny day.

Monday, April 03, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - B is for Beautiful British Columbia

Beautiful British Columbia - I live in British Columbia and I am amazed every day of the beauty that this province has to offer.  Explore B.C. to see all the natural scenery that surrounds us and all the beautiful cities and towns in B.C.  Here's a short list of different places that are a walk down memory lane for me.

Smithers, BC is childhood.  This quaint little town in Northen BC is a small tourist town with one Hudson Bay Mountain for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.  The population is still around 5,000 which is perfect for getting to know others in the community.  Even though I don't live there anymore, I love returning to the natural surroundings and beautiful scenery.

Victoria, BC is university life.  Victoria is where the students and seniors collide.  It is a small city of 80,000 people and has the University of Victoria.  Victoria is British Columbia's capital city where the Legislature Buildings are.  It has British heritage and the famous Empress Hotel in the Inner Harbour where you can have a cup of tea.  The Inner Harbour is bustling in the summer with buskers and activity.  

Victoria BC - The Legislature Building

Victoria BC - The Empress Hotel
Vancouver, BC is adulthood.  Vancouver and the Greater Lower Mainland has a population density of close to 2.5 million.  Vancouver is dense and full of activity.  It has the mountains and the water and beauty that surrounds it.  Even though I live in the city, I am still amazed every time I bring visitors around Vancouver to explore Gastown or walk along Coal Harbour.  There is always something new to explore.  

Vancouver BC - Vancouver Convention Center
Vancouver BC - Steamclock in Gastown

Saturday, April 01, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - A is for Accountability

A is for Accountability 

Last year was when I discovered the A to Z Blog Challenge and I didn't really know what it entailed and did not make it very far.  So this year I wanted to try the challenge again with a more disciplined approach.  

So what is this challenge all about?  Almost everyday in April bloggers will post about a specific letter of the alphabet.  It is a good way to stay committed to blogging with a community and with a fun challenge.  

A to Z Blog Challenge is a good way to stay accountable and in this case it is for blogging but I find that having an Accountability Partner is a great way to stay motivated and inspired.  Here are the different ways to have an accountability partners for different areas of life. 

Minimalist Challenge - 30 days give away 1 item each day.  Share a photo of your daily item with your accountability partner.  (Variation of Minimalist Game)

Spa Buddy - Self care is important when anxiety and stress levels are on the rise.  Have a buddy who you can count on to have monthly spa dates.  

Fitbit Challenges - This is where a whole group of friends can get together and challenge each other to walk more and get those steps.  Everyone in the fitbit challenge can cheer each other's progress and chat with others during the challenge.  

Fitness Buddy - While training for the Sun Run my fitness buddy and I decided on a realistic goal.  Ours was to bit active for 20 minutes three times a week and then to email each other on our progress for accountability.  

Elle Luna 100 Day Project - To spark your creativity, choose a daily creative task that you want to do daily and create a #100daysof____ so others participating in the #100dayproject can follow.  There is strong community on Instagram.  In 2015 I had #100daysofnaturephotography.  What will yours be for 2017?