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?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Brunch at White Spot Restaurant

White Spot is a family restaurant that serves brunch until 3pm.  So if you skipped breakfast or woke up late or just prefer brunch type foods, White Spot is a good place to go.  Brunch menu options are affordable and under $15.  Our favorite is the Steelhead Eggs Benedict with salmon and a poached eggs topped with hollandaise sauce.  It is served with has browns and a salsa.  The Steelhead Benedict above was from when we visited Squamish, BC and I have to admit that the taste is very consistent across the restaurants.  

If you're intrigued, you can check out the Brunch menu at the following link:

White Spot is one of our regular breakfast joints (other than eating at home).  They are open in the morning and have good customer service for those everyday kinda days.  

Want to see more food pics of White Spot?  Take a look at how I celebrated my birthday at White Spot with a birthday brownie.  All you have to do is ask.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday - Fatburger

I have to admit that I love saving money and using coupons.  So I have a problem.  I'm addicted to Groupon Vancouver this year.  It helps that a have a Groupon buddy, yes a friend who loves Groupon even more that I do.  One of the reasons I stopped with all group buying coupons for awhile is because I was addicted to buying them and then never redeemed them.  Now times have changed and I make sure that I make my appointments and use my groupons.  On occassion if I miss out, that's okay because the amount I paid never expires.  

One night I was heading downtown for an art workshop at Opus and I knew that I wouldn't have much time to eat dinner.  So when I saw the Fatburger Groupon for a burger, fries and drink for $9, it was perfect and I bought one right away.  Fatburger is a fast food joint with big juicy burgers.  It was easy to use the Groupon and I only had to pay the tax which was less than $1.45 or something like that.  Fatburger just outside Stadium skytrain station was packed because of a Canucks game the same night.  However since it's fast food, I was able to find a spot for one at the window and there is fast turnaround.  It tooks 10 minutes for me to get my meal which is pretty good because just look at that plump burger filled with toppings.  

Check out Groupon Vancouver at my referral link for Fatburger and other great deals.  Or come back to see #thriftytuesdays.