Vancouver 2016 Day 5: Meat & Bread, Vij's, CRAFT, and Uncle Mike!
Today was another action-packed one. The fun started with a meetup of my old buddy Malcolm who I hung out with when working at Lucasfilm Singapore for a month about 7 years ago and, as we discussed, probably haven't seen since?! Wow. So it was awesome to catch up as he's now working at ILM Vancouver and it was a great catchup session and lunch. We went to another spot on my hitlist, a great and very straight-to-the-point lunch spot called, aptly so, "Meat & Bread". They delivered in spades on exactly what they promised -- an excellent sandwich with excellent quality meat and delicious bread. A stellar combination, and nary a single vegetable in sight. Probably not the most balanced of all meals, but we made up for that with some dessert from Purebread afterwards!
So that was "all of the awesome". We had a great lunch and headed back to the office with big smiles on our faces after all that good food.
After work, I got a Car2Go and headed to the south of downtown to go check out MEC (the "REI of Canada") -- a great outdoor shop. It was super nice to go, and I picked up a fun Canadian maple leaf-themed neck scarf/warmer thing, as well as trying on some nice biking backpacks. What a great shop. After a nice wander around there, I walked from there to Vij's, an Indian restaurant that many people had told me I literally had to visit.
Vij's was busy, but as I was in a group of 1, it was pretty easy to get a seat quickly. I perused the menu, but there was one very obvious choice that most Yelpers and food bloggers had recommended -- the Lamb Lollipops. A waitress offered me a free Chai ("Would you like a free chai?" -- the answer to that is always a resounding "YES!"), and I had a great meal. They had a pretty small Whisky selection, but they had something a bit unusual on there, a locally made Victoria, B.C. single malt called Shelter Point Single Malt. I decided to try that, and it was FANTASTIC!! So much so, that I googled the distillery from the table to try to find out where to get it.
The dinner was very awesome, especially on a chilly evening, but the thing that was stuck in my mind after the dinner experience was how awesome the Whisky was! Their website said this was their first-ever Single Malt (aged 5 years) and it had won a bunch of awards already. They said they had made all they were going to of this initial batch, so if you were keen for a bottle for the holidays, whatever stock that existed was already out on the shelves in local liquor stores and you should grab it while you can. I took that as a call to action, and headed past a fancy-looking liquor shop that was on my walk back. Sure enough, they had it there, and I picked up a bottle on the way home. Fun!
Next stop was the CRAFT beer market in Olympic Village. This place I had found and seemed to be a great idea for a local spot to try BC beers when you don't have a ton of time in a place. They have over 100 taps so that meant a pretty outstanding collection of options.
I made a friend from the Ukraine who was sitting there at the bar beside me and appeared to be a regular there. A nice fellow, and we chatted for a good hour and a half about mostly the insane politics of the US. :)
I tried a couple of different things, the first was the weirdest thing I could find, a Yellow Dog Raspberry Smoked Porter, which was the cask of the week (only poured on Tuesdays, so that was a huge win on timing!) This was great AND weird, just my cup of tea. :) For round two, I tried something that my Ukranian friend recommended, and the bartender confirmed as being "one of the most popular beers to order in Vancouver." This is more of a "summertime" beer, but was very tasty and highly recommended so I gave it a shot -- this one was called "33 Acres of Sunshine" and was a Wheat Beer. It was very flavoursome and I liked it a lot.
After a nice long chat and two solid drinks, it was time to walk home. Again, this might be the time you might generally call an Uber or a Lyft as it's cold, kinda late (I guess it was only about 10pm), and you're a fair distance from "home". But, alas, no Lyft or Uber in Vancouver, and obviously you can't rent a Car2Go after 2 beers and a whisky. So I took the opportunity to work down my large dinner and drinks and enjoy the chill evening and nighttime scenery from the Olympic Village.
It was a fairly long walk back to my hotel, probably close to 45 min or so, but very nice and great views, and another great day in Vancouver.
Other amazing news of the day.... I'm officially an Uncle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My sister gave birth to my first niece, Kayleigh Marge Hall, earlier in the day. We were all eagerly awaiting this news and it was very special to be in Canada when Norm gave birth. I had chatted with Norm a few days ago from a Tim Hortons about how it was going and when she might have to induce as she was a few days past her due date, but little Kayleigh arrived safe and sound and is very cute. I got a photo of happy-but-tired-looking Glenn and everyone was doing well. What an exciting addition to this already awesome day.