Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vancouver 2016 Day 4: Catfe, L'Abbatoir and Shebeen Whisky House

Vancouver 2016 Day 4: Catfe, L'Abbatoir and Shebeen Whisky House

Oh, hello there, ILM Vancouver :) It was awesome to finally get up here to Vancouver to meet some of my fellow coworkers in person, and also get to see the awesome office. As my friend Jess put it, "that looks very homey!" It sure was. Great times. The main "lounge" area faces the mountains and the view was pretty sweet. The office is in the hip area of town called Gastown, and was very walkable from where I was staying, which was a huge bonus for my continued Vancouver explorations.

Stephen, Alexa and Nicole took me out to a diner-y spot for lunch and that was super fun. With all the insane amount of eating lately, I had just a lighter parfait thing instead of a bigger lunch, good call, as there is always time for more eating (as we proved).

Immediately after lunch, we checked off two more must-dos on my big Vancouver TODO list -- Purebread and Revolver Coffee. Purebread had some pretty incredible looking pastries and was immediately crowned as a "I'm definitely coming back here multiple times" place. Revolver was the exact amount of coffee-obsessiveness you'd expect in a modern, west-coast city (see my earlier posts about Portland's Stumptown Coffee). This was super awesome, a favourite place of Stephen's, and a great opportunity to try some local roasters from BC and surrounding. They had Ritual Coffee from SF! But of course, you gotta try the local stuff. The beans were immaculately pre-measured in little mini mason jars. Sweet.

So that was all totally amazing.

After work I headed to "Catfe" (best name ever, by the way), a Cat Cafe pointed out to me by the legendary "Cat Man of West Oakland", Adam Myatt, who had been there on an earlier trip across North America to a bunch of Cat Cafes. I take his recommendations in the cat department to heart, so I checked it out and it was super cute. One particular guy was super sweet and I caught him trying to get out of the front door of the cafe. It was a fun spot and great to see some nice cats, as always.


This was my favourite cat, trying to escape into the mall.
After a good time petting cats, I headed back to Gastown to go out for dinner. That evening I chose a spot called L'Abbatoir which was super highly rated. It was a little hard to find the entrance (good sign?!) and upon entering it was quite a full place. Several people had recommended this spot for the drinks as well, and it sure was fantastic.

"Winter is Coming": Havana Club 7 Year Old rum, Becherovka, lime, maple. Moondog bitters, peated scotch mist.
From the menu: "The inevitable truth behind these words is one of warning and constant vigilence. As the snow begins to fall, and the icy winds pick up, who knows what is lurking beyond the wall." Also, this was glorious.
Cheese and anchovy bread, and another crazy bread

 Squash roasted in brown butter and spices - Chestnut, apple, egg. This was SO GOOD. I would go back and order a main course-sized version of this anytime. Just incredible. Probably one of the best foods during the entire trip to Vancouver.
 Lightly smoked duck breast - Grilled carrot, roast leg meat, huckleberries. This was very rich, but very good. The huckleberries really balanced the flavour of the duck, and carrot topping on the duck was also a pretty amazing combination.
After a stellar dinner, I took a little wander to work down the meal and then headed to finish off the evening at Shebeen Whisky House, which was roughly across the road. It was a little hard to find as well, but I finally realized it was attached to an Irish Pub of some sort, and I went it (and they had the same menu in the pub portion). I tried the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015 and Ardbeg Perpetuum! What a fun end to the evening and a great opportunity to try some hard-to-find whiskies. The Cairdeas was pretty good, but not as good as the Cairdeas 2014 that I have at home (this is their yearly special release and it's a different whisky each year, even though it shares the same name). I had recently tried the Cairdeas 2016 as well in SF at the John Campbell tasting at the Whisky Shop, but the 2014 is still the best in my opinion. Fun to try though! The Perpetuum was also good and fun to try as it's unusual to find a place that will pour these odd bottles. Uigeadail is always the winner, but this was pretty fun to try as well.

A weekday, and still this action-packed?! Welcome to my week in Vancouver. :)

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