Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vancouver, Day 2, 9/16/2010

We're staying in a house south of downtown. The owners are a couple who sometimes rent out their extra bedroom on airbnb.com. They're wonderful people, and they picked us up from the train station when we arrived yesterday. Their house is full of art and books and two cats who we tried and failed to photograph. One of them hides, and the other never stops moving.

The house we stayed at.

In the morning we walked over a bridge to get downtown. Along the way we saw a lot of bike infrastructure.

Bikes going the wrong way, legally.

We walked around the center of downtown, which like most downtowns is full of skyscrapers and expensive shopping. Unlike downtown Seattle, it's also full of people.

By lunchtime we had made it to the outskirts of Gastown and Chinatown. We had lunch at a place called Medina, where we ate delicious open face sandwiches. Mine were two variations of smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese: the first was topped with lightly dressed arugula and sweet cherry tomatoes, and the second with slices of avocado and a fried egg, sunny side up. Lindsay's dish was four (four!) different little open faced sandwiches: Moroccan carrots with raisins, grilled haloumi cheese (some sort of soft cheese that can be cooked without melting completely), tabouleh, and beets.

In the afternoon we took a terrible route over a long and ugly bridge to Granville Island to go the farmers market and the public market, a Pike Place Market-esque collection of food vendors. I made a mental note to return for smoked fish. We sat around reading and watching seagulls make funny noises before taking an exhausting walk back to the house.

After some rest, we went to a nearby restaurant called the Cascade Room. From the extraordinarily dim lighting we could tell it was a hip spot. I had a Main St. Pilsner that was great; very clean and toasty. I also had duck breast with shiitake mushrooms and gai lan, which is the same as Chinese broccoli. I mostly had pieces of stem, which were like massive asparagus stalks with leaves. Duck breast as usual was great. Lindsay had wonderful mushroom and paneer strudel on a pile of curried lentils. For dessert we shared cinnamon and chile crème brûlée. Then we went back to the house and ate a tiny melon we had bought at the farmers market earlier that day.

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