Category Archives: Food and Dining

Metro column: Community gardens: Utopian and utilitarian

Nearly five years and counting.

That’s how long I’ve been waiting for my patch of communal garden in Metro Vancouver.

A half-decade ago, before the popularity of high-minded movements like organic eating, food security or the 100 Mile Diet, I had registered for a shot at green-thumb glory at the North Shore’s Lower Lonsdale Community Garden.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm for urban agriculture. To my chagrin, it turned out there were no plots available.

So I was told by an organizer that I would be put on a waiting list. And from that queue, annually, a few lucky folks would be selected for garden membership by lottery.

Year after year, I’ve been waiting for some good news about my new patch of green. But it has yet to arrive. Two weeks ago, I found out that, once again, I was a loser in the annual garden plot sweepstakes. I wouldn’t be growing carrots or cucumbers this summer.

It’s not just this one patch, mind you. There are waiting lists for community gardens across Vancouver. The supply of plots just can’t meet the growing demand. Continue reading


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Filed under Environment, Food and Dining, Green Space, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Urban Planning

Metro column: Pinning hopes on Granville makeover

12 January 2009

Love it or loathe it, Granville Street is a Vancouver original.

The downtown district for public intoxication, peep shows and post-pub pushing matches is quite the spectacle on a Friday evening — or a Saturday morning, for that matter.

But while Granville is a magnet for the young, the restless and the seekers of cheap pizza slices — it has yet to be universally embraced. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Crime, Culture, Entertainment, Food and Dining, Gentrification, Law and Order, Neighbourhoods, Nightlife, Tourism, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver

Vancouver Province column: Rats may not be a huge health threat, but they certainly can hurt tourism

Monday, September 01, 2008

A couple weeks ago, I found out that a neighbour in my condominium building was having problems with some urban wildlife, and I’m not talking about squirrels.

It turns out that rats have been hanging out on his otherwise idyllic patio.

Worse, during one of the few hot days this August, when his sliding door was left open, a long-tailed rodent brazenly scampered into his living room.

In the spirit of keeping these supersized mice away from our premises for good, my neighbours and I have banded together and hired the services of a pest-control company.

Apparently, we’re not alone.
Continue reading

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Filed under Environment, Food and Dining, Health, Neighbourhoods, New York, Tourism, Vancouver, Vancouver Province Columns

Province column: The Lower Mainland may have fine upscale eateries, but where’s the beef?

Monday, May 26, 2008

It’s celebration time these days for gourmands in British Columbia.

According to a ranking published earlier this month by Food & Wine Magazine, Vancouver is one of the 10 best restaurant cities in the world.

That puts our West Coast metropolis in the same league as such culinary heavyweights as Tokyo, Paris and London.

But it doesn’t end there.

At least two jet-setting celebrity chefs based in Manhattan — Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud — are reportedly setting up shop here as well.

Even Britain’s Gordon Ramsay, the short-tempered chef who dishes out trash talk on his weekly reality television program, is considering the Lower Mainland for a future restaurant opening.

All of this should add up to, well, salad days for Vancouver’s dining scene. But in my view, all is not well in what some proudly refer to as “Canada’s culinary capital.” Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Food and Dining, Gentrification, Health, Tourism, Vancouver Province Columns

Vancouver Province column: Those trying to ban drive-throughs haven’t thought the issue through

The Province
Monday, January 28, 2008

It’s open season on fast-food restaurants across Canada.
Recent years have seen a deluge of reports and warnings about the harmful health effects of everything from super-sized cheeseburger lunches to caffeine-laden cappuccinos.

Celebrity chefs never pass up an opportunity to take a swipe at North America’s most popular hamburger stands — and, by extension, the customers who frequent them. And now these establishments are taking the rap for global warming. Continue reading

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Filed under Environment, Food and Dining, Health, Politics, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver Province Columns

Japan’s cool trumps L.A’s, apparently…

From food to fashion to music, Los Angeles is seeing a wave of Japanese culture like never before — according to a recent cover story from the L.A. Times.

Southern California is arguably the epicenter of Japanese cool in America, with three major hubs of restaurants, bars and shops in Torrance and Gardena, West L.A. and the Sawtelle corridor, and downtown’s Little Tokyo. And just about everywhere you look, it seems another Famima!! or Beard Papa is springing up.

Are we to expect an influx of sukiyaki restaurants and high-end izakayas that Vancouver is currently enjoying? However, the article doesn’t exactly make Southern California sound like a haven for ramen noodles (cited as being “either a little bit watery or too soy-based”)… yet.

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Filed under Culture, Food and Dining, Japan, Los Angeles

Sukiyaki sweeping Metro Vancouver

We returned to Posh Charcoal Restaurant in Richmond, BC — purported to be North America’s first exclusive sukiyaki restaurant. And once again, we had to fend off the crowds to get to our reserved table. The food was spot-on once again, and the restaurant reports that new locations are opening in central Vancouver and Burnaby.

It begs the question: is sukiyaki the next culinary trend to take Metro Vancouver by storm?

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Filed under Culture, Food and Dining, Vancouver