Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vancouver Holiday

We took the kids to Vancouver, B.C. for three days. Stayed at a hotel on Robson St. Weather was pretty good.

Getting everyone to agree on what to eat is always a challenge. Everyone agrees on Sushi. Our first stop for lunch on the way up was Richmond Sushi, which is an all-you-can-eat sushi and asian food restaurant in a small and crowded shopping center in Richmond, B.C. The menu is very limited, but the sushi you can get is really quite good. For nigiri they have tuna and salmon, nothing else. Then, tekka, kappa, california rolls, spicy tuna, and a few odd "big" rolls. Gyoza, siu mai, and other sorts of things are available as well. It's not a buffet, but the service is almost as fast. A waiter comes with a palm pilot, says, "ready to order", they punch it in, and sometimes within 30 seconds part of the order comes. They keep coming back asking if you want anything else. For lunch it was $9.95 Canadian, which works out to $8.66 U.S. at today's rates. Amazing! Richmond Sushi was in our GPS database, so that made the decision to drop in on the way to Vancouver pretty easy.

First night's dinner, we left the kids in the hotel with room service food, and went across the street to A Taste of India. As straightforward "standard-issue" Indian fare goes, it was done very well. Butter Chicken, Baighan Bartha, appetizer plate, and a nice local honey lager.

For lunch the next day we went to the Granville Island public market and kind of grazed. Don't go to the chinese place, it's as bad as any steam-table chinese food in the states. The perogies were good, as were the baked goods. Catherine had yet more sushi. I think Stuart wandered off and bought himself some smoked salmon and shrimp meat, and ate that for lunch.

Dinner was, once again, Sushi, this time at Tsunami, a sushi boat place on Robson St. Not the best I've ever had, but the kids liked it, and everyone was happy.

Next day we got cupcakes at the cupcake place on Denman St. Yum!

On the way home we stopped at Vij's Rangoli, which is the new next-door branch of Vij's restaurant. Everyone raves about Vij's food, and when we get to Vancouver without our Indian-food-hating children, we'll have to try it, but in the meantime, their new place next door serves a small menu at lunchtime, including takeout. We got takeout and McDo's for the kids, and ate it at Jericho Beach park. The food was amazing. We had a portobello mushroom and cheese curry, a lamb curry, some pakoras that were tasty and undoubtedly much better before the wait at McDonalds and the drive to the beach (should have eaten them in the car!), some dal, and some sort of chaat-y dish. We then drove home and were so full that we never bothered with dinner. Rangoli also sells frozen and fresh boil-in-the-bag entrees, which are sealed in foil pouches. We were able to take them across the border, so we'll eat them tonight and report back later.

Vancouver is the city we wish Seattle was. The city doesn't die at night. There are still families walking around, eating ice cream, whatever. It's not segregated into separate "nightlife areas" where drunken folk are allowed to go out at night but families do not tread, and "shopping areas" which totally close down, like in Seattle. I guess you're supposed to go home at night if you have a family in Seattle, or stay in the nice safe shopping mall. Some of my fondest memories as a child are wandering around Athens, Paris, Rome, and London in the evening with my mom and brother, and I'd like my children to have the same sorts of experiences.