It has been about 5 years since I was last in Vancouver B.C. and my wife and I made the time to take a short road trip up there.
Two nights before we spent a wonderful evening with Chris Owens and M'llissa Muckerman here in Portland and had a dinner to remember at Le Pigeon with the addition of Sarah Allen and Phuong Tran. We ate everything from Cows Tongue, Foie Gras, Sea Urchin, Beef Cheeks, Lamb Shank, Local Truffles, and so much more until we were about to burst. It was a culinary experience I won't soon forget.
On Saturday we got up early to make coffee and pack for our trip ... as we had been up late the night before playing Wii with friends :).
On our way up we stopped at Lava Java to say hi to Phuong and her staff, and to get cappuccinos. Phuong pulled me a capp with their featured single origin espresso, Columbia el Jordan. It was excellent. We grabbed two americanos and hit the road again.
We managed to make a straight shot to the border with only stop for gas, which put us in to Vancouver at a reasonable hour. We had a great dinner with Roberto and Danny Bresciani of Nuova Simonelli & ECM, who were in the midst of the food show happening that weekend.
We woke up early the next morning and got a good start on a full day of cafe tours and espresso overload. Our first stop was Granville Island ... what a fun place. We went by the Origins Roastery and peaked in the windows, it was Sunday and no one was around (I should have called ahead of course) as we ended up hanging out with Drew later that evening. All of the WBC machines were still in place and I drooled a bit wishing I could have gotten on for some lattes.
Our next stop was at AgroCafe, which my friend Blake owns. He just returned from Kenya, and he told us a few scary stories of what is happening in the country ... Agro was a nice place, with a white FB70 and Clover set up. Blake roasts his own coffee upstairs on a bright orange Diedrich.
We had some good vegetarian food and then walked around Granville to find JJ Bean. We found ourselves surrounded by the market, it was amazing and we could have spent all day there. Finally we went thru the maze of vendors and cafes and found JJ Bean. It was a small but bustling spot, with a long line of people ordering drinks. I met Murray, the manager and had a great double shot, thanks!. They were so busy that we said goodbye and walked back to the car.
Onward ... we drove up to 4th to visit 49th Parallel's shop. We parked a couple blocks away and Kylene did some shopping at the Boutiques nearby. I walked into 49th and felt at home right away. Making my way back to the back bar, I saw Colter and we talked for a brief moment as he pulled me a marvelous macchiato. The presentation was great and the bar was beautiful, not to mention the glow of the Mirage and the fancy blue ceramic.
Feeling a bit over caffeinated I left to go find Kylene in one of the local shops. It was about noon and we made the short drive to the Elysian Room. We had a warm welcome from the baristas and I had yet another double shot as we waited for Alistair to show up. He arrived with his son and we had a short chat. I dig their green Synesso, and I guess Alistair has the sides in a couple different colors so he can change them depending on the season :)
For a full gallery of our photos click here!
To be continued ...