On Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of enjoying a three hour lunch with two of my favorite dining companions. I had not seen “Tugboat Annie” and my old sous chef “Bunessa” in over six months, so it was great recreation to catch up with these “cool cats.” Lunch was at Edible Canada at the Market [1596 Johnston Street, Vancouver, (604) 682-6681] and though the highlight of the meal was definitely the company, there were a couple of Yowza!moments that I’ve just got to tell you about.
Friday’s lunch was my first time dining at Edible Canada. Though I’ve been down to Granville Island on many occasions since their July 1st opening and have considered having a meal there many a time, I’ve been waiting for the “stars to align,” so that I could “break my Edible Canada cherry” with “my old buddy Tugboat Annie.” (I’m really getting out of control with these quotation marks) We’ve made many attempts to enjoy a meal together, but due to busy schedules, a last minute gall bladder attack and priorities in our respective lives, we finally managed to hook it up. BTW, I haven’t mentioned “Tugboat Annie” on Chef’s Night Out in quite a while, so to refresh your memory, he’s not a female tugboat pilot, but actually a 50-something year old foodie/oenophile male friend, who has been one of my greatest supporters over the years. He’s also a partner in Edible Canada, so it was important to me to experience the restaurant through his eyes.
Unfortunately, I’ve got “a couple of fish I need to go fry,” so I’m not going to give you the entire “play by play” from our three hour lunch. Overall, lunch was very tasty and the service was seamless, but there were three things which I ate that made me say Yowza!
1) Chef Tom Lee sent us an amuse-bouche of first of the season halibut with quinoa salad and romesco sauce. The truth is, fresh halibut at this time of the year is perfect on its own. The key is to treat it simply and let the product sing its own virtues. I’m a real sucker for first of the season halibut, but that piece of fish was superb; wonderfully fresh, perfectly seasoned and skillfully cooked. I really could not have cooked it any better myself.
2) Duck fat fries. Need I say more? With our appetizers, we also shared a basket of duck fat fries for the table; I think they were served with a house-made ketchup and aioli. I couldn’t reach the red sauce, so I’m not sure exactly what it was, but since I like mayo/aioli with my fries, all was “good in the hood.” Salty, savory, duck fatty, potato-y goodness. All I know is duck fat and potatoes were made for each other. “Nuff said.”
3) The third thing that I ate that made me scream Yowza! was popcorn. Huh? Popcorn you say? We were done our meal, pretty much wrapping up our conversations, when Eric the founder of Edible Canada, brought us a bowl of fresh popcorn. No regular popcorn, but duck fat popcorn, seasoned with bacon salt, black pepper and thyme. Are you kidding me? It’s not a fair fight sticking duck fat and bacon together. If I didn’t have a few more errands to run, I would have stayed another half hour, ordered a beer and eaten up every kernel of that amazing popcorn.
Listen, I realize that the halibut and duck fat popcorn aren’t items on the regular lunch menu, but Edible Canada at the Market is an unique restaurant, exceptionally socially responsible and dedicated to the best of Canadian cuisine. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
Until my next Yowza! moment, peace be unto you.