Archive for Restaraunts

@Flourist Chocolate Chip Cookies

Things I think a lot about: sustainability, the environment, and how we can save the planet. 

Well that’s a bright and cheery intro, hey? 

Okay. But seriously. The main reason I gave up eating meat all those years ago is because of the environment. And while I totally get that not everyone is going to stop eating meat, if we all just ate less meat, it would make the world a better place. I loved this recent article in The Atlantic that advocates that we even just give up beef, and how much of a change that could make to our planet. 

Flourist Chocolate Chip Cookie baked in a large cast iron sklllet

Another option for those of you who are concerned about the environment, but aren’t ready to give up meat, is to only buy locally-farmed, pasture-raised meat. These animals are better cared for, and put less of a toll on the environment. 

In fact, there’s a lot of research out there that advocates for eating locally, and that doing so could actually be the best thing for the environment. There is a lower carbon footprint if you have to ship food a shorter distance. For me, also, I prefer to support our local businesses if possible, keeping more money in our local economy. 

But you know what else I think about?? Bread. And the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. And pizza dough. And Focaccia with rosemary and sea salt, dipped in good olive oil and balsamic. 

round loaves of sourdough bread

Yesssssss. 

And so it was, for all these various reasons, that I was super happy to see that Flourist finally was able to open up a bricks and mortar location here in Vancouver. 

I’ve been fans of them for a long time (since before they rebranded in their current iteration). They sell local (well, from as far away as the prairies) grains and pulses that are locally milled and high quality. We’re talking heritage grains and Canadian pulses that are a real staple of our economy. 

I used to buy their stuff in local specialty markets, but now they have their own location, so you can go straight to the source! 

Flourist’s location, just off of Commercial Drive in East Van, also houses a mill, a cafe, and space for cooking classes and demos. 

Shelves of dried goods

And–oh joy! They sell sourdough starter, too. 

The space itself is super adorbs, and the cafe itself sells, in addition to baked goods made with their flour, lighter meals like salads made with beans, chickpeas, and millet, as well as toasts made with their homemade bread. 

It honestly makes me so happy to witness and be a part of this whole food revolution. I love that people are beginning to understand that convenience food comes at a price, and we’re starting to look back to the eating habits of our ancestors. 

By the way, if you’re gluten free, you may be able to tolerate this kind of bread. The flour it’s made with is less processed and refined, and its genetic footprint is less refined. In addition, sourdough partially ferments the dough, making it easier to digest. 

a plate of cookies

When I was recently at the new Flourist location, checking it out, I tried one of their Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And then, a couple days later, not shockingly, they showed up on this list of where to get the best Chocolate Chip Cookies in Vancouver. 

At Flourist they bake the entire recipe in a big cast iron fry pan and cut it into wedges, so I’ve done that here. You can either bake your own or head over to Commercial Street to buy them. While you’re there, you’re going to want to pick up some bread, flour, and probably some chickpeas, too. 🙂 

Oh–one last thing. All of the packaging at Flourist is recyclable. Your “to go” coffee will come in a mason jar that you pay a deposit on and then either bring back or keep. Pulses are sold in jars as well. The owners, Janna and Shira, are passionate about the local food movement, and Shira is a long-time plant-based advocate and food blogger. So yeah, this is a small local business you can feel good about supporting. 

Wedges of chocolate chip cookies

Especially when the chocolate chip cookies are made with whole grain flour, and they taste this good. 

 

Brunch at The Ballyhoo

Brunch is THE BEST. 

It’s my favourite thing. Friends, coffee, and waffles. What more do want from your weekend? 

There are several categories of brunch in Vancouver; you’ve got the everyday brunch (for those days when you’re on vacation or playing hooky), you’ve got the weekend brunch (arguably the best) and then you’ve got your non-eggs brunches (like dim sum). 

I am a fan of them all… but what I need from any brunch place is decent service, bottomless coffee, and some good variety on the menu, because sometimes I feel sweet and sometimes I feel savoury. a bartender preparing a drink behind a bar

The Ballyhoo is new, brand, spankin’ new. It’s only been open a month, and they’ve been serving brunch for a couple weeks only. 

It took over the space where The Winking Judge used to be on the corner of Burrard and Nelson. The location is great, but The Winking Judge was… um shall we say… dark and sticky. Yup, it was a convenient place to grab a pint and some nachos after a movie, but it wasn’t the kind of place you would seek out. It was convenience-based patronage only. 

Donnelly took it over, redid the inside, and have now relaunched it as The Ballyhoo. 

A line of beer taps

The decor is English Pub-esque, but lighter and more fun. There’s still a big pool table in the back, but it’s brighter and feels more like a place you’d actually like to stay and chill at, rather than scuttling away. 

They have quite a few local beers on tap, so perhaps you’d like to hang and sample a few? 

The brunch menu shows lots of variety. There’s healthy options, like a power bowl, or yogourt, fruit and granola. But then there’s also the “I’m super hungover–give me deep fried goodness” options, as well. cookies, a cup of coffee and a menu

Donnelly has this thing that they do where they offer you a sweet treat before your meal. I’ve had donuts, I’ve had banana bread; but here it’s warm chocolate chip cookies. (heart eyes emoji). 

Avocado ToastOkay, let’s start with the healthy options: Avocado Toast? Yes please. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love it. This one is perfection: nicely toasted bread, acidic avocado, pickled onions, sweet tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic. 

They also do a thing called The Westcoast Bowl. We didn’t eat it, but we saw it going by and drooled. It’s a rice bowl (brown, extra healthy), topped with avocado and a sunny-side egg. 

a plate of bacon, scrambled eggs, potatoes, salad and toast

Okay, now we get to your traditional brekkie. Bacon, scrambled eggs, sourdough, potatoes, salad. The real star of this plate are the potatoes. Fingerlings are cooked perfectly: fluffy and creamy on the inside, with crispy textural bits on the outside. Whatever you order for breakfast, be sure to get some of these potatoes, you’ll thank me. 

I also want to shout out the salad. Arugula is tossed in a tahini dressing, but it’s also garnished with these crouton-like crispy chickpeas which took it to the next level. 

There’s also Eggs Benny for you purists. 

a dish of chicken and waffles Okay, now let’s go full-on, all-out, hungover indulgence. This is the Chicken and Waffles. Savory, country-fried chicken thighs (boneless) meet sweet liege waffles. The whole thing is tied together with a seasonal fruit compote and maple syrup.

If you’re really, really hung over, you might want to consider the Ballyhoo Burger. Just sayin. 

A bowl with yogourt, strawberries, mint, blueberries and granola If you’re looking for something lighter, or maybe to finish your meal, they have a lovely yogourt/granola bowl with seasonal fresh fruit, mint and honey. Simple happiness. 

As for the hair of the dog that bit you, The Ballyhoo has tons of local beers on tap, or you can try one of their Aperol-based cocktails. Aperol is known to be  good for settling your stomach. There are also fresh-pressed juices, including one that has orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and turmeric. Guaranteed to kill what ails you. 

The Ballyhoo Public House

103-888 Burrard St

Open for brunch from 10am Saturday & Sunday. 

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