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August 2012

La-Taqueria-Taco

This cute little taco shop has been calling my name for a while. It has two locations, one downtown and one on Cambie St., which is the one I checked out. It’s bright and colourful inside and out. And at the time of this review, it was the #4 rated “cheap eats” restaurant on Urbanspoon. It’s claim to fame is that it sells authentic tacos from traditional recipes with local, organic and sustainable ingredients. The idea is to sell tacos similar to those found on the streets of Mexico called pinche tacos.

The menu was what really drew me in: braised beef tongue (de lengua), braised beef cheeks (de cachete), grilled “AAA” flank beef (asada), and chicken with chocolate mole sauce (pollo con mole). Yes, please – one of each. And at 4 for $9.50, why not? Even more so since the ingredients are of higher quality (e.g. AAA beef, Maple Hills medication and antibiotic-free chicken).

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CC-Violin-Macarons

CC Violin is the latest pastry shop to open up in the Vancouver area – West Vancouver to be exact. And of course, I was quite curious to try it. Especially after I heard that its pastry chef is Brett McDonald, formerly of West, Cioppino’s and the Wickanninish Inn. I’ve had some very memorable desserts at West, so expectations were high.

The interior of this Café is chic – fitting very nicely into the Ambleside neighbourhood. The only thing I didn’t like about the space was that their display cabinets were quite low compared to other dessert shops, which made reading the descriptions more difficult. CC Violin sells pastries, chocolates, desserts, macarons, lunch items, and coffee.

Right away, the Green Apple mousse cake stood out. It looked just like, you guessed it, an actual green apple. However, I immediately zeroed in on the two gluten-free options: the Sophia (a chocolate mousse cake) and the Noiselle (a hazelnut mousse).

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Pinkberry-Frozen-Yogurt
Photo by LWY

Frozen yogurt chains are popping up like crazy. Vancouver now has most of the popular chains found in the US, like Menchie’s, Yogen Fruz, TCBY, and Pinkberry. Carrying around some frozen yogurt seems to be the next most popular accessory, after a Starbucks cup and a miniature dog. I don’t really get it though. I guess it’s an ice cream alternative. And because it’s yogurt, people are equating it with being healthy… is that the logic? I guess these people don’t read ingredient labels.

Yogurts, even those found at Whole Foods, are some of the least healthy foods in the grocery store. And what’s worse, is that they’re actually masquerading as health foods. Not only are the majority of these yogurts low-fat or fat-free (including the Greek ones – oxymoron!), but they’re full of additives and sugar. And anyone that’s buying yogurt for probiotics is fooling themselves – most of the probiotics in commercially produced yogurts are killed off during the pasteurization process.

Considering the state of regular yogurts sold in grocery stores, it’s not really all that surprising that the ingredient lists of frozen yogurts are far from healthy. If you’re going to indulge in frozen yogurt, that’s your choice – but don’t let the marketers trick you into thinking it’s good for you.

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Batch-Cooking-Aug-26-2012

I tend to go a little lighter on the cooking in the summertime – especially for lunch, which often ends up being salad + protein. Still, I’ve now got food for most of the week – such is the joy of batch cooking :)

On the menu this week: prime rib roast with coleslaw and salad with chicken which will be assembled daily (with figs, blueberries, avocado and bocconcini or feta cheese). If you haven’t yet noticed, I put avocados on practically every salad – I just love them!

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What's-In-Your-Cart-Aug-26-12

Do you ever peek into other people’s shopping carts, or gawk at their purchases at the check-out? Do you then try to figure out what kind of diet, if any, they’re on? Followed perhaps by a quick glance at the shopper to evaluate the success of that diet?

Somehow I doubt I’m the only one… In which case, you might find my weekly shopping loot interesting.

Even more nosy? ;) Here are the details:

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