Posts Tagged dessert

Seasons in the Park

Seasons in the Park is by far and above one of the most scenic places to dine in Vancouver. It’s one restaurant in the Sequoia Company of Restaurants, which all seem to be beautifully situated, regardless of where they are in Vancouver. Seasons in the Park happens to be smack-dab in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park, and must be one of the restaurants with the best view in the spring- and summer-time. I’ve actually been here for my birthday twice – this year and two years ago! It’s not a tradition, but a fun choice when the weather is great and the flowers are in bloom.

Needless to say, the ambiance makes this restaurant a winner – but the food itself is great, too! Top that off with friendly and attentive service, and you have a restaurant worthy of being called “amazing”. The dishes aren’t incredibly “innovative” or mind-boggling, so I wouldn’t start mentioning Michelin stars or anything, but they are still delicious and dining here is still enjoyable.

BC Salmon Burger:

BC Salmon Burger

In-freaking-credible. The salmon was perfectly cooked and melty; no dry fish or rubbery texture here whatsoever. The onions and lettuce in the bun were crisp, and the bun itself was outstanding. It was buttered and grilled, I believe, and was warm and fluffy when I bit into it. The buttery-ness went really well with the buttery salmon. The rémoulade had a nice cooling effect to offset the “warmth”, with a pleasantly mild tang. The salad was nice and crisp, as was the pickle. Highly recommend the salmon burger. This was probably one of the best salmon burgers I’ve had in Vancouver (though I haven’t had too many so perhaps my saying that doesn’t mean too much).

Queen Elizabeth Burger:

QE Burger

Another outstanding burger. I guess it’s hard to go wrong with buttered burger buns!

The meat was tender but deliciously juicy. The bacon – a class addition, of course – took it over the top with its subtle crunch and smoky flavour. The cheese was white cheddar, which was awesome but… just a pinch too scant. If I could have re-ordered this burger for Pita, I would have asked for extra cheese. It had a great, strong flavour that cheeses aged over a course of years typically have, but dominated this one side of the burger… Needs more cheese to balance it out!

Pickle and vegetable toppings were great, as was the coleslaw, which was acidic with sweet undertones – the way it should be – and not overly creamy. (I don’t like coleslaw in general, so the latter point is really important in my opinion… It’s not coleslaw if the texture is more creamy than it is cabbage-y.) The fries were thinly cut, warm, and crisp. They weren’t overly-greasy, and tasted fresh. Fries done right!

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake:

Yes, I realise it’s hard to go wrong with dessert but… I love this cake. And not just because it says “Happy Birthday!” to me.

I would not change ANYTHING. I love the multiple layers of a lighter tasty chocolate mousse and a darker chocolate mousse. Both layers are fluffy, and the ganache topping is just sweet enough to take the bitter edge off of the chocolate. This is definitely a dessert I would say should be shared – maybe between three people. But it was my birthday, so I ate most of it, alongside Pita.

Just looking at it is making me salivate. IT IS AMAZING. Texture-wise and flavour-wise (and scent-wise, too, if you’re in-the-know about how important smell is to taste). I guess if I had to complain, I would say that the “Happy Birthday” sign was too sweet… It doesn’t usually come with the cake (of course), so I didn’t factor it into my ranking. The presentation of this cake is also beautiful. The cape gooseberry on top was a nice touch and added a great burst of fruit flavour.

This was my favourite part of the meal, clearly.

Butter

The bread basket at the beginning of the meal was good, too. The buns were fluffy, fresh, and warm and… the butter says “butter” on it! Cool. Just in case you can’t recognise butter when you see it, I guess? Hah. The buns were good but the butter was nothing special. Serving herbed butter would probably be appropriate here, especially because of the “fancy” atmosphere in Seasons in the Park.

The wait staff here, in the couple of times that I have been, has always been very friendly. Maybe we’re just lucky to get great waiters and waitresses serving us here. I definitely appreciate great service when I see it! Our server on this occasion was knowledgeable about the menu and the restaurant’s background (happened to be a topic of conversation for a moment), and was very conversational. Our water glasses were pretty much full throughout the meal, also.

Two thumbs up! Though slightly costly, Seasons in the Park offers great service, delicious food, and a charming atmosphere and view.

Ambiance: 5

Food: 4.5

Service: 4.5

Value: 4

Overall: 4.5

Seasons in the Park on Urbanspoon

, , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

COWS (Whistler)

First things first: I know all reviews by food/restaurant bloggers are biased, but I have to say that this post is the most biased review I’ve written to date – just a forewarning. COWS, Inc. and I go way back. And I mean way back…

The best ice cream parlour on Earth.

I read another review that claims it’s only been in “recent years” that COWS, Inc. has brought their ice cream to B.C., all the way from P.E.I. Actually, that’s a bit inaccurate, if one is saying that based off of when the Whistler-based COWS opened up. There used to be a COWS ice cream store on Robson St. in Downtown Vancouver – no joke. It closed just over ten years ago – in 2002 I think, because one summer I came back to visit Vancouver and… it was gone. I was devastated. And by devastated, I mean tears-streaming-down-the-face-where-the-heck-is-my-favourite-ice-cream upset. Let’s just say I am passionate about my COWS ice cream… I can’t remember when the Robson store opened up, but I think it was around 1995 or 1996. (Could be totally off on that guess, though. I just remember eating COWS ice cream every single summer (and/or winter) I visited Vancouver.)

But I digress (hugely so). After eating at Sushi Village on our trip to Whistler, Emme and I visited COWS. Visiting this ice cream parlour is usually my actual motive for going to Whistler – no joke. We were lucky enough to get there before a huge crowd came in after us… Even in winter, I remember visiting the COWS storefront on Robson St and having to wait twenty-or-so minutes in a line that went out the door. I imagine it’s not much different at this branch – rain, snow, or sunshine.

Double scoop – chocolate and vanilla – in a chocolate-and-nut-encrusted cone.

Emme rolled with plainer flavours – two scoops, one of vanilla and one of chocolate – in a fancy chocolate-rimmed cone that had nuts embedded in the chocolate. Needless to say, both flavours are great. The chocolate was the highlight – no wonder there are two tubs of chocolate ice cream instead of just one behind the counter… – but the vanilla was top-of-the-line, too.

I got my childhood favourite… the flavour I waited in line for practically every time I visited the store on Robson… bubblegum. Yes, the most unnaturally coloured and flavoured one. I have to admit, my only beef with this flavour is that I’ve always hated the little “bubblegum” pieces that come with it. The texture of COWS ice cream is seriously out of this world – and they explain why on their website. The ice cream here has a high butterfat content, contributing to the incredible creaminess and wonderful mouthfeel. The nice thing about the ice cream, too, is that you actually feel full afterwards thanks to the high fat content. Love this stuff. I would argue that it is better than Häagen Dazs. Ahem… Aside from the amazing texture and overall taste, I must say that it was quite a bit sweeter than I remember. That might be the only other thing I would change about this particular flavour, next to the bubblegum pieces; the sweetness could be toned down a tad. In any case, I don’t think it’s a common feature amongst all the ice creams. The vanilla and chocolate were both less sweet, but spot-on in terms of sweetness as a result.

Double scoop – bubblegum ice cream in a cup.

Okay, enough about the food (the most important part). I personally like the store ambiance – there is a lot of brand paraphernalia for sale (shirts, lipbalm, mugs, etc. etc.) with fun graphics and such. Also, while you could say the service is a pretty minimal part of the experience, the gentleman manning the counter that day was a great “server”. He was super friendly, quite jovial, and helpful. Definitely knowledgeable about the flavours, too, which was nice. Just made the overall experience even better.

A trip to Whistler is not complete without a visit (or multiple visits…) to COWS ice cream parlour. In my world, the trip to Whistler is made primarily to get this ice cream. It has been named one of the “World’s Top Ten Places for Ice Cream” for a very good reason. Whatever the season, it’s more than worth your while to stop by and grab some COWS ice cream.

Ambiance: 4

Food: 5

Service: 5

Value: 5 [Expensive but SO worth every single penny. Seriously. This is considered some of the best ice cream in the world!]

Overall: 5 [Told you I’m super biased.]

COWS Whistler on Urbanspoon

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Trixi’s Crepe & Coffeehaus

One place worth considering on South Cambie, should you ever be in the area for a movie or otherwise, is definitely Trixi’s Crepe & Coffeehaus. This little place is a small, cute, yet nondescript “hole-in-the-wall” type place on the corner of Cambie and W 17th. Aside from serving up the obvious — crepes and coffee — Trixi’s also offers a selection of cold desserts (ice cream, sorbetto, gelato…), teas and tisanes, baked goods, and lunch items like bagels, paninis, soups, and salads. It’s the perfect pit-stop if you need a quick bite-to-eat or just a place to visit for a warm, inviting place to chat with a friend over coffee (or, if you’re like me, tea!).

Mocha Latte

Emme, who just so happened to need an afternoon snack before we went to watch a movie at the Park Theatre one time, suggested we drop by since the place didn’t look too busy. Upon entering we were greeted by a welcoming counter attendant and an equally welcoming interior. Trixi’s is a long and narrow café, but is quite cozy — even more so because of the cushy, comfortable chairs available if you’re not running out the door after getting your coffee. Not in the mood really for crepes — though all the combinations and choices on the board seemed really delicious — Emme ordered a Vegetarian Panini and got a Mocha Latte on the side.

The latte was apparently perfectly done… Emme couldn’t really compare it with one from Starbucks, since she usually doesn’t order mocha-anything from Starbucks, but this latte was hot, tasty, and flavourful. Quite nicely done.

Vegetarian Panini

The veggie panini looks delicious, and, Emme assured me, it was actually as delicious as it looks. The veggies were fresh, as was the egg (which was also cooked to perfection!). The melty cheese brought all the ingredients together and the oregano sprinkled within and on top of the panini was a particularly nice touch. It added a pleasing herby flavour to the sandwich.

Raspberry Dream tisane

I’d eaten a snack just a bit earlier and was satisfied enough with a tea – or rather, a tisane, as it was a fruit infusion. Trixi’s carries teas and tisanes made by Steeps, and they all sounded extremely appealing to a tea-lover such as myself, but I managed to pick one: Raspberry Dream. It was a lovely blend of flavours in its own right, with a strong raspberry taste and delicate undertones of rosehips and hibiscus. If you’re starting to feel blue thanks to Vancouver’s seemingly semi-constant rainy weather, perhaps you could try sipping some of the Shi**y Weather tea? (I don’t swear, really, but that tea’s name definitely made me chuckle a bit, and Trixi’s does offer it — along with the perfect environment to enjoy it in on a rainy day!)

Although we didn’t stay for long and didn’t try what the café is obviously known for — its crepes — both Emme and I agreed that we would happily come back again just to taste the crepes and maybe some of the gelato. Both sweet and savory crepes are available, so there should be something for everyone! And if the quality of the panini is a good reflection of the rest of the food options at Trixi’s, then we can decidedly say that the place has great food… Alas, that’s a far shot just based off of one sandwich, but the place definitely left a good impression. The attendant at the counter (actually the owner, I think?!) was also super friendly and happy to answer any and all questions we had as well as strike up conversation and make us feel even more welcomed. True, it’s not a restaurant, but I’d still compliment the place on great service. The ambiance was also lovely, and aside from comfortable chairs, the décor was also tastefully done (and the bathrooms clean – always a good sign, haha).

All in all, a very pleasant “dining” experience! We will be back to try the crepes (and more tea and hot coffee!). [And if what I’ve been told is true, then the counter attendant is actually no mere attendant, but the owner! Even more impressive, in my opinion. Good way to build up strong connections with customers and ensure that they get nothing but exceptional customer service.]

Ambiance: 5

Food: 4

Service: 4.5

Overall: 4.5

Trixi's Crepe & Coffeehaus on Urbanspoon

, , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments