Usually, we are on the road for two weeks this time of year. We haven’t managed to hit the road since moving to BC. Too busy exploring our new world close to home. Not much has changed this year. Earlier this year we booked our petsitter, for a four-day vaycay, destination to be determined. Our choices were limited this year by wildfires still burning in much of BC. We settled on the big city, a 40-minute trip, where we are still very much tourists. We are treating ourselves to four all-star restos, pared down from a list of 40. AND the Hotel Georgia, an elegant, grand dame built in the 1920’s and newly renovated, known for its superb service, downtown local, and an excellent bar.
The day, hot and sunny, marred only by the smoke of new wildfires, and the knowledge of the weather turning to rain and cloud tomorrow has us cruising into the city at our leisure for a late lunch at Meet, a vegan eatery on Main Street.
Meet, very much a homemade hippy enclave features a creative menu showcasing a large “burger” selection, including the famous Beyond Meat patty (unavailable currently everywhere in Canada due to its popularity), coconut bacon, real ice tea, rice bowls and mushroom calamari. A small tv over the bar is playing Little Shop of Horrors.
For starters we shared the sweet-chilli cauliflower fritters, beer battered and glazed with a sticky-sweet tamarind chilli-ginger glaze. They promise to be addictive, and they are. Sweet with a mild heat, well-fried and not greasy.
Rob and I both choose burgers, The Meet for me and The Mighty Mac for Rob. The patties are thick and tasty. Nuts and mushroom are the predominant flavours. The bun is soft and the toppings fresh. Crispy onions on mine add a nice crunch. Rob’s burger came slopped on with a pile of mac and cheese which was tasty enough with what I imagine was a cashew-based cheese. The well made skin-on fries are served on the side with chipotle mayo and a rather dull salad of greens, shredded carrot and beet and little or no dressing.
Meet gets a bit noisy when half full but you can be seated outside if you like. The bathrooms are NOT clean ( have not had a good scrubbing in some time) and almost a deal breaker. Service is slow, so don’t go in a hurry, but if you are looking for creative vegan, check it out.
Tonight we are eating Thai at Maenam, a sister resto to Longtail, a more casual place we have previously enjoyed. We can’t get a taxi at this time of day, so the Hotel Georgia sent their Bentley around to take us to dinner. An unexpected treat for sure.
Maenam in Kits is small, clean, modern and not particularly Thai in design. Seated by a window overlooking a busy, vibrant street, beers are ordered, and menus are oohed and ahhed over. Choices are hard. Finally, despite being momentarily tempted by the chef’s menu, we settle on two appies and two mains to share.
The grilled Thai sausage and crispy rice salad was a lime bomb! So delicious with fermented pork sausage, crispy curried rice puffs, coriander, lemongrass, ginger, fried chillies and limey goodness. The portion size, a bit substantial for an appetizer, should be shared family style as with most of the menu items.
The Thai “tacos” with mungbean wafers and their crisp, light sweetness, were stuffed with Dungeness crab meat, coriander root and young coconut. Elegantly presented with a few flower petals and some gold leaf, I would go back time and again just for these.
We rounded the meal out with 8-spice lingcod, crunchy and caramelized with a palm sugar tamarind sauce and crispily fried basil leaves as well as a classic pad Thai with shrimp.
Excellent on all counts, food, service and clean bathrooms.