Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trendy Saturday Night Out

The area where I live has become a trendy hot spot for dining and drinking. People come from quite far to partake in one of the many busy restaurants and/or the multitude of craft beer places in the general neighbourhood.  The craft beer places are in the same general neighbourhood but on the way to the city. I am travelling in the opposite direction to the southern edge of the part of town known as Mount Pleasant and on the fringes of the area known as Riley Park. This is where there are many coffee shops, dessert places, boutique shops and a plethora of eateries.  I'll share some of them with you in this post. These are only a fraction of those that are available on this busy street called Main Street. Main Street is the centre street in the city. If you go west of Main Street you are in the western part of town and if you go east you are in the eastern part of the city.

I was surprised to see just how busy it has become. Years ago when I first lived in the area (multiple homes ago), this area was definitely not the place to be. Once 6 p.m. rolled around everything shut down and was very quiet. Over the years many new business people moved into the area revitalizing it with trendy eateries and shopping places. Formerly it was known as antique row but today there are very few antique places to be found. The millennials have no interest in antiques it seems. Many of the long established antique stores have vanished or they have reduced their floor space and moved on to other neighborhoods.

I love the sign in the photo below. On one side it says 'good food'. On the other side it says 'eat".

 I've never eaten at the restaurant but they had a long line of people waiting for a table.
Perhaps you can see them in the photo below.
 What you cannot see is that there were a lot more people waiting in patio seating to the left of the sidewalk.

Notice the outside benches along the right side of the sidewalk
They are there because the restaurants all along this block are exceptionally busy.

The burger place in the photo below has great burgers and fries.

I haven't tried this place for years since I try not to eat so many burgers or fries. It looks like they have a great lunch special.

I was pleased to see the used book store was open late. 
There is another one across the street that closes earlier (around 6 p.m.).
The sushi restaurant next door to the bookstore is quite good though I haven't been there for a long time.
 Many restaurants I stopped going to since I retired due to needing to manage diabetes. Nowadays I stick to a handful of restaurants when I need a bite to eat and make many of my meals at home so I know what is in the dish
There is a second sushi restaurant adjacent to the first one.  It doesn't seem quite as busy but they offer brown rice and other healthy options. Many of the Japanese restaurants in town do likewise.

I love the sign at the Thai Restaurant. It glows so prettily in the dark. Again I haven't been to this restaurant for years but it was good each time I went.  They have always had a great word of mouth reputation and the reviews on line are excellent also.  
A lot of out of towners seem to hit this spot when they come to the city and want Thai food.

For my dinner I ended up at a diner and had a marvellous Greek dinner of Roasted Lamb, something I never make at home. 
Unfortunately I didn't take a good photo of the diner or even of my meal but it was very tasty.

Earlier in the day I ran some errands in the area called South Main. It is where the community library is located. I picked up a few movies there and returned a book that was coming due.  
The weather was gorgeous and the light very beautiful. 
The newish library and Community Centre on the ground level with apartments above.
I love old brick buildings like this. We have so few of them left in the City. We never had so many to start with.

The steeple on the building in the photo below belongs to what used to be a church I attended for about a year. Sadly, the congregation sold the building which was converted to condos and they bought land in another municipality.

 I did not follow the congregation out of town because I lived and worked in Vancouver and the new location wasn't convenient.
Many long established churches left the city due to dwindling attendance and the high cost of everything.  
Fortunately the trend seems to be reversing and there are a lot of new churches being founded in the area and across the city. Most of them are worshiping in diverse places such as spaces above coffee shops, in shopping malls and cinemas due to lack of their own building.
Personally I don't mind worshiping in these different types of spaces as long as there is a place to gather.
It makes it a bit less convenient though for office administration, nurseries and programs.

The high rise in the photo below is the first one to be built in the neighbourhood.  It likely won't be the last.
In fact just a few days ago the council just approved 3 high rise buildings (one development) about 10 blocks away. Again the development was hotly contested because it cuts off the sight lines to downtown and the mountains  which up to now have been protected views.  Vancouver has basically run out of land and has to build upward.  Those involved with the planning say that the mountains will still be visible from this side of town.  Others are concerned this is the beginning of high rises everywhere. The city has reached the point where the only solution is to build high rises.  It just keeps on growing and there are not enough homes for everyone.

The builders started building the high rise in earnest in about October 2017. They made good progress but there is still quite  lot to be done. The development takes up a good half block of the city and incorporates a low rise and a high rise plus a lot of amenities for all the residents.  I've seen the renderings for the complex and it looks great but I always withhold my full judgement until I see the finished product. All the apartments in the complex sold out many years ago already while the debate about building was still going on.

 Last but not least, I intended to make several pizzas when my cousin visited last weekend.
Instead I took her out for a wonderful Greek Souvakia dinner which she really enjoyed.

I made the pizzas for my brother and I instead.

Ham and pineapple pizza

My pizza above ended up being almost a triangle shape after baking. Despite trying to make it round it kept shrinking.
I divided pizza dough meant for 2 pizzas into 4 so I had to stretch the dough quite thin.  I prefer thin crust anyway.
I only have one round pan so the other pizza is a long one.
At my diabetic workshop the other day one of the ladies said she wanted to offload her pizza paraphernalia
which included a pizza stone and I'm not sure what else.
I said I would take it so I hope she remembers to bring it next time.

Primarily veggie and cheese pizza but part of it has ham (at the top).
The pizzas were both pronounced "very good".

Thank you for stopping by.
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Jo said...

Wow Penny, what a lovely tour of this vibrant part of your city. You describe everything so well, I felt I was walking through the neighborhood with you. Your pizzas look yummy! Have a great day. Jo

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Your comments about antique stores seem to apply everywhere. It is certainly true here, but many of them don’t survive because their antiques are spelled J U N K. The mere fact that something is old confers neither value nor beauty. In many cases it seems that the proprietors have space and shelves to fit and they stuff anything in there. We patronize good antique stores from time to time but there are few of them - and, quite rightly, they are not cheap.

Dianna said...

I enjoyed my tour of Vancouver this morning, Penny. It is neat to see how life goes in other places. It is sad though that the only place to grow is up because of it messing up the views of the mountains. Your pizzas both look so yummy...especially the veggie one. :-)

Red said...

You've covered a wide variety of topics on this post. Great night shots. Things do change when we're not watching.

Lady Fi said...

Your city looks like a nice place to live.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

As we let our burgeoning population spiral out of control up is the only way to house people. We are going to become like ant colonies, but less efficient.

Birgitta said...

Thanks for the photographic tour :)

Joanne Noragon said...

Laura makes pizza once in a while. Yours and hers look much alike. Tasty! Many people come to my town for their evening meal. I hate it when I can't find a parking place because of them!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Hope you get the pizza stone. I find it does make a difference to the quality in my homemade pizzas. It's a wonder how neighborhoods change seemingly quickly from nothing to a hot spot for both locals and tourists. Our downtown has been trying for years to make it happen.

Jeanie said...

I love seeing your city. It looks like so many fun things to do. And you are lucky to live in a city with good restaurants. We're low on that end -- well, lots of restaurants. Good independents are a little harder to find.

Angie said...

It is interesting to watch how neighborhoods change and evolve - usually for the better ... I understand the dilemma in Vancouver ... if people need places to live, upward is probably the only solution. I am jealous of your Greek food ... one of my favorites and we don't have any Greek restaurants in our area. Thanks for the thorough tour of your stomping grounds!

Mari said...

Your pizza looks very good!
I enjoyed seeing your city. It does look very busy in spots. There is a town near us named Mount Pleasant also, and our area is also known for craft beer. It seems to be a big thing now. I am not a fan of beer, never did like the taste of it!

Gattina said...

Neighborhood changes sometimes to the better sometimes to the worth. I am still not in the real city but the fields and cows are replaced by houses and people ! If I haven't been hungry so far I am now !!

annie said...

Oh I just love these night photos!!
I am enjoying seeing where you live quite a lot. I wish we had a second hand bookstore but, nope, town's too small for anything like that.
Those pizzas look delicious. The second one is just up my alley!

bookworm said...

I looked at this with some wistfulness. I can wish that the city where I work undergoes a renaissance such as this. But I also know that it could raise real estate values to where many people now living here could no longer afford it. Still...your photos brought me right inside your world.

diane b said...

Gosh you sure have a great choice of restaurants. We have the same problem -trying to house the growing population. We watched a TV doc on that topic recently. Its quite scary.

Rhodesia said...

T'other Diane above has taken the words right out of my mouth, you sure have a great choice of restaurants. One of the disadvantages of living in the country, but I would not change for anything. I love sushi, made some for ourselves last night. You pizza looks good, what difference does it make what shape it is, it is all in the flavour not in the shape :-) Take care, Diane

Joyful said...

You are right Diane, the taste is most important. I do love living in my city because that is one thing we definitely have. Food and restaurants from every part of the world. When I travel I know I am spoiled because there is not the same variety in most places.

Joyful said...

You got that right. With development comes very high prices and taxes.

Joyful said...

Hi Angie, long ago we had so many Greek restaurants. I used to frequent most of them. But with development and high cost of leases and taxes they have mostly closed down. Thankfully we still have a few for I love Green food so much.

Joyful said...

That's good to know. I wouldn't have thought a stone makes much difference but I do look forward to trying it,

Joyful said...

Main Street, featured in the blog post has long been known for "no parking" or limited parking. I don't know where all the people who come find a spot to park.

Joyful said...

It is! Thanks.

Joyful said...

Thanks dear Jo. Maybe some day you can come and visit and see it.

Linda said...

Nice shots! I rarely wait in line at a restaurant. If I am hungry, I don't want to wait!

jabbott said...

The night life there is fabulous, and so many places to eat!!

Elisabeth said...

Penny, I've had so much going on this past week, I almost forgot to visit you...glad I did because you have the most interesting stories and photos to share with all the places you've been. I love all those trendy restaurants you have in your city, especially the Thai, so elegant and the food must be amazing. I love Thai food! Your pizza toppings are sooo yummy, my sister only eats the Hawaiian pizza which is the ham and pineapple...as for me I love the various veggie ones you made, with the ham on the top. A bit of advice; if you let the dough rest longer, once you start rolling it out, just leave it to rest so the dough is more pliable to work with, you can stretch it out all the way to fit the pizza pan. Either way no matter what shape the quality of the dough, and the topping is what counts...delicious!

Joyful said...

Thanks for the tip Elisabeth! I believe I did rest the dough but perhaps not for long enough. About how long should I rest the dough? I do love Hawaiian pizza like your sister but I am trying to eat more veggies ;-)

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