Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things that Make me Smile II

Hello world!

Let's continue with Part II of my Van-city re-cap . . . shall we?

On Thursday morning I woke up bright and early to take care of business (lol). It was a perfect day outside so I basically had to force myself to attend my meeting. The temptation to go outside and play was huge!! Instead I resisted and nibbled on some of the eats I had picked up at the local Capers Market (apparently owned by Whole Foods):

Yeah the pretzel bun is random but I had not eaten one since my trip to Munich in the fall of 2003. It was just as I remembered - yummy!

This trip also marked my first experience with the Bear Naked granola. Overall review of Bear Naked? Not very sweet which is a bonus in my books. Unfortunately, it seemed to be covered in a strange white film. Maybe that was the soy protein. I didn't love it.

And overall review of the KIND bars?
Awesome! Not too sweet but chock full of nuts and protein. I loved them. They were however kind of pricey ($2.50/bar on sale) so I probably would not buy them again.

I spent most of my day in work-related activities. Once my obligations were taken care of I ran upstairs to my room, changed into running clothing, and headed out the door.

On three of the four days I was there, I ran . . .

A 6K loop from my hotel to the park and back . . .

I was not alone in my running. Lots of others were running too . . .

And really, can you blame us? These are the routes that make running a sheer joy!

I will miss those runs and I look forward to running the same paths next time I return to Vancouver (for a few days in late April).

While in Vancouver I also indulged in some serious eats!!! Here are the highlights - my tiramisu dessert at Joe Fortes:

The goodies I picked up at Capers before I headed back to the Rockies (special shout out to the my black truffle oil - be still my heart!):

My Cola Champagne at "El Rinconcito" Salvadoran restaurant on Commercial (2062). What can I say? It's all about the little ethnic moments. This was the pop of my youth:

But the ABSOLUTE highlight of my Vancouver eats was Japadog! What is Japadog? Think average North American hotdog meet Japanese ingenuity. The result is a crazy delicious meal that tastes like something from a really amazing Japanese Restaurant. Judging by the crowds, the wait, the media coverage (including in Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations"), and the newly opened second location Japadog is a runaway hit!

The menu is full of creations one would never expect to find at a hot dog stand. Okonomiyaki on a hot dog? Miso? Are you serious!?! I have to admit I was unsure just how yummy this hot dog would be. But all of these people either waiting or ordering (this picture was taken after the rush) couldn't be wrong:

As I got closer I was confronted with a myriad of choices. What was a girl to eat?

Intriguing. But the Okonomidog was not the winner. I found my hotdog on this list:

The Kurobuta Terrimayo had my name written all over it! Japanese pork, terriyaki sauce (which tasted nothing like any terriyaki sauce I had ever had before), seaweed, and fried onions. In the end it looked something like this:

And the taste? LOL Oh man was it good!!! You know in the Simpsons when Homer really likes something and tilts back his head, mouth open, tongue to the side, and makes a sound to indicate the utter deliciousness of what he's about to eat (see picture here) ? Well that was me! I had a little internal battle going on about whether or not I should go back for another one. I didn't but I wanted to. Bad.

Overall review of Japadog? Absolutely recommend it!!! It tastes like a meal, is utterly delicious, and of really high quality. I should mention I never eat hot dogs either. I don't like them. They generally make me sick. Not so with Japadog!

Clearly, I had an awesome time in Vancouver. I can't wait to go back to share some laughs with my girls and enjoy Stanley Park runs. And if you're looking for me you might just find me in line at Japadog.

Hasta luego bloggies!


K said...

Gorgeous pictures - thanks for posting!

TIRAMISU!!! My favorite dessert :)

Krista said...

I wasn't very fond of Bare Naked granola either.

You had some awesome eats while on your trip but I'm mostly jealous of where you got to run!!! AMAZING!

A Toronto girl out West said...


It's my pleasure! :o) And the tiramisu was great and I'm a picky tiramisu eater. Nothing worse than when restaurants cheap out and use something other than mascarpone!


Glad to see I'm not the only one. People seem to love it so I thought I would too. Not so much though. Not so much at all.

And the runs were great. Second to hanging out with my friends, they were the highlights of my trip!!! What a treat! :o)

Anonymous said...

loveeee your pics! the best bare naked granola is the basic fruit and nut. its the BEST :) and im also in love with those kind bars! almond coconut is my favorite

A Toronto girl out West said...


Ummm . . . that was the only kind of the Bare Naked granola in that store. But maybe I'll give it another try on your recommendation! :o)

And the KIND apricot almond one was yummers! If I could find them in bulk without any peanut bars I would totally buy them!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

I've totally wanted to try a Japadog for forever! I just never get to spend enough time downtown when I go to visit my family. But soon enough, I'll have to travel through downtown (or close enough) every day to get to school. Japadog will be mine!

And Capers is a fun store. I picked up one of those pretzel buns last time I was there. Have you checked out Urban Fare as well? They have some awesome product in there. You should hit it up next time you are in Van-City.

Still wish I had me a Japadog.

A Toronto girl out West said...


Oooo you're moving back? You must be so excited!

And you're right - Urban Fare is very cool. Did you know that it's owned by the Save-on-Foods people? The only reason I didn't hit it up this time was that I knew that I would do more damage there than at Capers.

Knowing me I might have actually walked out with Poilane bread flown in from Paris. lol :oP

aron said...

sooooo pretty! i want to run there!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

I did know it was owned by Save-On. It said so on the bottle's of Urban Fare brand salad dressing I bought.

I only found out about it, because my mom suggested I check it out when I said I was going to Caper's while visiting at Christmas.

And I am moving back, sometime in August. So excited! I'll be heading to UBC, so I'll have to pass through Van-City on my commutes to and from school. I imagine I'll have to make some stops downtown to stock up on goods :)

A Toronto girl out West said...


You can!!! There's a marathon in Vancouver that goes through the park. You could come to Canada to run a race!!! :o)


Yaaay for you getting to go back home! :o)

Where do you stock up on goodies in Victoria?

Phil said...


I'm with the company that makes KIND Bars. Thanks so much for your positive review!

We agree that $2.50 on sale is waaay more than you should pay for a KIND Bar. Would you mind sharing where you got the bars for $2.50 on sale? Retailers shouldn't be selling them for more than $1.99, and you can find them online for significantly less per bar if you buy cases (particularly if you purchase directly through us at

We make efforts to be affordable as possible despite using the highest quality all-natural ingredients and making out bars by hand, and we'd love to talk to the retailer to make sure they're offering the bars at a price that's fair to customers. If you could email me, I'd really appreciate it (and it would help you pay less at your local grocer!)


Phil Walotsky
KIND Snacks

Phil said...


Phil from KIND Snacks again. Was re-reading and saw you listed Capers Market in the post. We'll be in touch with them, and hopefully you'll see KIND more affordable next time (certainly not $2.50 on sale).


A Toronto girl out West said...


Thank-you so much for dropping by! I sent you an email with a bit more information.

It's great to know KIND watches out for things like this . . . it speaks highly of the company!