We Ate Well On All The Food We Loved in 2015
When you travel for over 33 weeks in a year, you eat a lot of meals out. While we stayed in an Airbnb condo for part of this time, we also took advantage of being away to try new foods and new restaurants. We had a chance to eat out at all times of the day, try foods in various venues, searched for the perfect coffee with a treat or for just stopped in for a drink.
When we looked back at 2015, some trends were clear. If there was chocolate, coffee, Napoli style pizza or seafood, we would be looking for the best wherever we were. We would eat in diners or at food trucks just as easily as 5 star restaurants. While we are pretty wimpy when it comes to spicy food, we didn’t hesitate to try buffalo burgers or authentic native bannock. I got spoiled with fresh produce and great combo salads so much that I can’t order a simple caesar salad anymore. We are not big drinkers but we came to love the “flights” of beer and wine that let us try a variety of tastes. Come take a look at the food we loved in 2015!
Eating Out At All Times of the Day
Doing a road trip across the U.S. from Toronto to Vancouver, gives you a chance to eat at traditional U.S. eateries.
Whether it was a full rack of ribs in the mid-west in the middle of beef country, buffalo burgers in Wyoming or pies of any flavours, we could find it on the road.
One of my favourite meals out is breakfast. On the weekend, we would sometimes splurge on brunch. Often we chose a more healthy option but sometimes we couldn’t resist french toast buried in whipped creme and strawberries. When we stayed in the False Creek area in Vancouver, it was easy to walk out for a wide menu of breakfast options (Tap and Barrel).
Travelling in the fall, we got spoiled with lots of fresh produce and many of our meals were healthy salads just loaded with salmon or chicken, fruit and nuts (Arms Reach Bistro, Beatniks in Fort Langley, Mission Springs in Mission). Great salads topped my list of food we loved in 2015!
Seafood Everywhere We Went
Spending most of our year close to water on the East Coast, touring the West Coast , cruising for 26 days in the Caribbean or visiting in The Bahamas, we got spoiled with fresh seafood. We often would stock up on fresh salmon on our day trips to Steveston outside of Vancouver. On many of our day trips outside of Vancouver, we would find the local fish and chip shop. When we were in The Bahamas in February and again in July, a trip down to the Montagu Market dock to pick out our red snapper for dinner would add a show as we watched it being filleted. When in The Bahamas, you should not miss out on fresh tropical conch salad. Sometimes it comes with great entertainment as it is made right before your eyes! Fresh seafood was very high on our list of food we loved in 2015!
Feeding Our Italian Food Desires
Our many trips to Italy have made us quite picky about the pizza we eat. We no longer can stomach a pizza piled high with ingredients and cheese with thick crusts wrapped in bacon. We want our pizza in the Napoli style – thin, with sweet tomato sauce, covered with olive oil and lightly topped. We lucked out and found several great Italian style pizza places in Vancouver (Nicli Antica, Famosa Neapolitan Pizza). We even found real Napoli pizza on our National Park tour when we stopped for one night in Cedar City, UT (Centro Pizzeria). We were easily able to satisfy our need for good pizza so it stayed high on our list of food we loved in 2015!
When we cruised for 26 days in the spring, we were delighted to find that the lead chef was Italian and every day he delighted us with new offerings. While the food was great, the cooking demonstrations added entertainment while we learned some cooking tips.
We Found Food Everywhere
The gourmet food truck experience is alive and well in Vancouver! You could find them parked on their favourite corners and you could find them in large groups at one of the many food truck festivals that happen around Vancouver. No matter what you want to eat, you can find it on a food truck!
One of Us Is a Chocoholic!
In looking at what we took pictures of, the biggest source of foodporn in 2015 came from chocolate! For David, chocolate is a food group and the top of his list of food we loved in 2015! Early in the year while cruising in the Caribbean, we visited a plantation in Grenada that actually produced raw chocolate from the plant! We bought samples of 100% cacao to take home to grate for chocolate shavings.
The Oceania cruise ship we were on had an awesome Belgian pastry chef and the specialty seemed to be chocolate desserts. David probably didn’t miss a single one!
But the cruise was not the only place we found decadent chocolate desserts! One of our favourite restaurants in Langley in the Fraser Valley (Ignite Cafe) made the greatest chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. Several times while we were staying in Vancouver we made the lengthy trip out to Langley for this indulgence!
In February we escaped to Exuma for Valentine’s Week. We got spoiled when twice they had a chocolate buffet in the evening.
Our favourite pizza spot in Vancouver (Nicli’s Pizzeria) had a few favourite chocolate desserts on the menu. Chocolate flat cake is always a hit and this one was served with homemade gelato and carmelized bananas!
When in Vancouver, we also explored some of the specialty chocolate shops in Vancouver. Both XOXOlat and Beta 5 provided a good selection of chocolates for us to sample. We even spent a morning at XOXOlat to take a chocolate course, learning much about both the different kinds of chocolate and the variations by region. Exploring in the Fraser Valley we got spoiled by fresh cranberries, especially when they came covered in dark chocolate (Cranberries Naturally)! It should not be hard to see why chocolate topped our list of food we loved in 2015!
While most of our desserts centred around chocolate, occasionally we would try something else. Afternoon tea on our cruise was always a way to sample a wide variety of sweet treats, whether it was scones with real cream or some other offering from the pastry gods on board. On our Caribbean cruise, we went in search of key lime pie when we stopped in Key West at the Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. On our July trip to Bahamas, we often went out in the evening in search of a treat and the soufflé at Cafe Martinque on Paradise Island was worth the wait!
If chocolate is David’s poison, caramel is mine! While we visited Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, a day trip to Sandia Crest high above Albuquerque provided the most panoramic site for me to gobble up a perfect caramel cupcake from Small Cakes. I even found a shop in Vancouver (Crackle Creme) that specialized just in creme brûlée! I of course had a salted caramel creme brûlée but David tried one of their more interesting versions – Vietnamese coffee with cacao nibs! When we stopped in Quebec City on our road trip to Nova Scotia, no visit would be complete without a taste of the sugar pie!
The Travelling Coffee Snobs
Much of the time, our desserts were enjoyed with a coffee. There was a time when we would get coffee from any fast food joint and be happy. That time has long passed! A few years ago we bought a Jura espresso machine and now we are true coffee snobs. Whenever we travel we go in search of good coffee and we were pleased enough with our results to have coffee on the list of food we loved in 2015!
When we were on our Caribbean cruise, we always got our coffee from the barista in the cafe. We knew it would be a freshly brewed coffee done to each of our tastes. When dining in the various restaurants, we would pass on coffee if it was not coming fresh from the cafe.
On our Caribbean cruise, we were surprised at how many of the Caribbean destinations said they were “the best” coffee. David tried a lot of coffee and bought none. His favourite on the cruise was from Cuatro Sombras in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
We visited a lot of coffee shops when we spent the fall in Vancouver. When we did our day trips to Steveston, there was always a stop for fresh coffee at the Steveston Coffee shop. Often he would try the brew of the day, even when it was something as odd sounding as Peanut Butter and Jam.
If you are doing a road trip in the U.S., you will find drive through espresso shops in many shapes and sizes!
And if you want your coffee with a little kick, you can watch the show at the Cafe Martinique in Atlantis, Nassau!
Flights Of Beer and Wine and Spirits
No food tale would be complete without a little word about the drinks that accompany the great meals. We found Vancouver to be a beer lovers paradise. Brew pubs were everywhere. In the False Creek area where we stayed, there were 3 within a 5 minute walk! You could order a “flight of beer” to get a sample of a wide variety of beer tastes.
The beer selection at Mission Springs had a selection that was awesome. Even the chocoholic David was indulged as he found several different chocolate stout beers to his liking. What could be better on a list of the food we loved in 2015 than chocolate and beer?
We enjoyed trying out the wines of British Columbia and developed quite a taste for rosé wines. We found the rosé wines to be a great mix of white and red – and nowhere near the sweet sickly rosé wines I remember from my early drinking years. I so enjoyed the Valley Pink rosé wine from the Chaberton Winery in the Fraser Valley that we drove for over 2 hours to get the very last case of wine at the end of the season. Rosé wine made it to the top of my wine list for food we loved in 2015!
If beer or wine was not to your taste, we found lots of other options. Our Caribbean cruise offered a cognac tasting event if you wanted to try out different after dinner drinks.
The bar at Cafe Martinique teased you with vodka of every possible flavour.
But the best experience by far were the cold drinks on the beach in The Bahamas! Cheers!
Are you hungry yet? Ready for a drink? Have we converted you to the “chocolate side”?
We ate and drank well in 2015. We hope you enjoyed our tour of the food we loved in 2015 and maybe got to know us just a little bit better through the food that we love!
What was your favourite food of 2015? Let us know if there are any links or more information you want on our food choices!