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October 3, 2013 / theyellowbungalowla

scouting trip: i love vancouver!

almond bar

Almond Bar from Prego Coffee & Deli. Vancouver, BC.

The Yellow Bungalow is spending some time in Vancouver, Canada. Each Thursday, I’ll be sharing a more personal account of my adventures there. Join me as I discover this delicious city!

Here we go with the first round of notes from my journal…

Before making the official move, we decided to take a scouting trip, aka a weekend vacation. The scouting trip was planned for early September, and the goal was to check out our new place and get acquainted with the neighborhood.

The first item on my list: find a bakery. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far because there is a great little Italian bakery located right across the street, a local cafe with a little something to suit your needs at almost any time of day: coffee and pastries in the morning, savory sandwiches and soups for lunch, cookies and gelato if you have a sweet craving in the afternoon. I ordered coffee and an almond bar, a rectangular-shaped biscuit topped with toasted, sliced almonds, turbinado sugar, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The first bite yielded an intense almond flavor, with a faint sweetness that drew me right back in for a second bite. The texture is similar to a scone but more uniform, as scones tend to be shaped into a crumbly mound and this is more uniform in shape, as you can see from the photo. There is a lovely denseness about this shape, yet yields to a tender crumb when you take a bite. The lightly sweet, crunchy toasted almond topping is out of this world. I was careful not to waste any of the crumbs that toppled off with each bite, scraping them up with a dampened finger in the most unmannered way. Occasionally one must ignore proper manners in pursuit of gustatory bliss. Perhaps if the baker had witnessed my practically licking the wrapper, surely he or she would have he or she would have quietly approved of my behavior.

Coffee & pastries? Check!

sea wall

Sea walk along False Creek. Vancouver, BC.

With ample caffeine and sugar to satisfy our (my) needs, Marco and I headed out for a morning walk along the sea wall. The photo above was taken from the dog beach, looking out along False Creek. We took a very long walk along the water, watching runners and bikers pass by, greeting other dogs, and watching the geese stake their claim over a large grassy meadow facing the water.

marco watching ships

Sea Walk in Stanley Park. Vancouver, BC.

Out in the distance, you can see large cargo ships. The sun is shining, the mountains are glistening out in the distance, the air is crisp and fresh and clean. It’s breathtaking, and I am easily falling in love with our new neighborhood! The photo (pretty darn good for an iPhone) cannot do this view justice; it’s simply spectacular.

False Creek Market, our local grocer.  Vancouver, BC.

False Creek Market, our local grocer. Vancouver, BC.

After our long walk, I was famished and in need of real sustenance. I headed out on the opposite direction, this time in search of a local market. One short block away (cue choir singers), I came upon False Creek Fresh Market. Stocked with local organic produce, milk, yogurt, & locally-churned butter, and a small but quality selection of prepared foods, this market is a real gem. I grabbed a few items and kept walking in the same direction, toward the smell of freshly baked bread.

Tartine Bread & Pies, our local bakery.  Vancouver, BC.

Tartine Bread & Pies, our local bakery. Vancouver, BC.

Tartine Bread & Pies is the local joint that keeps the neighborhood smelling delicious on the regular. A quick scan of their offering yielded an impressive collection of pies, cookies, tiny tarts, stacks of brownies, and piles of fresh bread, all made in house. On the wall there is a chalkboard listing of all the “toast” they offer, which includes butter with homemade jam as well as peanut butter with banana & honey. Each day, they offer a new homemade soup; I spied two girls in the kitchen chopping onions and sorting veggies, presumably the beginning of tomorrow’s soup. The soup of the day was Thai coconut with chicken. I felt so overwhelmed by this discovery – what luck! fresh bread & treats only a block away! – that I walked right out before I bought the entire contents of the bakery case.

I’m going to break into the story right now to press the pause button. This journal is in its infancy, and I’m still a bit uncertain as to where I’m going to take it. What I’m realizing as I type is that I have a lot to share, as this long narrative doesn’t quite cover my first day in Vancouver!

With respect for your time, and to give my fingers a break from typing so quickly, I’m going to “press pause” so that we can both get back to reality and meet up another time very soon. Moving forward, my goal is to share enough for you to sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy these stories. At the rate I’m going, you’ll have to brew a whole pot of tea…and no one needs that!

In the next chapter, I’ll share the real reason behind the scouting trip. Hint: it involves creating and testing recipes with a group of friends, all in the name of a food competition!

Please join me again…new post coming soon!

View of the False Creek & the Burrard Street Bridge, taken from Granville Island and looking toward downtown.  Vancouver, BC.

View of False Creek & the Burrard Street Bridge, taken from Granville Island and looking toward downtown. Vancouver, BC.


Leave a Comment
  1. Lavender / Oct 6 2013 11:42 pm

    Welcome to Vancouver! Once you’ve eaten your way through Vancouver, you must check out the eating places in Richmond. Excellent Chinese food there.

    • theyellowbungalowla / Oct 7 2013 9:31 pm

      thanks for the tip, lavender! i’m scheduled to post on a recent trip to the richmond night market soon. really incredible experience! i’m headed back there again this weekend!! a few friends have shared recommendations to restaurants in richmond, and i’m planning to tackle them in the coming weeks. thanks for stopping by:)


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