October 25th, 2013
A little Latin flavour is always welcome - especially on our plate.
With that in mind, we made our way to a newly opened grab-and-go spot on Broadway and Granville, Boca (Spanish for mouth, and short for bocadillo). The space may be wee, but the menu is long on choices - Peruvian potato salad ($5), tortilla soup with shredded chicken, pinto beans and corn ($6) and palm size empanadas (we opted for the beef with peas and carrots, $1.50) are all sure bets.
But it's the bocadillos piled high with ethically raised meat and poultry and locally sourced ingredients that take centre stage: the Puerco en chic (Salvadorian roast pork with jack cheese), Merken (Chilean braised chicken with chimichurri) and Pastel de Carne (pork, beef and longganisa sausage with olive tapenade and spiced tomato mayo), $9 each, boast the slow-cooked, multi-ingredient and savoury flavour we associate with Latin cuisine.
Made with love, even for lunch.
1513 W. Broadway, Vancouver, www.boca2go.ca
Photo by Michael Sider.
October 18th, 2013
Summer turns to fall, and salad turns to soup (at least for our lunch routine).
Just in time for the big chill, Happy Planet has released a line of Canadian-sourced, locally-inspired soups that are heat-and-serve ready. We've tried the Chilliwack Broccoli and cheddar (with florets sourced from Chiliwack, BC) and the Fraser Valley Mushroom and Mascarpone Soup - both tasted fresh, savoury and subtle.
We'll get around to making our own stock one day, we swear. But until then… —Maria Tallarico
September 4th, 2013
Want to add an eco-friendly element to your midday meal? Here’s a few ways to achieve a litterless lunch.
We are going to reduce our reusable water bottle collection (we all have at least ten, right?) and buy one perfect bottle. The KOR Vida Hydration Vessel is just that. It’s ergonomic handle and smooth spout (they call it the “Perfect Spout™”) doesn’t make use feel like we are drinking from a tin can. And it looks so much better than the branded plastic bottle we got at our last company picnic. $23.99 from Raspberry Kids.
RuMe Reveal Reusable Baggies are an excellent way to reduce our consumption of plastic sandwich bags. They are machine washable, water resistant, and free of PVC, lead and phthalates. Fill them with nuts, fruit, or cookies (we are opting for the latter). $8 at Lavish and Lime. www.lavishandlime.com
Glasslock food storage may be heavier than stainless steel, but they are microwavable and great for freezing food, too. We all want to be those types of people who prepare healthy homemade lunches on the weekend, freeze them, and bring them to work over the next few days. Glasslock works perfectly for this. Or for bringing leftover Chinese food to the office. 6 piece set, $24.99 at Canadian Tire. www.canadiantire.ca
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 26th, 2013
The newly opened Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods serves-up seasonal, simple fare with a focus on veggie heavy salads, sandwiches, soups and stews.
We loved the chopped albacore tuna with avocado, cucumber, pickled red onions, cilantro, and ginger soy dressing ($6.50) but if June-uary” has you craving heartier fare, try the Moroccan chicken with chickpeas spicy stew ($8).
The informal, cafeteria-style service is elevated with light and bright modern design (Eames-style chairs, reclaimed wood tables and concrete floors).
And right next door to YYoga? Perfect for a healthy sweat date with the girls. —Laura Cropper
1903 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, www.tractorfoods.com
January 17th, 2013
There is nothing quite like a great sandwich.
One of city’s finest comes courtesy of perpetually lined-up Finch’s Tea & Coffee House on West Pender. With its quaint Parisian interior and sandwiches with the ability to transform to the French capital, Finch’s has become one of our favourite spots in the city. Now, Strathcona dwellers get to enjoy Finch’s Market, the café’s newly opened sister spot, bound to become a neighbourhood hangout. Along with the baguette sandwich menu, including our beloved prosciutto, pear, brie, and walnut combo ($8.95), Finch’s Market carries organic milk, select produce, and gourmet preserves.
We hear hot menu items are in the works, so keep your eyes peeled and your appetites ready.
Finch’s Market, 501 East Georgia (at Jackson), Vancouver, 604-558-1644, http://www.finchteahouse.com
August 31st, 2012
Poppy hates celery sticks and Johnny doesn’t eat raisins on Thursdays, but Sophie needs her fruit separated from her granola. And we thought we left math problems behind in fourth grade.
But even the pickiest eater needs a cafeteria-chic lunch kit. Stock-up on waste-free, natural lunch accessories: sweet reusable sandwich bags ($10), stainless steel food containers, which allow for multiple snacks in one place ($23) and the glorious spork, which does double duty for soups and pasta ($11.50/four).
No plastic wrap, foil or pesky Tupperware to deal with – just simple, eco-friendly, non-toxic lunch buddies.
Happy back-to-school, Mom. —Maria Tallarico
Waste-Free Lunch at Lavish & Lime, www.lavishandlime.com
August 7th, 2012
Lunching on salads can be a big bore, but not when one is noshing at Railtown Café.
This busy new spot, outfitted with Union Wood Co.’s reclaimed furniture, is already a neighbourhood favourite due to their vast menu of sumptuous salads. Classics like The Chop ($12) and The Wedge ($9) are loaded with layers upon layers of fresh ingredients: beets, egg, tomato, cheddar, bacon bits and a serving of your choice of protein for the former, and tomato, breakfast radish, chives and blue cheese for the latter.
Before you can say “yum,” you’ll be also eyeing Railtown’s sandwich menu and delicious baked goods, including their baked-in-house doughnuts, continuing Vancouver’s current doughnut revolution. —Anya Georgijevic
Railtown Café, 397 Railway St., Vancouver, 604-568-8811, www.facebook.com/RailtownC
September 3rd, 2011
It’s time for the little ones to head back to school (secret sigh of relief). Let’s send them off in style!
We may have learned a thing or two from Halle Berry, like how to make a memorable beach entrance. But we also learned how to sport your kid’s lunch box with the same sass as your Gucci bag. That’s because said lunch box is by Beatrix NY, the cutest accessory line for kids. Featuring an array of adorable creatures like Dieter the Monkey, Esther the Bunny, Juju the Lady Bug and Alister the Dino, these little boxes will make their school lunch a stylin’ one.
Now about that Gucci bag…. —Anya Georgijevic
June 10th, 2011
With all the delicious sandwich offerings in Vancouver, our aspirations of living a carb-free diet have officially been crushed. And we’re okay with that.
With its delicious take on the traditional Porchetta Sandwich ($8), Pronto Caffe joins our must-have list. Served on a southern Italian bread, the porchetta is rich, with little crispy crackling bits scattered around for a sensational crunch. Our vegetarian friends can enjoy the non-carnivorous sandwich options like the tasty Provolone Sandwich ($6).
Tip: Porchetta gets even more mouth-watering with Peroni beer ($5.75) by its side. —AG
Pronto Caffe, 3473 Cambie St., Vancouver, 604-722-9331, www.prontocaffe.ca
May 6th, 2011
It was tough work having to eat great food on a gorgeous spring day, but someone had to do it!
La Brasserie, Granville and Georgia
Brought to us by the beloved West End restaurant, La Brasserie’s cart does one thing and one thing only: a great sandwich. We’re talking rotisserie chicken, mouthwatering but light, with deep fried onions added for crunch, all served on a buttermilk bun ($7). Need we say more?
The Kaboom Box, Granville and Robson
The epitome of West Coast cuisine, The Kaboom Box has an extensive menu that caters to pretty much everyone. From an epic hot smoked salmon sandwich, fish and chips, to both venison and veggie burgers. Our favourite? The Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po’Boy (market price), the perfect combination of smoothness and crunch.
Roaming Dragon, location varies
The most infamous of all the food carts, this one is hard to miss. Just look for the big red Roaming Dragon truck! Although we are impatient when it comes to waiting, we will gladly stand in line any time of the day for their Korean short rib tacos (2 for $6). Why? The combination of braised ribs, sautéed spinach, mushrooms and kimchi all wrapped up in a perfect little soft tortilla.
Eli’s Serious Sausage, Beatty and Dunsmuir
Of course, we have to include a sausage, the granddaddy of street food. Eli sources his from a local, fifth generation sausagemaker, and serves it on a caraway seed bun made by a local Polish bakery. This is no ordinary hot dog cart though: Eli serves currywurst ($6), one of Germany's favourite street foods, where the sausage is served up with ketchup and curry powder.
Re-Up BBQ, Georgia and Hornby
We can’t think of anything more comforting than their Southern style BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($7). If you think you can’t finish one of these bad boys yourself, think again. It’s the real deal: smoked to perfection, messy, served with cole slaw, and cherished with every bite.
Believe or not, there’s an app for that! —AG