I was invited this past week to take part in a West 4th Avenue media tour, which included 9 restaurant stops in about 3 hours. The Khatsahlano Music & Arts Festival takes over West 4th this Saturday, from Burrard to Macdonald Street. Many of the restaurants that we stopped at are located around Burrard and 4th Avenue.
The Bimini Public House
Our meeting point and first stop was at one of the busiest pubs on West 4th. This pub was shut down for about four years after a fire gutted the room, and then reopened by the Donnelly Group in late 2011.
Left: Crispy spring rolls – vegetable & tofu or spiced pork & cabbage served with fresh mint & cilantro, romaine lettuce, sriracha hot sauce, roasted peanut satay sauce; Right: fried free range chicken wings (Thai flavour)
The next stop was at Fable Restaurant, which opened its doors last summer. Click here to check out our blog post from their grand opening. If you haven’t been here yet, I highly recommend that you check them out. Their dinner menu is always fantastic, and they have great boozey brunches with excellent drink specials every last Sunday of the month.
Above: Executive Chef of FABLE, Trevor Bird, who you might remember from Season 2 of Top Chef Canada.
Left: Gazpacho Caesar with duck bacon, vodka, pickled celery, horseradish; Right: Chickpea Fritters with pickled red onion, shoots, curry mayo
Trattoria Italian Kitchen
A Glowbal Group restaurant, Trattoria Italian Kitchen is a restaurant that serves home-style Italian comfort food like pizzas, pastas, and other classic Italian fare.
Above: Burrata & eggplant crostini; “Kobe” meatball (I highly doubt that it’s actually Kobe)
The BiBo Pizzeria con Cucina
The BiBo is an authentic Neopolitan pizzeria with a wood-burning brick oven. It’s certainly not the same kind of American pizza that you’d find at Panago or Pizza Hut.
Left: Friariella (south Italian green peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella); Centre: Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil); Right: Diavola (tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami). I really enjoyed their diavola pizza, and you could tell the mozzarella was really fresh too.
Romer’s Burger Bar
Romer’s Burger Bar is the creation of Executive Chef Jim Romer. If you’re looking for a gourmet burger, this place is worth checking out. They have some pretty unique items on their menu as well, including their famous drunken mini doughnuts. They also carry a decent selection of craft beers on tap.
Left: Quinoa salad with smoked tofu, greens, cucumbers, red peppers, and basil; Tuscan greens salad with toasted pine nuts and reggiano; Right: Pork and beef spicy meatballs
Left: A slider version of the Man’s Man burger – thick applewood bacon, amber ale cheddar, onion strings, smoked alder salts, vine-ripened tomato, wholegrain mustard; Right: The famous Drunken Doughnuts that are served with a trio of dipping sauces: Kahlua Nutella, Limoncello, and Maple Whisky. A must-try item if you’re dining here.
Tractor Foods is a new cafeteria-style restaurant on the block. They offer ‘everyday healthy food’ and have a very vegetable-heavy menu with the majority of their items being vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
Above: Roasted red and yellow beets salad with green beans, pistachios, goat’s milk feta, and walnut vinaigrette
Left: How do you know you’re at a blogger event? The swarm of photographers might give it away. Right: Kevin helps himself to 3 roasted beet salads, which Rick and I had no interest in eating. Clearly, we’re just not salad kind of guys.
There were 3 more stops on this rapid fire food tour that I missed simply because I was too stuffed from all the eating. Other stops included Las Margaritas, The August Jack (a great new restaurant that just opened this week with delicious food and great craft beers), and Terra Breads. The Kitsilano 4th Avenue Business Association did a great job in putting on this food-filled media event. It was a great lead up to the Khatsahlano Music & Art Festival, which takes over West 4th from between Burrard to Macdonald Street this Saturday, July 13th from 11am-9pm. It’s a family-friendly free event, that promises to feature lots of local artisans, 50 bands, tons of food options, and other special activities. Be sure you head there this weekend to check it out!