Wish You Were Here: Vancouver
Ranked one of the most livable cities in the world for more than a decade, Vancouver’s diverse abundance of international cuisine makes it the ideal spot for even the most discerning foodie. 1. Japadog If you’ve ever been to Times Square, then you know hot dogs on a cart is nothing new. However, the Vancouver-based Japadog is a fresh take on an American standard, refined by Japanese transplants and delivered on the Canadian coast. Founded in 2005 by former Tokyo ad man, Noriki Tamura and his wife, Misa, Japadog’s street meat can be groomed with julienned seaweed shavings, teriyaki sauce, miso mayonnaise, crispy green radish sprouts and wasabi. Growing from one small cart to full-scale food trailers in some locations — even New Yorkers can now get a taste of this merged cuisine in Japadog’s first brick-and-mortar shop stateside. www.japadog.com 2. Judas Goat Taberna The Judas Goat Taberna is a tiny tapas bar – seating a mere 28 diners – on Vancouver’s Blood Alley in the Gastown district. Named after the animal trained to lead other animals to the slaughterhouse (who was of course named after that Biblical betrayer, Judas Iscariot), the menu of this diminutive eatery is touted as being Spanish-inspired – but it’s hard to miss the French and Italian influence. One can never go wrong with a great empanada or flavorful buñuelos. However, it’s their less typical dishes that really intrigue. An always changing array of small plates includes raised brisket meatballs, braised duck leg with pears, and scallop carpaccio. Think tapas is not enough to meet your appetite quota? Judas is walking distance from owner Sean Heather’s other restaurants, Irish Heather and Salt Tasting Room. All three are headed by Chef Lee Humphries. Dining area at L’Abattoir. (Photo: L’Abattoir) 3. L’Abattoir Also located in Gastown, L’Abattoir is not just a prime spot for those who appreciate fine food – history buffs will also marvel at the story behind this eatery. Serving “French influenced West Coast” fare, the restaurant is built on the site of Vancouver’s first jail, and the name – French for slaughterhouse – pays homage to the neighborhood’s former life as a meatpacking district. Pair this interesting trivia with chef Lee Cooper’s menu of dungeness crab and chickpea toast, loin of rabbit stuffed with its legs, and halibut with olive and saffron crust, sommelier Jake Shakun’s reserve wine selection from regions around the world, and mixologist Shaun Layton’s original and creative cocktails, and you have a perfect example for a nouveau casual dining experience. www.labattoir.ca Do you have other great eateries in Vancouver to share? Send them to us by adding a comment below. This story was originally published 20 July 2012 on the Trotter website.