Big Rock Urban Eatery is the newest brewery to join the Olympic Village area. They started out in Alberta and now they have a BC location.
We were here for the food though since I am still acquiring the taste for beer. The building doesn’t look like much from the outside but the inside looked industrial hip. It was really loud inside even though there weren’t that many people or loud music playing but it was hard to hear people from across the table or even beside you. Maybe it was just the way the building was constructed.
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The Oakwood has been on my list of restaurants to try for a long time now and after going to Fable last month I decided that this was the perfect chance to try the Oakwood. The Oakwood’s dine out menu this year is pork themed!
For one of the appetizers we had the Smoked Seafood Chowder with oyster crackers. The flavour from the bacon was strong and someone at the next table said that it was too salty but I thought it was okay.
I had the Pork Terrine with maple cauliflour puree, pickled shallots and rye soil. I also got a piece of free oyster cracker because the server said it fell in but that’s ok! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but the pork was really pressed together. My friend commented that it reminded him of spam hahaha… but not as salty but the shape was similar! I think it was just a little bland to me but the pickled shallots helped. You’re probably wondering what rye soil is and I forgot the description but it really tasted like a bunch of cookie crumbs? I think the seafood chowder was the better appetizer in this case.
For my main I had the Porchetta with garlic broccolini, dijon spatzle and carmelized onion puree. I couldn’t taste the carmelized onion puree which was basically used to decorate the plate. The spatzle which I’ve never tried before was really good! It was crunchy but kinda soft in some parts? Sorry I just realized this is a terrible picture… but anyway the porchetta was on the dry side and not as tender as I’d expected. I was thinking it would be like the porcchetta from Meat and Bread. That is probably my only experience with porchetta. The skin was also really hard and not crispy and crunchy it was just hard and I didn’t eat it. The fatty parts were good though of course and the portion was quite big.
The other enticing item on the menu was the Sable Fish with confit pork shoulder, pork rinds, lentils and carrot. The sable fish was melt in your mouth soft and very flaky. This was a great choice! =D
The table beside us ordered the pork crackling separately and man was it crunchy and crackly!
This was the Creme Caramel with cranberry gel and shortbread in the shape of the maple leaf! Very Canadian. The texture was really smooth and soft and pudding-like. I thought it would be more solid? It was light and tasty though and slightly sour from the cranberry.
I had the Chocolate Mousse with coffee crunch. It was cute that they served their desserts in mason jars. The mousse was light but still rich in chocolatey flavour and the coffee crunch on top tasted familiar but I’m not sure what it was… It was a light and airy kinda crunch it reminded me of eating cereal or popcorn. Both desserts were good in their own way.
Okay so I guess there were some hits and misses for me but it was still a good experience and I would love to try their regular menu sometime.
Meat and Bread has been on my list of places to try for a while now but I just never happen to be in that part of town. Finally my friend and I decided to make a special visit there for their famous porchetta sandwich. The concept of Meat and Bread is quite simple. It’s meat and bread. No frills and very straightforward for a casual lunch. Even their dining area is simply laid out with a few tables by the window some bar-style seating and a big long table with enough seating for at least 20 people so prepare to get cozy!
Sandwiches are freshly made to order and there was a short line up when we got there around 1pm. Yay skipped the lunch rush! When you walk in you will be faced with their giant menu board on the wall. They only offer four sandwiches: the porchetta, a meatball sandwich, a grilled cheese and a daily special. You can check their website before going to see what the daily special is. We both ordered the porchetta because we’ve heard so much about it.
We decided to get our order to go but if you dine in, sandwiches are served on a wooden board with a side of mustard or hot sauce I think.
Okay this picture probably doesn’t do it justice but you get the idea. MEAT!
The porchetta is pork with the crispy crackling skin sprinkled on top with some salsa verde. It reminded me of eating Chinese siu yook with pesto sauce. Okay that sounds like a weird combo now that I’ve said it but it was good! The sandwich was very flavourful due to the fat in the meat and the oil from the salsa verde sank into the bread and softened it up a bit. The texture of the ciabatta bread was seemed kind of hard at first but it was also firm enough to hold everything together without things getting too messy. I was very careful to not drop any of that juicy tender pork! The size of the sandwich was substantial for a quick lunch meal too. I did feel a bit greasy after eating it though so this wouldn’t be something I’d indulge in regularly. Maybe I’d feel less guilty if there was some sort of veggie in it… but then it wouldn’t be meat and bread! Don’t worry I’m not complaining. These sandwiches are chalk full of delicious meat and if you’re looking for a savoury sandwich, you should put this one on your list!