In Vancouver, they have an annual Hot Chocolate Festival. From the middle of January through the middle of February two dozen resteraunts and cafes whip up hot chocolate concotions. Some were interactive, others were exotic, but all were tasty. The funds raised during the festival went to a good cause (Helping Homeless women back on their feet through social services)
I exercised restraint and only tried two of the 59 flavors available.
The first was from Diva at The Met.
It was at The Metropolitan, where I stayed, and it came with a bit of a show.
The video can be found here
A chocolate globe filled with fresh raspberry puree melts into a steamy sensation of dark Cacao-Barry Extra Brute, pure orange juice, and candied orange zest. All topped with freshly ground almond crumbs.
Served with a petit orange-pistachio financier.
This tasted like hot chocolate made with orange juice and was weird, but good. Diva also had a good showing for Dine Around Vancouver, and I would happily dine there again.
This second one was at Bel Cafe
70% Valrhona Guanaja, chocolate crème chantilly and caramelized cocoa nib.
Served with a dark chocolate truffle.
This was rich and dense. The chocolate wasn’t overly sweetened, neither in the base or in the whipped cream. It was incredibly thick, so that a spoon could almost hold it’s own upright. Mike thought it was a chocolate mousse when he saw it delivered to another table.
Hot Chocolate Festival finished it’s 6th year this year. I’ve added the 7th year to my calendar for next year, and hoping to again schedule it with Dine around Vancouver.
Granville Island is another foodie destination that I simply can’t take enough pictures of. Fresh produce, butchers with fresh meats, delectible pastries and beautiful spices. They have a little bit of everything.
Fresh berries and chocolates from ChocolaTas. (The little aquabus ones look like the ferry we took to Granville Island.
Fresh pastas and lovely tarts. I wish we stayed longer, and had a full kitchen to do these dishes justice. Amazing.
I was actually on a “diet” while we visited this trip, and for lunch I passed up all of these lovely options, as well as sausages, fresh baked breads, thick soups and other specialites in interest of this lovely salad from Fraser Valley Juice and Salad.
Fresh lentil salad, chopped tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and feta cheese. Topped with a light vinegrette. It felt as indulgent as a greasy sausage.
More information on Granville Island can be found here. If you’re going, I’d suggest you give yourself most of a day to wander around the public market and all the shops. It really has something for everyone.
Source: Almost Dinner