Vancouver and Oysters
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
We took a last minute trip Vancouver last month. The drive up north was blustery with pounding rain. We expected the weather to be the same, but arrived Friday night to a dry and lively city. Saturday surprised us with a sunny day, though you would haven’t guessed it from some of the footage in the video. What nice break and treat it was from all of the glorious rain we’ve been having in Seattle. I promise, this is the only blog post that I will mention the rain. I’ve lived in Seattle since I was two, so I can complain.
With the exchange rate in favor of the USD, we didn’t require further convincing to take this last minute trip. Chris signed us up for the Nexus card last year and it has proven its worth. We have never waited longer than a minute. I kid you not! With this crossing into Canada, we barely needed to stop the car. Heading back to the US, we had to stop for thirty seconds for the agent to ask if we had anything to declare.
We stayed at the Sutton Place hotel off of Burrard and Robson street. This was purely by chance, as we don’t typically stay in posh hotels, especially for a local trip. I took a chance on the Expedia.com surprise deal. You choose a hotel class and they surprise you with the hotel. I selected a 4.5 star class hotel for $99.00 a night. Low and behold, I got the Sutton Place. The hotel also upgraded our room to an executive suite! It was fantastic. We’re so used to staying in small hotel rooms, so this was a treat. We typically don’t stay in hotels for long trips, but do so for short getaways. We like the convenience of having a kitchen to make breakfast and feel like we’re part of the community. So we usually book a condo for long stays. This trip was just for one night, though I regret booking two, considering we got a suite. However, I’m thinking it may not have happened with two days. The robes. Oh my goodness. The robes, so soft and plush. Chris was up early and closed the door to the bedroom. I walk out and he’s wearing a robe and looking quite relaxed on the sofa. All we needed was room service. Yes, that’s available, but there’s an excellent restaurant called Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster bar. This was the first trip where I did not make any dinner reservations and boy did I regret it! Every worthwhile restaurant in downtown was completely booked with an hour wait. So we decided to head back to the Boulevard in the hotel and grab dinner there. We were pleasantly surprised! Hotel restaurants tend to have a reputation for having overpriced and mediocre food. Not so with Boulevard. I would definitely seek this restaurant out, even if I wasn’t staying at the Sutton. We were exhausted that night, so I just didn’t want to document it. I did take one bad picture with my IPhone. We had the beef carpaccio and the seafood tower for two. Apparently, we did not have any sides or vegetables that night. All protein. Oops. Both were very fresh, light and delicious.
Everyone comes to Vancouver for the shopping on Robson street. We’re not big shoppers, but we do like to browse. We came here specifically to eat at Rodney’s Oyster bar. Last year we drove up just to eat there for lunch and drive back home. Well, we also spent the afternoon at the Granville Public Market. We are crazy.
Rodney’s Oyster House serves fresh BC and PEI oysters. They have two locations in BC and others scattered across Toronto and Calgary. They are more briny and not creamy like Washington oysters. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Samish bay Kusshi and Kumato, but I also crave something different. We fell in love with the Raspberry point oysters from Prince Edward Island. The brininess is mild, the flesh translucent and gently firm. We could eat three dozen in one sitting, but Rodney’s entrees are worth saving room for. In this trip they actually had them available! We ordered a dozen, along with their bloody Caesar. The difference between this and a bloody is clam juice. You can’t taste the clam juice, but rather it tastes like a lighter version of the bloody. Their bloody is topped with a giant prawn. Oysters and bloody Caesars were meant for each other. Rodney’s provides a selection of sauces to top each mollusk with, not that they need it. But the sauces are quite tasty. They range from mild to hot, starting with a raspberry mignonette style to a blazing hot sauce. Chris’ favorite is “white boy soul,” a spicy cocktail sauce. I discovered a new favorite, the Española sauce which contains pickles. For the entrée, Chris had the halibut and chips and I chose the lobster roll. The halibut was flakey, covered in a light crispy batter. The lobster roll was lightly dressed in a creamy vinaigrette with diced pickles. It was nestled in a buttery and lightly toasted bun, soft, like I like it. I have TMJ and biting in to bread can be quite painful at times. I would definitely get the lobster roll again. The entrees are simple, letting the flavor of the seafood shine. The oysters are the star of the restaurant, so I would come here just for these refreshing bivalves.
After having such a decadent and filling lunch, we took a walk around David Lam Park. It’s a quick five-minute walk nestled between False Creek and Yaletown. We couldn’t believe the dry and sunny day we were having. It was like Vancouver knew we needed this respite from the rain and gloom of Seattle. This beautiful park serves as a center stage for events like the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and other musical acts throughout the year. You can spend an entire day here enjoying the view, reading a book or taking a bike ride. A bike path runs along the park and the waterfront. You can also take a cute little ferry to Granville Island, which is located directly SW of David Lam park. By the time we were done with lunch and filming, it was around 3PM.
We decided to head over to the Granville Public Market before we headed home. Or at least we thought we were. The turn lane into the market is such a pain! We waited through 4 lights and still could not turn. The combination of pedestrians and traffic is a recipe for Chi going crazy. Yes, I have no patience driving, even when I’m not the one driving. So we decided that since it was so late in the day, we would just head home. I know, very lame for adventure seekers. However, this was a quick last minute trip and there will be plenty more trips to Vancouver this year.