Potatoes, cheese curds and brown gravy are, admittedly, three kinda boring ingredients. However, when you put all three of those items into one dish, you have the trifecta of a mouth-watering, comforting and highly addictive dish. Yes, I’m talking about poutine and I’m a fan. So big a fan that I almost subtitled this post Adventures in Poutine, but thought better of it.
The one regret I carried home from my November trip to Vancouver, B.C. (like a sad souvenir) is that I only indulged in poutine four out of the five days I was there. I mean, dang it, I could’ve had a perfect record!
Despite my waxing poetic about those gravy and cheese smothered fries, I wasn’t just in Canada for the iconic comfort food dish. Our trip to Vancouver was a nice getaway over Thanksgiving week, and the trip was almost a year in the making.
Since we stayed in downtown Vancouver, we opted not to drive and instead take the Amtrak in. I’d never traveled by train before, and, although there were numerous delays on both the trip to the Great North as well as on the way back to the U.S. of A., overall, it was a comfy way to travel. Not to mention, I enjoyed the view of the mountains and water, as well as towering cityscape and sweeping countryside landscapes along the way.
During our time there, we of course, as dedicated beer geeks, tried out a few breweries. Our first stop was at 33 Acres Brewing, where we enjoyed a flight and a round of cards. The following night, we hit the warm and cozy Yaletown Brewing for another flight. The day before we left, we ventured to Tap & Barrel for a flight and the spacious Craft Beer Market, which boasted over 100 taps, but didn’t allow custom flights, so we enjoyed a pint instead.
Being that I’m married to a shutterbug, we did a fair amount of wandering during our stay. We walked to the upscale False Creek neighborhood and strolled around Coopers’ Park, found our way to the Vancouver Lookout for 360 views of the city, I did some writing at the Vancouver Public Library, and we even took our frugal selves to Costco for lunch.
Besides sight-seeing, poutine-gobbling, brewery-hopping and snapping pictures, we also:
- Stumbled into a curling club
- Ate LOTS of street food
- Indulged in Tim Horton’s famous donuts
- Had total strangers in a brewery offer us part of their nachos (Score, free nachos!)
- Got lost twice
- Almost climbed a mountain.
Yeah, about that last one…we planned to hike the super challenging Grouse Mountain Grind Trail, an almost 2 mile trek with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. The trail is tough because it’s considered “nature’s stair master.” If one is able to hike the grind, they will have managed to have hiked the equivalent of taking the stairs to the top of a 200-storey building, or a distance that is twice the height as the Empire State Building.
We didn’t make the whole climb, we only achieved about a quarter of the distance before turning around due to us unwisely bringing a hefty backpack and some other reasons. Even though we didn’t complete the climb, it was a fun once-in-a-lifetime thing to have at least tried.
Despite not getting to do everything we’d hoped, and not having the best weather, this was one of the best trips of our lives and we can’t wait to return to Vancouver for more exploring in the future.