Hot Chocolate Festival 2015: 49th Parallel Coffee

I participated in the Hot Chocolate Festival last year with TDog and enjoyed our experience, so this year I am back!  This time I went with DoctorT to 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky’s Doughnuts for their entry into this year’s festival!

49th Parallel Coffee - The LumberjackDoctorT let me have first dibs, so I picked The Lumberjack ($6) because spicy dark hot chocolate always intrigues me.

I thought the “spicy” would be the chili-type of spicy, but it was actually the nutmeggy, clovey type of spicy, which I really enjoyed.  There was a slight, just very slight kick.  I loved the fact that the drink was just lightly sweetened.  There are far too many places that serve overly sweetened drinks, of any sort.

My Lumberjack was served with two maple marshmallows and a chocolate covered wafer logs.  The maple marshmallows were pillowy and chewy, and the crackled “crust” was sort of crispy.  We really liked it.  The wafer log was a bit soft and cakey.

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Chihuahua’s Mexican Grill by Cambie Malone’s Group

Earlier this month I was invited to the launch party of Cambie Malone’s Group’s newest venture- Chihuahua’s Mexican Grill!  Situated just behind Malone’s Bar and Grill on W. Pender (they’re directly connected), it’s a cozy space for not-quite-fast-food and a wide selection of premium tequilas.

Chihuahua's Mexican Grill launch partyHead chef Peter Chun is at the helm and personally crafted the entire menu, which is based on tacos and burritos.  As usual you get to pick and choose, mix and match your fillings and toppings.  Pricing is very friendly also with Daily Specials and Happy Hour specials!  And that includes both food and drinks!

Chihuahua's Mexican Grill launch party - chefs at workChihuahua’s sure know how to throw a party!  By the time I arrived there were chips and homemade dips, drinks, and tacos abound and on the ready for everyone.  Standing tables were set for mingling and dining.  It was a really cool atmosphere all around.

Chihuahua's Mexican Grill launch partyThe open kitchen concept also invited views of their fresh ingredients and food preparation.  It was quite torturous waiting for the platter to come out from behind the kitchen!

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DAVIDsTEA Coffee Pu’erh Review

Coffee Pu'erhThe latest concoction from DAVIDsTEA has got to be the ultimate in the fusion of Chinese and Western drink culture.  Coffee Pu’erh combines the traditional taste of Chinese pu’erh tea with the signature drink of the west by the addition of coffee beans.  I had a sniff of it in store and the notes of coffee and caramel intrigued me.  The description of chocolate added to my attraction.

Coffee Pu'erhAs you can see there are actual coffee beans mixed in.  As they are not ground up, I’m not sure how much of a coffee aroma will actually “leak” out.  It might also have been interesting for them to tell us what kind of beans they are.

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Tuc Craft Kitchen

For my birthday this year I made Fannypack take me to Tuc Craft Kitchen.  I’ve actually never heard of them and it was through looking on Urbanspoon for ratings and looking up menus, did I decide to go there.

Tuc Craft Kitchen - InteriorWe came on a weekday quite early, so the place was quite empty.  But towards the end of the dinner the place was really packed.

Tuc Craft Kitchen - Orange Glazed Lamb RibsFannypack never was a fan of lamb, but because it was my birthday, she agreed to share the Orange Glazed Lamb Ribs ($10) with me.  This dish is also apparently one of Tuc Craft Kitchen’s signature items.

Fortunately for Fannypack, the lamb aroma was not overwhelming, and the meat was very tender.  I was glad that the orange glaze didn’t sweeten the dish too much.  There was more than enough meat for us to share and this was definitely a big-portioned starter.

Tuc Craft Kitchen - Crispy Bacon EggsAnother one of Tuc’s signature items was the Crispy Bacon & Egg ($4) so of course I had to order it.  It’s exactly as the name states- eggs wrapped in bacon, battered and deep-fried.

The eggs were nicely soft-boiled and it was really yummy.  I like that they weren’t greasy either.  That’s all I got to say about that.

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Bump N Grind Cafe – South Granville Opening Party

Bump n Grind OpeningBump N Grind Cafe had a second baby and I was invited to the baby shower!  It was actually a grand opening media event for their brand new South Granville location and I was extended an invite to try their goodies and have a one-night only signature drink.

This is the second location for husband and wife team Kyle and Cheryl Wright, who aims to bring in a coffeehouse to the area serving locally roasted beans and other products.  All baking and pastries are done in-house.  They rotate their selection of Canadian-roasted coffee beans on a weekly basis so there’s always something new to try.

Bump N Grind cafe - interior

I must say the space was very inviting and comforting.  Really love how the lighting was laid out.  There’s some sitting room in the front and a bit more in the back.  But tonight that area was cleared out for the live entertainment and the table of goodies.

Bump N Grind cafe opening

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