Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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El Sol de Acapulco Cafe

2269 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
604-428-2880
Open Tuesday to Sunday

BY PAUL REID

  • Acapulco-style Mexican Food
  • Pupusas
  • Latin American-style breakfast
  • Spicy options
  • Vegetarian options

Greetings food fans. How is everyone this June 2013? How many of you made it to Collingwood Days for an Indian taco? Speaking of tacos, we journey to Mexico this time around, and in particular that city famous for its food, Acapulco.

Welcome to El Sol de Acapulco Café.

Yes folks, now you can experience the authentic taste of Acapulcon cuisine by travelling slightly west of the Renfrew-Collingwood community border (Nanaimo), into friendly Kensington-Cedar Cottage territory, to 2269 Kingsway. If you hit the old Canadian Tire, you’ve gone too far. North side. Lots of underground parking.

OK, so now you’re there, relaxing in the clean, wonderful, Acupulcon-inspired dining area of El Sol. You have been greeted by one of the gracious hosts, perhaps owner Miguel or brother Manuel or Miguel’s wife Erika. Although she’s likely in the back working over a hot grill to bring us our much-loved Mexican and Salvadorian favourites.

You’re seated now and your host brings you tortilla chips and salsa—on the house, and you look through the menu and your mouth is watering.

If you’re like me, your accomplice will be from Mexico and she’ll know exactly what to do and say and order.

Now a word to the wise: apparently, the amazingly delicious Pozole soup is not just for Thursdays anymore, as the menu indicates. Had we known this, I believe we may have gone that way, but that’s OK because the Sopa (soup) Azteca was completely delicious. We shared a large ($7) of this tomato-and-chicken-based soup with fried tortilla strips, cheese, fresh avocado and lime.

Next up was our three tacos. Made of soft corn tortilla, these tacos come with a variety of meats, and/or vegatariano (with sautéed eggplant or mushroom). We went with Suaderero (tender slow-cooked beef); Tinga (juicy chipotle stewed chicken); and Cochinita Pibil (slow-roasted pork).

All three of these super-delicious morsels can be had for a mere $6—nearly half the price you’d pay downtown and more, yes more, delectable!

We weren’t done yet though—I had to have some of one of my favourites—those Pupusas—El Salvador’s national dish. These consist of a hand-made, stuffed corn tortilla cooked golden on a griddle and served with Curtido (Salvadorean-style coleslaw) and salsa de tomate (savoury tomato sauce). Your choice of fillings include Revueltas (beans, cheese, pork); Frijoles (home-style refried beans); Chicharron (savoury ground pork rinds) or Queso (mozzarella-feta blend of cheese, loroco, green pepper and zucchini). Pupusas are delicious and, like pizza, you can eat it with your hands—a steal at $2.50 each.

To wash it all down we each had one of the specialty beverages—Horchata (ground almonds, rice, cinnamon, sugar and milk. Really delicious. Other specialty drinks include Tamarindo and Naranjada (a blend of fresh-squeezed juices).

It is Erika who hails from Acapulco and studied cooking at home and at university. It is the brothers, from El Salvador, who bring us the Salvadorian influence in—like those Pupusas we now know and love—or for breakfast, the El Salvadoreno (two eggs scrambled with tomatada (tomato sauce), home-style refried beans, fried plantains, home-style cream and two hand-made Salvadorean-style corn tortillas). The El Sol features a complete line of breakfasts.

My accomplice and I thought that the food at El Sol Acapulco Café was excellent and I look forward to getting back there soon. I also hope that you will take some time to try El Sol for yourself: for the excellent food and to meet the really nice Linares family.

Bon appetit or, in this case, buen provecho.

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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How to plant a tree

And help grow an urban forest

BY JULIE CHENG

Loosely tying a tree to stakes lets it wave in the wind and strengthens its roots.

Loosely tying a tree to stakes lets it wave in the wind and strengthens its roots. Photo by Michael Douglas/City of Vancouver

“Planting a tree is not hard,” says tree expert David Tracey. “Nature does it all the time.”

We just have to do what nature does.

Still, the dozen neighbours who’d come out to Slocan Park this chilly morning, with rain clouds overhead, learned many new tree-planting tips, like the proper posture to dig and an easy way to check how well your soil drains.

Most of us were picking up a tree we’d ordered through the Treekeepers program, which “helps Vancouver residents plant and tend the urban forest in the world’s greenest city.” By becoming a treekeeper, we have our tree monitored by volunteer citizen foresters.

What to watch for
Welcoming our questions throughout the hands-on lesson, Tracey gave easy-to-understand instructions with good humour and contagious enthusiasm.

David Tracey knows a thing or two about trees. He is the executive director of TreeCity, a certified arborist and the author of Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto and Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution.

The biggest problem is people plant too deep, he notes.

You need to plant above the graft line, he says, pointing to the bottom of the trunk where it bulges. If there is soil covering the graft line, roots will sprout from the rootstock tree, not the tree you want.

It’s most important to check the roots. Make sure the roots have not wound around the inside of the pot, called girdling. Girdled roots can continue to grow in a circle and choke the tree of air and water.

Steps to plant a tree

  1. Choose a location that gets lots of sun, has well-draining soil and has lots of space for the tree to grow
  2. Dig a hole three times the width of the pot that the tree comes in. Rough up the edges of the hole so that roots can reach into them
  3. Check the roots for girdling
  4. Make sure the hole is not too deep. An easy way to do this is to place the shovel handle horizontally across the hole. Sit the tree in the hole so that the graft line is level with the shovel handle. If too deep, add more soil then line up the tree again
  5. Tamp down the soil to make sure the tree doesn’t settle. Check again that the tree is not too deep
  6. Cover the roots with soil
  7. Water well
  8. Hammer in one or two stakes and loosely attach the tree to them with soft ties that will not cut into the trunk
  9. Until the tree is established, water twice a week and more often in hot weather
  10. Enjoy your tree for years to come

Near the end of our lesson, a light rain started. Perfect. Us neighbours happily carried our prized tree home and couldn’t wait to get planting.

See Treekeeper’s video, How to Plant a Tree, featuring David Tracey.

Julie Cheng is a registered treekeeper of a young plum tree, an accidental gardener and a compulsive moss puller who starts her day picking slugs off her peas and lettuce. In her spare time, she pulls invasive plants out of the Renfrew Ravine and edits the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Treekeepers, a partnership between TreeCity, the Environmental Youth Alliance, the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Foundation, supports Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Treekeepers.ca

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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June 2013 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News June 2013Get your June 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Collingwood Days photo montage
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House summer camps
  • TEDxRenfrewCollingwood seeks ideas worth spreading
  • Still Creek Lost and Found walking tours
  • Eating Out in RC: El Sol de Acapulco, Mexican Food, Pupusas and Latin-American breakfasts
  • How to plant and tree: And help grow an urban forest
  • Janet Lee: Don’t be afraid to give it your all
  • Collingwood International Film Fest: Summer movies in the park

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca. The deadline for the July issue is June 10, 2013.