Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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New Community Heritage Committee seeks RC memorabilia

BY PAUL REID

Lil-MissesThe new Renfrew-Collingwood Heritage Committee is ready to carefully borrow, document, reproduce and return your historical photos (and other small mementos) of Renfrew-Collingwood.

Working with advice from the Vancouver Archives and the Museum of Vancouver, the committee has created the forms that will enable the residents and former residents of RC to submit items for inclusion in a Renfrew-Collingwood historical collection. You can also have your items forwarded to the Vancouver Archives for consideration in its collection.

This new initiative of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) was inspired by the lifelong work of local historians Sadie Gaston and her nieces Bobbi Senft and Jackie McHugh. To these three, our hats will forever be off for working so diligently to preserve our past for us in their extensive collection.

With all three now departed, the torch of officially seeking out and preserving Renfrew-Collingwood history has been passed to the rest of us through this new entity, the Renfrew-Collingwood Heritage Committee.

If you have something to be documented or that you would like to donate, please contact the committee through CNH at 604-435-0323.

Baseball-league

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

 


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July 2015 issue of RCC News is here

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

July 2015 RCC NewsGet your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Have a berry berry good summer
  • Green Thumb wins awards and more awards
  • Insights from a stay-at-home dad
  • People with disabilities are normal
  • Paula Carr wins award
  • Eating Out: La Piazza Dario

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 August 2015 issue is July 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.


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Eating Out in RC: Bernie’s Bureks and Restaurant

BY PAUL REID

5737 Battison Street (at Tyne and Kingsway)
Vancouver, BC

604-526-6580

Make sure you’re hungry when ordering
Bernie’s hamburger. It’s huge!

Greetings food fans! So where are we here. February. Ah, an even better month now with this Family Day. And our community is much better off now with the addition of Bernie’s Bureks and Restaurant. If you haven’t done so yet, I highly recommend that you attend Bernie’s.

Bernie’s has been open just over a month now. Perhaps you’ve noticed the Bernie’s sign at the corner of Tyne and Kingsway, ground floor of the Kingsway Continental (former Jaguar’s restaurant).

Our man, Bernie, is actually a woman, aka Erika Marinovic. She is bringing to our community’s culinary tableau all the best from the Balkan region of southeastern Europe that includes your former Yugoslavia, from where Erika hails. Here, in the Balkan region, according to Wikipedia, we find our Albanians, Bulgarians, Bosniaks, Croats, Gorani, Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, Slovenes, Romanians, Armenians and Turks.

Have you ever had a burek? Bernie’s bureks are homemade filo pastry pies made entirely from scratch, including the filo pastry. The fresh filo pasty is what really separates Bernie’s bureks from others. Currently available in cheese, beef, potato, spinach, beef, potato, sour cherry and apple, they are sold by the slice or by the pie.

You can have them on location in restaurant or take them with you fresh or frozen. People will buy several pies to cook at home as they want them.

Bernie’s bureks are becoming famous across the country, something Erika attributes largely to the European truck drivers, who load up on bureks for the road, spreading the word about Bernie’s across Canada and down through the United States.

Today, my friends, I want to inform you about another of Bernie’s specialties, their humbly named hamburger with mayo, pepper spread, onions, lettuce and tomatoes ($9.75). There is apparently a half pound of beef that goes into this burger, so much that it requires a specially made bun (which was nicely toasted and delicious, by the way). Served with a delicious coleslaw, the burger was huge and delicious. On my patented Gourmet/Gourmand Scale of Goodness (taste x size divided by price), we derive a very high number indeed. I urge one and all to flock to Bernie’s to taste for yourself.

My accomplice enjoyed a slice of burek and soup of the day ($8.95). The burek of course, with the homemade crust, was the likely the best in Canada, and the homemade soup is the real rib-sticking deal for which Bernie’s is renowned.

So go to Bernie’s my friends. It’s a nice place. You can see them making the handmade filo; you can meet the lovely Erika, and have yourself a delicious, affordable and filling meal.

Copyright (c) 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Eating Out in RC: Romer’s Burger Bar, “great food, awesome waterfront location, cool atmosphere, excellent service”

BY PAUL REID

The view from the atrium is spectacular at Romer's Burger Bar

The view from the atrium is gorgeous at Romer’s Burger Bar. Photos by Paul Reid

Romer’s Burger Bar
8683 Kerr Street, Vancouver, BC
604-566-9545

Greetings food fans. How goes it? I had a fantastic day today. Today was the day that we (Canada’s men’s hockey squad) mopped the ice with our poor American friends to the South – a joyous occasion that never gets old. (Thanks, too, of course, to Canada’s dear women’s hockey unit who also socked it to the Yanks the day previous). Go Canada!

So that was in the morning, if you recall. What better way to celebrate such a magnificent victory than to have a brewski or two and lunch on some sun-drenched patio, say, overlooking a scenic river scene. “In Renfrew-Collingwood?” you query. Well, technically no, but if we were to dial back the hands of time to the days of historic Collingwood, then we could say yes. For in those days, reader, before there was a South Vancouver, everything between Collingwood and the Fraser river was considered Collingwood. And it’s there, overlooking that lovely river at the foot of Kerr, that we now have Romer’s Burger Bar.

My accomplice on this particular outing was not my sweetie, although he is a very nice man – our very own Robert F. Edwards, who as we all know, has been a contributing writer for the RCCNews on and off for nearly a decade. He also has the fine distinction of being my friend, of which I am proud.

So it’s now about 12:30 as we enter Romer’s and the place is packed – a good sign. Still, there is some room out in the atrium, which is the portion of the patio surrounded by glass to keep it nice and cozy year round. Apparently in the warmer months, the atrium opens up to join the rest of the patio which is a big hit all summer with the bevy-swilling, burger-munching, sitting-by-the-river-in-the-sun crowd. Until then, on a cold, windy, yet sunny day as this day was, the atrium was the perfect place to enjoy the river’s serenity in action.

The burgers at Romer's look like a work of art.

The burgers at Romer’s look like a work of art.

But let’s not forget the food. And people, I’m telling you – you will not be disappointed with your burger at Romer’s. We are talking gourmet burgers here.

Robert’s reaction upon his first bite was, and I quote: “Now that’s a good burger!” I myself will second that motion. And you may also agree with us, by checking out these pictures, that these burgers arrive looking like works of art.

Robert had the Wicked Deadly Cheeseburger: five cheeses, red onion, leafy greens and Russian tarragon dressing (11.95). I had the Chorizodor: chorizo-spiced pork and beef patty, cheddar, pepper jack, Boursin, vine-ripened tomato, sweet onion, avocado and diablo sauce (12.75). With sea salt fries (2.50).

And, of course, there was beer involved in such a situation – the Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale (5.50) for Bob and the Eastern Promises Pilsner (5.50) for myself. We cheers Canada’s hockey victories. We cheers USA’s hockey defeats. Now we just need to school those Swedes, which at the time of this writing – remains undone.*

Romer’s Burger Bar is the creation of executive chef Jim Romer. Born in Marin County, and trained at Culinary Institute of America, Jim has spent over 20 years preparing “mind-blowing” good food.

Jim believes that good food begins with fresh, locally sourced ingredients that include nothing that you can’t pronounce. Secondly, Jim’s all about the flavour: “unexpected, sublime, wonderful flavours like the melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef in the Ultimate Kobe Classic that makes you say Holy $#!% is that a good burger.”

Romer’s philosophy is this: “Eat good food. Keep it fresh. Keep it simple. Be creative. Let seasons and farmers be our guide. Be good to the planet, and all who are on it. Laugh. Share. Do what you do best: with us, it’s burgers.”

Here, here. Mr. Romer and company – Romer’s Burger Bar rocks! In addition to the food, awesome location, cool atmosphere, the service was excellent and, everyone I talked to there, really nice. Thank you and keep up the fine work. I shall return and so should you my dear reader. Bon appetit.

*No doubt. 3-0. Way to Gold, Canada, in hockey at the Sochi Olympics!

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Eating Out in RC: Thai Escape – “truly out-of-this-world delectable”

BY PAUL REID

4902 Joyce Street at Wellington, Vancouver
604-428-4448
Dine in/Take out
Free Delivery from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm within 2 kilometres with minimum $25 purchase
Open Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm

Thai Escape rocks! At Joyce and WellingtonGreetings food fans. It brings me great pleasure to share with you the goodness that is Thai Escape. Opened in October 2013, Thai Escape is owned and operated by the team of Pierre Allen and his wife, Jutamat. And if you haven’t heard it yet, let it be known: Thai Escape rocks!

Pierre was our friendly host, making us feel comfortable and providing excellent service while Jutamat worked her magic in the kitchen. An authentic Thai chef with years of experience, I urge all Renfrew-Collingwood community members to treat yourself to Jutamat’s masterful cooking.

We started with the Thai Spring Rolls — deep-fried rolls stuffed with bean vermicelli noodle and veggies; served with homemade plum sauce ($5). Next was what turned out to be one of my favourite soups in this whole wide world — Tom Kah, a hot and sour soup with coconut milk, mushrooms, lemongrass, kaffir, lime leaves, galangal, green onions and cilantro (Large $9.00).

And for the main course, Cashew Nut Stir Fry with roasted cashew nuts, bell peppers, onions, green onions and roasted chili (your choice of chicken, beef, tofu or vegetable — $11). Everything tasted fresh and truly out-of-this-world delectable.

Pierre shared with me his round-the-world adventure of how he and Jutamat met and wound up in Vancouver. Pierre grew up in a small mining town in Quebec with his grandparents. He later became a forestry technician. In 2001, following the re-election of George Bush Junior, Pierre felt it was time to evacuate the continent. He journeyed to Europe and embarked on a 3,000-km journey from Paris to Spain, stopping along the way to work odd jobs. From there he made it to Switzerland where one day Pierre came across a Lonely Planet guide book for Thailand. This inspired the next leg of his journey. Instead of walking however, this time Pierre sprung for air transportation.

On his third day in Thailand, Pierre found work in a day spa where he worked for the next year. Following the spa’s closure, Pierre headed for Chiang Mai in the North where he began teaching French. And finally, Pierre met the love of his life there in his language class, Jutamat, and they eventually married and came to Vancouver.

So, great food (at reasonable prices), excellent service; I’d also like to give a quick nod to the decor — which is nice and features the beauty of Thailand. Also, you get a view of the North Shore mountains as an added bonus. For these fine reasons, I see no excuse for Thai Escape not to become a great enduring hit with us here in RC.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Tipper Restaurant and Review Room

2066 Kingsway ( Kingsway & Victoria )
604-873-1010
email feedback@thetipperrestaurant.com
Open  8:00 am to 10:00 pm

 Daily Specials, Events, Fresh Local Food

BY PAUL REID

Greetings food fans. For the third time in a row now people we are venturing to that strip of Kingsway, between Nanaimo and Victoria, just in time to catch the Tipper as it celebrates it fifth birthday (as of May 15).

The Tipper is that little piece of coolness that somehow broke off from Main or Commercial and drifted East to an area much in need of such. If you haven’t checked out this east-side eatery, featuring delicious west coast classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then you must.

So what has happened in five years? “We are much more tied in to the community now,” says the owner, Colin. “People have gotten to know us and they have witnessed the integrity. It hasn’t been easy though and we did not celebrate our fifth anniversary too much since we still have some things to iron out.”

Always listening to feedback and changing accordingly, Colin does feel, though, that the Tipper has worked past its initial growing pains, now with a steady clientele of regulars who will swear, “The Tipper Rocks!”

A quick look to an online foodie forum such as Yelp.ca reveals that the locals are lovin’ the Tipper. With an average of four stars (out of five), the reviewers appreciate the awesome food, attentive service and comfortable atmosphere. Here are some of their quotes:  “best that it gets,” “Perfect little gem,” “Old school good service!” “Great food and great service–definitely one of my fave spots in Vancouver.” “I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect breakfast. Found it!” “Good flavours with a feeling of home cooking. I’ve been satisfied every time!” “Hands down the best omelet I’ve ever had and that’s saying quite a bit!”

I, too, love the Tipper. On this occasion, I acquainted myself with one of Tipper’s Steak Sandwich with a side of those awesome fries with chipotle mayo. And of course an ice-cold pint to wash it down, a Red Truck lager. With pints going for $4 ($5 for a giant one!), you can’t go wrong.

Aside from the awesome food, Colin has followed through with his initial vision to help local artists. The walls serve as a rotating gallery featuring local artists and the Review Room in the back is home for local musicians and performers. (Visit the website for upcoming bookings). You too can book the back room. Talk  with Colin to iron out the details. Way to go Colin!

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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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