June 30, 2015

NDP majority government ~ who would have thought it possible?

On the eve before Canada Day, on the CBC and elsewhere, Éric Grenier of ThreeHundredEight.com, is showing the possibility of a New Democratic majority government after our October election.

The Liberals and Conservatives are slipping in virtually every region and Mulcair's NDP has surged in Ontario.
Here is British Columbia the New Democrats now have an impressive lead, though that makes it ever more important to produce those vote if we are to defeat the Harper Conservatives.

It's going to be a very hot summer indeed as the Liberals and Conservatives shift their attention to the New Democrats; the lies, distortions and fear mongering will soon begin. Be not led astray.

Change is in the air. We're all in this together.

Full polling information and projections at ThreeHundredEight.com

Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

Continental Coffee on Main

Continental Coffee has been around a long time. In fact it was one of the first coffee shop on Vancouver's famous Commercial Drive. Today, there's a second outlet at 26th and Main.

The business actually began in 1960 when Theo Grippo, an immigrant from Italy, opened an espresso bar on The Drive. Business was good but he closed it to concentrate on selling beans wholesale out of the garage from his home. His daughter brought back the retail operation in 1979 again on Commercial. Her sons have joined her in the business as has a grandson.

Continental's second shop along trendy Main opened at the end of 2012. It offers much the same blends as the Commercial Drive location, with the added offerings of small lot estate coffees. There's a small roaster in the Main Street location, and syphon coffees are available too.

Espresso drinks are served with sparkling water, and a spoon, as they should be of course. My espresso was strong with a nice burnt-nut flavouring.

Sherry's espresso macchiato was made properly with appropriate measures of milk and foam. It seems a simple enough drink to make and yet it's amazing how many places get it wrong.

All in all, there's great coffee at Continental, nicely presented and served with a smile.
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Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

June 29, 2015

Caffè Cittadella ~ fine coffee off Broadway

Located in a newly renovated heritage house a few blocks south of Broadway at Ash and 7th, is a delightful coffee shop called Caffè Cittadella.

Two floors, with a ramp to the main level, outdoor seating and different places to sit inside, this is a pleasant and relaxing place off the major street scape that is Broadway. 

Staff are friendly, pastries look good and lunch items can be provided too. 

The coffee is wonderful, which is not surprising since it comes from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. The espresso was smooth, creamy and rich. Not served with the same panache that one finds at 49th Parallel's store on Main, but... it will do just fine here at Caffè Cittadella.

The house itself is a treat to wander around; there's ample seating and different views of the city to be seen throughout the house.

And the coffee is excellent.

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Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

June 28, 2015

Rasmalai at Himalaya Sweets in Richmond

Earlier in the evening we had our Persian kebabs at Daddy's Delight, and a walk around King George Park. Now it was time for dessert.

We remained on the corner of No. 5 Road and Cambie in east Richmond, across the street though again in a strip mall anchored by a larger Shoppers Drug Mart.

Himalaya Sweets is a throw back to a simpler time in restaurant decor. It actually reminds me of the Chinese-Canadian restaurants that dotted the prairie provinces in the latter part of the last century, with their basic appearance, friendly service, and the all-you-can-eat buffet.

The daughters have chosen Himalaya Sweets for dessert. and there is large assortment of traditional Indian sweets and more, including gulab jamun, rasgulah, kulfi and mango ice cream. Our choice was the rasmalai.

The name comes from two words in Hindi, ras, meaning juice, and malai, meaning cream. Rasmalai has been described as cheesecake without a crust. I'm not sure about that description as this was better than most cheese cakes.

The cream is sweet. The pressed paneer balls are soaked in the clotted cream concoction and it's all flavoured with cardamom. Delicious.

Click to add a blog post for Himalaya Restaurant on Zomato

Himalaya Sweets is a strange little place. I'm not a fan of buffet style restaurants, though the dishes looked appealing enough. Reviews of this restaurant suggest a fantastic butter chicken, though for me, I'd come back for the rasmalai and a chai.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

Happy Canada Day! The end is near ~ and that's a good thing

Another stop sign. This one at Main and 26th in Vancouver.

A sign for our times.

Help is on its way.

Happy Canada Day!

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

A Vancouver beach sunset

The heat has been almost oppressive on the left coast of Canada. Temperatures have approached thirty degrees, unusual for Vancouver.

People flock to the beaches around the region as did we on one hot night recently. It's cooler than a west facing apartment and the skies are brilliant.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.