Tag Archives: East Vancouver

Off The Beaten Track – Casa Verde & Spartacus Books

19 Jul

ACasaVerdeccording to Robert Stone – I recommend the Netflix doc “ Get Me Robert Stone “- the past is prologue. Now if you donʼt subscribe to that theory then you most likely werenʼt inspired by my suggestions to stop in at what was once Commercial Village. But if you do, you may want to check out another curiosity. Right in the middle of Commercial Street, at 3532, is a restaurant. Itʼs called Casa Verde and unless you were looking for it, you wouldnʼt even give it a side glance. With itʼs fading green awning and neutral storefront, the place looks like one of those “ social clubs “Tony Sopranoʼs pals would hang at. But actually itʼs a real restaurant. A Portuguese restaurant thatʼs been run by the same family for twenty years. Iʼm not going to review Casa Verdeʼs fare. Which is a good thing. I may not be the best food critic given that I did not like the much praised and acclaimed Savio Volpe on Kingsway and Fraser. I can tell you that the proprietors of Casa Verde recommend the salted Cod or their weekend chicken barbecue special. But thatʼs not whatʼs interesting. Whatʼs interesting is that behind Casa Verdeʼs almost invisible storefront, thereʼs also a banquet hall that holds up to one hundred. The hall feels like it should be accessible through a bookcase operated secret passage. Itʼs discreet and it might be the perfect venue to roll out your start-up launch, or throw that party when your new single drops.

On the other hand, maybe you donʼt have time for something as frivolous as checking out a restaurant you may never dine in. How could you have time when thereʼs injustice and inequality in the world? After all, you are a social justice warrior. Thatʼs why you live in East Van the birthplace of Vancouverʼs progressive thought. East Van was home to the first Lefties on city council Bruces Yorke and Erickson and the Godfather of Progressive Vancouver Trout Laker Harry Rankin. Itʼs also home to long serving former NDP MP Libby Davies and future long serving NDP MP Jenny Kwan. So itʼs ironic that in your rush to those committee meetings youʼve never stopped, right at where Commercial Street meets Commercial Drive, and checked out Spartacus Books at 3378 Findlay.

Spartacus Books is Vancouverʼs original Lefty book store. Itʼs been around since 1973 and for years was a beacon of socialist thought on the Downtown East Side. But eventually evil forces – think developers not CSIS- conspired to run Spartacus Books out of itʼs long time location and over to this innocuous spot under the Sky Train behind the Croatian Cultural Centre. Banished to this location, Spartacus Books soldiers on encouraging truth justice and the East Van way. Theyʼre friendly folk, mostly volunteers, and they wonʼt try and force feed you Das Kapital or insist you watch a North Korean video. If youʼre trying to establish an ideological position, validate your East Van political street cred, or just worry about the fires of capitalism being highly infectious, Spartacus Books can help.SpartacusBooks

By Contributing Writer: Al Tee

 

 

RecycleFest At Trout Lake July 22, 2017

10 Jul

RecycleFestWe are big fans of recycling. It honestly pains us to throw things away and we endeavor to keep that to a minimum.  Each and every person makes a difference, it may be small, but collectively it’s big. We invite you to check out the upcoming RecycleFest happening Saturday, July 22nd at Trout Lake. The event is hosted by ElectroRecycle which is BC’s small appliance and power tool recycling program. Bring down your broken, old and unwanted small electrical appliances and power tools with the view of keeping these items out of landfills, our water ways, streets and parks.  Along with recycling, there will be a host of family friendly activities including a hot dog BBQ, bouncy castle, arts and crafts, a photo booth, caricaturist and more.  The event runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Heads up for those wishing to clean house, ElectroRecycle program does not accept electronics such as computers, televisions, cellphones or batteries. To learn where those can be recycled, visit ElectroRecycle.ca.

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Vancouver Greek SummerFest July 6 – 16, 2017

5 Jul

 

GreekFestival2017The Vancouver Greek Summerfest is back for its 31st  consecutive year. The festival kicks off Thursday, July 6th and runs until Sunday, July 16th.  This is a fun community event with great Greek food including BBQ Lamb, Loukoumade, souvalaki, gyros and more. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the dancing, there will be lots of it, belly dancing, folk dancing, Serbian dancing and of course those attending will be encouraged to dance.  Organizers also have a great music line up including performances by bands Zougla, Urban Myth, Asi Somos, Dolphin Jazz and Golden Thread Orchestra, Jim Byrnes as well as Steve “Elvis” Elliot tribute artist.  When there are not live performances, a DJ will be spinning tunes.   The event takes place in the parking lot behind the Greek Orthodox Community Church of East Vancouver at 4641 Boundary Road which is located on the border of Vancouver and Burnaby.  If you are coming from Vancouver, the intersection is 29th Avenue. If you are coming from Burnaby, it is Moscrop.  The event is free to attend. Note, as there is food and lots of moving bodies, pets are not permitted and in the summer heat, they’ll be happier at home. During the week, Monday to Wednesday, activities take place from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm and from Thursday to Sunday, things go from Noon to 11:00 pm. To learn more about the event, what’s available for food or which musician is playing on which date, check out Greek SummerFest. Opa! Live and eat like a Greek for a day.

Ice Cream Ice Cream We All Scream For Ice Cream!

3 Jul

We are blessed in East Vancouver with an array of frozen treats whether it’s ice cream, gelato, non-dairy, vegan ice cream or sorbet, options abound. While we are now truly into summer we thought we’d highlight some of the many spots worth checking out for ice cream.

Earnest Ice Cream

Admittedly we are die hard fans of Earnest Ice Cream which now has not 1, not 2, but 3 locations to serve you in East Vancouver, Fraser Street, Quebec Street and now their new location on Frances Street. Not only do we love their ice cream, we also love the Company’s philosophy to support local, be sustainable and environmentally friendly. If you’d asked us to choose one favourite flavor, we’d be hard pressed, Salted Caramel is up there, but then Whiskey Hazelnut not far behind. For seasonal, Lemon and Rhubarb Oatmeal are in our freezer now.

La Casa Gelato

The pink palace in East Vancouver located at 1033 Venables Street. A favourite spot as well, the choice of flavours beyond amazing. La Casa Gelato boasts some 238 flavours which include gelato and sorbets as well as other options including non-dairy and sugar free. They have a great outdoor seating space just across the street. Added bonus is they are open 11:00 am to 11:00 pm each day and we do mean every day as in 365 days a year.

Dolce Amore

Dolce Amore is a gelato spot located on Commercial Drive next to Merchant’s Oyster Bar. They have of course some delish gelato as well as some other sweet treats. We noticed a vegan Blueberry Basil Sorbetto in their line up which sounds pretty great. That’s on our list to try.

Rooster’s Ice Cream

Rooster’s Ice Cream is a great boutique ice cream shop located at 1309 East Broadway just West of the the Vancouver Community Collage campus. We checked out this spot last summer and it was a hit. They had some unique flavours and this year, we have our eye on their Lime Lavender.

Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar

So we hear that Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar located at 1007 Main Street has turned into an ice-cream parlour for the summer. They are making gourmet ice cream as well as offering floats and we her some pretty cool ice cream sandwhiches.  Flavours include strawberry rhubarb, malted chocolate and coffee cream whiskey.

Gourmet Ice Cream Tour

If you prefer to taste test ice cream at a few different spots for something fun to do, you may wish to check out the Gourmet Ice Cream Tour. This is offered by Off The Eaten Track Tours who regularly host foodie tours around the City. This delish tour runs from June 1st into September. Cost is $29.99 and runs weekly Thursday and Sunday for 2 hours. To register, or learn more, visit Off The Eaten Track Tours.

Innocent Ice Cream

This is a new ice cream spot that has opened at 4895 Main Street at 33rd Avenue called Innocent Ice Cream. It’s a sweet spot that offers gluten free ice cream sandwhiches, handmade all natural ice cream as well as coffee, so affogatos are available as well.   Some of the ice cream flavours include Salty Peanut, peanut butter and salted caramel and the Canadian, maple walnut and oatmeal.  We liked their flights of 3 mini ice-cream sandwhiches for $7.95. There are small seating areas inside and out. Definitely worth checking out.

Brown Paper Packages

We’ve been hearing great things about Brown Paper Packages which specialize in small batch handcrafted ice cream and ice cream sandwhiches. You can find their sweet treats at various events around town, but regularly at Pazzo Chow located at 620 Quebec Street at Keefer.  They are open Monday to Saturday with Fridays being your best date to catch them when they are open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

 

What’s On East Van: June 30, 2017

30 Jun

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Lots happening in East Van this next week.  Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out cool events for the upcoming week. Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Canada Day – July 1, 2017

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday and there are a few events happening in East Van if you wish to celebrate close to home. The Commercial Drive Business Society is hosting a free celebration at Grandview Park that begins at Noon with live music and activities for the kids such as face painting, balloons, inflatable slide and ends with singing O’Canada at 3:00 pm and, of course, birthday cake.  Sunset Community Sunset Centre also be hosting Canada Day Celebrations from Noon – 4:00 pm with lots of activities, music and a BBQ.   Renfrew Park Community Centre and Kensington Community Centre will also be hosting family friendly activities from Noon to 4:00 pm.

Farmers Market  – July 1 & 2, 2017

This weekend you have the opportunity to check out 4 farmer markets.  First up, is the largest hosted by Vancouver Farmers Market at Trout Lake from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 1st. Also on Saturday, you will find River District Farmers Market on the Fraser River in SE Vancouver just below SE Marine Drive at Kerr Street from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Also on Saturday, Riley Park hosts a farmers market at 30th Street & Ontario from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm which will feature 30 local farms and producers. On Sunday, July 2nd Vancouver Farmers Market hosts the Mount Pleasant Market from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Dali + Hopper – July 4 – 9, 2017

Dali & Hopper is an original play about a group of young adults who deal with love and self-acceptance through the role their subconscious plays in their reality. The show runs at The Cultch and tickets are $20.25.

Workshop: Frozen Desserts Without A Machine July 5, 2017

The Uncommon Café hosts a great workshop on Wednesday, July 5th in which you will learn how to make some delish frozen desserts, no ice cream maker required.  You will need a blender and mixer mind you.  Class takes place in Railtown, cost is $59.99. Use the code SAVE20 to save 20%. To register, visit Tartine & Maple.

Entertainment, Comedy, Live Music + Theatre

Looking for fun and games? Playland is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm this weekend. If you are looking to get out of the heat this weekend, the Rio Theatre is showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show Sunday, July 2nd at 11:00 pm. Great weather weekend to check out some local art, the new murals in Strathcona would make a great wander with a stop at brewery nearby, but we also hear visual artist, Amanda Cassidy will be showcasing her art at the Wise Hall on Sunday, July 2nd from 8:00 to 11:00 pm.   Plus, the International Jazz Festival to July 2nd with great talent at Tangent Café and Pat’s Pub.

Whatever you get up to have a great Canada Day long weekend.  Red Canada 150 Logo

 

Image: June Hunter

2nd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl Brewery Tour & Fundraiser July 8, 2017

28 Jun

EastsideCultureCrawl2The Eastside Culture Crawl Society invites you to an afternoon of beer tasting. The 2nd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl Brewery Tour is a fundraiser for the Eastside Culture Crawl Society which showcases the amazing artistic talent in East Vancouver.  On July 8th, the price of a ticket gets you a tour and tasting at 4 craft breweries including Luppolo Brewing Company, Storm Brewing and Strathcona Beer Company. The afternoon finishes off with a wrap up party at Strange Fellows Brewing. The event goes ahead rain or shine, you can cycle or walk the tour, but you must be 19 years or older to participate. Starting point is 1000 Parker Street parking lot.  Tickets are $52 each and available through Eventbrite.

Image Credit: Eastside Culture Crawl Society

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