It's like a sickness. And then we were at the outlet malls for ages and picked up some double-fried chicken, because when you're about to embark on an eating adventure you need to build up your tolerance.
Because this was essentially an Eat-cation, with a few zoos thrown in. Joel and I watch a lot of Eat St. And a lot of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And a lot of You Gotta Eat Here, which is the shitty Canadian version of DDD but which at least has restaurants in Calgary that we might some day eat at (Modern Donut, I am coming for your maple bacon).
But so Eat St. We are really into street food, and Vancouver is only just getting into the scene, so we have a couple of Japa-dogs and a Re-Up (which, I'll level with you, isn't that good. Japa-dog probably isn't good either, only I was so hungry when I went there that I can't tell). So before we left, we watched all the episodes of Eat St that featured food carts in Seattle and Portland.
And then we went and ate at those food carts. Our first rainy, rainy day we hit up the Where Ya At soul food cart in the parking lot of the Starbucks headquarters. I had the jambalaya
and it tasted of ALL THE THINGS. Good jambalaya always tastes like it's been made in a pan that's never been washed and it has, like, six different meats in it. Joel had the catfish po'boy
and it was fine. It's just, the jambalaya was so FLAVORSOME, and the po'boy was a fried fish sandwich with some lettuce. But the beignets!
I will one day go to New Orleans and have some more beignets because fried squares of dough in powdered sugar are never not delightful. Even if you have to eat them in your car while you fend off a wily infant.
And then at some point on the underground tour, we stopped above-ground just outside the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to discuss...something historical, and the Factory must pay the tour a pretty hefty royalty fee for this because as soon as it was over we were like, CASHEW CARAMEL APPLE WHAT?
And they cut it for you, which feels like cheating but which means you get a much better ratio of apple to apple-toppings and much less feeling-like-a-fool.
And the thing with street carts is that most of them close down for dinner, but some of them become successful enough to open up brick-and-mortar restaurants and you can go to those instead. Which is how we ended up at Skillet Street Food, sitting at a table, with a proper server and everything (who was great with Eleanor, and was like, You should try the kale Caesar salad, and guys, you should really try making a Caesar salad with kale because IT IS FORTIFYING AND TEXTURED).
Joel had the burger with bacon jam, which is a thing that exists and which you can buy in a little tub and which we did, obviously.
It also had bleu cheese, which is a thing we are both trying to start liking (see also: cilantro) because it is ON so many interesting things and we like liking things and we'd like more things if we could also like the things that have bleu cheese on them. It was surprisingly mild and non-dirty tasting.
And then I had the fried chicken sammy, which ranks in my Top Three Things I Ate That Week. The chicken breast was slightly spicy and the aioli had both pickled and charred jalapeños in it and the bread was chewy and kale is just winning ALL my awards these days.
Eleanor had a spoon.
The next day we went to the Pike Place Market and had Many Small Snacks. Like a German walking sausage (what?) and a pepperjack cheese stick
both of which were pleasantly dry and chewy. And this is where the recommendations from my book blog came in handy, because we'd be wandering along and I'd see The Crumpet Shop and I'd be like, SOMEONE TOLD ME TO STOP THERE, and we'd stop there and have a crumpet.
And neither of us have ever had a crumpet before and when you're not-English, you mostly think that crumpets are just English muffins but different. YOU GUYS THEY ARE NOT. They are like a hot, crispy pancake, and this one was light and fluffy and warm and covered in cream cheese and maple butter and walnuts and pretty well set the bar too high for any crumpet to ever follow, ever.
And then on the way out we were like, We need just maybe one more fortifying snack before we head to the zoo, and lo, the same person who recommended The Crumpet Shop told me to swing by Piroshky Piroshky, and a beef and cheese piroshky is the most hand-sized and warm and spicy fortifying snack.
So that worked out well. And after the zoo we swung by a Starbucks to bogart their wifi and check which food carts were in the area (how did people find things before the internet? With their eyes?) and hit up El Camion just as they were closing. They kindly stayed open another half-hour so we could order chicken tacos
and fish tacos
and spicy pork gorditas
and a steak mulita, which is not pictured because we took it back to our hotel and re-fried it for breakfast the next morning. And even though we were WELL OVER-STUFFED, we were too close to the Krispy Kreme to NOT have a Krispy Kreme or perhaps two.
And I cannot see that glaze curtain and not be like, TWO OF THOSE, PLEASE and Joel got two of the specialty donuts even though I warned him that the plain glazed trumps everything on account of you can see it come out of the oil just over there and it is still hot and also the glaze-curtain and his donuts were less good, although he seemed to enjoy them.