Refuel – Vancouver, BC


Refuel
1944 W 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 288-7905

[This report is from an outing from this past fall – it had been sitting in the incomplete queue for a while, various travels led me to leave this aside until now, apologies.]

Putting on special events is something that a restaurant can do to draw some attention to itself and cut through all the clutter of marketing hype and word-of-mouth buzz generated among regular patrons and prospective new customers.  With so many ways to do this, I think a lot of them are really lost when it comes to pulling off a creative concept. Refuel, with its strong pedigree from its previous incarnation as Fuel, and the strong reputation of its lead man Rob Belcham, have found a way in recent years to conduct an annual event that has now led to a trio of seatings in a single night to commemorate a pig-fueled anniversary celebration.

This year for the Whole Hog Dinner, they brought in a partner to compliment their set course, family-style meal by adding some cask beer creations from the local R&B Brewing Company.  This even involved the participation of some of the brewers themselves who were responsible for concocting the brews that were on hand this particular evening.  They were as follows and recommended pairings with each of the three food courses that were served.

1. Lemongreass sungod ale

2. Oaked raven cream ale

3. Bacon stout

The experienced beer drinking fellows in our group had favorable comments on the course one paired lemongrass ale.  In fact, many noted they wished they’d just stuck to that for the other two pints they had instead of following the recommendations and falling victim to the curiosity factor.  Especially when it came to the bacon stout, which had a hint of the pork product, but frankly felt weak overall.  The thoughts on the cream ale were that it wasn’t creamy enough too.

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XOCOCAVA – Toronto, ON


XOCOCAVA
1560 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
416-979-9916

Located just a few yards off Younge and tucked out of view is a tiny chocolatier called XOCOCAVA.  I must thank a good friend of mine who sent me here, but I sure wish he had given me a little better directions than “Younge and St.Clair”.

xoco_storefront

As this was my first time walking into this establishment – my eyes were fixated on trying to understand what resembled a  ‘periodic table’ of chocolate truffles.  Once I managed to figure this out, I was faced with the larger decision of beverages, pastries, candies, ice cream and sorbets.

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