Granville Island is the perfect place to catch some Olympic culinary fever. The Olympic Line will deposit you right at the foot of the Island and all is within walking distance. Don’t miss a stop at the Pacific Culinary Institute for a Keta Kebab from Organic Oceans charming Steve Johanson. He’s the real deal fisherman and a source of great information if you want to inquire into what can be found in our local waters.
The kebabs are made from Campbell River Chum Salmon and are cold smoked at skewered alongside some butter and wine poached pearl onions.
A little further into the Island, The Lobsterman is offering a variety of seafood dishes such as bbq oysters, chowders and albore tuna loan. It’s almost like we’ve got street food in Vancouver.
A hop skip and jump into the Island and you will find the Atlantic Canada House, The Place de Francophone and The Swiss House, all worth a visit if you time it correctly.
At the Atlantic Canada House the four regions have bound together to bring you eastern fare New Brunswick | Nova Scotia | Prince Edward Island | Newfoundland and Labrador. It is essential that you check the schedule ahead of time, as the food tastings are at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 and 5:00 pm. The lineups are crazy, so bring a friend, grab a coffee and catch up. The best time to go is for the 11:30 a.m. Here it is all about the seafood. The culinary agenda is managed by Chef Kevin Boyce, an instructor at The Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, but there are chefs from every province, and, as Boyce readily admits, students from the various schools who are the ones really pulling it all together (news on the students here). They’ve flown in 1000 lbs of lobster, smoked salmon, salt cod, Digby scallops, oysters and salt beef. Dishes include items pictured below such as marinated mussels on toast, lobster stuffed potatoes and butter poached lobster atop a scallop mousse on a potatoe pancake. There are food demos with a different type of mussel each day.
Chef Kevin Boyce displays the items available on Feb. 18.
The Swiss House has taken over Bridges for the duration of the games, giving them the distinct advantage of a venue that is well prepared to serve the thousands (the other Granville Island Pavillions have to settle for minimal kitchen facilities). If you are a cheese lover come here for the fondue and raclette. If you get there early enough, you’ll can choose to be seating in the restaurant for white tablecloth service.
These diners were very keen on having their photo posted. Obviously enjoying themselves.
There are stations set up outside for sausage and raclette, and the line ups here are minimal. There are free samples of raclette on Feb. 23 – check the site for daily activities.
Place de Francophone has French Bistro Fare, but it gets very busy, so be prepared to wait for your meal. They run out of Poutine frequently as the demand is huge. The owners of La Baguette in the Island) have teamed up with Seb’s Restaurant (on Broadway) to bring you Club Adrenaline, where you’ll find food, and nightly performances. If you pop in the afternoon between regular lunch and dinner hours, you’ll have no problem finding a spot. This is also a great place to stop in for coffee or dessert, as the bakery has their delightful treats available. Food is served until 9:30 pm nightly, after that there are Granville Island beers and BC wines to sip on.
Some items available:
P L A T S P R I N C I P A U X / E N T R E E S
Baguette Farcie, Saucisson, Jambon, Fromage, Laitue, Choix de Soupe ou Salade 14.00
Baguette sandwich with ham, salami, cheese, lettuce, choice of soup or salad.
Croissant Farci, Légumes Grillés, Choix de Soupe ou Salade 14.00
Vegetarian stuffed Croissant, choice of soup or salad.
Quiche du Jour, Salade Organique 14.00
Our daily quiche, organic salad.
Brochettes de Poulet ou Saumon, Riz Pilaf et Salade 17.00
Choice of chicken or salmon skewers on rice with salad.
Jarret d’Agneau à la Marocaine, Riz Pilaf 17.00
Lamb shank, Moroccan sauce, rice.
Boeuf Bourguignon, Riz Pilaf 17.00
Beef Bourguignon, rice
Tourtière du Québec, Chutney à la Mangue, Choix de Soupe ou salade 16.00
Pork Pie from Quebec, mango chutney, choice of soup or salad
D E S S E R T S
Crème Brûlée (Caramelized Custard)
Pudding à la Brioche et au Sirop d’Érable (Brioche Pudding with Maple Syrup)
Pâtisseries Françaises (Assorted French Pastries from our display)
Tarte aux Pommes (French Apple Tarte)
Poire Bourdaloue (Pear Tarte with Almond Cream)
On Granville Island, in partnership with
La Baguette et L’Echalote (604.684.1351)
& Seb’s Market Café (604.298.4403)
Place de la Francophonie
“Club Adrénaline, Bistro & Bar”
In addition to the pavillions on the Island, there’s also the regular spots if you want something a bit quicker. There’s also artisanal food providers such as Oyama Sausage and Edible BC within the Island for BC food products and cookbooks to pack home. Don’t forget the Artisanal Sake Maker for locally made sake. Masa Shiroki, Sake Master, poses with the Olympic torch and former mayor, Sam Sullivan.
Granville Island also has much to offer for arts and cultural lovers, so plan on spending some time in the area to experience much more than just the cuisine. They’ve got the Winterruption Festival on through February which includes free concerts, performances and a kids zone www.granvilleisland.com. There’s also concerts nightly, so check the schedules and plan accordingly.
When heading to the Island, or for that matter, anywhere during the Olympics, you really have to keep in mind that the players are operating in less than perfect environments, and dealing with far bigger crowds than there would normally be. If you aren’t prepared to forgive them for a longer wait, or perhaps food that’s not exactly at the right temperature, you should stay home and feed yourself, or head to a place outside the red zone. You will, however, miss out, as there are many culinary treats that won’t be available post-Olympics, and once you get into the spirit of it all, you can look at the line ups as a chance to meet new people and share this interesting time with your friends. It’s too bad drinks aren’t being served, but they’ll be plenty to drink once you’re in the pavillion.