Thursday, January 26, 2023

2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza is coming to Metro Vancouver, BC

The 2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza is coming to British Columbia, specifically in Surrey. Rey Fortaleza (Chairman of Reyfort Media and Publisher of Philippine Asian News Today) has acquired the franchise to organize Fiesta Extravaganza in BC.


2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza in Beautiful British Columbia

The purpose of the Canada Fiesta Extravaganza is to celebrate Filipino heritage in Canada with a Festival of Smiles.


The picture is from Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza Facebook post.

When is the 2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza in BC?

The event will be on July 22 and 23.


Where is the 2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza in BC?

According to Philippine Asian News Today1, the Fiesta Extravaganza in Surrey, BC, will be at the Surrey Civic Plaza, which connects Surrey City Hall, Surrey City Centre Library, Simon Fraser University (SFU), Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), and the Civic 3 Tower.



What to expect at the 2023 Canada Fiesta Extravaganza?

According to the Festa Extravaganza website, the two-day celebration will include the following:

  • Music - Local Filipino celebrities and music artists serenade you throughout the day.
  • Food - Vendors that sell Filipino food
  • Games like palo sebo
  • Festive Dances like the Sinulog and panagbenga
  • Local Amenities and Crafts vendors

It is a family-friendly festival that welcomes everyone! I will update this post as soon as I have more information on the program schedule and vendor list.


This event sounds so fun and coincides with our dad's birthday weekend!


Source:

  • Vancouver Fiesta Extravaganza 2023. (2023, January 16). Philippine Asian News Today, pp. 12–13.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Fat Elvis from The Pie Hole | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Our last food stop of the day is The Pie Hole because they are part of the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. They are offering three different flavours, and we ordered the Fat Elvis.


#122 Fat Elvis Hot Chocolate from The Pie Hole

Below is the description of the Hot Chocolate Festival website.

#122 Fat Elvis

Dark chocolate and banana-infused hot chocolate, topped with peanut butter whipped cream, chocolate ganache, caramel and candied peanuts. Served with a 3" personal 'Fat Elvis' pie

#122 Fat Elvis

It's my favourite hot chocolate we have tried so far! I love all the candied peanuts on top, which provided a beautiful crunch to the creamy hot chocolate. It's also the perfect sipping temperature of all the hot chocolates we've had that are part of the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. It's not overly sweet, and you can taste the slightest bitterness of the dark chocolate.


The Pie Hole Hot Chocolate

It's also the messiest hot chocolate! The weight of the peanut butter whipped cream on top made it overflow. 🤣 We had so much fun drinking it; the staff are the friendliest too.


Hot Chocolate overflow because of the peanut butter whipped cream.

It's served with a 3" 'Fat Elvis' pie, reminding me of the banoffee pie from Starbucks in the Philippines. It has a strong banana flavour, and the texture is soft and creamy, but the tart shell and candied peanut topping provide crunch. I absolutely love it!


3" 'Fat Elvis' Pie from The Pie Hole

Below is the description of the Fat Elvis Pie on the Pie Hole website.

Fat Elvis Pie

One of our biggest pies and best selling! In our golden Double Butter Crust we start with a layer of dark chocolate ganache then top it with banana cream and a peanut butter whipped cream. To finish this pie we drizzle more chocolate ganache, house made caramel and roasted peanuts. Fit for The King!


It's a sugar-filled day! We continue our diet tomorrow, but I feel like I gained 10 lbs this weekend.

Dim Sum for Lunar New Year Lunch at Peaceful Restaurant Kitsilano

Happy Lunar New Year! We had lunch at Peaceful Restaurant in their Kitsilano location and had four dim sum dishes.


Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns

The first dim sum that arrived at our table was the 8-piece Xiao-long bao steamed buns. We haven't had it in a while, and it has a strong pork flavour. After slurping all the soup, dip it in the vinegar sauce to add sourness which helps cut through all the fat.


Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns from Peaceful Restaurant

Xiao-Long Bao Steamed Buns are very soupy.

Pan-Fried Chicken Fried Dumplings

The next dish that arrived at our table was the 8 pieces of Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings. The skin of the dumplings is crispy, while the inside is hot. The chicken flavour is stronger than the park, and the dipping sauce is sour,  cutting through the oiliness of the dish. Be sure to eat it quickly because the dumpling wrapper gets soggy fast, losing its crispiness.


Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings from Peaceful Restaurant

8-Piece Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings are filled with minced chicken and cabbage.

Must-Try: Peaceful Beef Rolls

We arrived at Peaceful Restaurant at around 11:30 AM and left after an hour. We stayed during the Sunday lunch rush, and all tables within earshot ordered the Peaceful Beef Rolls. It's definitely a fan favourite, and I can't blame the Vancouver crowd. The flatbread has suitable thickness and chewiness compared to the thinly slice beef. Meanwhile, the green onion provided a mild sweetness alongside the hoisin sauce. It's a perfect sweet and savoury roll.


Peaceful Beef Rolls from Peaceful Restaurant

Two Peaceful Beef Rolls are five-spiced beef rolled in a crispy green onion flatbread & sweet hoisin sauce.

Cumin Beef & Flatbread

Wow, it's SPICY! The bun is crispy and has a strong sesame flavour. The beef is tender and covered with cumin. There are two types of spicy food - painfully spicy and flavourful spicy which definitely belong to the latter.


Cumin Beef & Flatbread from Peaceful Restaurant

Cumin Beef & Flatbread is a sesame flatbread filled with beef, cumin, and fresh hot peppers.



The last time we went to Peaceful Restaurant was in 2019, and it's good to be back at one of the restaurants that Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited in Vancouver.

Florals and Spice from 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Happy Sunday! We visited the 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts for the 2023 Hot Chocolate Festival and shared a Florals & Spice hot chocolate.

Florals & Spice Hot Chocolate

It has sweet floral undertones and is definitely sweeter than the Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie from The GOOD Chocolatier.


#01 Florals and Spice

Dark hot chocolate infused with cardamom and organic rose petals. Served with a mini brioche doughnut filled with spiced chocolate custard and topped with orange blossom glaze, pistachios and rose petals.

Vanilla Old Fashioned and Triple Chocolate Donuts from 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts

We find ourselves in a 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts location because of the 2023 Hot Chocolate Festival. So, of course, we tried two of their donuts: Vanilla Old Fashioned and Vegan Triple Chocolate. We also ordered two savoury pastries (Savoury Scone and Pistachio Almond Croissant) because it's breakfast, and I don't want all sweets.


Breakfast at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Doughnuts

Vanilla Old Fashioned Donut

Vanilla Old Fashioned is crispy on the edges and with a slight vanilla sweetness. I prefer this to the Triple Chocolate Donut. I love the difference in texture with the soft interior and crunchy exterior.


Vanilla Old Fashioned Donut at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Savoury Scone

The Savoury Scone is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's filled with peppers and celery. It's pretty good. I wish they warm it, though. It reminds me of pizza's saltiness - cheese and deli meat bits.


Savoury Scone at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut 

Savoury Scone at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Vegan Triple Chocolate Donut

Vegan Triple Chocolate is not sweet but has an intense chocolate flavour. Its consistency reminds me of a brownie or a really dense chocolate cake.


Vegan Chocolate Donut at 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky's Donut

Pistachio Almond Croissant

The Pistachio Croissant is flakey and buttery. I was not getting any Pistachio flavour... until I reached the middle. There's filling inside!


Pistachio Almond Croissant

Pistachio Almond Croissant

It's fun to hang out at a coffee shop surrounded by delicious pastries and discuss expenses with my husband.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Tim Hortons introduces Vanilla Coconut Latte

Tim Hortons introduced a new Vanilla Coconut drinks line, including Vanilla Coconut Latte, Vanilla Coconut Cappuccino, and Vanilla Coconut Cold Brew with Espresso-Infused Foam.

Today, we tried the Vanilla Coconut Latte, and it has the expected light vanilla taste and is smooth with a subtle hint of coconut aftertaste.


Vanilla Coconut Latte from Tim Hortons

Hey Tims, my dad is requesting a coconut-flavoured (infused) donut. I suggest trying a Filipino bread pan de coco for flavours that inspire you. It's his favourite bread.

NEW Chicken Marsala Fettucine and Ravioli Carbonara from Olive Garden

Our first meal for lunch today is at Olive Garden, and we're trying two new items: Chicken Marsala Fettuccine, Ravioli Carbonara, and Meatballs Parmigiana.

My parents are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary. Their youngest daughter and offspring suggested we take the more than 40 km (24 miles) drive to the only Olive Garden location in British Columbia, Canada.

Of course, we're here for unlimited breadsticks and soup.


Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is the last soup that I have not tried at Olive Garden, so it's what I ordered today.

It's sour because of the tomatoes and hearty because of the beans. There's also a bit of heat that feels like from black pepper.


Pasta e Fagioli

My favourite is still the hearty and filling Zuppa Toscana, which hubby ordered.


Zuppa Tuscana

NEW: Chicken Marsala Fettucine at Olive Garden

The chicken was crispy, but the sauce was surprisingly sweet, while the mushrooms provided an earthy flavour. Unfortunately, after a while, the pasta is too heavy, and I am food coma.


Chicken Marsala Fettucine

NEW: Ravioli Carbonara at Olive Garden

The sauce was creamy. It's also salty, thanks to the bacon and cheese, while the ravioli filling is heavy. The serving is smaller - only around ten or so ravioli. Adding shrimp or some sort of protein might be a good idea for this dish.


Ravioli Carbonara

NEW: Meatballs Parmigiana at Olive Garden

The order came with five meatballs covered with melted cheese and tomato sauce. The meatballs are juicy, tender, and flavourful.


Meatballs Parmigiana



It was a fun lunch and drive with the family. We're food coma.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie and My Fat Vegan Dream from The GOOD Chocolatier | 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Happy Sunday! For the first time, we're consciously visiting places participating in 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. Our first stop for the hot chocolate season is The GOOD Chocolatier inside Greens Market along West Broadway.


The GOOD Chocolatier offers two flavours as part of the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

After the 9:00 AM Mass and Pancake Breakfast at Church, we ordered both available drink flavours from The GOOD Chocolatier a couple blocks away.


#73 Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie

It's a beautiful cup of hot chocolate that took 5-10 minutes to prepare. It was lovingly handcrafted by the friendly person at the counter. It has a strong cherry flavour which reminds me of black forest cake.


#73 Plus de Cerises, Mon Chérie

Darling, why have only one cherry, if everything can be a cherry? A delightful cherry-hot chocolate, dark and rich. Served with whipped cream and house made chocolate sprinkles. Served with a Rum & Cherry Truffle.

- Source: Description on Hot Chocolate Festival website


#74 My Fat Vegan Dream

It's nutty, and I couldn't pinpoint which nuts I was tasting at first, then hubby pointed out that it's chestnut and coconut. The flavour profile of this hot chocolate is more "traditional," with hints and highlights of nutty flavour from the coconut and chestnut. It's also sweeter than the option above.


#74 My Fat Vegan Dream

It’s everything that vegan is not supposed to be, and more. Toasted Marshmallows, Vegan Milk Chocolate, Salted Caramel Fatso, Chestnut, Crunchy Coconut, whipping cream… can you still follow? No? Then you just gotta try. (contains peanuts and nuts). Served with a Big Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow.

- Source: Description on Hot Chocolate Festival website


Both flavours are takeout only and available from January 14 to February 12, 2023, on Friday - Sunday only.

Take advantage of the chance to try the delicious hot chocolate made from single-origin cacao from Ecuador at The GOOD Chocolatier. It's also their first time joining the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.

Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast at St. Augustine's Church Parish Hall

Happy Sunday morning! My husband and I are joining our parish community at St. Augustine for pancake breakfast organized by Knights of Columbus after the 9:00 AM Mass.

We enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, sliced turkey, and waffle fries. It's a filling, delicious lunch. The pancakes were perfect with the syrup, while the eggs were soft and salted. The breakfast sausage still has that snap and savoury. Lastly, the sliced turkey was moist and savoury.


Pancake Breakfast organized by Knights of Columbus.

The Knights of Columbus has a couple chef members. That's why we will try to attend whatever feast they prepare moving forward.

We were seated with four retired senior citizen ladies. It's so fascinating to hear their stories. They ask each other about their schedule and activities. For example, they pray the rosary together every Wednesday, then, on some days, they take walks around the neighbourhood or have a nice meal or coffee somewhere nearby. Then, there are evenings they would play cards (no gambling, I hope!) for entertainment. They were also discussing printing and computer tables. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by these ladies. They remind me that life can be full of joy even at an older age. If God grants us a long life here on earth, we should consciously live it to the fullest and bless others.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Pizza Hut delivers Triple Pizza Box

It's our first time visiting my parents this year. For dinner, my youngest sister had Pizza Hut delivered because my mom loves it.

She ordered the Triple Treat Box which arrived in a Triple Pizza "Box" - it's more like a sleeve where you can slide each individual pizza box. It came with two medium pizzas, regular breadsticks, two dips, 8 boneless bites, and an ultimate Hershey's Chipits Cookie.


Triple Pizza Box from Pizza Hut

On the first box, we have the Canadian Pizza. I am reminded why I love and hate Pizza Hut. It's so heavy and oily which makes it so good too. 🤣 The crust is airy and so oily from the firs touch.


Canadian
Pepperoni, bacon crumbles, sliced mushrooms, and pizza mozzarella

On the second box, we have our mom's favourite: Supreme Lover's®. When we were kids in the Philippines, Pizza Hut locations would sell two slices of regular-size pizza for like PHP 49.00  (around $1.25 CAD). My mom would bring those home as a treat for us. The usual options were Hawaiian, Pepperoni, and Supreme.


Supreme Lover's®
Pepperoni, mild sausage, beef topping, green pepper, sliced mushrooms, red onion and pizza mozzarella

On the third box, there are regular breadsticks, two dips, 8 boneless bites, and an ultimate Hershey's Chipits Cookie.


Regular breadsticks, two dips, 8 boneless bites, and an ultimate Hershey's Chipits Cookie.

It was an exhausting day but my love tank is so full from spending time with my husband and seeing my parents and siblings. Thank God!

Chicken Wings and Chicken Strips from Costco Food Court

Costco Food Court in their Richmond, BC location offers Chicken Wings in 10 or 30 pieces. Unfortunately, the wings are unavailable in the Downtown Vancouver Costco branch.

Chicken Wings

It's good, perfectly fried chicken wings. Crispy skin and juicy chicken meat. It's suitable for parties.

Chicken Strips and French Fries 

We also ordered the Chicken Strips just to try them out. The meat was flavourful, but getting one of the dips would be advisable.

Costco Food Court Menu and Prices | Richmond, BC Location

We went to Costco at Bridgeport, Richmond BC, to check the food court menu. I want to compare it with the Costco food court menu in Expo Boulevard, Vancouver BC.

Short version: Richmond BC Costco has Chicken Wings which are unavailable at the Downtown Vancouver location.

The menu below is subject to change without prior notice and does not include taxes and tipping. All prices are in Canadian dollars.


Menu Item Price
10 pieces Chicken Wings $8.99
30 pieces Chicken Wings $22.99
Pop
20 oz with refill
$0.89
Ice Cream Cone
Vanilla or Chocolate
$2.89
Ice Cream Sundae
Caramel, Chocolate, or Berry
$3.49
Pizza Slice
Pepperoni or Cheese
$2.59
18" Whole Pizza
Pepperoni or Cheese
$12.99
1/4 Pound Hotdog and 20 oz pop with refill
All Beef or Polish Sausage
$1.50
Chicken Strips and Fries $6.99
French Fries $2.99
Poutine $5.99
Gravy $0.30

Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt is back in Wendy's Canada

Wendy's Canada welcomes 2023 by introducing the Homestyle French Toast Sticks and welcoming the Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt back.

We arrived at the closest Wendy's location at 10:00 AM. They're just about to transition from breakfast to the lunch menu. I ordered the Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt burger and baked potato.

Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt from Wendy's

The Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt features a fresh, quarter-pound beef patty, applewood-smoked and rich portabellas in a melty cheddar sauce, all sandwiched between a warm toasted bun.

You get all that earthy, musky mushroom flavour with the first bite. Then, you get that juicy beef patty and crunchy bacon. It's delicious! No wonder it's a fan-favourite at Wendy's.

The same bacon, mushroom, and cheddar sauce can also be ordered on top of soft baked potatoes. It's good but needs more cheddar sauce.

Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt Baked Potatoes from Wendy's

Overall, a good and unusual brunch at Wendy's.

Wendy's introduces Homestyle French Toast Sticks

This week (January 9), Wendy's Canada made the NEW Homestyle French Toast Sticks available. After offering a competitive breakfast menu, the Homestyle French Toast Sticks is the first sweet breakfast item offered at Wendy's.

NEW Homestyle French Toast Sticks from Wendy's Canada

Because they released it on a Monday (and I work a regular day job), I can only go to Wendy's today for breakfast. We arrived at the closest Wendy's location at 10:00 AM and ordered the Homestyle French Toast Sticks. We waited 30 minutes until the lunch menu became available to finally try their Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt.

NEW Homestyle French Toast Sticks fr Wendy's Canada

Soft inside and crunchy edges. The golden brown colour is impressive. Though, there are not a lot of flavours. I was expecting sweet, but I'm not getting that. There's a subtle taste of egg, but that's about it. Great texture, only a little flavour.

Unless you're highly challenged in the kitchen, you can make this better at home. So that's my short review of the NEW Homestyle French Toast Sticks from Wendy's Canada.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Meatless Monday: Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini from HelloFresh Canada

We successfully did meatless Monday today. Hubby prepared oatmeal and tea for breakfast. Meanwhile, I cooked white basmati rice and reheated the Karahi Paneer leftovers for lunch. Then, I prepared the Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini with Roasted Red Peppers from our HelloFresh box for dinner.


Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini with Roasted Red Peppers from HelloFresh

The cheese tortellini cooked for 3 minutes came out perfectly al dente. The sauce was a bit saltier than I'd liked but creamy and buttery. I like the melted shredded parmesan cheese on top. 

Unfortunately, the roasted red pepper didn't add anything flavour-wise but provided a different crisp texture. The spinach added bitterness and a pop of colour to the dish.


Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini with Roasted Red Peppers from HelloFresh

Below is the HelloFresh description for this meal.

Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini with Roasted Red Peppers

HelloFresh Description:

Sun-dried tomato pesto, fire-roasted red peppers and creamy Parmesan await with every bit of this Tuscan-inspired cheese tortellini. Get ready to be whisked away to Italy.


Tuscan-Inspired Tortellini with Roasted Red Peppers from HelloFresh

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Calories: 970 calories per serving

Do you need an oven to prepare this meal? No

Do you want a discounted box? Then, click my referral link and get a HelloFresh box.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Lunch Date at Bombay Kitchen + Bar

We arrived at Bombay Kitchen + Bar at 11:30 AM when they opened. It's a beautifully designed restaurant. I love the fountain and fireplace; the wall decorations and lighting are exquisite.


The beautiful interior of Bombay Kitchen + Bar at 11th Avenue.

We were seated and given the menu. After five minutes, our waiter returned to inform us that the chef had just arrived and it'll be a few minutes before they could take our order and asked if we could wait. Thankfully, we're not famished and just had breakfast at Blenz Coffee.

At noon, the server returned and took our order of Honey Chilli Fries, Butter Chicken, Karahi Paneer, Garlic Naan, and Mix Biryani.


Honey Chilli Fries

The first to arrive at our table is the Honey Chilli Fries. It was sweet and a bit spicy, and the fries were soggy because of the sauce. However, the portion was surprisingly generous and perfect for sharing between 2-3 people.


Honey Chilli Fries from Bombay Kitchen + Bar
Sweet & spicy fries tossed in a special chef's sauce.

Butter Chicken

The Butter Chicken arrived next, and we ordered it with a medium spice level. It was sweet. I don't know what's wrong with me because I never knew butter chicken was sweet until I tried some at New India Buffet. I can only taste the savoury sweetness (I'm not sure if that made sense as a flavour). I expected it to be creamy and savoury with minimal to no sweetness. It's so amusing. I blame my love for Vindaloo, which is tarty and spicy, so maybe that's why butter chicken tastes sweet.

January 12 Update: We had butter chicken leftovers and it still has a lot of sweet flavours but there's a more subtle heat going on. Eating it with plain rice seems to be the way to go to appreciate the full flavour.


Butter Chicken
Chicken breast cooked with light cream and tomato with fenugreek.

Karahi Paneer

It's our first time trying karahi paneer. It has a subtle sour flavour because of the tomatoes, while the onions provided sweetness, and the paneer was creamy.


Karahi Paneer
Homemade cheese pieces are served in thick gravy with big chunky pieces of onion, capsicum, and tomatoes.

Mix Biryani and Garlic Naan

We ordered the Mix Biryani and Garlic Naan because those two were my favourite things when we had food from Bombay Kitchen + Bar in 2021. The naan has a nice char and is slightly bitter, especially on the edges. There is crushed garlic on top, providing so much garlicky flavour to the naan.


Garlic Naan
White leavened bread flavoured with garlic.

Meanwhile, the Biryani is perfectly spicy and seasoned. The chicken and lamb are tender, and the prawns are perfectly cooked. I love it!


Mix Biryani
A rich combination of veggies, chicken, lamb, & prawn spices & basmati rice.

Gajar Ka Halwa

I wanted Kheer, but it's unavailable. So we tried the Gajar Ka Halwa for the first time. It's made with fresh carrots. It's not overly sweet. The bowl and dessert were warm and had a lot of coconut flavour.


Gajar Ka Halwa
Indian pudding made with fresh carrots, milk, sugar, ghee, & nuts.

We stayed here until 1:30 PM and enjoyed our meal over gossip. We discussed the latest in Philippine news and chismis and our dreams and goals. Weekly dates with my husband are always a heart-fluttering experience.

Most viewed post in the last week