Thursday, June 28, 2007

Vancouver Diary 3

June 14, 2007

Day 3 in Vancouver still involved some hustling around, but generally it was a lot more sedate that either Day 1 or Day 2, and that bachelor party at Six Acres (which then carried over to The Brickhouse) may very well have had something to do with that. All I can say is, thank god for J, N, & Z's smoked sausage, which, along with a couple of eggs over-easy and some toast, made for an unbeatable breakfast.

Regional Assembly of Text 1 fig. a: interior decor, Regional Assembly of Text

Regional Assembly of Text

We'd heard all kinds of great things about Regional Assembly of Text from S., but nothing could have prepared us for what we found there. A few of Vancouver's shops really left an impression [more on this later], but Regional Assembly of Text was definitely the most original. It's not like we hadn't been to good stationery stores before, or anything, it's just that Regional Assembly of Text is so smart, so creative, so D.I.Y.--and not in the lifestyle sense, either, but in real terms. I mean, not only did they have a button-making station,

Regional Assembly of Text 2 fig. b: button-making station, Regional Assembly of Text

but they also have a monthly letter writing club, where all you have to do is drag your sorry self into Regional Assembly of Text with a correspondent or two in mind, because all the materials are provided for you gratis, right down to your very own vintage typewriter, paper, pens--hell, even tea and cookies. These are our kind of people. No email, no MySpace, no Facebook--just an old-fashioned letter-writing party. Of course, I don't remember such events happening back in the day, but who the hell cares?

Regional Assembly of Text 3 fig. c: interior decor, Regional Assembly of Text

Anyway, we didn't exactly clean Regional Assembly of Text out--they've got all kinds of goodies to keep you occupied with, from wrapping paper and stationery, to house-screened t-shirts and bags and iron-on kits--but we did go a little wild. A couple of happy customers, we were.

AEB button fig. d: AEB button

Hawker's Delight

And, having spent at least an hour at Regional Assembly of Text, we'd worked up an appetite. So we headed up above 25th to pick up some Malaysian at Hawker's Delight. Typically we would have made ourselves comfortable, ordered a whole slew of spicy treats, and gotten the full Hawker's experience, but we had a rendez-vous back at Chateau Vermont and we kinda had to run a little to make it back in time. So we just ordered a couple of items to-go--the Mee Goreng we'd heard so much about and some pork satay--and raced on over to the bus stop to catch the #3 back down to Chinatown. I pity those poor people on the bus. That damn satay was giving off the most lovely scent--let me tell you, it was murder restrainiing ourselves from just devouring it right there on that bus.

take-home satay fig. e: satay in a bag

Somehow we made it all the way home with those five satay sticks and that Mee Goreng unscathed. Michelle pull our treasure out of our carrying bag, and we sat down to attack our Hawker's delights. Really good, and so cheap, too. Mee Goreng = $4. Satay sticks = 60¢ each.

mmm, satay fig. f: satay on a plate


Hours later we found ourselves on a date with destiny. Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly destiny, but it was Rangoli, Vikram Vij's latest success story. I knew full-well what to expect, having been a regular at Vij's between '96 (when it was still on Broadway) and '99. Michelle, poor dear, was a novice. She had some sense of what she was in for, but it took a visit to Rangoli to make everything clear.

Rangoli, for those of you who haven't heard, is the informal nouveau Indian restaurant that Vij opened right next door to his wildly popular flagship restaurant. We ordered a bottle of B.C. white (Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser) and as the conversation began to heat up,

michelle, tammy fig. f: michelle, T., Rangoli

so did the food. Everything was great, naturally, from the jackfruit paranta (with lentil dumplings and spiced yogurt), and the beef, lamb, and lentil kebabs (with date-tamarind chutney),

kebabs @ Rangoli fig. g: kebabs, Rangoli

to the Indian-style pulled pork with sautéed greens and Vij's legendary lamb stewed in masala.

Regional Assembly of Text, 3934 Main St., (604) 877-2247

Hawker's Delight, 4127 Main St., (604) 709-818

Rangoli, 1488 W. 11th, (604) 736-5711


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