The real deals: Best value Wines. Best value bites. Budget conscious picks of what to drink and where to dine.

PICA’s Bistro 101 Bumps it up a Notch on Granville Island’s Waterfront

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:39+00:00 June 28th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Cocktails, Wine|

The Hired Belly has decided there are probably two very good reasons why he doesn’t live closer to Granville Island. One is the proximity to nearby Les Amis du Fromage. The other is the newly renovated Bistro 101 at Pacific Institute for the Culinary Arts–or PICA as it’s known. Last night we dropped [...]

When the lens speaks louder

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:40+00:00 June 27th, 2011|Belly's Budget Best, Top Drops, Wine|

One of our few regrets, we never seem to have enough time to get the photograph we really want. Images are becoming even more crucial these days, especially in the more visually driven on-line world. We like this shot of winemakers Howard Soon and Stephanie Leinemann for any number of reasons, none the [...]

Fresh | Local | Wild: Taking it to the Street with Taste, Vancouver Style

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:40+00:00 June 20th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Ocean Wise|

We can’t get over how easy it is to grab a quick bite on Vancouver streets these days. Heading down to the Wines of Chile trade tasting last week, we realised we’d need some pre-sipping sustenance. The answer? How handy! Almost across the street from the Fairmont Pacific Rim (well, at Hastings & [...]

Nothing Like a Little Languedoc to Get Your Roussillon — Hey Waiter! There’s Garrigue in my Wine!

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:40+00:00 June 10th, 2011|Belly's Budget Best, Hired Belly's Best Wines, Top Drops, Travel, Wine|

We had an excellent tasting recently with the folks from Languedoc and Roussillon. It’s a region that gets surprisingly little attention, especially considering the character of the wines and the value they deliver at most price points. Over the years, however, I think the entry level wines in particular have suffered from being [...]

Sustainable Spot Prawns Rule in Vancouver—at Least Until End of June

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:40+00:00 May 12th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Ocean Wise, Sustainable|

Is it possible there’s anyone in Vancouver who still doesn’t know it’s Spot Prawn season? Probably not. Even in the pouring rain, some 1100 or more of the faithful showed up last Saturday to the Fifth Annual Spot Prawn Festival for their first taste of the 2011 catch. The Chefs Table Society prawn [...]

What’s Red on the Outside and Green All Over? Vancouver’s Commune Café

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:41+00:00 March 4th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Sustainable, Uncategorized|

Vancouver’s been abuzz this past week with speculation concerning the imminent closure of what was supposed to be the long running extension of iconic lumiere and dbBistro,  on March 13th. It’s a sad development, considering the role that lumiere has played in Vancouver’s culinary ascendance. We won’t ruminate too much—except to say that the [...]

B.C. Wines: Unsung Players in Rise of Vancouver’s Culinary Scene

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:42+00:00 January 9th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Top Drops|

As you can see from elsewhere here, and from the crescendo this week of the on-line buzz surrounding the live launch of this year's 200 plus menus, Dine Out Vancouver has more than earned its place as the country's biggest restaurant promo of its kind. Now while you will hear plenty about deals on meals, [...]

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