Vancouver part 1: Tapas and a diva cupcake

I just got back from a weekend in Vancouver. Usually I’m all about Robson Street and shopping, but this time I focused on eating. With October being BC Craft Beer month, I also wanted to try some new local brews. I fulfilled all my wishes – I had sushi, pho, tapas, cupcakes, and of course a few glasses of wine and beer.

On Friday night, I met a friend from IABC BC for dinner. I left the restaurant choice up to her, she’s a food lover too (we shared an eventful dinner in Miami earlier this year). I knew I could trust her to pick something I’d love, and she did not disappoint! We went to the recently opened España Restaurant on Denman Street.  They don’t take reservations, so we arrived before 7 and managed to grab the last table before the place filled up.

The Octopus.

As per the norm with tapas, we ordered a few items to share. They have a lot of chorizo options, either on it’s own or included with other dishes. We had the baba ganoush that came with a housemade flat bread, the octopus with potatoes and chorizo, and the patatas bravas. We then ordered the chicharron covered toast from their specials that night. That was my favourtite part, I’m glad we saved it for the end. Being Salvadrean, I am no stranger to chicharron, and this one was cooked just right. It’s easy to overcook into a crisp that hides the taste. It’s never occured to me to use chicharron for anything but pupusas, but this is something I’m going to have to try at home.

Chicharron on toast.

We each had two glasses of wine, their list is short but satisfying and are all sold by the glass and bottle. The white sangria looked tempting and their Spanish beer of choice is Estrella, including the gluten-free Estrella Damm Daura.

We skipped dessert because we had passed Original Cupcakes, of the TV show’s The Cupcake Girls fame on the way and I had to have one. My sweet tooth got the best of me and I got the “diva” cupcake which was chocolate with pink vanilla buttercream topped with pink sugar crystals. Needless to say I was full! We walked all the way to Granville, for one more drink afterwards, a walk that was much needed after those sweets.

Decisions, decisions.