Monday, January 29, 2018

Dine Out Vancouver 2018 - Bufala

Bufala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For Dine Out Vancouver 2018 my friend's pick was Bufala for a late Sunday afternoon lunch. We got in late-ish almost at 2pm I believe and seating was pretty easy, no reservations required. They were however out of two of three desserts on their Dine Out menu! So you might want to take that into consideration.

The Dine Out menu is basically their whole menu minus some smaller appetizers. The $20 appy and pizza deal is almost half price and a goodly amount of food!

Their pizzas are very thin Neapolitan/Napolitana style with a pretty generous amount of edge crust. To help you eat that crust there are three flavoured oils (that you can slather over your pizza ingredients too if you like): Chili, Herb, and Parmesan. Flavours of the oils are on the subtle side but unless you drown your pizza you (or at least I) won't feel the same heavy feeling from food being too oily.

Kale Caesar Salad (normally $13) green & purple kale, grana padano, anchovy, bacon, salt-cured egg yolk
  • Fluffy and light and kale not particularly bitter.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - kale caesar salad minus bacon

Beet Salad (normally $12) salt-baked golden & purple beets, arugula, ricotta, cucumber
  • Mix of sweet and bitter tastes. Fun cucumber shapes and colourful slices make presentation pretty. Otherwise ok.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - beet salad

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - beet salad

Funghi Pizza (normally $19) roasted mushrooms, goat cheese, watercress, pecorino tartufo, bianco
  • Pretty decent tasting but goat cheese may not have been as evenly distributed as it could have been because I missed the pungent flavour.
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - funghi

Artichoke & Olive (normally $16) fior di latte, kalamata olives, artichokes, garlic confit, basil, marinara
  • Really decent but watch out for salty olives. They add some zing to the pizza but when clumped too close together can be pretty salty.
  • Also watch out for soft cloves of garlic. Shouldn't be a problem unless you pick it right off the pizza thinking it's a piece of artichoke and pop it in your mouth. (Guess who did that...)
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - artichoke and olive

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - artichoke and olive pizza

Bufala Lemonade ($5, not included in Dine Out, non-alcoholic) peach purée, rosemary, soda
  • Pretty decent. Sharpness of lemonade greatly tempered by sweetness of peach.
  • Not overloaded with ice!
2018-Jan-28 Bufala - Bufala Lemonade

2018-Jan-28 Bufala - flavoured oils

We were too full and skipped dessert. The server was kind enough to leave it open during ordering -- that is, she offered to retroactively change our order from 2-course Dine Out to 3-course if we wanted to add dessert later. I had been interested in the Lemon Curd with fennel seed but they were out. In any case we were full enough that we didn't want to force it down and just left with our leftovers -- half a salad and almost one pizza worth of slices.

Overall food is good, enhanced by presentation and Dine Out value for price is really excellent. Regular price is also quite okay considering the portion size. Pizza might not be quite as filling as a big chain like Pizza Hut (for example) just because the crust is much thinner. They aren't shorting you on ingredients though.

Service is friendly and tries to be helpful!

They mis-stepped slightly and mis-timed our pizzas such that they came out of the oven while we weren't halfway through our salads. Partly our fault for yapping so much and so long.
  • If you want to definitely avoid that so that you can focus on your pizza while it's fresh and hot out of the oven, you might want to ask them to hold off on actually baking it until they clear your appetizer plates. Neapolitan pizzas don't take that long to bake anyway.
  • This situation brought to the fore the issue of table sizing as it was really a squeeze to get both pizzas onto the table while our big salad bowls were there as well. In such a case you might consider taking the long communal table (if it's not busy) and just having much more room to move and grab slices off each other's platters.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Gluten Free Expo 2018 - Spokes puffed potatoes - Mango Habanero

Thanks to Yelp I got tickets for this year's Gluten Free Expo (last year it was called the Specialty Food Expo).

There were no shortage of one-per-person-please bags of Spokes puffed potato chips for the taking right when you entered the convention centre. Maybe the tamer flavours were all gone because these were no-punches-pulled spicy-hot Mango Habanero flavoured.

For once, a chip that is actually spicy-hot when it has a picture of a chili in the ad copy. Unfortunately, the rather wildly inconsistent seasoning means you could get a really hot chip, or a sweeter one, but generally there's some buzz and flavour to each chip.

These are light chips and if not for the spicy heat could go very quickly. I found they were very good to get my appetite whetted and mouth salivating.

2018-Jan-13 Spokes puffed potatoes - Mango Habanero

2018-Jan-13 Spokes puffed potatoes - Mango Habanero

2018-Jan-13 Spokes puffed potatoes - Mango Habanero

Gluten Free Expo 2018 - Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Mini Cookies - Chocolate Chip

Thanks to Yelp I got tickets for this year's Gluten Free Expo (last year it was called the Specialty Food Expo).

Enjoy Life was handing out samples pretty much right when you entered the convention floor. These soft baked mini chocolate chip cookies by Enjoy Life are quite okay. Life a lot of gluten free baking, it feels grainy and in this case also seems to have a very slight gummy feel. However for tiny bites, they are pretty packed with chocolate chips so a little bit -- like one tiny cookie -- can go a long way if you take time to savor each cookie.

2018-Jan-13 Enjoy Life - soft baked mini cookies - chocolate chip

2018-Jan-13 Enjoy Life - soft baked mini cookies - chocolate chip

2018-Jan-13 Enjoy Life - soft baked mini cookies - chocolate chip