Howe Sound Brewpub (Squamish, BC)

howe-sound-brewery-1Squamish (or “Squampton” depending on where your allegiances lie) is a small burg nestled in the peaks between metropolitan Vancouver and the bacchanalian circus that is Whistler. It’s one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places in BC that you can easily visit by car (half an hour from the Horseshoe Bay Ferry!) and if you happen to love outdoorsy stuff like my wife and I do it’s a must-visit destination… Except… Well… It’s kind of at war.

Y’see it’s still a small town, just enough industry to keep it going during the winter and enough summer kids hanging around to run the store while all the tourists pile in. Problem is we’re not talking a handful of tourists here. When a sizable portion of metro Vancouver decides to holiday in Whistler, they’re all driving up the same highway at the same time to get there. And they’re all having lunch in Squamish.

During our entire five day long stay in Squamish we witnessed cooks, servers and baristas battling some of the most outrageous lineups of entitled people we’ve seen since… Well, Whistler *laughs* But Whistler’s veteran hospitality army can handle ‘em… Squamish just couldn’t seem to hold the line. Nearly everywhere there were long waits for food, dirty tables and panicked bussers, fuming customers and thousand yard stares from beyond the pass. Our sushi restaurant even ran out of rice!

But I said “nearly” everyone didn’t I? Yes! One shining beacon of hospitality stood out amidst the cloud of war. It’s the biggest, baddest, jam-packed fullest joint in town. The number one recommendation for dinner and post-MTB drinks we got from everyone. Squampton’s Generalissimo in the war of hospitality: The Howe Sound Brewpub.

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Poached Chicken and Rice

poached-chicken-and-riceI just realized our kitchen calendar was still on August and flipped it over, revealing the stereotypical picture of golden hued oak trees and a dilapidated barn that always accompanies September. Ugh… Here on the Westcoast September would be more accurately represented by a grey sheet of rain.

Yep, autumn has come just like it always does; like a switch is flipped, the sun just surrenders and the rains begin like the final act of Seven Samurai… And as usual most of my friends, family and co-workers are getting sick.

So the calendar goes back up on the wall, I fire up a big pot on the stove and pull one of my secret weapons against autumn depression from the freezer: Master Stock! I know it sounds like Master Chief’s little brother or a particularly corny GI Joe villain, but it’s not. It’s a broth made from simmering a whole chicken with Asian aromatics and then, over the course of many uses and multiple chickens it condenses into a powerful, gelatinous flavour bomb for use in soups, stews and sauces.

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Long Time, No See

long-time-no-seeIt’s been a hell of a summer.

Crystal, Jen, Sean and me went on a whirlwind tour of the mainland’s most vaulted and exciting mountain biking destinations; shredding mountains, sailing across undulating oceans of terrain and man-made wooden structures like the badasses we want to be and coming in to land at various breweries and eateries all over BC. It was glorious! (more…)

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Red Huckleberries

Huck 1Its summer holidays for the EDB team (yes, we get those!) and the agenda is filled with eating, drinking and mountain biking. And everywhere we go, from the top of Mount Washington to the deepest, darkest forests of Squamish there are truckloads of wild edibles to keep us energized during our long days of adventuring. Chief amongst our foraged pick-me-ups are red huckleberries, which fully ripen right around now and can be found growing just about everywhere in BC.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Blueberry Muffins 1If I had to list my favourite summer food experiences, eating blueberries right off the bush would definitely be in my top five. It’s right up there with the smell of fresh peaches and backyard BBQs, the taste of a good saison and picnicking amongst goats. Yes my friends, the only thing better than a blueberry is a blueberry baked into a muffin… And the only thing better than that is a muffin that I didn’t have to make.

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