Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eat...at Refuel

Two weekends ago, my husband and I hosted friends from Edmonton and were pretty excited to show Vancouver off. Of course, the weather had other ideas and we fought rain and frigid temperatures most of the weekend...but eating here stands out no matter what. 

I am super proud of the food culture here. Vancouverites have adventurous palates and we refuse to pay an exorbitant amount for it. When I was living in Edmonton, I was usually pretty disappointed by food. It was expensive...and pretty tasteless. $14 jalapeno poppers comes to mind....With a few standout exceptions like Culina (and the long lost Bacon), most people want to pay big bucks for nachos, steaks and pasta - not unique and creative food.

So among the choices I put on display was Refuel. I had not been to this new incarnation of the lovely Fuel but I am a huge fan of Campagnolo so I figured the restaurant would make the transition to a less formal setting pretty effortlessly. 

Here is a sampling of the wonderful lunch we had.....my girlfriends sampled the oysters, served raw or baked with a garlic confit and the housemade piggy puffs. 

You heard me: for all you carnivores out there, they make their own pork rinds! They also shared the pan roasted halibut, which came with sauteed greens that they flipped for (one of them is a dietitian like me: yes, we get excited when a restaurant serves us greens :)

My husband had the special which was an open-faced meatloaf sandwich served with Kennebec fries. 

I had the deviled eggs to start because hello! deviled eggs on the menu? And they were amazing - the yolk was blended with a horseradish that was flavourful and had bite without setting your sinuses on fire. 

For my meal, I had the lemon risotto which was rich, savoury with a beautifully deep lemon flavour. At ten bucks it was a fantastic deal and I had a side of sauteed greens to get my daily greens in. 

Bonus points too because they could make really nice virgin cocktails (water can get a little boring), great service....if you haven't made it to Refuel yet, run...don't walk!



Debbra said...

So imagine this. Christmas and New Years are behind me. I've just spent a week at a resort in Mexico (lots of melted cheese and all-inclusive cocktails). Home again, determined to adopt a healthy eating plan. On day ONE of this plan, I get invited out to a business lunch. At Refuel of course. And of course I ordered the fried Polderside chicken, with biscuits. How could I not?

I agree, delicious, rustic, carnivore-friendly food. But I'll be saving it for special occasions.

Desiree Nielsen RD said...

My husband tried the Polderside chicken last night for the first time and left almost comatose but deleriously happy. Completely understandable :)

I was surprised that such a carnivore friendly place does not forget the vegetarians. And anywhere I can get sides of sauteed nettles is always okay by me!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

I have plans to go shopping with my best friend since elementary school down on west 4th sometime this month, and Refuel is the location we have already decided upon for lunch. What a timely review. I've browsed their menu more than once, and have yet to narrow down what I want to try - it all looks excellent, and the great prices only make it that much harder to choose.