The Heights & North Burnaby
March 29th, 2013
by Lima Al-Azzeh
I’ll open with a confession: The title of this post may be a bit misleading. You really don’t have to hunt to find the newly opened Chez Christophe’s Chocolaterie Patisserie in Burnaby Heights as it’s likely the smell of fresh baked croissants and aromatic melting chocolate will find your nose long before your brain has even thought to have a craving. Continue reading →
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July 18th, 2012
One thing that makes the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival different from other concerts at Deer Lake Park is that you are allowed to bring in your own food! Restaurants in Burnaby provide cuisines from around the world at a variety of different price points so there really is something for everyone. Hard as it was, I broke down my Top 3 “Take-Out Foods” Continue reading →
July 13th, 2012
Hello, and again welcome to the blog. A couple of days ago, a posted a blog detailing all the wonderful cycling friendly places in Burnaby. I’m back to review the “Giro Di Burnaby”, which was included in that blog. For those that didn’t read it (first of all, not cool dude) The Giro Di Burnaby is in it’s sixth year of existence, and it’s modeled after the famous Giro D’italia cycling race. People from all across the world come down for the event and try their hand at getting some exercise, and hopefully winning some swag. Continue reading →
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July 9th, 2012
Hello, and welcome to another entry into the Burnaby Sports blog. With the weather actually turning good lately, (What is that big, glowing orb in the sky? Where is the rain?) many people have begun strapping on the ol’ spandex biking shorts, weird, Loki-esque wind resistance helmets and pedaled their hearts out on the roads of Burnaby. Well friends, if you’re reading this in between power bar snack breaks, you’re in luck! Today’s blog will be focusing completely on Cycling events, trails and some thing called a “Velodrome” all around the beautiful city of Burnaby. Continue reading →
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June 6th, 2012
May 18th, 2012
by Lima Al-Azzeh
11 Stations has long been committed to showcasing the abundant art, entertainment and cultural offerings of the city of
Celebrate the century anniversary of the C.W. Parker CarouselBurnaby. Now it’s our great pleasure to introduce Bravo Burnaby! the largest arts, culture and entertainment event the city has ever seen, comprising a range of exciting activities all taking place between May 25 – June 10, 2012. Here are some of our recommendations for some must-see community events, though really, we’d highly recommend them all!
April 3rd, 2012
by Lima Al-Azzeh
There are chains, there are franchises, and then there’s the Cactus Club, a restaurant that has received the magic touch from famous chef Rob Feenie – the fairy Godmother, or Godfather rather, it seems, of casual dining.
Together with the great team at Tourism Burnaby and with my fellow bloggers, we were invited to the Cactus Club in North Burnaby (Lougheed Highway) for a rare treat: a private tasting of Chef Feenie’s signature dishes along with a carefully curated selection of wine pairings. Lucky us! Continue reading →
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March 21st, 2012
by Sheliza Mitha
There are few meals in a lifetime of eating that are worth relishing and remembering. For me, dining at The Pear Tree is one of them.
In anticipation of the annual Dining Out For Life event on March 29th, which supports A Loving Spoonful and Friends for Life, my husband and I had the pleasure of recently dining at The Pear Tree. And the praise you may have already heard about this establishment is all true and worthy.
Indeed, since The Pear Tree opened its doors 14 years ago, chef and co-owner Scott Jaeger has garnered countless awards and reviews for his culinary skills – not the least of which include Vancouver Magazine’s “Chef of the Year” and the magazine’s “Best of the ‘Burbs” award year-after-year, as well as a coveted Zagat rating and numerous other recognitions.
We had actually been meaning to try The Pear Tree since hearing about it from some foodie friends of ours many years ago who consider it their favorite restaurant in Metro Vancouver. Because of this, we walked in with unusually high expectations and hopes for this particular dining experience. Which, I have to admit, can be a recipe for disaster.
After all, how many times have we gone to a movie or restaurant fully expecting to be amazed and inspired by the experience? More often than not, though, we end up walking away in disappointment and frustration – and kicking ourselves for having such unreasonable expectations in the first place. Well this, in a nutshell, was my fear as I entered the cozy, warm and elegant space, which seats no more than about 50 guests in an intimate dining experience.
Fortunately, The Pear Tree did not disappoint.
Our intimate dining experience also led way to some remarkably stellar service, especially the warm and personal greeting we received from co-owner Stephanie Jaeger.
Together, Stephanie and her chef husband have created a small but ample winning menu that serves up a daily “Table d’Hote” (literally meaning “host’s table” in French) with a full three courses that rotates every two to three weeks. The rest of their menu, however, stays fairly consistent.
Since every proper meal begins with an aperitif (we are out without the kids, after all), I indulged in a Kir Royale (champagne and cassis), while my husband ordered himself a Tom Collins. We were off to a great start already.
My husband and I had heard some amazing reviews of their Spot Prawn Cappuccino – one of their signature dishes – which is what I began with. Incredulously, it had the consistency, color and creaminess of a cappuccino. One spoonful in, though, and the deception was clear. This “cappuccino” was a rich, smooth bisque with pieces of tender prawns, served with miniature pastries that are absolutely perfect for soaking up the fine “cappuccino” foam.
For a starter, my husband decided on the Witloof Salad, which was as pretty as it was delicious with watercress, candied walnuts, shaved slices of aged Gouda and topped with just the right amount of Okanagan Pear Dressing. After devouring his salad, his exact comment to me was, “Wow, I could have that again for dinner.” (And this from a man who loves his meat.)
Next up, our entrees. I chose from the restaurant’s Table d’Hote menu: Atlantic Lobster Tail with Lobster Mac & Cheese, while my husband selected the Twice Cooked ‘Berkshire’ Pork Belly With Spot Prawn and Tomato Cassoulet from their regular menu.
As with the starters, our meals were plated beautifully – more like works of art than dinners meant to be consumed in a matter of minutes. But, that’s why we were there. So feast we did. Our dinners also came with a bright, fresh side of pea shoot salad, tossed with a light maple glaze vinaigrette.
To accompany my main, I ordered a light pinot gris (8th Generation from Summerland, BC), which complemented the lobster tail perfectly. The lobster, itself, was flawless – fresh and tender with just the right amount of bite and subtle flavoring.
As for my husband, one bite into his pork belly and he was lost to me during most of our dinner together. With little interest in conversation or much of anything else, he took bite after bite of his entrée in a silent and contented state of near-meditation. I didn’t get through to him until partway through his cassoulet, at which point he described to me the expertly crafted layers of his dish: crispy, meaty, savoury.
Realizing that The Pear Tree is really the ultimate in fine dining, which usually means petite and extremely pretty entrees, we (I must admit) weren’t expecting to be full after dinner. However, the size of our meals was unexpectedly substantial, and so we were surprised to find ourselves leaning back in our seats afterwards, feeling quite satiated and full. And normally, at that point, we would pay the bill and call it a night. But, being at The Pear Tree, this isn’t our “normally” and so we forced (yes, forced!) ourselves to go on. Refusing to share my dessert no matter how full I felt, my husband and I each ordered our own.
For dessert, my husband selected the Fresh Lemon Tart With Lemon Sour Cream Sorbet – another of the restaurant’s signature dishes and the chef’s personal favorite, according to our server, Omar. Despite my chocolate addiction, Omar talked me into ordering his favorite Pear Tree dessert: Vanilla Crème Brulee, which I ordered along with some coffee that came in a very sleek French Press (mais, oui!).
Though crème brulee is a favorite of mine as well, and something that I’ve eaten countless times, this version of the dessert is nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Topped with fresh pineapple, blueberries and raspberries, the crème brulee was also adorned with a stunning caramel-y “brandy snap,” and – as delicious as that was – it was honestly just uphill from there. The crème brulee was sweet, but not overly so, and with the consistency and creaminess of ice cream combined with custard. In a word, it was… miraculous.
As for my husband’s lemon tart, well it was already half devoured by the time I looked up from my spectacular-looking dessert. I finally managed to get a bite in (much to the chagrin of my husband). The tart was moist, with just the right combination of tangy sweetness to satisfy that inevitable post-dinner sweet tooth. I found the accompanying lemon sour cream sorbet to be even more delicious than the tart, itself, with its slight fruitiness and light, smooth texture.
The end of our evening came much too soon. But, it’s nice to know that The Pear Tree is so accessible, with Burnaby being home to such an impressive, remarkable and renowned restaurant and chef. Chef Scott Jaeger has, in fact, represented Canada in the prestigious Bocuse D’Or, a worldwide cooking competition, and has been recognized as the BC Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year (1998), as well as the BC Chef’s Association Chef of the Year and the Georgia Straight’s Chef of the Year in 2007.
The Pear Tree also happens to be one of several Burnaby restaurants participating in the Dining Out For Life event on March 29th – which means you can eat well and do some good at the same time. This year, The Pear Tree is among some 250 restaurants from Whistler to White Rock and across the Fraser Valley that will contribute 25% of their sales that day to people living with HIV/AIDS.
So this year, invite your friends and dine out on March 29th… making a difference never felt (or tasted) so good!
Sheliza Mitha is a freelance writer and editor based in Burnaby, BC.
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January 10th, 2012
by Tourism Burnaby Staff
July 29th, 2011
by Sheliza Mitha
In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, I’m not referring to the kind of track that involves betting and race horses. Rather, this track is considerably more kid-friendly: I’m referring to the Burnaby Central Railway’s miniature train at Confederation Park.