During our dinner at House of Dosas on the weekend, I was telling Marie about how I was writing a food blog and one of the focuses would be on the plight of the downtown office worker at lunch. She immediately said "Cafe Vancouver", her favorite lunch spot. How could I pass up such a ringing endorsement?
Cafe Vancouver is located at Hamilton and Smithe, beside the fire station. I think their crowds would be mainly from the local offices who know it is there rather than walk in off the street. The website says that it used to be an art gallery and they have been open since last year. They serve the regular lunchtime sandwiches but they have a specialty in Turkish cuisine. They also have an all day breakfast menu! The restaurant is a very warm space that is larger than I had thought it was from the outside. The tables are a mix of big cozy chairs at tables for two along the sides and larger tables in the middle.
The house specialties is Turkish food, and because I can't pass food wrapped in dough, I had the Borek and Soup special for $7.99.
From Wikipedia- Börek (also burek and other variants) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka (or phyllo). It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kaşar, minced meat, or vegetables. Invented in Central Asia by nomadic Turks, it became a popular element of Ottoman cuisine.
How could this go wrong? It was super tasty. I think it could be a bit better if it were served fresh. Mine seemed to be reheated in a panini press, but that did not really take away from the great taste. I have never had Turkish food before so I can't really describe any of the seasonings except to say it all worked well together.
The soup was the best part of the meal. They had 4 soup offerings today and I chose the Lamb and spinach soup. If I was alone, I would have licked the bowl clean. It was so fresh and creamy with large pieces of spinach, celery and red pepper along with a generous portion of lamb. It was spicy with a hint of sweetness. The best soup offering I have had from all my downtown lunches, easily.
The food at Cafe Vancouver was so fresh. There was a tray of muffins just out of the oven on the counter and other pastries that were made there as well. The staff was really friendly and greeted everyone as they came in and as they left. I have a new favorite lunch spot. Thanks Marie!