Posts tagged with “restaurant”
Nelson the Seagull is one of the best things to happen to Vancouver since I moved here.
Every place should aspire to do what Nelson the Seagull does. Namely:
1) serve amazing food, prepared fresh, sourced locally when possible, and all with a laser focus on quality.
2) prepare perfectly-made espressos (and I mean perfectly) sourced from local, responsible roasters (Agro).
3) be the place that I want to hang out in all day and never want to leave.
It’s the place in Gastown for espresso, breakfast, and lunch. With the food being prepared right before your eyes, Nelson the Seagull is doing what every restaurant and cafe should be doing: putting themselves out there for public scrutiny, holding themselves accountable to their patrons, and not feeling the need to hide themselves behind walls and kitchens and cutting corners like so many cafes and restaurants are apt to do nowadays. And in doing so they provide a live show into their food preparation and organization. This is not just the place to spend time in Gastown, it’s the place to spend time in Vancouver.
The space is outstanding. I could spend hours here. It’s wide open, relaxing, and almost therapeutic. No loud music. No trendy outlandishness. Nelson the Seagull does a great job of using the space by not using it. Its minimalist mindset is not only showcased in its decor but in its food and its simplicity is tasteful and feels lovely to linger in. The furniture, the flowers on the tables, the couches - all are in complete harmony with the space they occupy.
I had a macchiato and then had to have a second one. It was one of the best I’ve had in the city. Better than any I’ve had at Agro (from whom the beans are sourced ironically). The roast the barista (and part owner) served me was a single-origin Ethiopian roast and was responsibly-sourced as all Agro beans are.
I had a lovely lunch there today. The poached eggs on ciabatta with a fresh salad of roasted tomatoes and fresh mushrooms was excellent and the chocolate banana tart I had for dessert was perfectly filling. No excessive portions or excessive use of rich ingredients. You leave Nelson the Seagull perfectly satisfied and refreshed - the feeling you should have when you leave any cafe or restaurant.
I accidentally stumbled upon this place walking home one day and was instantly taken by it.
In Gastown, where every restaurant is an up-and-coming wonder with a top-rated chef and a hot interior with posh clientele, killer menus, and $15 cocktails, it’s nice to see a small family-run business serving up quick, delicious Latin food and doing it with perfect charm and lovely service.
Brasil Stone Grill doesn’t have an elaborate menu. They only accept cash and they don’t have a liquor license. You walk in and you’re greeted by smiles from the all the family members who often times are elbow deep in batter or cutting up pieces of meat right in front of you. When you walk into this place, you instantly feel at home, transported to your family’s living room rather than a restaurant. They kick up conversations, crack jokes, remember your name bringing that charm that is completely lost from big city restaurants anymore. And I love it.
Then there’s the food. Oh the food. I went twice in two days. I’d helped them out the first day by taking some photos of their food and sending the photos to them. I stopped in the next day just to verify that they received the photos and when I went to leave, they sat me down and fed me again. How could I resist the smiles and the awesome smells and the sounds and the general atmosphere? I couldn’t. All the patrons were speaking Brazilian Portuguese and laughing and joking with the owners. It really did feel like I was in someone’s living room or kitchen.
The first time I was there, I ordered the Frango a Passarinha (fried chicken wings). They were served with rice, beans, and salad. The wings were incredibly tender and not at all dried out. The crispy outside and the moist juicy meat left me almost wanting more. However the portion left me perfectly satisfied so I passed.
The second time I was there, I ordered their signature dish, the Picanha - an amazing tri-tip steak served on a granite stone tablet came with a grandiose portion of rice, beans, banana frita (fried banana), and what I believe was cassava root (but I can’t be sure). This meal blew me away. The steak was just perfectly cooked. It melted in my mouth. The sides were large in portion and very filling and likewise were great. My only slight complaint was simply how much they served. Then again, if I were starving it might’ve been perfect. And for $16.99, this is one of the better values in Gastown for the quality of food that was served.
Next time, I’m going for the appetizers and desserts.
Thank you Filipe and a warm thank you to your entire family. You guys are my home away from home. :)
I broke my Meatless Weekdays tradition in order to have the Frango à Passarinho at the newly-opened, family-run Brasil Stone Grill on Powell between Carrall and Columbia. It was a pleasure eating here. (EXIF)
I may end up going to this alone because I actually can’t find any friends who want to go. :(