Somewhere in the wild blue yonder of the Great White North between Vancouver and Jasper in British Columbia is the town of Blue River. Little can be said of this town except for its potentially exciting excursions on bear safaris. There is very little food to be had and one of, if not the only restaurants in town is called Tony’s Grill. With a minimal menu that was made even smaller by either the lack of deliveries or large influx of eaters, I was able to find my way to their super cheap cheeseburger to see how Blue River did burgers.
Chinatowns are an interesting phenomenon. And not so much in the fact that a group of people from a country showed up to a new country and settled in one area, but in the way that they no longer really seem to be representative of China. Case in point: while in Vancouver, I knew there was good Chinese to be found, and rather than point me to Chinatown, my hotel pointed me to Richmond, which he called real Chinatown. By real, he meant that the Chinatown on the map was simply no longer authentic, if it ever was. By recommendation, we went to a place called Rainflower to devour dim sum before undertaking the long drive to Jasper.
Contrary to my belief based on visits to Canada from Detroit when I was a wee boy, the Great White North is not a cheap place. Gone are the days that an American dollar could be exchanged for a toonie. Instead, the US is now the place Canada looks to for cheap stuff, making it difficult for an incoming grad student on a road trip budget to eat. Yet, somehow we found our way to Joey Broadway in South Granview, a modern Canadian restaurant with a great-looking menu and Goldilocks-esque just-right pricing. Not to mention a killer patio.
Although traditionally a French-Canadian specialty, no trip to Canada can be complete without a trip to some sort of local poutinerie. Yes, a poutinerie is a place the dishes out poutine, that ingenious gravy, fry cheese curd concoction that was most likely devised as a way to survive the winter in the Great White North. And despite the beautiful weather, I made my way to Fritz European Fry House in downtown Vancouver to get poutine in me.
After Portland we made our way into the Great White North, although surprisingly Canada wasn’t quite covered in white in the middle of the summer. We began in Vancouver, and I found myself a Japadog stand to satisfy my hunger. In case you are unable to read between the lines, Japadog is simply a Japanese hot dog stand, serving up typical Japanese-style hot dogs and other interesting hot dogs with Japanese toppings on them. It’s been around since 2005 and is pretty well-regarded in the street food scene. At least it was regarded enough that I can say that I had heard of them at some point in my life.