While Portland keeps getting recognized as a great food city by the national press, Vancouver is quietly building up an impressive food scene of its own. Some of that growth is homegrown and some it has come as operations in Portland have found their way across the river where, lo and behold, they’ve found there’s also an appreciation for good food and drink.
To celebrate this emerging scene, Visit Vancouver USA is back with its second year of “Dine the Couve,” teaming up with 27 local businesses to offer three items for $23 for the month of October. The menus are determined by the restaurant so some places offer a drink for a course, many offer more than one choice per course. Bars (and some of the restaurants) also offer some $3 drink specials.
“This year we expanded to include more than just downtown restaurants,” said Jacob Schmidt of Visit Vancouver USA. “We still have a lot of downtown restaurants, but we want to show the diversity and variety of Vancouver. So, we’ve gone to east Vancouver, we have Rally’s, Smokehouse (Provisions), and Ben’s Bottleshop. And, we went north with 6th Avenue Bistro in Hazel Dell and Farrar’s and Mt. Tabor Brewing in Felida.”
Other newcomers who signed up this year include Little Conejo, Nom Nom Restaurant and Grill and Final Draft Taphouse.
While there’s plenty to choose from, Schmidt admits he’s particularly looking forward to Ghost Runners Brewery’s $3 beer flight. The flight includes four beers — Chasing Fluffy Pink Unicorns (Raspberry Gose), 5K in Paradise IPA (infused with pineapple cider), Prost Oktoberfest (German Marzen), and Track Star IPA. Chasing Fluffy Pink Unicorns — a unique raspberry gose style ale brewed with rosehips, coriander, pink peppercorns, and hibiscus — is of especial interest to him.
On my end, I’ve so far narrowed my picks to these three:
• Nom Nom Restaurant and Grill’s addictive Kaopoon Nam Gai soup (Laotian red curry chicken noodle soup with shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro, mint and bean sprouts) as a first course.
• Smokehouse Provisions’ menu features a choice of one of its delectable smoked barbecued meats (brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs and hot links) along with one side; as well as, an appetizer (one option is their bacon molasses corn bread) and dessert (chocolate pudding or seasonal fried pie).
• Mt. Tabor Brewing’s meat entree is a maple and lager brined pork chop with savory apple and leek bread pudding, caramelized brussels sprouts and mustard cream sauce. Their veggie entree option is a fall pasta primavera with delicata squash, caramelized onion, foraged mushroom, crispy brussels sprouts and mustard cream sauce. Dessert is a pumpkin pale ale cheesecake with blondie crust, Jacobson-salted caramel and spiced candied pumpkin chips. A choice of appetizer is included.
Tag your photos
If you tag your meal photos from a participating restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #DineTheCouve, or tag a friend on Visit Vancouver USA’s designated Instagram posts, you could win a $50 gift certificate to one of the participating businesses. Two winners will be drawn each week for the monthlong campaign.
To research your options, go to www.visitvancouverusa.com/dinethecouve or at www.columbian.com/news/life/dining-out.
Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.