Vancouver A to Z

the world

Truly international

Is Vancouver truly a city with international cousin? That is what I have set as my goal to find out. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet and there are no countries in the world starting with letters W and X. What about the remaining 24? I am visiting only one country per letter. Doing “Vancouver A-Z” is an attempt to discover whether Vancouver is as international as it claims to be and if those restaurants can offer a really unique experience. Whatever place I visit, I look for an authentic food and drink, to see how much it is possible to bring that authenticity to North American context.

To make it more interesting, I’ve doubled the challenge, combining gastronomic with poetic. Every country is accompanied with a poem in the same letter.

“photos globe” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Z as in Zambia or Zimbabwe

The Taste of Africa as a representative of Z

Data: September 2020

Address: 10663 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC


Take out:
Fufu and beef stew with spinach
Signature Jollof Rice, fried plantain with chicken


Zealous to zone in like zombies.
Zig-zagging past the zenith.
Zeus zooming in from a zeppelin.
Zen zone.

Next zing in our zodiac?

Y as in Yugoslavia

For letter Y, we reached out to the countries that do not exist any more.

Tenen – a restaurant where Yugoslavia still exists

Date: July 2020

Address: 7569 Royal Oak Ave, Burnaby, BC


Traditional meze for two: Smoked pork loin, kulen, pork neck, katchkaval cheese, ushtipci, kaymak, urnebes
Served with rice and/or soup.

Karadjordjeva schnitzel: Pork loin schnitzel stuffed with kaymak cheese, breaded and fried, served with hashbrowns and coleslaw

Vranac (red wine)


Yanked and yerked out of Yugoslavia.

Yearning for yummy yesterday,
for yellow yolky yarn of yeasty youth.
These years of yawning, yelling and yelping
like a yeoman to you,
like a yak with a yoke on its neck.

Yielding to yonder Y-chromosome
to be yin and yang,
Yes to Yesenin and the young years.

Yammering: you, you, you,
You, you, you, you, you
You, you, you, you, you
You, you, you, you, you
You, you, you, you, you…

Yet, all yesterday.

X as in Xanadu

If you cannot find it in real life, search for imaginary. Inspired by Coleridge’s utopian place, Xanadu.

A visit to a Mongolian grill with imaginary X

Date: March 2020

Address: 2897 W Broadway, Vancouver

Choose your own combination of ingredients and sauces
Served with rice and/or soup.

I forgot to take photos, so “borrowing from the web”. I couldn’t find information about the copyright, so I linked to the original photos. I hope that will be ok with the photographers. Please contact me if you would like your photo taken off this site.


X factor: non xenophobic

W is for White Spot

Where is W?

Date: March 2020

Address: 2518 West Broadway, Vancouver


Signature White Spot sour – Clam Chowder
Served with peanut sauce.

Crispy Cauliflower Bites – Glazed in sweet chili sauce & served with mango herb salsa over cilantro sour cream. Toasted almonds.

Chicken Pot Pie – Tender chicken in a home-style broth, with potato, carrot, onion, celery & peas baked under a flaky puff pastry. Served with The Spot’s salad.

Caesar – vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Wondering why?

Whereabouts is W-country?
When in woe and whiny,
wake up witches and wizards
to work wonders.
Welcome whimsical, winsome
writing-worthy worldliness.

Wade the wandering waters,
withhold the waves,
walk the way, wend the wiggles, the wobbles;
worship wordsmithing,
witness the weird, the wacky, the wimp, the weak;
whisper white wishes down the well,
wait for warm wave of whistles.

Whoosh the world worries with a whip,
let the wind be a weapon
to waste them on its wings.
Wipe the wounds, wrinkle wrongdoings,
whack the weeping walls,
be a warrior of wisdom
to wrap and weave the words of waltz
in wild, weathering webs.


V is for Vietnamese

Anh and Chi – Vietnamese Restaurant

Anh and Chi restaurant barDate: February 2020

Address: 3388 Main Street, Vancouver


Sài Gòn – Prawn, lettuce, bean sprouts, rice vermicelli & Thai basil.
Served with peanut sauce.

Khay Bánh Hỏi Lụi Nướng – DIY Street-Side Platter
Served with fresh lettuce, mixed herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, fine rice vermicelli, rice paper and a choice of house-made pork sausage, beef in betel leaf, grilled chicken, grilled prawn, crispy pork spring rolls, and chili fish sauce.

Van Van Punch rum, cognac, lillet, lemongrass, pineapple, green tea, creole bitters
Cửu Long – House juiced cucumber, pineapple, lime, orgeat (almond), soda

Vocal vantage

Venture into a vibrant venue
with a vision,
vivacious virtuoso with vodka and Van-Van Punch
among a variety of visitors and VIPs.
A vacation vibe.

Variations of vignettes of victuals,
yet volumes of vegetables and vermicelli.

Like vagabonds on a voyage,
visualizing vast vistas,
vigilant for views of villages and valleys.

Voice vibrating in the void,
in the volcanic vacuum of
a vocabulary of vowels and verbs,
and vice versa.

Voting for vulnerable, for victims,
valiant, but vividly vague,
vertigo of visuals.

Vacating the venue,
valedictory vamoose!
Verdict: verified.

U is for U.K.

The Cheese Inn – U.K.-ish

Date: January 2020

Address: 4585 Dunbar St, Vancouver


Toad in the Hole: Pork bangers baked in a Yorkshire pudding with mash potato, vegetables and Guinness gravy;
Liver and Onions: Breaded calves liver, streaky bacon and grilled onions, served with mashed potato, daily vegetables and Guinness gravy

Newcastle Brown Ale
Strongbow Apple Cider

Un-usual UK

U – Uhg!

Ultimate UK.
Uncomfortably uncertain about uniqueness,
unanimously unable to understand
the unity of unstoppable upbeat.
Urban urge to unplug,
utterly utopian,
unpredictable and unparalleled uplifting upheaval,
unmistakably unleashed.

Unreal universe.

T is for Turkish

Saray restaurantSaray, a Turkish restaurant

Date: January 2020

Address: 6633 Hastings St, Burnaby


Acili Ezme (spicy puree) and Patlıcan Salatası (eggplant salad)

Patlicanli Kebap (eggplant kebab), Beef Pide and Pastirmali Pide


Truly traditional temptations

Table truncated to terrestrial tier
to tolerate taking time to triturate.

Thinking of turbulent times
of torture and tussle under Turks
thousands of eternities ago,
transformed into tributes to terminology,
tunes and tones,
and tasty, treacly tongue-pleasers.

Talking to the teammate about things,
time travelling,
touching on teenage turmoil and troubles,
on tomorrow’s travails.

All this while terminating tender tributes;
no take on tulumbas though, till thereafter.

Thumbs up!

S is for Serbian

Balkan House, a Serbian restaurant

Date: December 2019

Address:  7530 Edmonds Street, Burnaby


Sausages (Ćevapčići) and Shish Kebab (Ražnići) with Greek salad, mash potato and rice

House wine


Simply Satisfying

Sitting side by side with other spectators,
slowly studying the suggestions
of Serbian specialties,
I sink into soul-searching.

Sacrifices, self-sufficiency, solitude,
all in the sounds of straightforward,
seen and unseen syllables,
swiftly switching to seminal suppositions and speculations,
saying, not saying, spying
on self-assurance, self-confidence, self-consciousness.

Straying or staying solid on self-determination?
Sizable sigh.

Sufficient supply of sustenance,
secure smooth sociable sailing
through space and seconds
in such a specific situation.

Snow smiling on the surface
while setting off.

So long!

R is for Russian

Ukrainian Village – as close to Russian as possible

Date: November 2019

Address:  815 Denman Street, Vancouver


Vegetarian Borsch – Beet soup served with sour cream

Ukrainian Dinner – Two cabbage rolls, six perogies, Ukrainian sausage served with vegetables and sour cream

Stolichnaya vodka

Napoleon (Russian Cake)


Replacing Russian with Ukrainian,
relatively reasonable.

Rhythm of rain and rain
– the restaurant rendering restful refuge.

Rising above trivial refreshments,
running down the red lane,
rightly relishing repast.

Ruminating on roaming remote rural ranges,
rapidly remembering relaxing road rides.

Readjusting to reality,
recharged and re-energized,
running through the rain repeatedly.