Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vancouver's. Best. Deli.

I have been to New York twice, and frequenting the legion the Jewish and Italian delis in the Big Apple is one of my favourite things to do. Other cities that I have visited, including Montreal and (surprisingly) LA, also contain an impressive spattering of shops selling charcuterie, coffee, tea,  artisan breads, sumptuous salads, sandwiches and snacks which provide the public with a cosmopolitan alternative to sit-down restaurants and grocery stores. The delicatessen concept appears to have befuddled Vancouver entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, as the city seriously lacks this essential dining establishment.

Vancouver didn't always used to be this way. Prior to the city's conventional, "No Fun" persona that was inexplicably embraced in the early Nineties, Vancouver's small town feel, commercial diversity, and multicultural roots were amplified by the various Italian, Jewish, Greek and Asian delis...many of which were along West Broadway and 4th Avenue. While Starbucks, Blenz and Quiznos have replaced most of these independent, idiosyncratic eateries, a few do still exist, including Max's Bakery & Delicatessen on 15th and Oak.

I think that Max's (which also owns the stellar Stuart's Bakery on Granville Island) is the best deli in Vancouver. From BBQ'd ribs to crema-clad espresso to seasonal baked goods, Max's is a comfortable and casual deli with a huge array of fresh dishes and items. While I frequent Max's about once a fortnight in order to read my Library Studies texts (yes, Library Studies) over a 16oz Americano and a peach-raspberry tart (made with Okanagan peaches), I also adore their mini pumpkin pies, their caramel-apple cheesecake and their mille-feuille. As you can see, I am a sweet-tooth, but they also have dozens of savory dishes to choose from, including an invigorating broccoli salad, a hearty butter chicken and traditional cabbage rolls.

As if the outstanding food weren't enough, Max's also offers Wi-fi and outdoor seating. I urge everyone to seek out these types of places. Max's is the best, but there is also Ploger's German Deli at 1st and Cypress, and Parthenon Greek Deli at Broadway and Balaclava. It is important to support the small businesses of any city, and to punish those peddlers of corporate mediocrity, such as Starbucks and Blenz.

Keywords: "Best Vancouver Restaurants" , "Chinese Food Vancouver"     

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