Once again, we hit up eight ½ Restaurant Lounge to try out VANEATS.ca's new package, SalivEight. Since I had a pretty positive experience last time around, I was pretty excited. Since there were three of us, we ended up buying one more package in addition to the complimentary one since we wanted to try two of the appetizers. The Asian inside of me was calling to me -- since the appy was already $8.50... $7.50 more for pizza and beer? Um, yes please.
Mmm cheese. The filo wrapped baked brie (regularly $8.50) was a huge chunk of cheese and delicious. It reminded me a bit of the bruschetta at Abigail's, but I liked how this had a nice flaky pastry on the exterior giving it a slight crispiness that went well with the creaminess of the cheese. Bread was on the side which meant that huge bites of cheese could be enjoyed with or without bread. I want more of this brie as I'm writing this post.
We also wanted to try the dungeness crab cakes, which also had a nice slightly crispy exterior -- different from the brie, of course. Usually I avoid ordering crab cakes since they are usually filled with very little crab meat, but these did not disappoint -- they were chock full of crab meat! The avocado was a nice touch, and it went well with the crab cakes.
I wanted to get the market place thin crust pizza (regularly $11.50), since goat cheese sounded like a good idea. Topped also with roasted vegetables and torn basil with a sundried tomato base, it was actually just alright. The crust was not thin like that of a neapolitan pizza, but still thinner than your normal American stuff. Thin is good since it meant we could eat more.
The 8th Avenue thin crust pizza, with hot calabrese, chorizo, banana peppers, and sautéed mushrooms (regularly $12.50), in comparison, was really good. Maybe because it had a lot of meat and mushrooms. The chorizo was slightly spicy and it was topped off with a generous amount of cheese along with peppers. Definitely the winner of the two.
With the package, a flight of Stanley Park Brewery Belgian style beer, including two glasses of ambers and two glasses of bruns, is included. Two packages, two paddles now. They were out of the amber, so they gave us R&B Brewing's East Side Bitter instead. The pale ale had a interesting florally and citrusy taste to it, whereas the brun was a maltier.
Ha, as if that wasn't enough food, we also ordered the black quinoa salmon salad ($13.50). We definitely didn't have to order this since we ended up packing a third of each pizza between the three of us, but this sounded so delicious! We were surprised by the large piece of salmon, since we had anticipated it to be more of a quinoa dish than a salmon dish. I liked the salmon a lot and the mix of baby spinach, quinoa, feta along with it was delicious.
At $15 a package, this is a really quite the deal and probably one of VANEATS's best deals, value-wise (what can I say, beer included in a package is usually a winner for me). Food-wise, I think it's one of my favourites as well. Their ingredients are sourced locally, and they have pretty awesome specials everyday. And that's a win for everyone! Oh and eight½'s other food ain't bad either. I'd probably buy the package again if I'm around the area again.
eight ½ Restaurant Lounge
151 E 8th Ave