Sherman's Food Adventures: Tasting Plates Coquitlam (Presented by Vanfoodster)

Tasting Plates Coquitlam (Presented by Vanfoodster)

As mentioned in many of my recent Coquitlam posts, I've remarked that the food scene has really taken off, much like the many developments in and around Coquitlam Centre.  For a place that once sported mainly chain restaurants, we now see a wide range of eats including many new Korean restaurants.  In fact, we could've had more if Henderson Centre was not an empty mall.  So it was by no surprise that we finally got a Tasting Plates event taking place in the heart of Coquitlam.   I was invited to attend the event mostly because I live nearby, but personally it was interesting as I spent 8 years of my life living in Coquitlam!

We started off things at the registration point which happened to be the new location of Papparoti on Pinetree and Glen.  I've been to the Vancouver spot a few times and this was very familiar to me.  We were treated to a sampling of one half each of a Signature Original Bun coated with coffee caramel and a Coconut Rollie filled with fresh young coconut.  As expected, the bun was light an airy while being flavoured by the mildly sweet topping.  On the other hand, the rollie was much sweeter due to the coconut filling.  Outside, the croissant pastry was crispy and shattered upon my first bite.  I ended up selecting the Signature Karak Tea to go with my treats and it was lightly sweet.  Viv went for the Ice Blended Signature Chocolate which was significantly sweeter.

From my previous visit to Kulinarya, I knew that we had to high-tail it there second.  You see, their dining room is really small and even smaller if there is a reservation for the long table.  This was the case and we were able to snag a table for 2 as we were there early.  We were served a selection of items including Lumping Shanghai, BBQ Pork Skewer and Pancit Bihon.  Hot and crunchy, the lumpia was filled with a well-spiced ground pork filling.  The bbq pork was nicely charred and sweet, but unfortunately, it was rather cold.  The best thing on the plate was the pancit which was neatly packaged in a mini-takeout container.  Chewy and well-seasoned, the noodles were moist enough, but not greasy.  There was a decent amount of meat and cabbage to balance out the dish.

Onto our 3rd stop, that happened to be the 2nd stop for most people, was the Seoul Food Truck stall in the Henderson Mall food court.  This was a bottleneck since they prepare all of the food to order.  It ended up taking quite awhile for our food, but it was well-worth it.  We were treated to a generous serving of a K-Town Sandwich filled with Korean fried chicken nuggets.  Viv opted for the red pepper sauce while I had garlic.  Crispy and succulent, the chicken was beautifully cooked.  Flavour-wise, I thought the garlic was super impactful with a sharp and sweet garlic hit.  The red pepper was sweet and moderately spicy.  We both also had a side of Rice Cakes which were in red pepper and cheese.  These were some of the best rice cakes I've had in awhile.  Texturally, they were crispy on the outside while being soft and chewy on the inside.  There was an appealing sweet crunch as well.

After being stuck at behind a train crossing for 15 minutes, we finally made it out to Politos Latin Cafe.  We were presented with 3 items including the mini-Pupusas made with a corn tortilla.  I've had this before and this was the right thickness in my opinion.  Unlike the ones I've had at other spots, this was not oil-soaked.  Underneath, there was a cabbage slaw and a savory tomato sauce.  Wrapped in a banana leaf, we had the Vigorón consisting of a cabbage salad made with curtido, yuca, and chicharrones.  Love the combination of textures.  Lastly, the  Patacones “Tostones” were  made with deep Fried plantain topped with assorted vegetables and seasoned meat.  Nicely crunchy, this was also not greasy while sporting a meaty savouriness.

We left the bevvies to the end with our visit at Mariner Brewing.  I didn't even know this place existed!  This cozy spot on Barnet Hwy (even though the actual address is Lansdowne Drive) offers up a selection of bites to go with their beers on tap.  My flight consisted of North East IPA (hoppy with a crisp bite), Main Sail Pale Ale (rich and nutty), Berry Cider (lightly sweet) and Night Sky (thick and sweet with hints of chocolate and coffee).  Loved them all, especially the dark night sky due to the noted flavours.  More complex than it appeared.   This was a relaxing finish to a nice overview of unique eats out in Coquitlam.  Personally, I enjoyed all of the stops (2 of which I've been to) and it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the diverse dining in Coquitlam.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Variety of restaurants
- Sufficient amount of food (esp from the Seoul Truck)
- Distance between stops was reasonable

The Bad:
- Wait at Seoul Truck was excessive
- Limited tables at Kulinarya

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