Left Coast By Design

Tag: Richmond (page 1 of 3)

I Ate This – Fisherman’s Boot Cafe

Having heard of this mythical Fisherman’s Boot Cafe, my wife and I decided to go for a walk in an effort to find out if there was any truth that the Steveston Harbour Authority had this rough cut gem of a restaurant inside of its compound.
Fisherman's Boot Cafe
Located at the south end of Trites Road in Richmond, BC inside the somewhat ominous Yellow Gate, otherwise known as the Steveston Harbour Authority (though open to the public kind of), this old school greasy spoon restaurant serves up relatively decent homestyle cooking at what I can define as affordable prices.

Now if you’re looking for a full service cafe with a tonne of choice, you’re likely better off heading west into Steveston because you won’t be finding that here. The menu has at most four or five breakfast options, house specials, sandwiches and mains. And while tasty, the options are also quite basic. The cafe does have daily specials, but the suffice to say that menu is quite concise.

For instance, my wife and I went for both lunch one day (we missed breakfast, our intended meal) and had ham & grilled cheese sandwiches. Served with fries, each plate set us back $7 – affordable yet basic. On the following day, we got up earlier to ensure we could grab breakfast and each had bacon & eggs (served with toast, hashbrowns & coffee) for $6. Again, while straight and to the point, I’m not sure I can even beat that price at home.

There’s also the fact that it’s inside what I can best describe as a fishing warehouse. Why does that matter? Well, you can definitely smell the history in there. But I feel that adds to the character charm of the place. And there’s also the regular clientele that add to the atmosphere and truly reflect its unique location.

Would I go back again? For sure. Is the service phenomenal? No, but then again it seems to be a one-person shop and considering how busy & steady business was, I doubt she could do much more. Is the food out of this world? No, but then again the prices reflect that and frankly, provide far better value than anywhere else.

And good value ain’t that bad.

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No Smoking & Lack of Enforcement

Smoking Is Prohibited

Courtesy of Márcio Cabral de Moura

A few years ago, we saw the introduction of some very aggressive laws in British Columbia to protect the public from second-hand smoke. Simply put, it is now against the law to smoke:

  • in any indoor public place – work, bars, restaurants, malls.
  • on public transit or transit shelters.
  • in taxis and work vehicles.

On top of this, a 3 metre non-smoking “buffer zone” was created around all public doorways, windows and air intakes. Some communities took it even further (as found on the BC Lung Association website):

Vancouver & Richmond

  • Smoking is prohibited within customer service areas of food and/or liquor establishments (patios for instance).
  • Within 6 metres of a door, window or air intake of a building.
  • Within 6 metres of the perimeter of a customer service area.

And mostly unedited text from the BC Lung Association:


  • Smoking is prohibited in any common public area; in a taxi cab or limousine; on a school bus, public bus or any form of public transportation.
  • Smoking is prohibited in an enclosed or partially enclosed shelter where people wait to board a vehicle for hire or public transit; in a building (except as otherwise permitted by the By-law).
  • Smoking is prohibited in a vehicle if any occupant of the vehicle is under 19 years of age.
  • (Smoking is prohibited) Within seven and one-half metres (7.5 m) of any opening into a building including any door or window that opens or any air intake.
  • Smoking is PERMITTED in a private club or in enclosed premises that are not open to the public.

District of North Vancouver
In addition to BC Tobacco Law restrictions, the District’s new Smoking Regulation Bylaw, 7792 prohibits smoking within six meters of:

  • A patio connected to a business.
  • Any opening into any building, including any door or window that opens, or any air intake.
  • A children’s playground, swimming beach, food concession, picnic area, skateboard park or playing field.
  • The site of any public event or activity that the District has authorized by the issuance of a permit.
  • The grounds of any municipal building used for public recreation.
  • Lynn Valley Village or Maplewood Farm.
  • A transit stop or transit shelter if other people are there.
  • The new bylaw also prohibits smoking in taxicabs.

Pretty darn thorough aren’t they? And just recently we’ve also seen smoking banned in parks throughout Metro Vancouver! So what’s my issue you ask? As the title of this post outlines, there appears to be an extreme lack of enforcement and I’m pretty much fed up about it.

I can’t begin to count how often I’ve encountered someone “on fire” at a bus stop. Or just outside a door. Or underneath the open window that I happen to be sitting opposite to. And while I’ve been apt to speak up and politely ask the person to “extinguish” themselves, the replies have typically not included language found in most Disney movies. Heck, I’ve even heard language not found in hardcore adult movies (or so I’ve been told). In fact, only a couple of days back I ended up coming to the defense of a young mother (with kids in tow) who asked a teen to stop smoking at a bus stop after he told her to “mind her effing business.”

Now in the interest of disclosure, I don’t smoke. Never have, never will. And while my opinion is that each person is their own boss in such matters, I don’t feel that a smoker’s right to light up means I should be subject to toxins produced by the cancer sticks – especially when the law is on my side. But there’s the kicker. While the law may be on my side, I feel I have very little recourse but to subject myself to verbal battery should I try to raise the issue.

Should the police enforce the law? Bylaw enforcement officers? Parking enforcement officers in Vancouver? Definitely! Yet if that means we take them off the streets to go on a smoke hunt, then we’ve likely not got our priorities straight as they obviously have been tasked with other (and quite often more important) duties. So what should we do? I think Josh Lavoie poses a darn good suggestion on twitter:

And what’s not to say these new peace officers, while looking to nab those smoking where they shouldn’t, don’t have other duties assigned to them? It may not be the best solution, but at least it’s a start.

Everything needs to start somewhere.

Slash rant.

Ships to Shore in Steveston

Nippon Maru 1

Nippon Maru – courtesy of Steven Arai

Back in 2002, the City of Richmond hosted the Tall Ships Challenge and Festival. Although many people were able to see sea going vessels reminiscent of days gone by, the event itself cost a fair amount of money and was considered by some to be a failure. Since then, the event has been revisited by the City and other local interests as something worth doing again, but time and time again it was decided that it was too hard to coordinate effectively. As a resident of Steveston, I’m always supportive of events that showcase my community and was disappointed when the efforts to host the Tall Ships Challenge this year fade away.

Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised to read just a couple of days ago that a similar and smaller event was going to take place this year. From June 3 – 7, Ships to Shore will feature the Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftain, Adventuress and Zodiac who will provide shipboard tours, day sails, and even mock cannon battles. Beyond the ships themselves, there will be a festival atmosphere with community entertainment, a farmers market (Steveston has a pretty solid Farmers and Artisans market), and pirate-themed movies each night. Most of the events will be free of charge and family friendly, so you should have no reason not to give us a visit.

If you’re stoked like me, and want to see one of the most picturesque communities on the Fraser River, why not swing through town. And if you are, give me a holler – I’ll come out and give you a tour!

Dine Out Vancouver 2011

I have a confession to make. I’ve never participated in any Dine Out Vancouver event previously. I know, I should feel much shame for this. Having no excuse, I’ve decided I’m going to partake this year and see what all the hubbub is about. At least that’s the plan.

Fettucine Bolognese

Fettucine Bolognese – courtesy of Ariane Colenbrander

Anywho, for those of you who are still in the dark about what Dine Out is like, I figured the best way to describe it to you was to rip the description straight from Tourism Vancouver:

Presented by Tourism Vancouver, Dine Out Vancouver is a city-wide celebration of food and British Columbia wine and is the largest restaurant promotion of its kind in Canada. Virtually every type of restaurant in the city gets involved, giving you the chance to taste Vancouver’s hot restaurant digs, new hit eateries and neighbourhood favourites all for a reasonable prix-fixe price.

Nearly a week in (the celebration runs from January 24 – February 6), I’m going to be hard-pressed to follow through on participating. Fortunately, there are a number of fine establishments here in Richmond that have signed up, including the relatively popular Pier 73.

So how about you? What are your thoughts on Dine Out? Any suggestions?

Sockeye Salmon in Steveston

Sockeye Season in Steveston

The Line for Sockeye Salmon

On a recent walk through Steveston (while reminiscing with Gladys – @gloomybb), I was utterly amazed at how busy the pier was with people looking to grab themselves some fresh Sockeye Salmon straight from a boat. Having grown up in Steveston, I remember days when this was the case (especially when the pier was redone), but in recent years I only remember a spattering of boats selling the odd fish or crustacean so the sight was one for sore eyes.

With the massive return of sockeye salmon (estimates of over 30 million have been provided making it the largest return in over a century) I would have thought there would be enough to go around, but apparently this past Sunday only one boat had any sockeye available as the others had sold out. This in turn created lineups of over 50 people each (there were two to the same boat). As sockeye is also considered to be the most desireable salmon to eat, it does make sense to be that popular but I’ve read that processing plants have had trouble keeping up that they are turning boats away, so you’d think there’d be enough for the average joe to pickup at the pier. Go figure.

cast for salmon off the public fishing wharves..

The Fish was THIS Big – courtesy of Iwona Erskine-Kellie

Not being a seafood guy myself you won’t catch me lining up for a $20 fish, but for those that do want to grab one I do have advice for you – arrive the night before and bring a sleeping bag.


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