Steph Wants

Love Locked to the Benedictator

I always have to plan out my time strategically whenever my dad is in town. We have family to see, photogenic sites to explore, food spots to try, on top of the usual school and work routine. Not knowing how time works out, Friday night's dilemma become "where should we go for brunch?"

Since we had breakfast at Fable on Saturday, We had brunch at AnnaLena in Kitsilano the following day. A simple but substantial brunch menu, AnnaLena lists four different benedicts and one breakfast sandwich as entrees. Sides were offered separately but had an irresistible assortment of treats like lemon cake, banana bread, yogurt & granola as well as fries and salad. Breakfast and brunch are my worst times when it comes to self control, and I could've easily ordered the entire menu to try.

My family including myself enjoy coffee cakes. So when we see those on the menu, we will order both in a heartbeat. The lemon cake came first; warm, and served with cashew butter. We were pleasantly surprised by the poppyseed since it wasn't specified on the menu. The citrus flavours in the cake, extra texture of the poppyseed, and the slight crisp of the crust made the world go round. It was delicious, with and without the cashew butter. Next up, the banana bread arrived also warm. The additional walnuts and chocolate bits inside complimented the cake well and got my mom ordering another slice before she even finished this first one. 

It's not brunch without the eggs and needless to say, AnnaLena got it down. Perfectly poached, ooey and gooey, on top of my protein filling and English muffin. I don't normally eat a lot of meat but surprisingly, my favourite savoury dish was the beef brisket benedict out of the tuna belly benedict, beef brisket benedict and breakfast sandwich (with the aged cheddar on the side for my mom) that we ordered. It kind of looked like bacon, thinly sliced with a mixture of fatty and leaner cuts of beef but it was so tender, flavourful, and went well with the grainy dijon hollandaise. While I was anticipating for a seared piece of tuna belly, the fish was actually throughly cooked and shredded similar to canned tuna. I'm not too crazy for cooked tuna in general so this was just okay for me.

Another dish worth noting was actually the side salad, I don't think I've ever had such delicious baby lettuces before. It tasted so freshly crisp and soft all at the same time, does that even make sense? There are many times when I've had raw leafy vegetables that are harsh to the mouth but these lettuces at AnnaLena I tell ya, they were so darn good and went really well with their homemade buttermilk dressing. There were also a generous amount of avocado chunks and baby tomato halves which are always a huge plus. Yes we ordered quite a bit for three but we happily devoured everything on the table.

Before my dad left for San Francisco, he wanted to take some scenic pictures of Vancouver. I owe it all to him for teaching all I know about photography, and he's always so amazingly generous when it comes to sharing his lens or any hand-me-down really. It's been a while since my last photowalk with the Nikon D7000, such an amazing camera but it's just too heavy to lug around on a daily basis. Point and shoots are so much more convenient but you get so much more shooting with a proper DSLR. 

I never explored much of this part of Kitsilano but walking around reminded me so much of the Upper East Side of New York shown in movies (but mostly Gossip Girl haha). Don't you think?

The park that I took this picture at reminded me of a quiet version of Central Park in New York at a much smaller scale and while I was walking the Burrard Bridge, I was thinking about the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe I've been listening to Billy Joel too much and I'm in a New York state of mind (thanks to Justin!)

Vancouver is such a beautiful city and it's constantly evolving for the better. During our walk, I noticed these interesting bike-friendly installations, reminding us the benefits of biking. It was actually pretty neat! 

Plus, check out these lovely additions to the bridge, these 'love locks' have started accumulating along the fences. I'm tempted to add a little lock there myself!

I used to be a little try-hard when it came to photography. I forget why I thought it was a good idea to go to all the touristy spots just to take shots of subjects that have been all said and done a bunch of times. Despite my lack of originality and creativity, I knew I had an eye for composition and it kept me going.

This recent photowalk was more experimental though. Since I haven't done something like this in a while, I walked around with a brand new perspective, shooting subjects with uniqueness and character. Although I did have a few 'look, I'm on a bridge looking over the water' shots, I was mostly looking out for interesting lines, shapes, and the contrasts of my surroundings. I'm pretty happy with what I got!