About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Social is as social does or Kate's adventures in the real world

I sometimes think there are two kinds of writers - those who hunker down and write, write, write and those who don't. Any of you who knows even the tiniest bit about me knows that I'm one of the latter. I'm a writer who writes around her social life - because without a social life, I can't write. Other writers are the opposite - with a social life, they have trouble writing.

I thought I might try to use my social proclivities as a writing tool and blog about my more than occasional forays out into what I often call the real world.

Vancouver is a city full of great restaurants and while not all of my social life consists of eating out, a fair bit of it does. The good news is that Vancouver has eateries of every shape and size from the tiniest six stall coffee shop to the largest family Italian restaurant. There are restaurants of every ethnicity from Ethiopian to French to every single type of Chinese food you could imagine and everything in between.

My sister was in town from Edmonton this week. She hasn't been in Vancouver for a few years (okay, make that more than a few) but she discovered an amazing restaurant that I'm not sure I would ever have found, especially as it's only been open for a week. It's a little out of my catchment area - I like to eat out downtown. Not because there aren't terrific restaurants out of downtown, but because I don't have to drive and it's easy to find a cab for the ride home.

The restaurant - Tamam, which means,according to Google, something along the lines of okay or good in Arabic - was very good. The Palestinian couple of who run Tamam are delightful, warm and friendly and interesting. He's also a professor and a filmmaker - documentaries, short films, feature length films. If you go there - the address is 2616 East Hastings Street - make sure you take the time to chat with both of them.

I have two criteria for a great restaurant - food and service. Tamam provided both. The food is brilliant, not spicy, but rich with flavour and colour and taste. If you like any kind of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern you're going to want to try this Palestinian cuisine.

We ate in the pouring rain on this little patio to one side of the main room - warm and dry while the water ran down the windows beside us. Between us, we had many of the things on the menu, starting with humus and a terrific eggplant dip (aka mutabal), scooped up into warm soft pita bread. I could have quit right there, but I didn't. We added tabbuleh, which arrived with crisp lettuce leaves, so we could eat the tabbuleh wrapped in the leaves. Still didn't stop there.

I moved on to mujadarrah, a traditional Palestinian rice dish. It was rich with spices, only some of which I could identify, and a salad with a lovely tart lemon dressing. The combination worked perfectly.

Two us had warak, a Palestinian street food you'll find in the oldest part of Jerusalem, and loved it. It's a burger wrapped in grape leaves but that description doesn't come close to doing justice to the plates that arrived at our table.

I'm glad my sister's nose took her to Tamam. It's going on my list. It may be a little out of my comfort zone, a little fare afield, but when you get there, you'll forgot everything except the warm food and service.

Here's the website if you want to check it ou www.tamam.ca and say hi from me!


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