Food, friends, Little Mountain Coffee Company, London Fog, Long's Noodle House, noodles in hot and sour soup, shanghai mini wontons, spiced beef noodles soup, steamed mini pork buns, Vancouver, xiao long bao
In my younger years, returning from vacation meant going back to work almost immediately. Vacation days were limited and trying to make the most of it was key. Usually I would be at work the day after flying back. The quickest turnaround to going back to work was probably ten years ago during a Christmas trip to visit big sis in Calgary. I remember flying back on the 7 am flight and reporting to work at 1 pm. Tired but manageable. After all, I was still young back then.
Now? I definitely don’t want to fly back and report to work on the same day. In fact, I try to build in another day of rest before going back to work. For this last trip, I flew back to Vancouver on Sunday evening, used one more vacation day on Monday and returned to work on Tuesday. I was worried about getting sick or injuring myself during the run. Thankfully, everything was fine. The only post-run discomfort were the sore leg muscles.
The extra vacation day allowed me to rest up for another day and to meet my high school friend for lunch. Originally the plan was to meet both my high school friends for our postponed lunch. One of them had to cancel at the last-minute as her kids (back-to-school for the week) were sick. The other friend, YY and I decided to meet up anyways.
It was a rainy (stormy) Monday morning and after some discussion we changed our original meeting location to a Shanghaiese place in Vancouver. YY suggested noodles and I thought of Long’s Noodle House on Main Street. I’d been there once before years and years ago for dumplings but had not tried the noodles.
The weather outside was dreadful. Driving was very difficult as the wipers did not function fast enough to clear the windshield. There were also lots of vehicles on the road and impatient drivers who were cutting in and out of lanes. Not fun. I finally made it to the Main and 33rd Avenue area and tried to find street parking. Although there were a few parking spots on Main Street, I opted to loop around the block to park on the side street. I’d rather find an easy parking spot on the side street and walk a block in the pouring rain then try to fight the drivers on the main road.
I arrived a few minutes late and YY was already there waiting for me. We had table in the back corner. I used a couple of minutes to study the menu. We decided to each order a bowl of noodles and shared an order of xiao long bao (aka steamed mini pork buns) and an order of wontons (shanghai mini wontons).
YY and I tried some of the soup from each other’s noodles. The spiced beef soup was good but not what I was craving for the day. I was a bit worried that my hot and sour soup would be either too spicy or too sour but it turned out to be a perfect combination for me. I would order it again… although there are so many other options on the menu that maybe I should try something different next time. The xiao long bao were good. They were pretty big and very juicy. I also liked how they didn’t tear when you picked them off the steamer yet the skin was not too thick. I was a bit clumsy though and when I bit into one of them, it squirted out the side. :( I don’t mind making the mess, but I lost some of the tasty soup. The mini wontons were good, too.
We managed to finish everything that we ordered although I was pretty full. I noticed they were very quick to clear the extra plates off the tables. Because we were at the corner table, I was sitting with my back to the rest of the restaurant. YY mentioned that it was busy and there were a few people waiting at the door. We decided to pay our bill and head over to a coffee shop for a bit.
We walked down the block to the Little Mountain Coffee Company. The cookies and treats in the display area looked very appetizing. I have to admit that I was tempted to order a small treat but I was really full from lunch at Long’s. I reminded myself to focus and just ordered a London Fog — perfect drink for a cold and wet day. Actually, it’s a perfect drink for any weather. :)
YY and I sat in the back with our warm drinks. It’s always so nice to catch up with her. Years ago, she and I would travel together but now that she is married with child, our travelling days are fabulous memories worth reminiscing. The last time we were out-of-town together was for our friend’s wedding in Bellevue. We didn’t travel to the wedding together but we did appear at the same event.
After what only seemed like minutes of catching up, it was time for her to run some errands before heading home. (If you really must know, it was more like another hour and a half.) Time always seems to slip by so much faster when you’re having fun.