food and drink experiences with

Can Food and Drink Experiences Also Be Life Experiences?

I’m not going to lie, making dinner isn’t always fun for me. I’m a sandwich guy! It’s not that I enjoy making them, although I sort of do because it’s almost therapeutic at times, and somewhat mindless, which is probably why I’m so fricken awesome at making them. And I know what you might be thinking; “How can you be “good” at making sandwiches, they’re SANDWICHES”. To which I reply; “If you don’t know, then I’m not telling…or making you one”.

Sandwich rant aside, living in a city offers a wide variety of options to create memorable food and drink experiences, and we welcome this opportunity with open arms mouths.

Just the other day we went for brunch at a popular diner in Vancouver that was featured on Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Talk about an amazing brunch! Oh, if you’re not sure what brunch is, here’s a great explanation from The Simpsons:

“It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don’t exactly get what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal.”

Brunch is a pretty popular dining event here in Vancouver. It’s not uncommon to see line-ups outside many a restaurant as people wait to create their own Sunday morning foodie experience with friends, family, and fantastic food.

We’ve lived in a city before, but the dining options consisted mainly of Ye Olde Pube fare. So in our previous life we dined out much less. I mean honestly, I can make my own Shep’s Pie and burgers. And don’t even get me started on “chicken tenders”. I can prepare my own boxed meat thanks.

But this time around our city life we’re dining out much more. Does that make us “un-minimalist”? Nope! Here’s why…

First off, remember when I said there are no rules when it comes to living a minimalist lifestyle? It’s true. There are no rules, guidelines, tests, or predetermined Mensa-like qualifications. For Dan Erickson at HipDiggs, it’s about living simply. For Joshua Becker at BecomingMinimalist it’s about less clutter. And for us at it’s about spending on experiences rather than stuff. And those experiences include food and drink experiences — especially with friends!

food and drink experiences with

We had an acquaintance back in Ontario, a friend of a friend who we’d met a couple of times. She moved out to Vancouver a few years ago, and through social media we reconnected. The four of us went for Indian food at one of the city’s most popular Indian restaurants — East is East. We learned that our friend had never tried Indian food before, and that spicy food wasn’t really her thing. Still, she was super-eager to try it. And boy did she try it! She ordered as many dishes she thought she could handle, devouring pretty much everything put in front of her over the course of a few hours.

Fast forward a week later and we attempted to hit a comfort-food place on Friday night at 6pm for a table of six. Yeah, our bad! It was going to be an hour wait. So we did what anyone would do, we put our name in and went to a pub across the street, grabbed a table for 6, ordered some pints, and forgot about our comfort-food diner as we drowned our sorrows at the pub for the night, again, enjoying the company and conversation of another food and drink experience.

Conversely, the owners from one of our previous house sits raved about their dining experiences when they visited Italy (the reason we were needed to house sit). They said the Italians do food right — they make an event out of it. It was because of how enthusiastic they were discussing their Italian dining experiences that I now have  Italy on my list of places to visit.

We North Americans do create a few “food events” with Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming to mind. And our American neighbours to the south take their food and drink experiences to the next level when it comes to football tailgate parties. If you’ve never tailgated, you’re missing an authentic and uniquely American experience right there, regardless of your take on food portions.

I have no problem with an abundance of food when it creates a memorable experience, as long as it’s not wasted. Yes, I want to have a minimalist impact on the environment. Dining at local establishments helps the local economy, and they typically (try to) use local ingredients. The food also tends to come in smaller portion sizes and similarly tends to taste much better than what the chain restaurants serve, which usually means a clean plate!


On the flip side, food and drink experiences don’t always have to be about excess either. In fact, one of our most memorable experiences in Panama was going to the fish market on Sundays and having a couple of beers and enjoying freshly made ceviche. Or when we lived in Nicaragua, on weekends we’d head down to the crater-lake and cook up some tasty chorizo and enjoyed the day with friends in the volcano lake. And we’ve had numerous epic-Nacho moments with our adopted family here in Vancouver, and I’m sure we’ll have many more!

We’ve only just begun our Vancouver food and drink experience “bucket list” — there are just so many options I’m not sure we’ll have enough thyme! Oh shut up that’s Pho…nny!

Now go sell all your stuff and enjoy some food and drink experiences!


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