On Gudrun, The Diplomat Bakery, and Making it This Far.

There you have it, we’re nearly one third of the way through.  One hundred blog posts in one hundred days, far more than one hundred dishes consumed, and a mere 265 days to go.  This post is a milestone for me, and it’s hard to conceive of it already being here.  I’ve thought long and hard about where I should go, and what I should eat.

Actually, I didn’t think long at all; I knew I wanted CAKE, and the rest just fell into place.

I decided to go with the Diplomat Bakery for dessert, and Gudrun for dinner (and yes, the decision was made in that order).  I brought along two good pals, Heather and Dana, who’ve helped celebrate the good times with me over the last 3 months, and laughed me through the rougher ones.

They also love food, and I could have nothing less than enthusiastic eaters for this post.  It is a centennial after all.  No room for picky eaters here!

It’s almost too overwhelming to try and relate just how much I’ve learned over the past three months; I’ve received a daily education in cuisine, culture, Richmond’s neighbourhoods, and my own capabilities.  My confidence nearly dissolved at certain points, but like a good pizza dough, it always bounced back.  I’m more appreciative of the support I’ve received than I can possibly express, so I’ll just say thank you, thank you, thank you.  I know I’ve got it in me to go another 265 rounds.

And now, to the main event.

I’d wandered past Gudrun many times this summer, and thought about what special occasion I could save it for; with 100 approaching, it seemed like the perfect time to finally go in.  It’s set back from the sidewalk on Moncton Street, giving it a sort of secret garden-esque mystique.  It is, as the cool kids say, a “hip establishment.”

In the front courtyard there’s a long outdoor table built around a tree, adding further to the sense of whimsy; it seems like the most ideal of spots to laze away a hot summer evening; I picture cold white wine, shared plates, and chirping crickets.

Inside, one big room holds the kitchen, bar, and tables; a chalkboard wall is dedicated to the day’s specials, and there’s paper copies of the food menu + wine/beer list brought to each table.

Our server was wonderful, and knew his stuff.  We chose our food first, then asked for recommendations from the wine list.  I started off with a glass of grassy Cassini Viognier, Dana had a St. Hubertus Chasselas, and Heather went for a Canoe North Bluff Red from Langley.  The words wine and Langley had not previously hung out together in my head, but there you go – I continue to learn something new every day.

The menu at Gudrun is cheese and charcuterie-based, with a daily salad, soup, several sandwiches, and 2-3 hot plates each evening.  We decided to sample a little bit of everything, and started with this cheese and charcuterie plate ($37):

As a lover of mixed and matched flavours, this plate was dreamy.  It was served with slices of white and brown baguette, and we happily experimented with pairing the various goods while swaying to M. Ward and Neko Case.

Finnochiona + grainy mustard + cornichon?  Don’t mind if I do.  Bleu Benedictin + organic honeycomb?  Yes, I would happily eat that every day until I die.  The aged dutch goat cheese, Kaamps + anything on the plate?  Yes, a perfect pairing.  I could go on and on.  We enjoyed this platter thoroughly, and it gave me a chance to nerd out with cheese talk, too.

Our second plate was the Dungeness Crab Cakes with Roasted Okanagan Pepper Aioli and Pea and Beet Salad ($14).  Great news – these were the best crab cakes I’ve had in a LONG time.  They were crispy on the outside, light on the inside, perfectly seasoned, and I’d have taken a jar of the aioli home if they’d offered.

The salad was also lovely, and it’s great to see fresh English peas being used.  Our one complaint, however, was that the greens were a little too stalky and needed to be broken up more.  No one needs a tree branch hanging out of their mouth while they’re chewing, especially if you happen to be on a first date.

Our third plate was the Slow-Braised Pork Shoulder with White Bean, Kale, and Bacon ($16).  And with that, Autumn arrived.  This dish signalled it’s time to unearth the cable-knit sweaters and plug in your slow-cooker.

The portion was generous, and while the chunk of pork shoulder wasn’t exactly fork tender, when broken up and mixed with the stew-like mixture of bacon, beans, and kale, we were all quite enamoured.  Even the roasted carrots were something to be savoured.  That was the thing about this meal – it wasn’t cheap, but for the most part there was thought put into each and every detail; it wasn’t all fancy talk on the blackboard and mediocre flavours on the plate.  What was promised was delivered, and I really, really enjoyed it.

After our mains, it was time to unveil the cake I’d ordered from Diplomat Bakery.  I’ve been hearing since June that this is the place to get cakes in Richmond, and had popped in a few times just to stare wide-eyed at the goods.

They have a bright, spacious shop on London Road, and offer a few lunch items like soup and pot pies.  Those undoubtedly have to be followed up by a slice of cake, cinnamon bun, cookie, or other treat, however, as that’s what they’re known for.

I ordered the 7-inch Espresso Chocolate Fudge Cake for $35.  It consisted of layers of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse, with dark chocolate ganache running through the centre and covering the outside.  It’s not a cake to be messed with.  Nor am I, apparently, seeing as I accidentally punched it while taking it out of the box.

It was REALLY good, and trust me, I’m one very judgemental cake eater.  The cake layers were moist and fudgy, and the lighter mousse and heavier ganache balanced out nicely.  And yes, we did eat it in combination with the sticky toffee pudding Gudrun had on special that night.

If the white bean stew had led me gently towards fall, this dessert grabbed me by the shoulders, slammed me into a chair by the fire, and insisted I wear nothing but woolly socks for the next 6 months.  TALK ABOUT COLD WEATHER COMFORT FOOD.  This modest-looking pudding was transcendently good.

We had our dessert buffet with three more glasses of wine: the Veuve du Vernay Rosé, the Pentage Rosé, and the Kettle Valley Pinot Gris.  They were a nice light way to finish off the meal.

It was a fantastic evening – all I could have asked for in a 100th meal and more.  With cake in my belly and wine in my head, I felt (and still feel) ready to forge ahead.  There are so many restaurants to be explored, so many dishes yet to try, so many people yet to meet!  And of course, so many different weights to be lifted at The Oval.

Guess what – I wasn’t the only person eating copious amounts of dessert in honour of one hundred posts.  Here are some celebratory photos sent from Lethbridge, Australia, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Regina, Chicago, Vancouver, Mexico, and Colombia.  Can you see why I adore my friends?  Thanks for celebrating with me guys, I love you!

Thanks again to everyone for sticking with me so far.  Now I’d better be off to find my 101st meal…..

 

 

 

Gudrun Tasting Room 

3500 Moncton Street, Richmond BC

604-272-1991

Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options available

 

Diplomat Bakery

6111 London Road, Richmond BC

604-241-9134

Cash and cards accepted

 

 

35 Comments

  1. anonymous

    Holy Moly! 100 already?! That was fast. Congrats and great work!

    Reply
    • anonymous

      p.s. I have been wondering something about you and your duties this year. What better time to ask than now?

      Have you had a day yet where you wish you could just stay in and eat home made goodness all day?

      At the beginning of this venture, I was pretty jealous that this was going to be someone’s day job. But I realized recently that I don’t think I could actually do it. It’s a very impressive and commendable effort you’ve made thus far.

      Reply
      • Lindsay365

        Thank you so much! I have to say, it’s nice when people acknowledge just how much work this is. I love what I do, but I definitely don’t get enough sleep. And yes, there are days when I don’t feel like eating out, or others where I sit down at the computer and feel I have nothing significant to say. But that happens with any job, and it’s forced me to become more creative, efficient, and productive. That, and I drink excessive amounts of black tea.

        Thanks again!
        Lindsay

        Reply
      • Louisa

        I agree. Lindsay, you are doing a great job with something that is much harder than it seemed in the beginning! We look forward to the other 265:-)

        Reply
  2. Amy

    Totally agree! People dine out to relax and enjoy the company and the food n wine but Lindsay has a mission to eat and that’s a 50K challenge in 365 days;)

    Reply
  3. Garth McFadden

    Hey Lindsay, 100 down…way to go. Quick Question: Where should I talk my wife for dinner on our 17th wedding anniversary? Background: I moved to Richmond 17 years ago today when I married my wife. We will go out for dinner either today or tomorrow. Garth

    Reply
    • Wiener Schnitzel

      Hi Garth,
      congratulation on your wedding anniversary.
      You are a lucky man. The number 17 is a lucky number in Chinese (1+7 =8).
      Many Chinese Restaurants will give you special discount and service if you mention that it is your 17th wedding anniversary.
      I just took my wife for our 8th anniversary to Fortune Cookie Empire at 8423 Alderbridge Road (opposite of Mc Donalds).
      They took very good care of us. We saw some dinners having Shark Fin Soup, but we opted for a $ 100 tasting menu which was very good.
      The wife and I had a good time.

      Reply
      • Tang

        Is this a joke? There is no Fortune Cookie Empire restaurant. The address doesnt exist too.

        Reply
    • Lindsay365

      Congratulations to you and your wife, Garth! I’m sorry I’m so late replying to this – I hope the plan to go out tomorrow works better! For a special anniversary dinner, I’d go the fine dining route; perhaps Tapenade Bistro, Hakkasan, Tramonto at the River Rock, or perhaps even Gudrun? Their plates are great for sharing.

      Reply
  4. KHD

    Congrats on your 100th post! I really enjoyed reading this post as your enjoyment of your meal and dessert shone through. Well done!

    Reply
  5. Joan Pearson

    Congrats on the 100 days! I am not a foodie and love this blog. JP

    Reply
  6. jcp

    I loved your cake pictures, I wanted to reach through my computer to sample the chocolate goodness. hahaha!! I was amazed that all your friends took pics of 100, maybe you can ask all of us at 150 plus day, we can do lindsday milestone. Great to see the enthusiasm in 100 days, love your blogs and nicely done.
    Congratulations.

    Reply
  7. Nia

    So happy for your milestone! I have been enjoying this blog since the beginning.
    I have a question for you (or another reader) about the cheese and charcuterie plate. How exactly are you supposed to eat it? With your hands? With a knife and fork? Do you eat from the main plate or use side dishes? I’ve always wanted to try something like that but don’t know the “rules”.
    It sounds strange to ask but sometimes I can get a little intimidated eating out when I don’t know how to tackle something. (Much like the giant sushi rolls you ate the other day.)
    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • anonymous

      In my opinion, you eat a plate like that however you like. Depending who you are with and your comfort level with that group, it wouldn’t be wrong to share from the main plate or dish yourself out a personal portion on a separate plate.

      Close friends and family – share.

      Professional or other formal function – side plate.

      Reply
      • Lindsay365

        I would agree. Dana, Heather and I are good friends, and we tackled this thing with both our utensils and hands (thin slices of finnochiona just beg to be pinched between fingers and dropped into your mouth). I always think of shared plates as more casual, but as anon. said, if you’re with people you don’t know too well, it might be more kosher to transfer the food over to a side plate first.

        That said, I’d highly encourage you to go with friends, as eating with your fingers is far more fun:) Also, don’t be afraid to ask your server about the best ways to eat things – if they make you feel silly for not knowing, then they don’t deserve your business!

        Reply
  8. Shirley Stearn

    Wow! 100 days already. You have done such a wonderful job, Lindsay. I enjoy reading all your posts and am learning of so many great places to eat in Richmond. Well done. (And the cake looked like the perfect way to celebrate!)

    Reply
  9. L

    Yay, 100! You have really opened my eyes up to some Asian cuisine that I would have NEVER tried otherwise. And that St. Hubertus Chasselas happens to be one of my favourite Okanagan wines.

    Reply
  10. Linda

    Love, love, love your posts – great info, and engaging writing. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Laurette

    OMG what a cake!!! You must have thought you died & went to heaven. Love that video. I have been telling people about your blog. Looking forward to the next 265. Am curious about Xmas though?? That should be intersting LOL

    Reply
  12. Janice

    Congrats on the first 100 posts and all the adventures that went along with them!

    Reply
  13. MC

    Congrats Lindsay! Take a bow, well done friend! Love your posts, your wit and sense of humor. Of course, love the photos as well. You are a gem.

    Reply
  14. Wiener Schnitzel

    Happy 100th.
    Love your posts.
    Only 265 more to go
    Go for it!

    Reply
  15. lhsl

    Congrats on your 100th post. When I go out to eat I tend to go to places I have tried and liked, or recommendations from friends. Now I am enjoying discovering more of Richmond through your posts. Thanks.

    Reply
  16. anonymous

    Great video! You are AWESOME. I love this blog, I’ve read it from Day 1 and I check it excitedly every day!

    Reply
  17. Lulu Lady

    Congratulations, Lindsay! I look forward to reading your post everyday. Keep up the amazing work!

    Reply
  18. Tiffany

    yay! look forward to your new post everyday! keep up with the good job!!!

    Reply
  19. Jenny

    Wow! Congrats on your 100th post! Loving that video! Keep up the awesome work!

    Reply
  20. Robyn

    Happy 100th Lindsay!

    Reply
  21. Louisa

    Mmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a dinner sometime, where all your blog followers can dine together with you??

    Reply
  22. Rosie

    Congrats on your 100th post! Your friends are so sweet!
    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts a lot. And that cake looks really, really, really good.

    Reply
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    Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great effort.

    Reply
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