Archive for February 2015

Premium Loose Tea in Surrey City Centre

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These days a lot of people are giving up their ‘dry, extra hot, skinny lattés’ in exchange for a healthy and more aromatic option: premium loose leaf tea. Many coffee shops now offer loose tea instead of tea bags and tea bars and tea emporiums are popping up everywhere. Recently while in Central City Mall we noticed we have a premium tea establishment of our own right in Surrey City Centre, called Teavana.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is a giant wall covered with various tins of loose tea, which you can buy in bulk and take home to enjoy. They also make drinks to order. We tried the Iced Tea, since it was a warm day; Tango Mango, which was excellent! The drink was made so intricately and with so many steps, we almost felt like we were in the heart of Gastown ordering an award-winning cocktail. Between the shaking, straining, the stirring, and mixing, who could keep up! When it was ready however, it was well worth the wait.

As a beginner to this new world of flavors and aromas, the barista was very patient and explained all of the different types of tea; from white, vs black, to Oolong and herbal. She was nice enough to explain the different properties that make them unique and give them each distinct tastes. For tea novices such as ourselves she suggested a tea blended with fruits would be a good place to start. Dried fruits like strawberries and blueberries can add extra vitamins to tea as well. Some beginner tea drinkers may like the taste (and smell) of flowers in their tea. Flowers like jasmine, lavender, and roses can really enhance the experience of drinking tea by adding a full and fragrant aroma.

We also learned that if you’re going to spend the extra money on premium loose tea, it’s important to spring for a proper tea tin. You want one that is air tight to keep moisture out and make sure that you store it away from any source of heat so that your tea stays fresh as long as possible (they claim up to a year).

So whether you’re a tea connoisseur or just venturing into the land of loose tea, check out Teavana at Central City Mall for an excellent selection and extremely knowledgeable staff.

Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Surrey City Centre

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Have you ever been to Taqueria Jalisco Restaurant in Surrey City Centre? We wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t. Take it from us, it’s NOT easy to find, but once you do you’ll be glad you did.

This family owned restaurant is truly a hidden gem in Surrey City Centre. If you like authentic Mexican food you’ll appreciate this restaurant. On the other hand, if your idea of Mexican is hard shell tacos with shredded iceberg lettuce, than this might not be the place for you.

This wonderful hole-in-the-wall almost overloads your senses when you first walk in the door. The decor includes orange walls, hanging Mexican flags, as well as many knickknacks and other paraphernalia adorning the space (but we feel those things just adds to the restaurants off-beat charm). There are also hand-made piñatas hanging from the ceiling in all different colours and with only 8 tables, it’s very cozy!

The staff are all very warm and friendly and our server was quite happy to go over the menu with us and make suggestions as to what we might order. We all ended up having different burritos, which were huge!  While we were there, we noticed the table next to us had ordered nachos, which looked amazing, so we’ll have to go back for those one day soon.

The only downside of this restaurant is that it isn’t licensed, so if you find yourself craving a margaritas to accompany your meal, you’re out of luck. Overall however, we give this place top marks for their fantastic home-made food and authentic small town Mexican experience.

You’ll find this gem tucked away near the Gateway SkyTrain Station on Grosvenor Road. The address is 13646 Grosvenor Road, just off of King George Boulevard.

For more info check out their website.

 

***Photo credit for the image above goes to MePlusFood.com, check them out for more great Surrey restaurants to try!

8 Coffee Shops Within 8 Blocks – Surrey City Centre

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Part of what makes a community start to feel like home is when you establish your go-to places for all of your daily needs. These include, your favourite places to meet friends, the grocery store with the best local produce, the dry cleaner that will have your favourite dress back to you in time for the big event (the next night), and your favourite place to get your daily java fix. For a relatively small geographic area, you might be surprised at how many coffee shops there are in Surrey City Centre. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it within a few blocks of the City Centre.

The first, Take 5 Cafe, is located right inside Surrey’s new City Hall. City Hall is a phenomenal building that epitomizes the transformation Surrey City Centre is undergoing. Therefore, we think it makes the perfect place for business meetings, when you feel like getting out of the office. It’s also a great place for people watching, as you’ve got a direct view of all the activity happening on the plaza.

For those who can’t function until they’ve had their morning coffee, the Urban Café is conveniently located right under the Central City SkyTrain station, making it the perfect place to grab a coffee and go during your morning commute. Apart from the location, the incredibly friendly owner is another reason we keep going back to this place. He’s always in a great mood and you receive an exceptional level of service you just don’t get at your typical chain.

If you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy a coffee with a good book or while you work, Cafe Central is a great option since it’s located inside City Centre Library. The library is such an amazing building and a great place to go when you need some inspiration.

Another coffee shop we love due to its location is the Blenz at the foot of Central City Tower. The courtyard in front of Central City mall is the perfect place to sit outside during your lunch hour or with friends on a sunny day. There’s also lots of seating inside so if it’s too cold to sit outside, you’ll never be left with nowhere to sit.

A coffee shop farther North, across from the Gateway SkyTrain Station, is Waves. One of the main reasons we like Waves is because it’s one of the few establishments left that still welcome students and entrepreneurs to use their coffee shops as their work stations. While other coffee shops are starting to limit the amount of time patrons can access WiFi or quietly plug their power outlets, Waves has done neither and welcomes people to stay all day if they should so choose.

Last but not least, if you prefer Starbucks’ signature burnt taste, then you’re in luck because there are three Starbucks locations in Surrey City Centre. There’s one inside Central City Mall, another  inside the Safeway on the corner of King George Blvd and 104 Avenue, and a third location on King George Blvd  just south of 104 Avenue.

So there you have it, eight coffee shops within an eight block radius. Let us know which one of these will become your next go-to coffee spot!

 

***If sourcing local brews is more up your alley, check out our post on two great local breweries in Surrey!