An Ode to Small Packages. You Heard Me.


Hey, know that time I said I was feeling guilty about spending money and going out all the time indulging and I was going to do a whole series of blogs where I was cooking my favorite meals from home?

Hahahaha, oh Jewel!

Guilt and I are fickle acquaintances.  I hear her out that one time a year when I do something wrong and an apology is in order, or when I cut someone off on the road because I’m late for yoga, or when I put my boyfriend’s sweater in the dryer by mistake and lie about it and tell him he’s just gained weight in the shoulders.  But Guilt’s voice gets a little grating after awhile, and I start to miss my old pal Insolence and his circle of super fun friends, namely Sin Wagon, Life’s Short, I Do What I Want, and, most of all, Indulgence.  Plus, who doesn’t want to be wine’d and dined for one lil evening after a week (okay, fine, three days) of cooking at home?

So I ventured out in search of a place I hadn’t been yet, and I came up with The Sardine Can in Gastown.  I’ve already told you that Gastown is the place to be in Vancouver if you’re looking for a great meal, a good buzz, and a crowd that’s pleasingly non-douchy, and it looks like it’s getting bigger and better by the second in terms of good choices.  And in a city that used to be dominated by chain restaurants where all the girls are wearing the same black pencil skirt and rattling off the “features” of the day (regular menu items they’re trying to sell more of) while serving frozen nightmare cocktails made of peach schnapps and cheap champagne, the more independent choices the better, please.  The Sardine Can is a great new addition to town, specializing in Spanish tapas served in a tiny elegant hole in the wall with what looks like the world’s smallest kitchen.  But as we know, good things come in small packages, right?  I mean, pertaining to jewels. Like rings. Not the other thing.  Look, who cares if it’s small as long as it delivers?  And this place kinda goes above and beyond.  They’ve got a great selection of Spanish beers and really interesting wines, and a whole slew of sherry if you live at Downton Abbey and that’s your thing. Service is friendly and on point, and there wasn’t a miss in the lot of dishes we tried.  I was positively regaled, to sound like a total idiot. Highlights below:

Hot little pan of fried chorizo with sherry


"Potatas Bravas"- roasted potatoes with tomatoes and aioli
“Potatas Bravas”- roasted potatoes with tomatoes and aioli


spiced chicken and rice
Super tender spiced chicken and rice


Braised veal short ribs with lemon and artichokes I would punch you out to have the last bite of
Braised veal short ribs with lemon and artichokes I would punch you out to have the last bite of


You need to eat these things.

Bonus?  If you pay cash, they’ll give you 10% off the bill. The only thing small about that is the amount of time it’s gonna take me to hustle back there. HA! See what I did there? Onward, fellow insolent fools!








12 Comments Add yours

  1. jamenta says:

    Oh – that all looks soooo gooood. O.O

  2. Germain Dubé says:

    Congratulations Jewel for your presentation. You made me l’eau à la bouche. xxx

  3. Mike says:

    I wish this was available in San Diego.

  4. Mike says:

    I wish this was available in San Diego!

  5. Jim Moreno says:

    Indeed, that all does look delicious, especially the chorizo! Very glad to finally see a woman who loves sardines! 🙂 Also sad to hear said woman already has a boyfriend. 🙁 Keep blogging!

  6. Michael says:

    Makes me miss Spain. Keep eating & keep writing about it!!

  7. Kerim says:

    I alreadyt started salivating uncontrollably at the Chorizo, someone get me a plane ticket to this place…..

  8. Jeff Dahn says:

    I REALLY need to get back to Vancouver. It sounds as though much has changed since I was there last.

  9. Angela says:

    delish! chorizo and sherry sounds like a winning combination to me; – you could serve that over hay and it probably would taste GREAT

  10. Mike says:

    My grandmother used to make chorizo and sherry! Thanks for shining the light on such an awesome dish!

  11. Ryan C. says:

    You had me at chorizo.

    You can try to punch me, but I’m stealthy and quick. No, not really. 😉

  12. Lowell says:

    Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

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