Hipsters are to Vancouver what hippies are to Portland. In Vancouver hipsters tend to look like they just walked out of a Where’s Waldo book with their Herschel backpacks. They congregate around microbreweries, overpriced thin crust pizza joints and just about anywhere with a communal table.
I’m not hating, because I totally dig all this stuff in a big way too. And according to my husband I have hipster tendencies. I’m not full blown, but borderline. What I’ve come to realize is that not only do hipsters start fashion trends, but they also start food trends. I became acutely aware of this after the whole Voodoo Donghnut phenomenon happened. In case you’re not aware, Voodoo Doughnuts is a doughnut shop in Portland that’s been around for as long as I can remember. I recall going there in college for PMS doughnuts (yes, they grind up Midol and put it in a doughnut) and no one in Portland was ever that excited about, but hipster tourists decided that it was worth talking about, and now it’s a thing.
So, flash forward to 2014 and look at the number of what I like to call ‘hipster dounut’ shops in Vancouver. Lucky’s Doughnuts was awesome (hello French cruller) and then Cartem’s Donuterie showed up…with their earl grey donut that tastes like a kids cereal and oh, wait, it wouldn’t be a proper hipster donut shop if they didn’t offer a bacon donut. These designer donuts ain’t cheap; it’s like they’re the new cupcakes. And I could honestly take em’ or leave em.
Brussels sprouts are next on the hipster hit parade. Previously thought of as little cabbagy stink bombs, they’re so popular now you see them on the menu of pretty much every restaurant in Gastown. I loooove brussels sprouts so I’m cool with it, but if I have to hear one more person rave about the brussels sprouts at the Flying Pig I’m gonna lose it. They all taste pretty much the same, and you can make them at home in your oven really easily! Even the d-bag set over at Glowbal has embraced the brussels sprout.
And my last item in the hipster foodie trifecta is the microbrew. I don’t know why everyone has suddenly realized that good beer is awesome. Thankfully the PBR boat seems to have sailed away from Vancouver, and the real hipsters are all about the IPA’s now. I called it years ago, when I proudly proclaimed that Alexander Keith wasn’t making an IPA, he was making a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and now we all know it’s really a just a boring old lager. I’m not saying I’m better than the YVR hipsters because I’ve been drinking the hoppy stuff since the 90’s, and it’s rad that we have all these little breweries around town (thank little baby Jesus for 33 Acres). I recently jumped on the growler bandwagon myself and am absolutely loving it. But I don’t want to talk about beer like the real hipsters do, I just want to drink it and enjoy it. Hops are hops, and liking the darkest porter the world has ever seen doesn’t make you some sort of badass.
Anyways, enough of a rant, if you don’t feel like going out to a hipster joint and paying $12 for crispy brussels sprouts, just make mine at home!
Gretchy T’s Hipster Brussels Sprouts
Preheat the oven to 450. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and once it comes to a roll add your brussels sprouts. Put the lid on it and let it cook for 5-6 minutes or until you can pierce them with a knife. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool them off. Cut the sprouts in half and put them on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Spread everything around to coat, and then make sure all the sprouts are cut side down on the pan. Roast them for about 8 minutes and then toss them. I roast mine for another 6-8 minutes, because I like them almost overdone on the inside, but crisp on the outside. Play around with it and see what you like. You can do them for longer on a lower temperature, you’ll figure it out.
The secret is to sprinkle the sprouts with freshly grated parmesan cheese right out of the oven. Drizzle with some white truffle oil and squeeze half a lemon over the top. You’ll feel like the Flying Pig has come to your kitchen! All you need is a growler full of the good stuff and you’re all set. Happy hipstering!