“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to the Okanagan with the Acura TLX
As I always I love visiting the Okanagan during the summer, test driving the Acura TLX allowed for the perfect opportunity to take the car on the road.
Lawrence joined me for this weekend trip to the Okanagan, we left early on a Saturday morning and stopped for an Espresso Macchiato in Hope at the Hope Mountain Cafe, which was about 2 hours into the driving journey. It was a delightful bright cafe that serves up coffees, breakfast, lunch, and snacks; and made for the perfect stop at the halfway point.
The Acura TLX was a fast car which offered up a smooth ride, it features a gutsy turbo V-6 engine, while the regular version has a potent turbocharged four-cylinder. It also featured 16 different settings on for the drivers seat as well as the front passengers seat providing optimal comfortability.
We arrived in time for lunch at Row Fourteen, a beautiful restaurant located at Klippers Organics in Cawston, BC where Chef Derek Gray runs the kitchen. Here it is all about farm to table which can literally be feet away as most of what they make is grown on their farm. Started off with the tasty Whole Wheat Farmers Bread with smoked butter, sea salt, black pepper.
Loved the Beets with cherries and walnuts; and the next dish was a show stopper, the Zucchini bread topped with caponata, so fresh and tasty; and the Padron peppers with sea salt was very good as well.
The Potato gnocchi with first of the season Klippers Organic tomatoes and whipped ricotta was divine. The Dry aged burger with potato salad was outstanding.
We finished off with Chef Gizelle’s beautiful Peach Leaf Pannacotta with local @klippersorganics peaches, graham cracker crumple and hazelnuts. If you know you are heading to the Okanagan, make sure to make a reservation as far in advance as you can to dine at this restaurant for lunch or dinner.
After driving around Cawston we headed North to Penticton (40 min drive) and visited Wayne and Freda for a refreshing Iced Americano in downtown Penticton.
In the evening, we had dinner on the patio overlooking the Penticton lakefront at Elma which specializes in elevated Turkish cuisine where Chef Derek Ingram runs the kitchen.
Everything was delicious, started off with the Charcoal Grilled Halloumi with squash jam, spiced honey served with Elma Bread; ventured on to a dish our server Ebony suggested, the Smoked Mushroom Dumplings with walnuts, red pepper, yogurt, paprika butter and tulum cheese.
The next dish was both visually pleasing as well as flavourful, Zucchini with Turkish spices, Aleppo aioli on a bed of chili oil.
Two outstanding dishes followed, the Mushroom & Leek Pide with Turkish cheese, kale, bechamel and preserved lemon; and the Stuffed eggplant with tomato rice pilaf, orzo, mushroom ragu, roasted garlic yogurt, puffed grains, roasted red pepper sauce served with grilled Turkish bread.
We finished off with the moist and flavourful Semolina Cake with local rhubarb and orange blossom.
We overnighted in Kelowna and the next morning we visited Bright Jenny Coffee Roasters and Café which was located in the industrial area of town. They had a lot of seating both inside and outside at this popular café where they not only roast their coffee beans but they also do their own baking.
We had Espresso and Tonics which were refreshing on the hot day; I then had a tasty Cheese Onion Scone while Lawrence had a Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Inside, the TLX has an expressive design that highlights its sporty character which includes attractive analog gauges and a prominent rotary drive-mode selector in the middle of the dashboard. The TLX also boasts nicer cabin materials than its predecessor, including open-pore wood and real aluminum. The TLX also offers myriad interior colors, distinct leather upholstery, and desirable features. Every TLX features a 10.2-inch infotainment system that’s primarily controlled through a touchpad on the center console. Some functions can also be manipulated via steering-wheel buttons and physical controls next to the touchpad. There’s also a padded resting place for your wrist below the touchpad that makes it more comfortable to operate. The TLX comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Those who want the fanciest ELS sound system and a wireless charging pad will have to opt for the Advance package.
One feature that I used a lot on this trip was the cell phone charger which is located in the middle of the front seats at arms reach for optimal charging.
We then drove downtown to visit Sprout where they bake an extensive selection of breads as well as baked goods. We picked up one of their Foccacia breads.
Later in the afternoon after we drove from Kelowna to Penticton, we had an early dinner at Pizzeria Tratto Napoletana where they specialize in using the finest Italian ingredients in their pizzas, they also offer some salads and other items including a large selection of wines.
We started off with a couple of tasty Italian specialties, the BURATTA bomba and the Meatballs and focaccia.
Next it was on to the pizzas and we shared three of them; my favourite was the Ricotta and Rocket Pizza with its flavourful Spiced olive oil base, topped with fior di latte, ricotta, olives, onions, arugula & dates. I also loved the Sausage and Smoke pizza followed by the Okanagan Garden pizza which was a vegan pizza selection featuring locally harvested vegetables as the toppings.
We finished off with a couple of the desserts, the Limoncello Tiramisu and the Sour Cherry Granita.
After dinner we headed back to Vancouver driving towards the sun setting arriving home as it was already dark. Another one of the great features of the Acura TLX is the red glow within the front dashboard and infotainment display at night.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Acura Canada provided me with the 2021 Acura TLX to test drive, and photograph. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.