I recently spent a week test driving the re-engineered Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring 2023 car around the city while I was out and about trying some new dishes at restaurants and cafes in Vancouver. Always love checking out new diverse restaurants that open in and out of the city; Machete is one of the newest to open in the Strathcona neighbourhood.
Machete Mexican & Health Foods (1007 Main Street, Vancouver) specializes in Mexican eats and drinks, this wonderful eatery recently opened on Main Street near Chinatown where owners Cecilia and Alex are featuring authentic Mexican dishes.
They are serving all sorts of Mexican specialties that you would find in the small towns in Mexico. I had a chance to try some of their dishes and drinks and learn more about the eatery from their passionate chef and owner Cecilia. They import corn from Mexico and make their own blue corn tortillas by hand. Prior to opening this restaurant, there were located in a nearby commissary for a couple of years.
These are the dishes and drink that I tried.
Itacates Flor de Calabaza (special pumpkin flower) on house-made blue corn tortilla
Taco with mezcal lime chicken on a house-made blue corn tortilla
Machetes (half with Tapatio (birria beef)and the half with Saxon de Mama — pressed Pork)
Hot chocolate -they roast their own cacao beans to make this delicious beverage.
In this 2023 model, The quiet, open cockpit design keeps everything you need within reach for an effortless drive.
The next day I visited Indian Oven (2006 W. 4th Avenue, Vancouver) in the Kitsilano neighbourhood to try some of Chef Arvind’s dishes.
They specialize in Northern Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine and Chef Arvind has introduced many new Indian dishes.
Gol Gappa which is a palate refresher and an interactive appetizer.
Sizzler with Soya chap and Tandoori fish; and it’s the Tandoori fish that we both loved the most.
The Mango Prawn Curry was outstanding.
Paneer Pasanda was a unique dish with vegetables stuffed inside the paneer in a tasty curry.
Diwani Handi (mixed curry vegetables)
house-made Kheer (rice pudding)
The car features choices of radio stations from the Touchscreen display. The standard 7″ (and available 9″) colour touchscreen is your portal to the centralized system that controls your settings and the loads of tech features in your Civic Hatchback. Like, Apple CarPlay®*/Android Auto™*, the available 12-speaker BOSE® Premium Sound System (including a subwoofer), and the available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™* with bilingual Voice Recognition.
The next night visited the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver with my friend Lee to try Sempre Uno (1 Lonsdale, North Van), a newly opened Italian restaurant from the Corsi family and it was divine.
We had that night’s Salad Special — a beauty with sliced salami, greens, burrata, radicchio, sliced almonds
The Tagliatelle Al Granchio was outstanding with brandied crab meat, bottarga gremolata, and rose sauce; as was the Garganelli con ragu di Lenticchie with red lentil ragu and roasted peanuts
The Plicata di Vitello al Funghi was a highlight Veal Medallions with a delicious wild mushroom sauce.
We finished off with a fun and tasty Negroni ice cream sandwich.
My friend Debbie came for a visit and I picked her up and this allowed us to test the backseats in the car for comfortability. She then joined us for dinner at Moltaqa Moroccan Restaurant (1002 Mainland St) in Yaletown. The Chicken Briwat (special dish on the Ramadan menu) was delicious as was the hearty Faul Madame’s (new dish) to start.
We then enjoyed my favourite Chicken Pastillia and Vegetable Pastilla before having the salads.
The Moroccan roasted carrot, feta and lemon salad; paired up well with the Homemade Halal Chicken Merguez Sausages (new dish).
Both the Lemon & Olive Halal Half Chicken Tagine with Safron; and Cardamom Duck with figs, pear and sesame Tagine
The Lamb Shoulder with prunes and almonds (New dish) was tender, flavourful meat; we had it with some Couscous.
The perfect ending was these Moroccan specialty cookies.
There are multiple drive modes in this car, switch between three drive modes with a toggle. Normal covers your everyday drive, ECON boosts fuel efficiency, and the available Sport mode allows more dynamic handling.
Over on Fraser Street, I visited Momo Hut (6372 Fraser Street) which had opened recently for dinner, and the restaurant specializes in Nepalese and Himalayan cuisine.
I had the Crispy Kurkure Chicken Momo, a very unique dish that I hadn’t seen before; along with the Chilly Fish, a spicy and sweet dish with onions and peppers.
The next it was back to one of my new favourites, the Tamaly Shop (2525 Main Street) for lunch. Here I had their Mexican Coffee, along with a Mole with chicken tamale and a Jalapeno and Cheese tamale.
I also had a refreshing Horchata smoothie.
The car is great for grocery shopping or a quick getaway. Inspired by European design (and practicality), the Civic Hatchback boasts sleek lines, supple curves, and ample cargo space.
The Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring 2023 was enjoyable to drive around Vancouver in the to try some great eateries.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Honda Canada provided me with the 2023 Honda Civic for a week to test drive, and photograph.