With the addition of the Cactus Club Cafe to English Bay it eliminated one thing that was there for years-a concession stand! Well that has all changed now with the addition of the Cactus Club Cafe Concession.
When the restaurant opened I thought this area was going to be a look in kitchen and never thought they would open a concession. I’m personally not the biggest fan of the park Board concession stands due to the prices charged and the fact the food offered was all frozen and nothing is really prepared in them but I see their place for the convenience of people enjoying the beach.
The Cactus Club Concession has a pretty concise menu with a beef and chicken burger, fish tacos and since the menu is influenced by Rob Feenie, he’s brought the Feenie Weenie back as the hot dog option. The kids aren’t forgotten either but the selections are a step up from the traditional frozen treats with Mario’s Gelati doing the ice cream desserts, a kid’s combo is also available for just under $9 bucks.
After ordering and paying you are given one of these, it vibrates and lights up when your food is ready in case you get caught up looking at the view. They have some seating adjacent to the concession that is semi covered with yellow umbrellas and it’s also heated with tower heaters, sad I’m saying that here in Vancouver at the end of June!
I went with the Feenie Weenie combo for $11.50. For that you get a fountain drink and small sea salt fries, you have the option of getting a slushy for $1 more.
The fries were nice and crisp on the outside and soft inside. The sea salt was a nice touch and didn’t make the fries to salty. I though the size could have been bigger though and a salad option would be a great choice to have.
The Feenie Weenie is 12″ of delicious sausage. Like Anthony Bourdain, I also love me some meat in tube form! The Feenie Weenie doesn’t come with ketchup but it does have grainy mustard mayo and amazing Riesling sauerkraut.
The sausage had a great fat content and flavor. You could tell that this wasn’t your regular wiener by the flavor and texture when eating it. The bun was soft without falling apart when noming on this beauty.
The Choucroute was one of my favorite parts. The Riesling really came through and added a nice sweetness to the sauerkraut. Bacon loves will also like this seeing it’s studded with the delectable pork product. Overall I really liked the Feenie Weenie and it could feed 2 people for a light snack. When compared to the other offerings and prices at the other Parks Board concession stands the a la carte price of $7.50 for this treat it’s a great choice that I would have again for sure.
I think the Cactus Club Cafe Concession is a nice option to have for quick eats and treats while you’re enjoying the beach. As an extra treat I’ve included Rob Feenie‘s complete recipe if you would like to make the Feenie Weenie yourself this summer if you can’t make it down to the English Bay Concession. Recipe from Rob Feenie’s cookbook Feenie’s (2005).
The Feenie Weenie
• 1 star anise
• ½ tsp coriander
• ½ tsp black peppercorns
• ½ tsp mustard seeds
• 1 clove garlic
• ½ cinnamon stick
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 juniper berry
• 4 oz bacon, cut into small chunks
• 1 ½ cups sliced onions
• 2 cups good quality sauerkraut
• 1 ½ cup Riesling
• 4 good quality cheese smokies
• 2 cups choucroute
• 4 hot dog buns, cut in half
Spice Sachet: Place all the ingredients on a 6-inch square of cheesecloth and tie closed with kitchen string.
Choucroute: Cook bacon in a frying pan on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy. Add onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until translucent. Add sauerkraut, Riesling and spice sachet, then cook for about 45 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Remove from the stove and allow to cool. Refrigerate for 24 hours for the flavors to develop. Makes 1 quart. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Weenies: Preheat the barbeque to high heat. Bring a saucepan of water to simmer on medium-high heat, then drop in smokies and cook for 5 minutes. Take out smokies and grill them for 5 to 7 minutes, or until plumped up and starting to ooze cheese.
To Serve: While weenies are grilling, heat up choucroute and toast hot dog buns. Place a layer of choucroute in each bun and add a smokie.