Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is consistently rated as one of the top airports in North America. Surely, one of the biggest reasons why travelers love YVR so much is because of the world class food. You don’t need to be stuck with sub-par food as you wait for your flight.
And located on the same island as this fantastic airport is the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet shopping complex. If you’re looking for some world class shopping featuring top brands like Brooks Brothers, Coach and Ted Baker, this outlet mall is well worth checking out.
When you go shopping at just about any other mall, you can usually expect to find a food court. The one in Richmond Centre is remarkably expansive and welcoming. The one in Parker Place has some of the best food in town. But McArthurGlen doesn’t have a food court in the traditional sense. What is a hungry shopper to do?
If you’re looking to rest those tired feet and fill that hungry stomach after hours of deal hunting, you might want to head on over to BiBo Pizzeria (1067C – 7899 Templeton Station Road). Located in the row of eateries toward the back-right corner of the outlet mall, BiBo features a two-pronged approach. The pasta is made fresh in house and many of the key ingredients are imported from Italy.
The menu aims to be both authentic and creative, offering traditional dishes as well as a some novel takes on trusted classics.
A great example of this old-meets-new approach to Italian cuisine is the Polpette di verdure ($14.00). They may look similar to your traditional meatballs, but these are actually veggieballs offered as an appetizer.
Served in a nest of edible cheese that’s more chewy than it is crispy, the veggieballs is still decidedly savory and are perfectly accompanied by the acidity of the Italian datterini tomatoes, the saltiness of the Parmigiano Reggiano, and the bitterness of the plain arugula salad.
You can’t go to a pizzeria and not order a pizza. The pizzas served at BiBo are in the traditional Neapolitan style that you may have seen around town. The thin crust has more of a chew to it and the pizza is cooked in a high temperature, wood-burning oven for only a couple of minutes to provide a touch of char around the edges.
The net result is a pizza that BiBo describes as “soft, elastic, easily foldable, and with a characteristic flavor that comes from the acidity of the tomato and the essence of the mozzarella, along with oregano, garlic or basil.”
We opted for the Prosciutto e funghi pizza ($18.00), about a medium-sized pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, ham, and mushroom. The pizza comes slightly pre-scored to give you a sense of where you should cut (or tear), but it’s really up to you how you want to dig in.
Don’t expect this to be the same kind of pie you’d get from your favourite big chain delivery place. This is much more traditional in style. Ask for some chili oil and chili flake for an added kick.
In addition to pre-configured pasta dishes like Linguine allo Scoglio (seafood linguine) and Gnocchi alla Tirolese (handmade gnocchi with speck, radiccio, gorgonzola, and sprinkled with walnuts), BiBo also offers a mix-and-match pasta combination.
Shown above is the Tagliatelle with Italian pesto from Genoa ($20.00), a modestly-sized portion of the fresh pasta made in house accompanied by a drier pesto sauce. Presented simply, the pasta was cooked to a beautiful al dente, though I did find the sauce to be too dry for my taste.
Other options include a bolognese ragu (beef), Italian Porcini mushrooms in a creamy sauce, or DOP tomato and Parmigiano, paired with gnocchi or spaghetti.
Every Monday, BiBo offers a pizza and beer special combination for just $18. If you’re not as inclined to imbibe, they also offer a range of Italian sodas. While the San Pellegrino Limonata sparkling lemon beverage ($3.00) can be commonly found in many grocery stores, the Lurisia La Nostra Aranciata sparkling orange soda ($4.00) imported from Italy is available only at BiBo.
The Lurisia wasn’t quite as fizzy or as sugary as the San Pellegrino, so it’s a perfect option for someone who prefers a citrus-based soda that isn’t so sweet. Either option works perfectly to accompany your pizza or pasta.
BiBo Pizzeria offers a casual dining atmosphere with a range of seating options, including an elevated bar and an outdoor patio when Mother Nature is agreeable. If you’re looking for a comfortable, family-friendly restaurant where you can take a break from your outlet shopping at McArthurGlen, consider taking in some Italian cuisine at BiBo.