Grazing Vancouver

For the curious of palate, a trip to this British Columbia restaurant row is de rigueur

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At the opposite pole is Vij's, a sophisticated Indian restaurant with a contemporary slant. The kitchen creates novel concoctions with traditional Indian flavors-for example, marinated pork chops with mushrooms, zucchini, shallots, and roasted almonds. "I didn't want to do chicken tikka," says chef-owner Vikram Vij. "There's enough of that." Nor does his staff ask diners what level of spiciness they prefer. "If you come to my home for dinner, it is my responsibility to know what will please you," Vij explains. In practice, his dishes tend to be fairly hot, but flavors are so vivid and fresh that they dance through the flames unsinged.

There's enough internationality in the Broadway vicinity to keep an adventurous palate engaged for weeks. It's a buffet table of Vancouver's uniquely casual cosmopolitanism, as eclectic as Memphis Blues's barbecue nachos (with Riesling).

BROADWAY AREA EATS

Memphis Blues Barbeque House.  1465 W. Broadway; (604) 738-6806.

Nice 'n' Spicy Reggae Cafe.  Closed Sun. 382 W. Broadway; (604) 877-0189.

Vij's.  Dinner only. 1480 W. 11th Ave. (two blocks south of Broadway); www.vijs.ca or (604) 736-6664.

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