I was thinking about how to talk about some of the amazing eateries we have in Victoria, and I thought about the ones I have been to over the last month or two, and really the best way is to just give it to you as a wish list of a perfect day!
You stir in the morning as the alarm blares and think about how you might spend you day off, where will you go and what will you do. Of course you have to first justify your day, so it is off to Crossfit Zone for a little pain and pleasure. What a great gang of coaches and community members - make every second of time spent there worthwhile, and of course every second of time spent there makes the eating and drinking all worthwhile - great symbiosis! So after a WOD ( Workout of the Day) its time to head down to Vic West and perhaps some of Victoria's best croissants at Fol Epi. As you walk up you can smell the fresh bread smell coming from the wood fired ovens, simply divine. The croissant, as well as the strudels, danishes and oh my gosh the baguettes are divine. Cliff Leir, makes them fresh everyday, and if I ate there everyday, I would be the size of a Lear jet! But oh it is worth it every once and a while. A little cold butter, some strawberry jam... fabulous..Of course, now you need some coffee, so for me it's back to town and over to Caffe Artigiano where a creamy latte awaits. The latte with the croissant, one could be in France!
So time for a little shopping downtown. Have to hit up Outlooks for some great Men's clothes, Dale knows his fashion and does a magnificent job of blending classy and trendy. Perhaps a little stop in at Philip Nyren too, where it is slightly more traditional, but fun all the same. Almost lunch time, where to go? Really, my favourite place for lunch has always been Italian Food Imports on Blanshard. They make soup, sandwiches and pasta marvelously. The piece de resistance is the meatball sub. I get cravings during the day sometimes for those meatballs, perfectly spiced with a little cheese, some bread crumbs, and a tantalizing tomato sauce. Inside a whole wheat or white but and then grilled on the press with some cheese, wow! Sometimes I want the soup, always homemade so I get a few meatballs thrown in the bottom of my soup and get the best of both worlds. Really - you have to have a few meatballs. At $0.50 per meat ball, for $5.00 you can eat very very well! Massimo and Maurizo Segato have put it all together well and have created a winner in simplicity and good down home food!
Of course i could have opted for Pig too at the corner of Johnson and Blanshard, in their new digs, about 100X bigger than their last location. They do pulled pork beautifully, but they also do fried chicken splendidly, and fries and corn bread and and....very yummy, well worth a visit.
So now to a few of the local foodie type shops. Choux Choux Charcuterie has marvellous different types of sausages that are made onsite, as well as great cured meats including some Oyama Sausage and excellent cheese. The grocery area has marvellous French and other European specialities that are as much fun to browse as to buy. Of course back in Oak Bay, Ottavios, another great little deli/bakery has wonderfule cheese, meats and olives too. They bake some wonderful Italian style breads and have a frozen section with Sliced tuna to duck confit, Salad Dressings from David Feys and fresh pizza dough. Their Italian style grocery area has some marvellous little gems, like sea salts, saffron and so much more.
So now where? So many places to choose from. Let's see, where have I been lately. Paprika Bistro in Estevan. Anna Hunt their young but unbelievably talented chef is doing some amazing work. Her Onglet Steak with mushrooms is out of this world. On their wine menu they have La Posta Bonarda- yummy wine as well as the ever elusive Island born and bred Starling Lane Marechal Foch. This is a most interesting wine, and one that I often will take for friends and family who I might be visiting, to give them a little touch of what the Island is so capable of producing.
Brasserie L'Ecole is another wonderful location and perhaps one of my most favourite restaurants in the city. Their food is well made, well priced and served by knowledgeable staff. Not to say that does not happen at so many other places in this city, we are ultra lucky, it does, I just love Brasserie. The endive salad is my favourite anywhere with big roasted hazelnuts, bacon and yummy apples. The french onion soup is a meal in and of itself and the frites, all dressed with truffle oil, parmesan and garlic are so yummy. The wine list is predominantly French, but there are some great South American and Canadian spanners thrown into the fray too.. I have not even touched on the beers or the fact the menu changes seasonally so you are always getting fresh everything. Definitely check it out.
What a terrific day of food - so many great places and many that I have yet to talk about. Yummy!!