Eating Our Way Through Victoria… Celebrations!

Hi Folks:

Well, last Saturday was Marcia’s birthday and since she was off on both Friday and Saturday we (I) expanded her birthday celebration into a two-day event.  Fortunately Marcia was willing to go along with my schemes!  Before I continue, I should add a little backstory…

Back in 1995 we shared our first two-bedroom apartment together.  For Marcia’s birthday I invited a ‘few’ friends for a pot-luck surprise party and we managed to pack 37 people into our little apartment!  Everyone had a great time, including Marcia, but she also casually mentioned that she’d kill me if I ever did it again.  Well, since we no longer live there, and keeping to the ‘letter of the law’ so to speak, here’s a quick summary of some of the things we undertook over our weekend.  It also highlights some of the reasons we love living here in Victoria! Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria – To Market, To Market!

Hi Folks:

In our last several ‘Food‘ posts we’ve discussed our adventures at several of Victoria’s restaurants, from the humble coffee shop to the Bengal Lounge at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.  There are still many more fine dining establishments to visit, but it’s summertime and in summer one’s thoughts turn to picnics and backyard barbecues.  There are quite a number of markets that pop up in the Greater Victoria area (from Sidney to Sooke), on up the island to Duncan, Nanaimo and points north and also out into the Gulf Islands, but since we live in this ‘City of Gardens’ we’ll refine our discussion to the ones down here in the south (at least for this post… 😉 ).  We haven’t been to all of the markets here yet, but virtually all of them share one common theme: one must make it, bake it or grow it in order to sell it.  Eating local food is definitely a ‘green’ choice, but there’s a different feel, a different energy to local markets.  One connects directly with those who are providing their wares, and each bunch of carrots, each loaf of bread and each link of sausages have a history.  There’s also a more direct sense of community, and we appreciate that.

So, starting from the north and working south and west, here are at least some of the markets you can discover for yourself.  If you know of others, please feel free to leave us a comment below! Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria!

Welcome, Dear Ones and Gourmands all!

Per the Word Tutor at “To become a gourmand, you must taste food from the very finest restaurants.”

So today, we have tasty treats and tantalizing food temptations with which to taunt you. Our restaurant selections come from two diverse eating establishments in one of Victoria’s neighbouring cities – Esquimalt.

Esquimalt (pronounced Ess-kwi’-malt), the home of Canada’s Pacific Fleet, is just across the blue bridge – merely a hop, skip and a jump (a mere 10 minute drive) – from Victoria. It is well worth a visit – whether to enjoy the landscape, walkways and beauty, to visit the naval base and see the ships, or savour some of the fine cuisine.

The Blue Nile and the Vietnam Garden restaurants are both at the top of my list of delightful and unique places to dine. Appropriate to it’s name, the Vietnam Garden offers fantastic foods from that country and culture. Ken is the owner and host, plus all around man of many talents. He welcomes you, seats you, may take your order and will likely serve at least one of the many courses of your meal – usually the dessert! Yet look around at the walls and you will see amazing art work with gorgeous scenery in vibrant acrylic colours popping out from the canvas – and in a picture or two you may notice a man, woman and young child. That would be Ken, his wife and son – for Ken is the artist of these beautiful and varied pieces. His wife and son can often be seen at the restaurant for it is truly, and proudly, a family business. If you like Vietnamese food, you will thoroughly enjoy the relaxed family atmosphere, the varied menu and the wonderful presentation of fresh foods made to order with flair and flavour!

The Blue Nile is a very different place to dine divinely. Small and intimate, it has a vibrant East African cultural ambiance. It boasts both menu items and a buffet to please every palate. May we suggest you start with mango juice – with an explosion of fresh-off-the-tree taste. For a first visit or new to East African cuisine, we recommend you to start with the buffet – eating your way in small amounts across the wide array of dishes offered – from mild to wild – till you find your favourites.

And if you (like Mike and I) are a true coffee connoisseur, you’ll be wanting to  complete your meal with a fabulous cup of Bunna – Ethiopian hand roasted and ground coffee served in a traditional jebena (pot).

Bon Appetit!