Jam Cafe

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I recently visited Jam Cafe and was thoroughly impressed. Upon entry, my party and I were greeted by genuinely pleasant and happy staff. Although extremely busy with a full restaurant, we were talked to immediately and assured of seating in a short time. We sat at the long wooden bar and I admired the pioneer-chic deco and delicious savoury smells wafting out of the kitchen. We all ordered caesars and much to my delight, they were garnished with a piece of candied bacon and pickled asparagus. After being sat in the window seat (score!) we all ordered the huevos rancheros. Surprise Surprise. This was one of the best huevos rancheros I’ve tasted yet. The guacamole was fresh and flavourful with large chunks of avocado and tomato and freshly squeezed lime juice. The black beans were equally as delicious and plentiful. I loved the chorizo sausage on the side, and the corn bread tasted like it was made seconds before it hit my plate.

For dessert, we all had a round of mimosas to toast the birthday boy, and those too were wonderful, both in flavour and aesthetic. Our server was friendly and down-to-earth. She happily dealt with all of our intricate modifiers to our meals and seemed to genuinely enjoy our business.

Price wise, the meal was affordable and priced appropriately. I was very pleased when my cheque came.

I can not stop dreaming of my amazing meal and incredible beverages. My next brunch out, I will be returning directly to Jam Cafe with an even larger cohort.

Until next time!

http://www.jamcafevictoria.com/

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Graduation Dinners – Ferris’s Oyster Bar and Grill – Downstairs

For the final graduation meal we headed to Ferris’s Oyster Bar and Grill. Ferris’s is one of my favourite Victoria restaurants because the atmosphere is cozy and almost cabin-like. The staff are all very knowledgeable and down-to-earth. And the prices are incredible.

We started off with the big bowl of mixed fries with ali’s mayo sampler which consisted of chipoltle chilli mayo, ginger mayo, and the “special dipping sauce”. All three were definite must haves and next time I would get a few orders of them to put on everything. The fries were all fresh and delicious, and went very quickly. Almost as quickly as the trio of mayos.

I had the Oyster Burger which came with japanese breaded oysters, green onion and ginger mayo. I got my burger with caesar salad and it was amazing. The oyster was fresh tasting, and paired perfectly with the ginger mayo. The caesar salad was standard but delightful. Funnily enough, most everyone else got the oyster burger, and were equally as impressed.

 

 

My friend Rebecca is vegetarian and gluten free, so she got the Veggie Nut Burger with no bun, which came with a sunflower and flaxseed patty with apple chutney and goat cheese. Absolutely incredible. Even without the bun!

 

All in all, Ferris’s was the perfect day to Graduation meals out. Located on lower Johnson, it’s easily accessible for anyone living in Victoria. Check out their website for more information:

http://www.ferrisoysterbar.com/

Until next time!

Graduation Lunches – Spinnakers Brew Pub

Victoria is famous for it’s microbreweries. One of my favourites is Spinnakers Brew Pub located just across the Johnson Street bridge. For my graduation lunch, my family and I decided on Spinnakers. The view of the inner harbour is beautiful, and heritage house vibe creates a very comfortable character-filled atmosphere.

I ordered the beer braised pulled pork sandwich with the kale and goat cheese salad. It was divine.

 

 

My sister had the local water shrimp melt. Also, amazing. This was no ordinary seafood melt. The flavours were unique and incredible. Probably, my favourite dish at lunch.

 

My Dad had the 3 Baked Outlandish Oysters. Also, incredible. A definite must-have, especially for out-of-town visitors looking for good seafood.

 

My Mom had the smoked salmon baguette. Simplistic but wonderful. If you’re a fan of smoked salmon you’ll love this one.

 

 

Whether you’re a local or an out-of-towner looking for somewhere original and delicious to eat, head to Spinnakers Brew Pub. You won’t be let down.

Bon Appetit my friends!

Graduation Breakfasts

I recently graduated from the Bachelor of Professional Communications Program at Royal Roads University and this meant a visit from my family all the way from Kelowna, B.C., and many special meals. I thoroughly enjoyed the diner at Paul’s Motor Inn on Douglas Street. The decor was directly out of pulp fiction with it’s diner vibe. I shared the breakfast wrap with my mom, which was filled with the standard scrambled eggs, onions, bell-peppers but also basmatic rice… which I would probably go without next time but it was nice to try something new. 

 

My sister tried the fried tomatoes which were rich but delicious. 

 

Overally, the service was great. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and easy going. The atmosphere was perfect for the cozy diner feel. I would definitely do a breakfast or two there, especially with line-ups so long at other breakfast locations on the weekends around Victoria.

Summer Eats

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Summer Eats

Looking forward to the up and coming season. Summer! My roomie and I’s healthy summer bathing suite dinner. Grilled tofu steaks with dijon, dill, balsamic glaze. Sautéed onions & mushrooms. Steamed brocoli. And summer salad- mixed greens, tomato, celery, sun flower seeds and olive oil. .

The Wickaninnish Inn – Pointe Restaurant

http://www.wickinn.com/restaurant.html

The peak of our journey in Tofino – The Pointe Restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn. After a brief beach walk, we hopped in the van and set out for the Wickannish. We arrived a few minutes after our reservation at 11:00am for a brunch/ late lunch. The doorman courteously opened the door for us upon our arrival, and the host sat us at a table overlooking a stormy Chestermann Beach which was dotted with surfers enjoying the crashing waves. The tall cedar planked ceilings created a warm ambiance combined with the oversized fireplace in the center of the room. Our server, Bappa, brought us waters and discussed the menu with us. As we contemplated the menu, Bappa brought us a fresh house-made assortment of breads with house-made butter. The breads included slices of a roasted garlic loaf, a sourdough loaf, a rye loaf and fig loaf. We smothered the bread in the delicious butter and quickly devoured the entire basket while enjoying the warmth and the view of the surfers.

Surfers at Chestmann Beach

Our server Bappa

Being a die-hard breakfast fan, I was initially drawn to the brunch side of the menu, with a specific focus on the mushroom eggs benedict. My mother planned to get the Southern Fried Oyster Sandwhich on a house baked biscuit with chorizo sausage, a red pepper soup and a mint, basil, radish slaw. However, once we asked Bappa what the B.C. Seafood Tasting of the day was, my mother quickly changed her mind. The B.C. Seafood Tasting came with octopus that was cooked over-night in white wine and then tempura battered. It also came with halibut shrimp crab cakes, and maple glazed salmon. She went with the B.C. Seafood Tasting. Alesha chose the Smoked Tuna Melt with olive bread, tomato and fennel preserve, omelet, and parmesan and pine-nut and garlic crumble. Arelia chose the Brisket Hash which came with two poached eggs, roasted onion, root vegetables, grainy mustard, and cabbage, and I went with my original decision – the Tofino Mushroom Benedict with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, pancetta, garlic truffled hollandaise, and a rotti potato cake.


 

B.C. Seafood Tasting

Smoked Tuna Melt


Brisket Hash


Tofino Mushroom Benedict

Our food was brought out by Bappa and explained thoroughly so that we could appreciate every part the dish had to offer. Everything was absolutely incredible. My eggs were poached to perfection – every bite of mushroom was subtle, unique and delightful. The truffle hollandaise was original and addictive. The roti potato was spiced perfectly with fresh herbs and topped with delicious caramelized onions. My mom’s B.C. Seafood tasting was equally as impressive. The octopus was succulent and tender, and paired perfectly with a lime aioli. The maple glazed salmon was also topped with a yogurt dressing and roasted sweet potato and red onion. Both Arelia and Alesha thoroughly enjoyed their dishes. I tried the brisket in Arelia’s Brisket Hash, and it was incredibly tender.

The journey was well worth it for the incredible and unique dining experience of fabulous cuisine and a truly beautiful view of Tofino’s stormy and adventurous weather. As always, xx.

Chocolate Tofino

I recently embarked on a one day Tofino super-tour with my roomie Alesha, her older sister Arelia, and my mother. A whirlwind girls’ trip would of course call for a chocolate stop. Just outside of Tofino lies the most adorable chocolate shop. Tucked away in a small collection of interesting shops which include a surf shop, a blown-glass art studio, and a coffee shop, Chocolate Tofino sits in a beautiful wood cabin-esque shop. Run by a young couple – Kim and Cam Shaw – who have made their way from the planes of Loyd Minister,Alberta, to the western coast of Vancouver Island, Chocolate Tofino makes beautiful artisan chocolates free of artificial flavours, colors, or preservatives. They use organic and local flavours that bring the liveliest notes of fresh taste to their chocolates. Which brings me to the Salt Spring Island Organic Lavender Truffle. My eye was drawn to it in the glass case because of my visit to the Salt Spring Island Organic Lavender farm last summer. I had tasted the fresh lavender sorbet there and I was more than excited to try the lavender truffle. The flavour was incredible. The lavender was subtle but distinct, and absolutely amazing. The chocolate was incredible. My chocolate craving was absolutely satisfied.

 

 

 

Want to impress someone with your savvy Vancouver Island knowledge of the best chocolates in town? Go for a weekend drive to Chocolate Tofino and buy a case load of the Salt Spring Island Organic Lavender Truffle. Until next time, xx.

 

Green Cuisine – Food For Your Soul

 

http://www.greencuisine.com/

 

I was heartbroken to discover the closure of Green Cuisine last year because of a fire. Notes scattered the doors with requests for them to please re-open soon. I even saw a note from a couple visiting from Seattle who had come all the way to Victoria just to eat at Green Cuisine and then had their hopes dashed in discovering Green Cuisine was closed. But now, Green Cuisine is re-opened. And looks exactly the same – I can’t complain. Located in the Market Square on lower Johnson Street, Green Cuisine is an amazing vegetarian restaurant flocked by earthy types and those in search of truly healthy foods. When you walk in, you grab a plate and fill it up with the buffet arrangement of fresh vegetarian, sometimes vegan, foods. There are usually two soups to choose from with fresh corn bread. Next, there is a salad bar with multiple salads– bean salads, leafy green salads, pad thai, the list goes on. Garnishes and dressings are also plentiful – my favourite is the homemade salsa. I definitely load up the corner of my plate with it. I love the big chunks of spicy jalapeños. The ginger salad dressing is also spectacular, on anything (especially heaped on the fresh chick-pea falafels. Then there are the mains- usually a tempeh selection and a tofu choice. There are always house-made, baked samosas. As well as some leafy greens. Following the mains is the bountiful array of chutneys – my favourite is the apple chutney. There is also vegetarian sushi which is surprisingly fresh tasting no matter what time you’re there.

Then there are the desserts. All to die for. Choose wisely. They’re deceivingly rich for being vegan.

After you’ve created your vegetarian/ vegan health wonder plate, you take it to the cashier who appears to have just returned from an enlightening experience at Shambala will weigh your plate and ring you in. Careful, healthy food comes at a price, and a heaping plate can cost you upwards of $20. But, the food is dense and rich and extremely filling. All you need is a sample size of everything and you’ll be full for the rest of the day. And extremely satisfied.

My last visit was with my mother who was visiting from out of town. Upon our arrival at Green Cuisine she ran into a fellow yogi whom she did yoga teacher training with 9 years ago, and serendipitously ran into at another vegetarian restaurant in Calgary – The Coup – with my older, food loving sister, last year.   I got the sweet and sour tempeh, ginger gravy tofu, a couple heaping tablespoons of the apple chutney, steamed collard greens (yes, my mother made me put green vegetables on my plate), a couple of the best and freshest falafels I’ve ever had, a couple heaping teaspoons of the salsa, basmati rice pilaf, gingered black beans, and a few pieces of the vegetarian sushi. All of this rang up to $13, but I didn’t need to eat dinner after, and I’ve also never felt so satisfied and refreshed after such a fulfilling meal.

If you’re looking for a healthy option, or looking for a date to Burning Man, or just looking for some delicious food, head down to Market Square (wear your Blundstones and organic cotton tunic) and enjoy some of the best vegetarian food you’ve ever eaten at Green Cuisine. Until next time!