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!

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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!

 

Third Wheel at the Big Wheel Burger

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I recently went to Big Wheel Burger on a tri-date with my two roommates (who are dating, yes, I was the third wheel…. ironic?) It was a Friday night and we wanted to treat ourselves to a big, juicy burger. We were torn between the Buffalo Burger at 5th Street Bar and Grill and trying something new – Big Wheel Burger in Cook Street Village. We decided to go with the unknown. I got the Big Wheel Burger – a plain burger with tomato, lettuce, and Big Wheel Sauce which was a surprisingly addicting mayo-esque sauce. I also decided to get a milk shake- strawberry flavoured and fries. I was pleased to find real strawberry chunks in my milkshake, with lots of thick vanilla ice cream. The burger was excellent. Simple but delicious. And the fries were as good as they come. I’m a bit of a ketchup snob, and I’m pretty sure they had Heinz (the best ketchup in the world). So A+ for ketchup choice. We were also impressed with the dedication of Big Wheel Burger to quality and sustainability. Here are some fun facts pulled from their website that makes the trip to Big Wheel Burger worth it:

– They use ingredients that support agricultural longevity with minimal environmental impact.

-They source product from within 100 miles of our location to limit carbon footprint and support local economies

-They use environmentally safe packaging materials while instituting recycling programs on every product level…(everything goes in the compost after)

-They’re burgers are to be ground fresh daily, using locally raised, hormone and antibiotic free meats and cooked well done on a cutting edge flat top grill all the while embracing a philosophy of FRESH, LOCAL and DELICIOUS

-Trash-free customer area

-In one week they produce enough compost for a large residential garden

-Cleaning products are natural, biodegradable and pH balanced

-Fryer oil is converted to biodiesel

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My Addiction: Mussels De Cha Cha Cha at Tapa Bar

My cousin introduced me to Tapa Bar last October. One night after hot yoga we decided to go for something light and she suggested Tapa Bar. I found it tucked away in Trounce Alley on Broad and Yates downtown, lit up with romantic tea-lights. Inside I was immediately tranfixed by the ambiance. I felt like I had just stepped onto the set of Vicki Christina Barcelona and I half expected Javier Bardem to join my cousin and I at our table. The lighting was dim but intimate with candles at each table and the spanish music complimented the setting perfectly. Being starved after burning so many calories at hot yoga, we devoured the complimentary roasted sun-flower seeds on the table. And then, it happend. We ordered the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha. I have never tasted anything quite as delicious. The “fiery pepper sauce” doesn’t even begin to describe the delight of these mussels, or the ectasy of dipping the fresh (and unlimited) foccacia bread into the sauce and savouring each bite. The sauce is the perfect combination of white wine, garlic, parsely, sambal, and tomatos. I’ve tried numerous times to recreate it at home, but I’ve never achieved the astonishing taste of this sauce. The mussels are always fresh and succulent, and they don’t cheap out on the amount of them either.

And ever since I tried them, I’ve been addicted. One Monday a few friends and I went to Tapa Bar for Martini Monday, and I  ofcourse orderd the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha. Later on, my boyfriend (at the time) joined us, and we shared another order. Yes, they were so nice, I got them twice… in one sitting.

There are also many other amazing options on the menu. Another favourite of mine is the Grilled Carrots (in sweet mustard sauce). When I first saw these on the menu I was skeptical… grilled carrots? How exciting can those get? I was suprised to find them absolutely astounding. The sweet mustard sauce is a unique flavour and can also be eaten by the spoonful. I also suggest the Chorizo Fondu – its warm and smoky and delicious.

Looking for a Friday night dinner before going out? Put on a little black dress, your best Spanish accent, pretend you’re Penelope Cruz and strut down to Tapa Bar in Trounce Alley and experience the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha with some good friends and good wine.