Corner Cafe & Deli
734 Aldebury Street
1729 Cook Street
Nestled in the industrial side of town, near the Canadian Forces Base, is the Corner Cafe & Deli that looks to be very popular amongst the locals. To one side are huge swaths of residential area, and the other, several warehouses nestled together. There is one “wholesale” place that’s Victoria’s Secret; smaller mom and pop grocery stores can buy their candies or salty snacks in bulk here for cheap and sell them with a huge markup for some instant profit. For large families, hitting this place is easier than going all the way into the Western Communities for Costco.
Don of the Victoria Burger Blog, our pal Jimmy and I checked out the Corner Cafe. I’m really tempted to say Cornerstone, but that’s out in Fernwood. This deli does have the vibe of being a “Cornerstone” since they’re located in a great spot that caters to the many operations that are in the heart of Esquimalt.
After a huge meal, I was ready to roll down the hill like an egg, crack, and just bake in the hot summer heat. The yoke was on James because he wasn’t able to join us this day. He was working.
I enjoyed my meal, which was the Friday special—a Crispy BBQ Chicken Wrap that could come with either fries or soup ($7.95). I wanted both, and for $3 extra, the small order of fries came in monstrous proportions which made me wide-eyed with delight. And these are near perfect fries: they’re double dipped crispy delights which had all the right textures when I was nibbling on these bare backed fries. There’s no skin on them, which loses a small mark, but that’s okay.
I didn’t have to dress them up with anything because they were that good alone. These fries stayed consistently warm for about 12 minutes and when they started to naturally cool, I eventually added pepper and ketchup to them so I could finish off the plate.
But what stole the show was the soup. It like it was built from scratch, with a drizzle of olive oil to help accentuate the base. The meatballs were bite-sized, and I found them to be quite tasty. The lima beans really helped make this soup number one. In addition to the other veggies and a few pieces of pasta to boot, the combination really works.
In what didn’t work was the sandwich wraps. For two of them, the price can’t be beat but they didn’t stand out as anything spectacular. Having more crispy greens or thicker chicken cuts would’ve helped, or even adding cilantro, cucumbers or a garlicky mayonnaise. The wrap they offered needed to evolve beyond its basics in order to make it exceptional. And of the two that I had, the tomatoes in one of them was a little off. On the other one, they tasted better. Maybe if Corner Cafe didn’t use store-bought wraps, these would’ve stood out. I’m thinking the brand used might be Dempster’s.
The meal could’ve ended there. I was eyeing the operation that was across the road, the Bimo Burger Stand, but think that’s a place to visit on another day. I had enough red meat for the week that would even sate a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Instead, the gang introduced me to Patisserie Daniel, a quaint bakery where they serve up the most delicious pastries to be found in town.
In looking around at this shop, the artistry they put into their larger pies will have me back just to grab photos, try out, and expand my waistline. If I did grab one today, it would’ve melted by the time I arrived home. Instead, I grabbed their chocolate almond croissant for a quickie. I enjoyed the softness of the pastry and they must’ve browned the almonds because it had me tearing into it and I couldn’t stop.
Next time, I’m eying their meat pies. They use game meats (rabbit, goose and duck for example), and after one hearty meal to last me all of today, to have another really had to wait. This Rex is ready to hibernate.
3½ Blokes out of 5