E: Every time I hear someone refer to The Village, I start humming along to a tune from the 60’s classic mystery spy thriller made famous by Patrick McGoohan. That’s the nerd in me coming out. Once at the restaurant, I do realize that this place is in no way influenced by the classic show. However, I do wonder if there is a chance of escape.
The variety to be found in their menu will certainly have me wanting to try it all. In this case, multiple visits will have to be made to taste the various sandwiches, bennies, and soups offered. In what drew James and I out to the Saanich location (I’ve been to the Estavan place before) was the Fat Chef special. I came out feeling thin. For James, there’s no denying he was looking rounder after our sojourn to a quieter side of town.
J: I was thinner when I went in but it was not the fault of the Village that I ended the day a few pounds heavier. The two latkes, double smoked striped bacon, garlic sautéed spinach (they ran out of kale), roasted red peppers, crispy onions and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce may sound like a big meal but Ed and I are trained professionals. This meal was just an appetizer.
E:I think James is the bigger eater than I am, but those potato patties were oh so delicious. I could have ordered more. At the Village, you are here to get a dining experience. Their specials are certainly worth making the trip over for. With bacon sourced from Red Barn Market, a chain of island-based stores that prides itself on fresh organic products and locally produced goods, can I sing oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antlelope play?
J: If Ed is going to sing cowboy songs, I can put up with him looking like a cowboy as we sit round the campfire eating bacon. I would tolerate it even if it meant eating beans, a good combo with bacon but not so much around a campfire. I would brave the blue flames as long as the strips or delicious pork was Red Barn. Their bacon has that nice mix of meat and with a little fat that could make one’s mouth water. I could eat a pound of it without batting an eye.
E: I had enough of a serving to notice that the bacon strips they use are bigger. This place knows how to fry their bacon right to retain its delectable juices and delicate crisp. Even their back bacon was quite nice. If there was a bacon challenge using the swine that it was cut from, I’d be there! But there’s more to this meal than just the meat. I’m sure free range organic eggs were used and the multiple fruits were sourced nearby even though a few seemed to be off-season for the BC region.
J: The fruits were sweet and delicious as Ed is trying to say. I believe their fruit came from the food distributor Sysco. But the fruit wasn’t the only ingredients to shine. The hollandaise sauce didn’t have the strongest taste but that was the whole purpose. It was meant to compliment, not overpower the other ingredients. I was quite pleased with the end result.
E: And like the hungry turkeys that we are, we gobbled everything up with very little to quibble over. I can see this dish being elevated to delicious heights had kale been used. Although heading out to their Saanich location is a bit out-of-the-way, it’s certainly worth the trip. Their Oak Bay location is easier for me to reach depending on where my departure point is. And in recalling what I wrote before and in seeing what both operations offer, yes half their meals are customizable. That is, you can add as many sides as you want to really pile drive that meal home.
J: The Village in Royal Oak is in a prime location for supplies. Not only do they have Red Barn Market nearby but the very best of produce is available at Glanford Greenhouses. They supply stores like Aubergine Specialty Foods. I’m going out on a limb here but the Village is one of those handful of restaurants that get it right. They offer great food, friendly services and they know how to serve my drinks, chilled with a twist of lime. Even James Bond would be pleased.
4½ blokes out of 5