DK: Victoria, BC’s North Park Multicultural Festival is unique for a couple reasons:
- Vendors aren’t charged any fees
- It’s explicitly marketed as culturally diverse.
Does this make the quarterly event wildly different from any of the other market-type events hosted throughout the CRD? I certainly hoped it would!
ES: I wasn’t aware of this event until Don told me, and I suspect it started up when health restrictions were lifted to allow for such gatherings. Out by my neck of the woods, Saanich, we also have a similar type of show but do I really want to go to Uptown Mall?
Downtown is a better choice–North Park is west of the city core, and it’s a beautiful area with a handful of diners and other goodness to wander around in.
With this event at Royal Athletic Park, it took up one side more than to use the baseball diamond field. All I can say is batter up! Don and I were there to see what was offered, and there were some interesting goods that I could’ve picked up, but I wanted to fill up instead. I didn’t have breakfast.
Inner Harbour Causeway
790 Government St
Phone: (236) 838-4091
Hours: Thurs to Sun 11am to 5pm
ES: Hot Dog Hu$tlin expanded their operations from Vancouver sometime ago and after talking to the owner/operator, he said they are often the competitors to Japadog. They were the talk of the town for the North Van.
I’m glad they came to sell at Victoria’s First Annual Prawn and Fiddler Festival, as that was the scent that drew Don and me towards the cart when we patrolled the area before the official start of the event. It wasn’t just the scents of the bratwurst and the grill that had my spider sense tingling!
DK: If I were more prone to hyperbole, I would encourage Ed to title this post “Angry Protesters Clash With Security, Disrupt First Annual Spot Prawn and Fiddle Festival.”
But that is not the real story of this promising new event. True, three young protesters were escorted out of the park shortly after the festival started, but most people missed whatever their message was. My advice to young activists: make sure your banner is facing the crowd when you’re being whisked away.
Maybe next year we’ll all learn why listening to fiddle music while sucking down prawns and watching youth rugby makes us bad people. For now, however, blissful ignorance! The real story of this year’s event was a large crowd got the chance to enjoy some damn good BBQ spot prawns.
ES: June 12th marked the end of the season for harvesting these sweet, lovely crustaceans, and I’m going to miss them. Technically, one can buy them in the freezer section, but there’s no denying when they’re from the ocean to the tanks to the grill, the taste difference is enormous!
950 Yates St
Hours: Open every day from 11:30 am to 9:00pm (10 on weekends)
Phone: (778) 265-9150
ES: Don’t ask me why, but when Don suggested we check out Boomtown for some fancy Mexican style food, I had to cue up Vengaboys to listen to while downtown. It’s a diner located opposite the Harris-Green Shopping Centre, and it can easily be missed by those who aren’t looking.
DK: We spent the night together, watching Sandra Bullock search for a hidden tomb in the movie afterwards.
Boomtown is in a spot that has housed a revolving door of different cafes, food trucks, and weed dispensaries over the last decade. Back in 2013, the Refiner Diner was parked in this spot, and I still have fond memories of their burger (Ed gave it a 4/5 way back when). Does Boomtown carry on the 950 Yates legacy in style? Ed, what say you?
1609 Store St
Hours: Weds to Sat 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (250) 590-9821
DK: We were primed from the minute we sat down. This was not just any ramen joint. Not just any noodles. No, this ramen was the result of worldwide wanderlusting and the serendipitous discovery of handmade noodles in a small island city. I haven’t a clue what sort of noodles other ramen joints in town use, but the story we heard at tableside certainly made Ghost Ramen sound unique.
The noodle recipe comes from former engineer, accountant and filmmaker turned restaurateur Greg Masuda. He operates a shop in Courtenay and noodles are shipped from there to Victoria. After trying ramen all over the world, Ghost Ramen co-owner Jason Chan says Greg’s noodles are some of the best he’s ever had. So, like I said, Ed and I were primed to feel like we were about to eat something special.
#102 – 535 Yates St
Hours: Sun to Sat: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Phone: (778) 265-2564
ES: Don’s the real Cinnaholic between us, and when a operation (technically, it’s a franchise) opened up in town, we pondered when to sample their wares. They boast freshly made cinnamon rolls which can be decked out anyway you want. I counted more than a dozen possibilities, and all I can say is wunderbar! Or should that be cinnabar? Okay, so the joke doesn’t work….
It’s often cold and wet in Victoria these days. To nibble on anything warm is required when out on the town late at night.
DK: Cinnamon buns are like cars, as soon as you drive them off the lot they start to lose value. A bun can be a 10/10 fresh out of the oven, but a 3/10 by midday. Also if you park a cinnamon bun in a bad neighbourhood you want to make sure not to leave any change lying around in the frosting.