Chestnuts or Peanuts Roasting on an Open Fire?

At the close of winter, I should have chestnuts roasting on an open fire to keep Jack Frost staying outside and not knocking at my door. The current COVID-10 crisis has many restaurants closing early or only offering take out. With many governments encouraging their citizens to stay at home until the situation is in control, yes this foodie review site will have to look into other creative options to continue generating content.

Fortunately, a few restaurants have been visited before the outbreak and they will be published alongside product reviews of snacking options I find at grocery stores; there’s usually something new to discover (especially at Fairway Market) to sample! That’s provided this operation can import them in.

Whether fresh-roasted garlic peanuts can help build my immunity or not, the added flavour will certainly give me a mild garlic breath! When I first discovered Watson Enterprises‘ LJK-Peanuts (Garlic Flavour), it was out of curiousity. When I was in Vancouver, T&T Markets had them in ample supply and buying two bags to return to Victoria with were not enough!

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[Victoria Film Festival 2020] Sovereign Soil, A Preview

Screening at the Victoria Film Festival with the director in attendance.

Feb 13 at 5:30 p.m.
The Vic Theatre
808 Douglas St,

Feb 15 at 12:15 p.m.
SilverCity Cinema #3,
3130 Tillicum Rd

If there’s one thing viewers can learn about Sovereign Soil, I firmly believe it’s in the pioneering spirit of those attempting to harvest where agriculture does not come easy. The area around the tiny sub-Arctic town of Dawson City, Yukon is not exactly the easiest land to work in. Some claim it is very rich in nutrients to grow crops in, but to toil hard to find those spots require more than using divining rods and laying a claim. Thankfully, the weather around here is not always cold year-round.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia, er Chiba! Vying more Sushi back in Victoria, BC

Chiba Sushi
2706 Government St
Victoria, BC

Hours:
Mon.-Tue., Thu. 11:30a.m.–2:30p.m.
and 4:30–9:30p.m. (Sat & Sun only)

Phone: (250) 383-9886

ES: For most of my life when challenging Victoria, BC’s crazy 7 point intersection and figuring out which way am I going, I always see Chiba Sushi. The thought of going into this operation crossed my mind and at least that decision is easier to make. This restaurant is cozy and blends a bit of the traditional–dining in a booth (shoes are taken off before entering)–with the modern. The atmosphere is better than that of  a wayfarer station. This place is almost overlooked because of its location. It’s been around for as long as I can remember. It may be older than me!

DK: I was 19 the last time I went to Chiba Sushi. New to town, and a tad naïve. I brought along a co-worker. I hoped it might be a date. She forgot her wallet. Her boyfriend picked her up. It was not a date. Ed, however, showed up with a cash card in hand and promised me his popcorn refill at a movie later. True love comes to those who wait, or popcorn and a friend at least.

Let’s continue to focus on the positive: Chiba makes a number of unique special rolls that are surprisingly satisfying. We sampled four rolls; the Mango and the Phoenix being clear winners. Both options are constructed similarly: something sweet, something tempura, something from the sea and some avocado. A winning flavour combo in both instances.

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[Seattle, WA] Surfing Over to Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

83 Spring St
Seattle, WA 98104

Hours: 11 am to 11 pm
Phone: (206) 340-8880

I should not be surprised that Seattle is becoming much more like Victoria, BC at every new visit I make. Yes, I’ve been spending my holidays here and that’s because this city is easy to reach, and not all that expensive to get there. The food can be pricey at times, but the less I spend on transportation, the more can be explored with various operations here. I feel more Japanese eateries exists in this city per square block than any other. Competition is stiff, and I don’t feel the need to return my go to places when there’s more to discover every visit.

Nijo is a comfortable place to have something old and something new. I had dishes which were not the staples for many a meal. Yes, I can get tired of tuna and salmon fast.

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[Seattle, WA] Dethroning the Crawfish King

The Crawfish King
725 S Lane St
Seattle, WA

Hours: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
Phone: (206) 623-3622

Eating too much fried food, as anyone will tell you, is bad for your health. With The Crawfish King, my advice is to be prepared for a lot of exercise in the week after dining here. On one side of the menu is tons of crispy goodness. The basket allows for one main course and two sides (thank god they have soup and salads). On the other, a boil, has a lot of seafood offered up somewhat Louisiana style. I should have gone for that instead. When my plus sized friends love their grease, the smell was almost overwhelming but it gave me an opportunity to try nearly everything this operation offers.

Sadly, the menu does not list prices. Anything from the sea is based on current market value for such goodies as crawfish, shrimp, lobster and etc. It’s easy enough to ask, but was I prepared to pay more than $50 for a meal? Sure, if I was sharing with friends. On my own, I could do it, and have leftovers for the next day. Next time, that will be my plan.

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A Touch of Home at Red Brick Cafe in Sidney, BC

Red Brick Cafe
2423 Beacon Ave #106
Sidney, BC

Phone: (250) 655-1822
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When I’m in a rush to the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminus to my next great adventure (which I’ve been doing a lot more of lately), not a lot of options for a quick stop for a meal exists. When trying to make the first ferry of the day, it’s nearly impossible to grab a warm breakfast. I could pay more and charge into the Pacific Buffet lounge on the boat–which is what I often do–but I was with friends this day and they were on a tighter budget than I was for what to grab to eat.

A taste of home-made and no thrills can found in the early mornings in Sidney, BC. That was the consensus with the pals I was with. We enjoyed the morning sea breeze, chatted about our plans for the geek fest we were headed to while sipping fancy coffees–varying from lattes to expressos to basic (for me, anyway).

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