Pocky or Pepero? The Tough Decisions

Candy coated breadsticks are a staple of the Asian snack industry and the Pocky brand is the most well known. From green tea chocolate flavour to almond coated, the only limit is in which tastes are exported out of country for consumers to taste. Not every flavour has been made available, and what I found in Japan ages ago took a year or two before I can find it in North America.

When Fairway Market started carrying Pepero (by Lotte), I felt torn. There were flavours I wanted to try from this South Korean brand but I was loyal to Pocky. The choice simply boils down to just that and eventually I’d had to try. As for which tastes better, the difference is hardly noticeable. It’s more of a consumer choice.

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Pie One in Victoria and Bubby Rose’s

Bubby Rose’s
1022 Cook St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 7am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 472-8229

Bubby Rose’s Bakery is an operation that needs multiple visits in order to appreciate its wide and varied menu. Unless I’m going to Langham Court Theatre for a show, I have to make the trek to the edge of town for a bite. During Victoria Fringe Festival time, it’s worth the 6-minute walk up and down the hill to grab a bite. I snagged a slice of pizza in one visit, but I feel this is not enough to judge. At another time, I had their egg salad and it’s tops! To go through the list, it’s nearly fruitless–this place is a must. I highly recommend the Bubbymosa. It’s a curry baked into a wonderfully tasty pastry!

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There’s a La Tana between Fan Tan Alley and Market Square

la tana IMG_20151017_133023409La Tana Italian Bakery
101-3 Fan-Tan Alley
Chinatown
Victoria, BC
(250) 920-6213

La Tana is a bakery located a few doors away from Fan Tan Alley‘s south side entrance and when I was crossing the street from Market Square to head to Triple Spiral, I was detoured away by the luxurious smells that emerged out of here. The lunch time crowd was fairly sizable, and when the sandwiches are made out of fresh ciabatta bread, I can understand why this place is popular.

Not only is the owner raised on traditional values when he was growing up in Italy but also he gave up a more brilliant career (he was to be a computer programmer) to focus on his love for bread. I can see why with the scents that drew me in like a mouse to cheese, and with plenty of baked snacks lining the displays, I was tempted to get more than just a sandwich on this visit. Each day presents a different variety of baked sweets and I thought about grabbing some Lingues and Pizza Blancas.

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Fol Epi and the Yates Street Eater’s Bonanza!

fol epi IMG_4093Fol Epi
732 Yates St,
Victoria, BC
(778) 265-6311

Yates street is truly becoming a diner’s paradise. On one side of the street is Foo Asian Street Food, Hernande’z and Yates Street Taphouse. And on the other side is Cenote, Efes, Brickyard Pizza and Fol Epi, the latter being the latest occupant to a very busy street in what I consider to be the true downtown core of Victoria, BC. James will hate me, but Sushi Plus doesn’t count. They offer cheap Japanese treats, but my experiences here is less than stellar when nearly most of their offerings just does not have the flavour intensity I enjoy.

During the Victoria Film Festival, I found myself coming to Fol for more than just one quick bite. They have sandwiches I can buy on the go, macaroons to sneak into the theatre and a brunch that I should return to sampling. I’m more intrigued with their evening dining, but I have yet to look at their menu. I’m told everything is sourced locally, and that’s enough to get me curious. Next time I’m here, I’ll have to pick up some of their home-made sausages and pepperonis to make sandwiches at home.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin Pie-Off, Charlie Brown!

Victoria Pie Co.
770 Fisgard Street
Victoria, B.C.
(250) 885-5220

Lunn’s Bakery Deli & Coffee Shop
2453 Beacon Ave.
Sidney, B.C.
(250) 656-1724

Thanksgiving is upon Canada and while most folks enjoy a great oven roasted meal with family, I’m thinking about which of the two pumpkin pies I’ve sampled so far is the best. To be honest, I know more bakeries should be involved in this impromptu taste testing challenge, but until I hear about more great places to find pie, this particular verdict is going to be a bit biased.

Perhaps in the future, the test will include more bakeries that offer a great pie (sorry, but if you’re a grocery store chain, you’re not in the running). I could have gone to Dutch Bakery to add them to the list, but I don’t find everything they make to be exceptional. Hopefully readers will submit their choices of a little known bakeries that I’m not aware of that can challenge my taste buds.

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A Foodie’s Take on Victoria Vintage Expo

1026 Cardinal Way
Qualicum Beach, BC
(250) 752-3637
Kelowna Farmer’s Market
Kelowna, BC
(250) 899-4559

The Victoria Vintage Expo is a natural evolution of everything that the Victoria Vintage Fair offers. It’s far more festive because of the entertainment that’s offered throughout the day, and for people looking to see what’s trending, the two different fashion shows on both days is a plus. I’ve been to a few of the smaller shows just to check it out and the difference is very evident. I’d have to say the Vintage Expo is like a mini-convention because information panels were offered.

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