Victoria Fringe Festival 2019 and 12 Picks!

August 21 to Sept 1
Victoria, BC

The last days of Summer are almost here, and it’ll soon be time to do the Victoria Fringe Festival! This event has been defining the local arts scene for the past 34 or so years now with its unjuried selection of local and travelling acts. To see fond favourite performers return is always a joy.

However, to end the month, this party is one way to lounge around in the garden city (located on the tip of Vancouver Island). I try to grab a snack between shows and next up will be an updated list of where to get quick bites. On Labour Day—the busiest time of the 12 day event—the fuel runs are needed to keep anyone going. Some theatre-goers like to Fringe Binge.

Personally, I like to space my thrills out.

This year, my list of must see shows include (to buy tickets, please click on link): Continue reading

Many Years in the Making, Nautical Nellies o’er the Years

1001 Wharf St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 11:15a.m.–9:30p.m.
Phone: (250) 380-2260

Quite literally, this article has been years in the making. Many, many moons ago James Shaw took me out for a birthday meal at Nautical Nellies. I asked if he was sure and I’d like to turn this into our next article for our blog. He agreed. As he once wrote, “His idea of what that means is equal to an expensive dinner for the man whose tastes know no boundaries. This year’s outing was Nautical Nellies or as I would call it Naughty Nellies cause it felt like I was giving money to an exotic dancer.”

We started to do some writing and for no reason whatsoever, he never finished his part of that article. Don’t ask me why. Maybe he didn’t want to be reminded of that night?

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Buzz On Over To The Hive

The Hive
1275 Fairfield Rd
Victoria, British Columbia

Phone: 778-432-4483
Hours: 11:30am to 8pm
(Closed Sundays)

DK: Ed has been waiting for me to start this review for almost as long as Fairfield Fish and Chips was in operation. He will have many more opportunities to nibble away at my procrastination. The days of fish and chips and roses, however, are over.

Hive Eatery took over Fairfield F&C’s old digs back in August. The chip shop was once heralded as slanging the best burger in town. So yah, they left some shoes and nostalgic neighbourhood cranks are gonna be looking to the Hive to extend their toes right to the seams of said shoes.

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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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Foraging at the Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe

Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe
1527 Amelia St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 9 – 5 p.m.
Phone: (250) 385-5509

ES: The Cook & Pan is an out of the way Polish cafe. They were formerly located out by Cook Street proper but now they’re off Amelia Street. A social media post highlighting their delicious sausages was not the draw, but when I saw they’re offering a dill pickle soup, not only was my interest piqued but my mouth was already watering. No drool bucket was needed.

After a late morning film with Don at the Vic Theatre during the Victoria Film Festival, I asked if we should seek out brunch.

DK: Ed proposed and I said yes! To brunch! Put a bacon ring on my finger, Ed and rip that pierogi garter from my no-longer teasing ankle!

Speaking of love and desire: Ed’s lusting after dill pickle soup was matched by my limerent euphoria upon finding dessert pierogies in the Cook and Pan freezer (blueberry variety).

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Clucking In with Masutama Ramen

Marutama Ramen
270 Robson St,
Vancouver, BC V6B 0E7

Phone: (604) 687-0487
Hours: 11:30am–10pm

Like McDonald’s, ramen shops are popping up nearly everywhere, no matter how big the town is. I saw more had sprung up in the downtown core of Vancouver when I was here last. Yes, I admit this blog has become a noodle haven lately, and I go where my stomach tells me to visit. A change will happen soon, I promise!

On the path to Rogers Arena, there were at three places I could hit. Masutama Ramen opened a year and a half ago and is making waves. They offer a chicken-based broth over the usual pork. The taste takes getting used to and when roasted onions are added on top, the blend made sipping the broth a joy. On its own, it’s very rich and really needed toning down.

The noodles were savoury enough and portioned on the low side, which made me realize I should have ordered a double to fill me up. Yes, I have to live up to “Too Hungry” somehow, and on a cold winter evening, it was needed! I’d rather not pay the inflated prices for food or liquid products within the concert venue.

Doubling up on the succulent cha-shu was on the nose. Its smoky flavour was only enhanced by the broth. The egg was well prepared and was perhaps soaked in soy beforehand to give it the brown outer skin. Unlike traditional seaweed, this operation uses sea lettuce, which made for a different ramen eating experience.

Their dumplings are not quite on par with The Gyoza Bar. They were crispy enough to satisfy, and again, I needed two orders than one to sate the craving within me. Patrons usually do not linger in a ramen bar for long. They want a nice hot meal and be out as soon as possible. During lunch-time, I imagine this place has a high turnover. On the later parts of the days, it’s possible to linger around and wait for friends to show up. I was meeting Ira Hunter of Absolute Underground Magazine, and by the time he arrived, I had finished.

My advice: when dining with friends, make sure you all show up at the same time. These bowls are served quick. By the time others show up, you may be done and be craving for more.

3½ Blokes out of 5