Les Chocolats Favoris
1010 Government St
JS: Move over Beacon Drive-In, there is a new ice cream shop in town and they speak Québécois French. Can a bit of olde England (Victoria) stand up to the noveau French invasion? Personally, I will say Beacon has little to worry about. But careful, do not drop your guard. Do not take Favoris lightly. Sure Beacon has their own lightly creamed sweet ice cream but when the urges take over, now and again, I want a hearty ice cream that is less on cream but more filling. For these urges, I shall run to Les Chocolats Favoris.
ES: I like the fact that the president of this company, Dominique Brown, decided to open up shop here in Victoria instead of Vancouver. They are based out of Quebec and to have an operation here is a gamble. Over the summer, during the busy tourist season where a cruise ship stops by every few weeks, this place was busy! Of course, James and I were late in learning about it and we still wobbled our way over to try ice cream off-season.
The draw has to be with the size of the portions offered. When I was walking to the Inner Harbour later, some tourists gawked at what I had left and I pointed them to where they could buy one.
Stubborn Chef – 拉麵館
AsUsual Cafe – 老地方
3960 Shelbourne St
Only James can think Kuma Noodle Japan has the best ramen all around Victoria. He’s most likely right, but he’s not had the complete Japanese experience (I had it in Japan, a place he has yet to travel to). Yes, I’m relentless in teasing him about this fact and one year, we will visit the Land of the Rising Sun to sample the food together. Back in Victoria, in the meantime, competitors eventually will emerge to challenge my buddy’s statement.
Trying to schedule his willingness to go out with my Pokémon GO adventures (I need to fuel up somehow) is like dragging a closet gamer out of the comfort of his own home to see the light, er sun.
We have tried a few places together. Foo Ramen Bar has been running for a while and unless you know which Japanese restaurants to go to, they will have this common staple buried along with the Udon and Soba. Next to the Victoria Public Market downtown is Ox King Noodles. In Gordon Head, The Stubborn Chef specializes in a variety of noodles. James finally checked out this place during one of his rare departures from Langford. By then, I’ve been here for the third time. Interestingly, the chef is a third generation noodle-maker. He’s been trained by the best and I’m glad he’s settling into the Gordon Head culinary landscape. The folks who ran this operation used to operate out of Chinatown in the past five years. And when it was sold a few years ago, I’m assuming the change of pace is because this municipality is closer to home. There’s less distance to travel. I’m thinking the owner/operator is taking a cue from James’ book. Why travel far when you can enjoy the comforts of home?
Scoozis Bar and Grill
445 Howe St,
J: On a holiday weekend in Vancouver, one would think many places would still open for business given this city’s rather large population. Much to my chagrin, there were two options: Starbucks and a local Italian eatery called Scoozis. I bet you can guess what location I chose. And I’ll also bet you know how that decision turned out.
E: I recall having problems finding breakfast outside of my hotel from a previous trip. When I’m staying near the Vancouver Convention Center, it’s even worse. In this visit, especially when considering Canada Day was a few days ago, well it’s time to simply go for what’s open. I could have suggested a Vietnamese place that I tried years before, but I absolutely had no interest in returning there. Fortunately, the Italian flavour can have me shouting, “Che bello!”
1115 N Park St #2
I miss being able to buy Cold Comfort Ice Cream at nearby outlets like The Root Cellar. This dessert is made in small batches and the unique flavour combinations are what makes this brand special. Ever since the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came in to say this product can not be sold elsewhere due to insufficient labelling (it did not conform to legislative standards), I have to visit the shop in the North Park neighbourhood of Downtown Victoria.
The issue came down last year in December and my craving for this local delicacy did not hit until recently. I discovered on their Facebook page photos showing rose water and lavender flavoured delights. I crossed my finger and hoped those were still available. I love the exotic flavours this local company offers! There’s a texture in their products not created by other brands. I love it when companies innovate. Ben and Jerry has competition!
The fact that Cold Comfort’s base of operations offers ice cream mashed in between cookies, graham crackers or a doughnut only cemented my need to visit sooner than later. I don’t want to wait for the Spring or Summer months to arrive to sate my taste buds.
Recently, they’ve been offering some unique flavours like Earl Grey and Blueberry Swirl. I wanted to savour every remaining bit off my plate. Anyone watching me would think I’m making love with the pottery. While those type of manners do not fly, is what I’m doing wrong? I ordered this cream sandwiched between a doughnut supplied by Empire Doughnuts.
On a cool night, even at the start of Spring, this company’s product certainly hits the spot. The store is open late on Fridays for the dating crowd, and who cares if I arrived alone. When I need to embrace Cold Comfort, I’m just there. With this place also selling Emile’s Organic Bread and Four Quarters Meats for sturdier meals, I may come here instead of hitting the grocery store for loading up on snacks for my trip to Seattle next month!
Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts
4071 Shelbourne Street
J: There’s a trendy dessert shop in Gordon Head that may be borrowing a lot of sweet ideas from Hong Kong. I have never seen the like of this place in Victoria before and I certainly welcome it.
This suburb is a fitting location since it’s known as hub for Asian residents. The first thing I noticed in this establishment’s decor are the bright yellow painted walls, the tight-fitting chairs and the photos on the walls. I don’t think they were built to hold my big ass.
E: I’m surprised James didn’t hit anything … no wait, he did play bumper shoot as we navigated the tables to our seat. I laughed and the staff giggled.
Since opening a few years ago, it’s become quite the spot for local Asian youth. One of my female friends love coming here and I’d frequent this place more if it wasn’t for the fact I’m careful in how much sweets I eat during a single month. This place is worth visiting to sate a sweet tooth!
Mind you, I’ve always thought the desserts I tasted when I visited Japan were far more innovative and this operation has changed my mind. For a while, I thought it’s hard to beat a bunny eared donut. But over in Hong Kong, there’s plenty of interesting delights too. Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts is importing those ideas over everyone to enjoy!
18427 International Blvd.
18000 International Blvd. #113
When people are having a layover at Sea-Tac Airport and can’t really stray far, the options in what to eat nearby does not have to be limited to what’s contained within the busy lounge. Airport food is expensive and you hardly get the quality expected. As recently expressed on Reddit in a photo that went viral, one traveler bought one heck of a joke of a sandwich. If only he was able to go elsewhere. If time allows for leaving the terminal, especially at Seatac, the hotels nearby have their own in-house restaurants and five blocks further is Taco Time, Jack in the Box and Denny’s. They’re no better, but if you have coupons and enough time to head there, a fast snack can be purchased that can put that sandwich to shame.
When I was in the area, the question that ran in in my mind was in whether I could dine as cheaply as possible. The dollar exchange was not with me on this recent trip, but I had to be in SeaTac for a Doctor Who convention! The hotel chosen for this show makes sense for the people flying in from Britain. They don’t have to deal with the busy highway to get to the venue. Two operations caught my eye as I staked out the area. Both are popular amongst locals and of the two, I’d come back again to one more than the other.