128-560 Johnson St
Phone: (250) 590-2648
The difference between the different types of pizza available out there — Neapolitan, Sicilian and traditional American — is distinguished by what type of flour is used for the dough and what ingredients are used. For Neapolitan, San Marzano tomatoes must be used, and the Market Square based operation is Famoso for it. Okay, bad pun, but when this establishment is technically a franchise, neither James or I were quick or that highly interested in checking this place out when it came into business years ago. Now that I’m seeing this place is a permanent fixture, perhaps it’s finally time to check this place out and give a very late answer if Prima Strada should worry about their competition.
I say there’s none to be found. Very little overlap really exists. The Strada offers wood fired (and wonderfully scented) tastes whereas Famoso only reveals the fact their product is baked in a clay-shaped oven. I didn’t ask but I’d be curious in learning what form of heat is used. In a decades old building, I do not think allowing age-old techniques would be allowed by the fire marshal so adapting the space was important. When considering the Mexican place next door had a fire and closed down as a result, I’m sure safety is a huge concern.
622 Fisgard St
Phone: (250) 590-7687
E: Who would have thought Victoria, BC’s Chinatown is fully multi-cultural? By the Gate of Harmony, I can find French, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese dining options, and I’d be hard pressed to say which is better. In a warm summer night around the town, and both James and my hunger were unabated, I let my buddy choose where to go dine.
Enter Pho Vuong, a nice cozy little operation located at the basement floor of a building and it was right next to a Pokéstop! Yes, I’m still playing the mobile game Pokémon GO, but I’m not as hardcore. If there’s opportunities to eat and spin, why not?
J: I was entranced by the traditional Chinese music being played out of speakers attached to the Friendship Gate. It was my first time hearing it and it somehow added to the atmosphere of its location. But for fine dining, there wasn’t much in the way of choice late night. What was comforting to see was families who owned the restaurants or families and their employees sitting down for a good meal. This night had some magic in the air.
Molly Moon’s Ice Cream
The only difference between Victoria, BC’s Cold Comfort operation to Seattle, WA’s Molly Moon’s is perhaps the latter has several operations than one. The quality of the cream is similar (both are hand-crafted in store), the service is super friendly and the variety … perhaps the same. During a wet Pacific Northwest night, the craving for ice cream certainly hit me.
Now that summer is here, I’m reflecting on which ice cream parlors I miss. Both operations have a cozy place to hang out in, and I have to say they are equal in exceptional variety and quality!
Sustainability is key to both operation’s success. While there were issues with my home-based operation not able to provide exacting details to satisfy the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirement to provide sufficient labeling to sell in groceries, I’m sure at Molly Moon’s they could if they wanted to.
Ox King Noodles
780 Fisgard St
Phone: (778) 967-1022
J: After what was a great night on the town thanks in part to Capital 6 (now risen from the cinematic grave) and Starbucks on the corner of Fort and Blanshard, I was in a particular mood. As a single man would ask his date in for a nightcap I was looking to do the same with the food scene. There is a place I would walk by but would miss opportunities to investigate, Ox King Noodles.
Why it’s called that, I don’t know but I’m going to take a guess it has something to do with an astrological sign. But with Ox King Noodles one doesn’t need to see a sign to eat it, the smells should be enough.
E: I have often walked by this operation during my visits to the Victoria Public Market, and no, I was not James’ date. We both were craving Asian style noodles. Whether as pho’ or as ramen, the ox certainly delivers! I loved the noodles offered in their Vietnamese dishes. The kansui gave it a great chewy texture, and the meat slices had all the right notes for me to moo over.
787 Fort St
Phone: (778) 406-1787
I think too many Mexican “taco” centric diners are located too close to one another in Victoria, BC. When one operation is busy, the hungry taco consumer can easily walk across the street to another to find a place to sit down for a bite. Located within the same city block is La Taquisa, Tacofino. La Taqueria and La Fiesta Cafe. In terms which operation stands out, none of them truly do. Well, maybe La Fiesta since they have Mexi-Fries (taters), and a condiment station with freshly made toppings (which range from mild to hot) but for the others, they all tout the same thing: locally sourced ingredients. Each of them have their own spin.
Tacofino began their operation in Tofino, the west coast of Vancouver Island and have broadened to a large franchise operation which includes Vancouver. The others have their own stories, but in brief Taqueria is from the mainland and Taquisa is family-owned. Each have their own range of goods. I simply rolled a dice to decide where I wanted to go and landed on ‘fino for bite.
Broadmead Village Shopping Centre
Unit 425 – 777 Royal Oak Drive
Phone: (778) 265-3328
Located outside of downtown, Fūdo Japanese Restaurant is where Shingo Sana, the former head sushi chef from Omakase, continues his passion for creating fantastic Japanese dishes. The ambience at this bistro is modern than traditional, and the time spent within is quite pleasent. The service was great, as I got a full decanter of tea to keep me very satisfied. The prices are a little bit more than those in town, but for the tastes I’ve found, it’s worth every extra penny — especially with the fusion roll I tried.
I do not visit this part of the suburbs much, mostly because the mall does not offer the type of shopping I’m usually after (nerd type merchandise), but if sushi connoisseurs love what this culinary master can do, making the trip to the edge of town is worth it. Timing and knowing when he has specialty rolls (like the Bananacado or Lemon Drop which the March/April issue of EAT magazine mentioned) on the menu requires keeping an eye on their Facebook page (or going omakase here) if anyone is yearning for a specific taste.