Chuck’s Burger Bar
538 Yates St
Hours: Tues-Sun: 12–10PM
Phone: (250) 590-9866
While parts of the world are still in lockdown because of a pandemic, a few places remain as busy as ever. At Chuck’s Burger Bar, that overdue visit to see now they are doing more than a year later was a must. I’ve visited a few times prior, mostly for take out but not much has changed since.
Last month, I visited with other friends. We rented Quasars Arcade for some personal retro gaming time (it’s a great deal when split between friends and the machines are set to endless play). We were all experiencing cabin fever when wave two struck Victoria, BC. It was a week later when news about the UK variant hitting the island made me think twice…. For this blog, I’ll be expanding the content to include food product reviews, films about foodie culture and posts about my last adventure in Seattle’s food scene. I’m thankful I saved a few pieces for this eventuality.
626 Fisgard St
Hours: Mon to Sat 12–8:30pm
Phone: (250) 590-8688
ES: Ni Bao should be the name instead of Bao for this Chinese/Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant, but how many would get the joke? Unlike a traditional ramen restaurant where they shout, Irasshaimase to every customer, here in Chinatown, not even a traditional Ni Hao (as it should be said) is heard. I can forgive this operation since they offer various kinds of mixed cuisine. I had to finally see what the fuss is about with Bao. I always see them advertising in festival guides and suggested to Don we have to finally check this place out.
DK: “Don’t Cha wish your girlfriend was hot like meee,” yahh, that’s the song in my head. Not sure why. Not really relevant at all to this review. I haven’t even heard the song in like seven years. But you know, sometimes you just have to go where life takes.
The Vicious Poodle
726 Johnson St,
Weekdays Noon to 10pm
Weekends: 11:00am to 10pm
On a quiet day, nobody would immediately know the Vicious Poodle pub is one of the new centres where LGBTQ can find terrific eats and enjoy an evening burlesque or drag show. One look at the menu, the focus is obvious. Also, the decor tells all. After my visit to nerd row, I was hungry and didn’t want to hit any of my regular food spots.
Any dining operation can struggle to stay afloat during a pandemic. Not every patron is willing to “come out” to support their favourite diner, especially with all the stay safe for your health restrictions in place. When owner/operator Socrates Diamant worked on converting the Sockeye Sushi Japanese diner (it had a lot of box seating) space and made it open spaced and inviting, my heterosexuality was not challenged. Instead, I saw my quest for perfect French fries ongoing. After the first bite, I was ready to sing ou la la and do the can-can.
Sült Pierogi Bar
609 Yates St
Thurs- Sat: Noon to 8pm
Phone: (778) 265-7858
Although not young by any means, a certain Pierogi Bar is hardly an old Sült. I’ve been meaning to try them out and they’re roughly a few years old. I’m not always interested in dumplings–there’s so much variety and it’s tough to beat mom’s wonton’s. Gyozas are a different manner, but for the traditional European version, I’m sure this place is terrific. However, after seeing that they’ve partnered with Papa’s Poutinerie, I had to walk in.
Going west–to downtown–has an all new meaning. It felt like I was entering a cowboy saloon. Although the operation was very empty at the time I was there (it was just as the city was entering stage two of reopening), the staff there was very friendly and I daydreamed “How the West Was Won” as I glanced at the menu. Food-wise, this meal was a poutine with garlic, bacon, cheese curds, sour cream, green onions and smoked sausage gravy piled on top. It was superb!
… will not prevent me from “breaking” quarantine to get my spot prawn on! It started this month for a variety of reasons, and when CTV News even reported the lineups on the mainland, all was quiet in my corner of the world at the operation where I get my seafood fresh. The succulent sweetness of this little crustacean is all I need to think about to make a beeline to Finest at Sea to pick up at least a pound’s worth for dinner tonight.
Along the way, I stopped by Imagine Studio Café for brunch–to get a bannock sammich–since I was waiting for the food truck in front of Finest to open. They have more take out random delights. The menu can vary day by day and as the name implies, it’s more of a learning environment for newcomers to the restaurant industry. Anyone who wants to cook up a storm here can.
No it’s not the Crisis of Infinite Earths or anything as big. During this time where many Victorians are self-isolating because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the choice to head out to even satisfy the simplest of cravings is not without some danger. Thankfully, some operations are coming to the rescue! In addition to Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Door Dash bringing your favourite meals to you, just what else is there?
We need to support our local small businesses! With reduced sales and no customers coming into the stores, some have decided to change their hours of operations. It’s believed some will not even return at all. Up and along Johnson Street are a bunch of wonderful shops; to satisfy the geek side of me, Curious Comics is offering delivery of their stock, Legends Comics has pick up at their door and a few others are following in the footsteps of the latter operation. The diners here are suffering the most.