When Cravings Are Tough to Satisfy at Cinnaholic

20211027_173335Cinnaholic
#102 – 535 Yates St
Victoria, BC 

Hours: Sun to Sat: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Menu: cinnaholicvictoria.ca
Phone: (778) 265-2564

ES: Don’s the real Cinnaholic between us, and when a operation (technically, it’s a franchise) opened up in town, we pondered when to sample their wares. They boast freshly made cinnamon rolls which can be decked out anyway you want. I counted more than a dozen possibilities, and all I can say is wunderbar! Or should that be cinnabar? Okay, so the joke doesn’t work….

It’s often cold and wet in Victoria these days. To nibble on anything warm is required when out on the town late at night.

DK: Cinnamon buns are like cars, as soon as you drive them off the lot they start to lose value. A bun can be a 10/10 fresh out of the oven, but a 3/10 by midday. Also if you park a cinnamon bun in a bad neighbourhood you want to make sure not to leave any change lying around in the frosting.

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From Farm to Tractor(ing) Everyday Healthy Foods at the Inner Harbour

Tractor Foods · Everyday Healthy FoodsTractor Everyday Healthy Foods
805 Government St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Mon to Sun 8:00am to 8:00pm
Phone: (778) 247-0354

Menu: tractorfoods.com

ES: From sandwich shop to soup kitchen (if it can be called that), the deli turned health food stop certainly knows how to serve the soups and stews up warm and fresh. They also know keeping a few luncheon staples folded between breads is still important. The operation is now known as Tractor. They have farm fresh in mind, and my meal was cozy enough to warm me up on a wet day while downtown Victoria, BC.

DK: While waiting for Ed a young man in a suit passed by along Government Street. Not a suit, suit. More an “I’m here for a conference and I need to look fresh and clean when the gang goes out on the town” suit. Anyway, while striding by one of his companions asked if he’d ever been to Tractor, and what his opinion was. “Nice aesthetic, but pretty expensive,” was the man on the street’s reply.

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Cats and Coffee? What Can Go Wrong?

cats logo.pngCat’s Coffee & Cake
1213 Douglas St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Phone: (250) 590-1699
Website: https://www.catscoffeecake.com/

This cat certainly wants to come back to the cafe on Douglas Street because of the treats and sweets offered. Not only is the company logo designed by local artist Gareth Gaudin, but also I figure it’s his favourite hangout spot when not behind the till at Legends Comics. I believe they also offer catering services too, which is a bonus for any downtown operation wanting to support local enterprises. 

20210822_151441

I was feeling peckish the day I was in town. The signboard detailing Cat’s Coffee & Cake specials caught my eye. Kimchi and bacon in a croissant sandwich? I knew it’d be a flavourful combination, but there was a small lineup. I had another errand to do and when I returned, there was none. 

At first I thought I’d be entering a cafe with cute felines around, but alas, that’s another operation in the works (Mask and Mantle Cat Cafe are still searching for the ideal location to set up shop). This operation is apparently a passion project of master pastry chef Yi Catherine Yang who decided to set up shop in the busiest intersection of Downtown Victoria. She’s well known in China as the host of several TV cooking shows. Through these programs, she’s been promoting culture through the exchange of how to make up flavourful treats. While she may not be living in this city and working this particular kitchen (her resume lists her as the creative force behind New York’s Gigi Blue), to have her endorsement is enough.

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How to Savor the Moment at Saveur Restaurant

20210807_173946Saveur Restaurant
658 Herald St

Victoria, BC

Hours:
Thurs 5–9p.m.
Fri-Sun: 12–9p.m.

Menu: saveurrestaurant.ca
Phone: (250) 590-9251

ES: Tasty morsels can be found at Saveur Restaurant, located not too far from the cosmopolitan Victoria Chinatown. The location is not really off the beaten path, but is tucked within the same block where Brasserie L’Ecole is also located. My guess is that the city blocks around this former Asian area may well be our city’s answer to an “International District.”

DK: The extent to which Saveur fits into a real or imagined “International District” is seen in some of their menu items over the years. A menu from 2017 showcases “Pakora Battered Broccoli” with Ponzu. A previous version of the house chicken wings was served with “Louisiana Style Remoulade.” The house wings are now “Korean BBQ Wings.”

Viewing the menu as a marketing tool, what remains constant from the earlier years of Saveur to now is “local” items sitting next to “international” flavours (would you like “Chilled Soba Noodles” with miso for lunch? Or perhaps just a salad made with “Mason Street Greens”). What has changed is tourist-pleaser type fare (fish tacos, a burger and a pork belly sandwich) replacing multi-course tasting menus.

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More Eateries are Abound Near Trounce Alley

TRES GOURMET, Victoria - Updated 2021 Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone  Number - TripadvisorTres Gourmet Bakery & Cafe
1280 Broad St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Tues-Sat 7am – 4pm
Phone: (778) 433-8737

Tucked away in a side-street is a block of nothing but tres bonne eats. On one side is West Coast Waffles, and the other, many an eatery along Trounce Alley (Bodega Bar, apa Bar and Parks Kitchen).

Tres Gourmet Bakery and Cafe is a stop few will make when the scents from the alley enticing. But I wanted something quick, and the coffees by themselves are tops! They serve all the types–including Red Eye–and it’d be an article to explore how they make ‘em with heart.

Instead, this stop is comforting. There isn’t a lot of outdoor seating options (it’s limited in the tight street known as Broad, ironically enough). Indoors, the tables are presently arranged so there’s plenty of space for those social distancing. But for me, it made me feel like I was in the Roman Pantheon. That wasn’t their intent, as the design is more minimalist modern than classic, but I could also sit for a spell to read Lilo and the Samurai volume two before it was time before my appointment to get my second vaccine shot. Yes, soon Don and I can check out places a bit more frequently since masks aren’t as mandatory.

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The Oni Way to Ed’s Heart is with Rice Balls

20210331_165259Oni-Oni
585 Johnson St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Tues-Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Phone: (778) 432-0664

Yes, I make no bones about it, I love rice balls. A long time ago, a Chinese-style variant included a deep-fried type where the gooey cheese interior made for all the difference. This was before I discovered Onigiri, a healthier Japanese snacking version to which I’ve never looked back in my switch.

Oni-Oni is a satellite operation of Sakura Sushi and is a place I’ll definitely return to when I need my sweet rice vinegar fix! They have fifteen flavours of onigiri to choose from! Not all of them are always available, but if you call ahead, it’s possible to get what you want made to order. Eating one is not enough, and for a hearty individual like me, I can eat up to four of them in one go. These bites are like snacks, and aren’t the huge ones people sometimes see in anime. They’re about the same size as the ones bought at Fujiya’s on Shelbourne. Plus, this store has Okashi and Nomimono too!

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