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.
2706 Government St
Mon.-Tue., Thu. 11:30a.m.–2:30p.m.
and 4:30–9:30p.m. (Sat & Sun only)
Phone: (250) 383-9886
ES: For most of my life when challenging Victoria, BC’s crazy 7 point intersection and figuring out which way am I going, I always see Chiba Sushi. The thought of going into this operation crossed my mind and at least that decision is easier to make. This restaurant is cozy and blends a bit of the traditional–dining in a booth (shoes are taken off before entering)–with the modern. The atmosphere is better than that of a wayfarer station. This place is almost overlooked because of its location. It’s been around for as long as I can remember. It may be older than me!
DK: I was 19 the last time I went to Chiba Sushi. New to town, and a tad naïve. I brought along a co-worker. I hoped it might be a date. She forgot her wallet. Her boyfriend picked her up. It was not a date. Ed, however, showed up with a cash card in hand and promised me his popcorn refill at a movie later. True love comes to those who wait, or popcorn and a friend at least.
Let’s continue to focus on the positive: Chiba makes a number of unique special rolls that are surprisingly satisfying. We sampled four rolls; the Mango and the Phoenix being clear winners. Both options are constructed similarly: something sweet, something tempura, something from the sea and some avocado. A winning flavour combo in both instances.
10 Acres Bistro
811 Courtney St
Phone: (250) 220-8008
I feel home at the range here, at 10 Acres Bistro. Part of their menu change on a seasonal basis, and it makes visiting every once in a while different. When they source straight from the farm, some of what’s offered for meals are on a limited basis. And they arrive at the table all dressed up with only one place to go–my stomach! I find the Fall season offers a lot more delectable delights than the late Winter, but it all depends.
One time I went here was for one of the Victoria Film Festival‘s launch party for their guide. That was years ago and was held at the other side of the venue. That is, including the bar section and The Oyster Bar, I heard it’s all run under the same banner known as The Commons. Another time was for a chance to meet Linda Blair, of The Exorcist fame. I enjoy how different spaces in this venue can be used for any occasion. Normally, it’s a date place; it’s a quiet and cozy environment.