1001 Wharf St
Phone: (250) 380-2260
Quite literally, this article has been years in the making. Many, many moons ago James Shaw took me out for a birthday meal at Nautical Nellies. I asked if he was sure and I’d like to turn this into our next article for our blog. He agreed. As he once wrote, “His idea of what that means is equal to an expensive dinner for the man whose tastes know no boundaries. This year’s outing was Nautical Nellies or as I would call it Naughty Nellies cause it felt like I was giving money to an exotic dancer.”
We started to do some writing and for no reason whatsoever, he never finished his part of that article. Don’t ask me why. Maybe he didn’t want to be reminded of that night?
Frankie’s Modern Diner
910 Government St #38
Hours: 7am to 10pm
Phone: (778) 265-8575
Many, many moons ago, Frankie’s Modern Diner was once known Ric’s Steakhouse and before then, it was The Cheesecake Cafe. I miss the latter brand name and the rumour I heard was that the owners did not want to pay the licensing fee and rebranded until a name stuck. I seem to recall there was a Nanaimo-based Frankie’s too, but I don’t go up island often enough to find out if they are still around. In this updated post, this operation has moved south and with this corner having new owners, the changes are pleasant. According to some people who have talked to me in person, they are regulars for a reason.
With Capital City Comic Con near, it’s only fair to come in to see what this operation offers. Thankfully, the current management has not forgotten the heydays of when I visited this corner often. I enjoy browsing the window display of the desserts. Although the variety was not the same as I recall from years ago, I’m glad there is a daily feature dessert, instead of the ordering from their four standard staples – apple pie, molten chocolate cake, new york style vanilla cheesecake and key lime. I will have to give an update as I know I’ll be returning for another bite during this show. The ambience of this place is great and service is very friendly. I knew one visit is not enough.
1218 Wharf St,
Phone: (250) 590-7370
When the waitresses at Shima admit Victoria, BC has way too many Japanese restaurants, I have to wonder when some will close up shop out of frustration to get a regular clientele or which operation stands out as the best? I’m sure there’s a list out there which locals has voted on as the best. I can’t say I completely agree either.
This operation has been around since 2010. While I have walked by on many an occasion, the desire to try this place out was limited. The menus on display showed prices were above average and they did not offer anything unique when compared to other operations.
For some reason, James Shaw tagged along. As we both settled in a cozy corner, we both eyed the same item on the menu: a clam miso soup. I had to go for my traditional staples, a sunomono salad (perhaps one of the best I’ve had since the chef did not skimp on the octopus) and a deluxe platter of nigiri. To sum up my buddy’s thoughts on the said soup: you get your money’s worth ($6). Not only are the servers very generous in the serving of this mollusk, but also the aroma had feeling I ordered the wrong starter.
1011 Broad Street
J: New Year’s day offers very few places for people to dine. Many of the city’s restaurants, cafés and bistros are closed up tight because there is probably very little money to be made in the tourist off-season. And they are probably correct, at least where downtown Victoria is concerned. After Christmas and Boxing Day, who really has money to dine? And what about those New Year’s hangovers?
But neither that or empty wallets appeared to deter people from going to Pagliacci’s. They are a local landmark on the restaurant scene for the last 34 years. Artists like Jim Byrnes (Highlander the Series, Beast Wars) have eaten here and even the great Etta James performed at Pag’s for their tenth anniversary. Even the owner, Howie Siegel is still a local celebrity. Originally, he was a Jewish kid from the Big Apple. Here at Pag’s, Howie brought a little of what makes New York City desirable into a little corner of the Inner Harbour.
603 Douglas St.,
The rustic flavour of the Old Spaghetti Factory is one of the main draws for some tourists. But for locals, you either love it or hate it.
Originally started in Portland, Oregon, the chain became popular and expanded to all ports at sea. For those people coming out of the Victoria bus depot or the Coho ferry, this restaurant may very well be the first place people can go to have a fast meal before heading off to other destinations unknown.
A22-633 Courtney St.
In a mad rush to a Springboard Lecture to launch 2013’s Victoria Film Festival, a quick bite was needed. Inside Nootka Court, I lucked out at seeing that Uchida was still open. I remember this place used to be Daidoco, but this operation closed before James and I could return to weigh in at more of the tastes this Japanese diner offered.