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. I did not invite him to join me and despite him saying he’s quitting the foodie’s life, he still follows me to places I intend on reviewing. Either he does not know what he wants to do with his life or he trying say (by being present) he wants to return. Despite trying to shake him off, he wanted to see where I was going. 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.
Float Home Village
12 Erie Street
On a beautiful sunny day, I had to go out and check out Puerto Vallarta Amigos’ new digs at Fisherman’s Wharf. They are well known for their tacos, and the Espinoza family (who runs this operation) have certainly cemented their status in, an irony of ironies, a floating base of operations. Appropriately enough, by being located in fish territory, their seafood options intrigued me. And with James working yet again, I was on my own to fill two stomachs than one. Fortunately the day included opening ceremonies festivities, like dancing. A few spectators even joined in so they could work off their meals.
For the fans of Puerto Vallarta Amigos or for those of you who are just dying to jump the border in reverse for the taste of authentic Mexican food, Puerto will be opening up a new location sometime in February of this year. This time they’ve upgraded from a food van to a floating eating establishment on Fishrman’s Wharf in the picturesque community of James Bay.