House of Funk
350 Esplanade E
North Vancouver, BC
Hours: 1-9 p.m.
Phone: (604) 770-3646
The House of Funk Brewing Co. is more than just another microbrewery based out of North Vancouver. They offer pretzels, schnitzels, beer mustards, sauerkraut, pickled beets, yams bratwurst and other tasty treats in their dining section of the brewhouse. It’s an operation I’d love to visit because they may well be the next best thing to Skål Beer Hall in Seattle as far as sticking to a Scandanavian theme goes. Borders are slowly reopening, but to have something a lot more local makes sense!
This relatively new operation started business in 2019. Anyone who’s missed out in collecting and tasting their past brews are simply out of luck.
Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods
805 Government St
Hours: Mon to Sun 8:00am to 8:00pm
Phone: (778) 247-0354
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.
Cat’s Coffee & Cake
1213 Douglas St
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Phone: (250) 590-1699
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.
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.
Tres Gourmet Bakery & Cafe
1280 Broad St
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.
734 Aldebury St #101
Hours: Mon to Fri: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: (778) 440-5335
ES: Tucked in the industrial side of Victoria, BC (in the municipality of Esquimalt) is Miche Cafe. It’s been under various ownerships in the past and I’ve lost count! I’m rarely in this side of town mostly because I’m not a supporter of the nearby operation, Wholesale Club, (family loves shopping here for the bulk goods but I don’t) but when I have to chauffeur, it’s playing Pokemon GO in the area, or coming to this corner deli style stop for a bite because of the atmosphere and down home cooking!
DK: Don’t think we forgot about the bread price-fixing scam. Am I right, Ed?
ES: Don’t get me started!
Liuzhou Luosifen, or River Snail Rice Noodles, is a dish not everyone will like. It sounds gross, but when compared to escargot, the difference is in how the protein source is prepared and used. It’s definitely an acquired taste and ever since the pandemic started, has been a trending thing from Liuzhou City, China–where it was first introduced. CNN reported on how this latest trend is the hippest thing. Two years later, I think the fad died as it’s hard to find at local grocery stores now.
The price for a box is $50 CAD when they first started appearing a year ago. I wasn’t ready to blow a bunch of money for a snack I’m unsure of liking. It took three quarters of a year until the grocery store decided selling my individual package was better.