Crispy Churros Dessert Cafe
2A – 4071 Shelbourne
Phone: (250) 590-2277
¡Ay, caramba! Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts closed up shop, and it changed from Asian style sweets to Spanish—well, sort of. The new operation has shaved ice, designer brand coffee and to its namesake, crispy churros!
When the people behind the counter are Korean, this mishmash of cultures is fine by me! The churro has no clear origin story. It may have come from the Orient. In China, we have our own doughnut, a Youtiao. It’s a starchy crispy delight I love to have with congee (or any other thick creamy soup). In Spain, they have a sweeter version which can be consumed on its own and the dips, ranging from chocolate, vanilla or caramel, only enhances the cinnamon flavour. I could eat them all day if I had the metabolism!
787 Fort St
Phone: (778) 406-1787
I think too many Mexican “taco” centric diners are located too close to one another in Victoria, BC. When one operation is busy, the hungry taco consumer can easily walk across the street to another to find a place to sit down for a bite. Located within the same city block is La Taquisa, Tacofino. La Taqueria and La Fiesta Cafe. In terms which operation stands out, none of them truly do. Well, maybe La Fiesta since they have Mexi-Fries (taters), and a condiment station with freshly made toppings (which range from mild to hot) but for the others, they all tout the same thing: locally sourced ingredients. Each of them have their own spin.
Tacofino began their operation in Tofino, the west coast of Vancouver Island and have broadened to a large franchise operation which includes Vancouver. The others have their own stories, but in brief Taqueria is from the mainland and Taquisa is family-owned. Each have their own range of goods. I simply rolled a dice to decide where I wanted to go and landed on ‘fino for bite.
Victoria‘s La Taquisa is facing stiff competition with Vancouver‘s La Taqueria Pinche now on the island. The former operation has two seafood offerings (cod and shrimp), the latter has one (albacore tuna). As for beef, the latter has three different cuts to choose from: flank, cheeks and tongue. I’m in bovine heaven! The only thing our home-grown operation offers, in addition, are burritos and even then I’m not sure that’s enough for me to be loyal.
Ever since I visited their Broughton street operation and had a few sloppily made tacos, I never had the desire to go back. Back when they were a food truck style operation at Cook St., better care and attention to the product was made. I’m fairly sure I lost my custom (matching frame) sunglasses there and none of the staff were all that helpful when I returned to check. This happened a few years ago, and I left feeling unimpressed.
Varying locations in Duncan, BC
Would you believe I went to a broad spectrum gaming type event just for the food trucks parked here? I had this plan in mind ever since LANtasy announced the Duncan-based operation, Taco Revolution, will be coming down to feed the hungry masses. Between this truck and Coast Lunch Box (they have really tasty rosemary garlic fries with truffle oil aioli), I had my motivation in place although I was not all that hungry for the show itself. I’m saving up for Seattle‘s Emerald City Comicon — every dollar counts when I’m thinking about current foreign exchange rates.
With help from my friends at VicLUG, I changed my mind the next day because I truly appreciate what this gaming convention is doing for the local geek community. When I’ve been spoiled by the big conventions with a huge variety of exhibits and discussions, to go back to basics is difficult. Even the local events can be spectacular when done right, but when this exhibition did not offer panels this year for folks to learn about the latest rumblings in the industry, well …. This detail will be corrected for future events tho’. When I go to a show, I like to learn and discover. I wrote an article on Otakunoculture.com, where I looked at the show from the perspective of an outsider instead of someone immediately in the know.
I too felt affected by the sour impression the staff of Island Fantasy Con left upon the fan community when they took over the reigns and announced the cancellation after Bill Code fell deathly ill. He was no longer in control. I’m not as upset as others are, but with Mr. Code as the face of that operation, he needs to make a statement to clear the air. Whatever the reaction is, I’m sure voices will be heard calling for a revolution.
La Cocina de Mama Oli
6 – 1701 Douglas St.
Victoria Public Market
J: I’m glad the Victoria Public Market is now a fixture of the downtown scene. And looking around, I see there’s great potential for it to expand. With Resthaven Farms having a base of operations here, I’m only more eager to hear of where future vendors can occupy the space. Every stall in the market has their own unique style but La Cocina is the best to catch the eye of a hungry shopper. And what beautiful colours they use to do so.
They knew from the start what message they wanted to send to their customers, “Welcome to Mexico.”
E: I love La Cocina’s tortillas. I’ve gone to this place a few times before finally dragging James out, and together, we could sample more of their menu items. I tend to really lay down the dried peppers upon every dish I’ve had before, but I had to see how James could handle the heat. Back then to now, I tend to find an ample supply as long as I’m at this market at the right time of day. The taste is very delectable; it’s smoky and crispy flavour complements many a meal than just select dishes.
To Market, the Victoria Public Market for La Cocina De Mama Oli
1109 McKenzie St.
Cook Street Village
J: It was time for the THB to make their return to the little mall on McKenzie Street in the Cook Street Village. Our first and last review there was the Minato Sushi (which I was quite pleased with) but at the time there was still Rica Salsa, an Messob Ethiopian Cuisine and a coffee shop that was under construction. In time we’ll review them all but for now Rica Salsa was up to bat.
Can Mexican food hit a home run with Ed and I? Some years ago I was a wimp when it came to hot and spicy food but now I’m very durable. I can tell when spices enhance a dish I eat and when it does nothing but cover up the flavour. On what side of the fence will Rica be.