The Songhees Have a Beat at Victoria Clipper

this-is-canadas-first-aboriginal-food-truckSonghees Seafood & Steam
Victoria Clipper Terminal
254 Belleville St
Victoria, BC

Visitors arriving at Victoria, BC via The Clipper will be in for a treat! Not only are they arriving in a city originally occupied by this First Nation, but also they have an opportunity to partake in this culture’s yummy in my tummy traditions. From fried bread (I love this over Naan) to salmon, their selection is delectable. Their homemade jam (usually made from blackberries) makes for a perfect dip with the bread they offer. At the end of the day, they may give away the leftover supply so a fresh batch can be made for the next. For this dough, it’s best experienced warm than cold. With my extra piece which I could not finish, I got to try both extremes.

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In what this place supplies is basically comfort food. You’ll find french fries too (I don’t believe this is a cultural product, but that’s okay), and I had their version of poutine and it was very filling. The fries were very good, and the paprika mayo dipping sauce certainly helped make this dish over the top!

Next time, though, I will have to try one of their burger combinations. There’s the choice between salmon and portabella as the main source of protein, and both sound good. My money is on the latter on my next visit. As much as I love bison, I find it hard to believe that some of these creatures roamed to this land during the last Ice Age to settle here. They may have but I find prairie type of oxen better tasting!

3½ Blokes out of 5

[Guest Review] Not Everyone Jones’ for John’s Place

John’s Place
723 Pandora Ave.

Victoria, BC

(250) 389-0711

[This guest review is by Naomi DeBruyn of Void Girl. She was the former editor of Linear Reflections E-Magazine. In her last visit to Victoria, BC, sometimes visiting old establishments is not perfect. She was with friends in this outing ….]

Touted as ‘The place to eat in Victoria!’ I found this dining experience to one of the most pathetic I’ve ever endured. Yes, endured. It was more than an experience, it was an agonizing waste of time.

Having only two hours before our movie started, we decided on ‘John’s Place’ for our dinner. It was virtually empty, even with the addition of the three of us, the customers were still under ten in number. We were awaiting a fourth, but decided to order anyhow. A good thing we did, believe me!

There were multiple staff and the place was decorated with ‘star personalities’ who had eaten there, and old time sports memorabilia. Well, lucky those stars were who they are as I’m betting it influenced the service.

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[Vancouver, BC] Am I on the “Fritz” Loving American Cheesesteak Co.?

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The American Cheesesteak Co.
781 Davie St.
Vancouver, BC
(604) 681-0130

Most Philly cheesesteak lovers will say a fantastic sub has to be slobbering over with greasy goodness. The beef juices have to drip upon every bite and I must add an additional requirement: a gentle crisp is needed and the cheese must ooze all over. As most folks know, (from American CheeseSteak’s website) Pat and Harry Olivieri created the sandwich at their hot dog stand near South Philadelphia’s Italian Market in the 1930s. The cheese steak became so popular that the pair stopped selling hot dogs altogether, later opening the renowned Pat’s King of Steaks in the place where their stand once stood. Today, Philadelphia has more than 2000 restaurants dedicated to serving this indulgence.

Now just how this iconic morsel that can feed a state migrated to Vancouver, BC (let alone Lake Tahoe when I first sampled an ‘authentic’ style) almost needs to be questioned, current US politics notwithstanding. More Yanks should come north as long as they bring more of their trade cuisine secrets to indulge Canadians with! The South really must migrate so more Cajun style restaurants can open up! But I digress. For the sandwich, I feel that the New Yorker is over the top. My gut is simply busting after taking a few bites and the only reason I got it is to tide me over for 30 hours as I make the most of my last days in the big city.  Of course, I’m writing this review a few weeks later, but I needed time to fully digest that meal.

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There’s No Need for James at John’s Place

johns_place1John’s Place
723 Pandora Ave
Victoria, BC
(250) 389-0711

There are times where I think my writing partner James Shaw is wrong, totally wrong. He thinks we should not look at the popular establishments and we should really focus more on the mom and pop operations. That’s fine, but when I’m out and about more than he is, I’ll do what I like. I feel we should at least give some few recognized establishments our take anyways. My buddy’s opinion is always dated; he draws on experiences from more than ten years ago and I tell him you can’t base everything on the past. Sure, they shape who we are (in other aspects), but when it comes to food and some operations, management can sometimes change.

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Buffing Up at Szechuan City Restaurant

IMG_20150530_200442390Szechuan City Buffet
110 Burnside Road East
Saanich, BC
(250) 386-2288

J: I’m always raving about May Gold Village at every opportunity, their food ranks from average to above average and the service is great. But when it comes to my own personal experiences with buffets, there are others more experienced than I. Hope Key is another one I like for their friendly atmosphere (and their loft I can escape to when I want some privacy) but neither of them can compare to Szechuan City on a Saturday night.

Ed and I hit this place at night one hour before their closing all because of a co-worker’s obsession with chicken balls. This man I am sure is on a never-ending quest for buffets with decent helpings of the chicken kind. He’s snubbed May Gold for lacking what other buffets provide but he loves Szechuan City because they serve really good chicken balls. I swear my co-worker’s knowledge on the subject must rival Forest Gump‘s Bubba Blue’s knowledge of shrimp.

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Flying Around in Search for Food Near Sea-Tac Airport

SeaTacCentralTerminal_2Sharps RoastHouse
18427 International Blvd.
(206) 241-5744

13 Coins
18000 International Blvd. #113
(206) 243-9500

When people are having a layover at Sea-Tac Airport and can’t really stray far, the options in what to eat nearby does not have to be limited to what’s contained within the busy lounge. Airport food is expensive and you hardly get the quality expected. As recently expressed on Reddit in a photo that went viral, one traveler bought one heck of a joke of a sandwich. If only he was able to go elsewhere. If time allows for leaving the terminal, especially at Seatac, the hotels nearby have their own in-house restaurants and five blocks further is Taco Time, Jack in the Box and Denny’s. They’re no better, but if you have coupons and enough time to head there, a fast snack can be purchased that can put that sandwich to shame.

When I was in the area, the question that ran in in my mind was in whether I could dine as cheaply as possible. The dollar exchange was not with me on this recent trip, but I had to be in SeaTac for a Doctor Who convention! The hotel chosen for this show makes sense for the people flying in from Britain. They don’t have to deal with the busy highway to get to the venue. Two operations caught my eye as I staked out the area. Both are popular amongst locals and of the two, I’d come back again to one more than the other.

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