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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Underclassed and Underdressed at Fireside Grill

Fireside Grill
4509 West Saanich Rd.
Royal Oak District
Saanich, BC
(250) 479-1222

J: When it comes to ghost hunting, Ed never likes to visit a heritage place on an empty stomach. I guess that is why we visited the Fireside Grill.

The tales this building’s owners could tell could make for some interesting pages in a local history book. But I was more interested in the food. Call me uninterested but if we pulled up in the Mystery Van, I would be looking to make myself a hero sandwich rather than looking for clues.

E: Yeah, James can pretty much be like the Shaggy to any Scooby gang should he ever decide to join one. He’s a coward when dealing with spooks but I will gladly try to shake an entity’s hand. Even if I visited a haunted house, I’m willing to bet I’ll find him in the kitchen sooner than later while I go scouting the premises in hopes something supernatural may present itself.

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Going Back in Time with 1550’s

1550 Cedar Hill Cross Rd
Saanich, BC 
(250) 472-0047

E: 1550’s is one of those cozy bistros which will send diners back in time and if Back to the Future fans will recall, that’s where George McFly met his son, Marty, and he would not attempt to date Lorraine Baines until Marty dressed up as a nuclear suited version of Darth Vader.

Interestingly enough, on the drinks list was a drink of the same name. Coincidence?

J: At first I thought it was an alcoholic drink so strong that it would give you a force choke. But there is no such luck because it doesn’t contain any alcohol. It’s similar to a Shirley Temple and has fruity ingredients, hardly a drink for a Sith Lord and more suitable for a Hollywood child star with curls.

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Redemption for Dog Nation

Uptown Plaza Anniversary
August 24, 2013

Uptown Shopping Centre
Douglas St. at Saanich Rd.
Saanich, B.C.

Readers who have followed the thread about Dog Nation when James and I visited them will know we came down on them pretty hard. James has his reasons for not returning, but I felt that they deserved a second chance. After all, this issue was more with being an open air environment where the offending hair could have blown in from anywhere and about one poor choice to continue using buns that not everyone can take a liking to.

That decision can topple any country and send it into chaos. But in this case, British Columbia is safe for now, and I can’t say much about Canada since I don’t monitor politics, or all the back room dealings this government has with private corporations.

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