2360 Beacon Ave W,
Phone: (778) 426-3442
Over at Woodshed Restaurant, the pizzas are fired quick and they come out nice and hot! No, a slice has not burned my tongue, but to smell what’s coming from that roaster, especially with the right dish, is particularly mouth watering. I’ll usually hit this place first since it’s not far from the Mary Winspear Centre. When I’m there for an event, I’d rather not venture too far to get back here for the fun that’s to take place in the evening. I was here for Van Isle Comic Con, a terrific event that does not even try to copy others with high profile guests. They get comic book illustrators and people involved behind the scenes. I feel this show will go farther than Capital City. Their huge selling point is that entry is by donation and not motivated with revitalizing a stagnant city core!
Woodshed is a pub style establishment where pizza is their specialty. They offer chicken and ribs too, and also traditional pub style appies. The next time I’m here, I’ll have to sample. When given the wide choice of toppings for pizza, just what should I get? I opted for the #10, with Anchovies, roasted garlic, marinated tomatoes, olives, mozza on tomato sauce. My muscle memory is already salivating and I enjoyed the combination. With this particular fish, the taste can be overpowering especially when too much is used. The talent behind the kitchen got the mix just right.
The plate used to hold the pizza keeps the heat around so none of it tastes cold. The service was good. Sometimes I had to make a psychic shoutout that I wanted a refill of water, and they heard.
The place has a rustic tone to it, to make relaxing here easy. Had I not have to worry about the long bus commute back home on a lazy Sunday, I’d say here longer and enjoy the ambience. A walk down to the dock and boardwalk would have made being here all the more pleasant.
3½ Blokes out of 5
128-560 Johnson St
Phone: (250) 590-2648
The difference between the different types of pizza available out there — Neapolitan, Sicilian and traditional American — is distinguished by what type of flour is used for the dough and what ingredients are used. For Neapolitan, San Marzano tomatoes must be used, and the Market Square based operation is Famoso for it. Okay, bad pun, but when this establishment is technically a franchise, neither James or I were quick or that highly interested in checking this place out when it came into business years ago. Now that I’m seeing this place is a permanent fixture, perhaps it’s finally time to check this place out and give a very late answer if Prima Strada should worry about their competition.
I say there’s none to be found. Very little overlap really exists. The Strada offers wood fired (and wonderfully scented) tastes whereas Famoso only reveals the fact their product is baked in a clay-shaped oven. I didn’t ask but I’d be curious in learning what form of heat is used. In a decades old building, I do not think allowing age-old techniques would be allowed by the fire marshal so adapting the space was important. When considering the Mexican place next door had a fire and closed down as a result, I’m sure safety is a huge concern.
Pizzeria Prima Strada
230 Cook Street
Cook Street Village
(250) 590 – 8595
E: If I recall correctly, Prima Strada began their operation in Cook Street Village and that place has been one that I’ve been meaning to hit. James and I have been to the Bridge Street location before, and I’ve gone back a few times since. Although the Bridge location is buried in an industrial side of town, the feel, as James once said, was like that of entering a garage. The wide open space was accommodating, but we also craved a change in the form of a very inviting diner over in the Village.
Yes, you can cue the theme of The Prisoner now.
The Sticky Wicket
919 Douglas St.
E: Instead of sooner than much later, one of Victoria’s best known watering holes had to be visited — The Sticky Wicket. James and I have been reluctant to go there much more than the adjoining Big Bad Johns. Both have their distinctive clientage and when I peek in, there’s no cheer to be heard and only the cracking of peanut shells and an odour of clique. I can walk past both operations whenever I cruise to The Vic Theatre to catch an art house film. I’m hardly cajoled into either operation but I can certainly wander in with James in tow. He’ll do anything that I can manage to convince him to do.
I’ve dined at the Sticky Wicket and had one of my staff parties there. The food I tasted on those previous visits is nothing to write home about. The point of going to the Sticky is to have a few pints with friends. The wood interior of the pub is to be admired. One has to wonder who the original interior designer of the pub was.
784 Yates St.
E: One free movie and pizza night sounds like a good deal to me. I had a pass to an advanced screening of The World’s End and James had one for The Brickyard. And for once, that was a plan worth putting together. Who doesn’t want to have an all expense paid free night in downtown Victoria?
J: I won these coupons at one of Brickyard’s few Cosplay parties. I’ve heard differing opinions about Brickyard but a lot of it was positive and those that were in the negative were not horror stories. Brickyard seems to me to be a good choice for a bite before we attend The World’s End (I always wanted to say that). I was craving Hawaiian but silly me left the decision to Ed like it was his birthday.
The quality of the take-out sushi at Thrifty Foods is going to vary store-by-store. After two epic fails at the Shelbourne and McKenzie branch, I finally explored my options at the Hillside location.
Tuscany Village is slowly slipping off my radar in terms of quick bites. They still do a very mean fire oven roasted pizza when its fresh out of the fire, but with sushi, there are two other locales to sate my craving: Fujiya is about 1km down the road and the other Thrifty’s an extra 1.5km further.