EXP Restaurant + Bar
309 W Pender St
EXP Restaurant & Bar has been operating since late 2012 and sadly, by the time I visit this place again, it will be closed. I came across this article about the problems of keeping such operations afloat in a tough as nails city core. I can only hope and let readers know that if the Rio Theatre can be saved by Deadpool himself, is there hope for EXP? Sadly, no.
Their latest Facebook post made the news of closing official. I’m posting this article in memoriam and can only hope a future exists in another space. I get the feeling the owners and operators are not going down easy. They may have an alternate plan in the works but do not want to jinx the future.
Reprinted (in part) from otakunoculture.com:
533 Yates St
Phone: (778) 265-9575
El Furniture Warehouse is a strange name for a dining establishment. They began operation in Vancouver, BC and they made a name for themselves with reasonably priced meals — mostly in the pub style variety — for $5 or less, and since then they have expanded. After a fair number of years on the mainland, they decided to become island bound and set up shop in Victoria, BC.
The evening I was there was busy. I asked if I can grab a bite in under an hour as I wanted to get to a live theatre production in time. I was promised that’s possible and given a seat by the bar, the only space available. I like the fact this place is well stocked with a variety of beers, but I stayed sober if I had to run to catch my show.
I also knew what I wanted and placed my order in no time. My meal arrived fairly quickly, and it was not what I thought I’d get. I asked for a salad. Given how loud this place can get, I’m betting the waiter I ordered from could not hear.
I got a burger and fries and did not bother noting the change to the server. I ordered “The Works” which had no tomatoes or lettuce despite saying so on the menu, and the bacon — I hardly was able to taste it. The in-house specially made sauce gave the burger a good kick but there was nothing to make me think this place is special. If folks want cheap bites to help sustain them for a few hours, it’d be a place to hit. For filling bites, I’d go elsewhere.
Unlike other operations which gives you heaping amounts of fries, this place offers a reasonable portion to complement your meal than be it.
I may one day return to give this place another chance, but my first impression was not good. Another server came by with the salad I wanted and I saw it came with a burrito. I said I was given my order already and he walked away confused.
2 Blokes out of 5
The Snug Pub
1175 Beach Drive
Oak Bay, BC
J: When I first heard of the pub called “The Snug” my thoughts were of a small establishment so tiny that getting a decent table would be like me trying to fit into the jeans I wore back in high school. It wouldn’t be pretty and there would be no chance it could be done successfully. But upon entering Oak Bay Beach Hotel‘s pub, it was quite roomy and no matter where one would sit, you get beautiful views of the strait. I liked the pre-1800’s English decor, it was suitable for a man of my tastes.
E: Or rather, a man who looked like a chimney sweeper. I dressed up for the occasion and James was Oscar to my Felix. Well, nothing would stop me from wanting to revisit this place after trying out their seafood chowder.
The Old Fork
140 Trans-Canada Hwy
The Old Fork can easily be missed when driving through Duncan, BC to further points beyond. This diner is tucked inside the Travelodge and although established in 2013, the feel of this place is rustic. Photos of Duncan from its historic days decorate the entryway and inside, I thought I’d find a ghost or two to tell some tales. I had to wonder what stood here before this motel. Perhaps the land has history but not necessarily the building.
The waitress was welcoming and on a quiet day, I could sit anywhere and enjoy the old world ambience. Looking at the photos reminded me of the fact that there is more to this town. Wayfarers should be reminded there more to this township than just a highway. The Whippletree Junction may well be a more colourful and desirable place to visit in the tourist sense but sometimes the best secrets lay on the beaten track. You just have to stop, listen and look.
1005 Langley St
Some bistros like North 48 are worth revisiting time and time again, and I’m glad I’m a resident of these parts so I don’t have to deal with border security! I arrived here with friends who were visiting from up island, and since we could not decide in where to dine, we hit the first place that looked good and there ye be, we sat down to marvel at a fancy menu with tastes from different ports of call. There’s the traditional French fair, Japanese delights and the odd Mexican. Well, I honestly could not decide. Should I go for the Octopus Tacos, Corn Dog Bites and French Onion Soup as my meal?
The service was very friendly here, and we couldn’t decide right away in what we wanted. I was torn between something fusion or going for a traditional European-style meal.
1118 E Pike St
Perhaps one of Seattle’s strangest operation is a cryptozoological pub is The Unicorn. This watering hole is good for its exotic sweets but the rest of the food is nothing too special. But where else can you say you ate narwhal balls? or had a phallic looking Deep Fried Snickers? Not since Voodoo Doughnut in Portland have I found some surgery Wunderbar goodness.
The food is decent but I can’t recommend this place for its service.