1674 Douglas St
Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 9 p.m.
Phone: (250) 590-0801
I’m not sure how long it will take to eat all the available salad combinations available at Island Poké. After two visits, I need three more to go. That’s because there are four signature bowls — the Ohana, Island, Salemona and Earth — and the last visit, I craved a build your own crazy combo. Scallops with masago, pineapple, sesame seeds and jalapeno peppers is a crazy combination. I could’ve asked to double up, but didn’t want to set my mouth afire.
When my craving is for seafood burritos, they got a Rock & Roll and CRUNCHii which I have to try out. Each of these have way too many ingredients to list. Instead of naming them all, I will point out the highlights.
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.
Finest at Sea Food Cart
27 Erie Street
E: Lately, I’ve been on a fish n’ chip fetish, and in my craving to find good ling cod, I thought just maybe I can bait my buddy James into a visit down near Fisherman’s Wharf. After a lacklustre serving at what barely passes as properly rolled maki rolls at Sushi Plus (it was James’ treat since he asked to meet him there), well … I needed to swab the decks (my tongue) as it were.
J: Ed’s is attempting to sneak a review within a review of Sushi Plus. He technically can’t say much because I picked up the tab at their establishment. But yes, after filling myself up on a beef bowl at Sushi Plus my body still felt weak and needed an iron boost. Ed drove us to the Wharf. I was in all my glory feeling pretty cool as I bopped my head to Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” as it played on the radio. Ed was rolling his eyes, I didn’t need to look at him to know. After almost 25 years, we know each other’s habits. Where he did park was directly across from the Wharf on Erie Street. Our stop was the Finest At Sea food truck.
E: Usually, most fishmongers don’t deliver on a Sunday or Monday, but I had to stop by because I was curious if they had any sea urchin. And to visit this operation’s food truck or visit the wharf proper had James drooling over the opportunities their blue and white truck presented. For a moment, I could not decide between the fish tacos or fish n’ chips.
1101 4th Ave.
Once the ragin’ Cajun in me saw the Sazerac offered upscale Southern (Louisiana) inspired food, I knew I had to make this place a must during my next visit to Seattle! As I stay in different hotels, I like to explore what’s nearby instead of walking to another district for my usual grub. This city has more wide and varied tastes within reach in the downtown core than any other I’ve been to. While my knowledge is mostly centered around feasting in either Emerald City or Hollywood North, there’s a reason why I love living in the Pacific Northwest. The access to seafood is immediate and fresh.
I think both cities have eateries that are worthy of earning at least a star in the Michelin guide. That book is not the be all end all for diners looking for new and exotic tastes. At this place, their Buttermilk Panna Cotta is an Italian dish that I could eat forever! The strawberry foam settled upon my lips like an air nymph and I was sent to heaven with how added basil cream made my tongue dance. A symphony with little gelatinous berry nubs was playing hallelujah in my mouth!
Cowichan Bay Seafood
Victoria Public Market
#12 – 1701 Douglas St.
E: Like the tides that swish through a bay, I’m always finding myself returning to the Cowichan Bay Seafood outlet in the Victoria Public Market. After some time in operation, they have put together a fine smörgåsbord of products for folks to buy to take home to cook or dine in. Although a touch pricey, when compared to oysters bars offering a happy hour of a buck a shuck, there’s more variety here when they are offered at $1.50 per! I had some wonderful raw and fruity oysters from Paradise Oysters (located on Baynes Sound). The name is apt because, with the celery vinaigrette, they were the perfect appetizer to begin with until my Lingcod Fish n’ Chips arrived.
The Rumrunner Pub & Restaurant
9881 Seaport Place
J: The Rumrunner is one of those restaurants out in Sidney that is divided up into three sections: the pub, the patio and the dining area. We in the Sidney area because Ed wanted to see if anything remained from the Gracepoint set (the police station) that was filmed last year.
E: By chance, I found the Gracepoint Newspaper Truck parked in a private lot next to Saint Andrew’s School near downtown when I was out and about during Victoria Fringe Festival 2015. So why not?