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.
La Cocina de Mama Oli
6 – 1701 Douglas St.
Victoria Public Market
J: I’m glad the Victoria Public Market is now a fixture of the downtown scene. And looking around, I see there’s great potential for it to expand. With Resthaven Farms having a base of operations here, I’m only more eager to hear of where future vendors can occupy the space. Every stall in the market has their own unique style but La Cocina is the best to catch the eye of a hungry shopper. And what beautiful colours they use to do so.
They knew from the start what message they wanted to send to their customers, “Welcome to Mexico.”
E: I love La Cocina’s tortillas. I’ve gone to this place a few times before finally dragging James out, and together, we could sample more of their menu items. I tend to really lay down the dried peppers upon every dish I’ve had before, but I had to see how James could handle the heat. Back then to now, I tend to find an ample supply as long as I’m at this market at the right time of day. The taste is very delectable; it’s smoky and crispy flavour complements many a meal than just select dishes.
To Market, the Victoria Public Market for La Cocina De Mama Oli
I miss the Island Chefs’ collaborative’s version of the Spot Prawn Festival. That was truly an event to remember, and as far as I know, there was only one. The Victoria Public Market has since taken over with their own mini-festival. While not as large or elaborate, and really lacking fanfare, at least for those Victorians unable to leave the confines of this city to Cowichan Bay proper for all their independent shows (at brew pubs to eateries), what’s offered is good.
Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop
#6 – 1701 Douglas St
Victoria Public Market
(778) 433 – 6639
In my many sojourns into the Victoria Public Market, I’ve always walked by Roast with all those lovely pork rinds prancing in the corner of my eyes. I can pick up a Chicharrón (a dish with nothing but these rinds) or get a sandwich with this garnish, but I always pass it by. Yes, I have a weakness for those crunchy delicious delights. When I should watch my weight, resistance was lost to me this day. I finally gave in and ordered their Porchetta sandwich ($9.95). Yes, it’s pricey for a 5″ sandwich but oh the flavour!
Unlike the BBQ Pork that I have from Chinatown, which is basically a rib cage dipped in a vat of hot oil, this one took its time to cook. The herbs added to it while it cooked braised all the way through from the skin, through the fat and into the meat.
To say that River Road’s Specialty Chocolates will cause euphoria is an understatement if their honey mead truffle is any indication. I love a sinful delight now and then, but for the best piece of chocolate to cause my knees to buckle and have tears well up in joy would entail certain details with fantasy lovers too x-rated to say in this blog. At least, in my sampling of the various products this chocolatier offered as James and I wandered the Victoria Public Market one day, I was sold.
#6-1701 Douglas St.
The Victoria Pie Company at the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson looks like they will take this city by storm. On the grey day that I went, I wanted to treat myself to something nice in celebration of my birthday. I’m a year older, an inch shorter, and my tummy … well, I won’t go there. Let’s just say that while I know I should be mindful about my health, there should be at least one day in the whole year where I can do whatever I want and have no regrets about it.
So I went for their banana cream pie with fresh whip cream on top, and my oh my, it was heavenly. The individual bananas were baked just right to ensure a soft delectable consistency in those bites where I could taste the slices. The sweetness is not overpowering and the crust is done just right so that all the textures blend perfectly once when my taste-buds make love to it.
When this company touts pie porn as part of its marketing gimmick, that is an analogy well earned. This company offers quiches and pot pies, and I’m a sucker for good pastries. I was so tempted to get a mushroom bacon quiche but alas, I didn’t have enough cash-on-hand to get everything I want and their debit/credit card machine is not set up yet. They’ve been in operation for about two weeks now, and this little detail is really minor in the grande scheme of things.
Anyone who can dangle a freshly cooked pastry or pie in front of me will have me clinging to it like a blue-fin tuna still biting into the lure. So just when is Cowichan Bay Seafood going to open at the Hudson anyways?
4½ Blokes out of 5