Settling for a Spell at Frankie’s Modern Diner  

Frankie’s Modern Diner
910 Government St #38
Victoria, BC

Hours: 7am to 10pm
Phone: (778) 265-8575

Many, many moons ago, Frankie’s Modern Diner was once known Ric’s Steakhouse and before then, it was The Cheesecake Cafe. I miss the latter brand name and the rumour I heard was that the owners did not want to pay the licensing fee and rebranded until a name stuck. I seem to recall there was a Nanaimo-based Frankie’s too, but I don’t go up island often enough to find out if they are still around. In this updated post, this operation has moved south and with this corner having new owners, the changes are pleasant. According to some people who have talked to me in person, they are regulars for a reason.

With Capital City Comic Con near, it’s only fair to come in to see what this operation offers.  Thankfully, the current management has not forgotten the heydays of when I visited this corner often. I enjoy browsing the window display of the desserts. Although the variety was not the same as I recall from years ago, I’m glad there is a daily feature dessert, instead of the ordering from their four standard staples – apple pie, molten chocolate cake, new york style vanilla cheesecake and key lime. I will have to give an update as I know I’ll be returning for another bite during this show. The ambience of this place is great and service is very friendly. I knew one visit is not enough.

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You’re an Olo to my Heart in Victoria’s Chinatown

soupOlo Restaurant
509 Fisgard St.

Victoria, BC
(250) 590-8795

There are weeks where I go solo because James is broke, and OLO moves to the top of my hit list since a certain buddy prefers to eat on a budget and I’ve been moving towards the sky’s the limit. At least we agree on one thing: hitting operations who prefer to source all their ingredients locally. And they love sustainability! This establishment used to be known as Ulla (with a similar mandate) and just following what they offered made me wish I was making more money to afford eating here. The offerings are delectable and reasonably well-priced, but I rarely haunt Chinatown (real spirits notwithstanding). When I heard they (as OLO) were one of the six establishments working in concert with bringing Bugs on the Menu, I knew this was a restaurant to finally hit.

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I was visiting to specifically try their caramel cricket crunch sorbet. But that’s a dessert item, and since I was here, I pondered hard over what I could have that would classify as a light lunch instead of a dinner-sized meal.

For sheer comfort and relaxation, this place is excellent! I loved the decor, food and ambience (and hopefully they will still have the Squid Ink Chitarra when I decide to return). The menu varies every few months, and I’ve been waiting long until they offered something I was after. Just when I want to visit requires me to keep tabs. I love restaurants that offer dishes to challenge the taste buds.

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Getting into the Toulouse Spirit

601 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 432-9069

I could easily use a ton of musical and pop culture euphemisms to describe everything I ate and drank at the Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge, a lounge that takes its inspirations from deep down south. By cutting across the square where the Space Needle is located, the short hop from one side to the other was easy. My friend Jon Valentine and I walked through Queen Anne Avenue’s Diner’s Row to get here.

The building is located on the corner, Queen Anne and Mercer, and it only beckoned me to explore its dark history. The rustic atmosphere and black awning by the front door creates a mysterious ambience of what can get discovered within.

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Nevermore My Arse!

Raven Street Market Cafe
321 Fernwood Rd.
Fernwood
Salt Spring Island, BC
(250) 537-2273

J: Raven Street Market Cafe is a 8½ km bus ride north of Ganges and it’s well worth the trip. With fantastic views of the north side, blue herons and the salty air, Ed and I arrived earlier than expected.

We were met by a kindly staff member who went above and beyond what’s considered good service. To occupy our time until the kitchen finally opened, which is at noon, we explored the beach off Walker’s Hook Road.

The late morning exercise put us in the mood for a satisfying meal.

Since I was unable to harvest any of the huge shellfish along the shore (they were poisonous), I felt I deserved some finer reward.

E: James found a beautiful piece of rose quartz that he gave me (what a pal), and the reward he was waiting for rested within the cafe. I bought an appy for us to share.

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Fishing a line to Spinnaker’s

Spinnakers Brew Pub
308 Catherine St.
Victoria, BC
(250) 384-0332

Ed
With no James in sight (he’s being frugal lately), I went to Spinnakers with Yvonne and to my sadness, there was no rose petal ice cream. That’s okay, because I wanted to try out this brew-pub’s other delights. The last time I visited, the meals were great, the baked oysters were delicious and I had a great time with my friends.

Today was no different, and even over time nothing has changed. The place has always remained a social environment for people to drink a few pints and mellow out. The food has always been secondary.

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