Quick Stop in Duncan

Recently, on the way to Victoria, we were caught in a traffic jam in Duncan. A Motorhome, a pickup and a small car were in an accident near the World’s largest Hockey Stick. Traffic crawled and when we finally broke free we decided early lunch at the newly reopened White Spot would do.

The Spot in Duncan burned to the ground a year or so ago but has been rebuilt is now open. Very nicely done, too. We headed right for the patio since it was a warm sunny day.  For us, the patio is always the first choice. OK, this one overlooks the parking lot but it is still a nice patio and there is something about outdoor dining that we love.

Our server was prompt, friendly, and efficient. My favourite girl chose the Nobashi Prawns, 6 large Panko dipped Prawns, which are supported by a Thai Style spicy dipping sauce. Me? Monty Mushroom Burger. 6 ounce patty, sautéed Mushrooms, Jack Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato with Triple O Sauce. Both items were delicious. Say what you want about the White Spot, they do manage consistency very well.

My first White Spot adventure was at the South Granville location in the summer of 1952. In the ensuing years I have managed to hit most of the locations. In working years the drive-in on West Broadway in Vancouver was a favourite. Have Fish & Chips in the car and the aroma of fries and vinegar lingers for days.

After being a steady customer for almost 60 years I can speak with a sense of authority on the White Spot. It’s good. Not gourmet, not fabulous, but good. No wonder they have survived in the restaurant business since the 1920’s.

If you are driving to or from Victoria and feel a little peckish, try the Duncan White Spot.

Just saying…

DRINKWATER’S at Sproat Lake

Today seemed like a good day for a little summer drive so we pointed the Acura towards the west coast. Just an easy hour drive from our place is a charming spot for lunch, dinner or just a libation. DRINKWATER’S at Sproat Lake Landing, just 17 kilometres past Port Alberni on the Tofino road.


We arrived around 2:30 and had  the bar deck mostly to ourselves. We sat outside under big awnings and enjoyed the lake and hill view. There is even a real Beaver habitat right in front including a Beaver house.


This restaurant is very nicely appointed and the deck furniture was attractive and comfortable. The menu is good. We chose Calamari and Moules Frittes to share and enjoy with our drinks, A Blue Buck Beer for me and a French Rose for her. Both appetizers were excellent. Best fries I’ve had in some time. The staff were very pleasant and the service was prompt. The deck is really a most pleasant spot to just kick back and relax.



If you overindulge in your favourite adult beverage and shouldn’t drive home, they have guest rooms too.

Across the street is Della’s Cafe, which is run by the same management. Casual food, coffee’s snacks, art and gifts. Worth a look.

If you have visitors, take them to see the huge trees in Cathedral Grove then continue on to Drinkwater’s. Your guests will be impressed.

Hungry and feel like a pleasant drive, try Drinkwater’s. We like it.

Just saying…

Pub Mecca in Cedar

Well, this week we ventured back to Pub Mecca. We had something to do in Nanaimo and after that my car demanded that it take us to our all time favourite pub, the CROW & GATE PUB in Cedar. Can’t help it, the car just took us there.

If you gave not been to this Mecca of pubs, you need to go as soon as possible. The CROW & GATE PUB is an absolutely delightful place. It’s a real old English pub with low ceilings, beams, fireplaces, big bench tables and, most importantly, wonderful good. No fish and chips here though. No deep fat fryer, period. But the stuff they serve is delicious.

My favourite girls knows crab cakes. And she proclaims that these are amongst the best anywhere. Served with a bun and a wonderfully fresh salad they are unbeatable. Not too hungry? Try a half order. For me, the Beef Dip is contagious although I have tried the Reuben and the Steak and mushroom Pie. All are excellent. The salad that accompanies the Beef Dip is fresh and includes their in house salad dressing which is really wonderful.



Oh yes, they serve beer too! Of course, it’s an English Pub. Good selection and some nice wine too. Some people order a pot of tea which comes with a knitted Tea Cosy. Seriously. Who would order that?

There are two main rooms and two spots at the bar where you order. The food is delivered to your table. Run a tab? No problem. Half orders, no problem.

The staff are terrific too! Friendly, efficient and …attractive too.

At this time Of year one can take advantage of the fabulous outdoor garden with picnic tables and umbrellas. It is a special place to enjoy lunch.


One more thing. On Saturday nights they serve roast Prime Rib with Yorkshires, gravy and all the rest. We have had it. Excellent and substantial too.

We love the CROW & GATE PUB and if it was closer to home we would probably lunch there weekly.

One problem. The CROW & GATE PUB is really popular and busy. So plan to arrive by 1130 for lunch or wait until 2:15 or later to ensure you don’t have to wait for a table.

If you have a real or phoney English accent you will fit right in. When we visited this week almost everyone looked like they should have an English accent even if they didn’t.i

If you have not been, you really must go. It is just a great experience. Check out their web site;


Just saying…


Return visit to an old favourite.

After a long hiatus, we ventured forth today to an old standby, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar. I have been in most of the Kegs in Western Canada but this was the first time in Nanaimo. OK, we did have gift cards to use up thanks to the generosity of out Toronto based son, a one time Kegger.


From the outside the Nanaimo Keg looks a little shabby so I said to my favouite girl that I hope it looks better inside than outside. It did. It’s not far from the old City Square but on a short dead end street next to a building under demolition so from the outside it’s not too inviting. Inside it is Very Kegish with lots of dark wood but very nicely executed.


We arrived at opening time, 4PM on Saturday, and were the first customers of the day. We opted for the bar since our crusade was for a libation and some appetizers. An Italian Pinot Grigio for her, a draft Heineken for me. The drinks were served by Elliot who was very charming if a bit difficult to understand. Further investigation turned up that he was from Zimbabwe and is in fourth year business at Vancouver Island University.

We ordered Baked Garlic Shrimp, Escargot,  and Prime Rib Sliders. My favourite girl pronounced the Shrimp delicious. I’d been craving escargot since the last time. These were hiding within a mushroom cap and loaded with garlic butter. Just as good as always. The sliders were great too. Prime rib with extra horse radish and a cup of au jus for dipping. On the same plate was a good helping of deep fried skinny onions, one of my favourites. By the way, they still bring a small loaf of warm bread to the table as soon as you order. And the bread is still delicious.

The Keg has survived for about 50 Years  because of consistency. You know what to expect and they deliver. Good food, good service and great atmosphere. Too bad they don’t have a patio.

Thinking Beef, don’t forget the KEG.


Evening Patio Time

It us a beautiful summer evening in FRENCH CREEK and I’m sitting on our patio overlooking the 14th Fairway of Morningstar Golf Course, enjoying a crisp cold glass of Pinot Grigio.  What I am seeing are some large old beautiful Rhododendrons, 25 Year old Pine Trees, Hemlocks, Cedars, a beautiful Blue Spruce.  It is heaven!

This is truly a fabulous place to live in retirement. Lovely home, great neighbours, and a beautiful back yard.  We are fortunate❗️

Just saying…






Cuckoo’s Patio in Coombs

I know, I know.  I have written before about Cuckoo’s but we went again today. First time since last fall for my favourite girl. And we enjoyed it!

On a warm sunny day there are few places more inviting that the patio at Cuckoos.  We were placed on the small patio right beside the fountain, in the shade of the amazing trees adjacent. I could sit there all day.

We chose a Rose from 40 Knots Winery in Comox and it was a good choice. Beautiful colour, cold and crisp and tasty.  The bread basket provided is always good with a salsa like sauce or butter.  The breads are from the Coombs Store Bakery and really are good.  A shared small Caesar Salad to start was refreshing with lots of cheese and dressing. Never disappointing here.  Of course, we ordered our usual CAPRICOSSA pizza with ham, olives, and artichokes.  It is our favourite and is always good. The thin crust is just the way we like it.

The Rose was so good we had one more glass so we could enjoy the ambiance of this wonderful patio.

In our opinion, you just can’t beat a leasurely lunch, linner, or dinner sitting out on the amazing patio at Cuckoo’s in Coombs.  Who would believe this place even exists up behind the Goats On The Roof Store

Just saying…u


Courtenay’s Frankie Jo’s Cafe

Yesterday my favourite girl and I drove the slow way to Courtenay for a bit of lunch. We wanted to check out FRANKIE JO’S Bakery Cafe.  Turns out it was opening day. Carol & Stephen, the owners, formerly ran the very successful BLUE EYED MARY’S BISTRO on Bowen Island and later on Marine Drive is West Vancouver.  About a year ago they moved to the island not intending to go back in the business…but they did.

Carol was a Pastry Chef at the top rated Bishop’s in Vancouver so she knows her way around Bread and pastry.  Stephen is the front man, the ever charming host! They have created a cute, small Bakery Cafe serving breakfast and lunches along with baked good for take away.  The chairs and stools are all shiny white to go with marble table tops.  Fresh air fans can enjoy tables outside too.

Today’s offerings.


We chose the Frittata for a late lunch and were not disappointed.  It included roast ham, asiago cheese, spinach,  and a sun dried tomato pesto.  Served with a beautiful salad and a slice of Carol’s bread.  The dish was excellent and substantial. We paired it with a latte from their new coffee machine.

The menu includes Tomato Soup with a Grilled Cheese,  a Kale, Hearts of  Romaine  Caesar Salad, Falafels, and the ‘You Tell Us’ Soup and Sandwich. For Breakfast there is the Frittata, or Coconut Pancakes or Scrambled Eggs.  Plus there are daily specials.

If you are in the area, drop in for brunch or lunch. Carol & Stephen and their daughters Frankie & Jo are wonderful hosts with oustanding food!

FRANKIE JO’S is on 4th right around the corner from the main drag at #107-501 4th Street.  Look for the White Chairs outside

The owners.. IMG_6717

Just saying…