It was a first time for us at Brown’s Social House in Nanaimo. My favourite girl and I met some old friends for lunch today. We were surprised at the size of Brown’s as it is so much larger than it looks from the highway. It is nicely done inside, warm and cozy. It features a large open bar in the middle of the room.
Interestingly, Brown’s was founded by Scott Morrison, originally a cook at Earl’s Restaurants and later a founding partner in the Cactus Club. After 18 years with Cactus Club he sold his shares and opened the first Brown’s in 2004, on Lonsdale in North Vancouver. From the get go it was his plan to franchise the concept and has done so successfully with more than 50 franchise operations in Canada. The owner of the Nanaimo store also owns the ones in Victoria and Langford.
Today our table of 8 enjoyed a variety of dishes. Two had Fish & Chips which were well received. I chose the Beef Dip which included caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. Calamari, a crispy chicken sandwich and a spicy rice bowl along with a gluten free dish for one of our friends completed the table choices. It was all really good, if a touch pricey.
The service was very friendly and efficient. Excellent! The manager even came by and introduced himself which is a special touch.
This is the fourth Brown’s location we have tried and we will definitely be back again soon.
The Nanaimo location is in the mall on Enterprise between 19A and Metral Drive.
Here is their web site. http://brownssocialhouse.com/.
Had lunch today with the boys at a unique spot, The MOUNT ARROWSMITH BREWING COMPANY. It’s located at 425 Stanford Ave E in Parksville. And it’s pretty darn good.
We all went with a Flight of Beer, 4 different varieties and you choose your medicine. I opted for the Arrowsmith Blonde, the Salish Sea, the Comfortable Chum and the IPA. All were good with distinctive interesting flavours. This is a real craft brewery and they know their beer. The Arrowsmith Blonde Ale is an award winner.
The lunch and snack menu is limited but includes Wings, Tacos, Flatbreads and a cheese tray. I took a run at the Tacos. Two for $13.50. Coconut Prawns in one, Crispy Chicken in the other. Fresh & delicious. I really enjoyed them both. They are served with some wonderful in house made corn chips with salsa on the side. A couple of the guys had the wings which they enjoyed. We will all go back.
It a funky kind of joint with darn good food. They have a patio, too, with picnic tables and umbrellas which would be enjoyable on a warm summer day. And there is good parking right in front. Open for lunch until 7:30 most days.
You can check out their beer and food menu at
Oh, and did I mention, they have GOOD BEER!
Well, we haven’t been to any new restaurants lately but my brother and sister in law have. While in Victoria not long ago they had brunch at THE VILLAGE on Estevan Avenue in Oak Bay just about 3 blocks from Willows Beach. Interestingly, the restaurant location was a grocery store in the 1950’s where I worked a a delivery boy.
The Village now has four locations, all of which are open for Breakfast and Lunch 8-3. The breakfast menu includes 7 kinds of Eggs Benedict and 5 different Omelettes. Lunch offerings look really good with some great soups and sandwiches. How about the UPLANDS, (of course the Uplands district is just blocks away) Sandwich. Brie, apples & toasted walnuts on toasted cinnamon bread? Or maybe a Montreal Smoked Meat?
The other Village locations are Torquay on Shelbourne Street near Mount Douglas Park, Royal Oak on West Saanich Road and Chinatown on Store Street near the new Johnson St Bridge. They also do Take out. Maybe pick up a smoked meat sandwich and drive down to Dallas Road to enjoy.
On our next trip to Victoria we will try THE VILLAGE for sure. You can check out their menus at
Finally, after changing the date several times on the ‘opening soon’ sign, Ricky’s All Day Grill in PARKSVILLE has broken ground. The sign says opening Fall 2019. It is going up on 19A across from Serious Coffee.
I’m often asked when the FRENCH CREEK BISTRO is opening? Next to Sam’s Sushi. Who knows? Not open as of today. Stay tuned.