French Fry Tragedy

French Fried Potatoes also know as Pommes Frites in France, Chips in England, and simply Fries at McDonalds, are one of the most universal foods. The French dip the fries in Mayonnaise, the Brits use Vinegar & Salt and in most of North America, it’s Ketchup and some people even put  gravy on the morsels or carbohydrate goodness. 

In France they accompany Steak and Moules (mussels for  Michigan fans), in the UK it’s with deep fried Haddock but in over here in the new world fries go with BURGERS. Other stuff too but especially Burgers. 

The French and the Belgians are still fighting over who first created deep fried potatoes and the origins go back to the 1600’s. Some fry historians think that St Teresa of Avila in Spain made the very first ones. Whomever is responsible doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they did. And millions of people enjoy them every day despite the fact that large fries at Ronald McDonalds joint hit your body with 350 calories and 260 grams of Sodium. Yikes. 

Canadian Company McCains is the largest producer of frozen French Fries in the world. But McDonalds restaurants is the largest retailer of fries in the world. They own entire potato farms in Idaho to secure their supply. But recently they failed us. 

Last weekend, right here in PARKSVILLE, my sister in law ordered a McChicken Combo at the local drive thru.  Sorry! No Combos today! We are OUT OF FRIES!  can you imagine? McDonalds out of fries!  What we have here folks is


Tragic beyond words. A culinary disgrace. An assault on the middle class. We may need a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of this. 

McDonalds out of fries, indeed.

Just saying…

Qualicum Beach Cafe

Although the restaurant in the Qualicum Beach Inn had reopened a while ago under new ownership, we had yet to visit. Now known as the Qualicum Beach Cafe, it’s owned and managed by the same folks who run the Water Street Cafe in Vancouver’s Gastown which has been a very successful eatery for many years. Since my digital media son from Toronto was here we decided to try the Qualicum Beach Cafe on Friday night. 

From the first greeting from the hostess when we arrived the service was excellent. The atmosphere is great and the food met our high expectations.  We shared an order of Calamari, the best I’ve had for ages. Tender with crispy batter and some sliced Jalapeño Peppers included which gave the dish a nice little kick. 

The Media Mogul ordered the Steak Fritte. Consider that in another life he cooked steaks at the KEG Restaurant to pay for college, so he knows Steak. This Steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and came with a spicy dipping sauce and perfect fries which also had a touch of heat.

My choice was the Seafood Gnocchi. It included salmon, Shrimp & tiny Scallops. The sauce was simply amazing and the dish was beautifully presented. I would order it again. 

Since son Jackson and I had consumed numerous Creme Brûlée’s on a trip to Normandy 15 years ago, that was our choice for dessert. Alas, they were out of their Banana Creme Brûlée so offered a tart that we shared. It was chocolate with perfect pastry. So good. 

Of course, the guy from Toronto chose the wine, an expensive French Pinot Noir that was the perfect choice. The food is a bit pricey but not too bad. Gnocchi was $22, the Steak $34. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to the Qualicum Beach Cafe and will return. Great atmosphere, great service, great food. A perfect place for a special occasion. You can check out the menu at By the way their on line reservation system is the best I’ve ever used. 

And he paid. 

Just saying…