New food store✔️

Foodies are always looking for something or someplace new. The other day we stopped at the Fish Store in Buckley Bay by the Denman Island Ferry terminal and discovered a charming little food store call Weinberg’s Good Food. Today I learned from our niece Nancy that Weinberg’s opened a store in Qualicum Beach last week. 

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Being somewhat curious, we jumped in the car today and went for a snoop. Weinberg’s is located on 2nd in the quaint Chilham Village complex across the street from the TD Bank. The store carries specialty food items,  some deli stuff and serves coffee, espresso, cappuccino and a few snacks. Lots of mustards, hot sauce, preserves, aioli etc. I picked up a Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Herb Aioli which will be delicious drizzled over freshly cooked asparagus .

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I chatted with the owner, Leah, who informed me that the Buckley Bay Store has been in business for 8 years. Now they have expanded to Qualicum Beach. Good for them. It is a very nice addition to the food scene. We wish them every success. 

They are on Facebook and have a web page ; http://www.weinbergsfood.com

Next time you are cruising through Qualicum, drop in for a visit. You will enjoy this place. 

Just saying…

Things Nautical

Today is a potpourri of things Nautical. 

I have been following the cruise ships to Alaska on the MARINE TRAFFIC APP.  So far this season more than 30 Cruise Ships are running out of Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. Holland America Lines have 8 ships in service and Princess Cruises have six. Assuming the ships are full or nearly full about 60,000 people,  or more, are cruising to Alaska weekly. What a business. 

For the first time since 2013 a large Cruise Ship visited Port Alberni last week. Holland America’s MV. MAASDAM dropped her anchor in the harbour and reportedly 80 % of the passengers went ashore. Many were bussed to Cathedral Grove. The Maasdam had been in Alaska, returned to Victoria, then Alberni, and Astoria, Oregon on the way to San Francisco. Port Alberni is expecting several more cruise ship visits this summer. Great boost to the local economy. 

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If you have ever thought about, or dreamt about cruising to Alaska in a pleasure boat or yacht then you might enjoy this website. www.slowboat.com. A guy from Seattle, Sam Landsman, leads a small flotilla of pleasure boats to Alaska every year. His website covers the journey starting on Stuart Island in the San Juan’s and ending in Alaska. He reports on each leg of the trip and includes some wonderful photos, some taken from his drone. If you open the website you can click on each leg to see the full text and photos. It is very well done. 

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Finally, if you fancy sailboat racing, the Vancouver Isle 360 race started today in Nanaimo. 37 boats started and they will circumnavigate Vancouver Island. The first stop is Comox  where they will overnight. It is 14-day journey sailing in the waters off Vancouver Island, on a route that will take them to Comox, Campbell River, Hardwicke Island, Telegraph Cove, Port Hardy, Winter Harbour, Ucluelet, Victoria and back to Nanaimo. It’s 580 nautical miles. 

If you are interested in following the race, here is the tracking website. 

http://tracker.vanisle360.com

If you click on each boats it gives the name, speed etc. 

Enjoy summer boating without leaving your iPad.

Just saying…

It’s Open…Finally

At long last the FRENCH CREEK BISTRO has opened. It’s the place that burned down a couple of years ago next to Sam’s Sushi in FRENCH CREEK. It was supposed to open last fall but didn’t until last weekend. 

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I have not tried it but I went in today to take a look. Very casual coffee shop ambiance. In my opinion, not particularly inviting. An L shaped counter with about 8 seats and a half a dozen tables for 4. Two big screenTVs and a display case with some baked goods. I took a look at menu board. Pretty limited so far. Didn’t notice if they are licensed. Here is the lunch menu. 

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It was quite busy with what seemed to mostly be working guys on their lunch break.

No Facebook page or website so far.  When I try it I’ll report further. Meamwhile if anyone has been, let me know your thoughts.  So far I’m not excited. 

Just saying…

Tankers and Whales

There continues to be much controversy about deep sea ship traffic in the waters of British Columbia.  Environmentalists are concerned that when and if the Trans Mountain Pipeline is completed there might be one (1) additional tanker per day departing the Port of Vancouver. The concerns are twofold: safety and possible threat to the local Orcas. 

Currently there are approximately 3200 deep sea ships visiting the port each year. That includes container ships, freighters, tankers and cruise ships. So that means there are around 6400 ship movements each year or  about 17  per day. Add another tanker per day and its 18 per day. At the same time BC FERRIES make approximately 124,000 trips per year and they are adding 2700 more. That will mean 358 ferry movements per day. To think one more deep sea ship per day will have a serious effect on the Whales is not a believable argument.

 

Consider also these interesting facts. In the narrow Strait of Gibraltar there are more than 120,000 ship movements per year. In the English Channel there are about 185,000 ship movements per year. In Singapore 365,000 ships come and go per year, 1000 each and every day. The Port of Rotterdam sees nearly 30,000 deep sea ships and 120,000 inland ships each year. 14,000 ships transit the Panama Canal annually. 

Since 1970, according to the Port of Vancouver, 153,949 deep sea ships have visited Vancouver. Since they almost all arrive and depart via Juan de Fuca Strait, Haro Strait and the southern part of Georgia Strait, that means in 49 years more than 300,000 deep sea ships have transited Haro Strait etc without an incident. No collisions, no groundings, no sinkings. 

As to the concerns about oil tankers, consider that the Port of Vancouver currently sees about 30-50 tankers per year. The pipeline could cause an increase to about 400 per year. That sounds like a lot but consider that the Port of Rotterdam sees 8,200 tankers per year and the Port of Singapore sees about 22,000 tankers per year.  So Singapore has 120 tankers arriving or departing every day. Vancouver would see one per day. 

It is my view that the concerns about the safety of ship traffic in our waters unfounded. 

Just saying…

BBQ. TEXAS STYLE

Finally, I tried the Local Texas BBQ stand for a little lunch today.  It was highly recommended by my brother, who lived in Texas for 16 years so has some reasonable knowledge of Texas BBQ. The food truck/smoker combo has been around Oceanside for several years but it took until today for a trial by me. 

Texas BBQ is currently located on Highway 4A near Church Rd, across from the COOP.  A big food truck and a big old wood fired smoker is right there. You just pull up , walk over and order. Eat in your car or at one of several picnic tables provided. 

Brisket is favourite of mine so Brisket on a Toasted Bun it is.  $10 for a very generous portion. A wide selection of sauces and other condiments are supplied and I chose the Texas BBQ sauce. The brisket was fall apart tender with a nice Smokey taste. Pretty darn good.  Depending on the quantity of sauce you deploy it can be messy, so take a bunch of their napkins.  Here is the Brisket.

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The menu is more extensive than expected. One could choose a Hot Dog, Burger,  Pulled Pork, BLT and even a Pulled Pork Burrito.  And pork Back Ribs too. Lots of sides to accompany you Sandwich including Potato Salad, Baked Beans and more. Of course, soft drinks can be purchased too. 

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If you love low, slow, BBQ, the truck is definitely in your future. They are closed Mondays but open weekends. At noon today there was a line up. Always a good sign of food goodness. 

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I’m thinking a pulled pork Burrito has my name on it next time.

Just saying…

HOT DOG HEAVEN

It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a HOT DOG. Probably the last one was last summer. But I outdid myself this week. IRITEX, the irrigation supply company on the Alberni Highway had the Grand Opening of their new facility on Friday & Saturday. On site was the food cart of SMOKIN’ STREET DOGS and the dogs were free. 

As it happens, I was in need of a few parts for the drip watering system so on Friday morning it was a quick drive up Church Road to Iritex. Twenty dollars for parts, then the Hot Dog. Fried onions? Yes please. Help yourself to mustard, relish etc. Thank You.

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Of course mustard and relish found their way to my clean shirt. The Dog was delicious!  It seemed that on Saturday a few more irrigation parts were needed. Iritex, here I come. And I had another one. Two dogs on one weekend! Free!  

SMOKIN’ STREET DOGS are a local outfit who sell Hot Dogs but also cater Festivals, Fundraisers etc. Beef  Dogs, Smokies, Cheese Dogs and even Veggie Dogs are available.  You can follow them on Facebook if you have a craving and want to know where the are dishing out the tubular goodness. This coming week they will be at Buckerfieds on the Alberni Highway.  Look for this cart. 

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Just saying…

 

 

Brown’s SOCIALHOUSE

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. 

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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/.  

Just saying…

MOUNT ARROWSMITH BREWING COMPANY

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. 

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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

https://arrowsmithbrewing.com/food/

Oh, and did I mention, they have GOOD BEER! 

Just saying…

Breakfast or Lunch in Victoria

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 

https://www.thevillagerestaurant.ca.

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. 

Just saying…