Dropped in to TREES DINER & BAKERY in Errington this week for lunch. Had not been since the ownership changed some time ago. The diner looks better than I remember and still has their bakery goods on display including cakes, pies, sausage rolls and croissants, all of which looked really good.
The menu here is pretty standard diner fare. We ordered a BLT with Cole Slaw and a Turkey club with fries. Service was prompt and friendly and our food arrived quickly. Both sandwiches were very tasty and the BLT was loaded with crisp bacon. They bake their own bread, White, Whole Wheat, Mulitgrain, Sourdough, Cheese, Marble Rye or Gluten-Free
We have it on good authority that the Hot Turkey Sandwich is a must try.
We checked out the Breakfast menu which include 6 different Eggs Benedict. They sound good and We’ll be back soon to sample. They serve Breakfast Wraps, Skillets and the usual Diner breakfast items.
Trees Diner is at the corner of Highway 4A and Church Road across from the big COOP gas station on the way to Coombs. Open 7 days a week from 8 to 8. They do TAKE OUT too.
I know, I know. I have reported on several Taco serving restaurants recently. But there are more out there on Vancouver Island and they are good.
In Victoria yesterday for my Grandson’s Grad Ceremony, I met with his family at ROMEOS in Broadmead Village for a pre ceremony bite. As it happens there were Fish Tacos on the menu and two of us ordered same. Three Tacos in the order served with some tortilla chips and Guacamole. Very delicious and nicely presented. Here they are. By the way the Calamari here is outstanding.
Today, on the way home we decided to catch the Brentwood/Mill Bay ferry and since we arrived at the terminal almost two hours early we headed immediately to the SEAHORSES Cafe right beside the ferry dock. They have a nice deck over the water and we we directed to a perfect table for two. Today’s special? TACOS! Chicken, Pulled Pork or Fish.
Fish it was. Three Tacos served with a very spicy dipping sauce. Oh so good. Why does food seem to taste better outside?
If you are in Brentwood you can’t go wrong at this joint.
A recent trip to Victoria to see the play COME FROM AWAY included a dinner out at CAFE BRIO on Fort Street. CAFE BRIO is operated by the same couple who ran the very successful Herald Street Cafe for many years and they seem to have transferred their magic from Herald Street to Fort Street.
CAFE BRIO is an upscale joint with an Italian influence. Almost all the menu items are available in full or half portions, a great option for those with smaller appetites or those who want to try multiple dishes.
We chose two different half sized salad, both delicious. Sheila selected Spaghettini and I chose half orders of both Gnocchi and Seared Scallops. We enjoyed everything. We passed on dessert but we did enjoy slurping a very tasty bottle of Kettle Valley Pinot Grigio. It was cold, crisp and had a surprisingly beautiful colour almost like a rose.
Our server, a young lady from PARKSVILLE was friendly, prompt and efficient.
Cafe Brio has a street-side patio in front, a nice bar, and both tables and booths. Very much an Italian influenced decor. Only open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday. This is a very popular restaurant so reservations are a must.
Not often would one drive to Port Alberni seeking food but there is a case to be made. We happened to have an appointment at the local hospital today and finished in time for lunch. We had heard good reports on PORTO TACO, a funky joint a block or so up Argyle Street from the Quay. Tacos it was.
PORTO TACO is a small restaurant with a few stools in the window and a long community table that can probably seat 16 or more. Outside is a small patio as well as a couple of tables on the sidewalk. But it’s all about the food here.
Ordering is done at the counter where you receive a number so the food is delivered to your table. We chose Fish Tacos, made to order and they were delicious! Not as much fish as the Lantzville Pub but very tasty. We didn’t slurp a Margarita, but they looked fabulous. Instead I enjoyed a Mexican Cola. Had never seen one before. Really good.
The menu here is quite extensive and includes Burritos, Chimichangas, Taco Salad etc. here is the full menu.
There is a shortage of good restaurants in the PARKSVILLE Qualicum Beach area, as least in my opinion, so we keep searching for something good. Three recent visits to the CACTUS CLUB in Nanaimo have been very satisfying.
Had not been to the Cactus Club for some time so we dropped in for late lunch recently, were seated in front of the cosy fireplace, and really enjoyed their SLIDERS. Beef for Sheila, Crunchy Chicken for me. For $17 they serve up three each of this deliciousness which is a pretty good buy. On another recent visit we sat in the bar. It was Super Bowl Sunday and was a bit noisy. We both tucked into a fabulous House Salad which had a really tasty dressing. A side, a bowl actually, of the best Yam Fries ever, completed our pre Theatre snack. On a third visit it was a salad for Sheila and the SZECHUAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS for me. This dish was simply wonderful. Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Chicken with peanuts, wontons, Korean Chili sauce and Spicy Yogurt served with almost an entire head of fresh crispy lettuce. Don’t want to hand wrap it? They will also serve this with shredded lettuce. You must try this as soon as possible! You must.
Almost forgot to mention that on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s Cactus Club offer wine by the bottle at half price. Have a glass and take the rest home if you wish. That’s a very good deal!
Cactus Club is now wholly owned by the Earl’s, Joey, group and with more than 30 restaurants across Canada they seem to be doing a lot of things right. Great food, service and ambiance. By the way Earl’s have 59 locations including 10 in the USA. JOEY’s have 32 restaurants including several in the USA.
The Nanaimo location is on 19A at Turner Road. Easy to find with plenty of free parking. They have a very easy and efficient online reservation service too.
In a previous blog I mentioned that we had seen some good looking Tacos at the KINGFISHER RESORT near Courtenay. Well yesterday we visited the Kingfisher bar with friends who were visiting us from Victoria.
The Bar at the Kingfisher is a nice modest size and our table had a beautiful view out to the water. We like this bar. And conveniently it’s on the way to or from Costco in Comox.
Our server was a delightful young lady who recently moved to the island from Kamloops and her service was friendly, fun and prompt. Sheila ordered the Cauliflower Tacos which were surprisingly delicious and were served up with a side salad. Your scribe chose the Ahi Tuna Tacos with a side of excellent fries. The Tuna was raw cubes, sashimi style and was also delicious. If you are in the area and feel peckish you can’t go wrong with either of these Tacos.
Ahi Tuna Tacos
My friend of 77 years, Mike, ordered the Chicken Rice Bowl. Wow! It was fabulous with 5 pieces of fried chicken over rice and shredded carrot. We all had a taste. Next time I’ll try it ! Our guest Alice had the Humboldt Squid which is always good.
Chicken Rice Bowl
We washed it down with a bottle of UNSWORTH Pinot GRIS. From Cobble Hill and always satisfying.
The KINGFISHER RESORT is a great place to stay but also a terrific place for lunch. It’s right on 19A near Royston. https://www.kingfisherspa.com
What is going on with Tacos on Vancouver Island? They are popping up on menus everywhere. Since I love Tacos, especially Fish Tacos, I thought it was time to report on their whereabouts. Here are some that I have enjoyed.
The Lantzville Pub has been serving up Fish Tacos for some time. A generous portion of deep fried Cod with the appropriate garnishes. Really good. Have ordered them many times. Cod is the choice at the FRENCH CREEK Social Hall too. The Cole slaw is particularly good on these. Originally they were serving very large pieces of Cod but by this week the fish had been downsized to a more normal size. Still worthy of your consideration.
Up in Coombs the Taqueria, next to Cuckoos has an assortment of Tacos. They make their own tortillas. I guess they are good but a little grainy for me. But it’s a cool place in the summer with outdoor tables. And other Mexican fare too.
Of course, it’s hard to beat those served up at the Tidal Tacos, the waterfront shack in Qualicum Bay. Made to order means you wait a bit but it’s worth it. Try the Chili Coconut Prawn Tacos. Simply delicious.
At the Kingfisher Resort we saw their raw tuna tacos. They looked fabulous and I’ll order on our next visit. On their Bistro menu in the bar.
On my first visit to REALM in PARKSVILLE I tried the Fish Tacos. Realm is kind of a granola joint with all locally sourced organic product. The tacos can be ordered individually or in threes. And they are good. Choices include Tempura Lingcod, grilled Lingcod, and Albacore Tuna and a Vegan option. The menu is in the wall and you order at the counter. I’ll go back!
Finally, on Resort Drive in PARKSVILLE you must try the TASTE TACO BISTRO. Taste has been in business a long time but last year changed its format to Mexican. I ordered two beef Tacos. Very large and delicious. The Fish Tacos here are pan fried and are probably good. Taste is a delightful joint, nice owners and good service. Good Margaritas too.
If you love Tacos, you have lots of choice in the Oceanside Area.
And, by the way, we made Tacos at home recently. Used Halibut fried in butter with shredded red cabbage and chopped tomatoes. Turned out really well for a first time trial run.
Getting old is definitely not for sissies! Living in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area we are surrounded by seniors. A trip to the grocery store is like a visit to a seniors home. Since I chose+to retire here I guess I must get used to the fact.
As one ages, certain daily routines can become more challenging. For example, having developed a painful hip ( Total Hip Replacement may be on the horizon) the simple act of putting on one’s sock can be a monumental task. For me it’s becoming more difficult. Embarrassing actually.
So a simple search for a “sock puller onner” revealed several such devices on Amazon. Where else? There are probably 2 dozen or more of these devices available so I chose the least expensive one and Amazon delivered it promptly.
Eureka, I exclaimed the first time I tried it. No pain! Sock fully on requiring no further pull up. If only I had invented this $15 item myself.
Here is what it looks like.
Here is what it looks like while in service.
The SOCK PULLER ONNER is a winner. Especially for us old people. And it works really well with Pressure Stockings too.
Once known as the BOAR’S HEAD PUB, then the FRENCH CREEK Marine Pub, this joint recently reopened following some renovations as the FRENCH CREEK SOCIAL HALL What the hell is ab Social Hall. Perhaps a place for Bingo or a Craft Fair? If you were driving by and saw the sign, would you think it might be a great spot for lunch? I think not.
Despite the aforementioned, today we met Uncle Murray for lunch at said place. And it was a really good one. The old pub has had a facelift and seems cleaner and more orderly but still has the same tables and chairs. So not much is different except THE FOOD!
The new menu has some wonderfully interesting offerings. Sheila & I opted for the FISH TACOS, and, oh my it was a great choice. 3 Tacos with large pieces of perfectly deep fried cod for only $16. They were delicious. Murray chose the soup of the day, a hearty Beef Barley.
Some of the other dishes which appealed to me include a Shrimp Po’Boy, Fire Dusted Calamari, Lobster Roll and Ragin’Cajun Jambalaya. Here is the full menu:
Monday to Friday there is Happy Hour from 3-6 with some very reasonably priced appetizers and beverages.
If you live in the area you must try the food here. It’s good! Service is friendly and efficient, too. We will be back to sample them soon. The Menu is a real winner. If only they called the joint a PUB.
FRENCH CREEK Social Hall is at the FRENCH CREEK Marina. Turn off 19A at Lee Road. Lots of free parking right in front. Reservations if you wish call 250-947-6963 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TUSCANY is famous for wine, food, fabulous countryside, Torture Museums and CERAMICS. In the hillside town of San Gimignano several shops sell locally made ceramics. Everything from wine stoppers to dining tables.
Not surprisingly we bought a suitcase full to bring back to Canada. Most of it we bought at LEONCINI on the Main Street in San Gimmy. https://www.leoncini-italy.com
This is the store.
LEONCINI is the largest ceramic store in the area and it is a delight to visit. Oil & Balsamic bottles were high on our list and we both brought a set home. I picked up coffee mugs to replace those I bought on a previous visit.
The ‘piece de resistance’ however, are the stunningly beautiful ceramic dining tables. I fell in love with them on my first visit in 2007 but have resisted a purchase. They are expensive. A 36 inch round table is about 950€ or about $1400 Canadian plus shipping. So tempted though. Finally I decided they Italian design really didn’t fit with all the Oriental pieces in my home. Nevertheless it was tempting. Maybe in a future visit.
These tables would be perfect on a patio or in some kitchens. Perhaps yours.
If you have the opportunity to visit San Gimingnano be sure and spend some time in LEONCINI. Take lots of cash! And remember they ship all over the world.