PODCASTS

Radio has always been a source of pleasure for me. Before Television we listened to shows like The Inner Sanctum, Sky King, The Lone Ranger & other’s. In my late teens I started tuning in Talk Radio starting with the famous Pat Burns on CJOR Vancouver.  Later it was Webster, Bannerman and eventually Rush Limbaugh.  As a salesman a lot of time was spent in my car and radio was a great companion. 

In this new digital world there are even better radio options. On an smart phone or iPad one can download an APP called TUNEIN RADIO. It can connect you to pretty much every radio station in the world, live. It’s fantastic.  If I wake up early in the morning I stick an earphone in my iPhone and listen to all manner of programming. 

A more recent discovery for me is the PODCAST. Podcasts  can be downloaded to your phone, tablet and computer and cover an amazing range of subjects. On The TUNEIN Radio App, one can browse the podcasts. It might be commercial free replays of talk radio shows or something on a variety of other topics. News & Politics, Comedy, History, Food and Cooking, Sports, Philosophy, Paranormal & Music. 

On the food list is the Bon Appetit Foodcast, Canadian Beer podcast and the Wine Cellar.  All available to download for free. How about old broadcasts of SHERLOCK HOLMES mysteries with Basil Rathbone? Or perhaps BOSTON BLACKIE, DRAGNET or Roy Rogers. All there, all free. 

Maybe you want to really learn something in addition to being entertained. Try the 20+ episodes covering the Fall if the Roman Empire. 

Can’t find anything worth watching on TV?  Try a podcast. 

Just saying…

Morningstar is Back!

As you may know Morningstar Golf Course  in FRENCH CREEK has been experiencing financial problems and,  as a result,  the restaurant has been closed for a while.  Good news! The course is now in receivership and the facilities have reopened.

We tried the Friday Night Fish & Chip special with friends last week and we were pleasantly surprised. The fish was very tasty with a very light batter perfectly done. Excellent and plentiful fries too. I liked the Tartar Sauce & the Cole Slaw although the latter was a pretty stingy serving. Two of the ladies at our table ordered the Thai Salad that also was well received. We thought the prices were pretty reasonable,  too.

The service was prompt and friendly and a tableside chat with the Manager was informative.

Good food, pleasant casual atmosphere, and close to home for us. We will be back.

 

Just saying…

Qualicum Beach Inn

Twice in recent weeks we have enjoyed lunch at the CVIEW Restaurant at the Qualicum Beach Inn. Outside seating behind the glass is quite delightful with a view out to sea. The service was good and the menu quite good. On two occasions my favourite girl chose the Seafood Cobb Salad. Loaded with seafood and beautifully presented it is worth considering. I have tried the Pulled Pork in a bun and a Hamburger. Both are really good. In fact the burger is one of the best I’ve had all summer. Mind you you at $18 it better be good. Yes, the prices are a little steep but one expects that in a hotel. Our Fish & Chip aficionado friend ordered it and it passed his muster.  A friend from Victoria really enjoyed the pizza and it did look good.

CView has a well planned wine list and a good assortment of local and imported beer.

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CVIEW is a perfect place to take out of town guests.  Good food, good service and a great view!

Just saying…

CHICKEN WINGS

If you are a wings aficionado you must check out the selection at NESVOGS in Nanaimo. 5 different flavours.

Buffalo Wings

Coconut Curry Wings

Souvlaki Wings

Lemon Herb Wings

Honey Garlic Wings

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We have tried the Buffalo Wings.  Excellent.

Just saying…

 

 

Tacos in Coombs

On the recommendation of a friend we decided to give the Taqueria next to Cuckoos in Coombs another try. Last time they did not yet have a liquor license, but they do now. 

it’s really a lovely outdoor Taco joint. A very appealing patio under  a huge cedar tree.  They serve several flavours of tacos as well as burritos, home made chips, &  tortilla soup.  They offer 3 levels of sauce on the tacos and burritos. Mild, medium and scorching hot. 

It’s basically a food truck.  You order as you go in and they call out your number when it’s ready. We ordered 3 beef tacos and two icy cold Coronas. Luckily,  we were in line behind two families with kids and the most indecisive pair of parents in the world. I thought they would never finish ordering. Some people are clueless, stupid, or thoughtless. I guess they thought they were the only customers there. Finally I ordered and headed for a table for two with the Coronas and limes. 

The Tacos were OK but not notable. The fish tacos at the Lantzville Pub are much better. Next time I’ll try the Burritos.   However, this patio on a warm day is a pretty nice place to sip on a Corona. They also serve Margaritas but no wine. 

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As we were leaving we ran into Fausto, the head honcho of Cuckoos who also manages the Taco stand. He told that the family that originally started the Coombs megaplex lived in the cottage just behind the patio and that they used to tie up the family cow to the huge Cedar tree way back when. 

If you are hankering for some Mexican tastes and want to relax on a charming patio,  Check it out. 

Just saying…

SCHNITZEL in Qualicum

About a week ago a few neighbours came for a casual dinner on the patio.  BBQ pulled pork on buns. Casual. While chit chatting over the food they asked if we had been to the BLACK BIRD SCHNITZEL HOUSE in Qualicum Beach. We had not yet done so.  We were encouraged to try it soon. So we did yesterday for lunch. 

Located on Highway 19A just past the beach, this is the third try for an eatery in this quite new building. There is ample parking too.  This family run place opened in 2017 and has been busy ever since. As expected, the decor is Bavarian. Dark wood floors and furniture with a variety of Black Forest decor items. There is a small patio but it was a little too windy for us so we sat inside. Service was prompt and friendly.  

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We ordered a libation and perused the menu. 21 kinds of Schnitzel I think.  The lunch Schnitzel are smaller portions than the dinner ones and less expensive. I chose the Peppercorn Mushroom with cabbage and fried potatoes. It was Delicious and a hearty portion for lunch at $13.95. My favourite girl zeroed in on the West Coast Caps. Shrimp, Scallops and cheese stuffed mushrooms baked and served with garlic toast. Also delicious. The Schnitzels are mostly pork but you can order veal for an extra $3.00. 

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Of course, there is a nice selection of German Beer and some resonantly priced wine.

If you like Schnitzel, you can’t go wrong here. Probably a good idea to make reservations for dinner as they are busy. 250-752-8500.  You can find them at 3298 Island Highway West. 

They don’t have a website but are on Facebook where you can see the menu. Specials are also posted on their page.

Just saying…

LUNCH AL FRESCO AT TIGH NA MARA

Tried a new patio today for lunch. We motored down to Tigh Na Mara to check out the patio at the Cedars Restaurant. It quite delightful and cool and appears to be semi permanent since the tables  are on what used to be grass. Nice tables, nice umbrellas. But it was empty. Guess everyone is at the beach. 

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We ordered an adult beverage and after perusing the menu we ordered. No crab cakes here so my favourite girl chose the Shrimp Croissant which she thoroughly enjoyed. I opted for the BLT which was a winner with a large portion of grilled chicken and tasty bacon. The Fries were really good too. The menu included Chowder, Halibut & Chips, Burgers etc. Not cheap, but that is to be expected at a hotel. 

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Our server was a charming, attractive and efficient young lady. She only had us as customers so service was good. Apparently the patio gets busy in the evening. The bar appetizer menu is available after 2 and it includes their excellent Popcorn Shrimp which we have nibbled on  previously.  On  Tuesday and Wednesday the still have the half priced appetizers in the bar. 

Thinking of outdoor dining? Check out this patio at Tigh Na Mara. 

Just saying…

MEAT YOU WILL WANT TO EAT

We are so fortunate to live on Vancouver Island where there is such an abundance of fresh local meat and produce available. Fruit, vegetables, meats, wines, spirits, we have it all. We can go directly to farms, or buy at the various farmers markets. But if it’s meat you are after here are two businesses you need to check out if you have not already.

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If you haven’t shopped at HILLIERS GOURMET FOODS you really must give it a try. Located not far from Qualicum Beach on Highway 4,the Alberni Highway, it is a European style meat store. They make their own double smoked  bacon and it is excellent. They made the breakfast sausages for our Canada Day Brunch and they were maybe the best we’ve ever enjoyed. 

Where else can you buy fresh Pork Bellies?  When I figure out how to cook them, I’ll buy some. 

The selection of in-house made sausages is large too. 

If you are a foodie you need to check this joint out. 

Speaking of meat, the other wonderful meat market in the area that is a must go, is NESVOG MEAT & SAUSAGE COMPANY in Nanaimo.  This place is like Mecca for Carnivores. It is a family run operation in business since 2005.  It’s large and busy. On our last visit there were at least 8 staff behind the counter taking orders.  They are courteous and efficient. Be sure and take a number and wait for it to be called out. 

The inventory on display is amazing. Steaks? Take your pick.  Sausages made right there! Many varieties. We like the spicy Italian Sausage which is great with Pasta. All manner of Pork, too. Ribs, Chops, Roasts. And Chicken galore.  

Want something marinated? Try the Maui Ribs. Best we’ve had. They also do Maui Steaks. And several kinds of delicious looking Kabobs as well as  several varieties of chicken wings. We put the Buffalo Wings on our bbq the other night. Excellent.  Sliced meats and other deli items can be had also. How about stuffed Portabello Mushrooms?  Right there and ready to go. 

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More than meat there is an excellent cheese section and a host of oils, mustards, rubs, crackers, breadsticks, etc., you will want to browse through. Not up to making dinner? The ready to go meat pies are very good as is  the Shepherds Pie and the Lasagne. Usually available are fresh berry pies in a small size perfect for two. 

The main store is in TERMINAL MALL on 19A about a kilometre or so past the Departure Bay turnoff if you are heading into Nanaimo. They have a Second much smaller store on Bowen Road near Northfield Drive but the main store is the place to go.

If you have not tried Nesvog, please do so soon. Check out their website

 http://www.nesvogmeats.com

Just saying…

FISH & CHIPS? YES!

How we have missed TROLLERS on the dock at the Nanaimo Boat Basin is beyond me. We’ve driven by it dozens of times in the seven years we’ve lived on the Island but had never stopped.  Luckily, on Tuesday some old boating friends from the States were returning from an Alaska trip and stopped to overnight in Nanaimo.  They called and asked if we could come in for a visit. Where can we get good Fish & Chips they asked.  I told them I thought there was a joint right on the dock. And there was.   So we met them at TROLLERS.

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What a pleasant surprise! This joint has really good food.  And our American friends loved it.  Trollers is not fancy to be sure.  Rather it’s really casual.  Order at the window and wait for the food to be delivered.  Disposable cutlery and baskets but good food.  From Halibut, Ling Cod & Salmon to Fanny Bay Oysters, Calamari, Crab Cakes, it all looks good.  Our friends had Cod & Chips and Onion Rings and enjoyed it all.   We had already had dinner so we shared a one piece Cod & Chips.  Our server said they have the best fish & Chips in Nanaimo and I believe she is correct.

Go on a sunny day and sit outside at a picnic table.  Very casual. Indoor seating is available in case of rain.

There is ample parking in the parkade nearby and its a short stroll down the ramp to Trollers.  Next time we have a Fish & Chips craving we are heading there even if they don’t serve beer or wine.  Check out their website for the menu and hours.  By the way, they also have some Gluten Free items.

http://www.trollersfishandchips.com

just saying…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch in Campbell River

Fabulous sunny day on the island so a drive with the roof open was in order. Took the old highway to Campbell River with the plan of attending Wings & Wheels, a plane and car show at the Campbell River Airport.  

Before the final destination lunch became important so we parked near the big marina and headed for the Rip Tide Pub.  We didn’t quite make as right next to it is a MOXIES and their patio looked inviting. 

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The menu looked good and the food going by looked really good. My favourite girl chose Chicken Fingers which were excellent. A large order so I felt compelled to help her out. Huevos Rancheros seemed a good choice for me. They were perfect. Pulled chicken between two tortillas with tiny black beans, rice and avocado topped with two fried eggs and a delicious spiced sauce. Different than I’ve had before but I’d order again in a nanosecond. 

The service was prompt and friendly and the servers and bussers  were well trained and efficient. 

The Rip Tide Pub next door is also very good and we have noshed there several times. 

If you are hungry in Campbell River, you can’t go wrong in either of these eateries. 

Oh, the plane and car show. It was pretty good some great cars but the best part was touching a B25 MITCHELL BOMBER from WWll.  Didn’t get to see her fly but just seeing her up close was pretty cool. There were almost 10,000 built in the US. There are more than 100 still around the world and about 45 are still airworthy. Amazing after more than 70 years. 

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By the way it was HOT at the airport. 31C! 

Just saying…