Campbell River Eatery

Our Campbell River friends Marv & Judy told me about the quite new eatery in their neck of the woods.  The BIG ROCK GARAGE AND RESTAURANT. They advise that the food is really good and they particularly enjoyed their huge bowls of Won Ton Soup. It’s not a Chinese Food Restaurant but does have very Asian flavours.  The menu features mostly seafood including sushi rolls. 

We have not been yet but the Big Rock Garage is definitely on our list. I checked out the food photos on their website and it does look good. Check it out here; 

https://www.bigrockgarage.com

Next time you are in or around Campbell River you may want to drop in.  Open for lunch and dinner.  Big Rock Garage is located at 906 Island Highway South on the way into Campbell River.

Just saying…

RICKY’S in PARKSVILLE

RICKY’S ALL DAY GRILL opened six weeks ago on 19A in the south end of PARKSVILLE.  My old colleague and friend Neil, from Victoria, was in Nanaimo and wanted to meet for lunch. RICKY’S seemed like a good choice since I had never been in a RICKY’S before. Maybe my fondness for White Spot since 1952 caused me to overlook Ricky’s. 

It’s in a brand new building next to the Arbutus Grove Motel at 1182 Island Highway East and owned by the Aarbo family, owners of the motel  since 2003.   We found it to be very nicely done, in a White Spot sort of way. I guess the owners would say a Ricky’s sort of way. Mostly booth seating with a few counter spots. Very bright with big windows all around. The menu is as one would expect. Sandwiches, Burgers, Fish & Chips are the norm here. Neil, not known to shy away from hearty groceries,  opted for the Blackened Chicken Fettuccine and rated it as excellent.

B179C28B-5C53-4A9F-A2E0-97DCDF0FA478 I chose the $12 quick lunch special, a Burger with Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, served up on a wood plank with excellent fries. The burger was right sized for me, not too big, but really good. Here is the lunch special menu. They serve up half sizes of these sandwiches. 

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Service was prompt and friendly. The staff trainer did a good job. Parking is ample too.  Here is the full menu. https://rickysrestaurants.ca/menus/

I liked my first encounter at RICKY’S and will go again. If you have not yet been to this new joint, put it on your list. 

Just saying…

Qualicum Beach Fine Dining

This week we enjoyed having overnight guests for a couple of nights. Last night our thoughtful guests treated us to dinner at the C View Restaurant at the Qualicum Beach Inn. What a pleasant surprise!

The C View has a new chef and they just launched a new dinner menu. And a good one it is, too. My favourite girl and I shared a Caesar Salad that was unusual in that it included delicious green beans. Then she chose her favourite, Crab Cakes that were pretty much just chunks of crab. I opted for the mussels which were done in a Tomato, Coconut Curry sauce that was wonderful. There were so many mussels I could not finish them all.  Some bread was included and the dish was only $22.  Our guests chose Butternut Squash Ravioli which she declared was really outstanding. He ordered Seafood spaghettini, which he said was pretty good. 

Our server was yet another foreign chap, South African, who met a Canadian girl in a bar and, of course,  ended up in Bowser. He was an excellent waiter. Efficient and charming. 

Added to the evening was a continuous serenade of live classic guitar. Very nice touch. 

Looking for a delightful evening with you true love…try the C View. I think you will be impressed with their new  menu choices.  We sure were. Here is their website https://cviewrestaurant.com

By the way, our friends Lorna & Mike recommend early dinner at the bar sharing a dish and some wine, something they do regularly. 

Just saying…

Cookware & more in Duncan

The foodie ladies that give me kitchen tips told me about a must visit cookware shop in Duncan. So, since Saturday was a beautiful, sunny, fall day, an afternoon drive with my favourite girl seemed appropriate. 

We pointed the red ILX south and an hour later found POTS & PARAPHERNALIA! 

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Wow! What a fabulous store it is. It’s in a beautifully restored old red brick building at 838 Canada Avenue in Duncan. The first step through the door almost takes your breath away as the displays are so artfully done. It’s a very spacious store full of glassware, dishes, pots, pans and pretty much everything else you might need or want. Don’t miss the upstairs where you will find stunning Duvet Covers and a grand assortment of sheets and towels and other things bed and bath. 

The very friendly staff said one must visit in December as the store is decorated in a spectacular fashion. They also mentioned that they have a sale on all bedding every August. 

POTS & PARAPHERNALIA, the ladies advised, has been in business for 39 years, 13 at the current location. The experience shows as much of the stock is tasteful, so elegant. Some of the best product displays I’ve seen anywhere.  Absolutely a must visit even if you don’t need anything. 

So if you are out for a drive or headed to Victoria or planning a winery tour in the area, include this wonderful shop on your itinerary. 

For a sneak look check out their website at  https://www.potsandparaphernalia.ca/

We took the slow road home through Maple Bay, Crofton, Chemainus and Saltair, a lovely drive on a country road. As our timing was good the ILX found its way to the CROW & GATE PUB for a 4 o’clock late lunch early dinner sometimes known as Linner. 

Just saying…

A New Joint in Qualicum

Well there is a new eatery in Qualicum Beach, Q BURGER!  I went to take a look today but it’s closed on Tuesday’s so all I could do was peek in. Looks nice. A Bistro look with plank top tables. Nicely done decor. They had left menus outside so I purloined one to check out the fare. It wasn’t what I expected for an eat in take out joint. As you can see by the menu below it’s not just another burger joint. Not at those prices anyway. But the food looks really interesting. They don’t seem to have a website but they are on INSTAGRAM and have posted lots of photos of the interior and the food. Search for vi q burger to find. 

Q BURGER is on Second in Qualicum Beach right across from the theatre. Open 11 to 9 Daily except Tuesday. Apparently the owner is an experienced Restaurant owner from Courtenay.  We will be trying it out soon, but if you care to venture out let me know how it is. 

One other opening to report on.  The Beach House at Qualicum Beach has reopened. Don’t know what it’s serving but there was an easel out front today advertising muffins and coffee. 

Here is the Q Burger menu.

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Just saying…

 

 

Second Chance

Sometimes another visit to an eatery changes one’s opinion and that certainly happened today. Met my pal Beast at the FRENCH CREEK PUB for lunch. Haven’t been there for ages because I wasn’t crazy about the decor and ambiance. But, today we sat on their patio and it was wonderful. The patio is quite spacious with about 8 large round tables with comfortable chairs and colourful umbrellas. Fresh air right by the ocean. All manner of boats just across the parking lot. Our server was a charming young lady. She was friendly and efficient. 

We scanned the menu and saw some great sounding items.  Popcorn Shrimp. Crab Cakes, two things my favourite girl loves. Beast settled on the Chicken Caesar Wrap which was quite substantial, loaded with chicken. He pronounced that it was excellent. I chose the Cheese Burger which came with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a dill pickle. It was a really, really good burger. Both mains were accompanied by French Fries, amongst the best I’ve had recently. 

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A number of other dishes passed by enroute to other tables and they looked good. The Fish & Chips were particularly enticing as were the Fish Tacos. Our server said the Mini Lobster Rolls are fabulous.  There is no doubt that the FRENCH CREEK PUB has really good pub food. And they serve good beer too! 

Pick a warm sunny day and try out the patio. You will not be disappointed! 

We will be trying it again soon, for sure. 

If you have not been there turn off 19A at Lee Road. The FRENCH CREEK Pub is right by the marina. You can check out their website and menu here.  https://frenchcreekmarinepub.com/

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Just saying…

Golf Course Dining

I Here on Vancouver Island there are many, many, golf courses. Most of them have restaurants and most of them we have never tried. We tried Arrowsmith Golf Course for lunch a few years ago and the Fish & Chip night at Eaglecrest. A gang of us tried the Morningstar Friday Fish & Chip night 2 or 3 years ago. All of these were pretty good. But it’s been awhile. 

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So today, thanks to the organizational skill of my friend Paul, the guys lunched at Morningstar. For a time this place was closed as the course was in financial trouble. It’s currently being run by the receiver but they reopened Grill on the Green, the restaurant,  earlier this year. It’s a nice spot with a great view on a clear day. We met Chef Mel, who came by the table to tell us about the specials. We all chose Fish & Chips. Some had Halibut but I chose the Rockfish. Two pieces perfectly cooked with a light crispy batter. It was very tasty as were the fries. $16.  Not a bad price. 

Grill on The Green has special nights. Half price Wings on Wednesday, Ribs on Thursday, Fish & Chips on Friday and Chef Mel’s favourite Italian dishes on Saturday night. My friend Paul reports that he can recommend the wings and ribs. The menu has the usual Golf Course fare.  Burgers, BLT, salads etc. Check it out here:

Click to access Spring%20Menu%202019.pdf

Grill in the Green is quite a nice room and on a warmer day we would have opted for the deck.

If you are looking for something local and good,  Morningstar’s restaurant is definitely worth your consideration. Morningstar is located at 525 Lowry’s Road, Parksville. There is lots of free parking  

http://www.morningstargolf.com  250-248-2244. 

There are several other Golf Course Restaurants in the area including Fairwinds & Pheasant Glen. The latter has a good looking menu and they also have a nice deck.  I don’t Golf, but that doesn’t mean I can’t nosh at a good course.

Just saying…

 

French Creek Bistro or Diner?

Since everyone keeps asking what is the French Creek Bistro like? Have you tried it?  Well, this morning I tried it. 

I dropped in to try the breakfast this morning. I was greeted by a charming young lady, Claudia, who is the owner’s daughter and who just moved here from Vernon to help her folks open the place. Her father is the baker and is the same gentleman who owned the restaurant /bakery before he sold it and it burned down. The reason they took so long to open is that after construction the RDN made them replace all the just finished drywall and the outside siding. 

I ordered a Back Bacon and Egg Sandwich and a coffee. Both were good and served quickly.  Claudia then advised  that the Cinnamon buns are amazing. The other in-house baked goods include sausage rolls,  apple strudel, etc., all baked fresh daily and ready for take-out. 

French Creek Bistro is open Monday to Saturday from 8-3. Breakfast is served from 8-11and the Breakfast menu is pretty regular although if you are really hungry you could tuck into Steak & Eggs for $15. For lunch they have soups, sandwiches and salads as expected and everyday they post a specials board. Claudia told me that lunch time has been really busy. 

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 But soon, they will also be open for dinner serving up Schnitzel, Fish & Chips, and other dinner fare. And they are getting a liquor licence so will have beer on tap and a selection of wines. 

The Bistro seats 26 at tables and 10 at the counter. Need to keep up on the news or catch the game? There are 3 large flat screens just for you.  Personally, I think it’s the French Creek Diner with home cooked, no nonsense,  good Diner food. With amazing Cinnamon Buns! 

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Give it a try. French Creek Bistro is next to Sam’s Sushi at the corner of Wembley and 19A in French Creek. 

Just saying…

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…