Found another really good lunch place today as the boys had a pre Christmas lunch at the BAYSIDE BISTRO in the PARKSVILLE QUALITY INN. Oh yes, we have been driving past here several times a week for more than six years but had only once stopped. That was when we were house hunting and we had a quick refresher in the sports bar which was not impressive at all. We had heard good reports, however, on the Bayside Bistro and I’m glad we checked it out.
To begin, the bistro has a spectacular ocean and mountain view! It is a nice room, very spacious and a view from every table. And today the view was spectacular with all the fresh snow on the mainland mountains. In the summer months there is a patio which could be a winner on a sunny day in June. Fortunately, the food and service complimented the view. I chose a the day’s Special sandwich, fresh turkey on toasted Sourdough. It was delicious and was accompanied by excellent french fries. One could have soup or salad instead of fries.
This Bistro has a good selection of Craft Beer on tap. My Arrowsmith Blonde Lager, a local brew, was outstanding. Our server was friendly and efficient too.
The Bayside Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the breakfast menu looks inviting. You can peruse the menu at
Based on our first visit we certainly will add this place to our recommended list. It’s at 240 Dogwood just off 19A in PARKSVILLE.
We had dined at MEKONG RIVER a couple of times but not recently so last night we joined two other couples for dinner. They were not very familiar with Vietnamese food so we asked the very entertaining owner/manager to feed us. And he did. Very well!
We ordered some adult beverages and soon the food began arriving. First up was a huge bowl of WonTon soup to share. Excellent and plentiful wontons, crispy vegetables and tasty broth. The next arrival was steamed rice joined by Ginger Chicken, Lamb Curry, Chow Mein, Spicy Prawns, and Tamarind Pork. Every dish included delicious crispy vegetables. We devoured it all.
It was a Great sampling of Vietnamese cuisine that was really delicious. Our friends enjoyed it all so much there were immediate declarations of “we’ll be back”.
By the way, The Owner/manager is charming with an engaging crusty attitude. Quite entertaining, which added to the enjoyment of the dinner. No wonder the place was packed.
Reservations would be a good idea here. Call them at 250-586-8000. They don’t have a website but they are on Facebook where you can see the menu.
Mekong River Vietnamese Cuisine on 19A in PARKSVILLE. Try it.
Yesterday we joined some friends and went to the matinee performance of the YELLOW POINT CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR at the wonderful Port Theatre in Nanaimo. What a show! Spectacular indeed.
Since we were expecting an all Christmas show we were pleasantly surprised to hear music from Rod Stewart, the Beatles, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks & Shania Twain. The Beatles segment was particularly good with 3 male singers and the female singers and dancers wearing fabulous shimmering Union Jack dresses.
Yes there was a fair amount of Christmas music too with solos by several of the singers. And there was even audience participation singing several carols. There were just 3 female and 3 male singers and 5 dancers but it seemed like much more.
The band was amazing. Piano, violin, guitar, bass & drums. The sound from that small group was bold, loud and impressive. Two members of the band are faculty members in the music department of VIU.
A delightful part of the show was a series of solo recitations of poems and anecdotes. Really well done.
Great music, singing, dancing, costumes and staging. Very professional. If you have not seen this show, don’t miss it! Can’t go this year, plan for the 12th annual production next year. Only two days left. Last performance is Sunday, December 17.
This post may be somewhat repetitive but when you see a sign like this, well, one must stop.
Well, it was just past the lunch hour and they do have a new menu, so in we went! Not sure what all is new on the menu other than Poutine,, which I wouldn’t order anyway. But, to be sure, this joint has lots of other good offerings. Pulled Pork sounded good, tasted better, served on a Ciabatta bun and too many onion rings. Coconut prawns were my favourite girl’s choice and I managed to taste a couple of those too. On our last visit I tried the Clam Chowder and would highly recommend it.
Other deliciousness includes the Fish Tacos, Cod & Chips, which are very consistent. If you are looking for less deep fried more healthy fare the menu includes some great salads. And remember, on Saturdays after 4 they serve up Carved Roast Beef with a huge Yorkshires, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Seasonal Vegetables. Don’t forget to check their daily specials on the blackboard too.
On weekends and holidays breakfast is served from 11-4. No Eggs Benny, but traditional bacon and eggs, an omelette or a scramble.
We love our local pubs and the Lantzville is one of the best.
Well, there is a new place to dine in Qualicum Beach. The building at 3298 Island Highway has been empty for more than a year. When it was built it opened as an Asian fusion place, then became of pop up, basically, as the couple that now run Realm in PARKSVILLE ran it for awhile. It just opened this week as BLACK BIRD SCHNITZEL HAUS Restaurant. It’s on the left across the road from the Shorewater Resort.
We have not tried it but did pop in to take a look and peruse the menu. The owners have given the room a bit of a Bavarian touch with dark wood tables and some artwork. Simple but quite nice
The menu looks pretty standard for a schnitzel joint with at least 20 kinds of schnitzel to choose from. They also have pork chops and other Bavarian items. Schnitzels are in the $18-20 range. The cooler looked to gave a good variety of German Beer too
Black Bird is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday and for breakfast on the weekend.
If you are itching to put on the lederhosen and tuck into a delicious schnitzel, this might be worth a try. No web site site yet.
Remembrance Day has passed once again and hopefully most of us keep the vets and those who died at war in out thoughts. The Canadian effort in WWll was huge and gallant. If you have not read about that effort may I recommend a few books by Mark Zeulkie
Mark Zuehlke is the winner of the 2014 Pierre Berton Award: the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. In 2006, his Canadian Battle Series book Holding Juno won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. He lives in Victoria, BC.
Here are some of his books.
You might also enjoy this book by George Blackburn
All of these books provide a real insight into the battles in Europe and the incredible conditions that our Canadian boys endured.
On Remembrance Day we are thinking about the thousands of Canadian boys who lost their lives in Europe during two Wars. Mostly we think of Dieppe, D-Day, the battle for Caen, the liberation of Belgium and Holland, Vimy. Many Canadians are unaware of the enormous role Canadian troops played in the liberation of Italy. Canadian forces fought in Sicily and mainland Italy in 1943/44 long before D-Day.
An outstanding book by Mark Zuehlke, ORTONA, chronicles the Canadian effort from their landing to through the famous Battle for the town of Ortona which took place in December 1943.
In Ortona today there is a small war museum which is loaded with all manner of Canadian Military memorabilia and well worth a visit. In October 2014 we sat in a lovely sidewalk cafe on Corso Victor Emanuele. It is a beautiful mall now with shops and restaurants. In December 1943 it was the scene of building to building fighting as the Canadians pushed the Germans out of town.
Just south of Ortona is the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery. We visited in 2014. You enter the Cemetery by driving through part of a church. Buried here are 1563 Canadian soldiers.
Further north near Rimini is the Gredara War Cemetery, where 1188 boys, mostly Canadian are buried. It’s on a hillside and looks across the valley to the historical Gredara Castle. My good friend Phil Clark’s older brother Bob is buried here. We visited his grave in 2012.
On the western side of Italy, the Allies landed at Anzio, south of Rome. The battle on the beach and later at Monte Cassino took a great toll. In the Beach Head Commonwealth Cemetery near Anzio there are over 2300 graves including 69 Canadians.
Not far from Anzio is The World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial where 7,860 of American military war dead are buried. The majority of these individuals died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions.
In POMEZIA, between Anzio and Rome is the POMEZIA German Military Cemetery. Buried here are more than 27,000 German boys who found throughout Italy. Each headstone has six names, three on each side. Visiting here was an eyrie experience.
My thanks to our Roman friend, Carlo Giartosio, for taking us from Rome to Anzio to visit these historic sites
I encourage everyone travelling to Europe to visit some of these cemeteries. You will be glad you did.
On the days coming up to our Remembrance Day I always think about our visits to the War Cemetery’s in France, Belgium, Holland and Italy. We have visited many of them. Susan & I toured Normandy in 1998. Youngest son Jackson and I toured Normandy, Belgium, and a bit of Holland in 2005. Susan and I visited Italian sites in 2012 and 2014. Having read a lot of the history of World War ll, I have found the need to see these places where so many young Canadians are buried.
Canadian troops landed on Juno Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944 and fought heroically all the way to Germany. Canadian troops landed in Italy in 1943 and helped drive the Gorman army out if Italy.
Not far from Juno Beach where Canadians landed on D-Day is the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery where 2,044 Canadian boys are buried. It’s a beautifully solemn place that we have visited twice. As one walks through the cemetery it’s unnerving to see the ages of these soldiers. 18-30 mostly.
We stayed in 1998 at the Chateau Audrieu about 25 k south of Juno Beach. It’s a wonderful hotel now but in the summer of 1944 it was a German Army Headquarters. The enemy had captured a number of Canadians who were murdered while POWS by Lt. Kurt Meyer. 63 were murdered at the Chateau, most of them members of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. The plaque in in the village of Audrieu .
Further south is the Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery where 2782 Canadian boys, who fought the battle for Caen, are lying. Son Jackson and I visited here
Further south past Falaise is the small village of St. Lambert Sur Dives close to the famous Coridor of Death where 250,000 German troops tried to escape from the Allies. 100,000 made it but 250,000 were killed or captured. They had tried to move their equipment, much of it pulled by horses through a narrow single lane road with high thick hedgerows on either side. Canadian and Polish artillery and tanks decimated them.
In St Lambert stands a monument to Major David Currie who led the Calgary Horse Regiment, a tank unit, in the battle. He was honoured by the French people of the area. Later he became Sergeant at Arms in the House of Commons for many years. It is quite a proud moment to come over a hill in France and see the large Canadian flag flying here.
Also in Normandy, of course, is the large American Cemetery above Omaha Beach which is the resting place of over 9000 American fallen. If you are in Normandy it is a must see place. Quite overwhelming.
If you have not visited Normandy you might want to add it to your Bucket List. The beaches, the cemetery’s, the museums are wonderful to see.
Before a visit to Normandy you might want to read
Well we finally made it to the West Coast Food House in Qualicum Bay thanks to our friends Dave & Sharon. They wanted to meet us to talk about their recent trip to Italy and we we ready to share stories. So the Food House was the meeting place.
Our friends had lunched there before and were enthusiastic about the place. It’s run by the same girls who dish out great tacos at the Taco Shack on the beach. Their Tacos are outstanding so we were keen to see what else they could do. The Food House is quite casual with a big bar area housing at least three big flat screens.
We sat in a second room beside a little but cosy fireplace. A very pleasant young lady brought menus, took our drink orders and by the time she delivered them we had all decided on the SEAFOOD HOT POT.
We were not disappointed with this very tasty dish. Sort of a cioppino with Scallops, Prawns, Clams and Mussels in a delicious broth. Two slices of toast were included. It was all really yummy and we would go back for another round anytime.
The menu is limited with a focus on seafood. Saturday’s special was a Prawn Burger which sounded inviting.
If you want to include lunch in a drive up 19A you will enjoy the West Coast Fish House.
Not sure what their hours are so call ahead at 778-424-4465.