Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Red Wagon

It finally felt like summer today! We just so happened to have the perfect summer activity planned – venturing out to Deep Cove, again, this time for stand up paddleboarding. The Red Wagon, on Hastings near Nanaimo, was ideally located for breakfast on the way. This diner is a relative newcomer, less than a year old, yet it feels completely integrated into the neighbourhood, as if it’s been there forever.

They’ve accomplished the same integration with the menu items – classic dishes with modern elements. Between the three of us, we chose the Pulled Pork Benny, the Pulled Pork Pancakes with Jack Daniels maple syrup, and the Crisp Pork Belly with salsa verde and hollandaise – a veritable pig-fest. I was particularly enamored with my choice, the pork belly was succulent and the salsa verde and hollandaise were both excellent renditions of each.

Combining our upbeat breakfast experience with paddleboarding (my first time, so fun!), it was a memorable day.

2296 East Hastings Street
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Honey Doughnuts and Goodies (Deep Cove)

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet, "What’s the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What’s for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It’s the same thing," he said

When a friend of mine shared this passage with me from Winnie-the-Pooh, it became the inspiration for our breakfast adventure. To honour the Pooh stories, I wanted to go for a walk through the forest and go to Honey’s.

Honey’s doughnuts are famous and I find either you love them or you don’t. I fall into the “love them” camp. Yes, they’re dense and cakey and sweet and greasy... they’re awesome. There are three options – honey-dipped, maple-glazed or chocolate. To have the optimal Honey doughnut experience, be sure to eat one freshly made.

To maintain some sense of decorum, I started breakfast with an eggy thing, but really, I was there for the doughnuts. And besides fulfilling my once-every-three-year Honey’s doughnut fix, I needed fuel for our walk. I’ve been wanting to do the Quarry Rock hike for years now, it’s the last 2 km piece of the Baden-Powell Trail (which runs from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove). An hour walk over rugged terrain, through glorious trees, past numerous waterfalls, on a slightly uphill grade is rewarded with an amazing view over Deep Cove and beyond to downtown Vancouver.

So, go, enjoy doughnuts, and see what exciting thing is going to happen today. Thanks, Pooh.

4373 Gallant Avenue, Deep Cove
Breakfast hours: 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Daily

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Slickity Jim’s Chat ’n’ Chew (REOPENED)

After reading recent reviews, I was hesitant to visit the re-emerged Slickity Jim’s. Some are lamenting “it’s not the same as it used to be”. After going this morning,
I, too, think it’s not the same as it used to be – it’s better! I found the service to be friendlier, the restaurant to feel cleaner, and the food to be executed smack-dab-lier. Yet again, I am reminded to enjoy each experience for itself.

From a menu known for its oddball combinations and descriptions, my partner choose the most “square” meal of the bunch – waffles. Goes to show they have something for everyone, he was happy. For me, my special-of-the-day benny, the Money Maker was perfect – the combination bacon, tomato, and avocado was the right balance of salty, fatty, creamy, and acidity. Slickity Jim’s has one of the top two “best benedict selections” in town.

This is just my opinion, however, go see and decide for yourself.

3475 Main Street
Breakfast hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Daily

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pacific Buffet on the BC Ferries

We are one ferry ride away from paradise on earth. Another Canada Day long weekend, another camping trip to Nitinat Lake. I realize I am slightly biased to the beauty of Vancouver Island as I grew up there. For me, the ferry ride always gives that comforting feeling of “coming home”. And even though I’ve ridden these ferries hundreds of times, I am still able to count the number of times I’ve eaten at the Pacific Buffet on one hand only. We did today, almost out of necessity, as the ferry was so busy there was an hour wait to eat at the cafeteria. I’m not complaining.

Being ferry food, they actually provide relatively good value and a nice selection. Cold stations include: salads, pastries, cereal, fruit and yogurt. Hot stations include: french toast and waffles, sausages, bacon, ham, baked beans, corned beef hash, hashed browns, omelets, and a couple of dim sum items. And of course, unlimited tea, coffee, and juice.

My favourite features are enjoying the spectacular views and having our own spacious table to play Ingenious.

BC Ferries (Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay Route)
Breakfast buffet hours: 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. sailings, Daily