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Showing posts from 2018

Beer of the Week: Phillips Brewing Black Magic

  I generally like most beers produced by Phillips Brewing, and this one is no exception.  Slightly sweet, and not strong tasting in the least despite its beautiful dark colour, this ale measures a moderate 5.3% alc. and 20 IBU.   This dark ale has hints of coffee and what I would describe as toasted puffed wheat. It's very drinkable, although maybe not quite as memorable as some other beers in the Phillips' caboodle. All and all a perfectly solid beer and when measured against all other beers, it's near the top of the crop, but compared to the other amazing recipes Phillips makes, this beer falls a slight bit back. Cheers and bon appetit,  D 7.5/10

Beer of the Week: Strathcona The Fall

  This is no ordinary radler.  First of all, at 4% alc., it's a tad stronger than the usual 2.5-3.5% radlers that are essentially beer diluted by half with juice.   Secondly, this beer is blended with lemon, blood orange and apricot juices. This blend is complex and delightfully fresh tasting, with a tart, but not overly so ending.  A beautiful summer refresher or a great beverage with food,  Strathcona certainly did a nice job on this brew. Cheers and bon appetit,  D 8.5/10

Beer of the Week: Bridge Brewing Santa's Sac

  Well, the name is apt I suppose. This strong ale (10% alc!) smells a bit musky and has quite a bit of funk to the flavour. This brew is a Belgian style golden ale, which in general I'm not a huge fan of, but I know of a few (very few) people that really like this style.   Subtle flavours of coriander and moss underlay the big flavour of the German hops and Santa sweat. I drank the entire bottle, naturally, but I couldn't wait to move on to the next beer in the fridge. Cheers and bon appetit,  D 4/10

Beer of the Week: Hoyne Finnegans Irish Stout

  This Irish dry stout is apparently inspired by the prose of James Joyce (Finnegan's Wake, Ulysses et al.) It's a rich dark brown stout, classic Irish styled with soft milky head.  Weighing in at 5.1% alc, it's among a few brews of this style that I could drink all evening without feeling heavy and full.   The flavour of Finnegan's is superb, roasty and malty, a bit sweet with notes of molasses. It reminds me slightly of really good homemade ginger snaps. I can hardly find a fault with this beer, Hoyne hits it out of the park once again. Cheers and bon appetit, D 9/10 

Sult Pierogi Bar, Victoria BC

  Whenever possible, it's nice to visit a dining establishment at least twice before writing about it. Not only does it mitigate the risk that maybe the cook was having an off day or the server was new, but also highlights the consistency and/or progression of the experience. This was our second visit to Sult Pierogi Bar .   We arrived during happy hour. Three pierogis for three bucks with sour cream thrown in for good measure.  With a diverse selection of different pierogis on the menu we had a tough time deciding. As we studied the menu I ordered a beer (Electric Unicorn from Phillips brewing, one of my faves), which arrived cold, in a can. Sult has a well stocked bar and a fairly eclectic cocktail menu, and Whiskey (somewhat surprisingly to me) ordered up a Manhattan. As we sipped drinks we managed to settle on four varieties and and added a sausage for accompaniment.   Sult's atmosphere is modern, industrial, and a bit dark, with heavy wooden tables, fresh art a

Bin 4 Burger Lounge, Victoria BC.

  Bin 4 is undoubtably a burger joint. If you are looking for something else, look elsewhere. That being said, they have a nice selection of burgers as well as a few salads and burger accompaniments. The atmosphere is that of a sports bar or a chain hotel restaurant, quite clean, but unnoteworthy is almost every way.   Browsing the drink menu, one thing (oddly not alcoholic!) caught my eye immediately: house made mint lemonade. I, being a lover of good sour lemonade, ordered this. It did not disappoint.  While not overly sour, it still had some bite and generous cooling from the fresh mint. This would be an ultimate thirst quencher on a warm summer day.   Being the first meal of my day, I opted to order "The breakfast club" burger. It was a pork and chorizo burger with guacamole and topped with bacon and a fried egg.  When it arrived, the presentation was simple and the actual burger looked pretty good, fresh, with the exception of the overripe hot house tomatoes. Serve

Le Bernardin New York City.

It has been almost 11 months since I returned home from NYC which makes this post long overdue. 3 months before I set out for New York City I had made a dinner reservation at the restaurant of my favorite chef, Eric Ripert. Le Bernardin   at the time of my visit was ranked number 1 in New York and number 17 in the world for french inspired seafood.  I hit the reserve button and got the confirmation email and instantly had butterflies. It was all I could think about for days. Eric Ripert is a bit of a personal hero of mine, sharing the same philosophies. in life and intense love of good food, but aside from that I had never at that point been to a place quite so upscale, quite so polished or so fantastic. My best friend and I who were traveling together had the dinner reservation booked for the Thursday of our trip. I had purchased a dress , made sure I was hungry despite the food tour we had been on earlier that day , and with child like anticipation we approached the door.

Bodega, Victoria, BC

  We walked into Bodega to inquire if we could get a seat an hour or so later, we were told (not surprisingly) that they didn't take reservations normally but they would take our phone number and to just show up when we were ready. At this point, it didn't seem too busy but the room is a small one, so we set off to do a little shopping and walk off our last snack from a short time before.   When we returned, still early in the evening, the place was packed full. We were expected but still had to wait some minutes for a table to leave before we were offered a small table wedged between two other tables or the two stools at the end of the bar directly beside the wait station. We opted for the bar seats, our preferred location at most drinking joints anyways.   It was happy hour when we arrived (It seems its always happy hour somewhere in Victoria), and the special was an assortment of of Spanish wines, the din of the bustling bar made it hard to hear exactly what the barten

Angler's Dining Room at Dolphin's Resort, Campbell River BC (9/10)

This isn't my first time eating here.  On this occasion, it was obviously a quiet night which is rarely the case.   Whiskey and I, on this particular evening had joined a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in over 15 years, she happened to be staying at Dolphin's resort for the night and we wanted to visit, and also we injected ourselves into her dinner reservations.   I dine at Angler's maybe twice a year, and have as of yet, never had a bad meal there. On this particular evening I was a bit more concerned with catching up with an old friend with some drinks, so immediately we ordered a bottle of wine without first deciding on food. We settled on a bottle of Summerhill organic Merlot. Opulent yet soft, this wine was everything I wanted it to be this evening, and the markup on such a bottle was very reasonable for a dining room with a good, hand selected (albeit small) wine list.  Shortly after some catching up I finally opened the food menu. Right away my eyes s