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Days Inn Uptown & The Loft Pub

Days Inn Uptown & The Loft Pub

  • Posted: Nov 09, 2017
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Check out the Days Inn Uptown and The Loft Pub located on beautiful Gorge Road. We did and found out some interesting facts and services.

Views of the Upper Harbour

Views of the Upper Harbour and Downtown from Days Inn

Today we stopped by for a tour of the Days Inn Uptown with hotel manager Darryl Wilson. Days Inn Uptown is located centrally in the heart of the city and close to most of what Victoria has to offer. It provides stunning views of downtown Victoria and the Olympic Peninsula Mountains, overlooking the upper part of the Inner Harbour.

Hotel amenities include two on-site restaurants, well-appointed guest rooms, a fitness center with an indoor pool and sauna, warm hospitality and assured comfort!
The guest rooms feature free WiFi, a mini-refrigerator, 43-inch flat-screen TV, and coffee maker. Pet friendly rooms and kitchenette suites are also available. The hotel offers a business center and airport transportation.
For enthusiastic shoppers, Mayfair Shopping Centre, which features over 120 upscale stores and shops, is close by. If you like seaside serenity, there is a waterfront city park across the street where you can unwind.

 

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Frankies Modern Diner Downtown Victoria

Frankies Modern Diner Downtown Victoria

  • Posted: Oct 29, 2016
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Frankie`s Modern Diner – Great food, staff and prices!

Fun at Fankies Modern Diner

Fun at Frankie`s Modern Diner

 

Frankie`s has a great location in the 900 block of Government Street in the heart of the tourist district, just a couple of blocks from the Inner Harbour and near many downtown hotels. The restaurant is spacious with an outdoor patio overlooking Government Street. We were impressed by the great food, accommodating and enthusiastic staff and reasonable prices. The have an extensive menu so there is something for everyone!

Frank the owner brings a wealth of restaurant experience and his chefs have worked in some of the finer restaurants in Victoria. There are several areas in the restaurant for large groups and some offer a bit of privacy. The restaurant is up one floor off Government Street so there is a flight of stairs before you enter the restaurant. Don`t be shy, go on up and check it out. It is tastefully decorated and comfortable. Be sure to check out the glass cooler right at the top of the stairs. It is full of fresh food and some incredible looking desserts.

Staff at Fankies Modern Diner

Staff at Frankie`s Modern Diner- left to right Josee, Diana, Frank with Dillon, and Chef Andrew

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Varsha Indian Kitchen

Varsha Indian Kitchen

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2016
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Indo-Canadian Fusion at its best!

What do you get when you prepare meals with freshly made food, provide that food at reasonable prices, use two of the finest Indian chefs in greater Victoria, and turn that into a family business that cares? Varsha, that`s what!

Varsha Indian Kitchen – 101-1500 Government St, Victoria phone: (250) 590 6252

Run predominately by a mother son team, Varsha and Arun Dodd, Varsha Indian Kitchen is a family owned and operated restaurant in a heritage building on the corner of Government and Pandora. The Dodd family is Indo Canadian and brings a unique perspective to Indian Food. A fusion of the two cultures brings their own twist on Indian cuisine. When you come to Varsha you experience the families take on food, but you also experience their family. Supporting other small businesses, their taps are exclusively filled with local craft beer. They were also voted as one of the best Indian and new restaurants in Best of the City 2016.

Varsha is Food

Varsha is Food

Located on historic Government Street, on the corner of Pandora, this relatively new restaurant is on the main floor of a redesigned heritage building. The best part of Varsha is the food. The decor is good, the staff was helpful, friendly and attentive, but the food smelled so good, we could not wait to dig in!

Varsha Indian Kitchen

Varsha Indian Kitchen

The restaurant is called Varsha Indian Kitchen. It was inspired by the cooking and recipes of Varsha, the matriarch of the Dodd Family. One of the pictures below shows the chalk board asking the question -What`s in Varsha`s kitchen? Well apparently Varsha`s Chutney and Butter Masala Sauce are as good as you will get anywhere. These two items are so good; they decided to market them to their customers!

Varsha Indian Kitchen

Varsha Indian Kitchen

For me it has been a long time since I had a meal in an Indian Restaurant. My first experience was not a good one so I have been putting a visit off. My friends and colleagues in the tourism and hospitality business have been raving about the Indian restaurants in Victoria. Over the past few years they have been popping up all over the city. So it was my turn to try out the cuisine.

In talking with the owner Komal Dodd he indicated that they always used the freshest of ingredients and that all the food was made from scratch. They have made an effort to keep the spicy somewhat mild. Their family is Indo Canadian and brings a unique perspective to Indian Food. He indicated that they have created a fusion of the two cultures bringing their own twist on Indian cuisine.  He said that “when you come to Varsha you will experience the Dodd families take on food.Varsha is food. Varsha is family! “ Check out their menu.

Our table of four, consisting of three hungry males and one female, could not eat all the food that was presented. I personally found it absolutely delicious and as good as it smelled. Everyone at our table enjoyed the meal. There was lots of choice for drinks on the menu. Our meal consisted of two appetizers, a four plate main course with naan bread and an interesting suite desert.

friends and colleages

friends and colleages

While I was waiting for the rest of my party, I watched the restaurant slowly fill up. By 6pm it was full, so I would recommend that you get a reservation. It is right across the street from the McPherson theatre, so if it is show night, the restaurant will likely be full.

Well done Varsha!

Dinner at the Fairmont Empress

Dinner at the Fairmont Empress

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2016
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Dinner at the Fairmont Empress is Always A Special Occasion

Q Restaurant at the Empress

Q Restaurant at the Empress

Last night we had dinner at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Prior to this we had a tour of the renovations to the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel. Part of the presentation outlined the vibrant variety of dining experiences found throughout this iconic hotel. Management outlined that the new food services offerings focused on fresh ingredients, celebrated local producers, and showcased sophisticated, timeless spaces. The options available at the hotel are:

Q at The Empress – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and located in the most storied room in Victoria.

Q Bar – Open from 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. with superb culinary offerings until midnight and features a vibrant selection of signature cocktails, an extensive wine list and enticing local craft beers on tap.

Lobby Lounge – Chic and sophisticated, home of world renowned Tea at the Empress as well as an elegant evening menu and cocktail service.

Tea at the Empress – An absolute must attend event on Vancouver Island. The renovated space is steeped in history and now has a modern chic ambiance highlighted by a selection of 21 loose leaf teas, including our famous Empress Blend.

As our visit was to celebrate a very special birthday for my wife Linda, we chose to go to the Q for dinner. Upon our arrival we were greeted by our congenial waiter “Earl the Pearl” who has been working there for 39 years! He did a great job and made our evening special. We also had a visit from the restaurant manager, Doug Chant. Service is the name of the game at the Fairmont Empress.

Linda's Birthday Dinner

Linda’s Birthday Dinner

The food was absolutely delicious. Linda enjoyed poached prawns with a Kimchi Cocktail sauce for her appetizer and roast chicken with mustard potatoes, asparagus, and oak vinegar Jus. I had grilled avocado Caesar with white anchovies, croutons and parmesan cheese, steamed mussels Provencal with hand cut fries for my main, and soufflé cheese cake with citrus blueberry compote for desert.

For the past few years we had experienced a great cocktail at the Empress, the 1908 which was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the hotel. Linda ordered this for her desert. This was the only slightly disappointing moment of the evening. The new bar menu did not include the ingredients for this drink. It was made with tea infused vodka. Perhaps it will make a comeback!

The prawns were plump and fresh! The chicken was fresh and tasty. The Caesar was undoubtedly one of the best I have tasted in years! The mussels were fresh, soft and very tasty in the tomato sauce. The soufflé was light and delicious. We both really enjoyed our meals and certainly were impressed by the new food menu in the Q.

Dinner at the Fairmont Empress

Dinner at the Fairmont Empress

For more information about the food services available at the Fairmont Empress, visit their web site. We highly recommend a dinner at the Fairmont Empress. Check it out.

Evedar’s Bistro

Evedar’s Bistro

  • Posted: May 22, 2016
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Evedar's

Evedar’s

It has been sometime since we ate at Evedar’s Bistro, so last night we thought we would give them another try. Good call Ron! In the past the food has been good. Over the years the staff have changed and so has the ownership. The dinner we had was one of the best we have had in a while. I chose the pork schnitzel as it is something I don’t get to eat too often and I really like it. The schnitzel had a panko crust and was flavoured with herbs. The portion was large enough to cover a small mountain of mashed potatoes on a delicious gravy base. The veggies were cooked perfectly and delicious.
For a starter we shared a large Caesar salad. Lots of restaurants don’t do a very good job with Caesars, but this one was delicious.
Linda chose the stuffed pork loin which was presented in the same way, covering an assortment of vegetables (carrots, zucchini and asparagus) and tasty gravy. She also really enjoyed her meal.
The service was very good and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The décor is pleasing and there is a choice of seating – quiet and romantic in the back or upfront with the live music.
I made the mistake of asking what was on the desert menu. I was too full to try all of the three selections but when I heard that a fresh bread pudding had recently come out of the oven, I broke down!
The bread pudding was filled with mandarin oranges and cranberries and covered in a sweet caramel sauce.
Delicious food, good service and a nice quiet environment…how could it get any better! We suggest that you give Evedar’s a try. It would be worth the drive from anywhere in Greater Victoria. It is one of the gem restaurants on the West Shore!
After the meal I closed my eyes, leaned back, and whispered “yesssss‘!
Evedar’s also has a Facebook page, so go there a be a friend and you will get access to the specials they have, some really good deals and schedules of the live entertainment.
Evedars Bistro
The Sea Cider Farm and Cider House

The Sea Cider Farm and Cider House

  • Posted: May 20, 2016
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sea cider

sea cider

Last week my son Robb and I had the opportunity to stop at the Sea Cidery on the way to Victoria International Airport. My son has Celiac disease, and so was disappointed not to be able to check out the many craft breweries in our region. However, cider is on his list as being gluten-free, so we planned to go for a tasting. We arrived on a sunny May morning promptly at opening time and were surprised to find other guests out that early in the day, on the same mission as us! After a short but informative tour of the cidery, my son chose our samples from a list of available ciders. Some ciders are seasonal, and so not available year round. While waiting to be served, we perused the items for sale, cider of course and other items such as honey. Honey was available for sampling that day too.

It was such a nice morning that we sat outside on the deck, with views across the apple orchard to James Island and Cordova Channel in the Haro Strait, also known as the Salish Sea. Naturally, bees buzzed around us, and let us be (get the pun?!!). Then our samples arrived, 9 pours in glasses designed to enhance the aroma and flavor of the cider. Being the driver, I only took small sips to savor and left the rest for Robb. We were given a checklist to record our favorites, and of course I had to buy a bottle of my favorite cider before we left.

Sea Cider is a family run operation on the Sannich Peninsula. They grow their own apples, and in fact grow their own trees from seeds. The cider is made on site and sold there, as well as in many liquor stores. In addition to their tasting room and outdoor deck, they hold special events in a large tent adjacent to the main building. Check out their website at http://seacider.ca/ Cheers!

sea cider ciderhouse

sea cider ciderhouse

Linda

Ferris Grill and Garden Patio

Ferris Grill and Garden Patio

  • Posted: May 17, 2016
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So my sister is in town and everyone is hungry..where do we go! Well my sister’s choice was Ferris’ because she loves oysters! There probably is no place better in Victoria for oysters than Ferris’. There is a reason why they have been around longer than most restaurants in Victoria. Good food, good service and fresh oysters. In addition to the great food, tasty oysters, they have the best fries in town!
Not being a real oyster fan, I had the burger and it was great as was all the rest of the food ordered by our group! check Ferris’ out, you will be glad you did! http://www.ferrisoysterbar.com/ferris-grill/

ferris grill

Ice Cream: An Island Moment

Ice Cream: An Island Moment

  • Posted: May 03, 2016
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It is hot, hot, hot outside. Think ice cream! What a cool idea! For years the Beacon Drive Inn has served up some of the best soft serve ice cream in the nation. It has won “the best of the city” awards many times. On a hot day you can expect a line up of 20-40 people. Don’t worry, they usually have lots of staff working on hot days.
If you are hungry, the food is decent but I go there for the ice cream.
It is right across the street west of Beacon Hill Park, so spend the day at the park and have lots of ice cream. This is truly an “island moment” Victoria style. Enjoy!

New Kid on the Block – Axe and Barrel Pub

New Kid on the Block – Axe and Barrel Pub

  • Posted: May 01, 2016
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Langford BC – West Shore Gets a New Craft Brewery

Axe and Barrel

Axe and Barrel

The long standing Log House Pub has a new incarnation as the home of a new craft brewery – the Axe and Barrel. Great beer and great food can be found on the premises. They are delivering food made from local ingredients and have a solid menu of beers to try. Best you check them out next time you are in Langford. They are on Millstream Road not far from Costco and Staples. So while doing your west shore shop, take a break and have a cold one!

Axe and Barrel Beer

Axe and Barrel Beer

Axe and Barrel

Axe and Barrel

 

Abkhazi Gardens

Abkhazi Gardens

  • Posted: Apr 13, 2016
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Abkhazi Gardens – A Gem Worth A Visit!

Abkhazi Garden, located at 1964 Fairfield Road in Victoria BC, is a wonderland oasis in the middle of a quiet residential area; the creation of Peggy and Nicolas Abkhazi.  Peggy has an intriguing history, related in her memoir “A Curious Cage”.  She met Nicolas Abkhazi, a Georgian Prince, in Paris and eventually married him; making their home on this property that she purchased after WWII.  Read her book to understand how the orphaned child of parents living in Shanghai China ended up in Victoria!

Abkhazi Gardens & Tea Room

Abkhazi Gardens & Tea Room

Princess Peggy Abkhazi’s Garden

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