Newsflash: I love food.
I particularly love breakfast food. Brunch would probably appear on the list of my top 5 favorite things. Thus, when I had every Thursday morning off in Victoria, a lovely small city on Vancouver Island, I made it my mission to explore the brunch scene.
The first restaurant I tried, Jam Cafe, became a semi-regular stop. They hooked me from the start with their Bourbonator Caesar. A Caesar is Canada’s version of a Bloody Mary. It is made with Clamato and is slightly lighter. Making it with bourbon rather than vodka made it even better! To top it all off, they added a piece of maple bacon. It was heaven (and maybe a heart attack) in a glass.
For my entrée, I played it safe the first time with green eggs and ham.—sautéed spinach scrambled with eggs atop a delicious, salty piece of ham. The buttermilk biscuit on the side was moist, flaky, and buttery. My second stop was just as satisfying. I ordered the farmer’s skillet, with potatoes, vegetables, and eggs. Another Bourbonator may have been involved…
A must-do in Victoria is High Tea at the Empress Hotel. I was lucky enough to go twice, once with a group of 15 when a friend’s sister was visiting, and again when my good friend came to cruise. The teas were full of flavor, and came with three kinds of sugar that enhanced them in different ways. The food was beauituflly displayed on a tiered platter. It included classics like scones with jam and clotted cream, chicken salad sandwiches, and cucmber sandwiches, as well as more unique items such as smoked salmon on a pancake, and a cone filled with shrimp salad. The desserts had interesting flavor combinations. My favorite was a white chocolate shell with pistachio cream and berries. The whole experience was well worth the cover charge.
For a more casual brunching experience, I went to Shine Cafe. Shine is small with simple décor, but what it lacks it atmosphere it compensated for with the food. I had two different Eggs Benedict dishes there, one with black beans and avocado atop cornbread, and another more classic with spinach. I also ordered their daily smoothie, with an interesting blend fruits, vegetables, and coconut milk.
I also stopped at Finn’s on more than one occasion. Finn’s has a great location on the water, and has a lovely outdoor patio. I opted for more of a lunch option on my first stop, a salmon and arugula salad. My second visit was for drinks only. They had a great deal on mojitos!
Although I had a lot of dining experiences in Victoria, I barely hit the tip of the iceberg. The small city has some wonderful spots that I’d still love to test out! Who knows when I’ll have the chance to return, but please send any recommendations my way!
Hi: I love your enthusiasm for Victoria – You are correct, it’s a charming town. My sister Katherine lives there as do many friends. Where are you off to next?
I’m doing Caribbean out of Miami at the moment, but cross to Europe at the end of April!