Carribean Relish

We meandered into the town this morning after a rude awakening at the dock we parked at overnight. We were told we can’t park in front of their lot, despite the lack of signs. We obliged and left – surprisingly this is only the second time in the year that we’ve been awoken to furious knocking. Both times we were just asked to move – no biggie.

2011 10 19 These signs seem to mean no parking in front of the lot2011 10 19 Down towards the dock2011 10 19 Morning quietWe headed over to the nearby McDonald’s were welcomed by the quiet stares of practically everyone in the place. Neither of us really care for McDonald’s as a restaurant, but typically it is a reliable place to anonymously use the restroom without purchasing anything. Today was apparently not typical. So we drove on through the countryside along the 17A into Victoria.

2011 10 19 Ducks on the wrong side of the fence2011 10 19 Farmers fieldsAbout halfway to Victoria we remembered that we had forgotten to check our transmission fluid – we’ve needed to do it since our repairs last week but we haven’t really driven all that much lately. Not to mention it’s a real pain to check – the van needs to be driven at least 10 miles so the fluid is warm, and then doghouse needs to come out (i.e. so does the tool set) to access the dipstick. We knew a little fluid would have been lost with the radiator coming out again because there is a smaller transmission radiator which also gets disconnected. Sure enough, we were lower than normal so we topped up. The highlight though, came when this older man decided that, in the empty parking lot, he needed to park right next to us, and that we needed to move our doghouse out of his way so he could do so. People can be weird sometimes.

2011 10 19 Doghouse that was in the way of this guys parking spot  in an empty lotSo we finished up and moved on. Shortly afterwards we were in Victoria and at Beacon Hill Park to find the Mile 0 marker of the TransCanada highway. This marks the end of the journey and says we’ve crossed Canada (almost) from coast to coast – we think it’s pretty momentous. Count that off the list.

2011 10 19 Beacon Hill Park2011 10 19 Beacon Hill2011 10 19 Holland Point Park 2011 10 19 Mile 02011 10 19 Pondering2011 10 19 Pretty daisies2011 10 19 Sleeping is prohibited in Beacon Hill2011 10 19 Terry FoxAfter a bit of a peek around we decided lunch was in order. It’s always our goal to try some of the best eats in the town we’re in, but ever since we had that tasty little greek meal the other day it has become a mission. We checked out some reviews and found some promising places. Though I am starting to have a beef with reviews because I’ve noticed that lately I have been finding more and more fake reviews. Owners should not be allowed to abuse reviews to the point of falsely boasting up their ratings – it’s entirely annoying. In the end we skipped the ratings and went on the advice of a local foodie with a blog. In amongst the numerous places they recommend two of the ones that caught our eye were Relish and the Caribbean Cafe. Our plan was to go to both. Relish was touted as a must visit and on his top 5 in all of Victoria, with attention to fresh food etc. The Caribbean Cafe sounded interesting and was mentioned as a good place for a snack if you’re on the run. So we headed to Relish first, found parking nearby and paying $2 for about 40 minutes – read rip-off. Went in, ordered a soup and a sandwich and paid $14. The decor was very minimalist, ikea style, and the food just was ok – for the price I was hoping it would either wow me or make a good dent in my hunger. It did neither, although Andrew really did enjoy the flavour of the sandwich.

So after shelling out $17 you would hope we would be fed for lunch but instead we drove up to Caribbean Cafe to get topped up, and we weren’t disappointed.

2011 10 19 The Carribian Village Bakery Cafe2011 10 19 Serving up some good samosasWe parked right out front with free parking. We went in and ordered 6 samosas for $8.50 and a Jamaican patty for another $2.50. Slightly greasy (as samosas are) but they were all handmade, in house, and were awesome – we were both stuffed and quite content. Then, we met James the owner – he offered 6 free samosas to anyone who could answer his trivia question correctly: “where did the term kicking the bucket come from”. We didn’t know and nor did anyone else but are told it relates to slaughtering pigs back in the day. Random, but interesting. He gave us another chance on the original codename of Google when it was still in development. The answer, is Back-rub.

2011 10 19 On the menu2011 10 19 Jamaican Patties2011 10 19 Island SodaSo no free samosas but we still ended up staying a while because the place had a spot to hang out and use the free wifi. Not to mention James was a hoot. The whole time we were there we saw the trivia cycle repeat a couple of times with new patrons and new questions – a correct answer to a trivia question and their samosa/patty/etc would be on the house. In the whole time, only one man got it right. Meaning James wasn’t giving away all of his food but he was making people think, and engaging them on their level as the questions he asked were generally tailored towards the person. James and I also debated capitalism and socialism (not my forte, but I went with it) while Andrew even taught him some computer programming. Bottom line – We both had a really good afternoon. I just wish we could find more places like this as we travel – its miles away from the sterile Relish restaurant which came on a much better recommendation. It goes to show how important the people are to the equation (for us anyway).

2011 10 19 Cinnamon BunsIf we had more time we would have stayed, and even returned for a visit but we have a meeting on the mainland on Thursday. Between now and then we have a lot of ground to cover in our uber content state – we bought another 6 more samosas for the road and went on our way.

2011 10 19 Clover Point Park   where the vans go2011 10 19 Parliment buildings2011 10 19 Saxe Point Park2011 10 19 Saxe Point2011 10 19 Stork