9380 Hwy 97
Quesnel, BC V2J 6M7 (40 minutes south of Quesnel)
August 8, 2009
Mr O and I decided to spend a Saturday up in Prince George and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to explore the Fort Alexandria Cafe. I’ve had more than one patient recommend this joint, but to me it’s always been that lil rundown looking building off to the side of the highway. In fact, it’s been so much a part of the local scenery for so long that we drove right by it this morning and had to make a u-turn… d’oh!
I’ll be honest… it really didn’t look like much from the outside. It’s much more interesting on the inside, however. It’s a collection of oddities and collectibles and was quite quaint in a kitschy old kinda way. Neat wood carvings of animals, an antique wood stove, and a mish mash of cheap tables and chairs are the first few items to catch my eye. There were already locals congregating at a couple of the tables closest to the kitchen door, and a lone trucker sitting at another. You seat yourself so we took the table closest to the door and were promptly handed two sets of well-used, greasy filmed menus.
First things first… I haven’t had my morning coffee yet so that was definitely in order. Drinks were also a self-serve ordeal, except for the coffee which our waitress poured out for us. No milk available to go with… had to deal with the half-and-half *gasp*! But I can adapt ;)
Today’s special is the grilled cheese sandwich with your choice of fries or a small bowl of soup. The soup du jour happened to be chicken rice, or tomato. The price was right at $6.00 so that was what I asked for, with fries (still too warm for hot soup if you ask me). Mr O had the ‘Old Fort Burger’, also with fries. While our food was being made, I took a gander at our surroundings, noting the exposed plywood on the roof and walls, the ancient looking bolt on the door (which incidently fell apart once while we were there) and the signage over the kitchen door warning you not to insult the chef.
Sheepishly, it took me a full minute before I realised what the “4U2P” plaque hanging from one of the doors meant… heh. Still working on the coffee issue evidently.
I think the thing I loved the *most* about this little place is that you can hear everything that’s going on inside the kitchen… an old set of saloon swing-style doors were the only thing that separated it from the dining area. The loud bubbling noise of food dropping into a vat of hot oil is a wonderful sound, in my opinion. It speaks of lovely greasy food that is being made for somebody to eat.
Mr O’s burger had all the fixings… pickles, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and cheeeeeese. It was reported to be very good… messy, but good. We both enjoyed the fries too, and by ‘enjoyed’ I mean ‘scarfed down’. They were homemade and done right, and the darken colour didn’t put us off one bit. It’s a sign that the oil probably needed changing, but the fries tasted like fries so that’s fine in my books.
My grill cheese came with bacon in it, which was a first for me and I liked it! The bread was a tad bit on the burnt side, but this ain’t no product of some mass assembly grill so it was expected, and I didn’t even notice the char bits in all honesty.
So remember the lone trucker I spoke of? He thought it was very amusing that I was taking pictures of my food. I might’ve scolded Mr O once or twice for touching the pickles before I was able to snap the shot… he probably overheard me. But I figure it’s one of the advantages of being Asian… it’s practically expected of us to take pictures of eeeeeverything! Plus I can pass as a tourist in most of these places so that makes everything okay:)
Now let me speak of the pies… the home-made pies! For $3.00/slice we had a choice of blueberry, coconut cream, apple or cherry. We decided to share a slice of blueberry. It was warmed up and the filling was just oozing out. I thought it was good, but it was only my second time ever eating blueberry pie so my opinion probably didn’t weight much in the matter. But Mr O confirmed it was delicious. And delicious is was.
The place really started to fill up by the time we were ready to leave, and it was apparent that it was quite a favourite hangout with the locals. And for those that don’t have the time to sit and relax, they have a selection of hard ice-cream and dessert bars available for those on-the-go.