6423 Highway 20
Tatla Lake, BC  V0L 1V0

toll free 1-877-408-2220
250-4761112

M-F: 9a – 6:30p / Sat: 11a – 6:30p / Sun: Closed

September 10, 2011

Today’s adventure takes us out of the Cariboo region and into the neighbouring Chilcotin.  Mr O and I traveled westwards to Bella Coola and decided to stop some three hours later in Tatla Lake for food.  To the left of the highway was a cute blue building, topped with a red roof, sitting next to the water.  It was the Graham Inn and it looked as good as any place to try out.  The exterior looks cozy and comforting, and as we walked up onto the porch a great fat cat was there to greet us.  The interior matched the outside with its cornflower blue trim and country cottage motif.  A great fireplace sits in the back of the room and the shelves on either side of it were full of books, magazines, copperware, and various ornaments.  It was like being in someone’s living room, if they happen to have several tables and matching dark chairs just lying about.

They serve breakfast until 11am and a fairly simple menu was offered to us.  Mr O ordered the Belgian waffles with a side order of eggs, and I had the standard two egg breakfast plate, which included a choice of bacon, sausage or ham.  The staff was friendly and mellow, and the service was set at Chilcotin speed.  Definitely a different pace from urban life!  So to kill time while we waited for our food, we decided to snoop around on the other side of the room.  Since we were the only ones in the place we didn’t think twice to leave our personal belongings unattended at the table.

A basket full of baked goodies at the counter, snacks, munchies and cold pop were available for purchase.  In the middle of this was a revolving display which held numerous books for sale, most of which were written about the area we were currently in.  And to our surprise there was a rather impressive selection of wine and beer at the very back of the room that was also for sale.

...yummy waffles...

...more yumminess...

Breakfast arrives just as we were seated again.  Mr O’s waffles were delicious… light and fluffy on the inside and just a bit crispy on the outside.  That was pretty much devoured despite the early breakfast we had three hours ago prior to leaving home.  I ate my own meal in a more polite manner, thank you very much.  Two eggs, done over-medium, two slices of brown toast, home-style potatoes, and three slices of bacon composed my breakfast.  My eggs were really runny and looked an awful lot like Mr O’s eggs which came over-easy, and the toast reminded me of brown Wonder bread, Texas style.  But the bacon was crispy just the way I liked them, and the potatoes were amazing!  They were pan-fried and had a light crunchy coating on them, with just the barest hint of herbs, letting you taste the potato flavour in all its naked glory.  The spuds were tender without falling apart on your fork and absolutely no ketchup was needed!

...eggs anyone?...

...my favourite potatoes...

Overall, we enjoyed our meal and left feeling full and satisfied.  However, I find it hard to judge a restaurant by its breakfast and would really love for the opportunity to come back here one day for lunch or dinner.  But if the waffles and potatoes were anything to go by, then I’m sure I would enjoy their later menus.

...pretty cute...

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99 3rd Avenue S.
Williams Lake, BC V2G 1J1

250-398-6831

November 16, 2010

Lunch today was at the Hearth Restaurant located at the Cariboo Friendship Society, and I was joined by Mrs C.  She’s never been here before, and I’ve eaten here once but that was many moons ago, so this was technically a new venture for the both of us.

There were a surprising amount of tables available without making the place look cramped, and that might be attributed to the large windows that gave the place a nice bright feeling inside.  I arrived first and noticed that the first thing that welcomes you is the wonderful aromas of home cooked food.  As with most restaurants in Williams Lake, you seat yourself and the young man with a pleasant smile was quick to greet me with the menu.  After Mrs C arrived, he was quick to return to take our orders.

There’s a daily lunch buffet available for $9.50 that offers a variety of hot foods, but we decided to order off the menu instead.  There is quite the selection of hot and cold entrees and sandwiches, as well as a wide range of food for those with smaller appetites (a category I’d never find myself in unfortunately).  What I also thought was unique was the page on the back of the menu dedicated to those on the weight watchers program.

Now, I keep hearing good things about the bannock here so I knew I wanted to work that into my meal somehow.  Today’s soup happened to be beef & vegetable, which our server promised was very good, so I went with that… A bowl of the good stuff and a bannock to go along with it.  Mrs C also wanted to try the soup, and had that with an egg salad sandwich.  It was pretty cold today after all, about minus 5, and that soup would hopefully warm us up.

And you know… that soup was really REALLY good!  It was so flavourful and woke my umami taste-buds up… savouriness anyone?  The chunks of beef were aplenty and tender, and the yummy broth was home to celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, turnips, and broccoli.  Have a mentioned how good it was?  It went well with my cube of bannock, which I was surprised to find that it was of the baked variety, as I was expecting a piece of fried dough.  It was warm and dense on the inside and crusty on the outside.  It didn’t have much flavour to it, which made it all the better to soak up the soup.  I wanted to slather butter on what was left of it, but since none came with my meal I figured it wasn’t proper protocol.

...soupy goodness...

...bannock anyone?...

Mrs C’s sandwich came toasted and you can really see the egg pieces in it.  There didn’t seem to be too much of any other fillers in it, and she said it was lightly seasoned with just a bit of salt and pepper.  As a bonus, it came cut up into cute lil triangles, which really appealed to my inner child.

...lil sandwich triangles!...

As an afterthought, I ordered a cinnamon roll to satisfy my sweet tooth.  It came halved and toasted, which gave it a pleasing texture, and the dough was soft and yeasty.  All in all, a great way to end a meal in my opinion.  But I’m still left to wonder… can we put butter on our bannock?

...toasted cinnies...

54 MacKenzie Ave N.
Williams Lake, BC  V2G 1N5

250-398-8983

Gecko Tree on Urbanspoon

November 4, 2010

Today I have a lunch date with Miss M, who had just returned from a 5 week sojourn in Thailand.  I figured that last thing she wanted to eat was something heavy so I suggested the Gecko Tree as our meeting point.

I arrived first and sat myself at a small table close to the window and admired the textile brocades that were hanging up on the walls.  There always seemed to be a rotating collection of local art up on display on their walls which lends it a very eclectic and homey environment.  And if anything ever happens to catch your eye, you’ll be happy to know that it’s all for sale!

It wasn’t too long until Miss M walks through the door, and after a quick hug and brief catch up, our waitress came by to take our orders.  A chalk board hanging on a beam post tells us today’s specials, which happened to be a pizza loaded with all sorts of veggies, a roasted garlic tomato soup, and cherry chocolate cake.

This place had formerly catered to vegetarians in the past, but a few years ago they started adding meat items to their menu.  They use organic beef and chicken that are all locally grown and supplied from the local butcher, and everything else is made fresh on site.  The menu is pretty extensive and includes a full page dedicated to all-day breakfast foods, salads, wraps, and other deliciously healthy items.

Miss M opted to go with the soup special, and I decided on the Thai Salad.  Just as we had our orders taken, Miss B walks in through the door… what a delightful surprise!  She had already eaten so she had just ordered a vanilla latte and a Yum Bar.  Coffee here is locally roasted from Uncle Paul’s, and their decaf stash is supplied by Kicking Horse.  Her coffee came quickly and I eyed her Yum bar enviously as I was quite hungry.  It was a thing of chocolate wonder holding together all sorts of wonderful seeds, oats and grains.  Luck was with me though… for one, my mom made sure I knew my manners, so I was able to refrain from grabbing it from her plate, and two… my food arrived!

...yum bar...

My salad was much bigger than I had anticipated… and man was it ever a salad!  It had cold noodles, green and red bell peppers, zucchini, red onions, tomatoes, sprouts, red cabbage, and marinated tofu.  All of this sat on top of a bed of green romaine that had never seen the likes of a triple-washed and bagged environment, and was prepped on-site.  A homemade peanut sauce dressed the contents and the salad was almost too big for the plate as I tried to amalgamate all the ingredients together.  The bites were big too when I tried to incorporate a little bit of everything onto one forkful, so things got a big messy, but it was well worth the constant napkin action because this salad was good.  Not “good” like the five cent version, but…

SO.

GOOD.

...yummy thai salad...

...sproutsy!...

I was so hungry and it was so yummy… what a perfect combination we made!  But somehow I was only able to finish half of it.  I was defeated by a salad??  That was fine, because I was able to bring the rest of it home with me for dinner.

Miss M’s soup looked amazing as well.  It came piping hot, and had a very creamy texture.  It smelled incredible.  When Miss M insisted that everyone have a taste, I jumped at the opportunity and found that the mild flavour of garlic went really well with the earthy tomatoes.  I’ve never been much of a tomato soup fan, but this had me rethinking my views now.

...to-mah-to soup...

Of course, lunch just isn’t complete without a little dessert!  Miss M also ordered a Yum Bar.  I debated about trying out their cake special, but I knew my heart was in it for one of their homemade brownies, so that was what ended arriving in front of me.  Yes, this place is great for eating healthy food that gives you a good feeling inside.  However, this brownie was not one of them.  Insider sources have told me that this rich and decadent treat contains a startling amount of real butter.  Butter!  But this was Julia Child’s favourite ingredient after all, so this indulgence makes it okay in my books.

...*drools*...

I finished the whole thing… all by myself!  And I felt so sinful!  But I figured everyone’s allowed indulge once in awhile… right?

2828 Trans-Canada Hwy
Lytton, BC  V0k 1Z0

250-455-2228

Sun-Fri: 8am – 8pm/ Sat: Closed

Kanaka Bar Cafe on Urbanspoon

October 11, 2010

Today we ventured into the Kanaka Bar Cafe in time for brunch.  It was truly one of those places where I didn’t know what to expect.  I figured that Kanaka sounded Japanese so maybe they had asian food.  But then Mr O mentioned that it was a Chinook word for “Hawaiian”.  Well, according to the area’s history he was right, but I should get half points since it turned out that it was a western-slash-Chinese food joint.  Chinese is asian right?

...store front...

 

The inside decor was a pretty outdated fusion of rustic lodge and Chinese paraphernalia, old school cafeteria style chairs and tables and vinyl booths.  The restaurant had a role in the movie “The Pledge” which was filmed back in 2000 and I suspected that much of the interior design might have been a relic from those days.

The menu consists of both western food and westernized Chinese food.  In particular, there is a rather extensive selection of breakfast type foods.   Mr O ordered the Sunshine breakfast.  As for me, earlier I had overheard the owners speaking in Cantonese when we walked in and decided to take the risk and ordered a Chinese two-item dinner combo. There were about nine items to choose from and I decided on the stereotypical sweet and sour pork with chicken chow-mein.

For those interested, an old album of some behind-the-scenes pictures of the filming of the Pledge is available for flipping through, which was what we did while we waited for our food to arrive.  In it there were quite a few pictures of the family’s young toddler son posing with various cast and crew members.  What was kinda weird, though, was looking up from the album to see that same son, now a young man, working behind the till.

...the "pledge"...

 

My plate came with bright red saucy pork on one side, and neutral coloured noodles on the other. The chow-mein had shredded cabbage and bean sprouts in it, as well as sparse amounts of what looked like deli-cut chicken.  This disappointed me.  But then I found that the pork was surprisingly tender, and the atomic red sauce actually won me over.  My initial impression of the sauce was it smelled very pungent and vinegary, but the more I ate the more I began to enjoy it.  I also caught on to what tasted like a hint of ginger, which was pretty nice.  And while I’ll still maintain that the noodles were pretty blah, it really balanced out the aggressive flavours of the pork dish.  Overall, I have to say that as westernized Chinese food goes, this was pretty decent.

...s&s pork and chicky chowmein...

 

Mr O’s Sunshine breakfast came with sausage links, bacon, eggs and pancakes which all came in pairs of 2s, and home-made hashbrowns. The potatoes were cooked perfectly but could’ve used a bit more seasoning in my opinion.  The bacon also came out really crispy, and the pancakes were very thick and cakey. This is great for someone who prefer their pancakes cooked this way, which was actually how Mr O liked them.

...breaky...take 1...

...and take 2...

 

The proprietor also happened to be the waitress and she was very friendly and seemed outgoing.  Unfortunately she spent pretty much most of her time conversing with a rather large crowd that was seated on the other side of the restaurant so we didn’t see much of her.  Mr O wanted more coffee, and I was hoping for some chopsticks to eat my food with, neither of which we got because we were never once checked up on once our food arrived.  That kinda sucked because there was just something wrong about a Chinese person eating chow-mein with a fork.

Overall, I’m very glad that we finally had the opportunity to check this place out and solve the long standing mystery of what kind of food you’d find inside.  If you love westernized Chinese food, you’ll probably like it here as they do it quite well and I would recommend this place.  And the breakfasts here are very reasonably priced with great portions.  We may hit this place up again, but it’ll be more fun to try something new.

888 Fraser Street
Hope, BC  V0X 1L0

604-869-7448

Summer: 6a-10p, Winter: 6a-9p (opened 7 days a week)

Rolly's Pancake House on Urbanspoon

November 7, 2009

It was a late Saturday afternoon when we found ourselves driving through the city of Hope and decided to stop at Rolly’s for some late lunch.  We’ve thought about eating here on more than one occasion because we’ve had a few people recommend this place, but never actively searched it out so we’ve never found it.  The establishment is located just behind the Chevron gas station on the main strip through town and the signage is actually quite easy to see if you knew where to look.  Weather was miserable and had been a consistent downpour for our entire trip down to the Coast so I was looking forward to getting something hot in my stomach.

It took a few minutes before we were acknowledged and the waitress seated us in a diner-typical vinyl booth.  The menu was fairly extensive and I took interest in their pie selection.  Coconut cream was available and it was something I’ve been hoping to try for awhile now.

...scramble and flapjacks...

Rolly’s is supposedly well-known for their breakfast food, particularly their pancakes and eggs benedicts.  However, it was about 2pm and my craving for breakfast food was well past so I ordered the chicken burger with a glass of lemon water.  Mr O ordered the ham and egg scramble, which came with a side of the famous pancakes, along with a cup of coffee.

They were out of chicken breasts and I had been informed that they were using the chicken strips in their place, which I was fine with.  When my burger appeared it was dressed with mayo, shredded lettuce and a slice of tomato.  What was puzzling, though, was the small packet of cranberry sauce that came with my meal.  Was I supposed to put this in my burger??  Anyhoo… a nice scoop of potato salad also accompanied my meal, which I found quite tasty, even though I ended up picking out the slices of radishes that was mixed in.  I was pretty hungry and enjoyed the first few bites of my food.

...chicken strips! er... burger!

...potato salad... hold the radishes!

It was at around this point when my lunch took something of a sour turn…

It wasn’t a very busy time of the day and there were few patrons inside the restaurant.  Seated not too far away from us was a small group of middle-aged white women.  They were talking.  Loudly.  You couldn’t help eavesdropping even if you tried.  Phrases along the lines of “chinese people are rude”, “Richmond is like Chinatown”, and “Hong-couver” filtered into my ears.  I’ve mentioned a few times in previous posts that I’m of Chinese descent, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I got extremely upset.  Shooting the occasional dirty look their way went un-noticed and my appetite was gone.  I had no taste for the food in front of me and ended up pushing away a nearly full plate.  The waitress came at one point to ask how everything was and I didn’t even want to make eye-contact with her.  Mr O told her the food was fine and sent her on her way.  I  knew I was being very pissy and wanted to leave the restaurant so I told him to quickly finish his food.

The egg scramble was nothing worth mentioning and he noted that the pancakes were light, cakey and quite good.  (However, we ended up at IHOP’s for breakfast the next day and he admitted that the pancakes at this franchise were better).

When we finally went up to pay, the cashier never asked us how our meal went so I never got the chance to snipe, which was just as well.  At that point I just wanted to be as far away from the place as possible and get on with the rest of my long-weekend.  My overall review of the restaurant is skewed now, and I can’t give an honest opinion of how the food really was (especially that coconut cream pie I’ll never have a chance to try now).  Unfortunately, through no real fault of the restaurant’s, I don’t see myself giving Rolly’s another chance anywhere in the near future.

50580 Trans Canada Hwy
Boston Bar, BC  V0K 1C0

604-867-9339

Canyon Alpine Restaurant on Urbanspoon

September 13, 2009

 

trust the signage

trust the signage

To find the Canyon Alpine Restaurant, just simply follow the bright arrows on the sign found just off of the highway.  On the few occasions my family decide to disembark from the hustle and bustle of the big city and visit me up yonder, they usual end up stopping here for breakfast.  Tonight we decided to investigate the place (and have dinner while we’re at it of course).

They boast a staggering 6 page menu that is just jammed packed with all types of food offerings, including an all-day breakfast menu.  I chose a two-piece fish and chips plate, and Mr O ordered ‘The Works’ omelet.  We were also eyeing the huge display of home-made pies… I think I counted at least 9 different types, which included strawberry, pumpkin, cherry cheesecake, apple, and blueberry.  To be honest, I sort of stopped listening to what the waiter was reciting as soon as I heard the word ‘strawberry’.  I couldn’t wait to try my first slice of strawberry pie!

There is a very interesting contrast of decor found at this establishment.  A huge dresser sat against one wall with a huge assortment of beanie baby-type toys covering its surface, and hand crafted matchstick holders and napkin holders sat at every window sill… all of this for sale.  And let’s not forget about the stuffed owl perched up above in the ceiling and cougar found prowling overhead.  I’ve been told that cougar meat is very tasty, but alas I didn’t find it on the menu.

'the works'... make sure you're hungry!

'the works'... make sure you're hungry!

The food came pretty quick and the restaurant started to fill with regulars as we ate.  Mr O really enjoyed his omelet and finished the entire plate.  It was a 3-egger omelet, choked filled with ingredients which included bacon, ham, mushrooms, green onions, and cheddar cheese.  Sides included panfries and toast.

fish and chips

fish and chips

here fishy fishy fishy...

here fishy fishy fishy...

My meal consisted of 2 pieces of cod fillets, which I thought  was a tad on the dry side and the batter was thicker than I cared for.  Near the end I ended up just picking off the coating and eating only the meat.  The fries were nothing to write home about… but the coleslaw was amazing!  It was nice and tangy, and you can feel the bite of the cabbage just the way I like it.

Once our plates were cleared off, it was time to tackle dessert!  I ordered a slice of strawberry pie, and Mr O had a slice of the pumpkin pie.  Ooohh… was it ever good! My plate was just *covered* in strawberries, all plump and whole.  There was a thin rim of crust around the other edge, but I didn’t see any bottom crust.  It was pretty much like eating a plate of glazed strawberries, but I didn’t care.  I quite enjoyed it.  Mr O really like his pie too.  It had just the right amount of spices and had a great filling-to-crust ratio.  This man knows his stuff when it came to pumpkin pies too.

straw-bellies!

straw-bellies!

mmm... pumpkin pie...

mmm... pumpkin pie...

Oh, did I forget to mention the large flat screen TV that hangs from the main wall?  NCIS was playing while we were eating our dessert.  It was great being about to share my pie with Mark Harmon (*sigh* he’s such a sweetheart!)

Bottom line?  We’ll definitely be back again.  There are 6 pages of menu to work through after all!

food to go... giant rice krispies chunks!

food to go... giant rice krispies chunks!