23 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC  V2G 1L6

250-392-5911

opened M-Su (lunch and dinner)

Oliver Street Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Nov 1, 2010

My lunch companions today were not the usual suspects… WTWL’s very own Cailin and LeRae were able to take time away from their hectic schedules to join me for a meal at the Oliver Street Bar & Grill on this very sunny autumn day.

I haven’t been to this establishment in years!  Seems like I could never find the time to make it out this far, which is sadly irrational.  I mean… it’s not like the downtown core is that all-encompassing by any stretch of imagination, and yet… somehow my mind has created this substantial distance between here and there.  Oh Oliver’s… why must you sit so far away?… er… all the way down there at the end of the street?

But I digress.

On a weekend when I should really be stuck at home diligently studying away for a midterm I instead find myself reacquainted with this place!  Now, for those of you who have never been here, it’s a seat-yourself establishment.  LeRae and I arrived first and decided on a table that sat fairly close to a large screen TV, just in-case we needed to catch up on the latest football score (turns out we didn’t).  Our waitress was quick to greet us once we sat down.  She was attentive and very personable as she took our drink orders and informed us of the special, which happened to be a roasted beef and cheddar sandwich, with a bowl of turkey vegetable soup.

Shortly after that we were joined by Cailin.  We gave her a few minutes to peruse over the menu and the waitress was quick to return to take our orders.  I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, Cailin decided to try the special, and LeRae, our vegetarian friend, asked for a spinach salad, which was slightly customized to meet her needs.

How was it customized?  Out, darn bacon… out I say!  A chopped up veggie patty replaced its stead, and I must say, from a practising carnivorous point of view, the patty actually looked like real meat.  The salad also included tomato wedges, sliced cucumbers, a sliced boiled egg, and shredded mozzarella.  Two slices of garlic bread and a small container of vinaigrette finished off the dish.  The veggies looked very fresh, although LeRae commented that it was perhaps a tad on the unimaginative side, which I had to agree with.  A little carrot for a splash of colour, or sunflower seeds for some crunchy texture probably would’ve bumped it up a notch or two.

...veggie patty...

...spinach salad... redux...

Cailin’s sandwich arrived on whole wheat bread and contained tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar and roast beef.  However, the bread was not toasted like she had asked and it was a bit too cold for her taste.  But once again, the ingredients looked very fresh and overall it was good sandwich.

...le special...

...soup and sandwich...

My sandwich arrived in burger form.  The pulled pork was very tender and saucy, the coleslaw in it quite creamy, and a good blend of flavours.  But unlike most pulled pork sandwiches that I’ve had in the past, the meat was cold so I didn’t get to experience the contrasting temperatures of hot meat against the cool coleslaw that I was expecting.  As well, the buns came un-toasted and the poor things didn’t have a chance in holding up against all the saucy goodness.  The whole thing soon became a limp, soggy mess that required the use of fork and knife.  The fries that came with them were pretty hot though, and appeared homemade and were very tasty.

...bbq pulled pork sammy...

...super fries!...

Throughout the entire meal, our waitress checked in on us occasionally and refilled our drinks without request.  The atmosphere inside was very casual and relaxed, and I imagine it would be a really great place to watch the game or enjoy a cold one in front of the many different TV screens.  In fact, while LeRae enthralled us of tales of meals that would typically take up to 4 hours in Italy, we actually ended up staying there for close to 3 hours!  Perhaps a testimonial of how much we dug the ambiance?

We had a great time.  And while I will say that the food was quite good, I felt that it had the potential to be something so much more with just a bit of polishing.

1301 Cariboo Hwy 97 N
Cache Creek, BC  V0K1H0

250-457-6644

Mon-Sun: 8am- 11pm (at time of post).

 

Hungry Herbies on Urbanspoon

August 29, 2010

Made our way home a bit later than anticipated and it was just about 9pm when we arrived at Cache Creek.  I thought it was time for dinner and was prepare to resign myself to eating at the Husky’s diner or the A&W seeing how it was Sunday night and most small-town eateries tend to close early.  To my surprise the bright yellow lights of Hungry Herbies were still lit so we decided to stop in.

What a surprise… it turns out they were opened till 11pm!  (Although while waiting for our food we eavesdropped on a conversation and found out that these were just their summer hours.)

My understanding is that there are actually 2 official entrances… one of them being the entryway to the ‘smoking-section’ of olden days.  The open kitchen sits in the middle, adjoining the two dining rooms.  We entered through the original non-smoking section and the first thing you’ll see is the huge menu that’s posted on the wall.

Once you’ve decided what you want to eat, you place your order with the cashier.  If it’s not something that’s quick and easy they’ll give you a number and call you when it’s done.  It’s like fast-food service, but with non-fast food… um… food!  I ordered the Combo, which is a 2 piece chicken meal with a side of coleslaw and fries.  Mr O ordered the famous Monsterburger (TM) and a side of poutine.

The restaurant was almost bathed in a warm yellow hue of flourescent lights and the weather was warm enough that the green picnic benches outside were quite occupied.  Antique appliances and old historical-esque photographs decorated the room, giving the place a nice kitschy feel.  There was quite a steady stream of traffic coming through the restaurant which surprised me because at this time of night on a Sunday Williams Lake is virtually dead.

Mr O went to pick up the food when our number was called.  My chicken was light but crispy on the outside, and piping hot on the inside.  I was a bit disappointed that one of the pieces was a breast because I wasn’t a big fan of white meat.  But seriously, this meat was nice and tender… not at all dry like I had feared.  The skin was nicely seasoned without it being overly salty and it didn’t seem too greasy.  According to the menu, the fried chicken here are cooked in a pressure-cooker… could this be the secret to moist, non-greasy fried chicken breasts?  I shall have to investigate!

...2pc combo...

...chicky chicky wow wow...

The coleslaw was really nothing to write home about.  It was a small container of shredded cabbage which was almost swimming in dressing.  But the home-cut fries were good and made up for that.  Not terribly crispy, but I found I didn’t mind at all… especially when they were coated in melty, gooey mozza, cheddar and gravy in the poutine version!  Christ they were fattening… but oh so good!  Once in awhile won’t hurt though, right?  I’m just glad that Mr O was willing to share them with me!

...ooey gooey poutiney...

His Monsterburger (TM) was huge and made up of 2 beef patties, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, relish, mayo, lettuce and tomato.  These burger come with a warning to not attempt driving while eating one, and that warning came with good reason… meat and relish juice all over the wrapper!  His fingers were coated and he went through quite a few napkins trying to contain the mess.  Taste-wise it was good, but seriously… it had nothing on the Burger Shed.

...Monster'd...

And get this… free wifi!  In Cache Creek!  Who knew??  Maybe next time I’ll do a live redux onsite!

Located in the Canadian Tire parking lot
Williams Lake, BC

250-305-7146

M-F: 10:30am-6pm, Sa/Su: 10:30am-4:30pm

Jun 7, 2010

Oh dear… it’s been awhile hasn’t it?  I seem to have bypassed spring altogether and the nights are now shorter… the days are warmer… and most importantly, much of the hidden-away restaurants are re-opened.  I never realised how many places actually stay closed for the winter!

Well, I am pleased to say that with the wedding now long behind us and with my re-introduction to the world as Mrs O I can say good-bye to the world of salads and !Hello! to carbs again.  And I began that wonderful trek today at lunch time with the  usual suspects: Miss D and Miss B.

The Burger Shed?  I’ve seen it many many times… it’s always been a staple landmark parked permanently on the edge of the Canadian Tire parking lot.  I’ve been in Williams Lake for neigh on five years now and never once have I ever had the inkling to go eat there.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve been following me through my previous posts, you’ll know that I’m just not all that fond of burgers.  And so you can imagine that it was with intrepidation when I agreed to hit up the spot when Miss  B suggested it.

A few of the picnic tables were already occupied by hungry customers and there was a bit of a line-up by the time we’ve arrived.  We took our time reviewing over the menu and I had to admit that it was a bit intimidating at first… I never knew there were so many ways you can dress up a burger!  Feta and olives on the Greek burger, pineapples and honey mustard on the Hawaiian, grilled green peppers and bacon bits on the Tex Mex… well it’s a no wonder I’ve never been a fan of burgers if all I’m accustomed to is cheese and ketchup… d’oh.

The  main attraction is the beef patties made from *LOCAL* beef produced by Rodears Meat from the Beaver Valley.  Or if you’d prefer there’s chicken burgers made from BC chicken breasts, vegetarian burgers made out of veggie patties, or even pick the lamb, buffalo or halibut option… all local and from BC.

I opted for the Prosperity burger which included a 4 oz beef patty, a generous slice of mozza, sauteed mushrooms, and your regular fixings of pickles, lettuce, onions, a homemade relish – that is to DIE for – and tomato (from hereon I shall refer to as PLORT).  I held the onions, and it was a good thing I did because it turned out that they were quite free with their onions and that never makes for a good thing when you have to work with the public for the rest of the afternoon.  Miss B had the Swiss Bacon burger.  On top of the PLORT was a nice thick slice of gruyere and smoked bacon.  Her beef patty came in a 5-6 oz size.  Miss D veered into chicken territory and got the Cheddar Bacon Chicken burger which had about a 4-5 oz sized chicken breast, cheddar cheese, bacon and the PLOORT.  No that is not a spelling error… there’s double the onions folks!  Both fried and raw versions on this one baby!

 

...greuyere anyone?...

 

...chicken and pig together at last...

We managed to snag some seats at an empty bench and enjoyed the much awaited sunshine while we waited for our lunches.  They bring it out to you on no-mess, no-fuss paper plates along with a good handful of napkins.  The burger looked fabulous and holy schamoley it tasted GOOD.  The patty was so nice and juicy you had to make sure to eat with a craned neck just so the meat juices doesn’t drip down into your lap!  I must’ve gone through at least 3 napkins just to wipe my mouth.  And boy, I’ll tell you… that burger had no chance at all and it was devoured in no time.  It was so filling that I barely even had room for the fries… which was a shame because they came to us all nice and crispy and lightly seasoned.

 

...drooolssss...

Geezus… 5 years and my first time eating here??  I really outta be ashamed of myself… but I guess that just means I’ll have to work hard to make up for lost time.  I can’t wait to show Mr O this place!

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.

177 Yorston Street
Williams Lake, BC  V2G 1G6

250-398-8727

Joey's Grill on Urbanspoon

October 8, 2009

joeysfront

...storefront...

Eek… eating out two days in a row!  But I have a very good reason for that!  Miss Crys is back in town for the Thanksgiving long-weekend.  It would be horrible if we weren’t allowed to catch up!  (For the curious bunch… and admit it, you’re out there… Miss Crys and I used to work together in the same office and I had the privilege of tutoring her for some heavy provincial board exams.  She was all ready to set up practice in town when she was suddenly whisked away from us and moved to Alberta.  Boo!)

It was Miss Crys’ pick and she wanted to try Joey’s Grill, so that was where we ended up as soon as I was done with work.  It’s a seat-yourself type of joint and we decided on a table by the window.  Our waitress was quick to greet us with menus and very friendly to boot.  In the end, I decided to get the Chicken Club and Miss Crys ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger.  While we waited for our food to arrive, we chatted and gossiped about stuff which I shall not divulge on here… all that needs to be said was that we had an awesome chat session :)

joey1

...chicken cordon bleu burger...

When our food finally arrived, we took a quick time-out so that I could take the pictures.  The sky was getting pretty dark by this point and it was fairly dim inside the restaurant but the pictures still turned out without having to use a flash, which pleased me to no end.  Her burger consisted of a lightly breaded piece of chicken breast, topped with a slice of ham and swiss cheese, as well as the usual burger fixings: red onion, lettuce, tomato and pickles.  Instead of fries Miss Crys chose a caesar salad as her side.

joey2

...chicken club...

 

joey4

...chocolate mousse cake... *drool*...

My sandwich was made up of grilled chicken breast, hickory bacon, tomatoes and lettuce.  It was really really good.  The breast was not dry at all, which I’m always wary of when I order white chicken meat.  And the bun it was served on bread that was very soft and herbed, which reminded me a lot of focaccia.  And the fries it came with weren’t very greasy, and had a nice crispy texture to it.  Did I mention it was good?

We both ate pretty fast (me, being starving and all) and had time for dessert.  We ended up splitting a slice of the chocolate mousse cake and zOMG…  it was frickin’ fantastic!!  The mousse was so rich and creamy and the cake it sat on tasted a lot like a fudgy brownie.  Swirls of chocolate and caramel decorated the plate, and the puffs of whipped cream and icing sugar just added to the decadence.  Oh yes, you better believe we scraped that plate clean by the time we were through.

Just before we left, I ordered another slice of heaven to-go so that Mr O can take part in the experience, him being a choco-holic and all.  Wasn’t that thoughful of me?

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!

42225 Trans Canada Hwy
Hells Gate, BC V0K 1C0

604-867-9260

Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat/Sun 8am-6pm.  Tuesdays closed during winter

Elvis Rocks the Canyon Cafe on Urbanspoon

August 16, 2009

storefront

storefront

Any Elvis fans in the house?  If so, you’d absolutely LOVE this place!  Just imagine finding every possible memorabilia related to the King of Rock and jamming it all into one building!  This is the reality of the Elvis Rocks the Canyon Cafe located on the Trans Canada Highway just south of Hells Gate.  It’s a common stopping point for many motorcyclists and weekend highway cruisers.

I thought about visiting this place many many times and stepped into it for the first time today.  As luck would have it today just happened to be the Annual Elvis Memorial Ride.  It’s a yearly event in which motorcyclists, classic car enthusiasts and the like make their way from Langley all the way to the Fraser Canyon, where  lunch is provided for them by the Elvis Cafe.

deluxe burger

deluxe burger

Unfortunately for this taste tester, that meant a very VERY limited menu was available.  They were out of chicken, and the only thing on offer were the hamburgers or sandwiches.  I’m not normally a hamburger fan but I decided to order one anyway.  I decided to go with the basic ‘Deluxe Burger’, and Mr O opted for the cheeseburger variety.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid to say that I did not care for my burger.  I’m not sure if the patties were cooked earlier for the Memorial Run and then re-heated on the grill, but the meat was very dry and very salty.  I could not finish more than half of it.  Mr O did much better than I did and ate both halves of his burger.  His meal was also on the dry side, but he has a higher affinity for salty food than I did.

Both burgers came with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, a healthy dose of mayo, and a type of sweet relish.  The fries were very decent but could probably be a tad crispier.  To finish off the meal, we ordered a slice of pie.

more blueberry pie!  Yum!

more blueberry pie! Yum!

They had a huge variety of pies which included apple, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, cherry, and lemon.  Since I was on a blueberry roll, that’s what we had.  I knew what warm pie tasted like, I wanted to try it cold this time.  (Yes, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m quite green behind the ears when it comes to pies… it’s just not an integral part of Chinese cuisine and I never had any growing up!).

a hunka hunka burnin' luv...

a hunka hunka burnin' luv...

I thought the pie was quite good but Mr O thought it would’ve tasted better warmed up.  That’s fine though, because I ended up eating most of it which was what I had intended all along, heh heh heh.

Overall, this much anticipated visit turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment.  I contribute much of our experience to poor timing on our part… who knew that the one time we finally decided to enter this landmark establishment that most of the menu would not be available?  I’d love to try the Elvis Cafe again sometime in the future to form a different opinion.