112 South 2nd Avenue
Williams Lake, BC   V2G 1Z6

250-392-6012

Karen's Place on Urbanspoon

Jan 18, 2011

So with the hubbing and the bubbing of Christmas and New Years now well behind me I can finally look forward to enjoying a day off of work with absolutely *nothing* to do… what bliss!  So really, the only thing on my schedule today was lunch with Miss L at Karen’s Place, and my biggest challenge was deciding what I wanted to eat.

You probably know by now that Karen’s Place had undergone some extensive renos in the past couple months and have expanded their space (and if you didn’t… now you do!)  It is much roomier now, while still retaining its homey atmosphere.  A huge mural done by Dwayne Davis adorns the entire back wall of the extension, and they’ve de-cluttered the layout of the original restaurant, even adding in a nice bar for those who want to eat in a hurry.  It’s so reminiscent of a diner!

I suppose the biggest change to Karen’s Place (besides the extra 900 or so square feet of space, of course) is the addition of an all-you-can-eat buffet that’s available on certain days.  I’ve already heard great things about it, and dying to try it out myself, but unfortunately it wasn’t available today.  So instead I decided to order the Chicken Thai Salad, while Miss L had the Veggie Wrap, with the addition of a meatless patty.

It was fairly early when we had arrived, which was a good thing because we weren’t in there for too long before the place literally filled up with other customers.  Goodness… minus 18 weather and people are still venturing outdoors for lunch… that’s what makes living in the Cariboo so great!

After thoroughly warming ourselves with hot coffee, our food arrived and it was a very colourful arrangement.  No one can say we didn’t eat enough veggies today!  Keeping in mind that nothing comes out of a bag, all the veggies in my salad were painstakingly chopped into bite-sized pieces and included carrots, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and romaine lettuce.  A bed of noodle sits on this, and sliced chicken breast is fanned out on top with a healthy portion of their home-made Thai sauce and sesame.

...chicken thai pt 1...

...chicken thai pt 2...

The salad was more about the noodles than the lettuce, but I didn’t mind, and all the veggies were crisp and pleasantly crunchy, to which I gave myself a mental pat on the back for feeding my body something so healthy today.  And although the salad came with extra dressing on the side, I found that there was an adequate amount of it already drizzled over the chicken.  And holy bejeezus did that sauce pack a punch!  Karen makes it herself and she sure likes to test out that scoville scale on her customers!  It was incredible tasty… sweet and peanutty, but strong on the chillies for a wimp such as myself… I must’ve downed 2 glasses of water by the time I was done my meal.  And by the way my face was… glowing… (Okay, so I was schvitzing)… I felt like I had accomplished something momentous like running a marathon, when all I really did was finish my plate of salad (which is actually an accomplishment in itself as far as my Momma would be concerned).

It didn’t take long for me to find my bearings again and as I felt feeling return to my mouth I asked myself… “Would I order this again?”  Oh, heck yes!

Miss L, on the other hand, ate her wrap in a more relatively calm manner.  Her wrap consisted of romaine, cucumber, and green and red bell peppers, as well as the extra meat-less patty that she had asked for.  It came with your choice of sides and she went with the garden salad with the sun-dried tomato dressing.  The wrap was very generous and was packed full with ingredients, and her salad was as equally fresh as mine was.  However, she admitted that she wished that the wrap had just a *tad* more flavour in it, all the while eyeing me down in the state that I was.  I’m pretty sure that she was smirking when she said this, but I was too busy pouring water down my throat to call her on it.

...veggie wrap...

...a salad for your veggies please!...

Unfortunately, we were both too full for dessert, which I kind of regret when I saw the carrot cake and chocolate cake that was sitting in the cooler on our way out.  I promised myself that I can try it when I go back the next time, perhaps after filling myself up at the buffet… hopefully.

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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!

9380 Hwy 97
Quesnel, BC  V2J 6M7 (40 minutes south of Quesnel)

250-747-3998

Sun-Sat 8am-8pm

Fort Alexandria on Urbanspoon

August 8, 2009

storefront

storefront

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.

coffee... elixir of life!

coffee... elixir of life!

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.

the old fort burger

the old fort burger

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.

cheese + bacon = good

cheese + bacon = good

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.

yummy!

yummy!

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.

pie time

pie time

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.