Vidas on Urbanspoon

4671 Kitwanga Dr
108 Mile House, BC  V0K 2Z0

250-791-6680

July 3rd, 2011

Coming home from the Coast at the end of the Canada long weekend brought us to 108 Mile House just in time for dinner.  Just beyond the Heritage Site as you drive north is a quaint ‘lil log house which is home to Vidas Restaurant.  It seemed like everyone and their Grandmother had been recommending this place to me, so there wasn’t any doubt that I was going to have my dinner here when the opportunity presented itself.

We arrived on the early side and the place didn’t look terribly busy at first glance.  As it turned out, reservations are highly recommended here, but we were lucky enough to snag the second to last un-reserved table.  As we were led to our table we noticed that everyone inside was wearing rather nice clothes, while Mr O and I both had on shorts and flip-flops.  Oops… definitely feeling a bit under-dressed but they were still happy to seat us so we must not have broken any dress codes.

Large scenic windows adorned one side of the building which overlooked 108 Lake and let in a lot of natural light.  The view was spectacular.  I noticed that there were patio seats available outside, but they didn’t seem to be seating anyone there tonight as people were starting to be turned away at the door.  The walls were made of gigantic smooth logs and local artwork, available for purchase, decorated throughout the interior.  The tables were pretty intimate and the overall environment makes Vidas the perfect place for a romantic meal.

The menu is a simple one and offers dishes which included seafood, pasta and steaks.  We decided to try the crab cakes as a starter, and Mr O ordered tonight’s special which happened to be a grilled chicken breast topped with prawns.  My dinner was a half-order of their seafood risotto.

Our crab cakes arrived; two golden brown patties on the plate which was garnished with a bed of baby spinach, julienned carrots, drizzled balsamic reduction and a rosy chipotle aioli.  The cakes had very little, if any, filler in them.  It was mostly made up of nice sized chunks of crab, seasoned with chopped red peppers and green onions.  The sauce packed a punch… a really heaty punch!  And I found this out the hard way, naively spreading chipotle all over my crab cake before trying it out first.  Can we say ‘greenhorn’?  But spiciness aside, I can appreciate the smokiness of the aioli and it complimented the crab cakes very nicely.

...crab cakes...

Mr O’s chicken was moist and the succulent prawns on top were dressed with a creamy herbed sauce.  Roasted new potatoes, carrots, green beans and yellow squash finished off the plate, along with a baked tomato topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.  There was a minor glitch to the meal though… delicious as they were, Mr O had asked for the quinoa to come with his dinner instead of the potatoes.

...chicken and shrimp together at last...

...veggies for company...

My seafood risotto came with a yeasty rosemary bread twist.  There were generous amount of baby scallops in it and the prawns, though few in number, were very large and tender.  The funny thing about risotto is that it’s very humble in nature, but I believe it’s deceptively hard to execute properly.  There’s a fine line, literal minutes in fact, that separates perfect risotto from a plate of mush.  Vidas’ risotto had the perfect al dente texture, rich and creamy but still with a bit of resistance when you bite into it.  It’s so good and I’m always impressed with a restaurant that can serve me perfect risotto.  Overall, it was a tremendous dinner and made up for the slow service we were experiencing.

...creamy risotto, yummy!...

It might’ve been due to the fact that they were serving a full house, but it was tricky trying to flag down the waitresses.  If you do manage to get them to come to your table, they were always very friendly and eager to please, so it was hard to get too upset with them.  But seriously, we must’ve waited about 10 minutes before we were able to get our waitress’ attention because we wanted to know what was available for dessert.  Apologetic, she recited the menu to us and we chose to have the pecan pie and white chocolate tiramisu cheesecake.

...pecan pie madness...

...tirimisu cheesecake...

The pecan pie was moist and rich, with a great combination of nutty pecans and dark chocolate.  The cheesecake was amazing and had a nice and luscious texture.  It was an impressive way to end dinner and, despite the delay in service, Vidas ranked as one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

1108 E Trans Canada Hwy
Cache Creek, BC  V0K 1H0

250-457-6735

Sun-Thurs: 7am – 8pm / Fri & Sat: 7am – 9pm

Chum's A Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

September 26th, 2010

So we spent another weekend down at the Coast to celebrate my FiL’s 70th birthday (…not bad eh?) and chugged along slowly back home.  Somehow we managed to hit up Cache Creek again around dinner time so we decided to give Chum’s a whirl this time.  It looked promising because there were quite a few cars parked outside.

The interior was quite dated and pretty much all the seats along the windows were taken up by other patrons, so we were seated along this half-wall that separated the sitting area from the serving station.  I can’t recall if there was any music playing in the background… but I sure was updated on the latest gossip amongst the employees!  It was an experience which bordered on charm and annoyance.

The girl that ended up taking our order was a bit curt.  I thought it was just the result of an aloof personality, but Mr O thought she was being a bag.  *ouch*  However, the girl that ended up bringing us our food was very friendly and balanced out the frostiness.

I ordered the Monte Cristo and Mr O asked for a Clubhouse.

Now, I’ve never had a Monte Cristo before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, nor know what it was supposed to taste like.  I decided to be naughty and asked for it on white bread, and something that looked like a sandwich dipped and fried in egg arrived in front of me.  Between the bread were slices of black forest ham, roasted turkey, and swiss cheese.  The ham was salty, the turkey was bland and it had an overall taste combination that left me confused.  I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it.  I definitely didn’t like the way the bread was soggy and the insides seemed to be dripping clear liquid onto the plate.  Had something been re-steamed?  The second half of my sandwich had to be conquered with a fork and knife because by this point the bread was too limp and everything was falling apart in my hands.

...Monte Cristo...

...ready for a close-up?...

Mr O’s clubhouse arrived but it looked more like a BLT.  We’ve got the bacon… the lettuce… and the tomatoes… but the turkey appeared to be missing.  He figured that it would take too long to rectify the situation so he just ate it.  He thought it tasted pretty standard… hard to mess up on a BLT I guess.

...clubhouse?... blt?... hmm...

...bacon-y...

The fries looked like the pre-frozen variety and it came out nice and crispy.

By the time we were done eating, I was feeling like I was still missing something and thought about ordering a slice of pie to see if that would fill me up.  But when waitress #1 came along to clear up our plates, she stuck our bill at our table and walked off before I was able to ask for dessert.  So we flagged her down again and asked for a slice of the blueberry pie, heated with no ice cream.

Well, I polished it off pretty quick despite it looking like the pie filling came from a can.  The crust of the pie was pretty piping hot but the filling was still cold so I’m gonna deduce that the microwave was implemented in warming it up.  No worries, it did the job and filled my sweet tooth, saving me a trip to the DQ.

...pie time...

Verdict?  I can’t say I’m a fan of the food.  Even Mr O, who normally doesn’t care where he eats, would probably say “no” to another visit.  So I think it’s safe to say that we’ll try another place next time in Cache Creek.

72 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC   V2G 1L7

778-412-5282

M-W: 7a-6p, Th/F: 7a-9p, Sa: 8a-9p (closed Sundays and Holidays, Live Music when available)

New World Coffee and Tea House on Urbanspoon

January 7, 2010

It was gonna be a quickie but we made it happened… Miss B and I finally had a firm lunch date with Miss M!  Our dear friend had returned awhile ago from her voyage through Peru, but due to other out-of-town trips we weren’t able to catch up with her until today.  I had exactly only *ONE* hour to do this, which is really not anywhere near enough time to try to hear about someone’s 6 week long journey!  But it was better than nothing and we made the New World Coffee and Tea House our meeting place.  (Beside that, this would be my first time at NWCaTH so there’s nothing like killing two birds with one stone!)

We seated ourselves at one of the round bistro-style tables and an employee was quick to greet us with menus and the daily special.  Miss B and I had a few minutes to decide what we wanted to eat while we waited for Miss M to arrive.  As it was, the both of us had rung in the new year with a self-enforced diet and I was trying very hard not to notice the freshly baked apple and pumpkin pies that were sitting in the cooler, right below the slices of various cheesecakes…. *gulp!*

...chai latte anyone?

Today’s special happened to be quiches!  Healthy, diet approved quiches… what luck!  The three of us ordered variations of the same meal which meant the Turkey and Veggie soup, a garden salad, and a slice of quiche.  Miss B and Miss M asked for the spinach, peppers and parmesan version and I had the dill and shrimp one.   Miss M indulged herself and also got herself a chai latte, whereas Miss B and I stuck with lemon water.

...soup's on!...

There really wasn’t much to say about the soup other than it was very hot and included actual chunks of real turkey meat.  It was nice, but I wasn’t particularly wowed by the flavour.  Luckily, the quiche was a whole other story… it was so good!  The crust with flakey and very light – I barely realised that there was even a crust – and hence, I did not feel guilty at all for eating carbs!  And the filling was very savoury, flavourful and smooth like silken tofu.  In the past quiches had been synonymous to me with rubbery egg dishes… who knew that it could be so light and wonderful?

...oh how quiche!...

...sooo silky...

I even enjoyed the salad.  My opinion of salad is you eat it out of necessity.  I’m an adult… I’m *supposed* to like eating salads.  And so I always eat them plain with no dressing… why ruin the nutrients I’m supposed to be ingesting by drenching it with fat and sugar?  But curious to know what the pink stuff sitting inside the tin cup was, I dipped my fork in to taste it, and before I knew it I was drizzling the stuff right over my greens.  (Not much, mind you… I do know how to practice restraint at times ;) )  The dressing was very yummy and is definitely something I can envision wanting more of as soon as my wedding date is over.

Now the neatest thing of all occurred when Miss M took the tea bag out of her chai.  The bag was simply enormous and we all had a good laugh about it (though heaven only knew why).  Turns out that it was a cloth bag that they stuffed with their own loose leaves, which they washed and re-used for the next tea.  That is so green and I love it!

...reusable tea bag...

...ready for more...

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!

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.

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.