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.

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?