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Monday, November 25, 2013

Shelter, Tofino BC

Shelter on Urbanspoon

Shelter Restaurant in Tofino....

What to say about Shelter...other than, the MOST DISASTROUS DINING EXPERIENCE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you may have guessed I am not that impressed with Shelter. Simply, it is an overpriced restaurant with crappy service!

To back up a bit, some friends of mine and I attended Shelter to celebrate an important event. We had reservations for 6:45 on a Saturday night for 20 people. On arrival we were seated upstairs at two large tables. So far so good, right? Well, about 30 - 40 minutes later someone finally came by to take our drink orders; and, another fifteen minutes later we finally got them!

About 7:30 (45 min after arrival) our waiter finally came to the table to take our diner orders. Without explaining specials or anything else, he opened with what you gettin'?

I am not going to go on forever with this review; in fact, I don't feel it is worth much more of my time. The food arrived at about 9 o'clock (2hr 15min after arrival); and, to say the least it was terrible. Oh, and did I mention we were never asked again about drink refills????

All in all, Shelter is a waste of time! Bad food, bad service and overpriced.

Dinner for two (with one drink each) : $75.00

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bin 4 Burger Lounge - Langford

Bin 4 Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

 Update: I have been back to Bin 4 a few times since this review. I must say that I have enjoyed it much more on the subsequent visits. I have found the Dirty Bourbon to be my favourite of the burger choices; and, can't pass up their delicious onion rings.


Bin 4 opened it's second location recently in the Westshore. And after much anticipation and hype from friends I decided to try it.

Located next to the Chevron on Goldstream and home to the first Langford Fire Rescue station #1 . Bin 4 has re-vamped the former fire station and most recently bank to create a modern vibrant restaurant. I've also heard that they have converted the former bank vault into their walk in fridge (you know it must be well insulated).

All of the burgers on the menu seem very appetizing; and, all of them are reasonably priced. It took me a while to settle on the "Pre-Season Favourite" ($13), but the sounds of jalapeno guacamole and brushetta reeled me in. Unfortunately for me, the burger didn't live up to its description. In fact, if I hadn't read the menu description I would have guessed I was eating a piece of meatloaf on a bun. Granted it was a good bun.

Let me back up a bit here, I don't mean to slag Bin 4; especially, since everyone I talk to loves it. I simply mean to say that their burger wasn't what I was expecting given all the hype.

However, I have to base my review on what I ate. In my humble opinion this burger is not a traditional burger, but rather constructed much like meatloaf. If you don't know what I mean, a traditional burger should let the flavour of the meat speak for itself and not rely upon a tonne of seasonings and binders to create it. This is where the burger fell flat. The overpowering flavour of garlic and the dry burger patty took away from all of the delicious ingredients placed upon it.

Apart from my burger experience, I did enjoy some of the menu items at Bin 4. Their Iced Tea is delicious and my wife raved about their salad.

Please don't get me wrong, I didn't detest the burger I simply think it wasn't the right choice for me. I will give it another try just, this time I will go for something a little more simpler.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crystal Jade, Saanich BC

Crystal Jade on Urbanspoon

Time after time, I get suckered into a Chinese buffet for lunch. Continually, I find myself leaving disappointed and kicking myself for yet another poor lunch decision. Well, the case of the Crystal Jade in Saanich is no different. Crystal Jade has surely found a spot in my top 5 worst Chinese restaurants; see my post on the Lotus Inn for the top of the list.

Crystal Jade offers a lunch buffet for approximately $15. On first impressions, I was greeted by a friendly host and noticed a huge restaurant with approximately 10 people eating their. When it comes to the buffet I have to ask myself - what buffet? I found bad tasting wonton soup; a tonne of carbs;  some old looking french fries; and a couple of pieces of broccoli. Okay, okay there was probably a few more items, but the one thing I noted was that there was little to no meat. The beef and broccoli was missing the beef and was never renewed during my stay. The only other thing that resembled meat was the florescent red sweet and sour pork dish.

Now, some of you might think that I am food snob and that the Crystal Jade actually has some decent food. Let me assure you that I didn't eat alone and not one of us at the table enjoyed our meal. In fact, the one comment that stands out to me was that the food tasted old. I think that comment alone can some up our experience.

If you ever take my advice on anything - take it on this. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE CRYSTAL JADE

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Irish Times, Downtown Victoria

Irish Times on Urbanspoon

Well, the name says it all; Irish Times is an Irish pub in downtown Victoria. Typical of most Irish bars it has some old world charm and a tonne of beers.

Usually, when I go to an Irish pub food is not typically on the fore front of my mind; rather, dark beer. Lucky for me Irish times has a great selection of dark beers and a decent menu which is inspired by traditional UK eats.

Most recently I tried their Bangers and Mash and I must say that it was delicious. Imagine a mound of mashed potatoes, covered in fried cabbage, sauteed mushrooms and a rich helping of delicious gravy; all of which was accompanied by to out of this world lamb sausage. If that wasn't tempting enough it was all served up for under $20.

If the large selection of beer and great food hasn't enticed you yet; Irish times also is a great bar with old world charm and live music.

Check it out, I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Rathskeller Schnitzel House, Victoria (Downtown)

The Rathskeller Schnitzel House on Urbanspoon

I am a little confused on the Rathskeller; confused, as to whether I absolutely love the place or find it a bad attempt at modeling itself after a German tavern. Thus, you can see my dilemma. Is it great or horrible?

I digress, the Rathskeller is decorated as what I assume to be a typical German eatery; however, I can't say for sure as I have never been. The waitresses wear traditional dirndl and of course they serve up some pretty traditional German eats.

As for the food - it was good. Nothing extraordinary, but tasty greasy German comfort food. My particular favorite was the bratwurst. Usually, I am not a fan of bratwurst; however, the bratwurst at Rathskeller was simply delicious.  The boot of beer was also quite a treat. I know, I know it is probably a tactic to entice people to spend money their, but I couldn't resist. A boot of beer on your birthday - could there be anything better?

Overall - the Rathskeller would be a great place for a celebration or an after work drink (or two). The food is decent but not pretentious and the service is okay. Hey, they have been in business this long who am I to say they are doing anything wrong...?