Bleue Coyote's kitchen whips up a menu of straightforward, down-home comfort fare while barkeeps pour 16 tap beers and an array of wines and cocktails. The hearty, soul-inflected menu includes several savoury barbecue options, such as the wings ($10.95), a baker's dozen of juicy, panko-breaded poultry flappers slathered with sauce, and The Widow Maker ($13.95), a femme fatale of a burger involving a charbroiled 8-ounce patty topped by a mound of Memphis-style pulled pork smothered in smoky barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese and accompanied by hardboiled film noir narration. Meanwhile, the classic burger ($10.95) foregoes the extra adornments so carnivores can savour the meat. While ingesting these delicacies, diners can quaff brews drawn from 16 taps ($5.25–$7.75) or sip one of the bar's classic martinis ($6.75), all while divvying up their attention among 11 flat-screen TVs and a 100-inch projection screen showing sports and security camera bloopers.
Lolly Gobble Sweet Shop accommodates sweet teeth with diverse, nostalgic, or specific tastes with more than 20 varieties of Dutch, Finnish, Danish, and Australian licorice, thousands of lollipops, and old-school candy to bring up sweet memories from youth. Hammond's handmade lollipops, whirly pops, and unicorn pops provide long-lasting sugary entertainment. Pez dispensers come in shapes such as animals, cartoon characters, and obscure French philosophers. Guests can peruse the shop’s Jelly Bellies, a flavour selection that ranks among one of Vancouver Island’s largest with more than 20 flavours and colors. Candy bouquets grow stems of sweets blossoming with colourful wrappers, lollipops, and bows from watering cans, bubble-gum machines, or rain boots.
The tranquil waters of scenic Cooper?s Cove lap against the outdoor patio at Stickleback West Coast Eatery, allowing diners to take in their surroundings as they chow down on artisan burgers, seafood, and sandwiches. Inside, a natural-cedar bar covers one side of the dining room, while at the opposite end broad windows let in warming sunlight. Against this nature-tinged backdrop, servers tote menu items such as bowls of red thai curry, texan burgers topped with pulled pork, and pan-seared halibut crusted with dried mushrooms. Located next to Rush Kayak Adventures, the eatery also gives patrons the opportunity to grab a burger before taking a paddle downstream to see what it?s like to be a tuna.
Jessie's Juice is the fruit-infused brainchild of local and award-winning country music artist Jessie Farrell, whose venture into non-musical artistry includes a menu of wholesome smoothies, raw and organic food items from local artisans, and her self-designed Jessie's Tea. Pink walls and a checkered floor beckon guests into the shop, where a whir of blenders transforms organic and local fruit, superfoods, and other ingredients into sippable smoothie potions. As daily soup offerings and a selection of raw, vegan, and gluten-free food options lasso their seductive aromas around noses, guests may sign the heart-shaped guest book or enjoy their purchases on the shop's wood bench that sticks its tongue out whenever it senses a stray drop falling.
Every business begins with a dream that takes its owner on a proverbial journey. Victor Sanchez did things a little bit backwards. He was out on the open road, rumbling along on a transcontinental motorcycle adventure to Argentina, and he crossed path with his muse: food. Victor fell so in love with the exotic cuisines he sampled throughout Mexico and South America that he vowed to share them with his Canadian neighbors.
Instead of starting from the ground up, Victor expedited the process. He purchased Carlos Cantina & Grill, a local hotspot with a solid reputation for tasty Mexican food. Though he vowed to preserve the menu that made the eatery so popular, Victor payed homage to the trip that started it all. He’s added monthly South American specialties to the lineup of tacos, chimichangas, and chicken mole in a homemade sauce. He recruited a team of chefs that craft flavourful burritos and enchiladas for people of all culinary inclinations—noting on the menu which entrees are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Tangy margaritas and fire extinguishers filled with guacamole are always available to cool off tongues as guests dine amid brightly patterned tablecloths and warm adobe walls.
Fresh Cup Roastery Cafe owner Jim Townley professes the gospel of single-origin coffees whose flavours can "stand on their own." He imports organic beans from farmer-run co-ops in countries as far-flung as Indonesia, Peru, and Ethiopia. The beans release bold, nuanced flavours as they roast in the café's proprietary Roastaire. Fresh Cup also conducts tours of its roasting facilities to prove that the environmentally friendly roaster doesn't resort to dark, medium, or light magic. A team of engineers designed the roaster to conserve heat energy with a closed-loop system while precise controls produce consistent quality, eliminating the worry of burnt beans or hyper-caffeination.
Baristas stir the hearts of coffee lovers with artisanal touches such as house-mulled cider and the house-made caramel sauce that sweetens macchiatos. Wholesome ingredients such as organic flour and local free-range eggs make their way into soups, quiches, and panini sandwiches.