At the newest Rawthentic Eatery location in Victoria, a diner digs into a bowl of noodles sprinkled with cheese and awaits the wedge of berry-studded cheesecake ordered for dessert. Though this sounds like a meal at your standard Italian restaurant, it isn't what it appears to be?the noodles are actually made of raw zucchini, the cheese is made with nuts, and the cheesecake, though decadent, contains no cheese at all. This double take is exactly what Rawthentic Eatery's creators had in mind, since they strive to create healthy raw and vegan meals that complement the lifestyle of every diner, vegan or not.
Ingredients are never heated to more than 105 degrees, the temperature at which food begins to lose nutrients. This requires the chefs to be innovative?besides using vegetables as pasta, they blend smoothies that substitute dates for refined sugar and use chopped nuts to make up the breads and pie crusts. As a result, a bounty of raw comfort foods such as meatball subs also draws in nonvegans who simply have food allergies, high blood pressure, or bad memories of dating a microwave. Rawthentic Eatery serves as a hub for socializing as well as eating: chefs host events such as '50s-diner nights and holiday dinners and teach raw-foods cooking classes twice each month.
A&W Restaurant, one of the largest burger chains in Canada, has been trapping burgers between buns and filling cups with creamy root beer for generations of famished families. Choose from a brood of belly-busting burgers, such as the Papa Burger, leading the pack with two beef patties (a $4.92 value). The Baby Burger induces burger purists to shed a single tear upon seeing the simple beef patty on a bun salaciously adorned with nothing but A&W seasoning and a dollop of ketchup (a $1.89 value). The beefy Uncle Burger (a $5.70 value, $0.50 extra for cheese) bogarts all the mouth room, sprawling its sirloin patty and lettuce-tomato-onion suit all over tongue sofas. Round out a meaty meal with a medium order of crisp fries (a $2.79 value) and a medium soda (a $2.34 value).
Today, the structure occupied by River Rock Bar + Grill invites hungry diners and Travelodge visitors to rest their weary bones while recharging with pub-style meals or intimate evenings around bottles of wine. But long ago in 1893, the building rose as a magnificent dwelling for Ashdown Green, a key player in the development of Cowichan Valley. Despite its transformation from home to hangout, the building, much like a water balloon filled with aged scotch, continues to burst with history and heritage.
Now, bartenders yank the levers on 10 draft beers and servers dish out pulled-pork sandwiches and wings. Seven high-definition TVs ensnare eyes with sports games, and a heated patio beckons guests outside even on colder days.
Making sushi is an inherently quiet and intense process. Chefs tightly roll seaweed and rice around fish and veggies at One More Sushi. The meditative calm is cut by the sounds of crackling grills covered in teriyaki sauce and meats. Hot oil bubbles up around tempura-battered veggies and even bananas, and pots of miso soup pour forth steam like a fax machine built in the 1800s.
Distinguished by a colourful history and a litany of awards from publications such as Fodor's, Zagat, and Condé Nast Traveler, Hastings House is a luxury resort anchored by a Tudor-style manor on 22 waterfront acres. Seven hillside suites wrap barn details such as batten siding and shake roofs around modern comforts including heated slate floors, ready-laid fireplaces, and bathrooms stocked with plush robes, towels, and large soaking tubs perfect for relaxing or brewing moonshine. For nature engagement, private balconies and wide picture windows capture tree-framed views of Ganges Harbour. Guests slumber on king-size beds lavished with eiderdown duvets and pillows (synthetic options available) and high-thread-count linens, which invite napping or quick conversion into high-end blanket forts. A hamper of freshly baked muffins and coffee or tea arrives each morning, after which heartier appetites find satiety in an English-style breakfast held in the manor house, also the site for afternoon tea.
Nestled amid the vibrant scenery of Cowichan's wine country, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course weaves through 6,193 yards of fairways and greens kissed by breezes moving inland off the waters of the Saanich Inlet. Named one of Canada's Ten Best Golf Courses for Value by Westjet's Up! magazine in 2009, the course's front nine weaves alongside the seaside community of Cobble Hill before ascending a ridge to a plateau on the back nine, where players can soak in sweeping views of Salt Spring Island and name new constellations in the divots peppered across the course below. Though players encounter many par 4s and reachable par 5s, Arbutus Ridge concludes with three treacherous holes, including the 214-yard, par 3 17th hole, where golfers must overcome swirling winds to land tee shots on an island green. Golfers can prepare for rounds with a stint at the club's driving range or by scouting sand traps' self-defence mechanisms while watching the club's online course videos.
Arbutus Ridge cares about the condition of its course and the nature that surrounds it, and because of its efforts toward sustainable practices, the course has been certified by Audubon International. After rounds, course patrons can retire to the Satellite Bar & Grille, which overlooks the Satellite Channel and serves a seasonal menu of West Coast?influenced French bistro fare, with offerings that include halibut, salmon, and tenderloin steak, which pairs well with a glass of Jean Van de Velde's tears.
Course at a Glance: