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).
In the morning, The Old Fork welcomes early risers into its rustic interior, where they can start their day off with cups of freshly brewed coffee and hearty plates of breakfast poutine topped with a fried egg. The lunchtime crowd satisfies its midday cravings with the brawny Montreal meat sandwich and grilled Cajun chicken burger. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the lights dim and the dining room transforms into a scene for romantic date nights, complete with glasses of signature champagne, cocktails, and cold, local craft beers. During dinner hours, the kitchen prepares small plates including carpaccio with horseradish aioli and slow-braised butter chicken served over rice pilaf with fluffy naan bread.
The Chef's Table serves up sumptuous multicourse dinners nightly, in an intimate dining room located within a scenic bed and breakfast. There is no set menu; instead, custom menus are created each day, with chefs preparing appetizers, entrees, and desserts while guests look on. In the past, they've crafted gourmet dishes such as prosciutto-wrapped asparagus or Pacific caesar salad with scallops and caper berries. Guests are free to ask questions and take notes throughout the dinner. Afterward, the night's recipes are posted on the website.
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.
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.