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).
For patrons bound for Steeples Bar and Grill, the experience begins before the restaurant comes into view. A scenic drive over the Malahat and through Goldstream Provincial Park offers a feast of vistas, and then the restaurant's steeple—an artifact of the restored church where it has taken up residence—peaks through the trees like a giant toddler playing hide-and-seek.
Beneath it, beams that were hand-hewn generations ago hint at present-day staff members' attention to detail. Amid casual, cozy surroundings including shuttered windows, guests dine on upscale dishes such as steak encrusted with black peppercorns, seared tuna, and creamy tarragon fettuccine replete with king prawns. The drink menu complements meals with daiquiris, martinis, and draft beers.
While expecting their last child, Janet Docherty and Rick Pipes decided they wanted to spend more time together and thus embarked on a mission to open their own business. This choice led them to purchase Merridale Ciderworks Corp., which they soon expanded with a larger cellar and new cider tasting room. Today, the couple and their staff lasso trees and pick apples across an approximately 13-acre orchard, which mirrors the soil, climate, and alveolar trills of European cider regions. After pressing the fruit into 100 per cent pure apple juice, they ferment ciders inside stainless steel tanks using chemical-free, sustainable practices. They use this process to craft seven unique cider varieties along with three dessert wines and a motley crew of spirits. Janet and Rick also invite customers on behind-the-scenes tours to discover their cider-making process and favourite stunt cars. They host events such as weddings and complement drinks with hearty bistro fare crafted from local ingredients.
Situated just south of Cowichan Lake, March Meadows Golf Club’s nine-hole course invites golfers to play a scenic layout replete with mountain views. The course features cedar-lined doglegs and creek-split fairways, such as those on the second hole—the course’s most difficult—which forces players to unhitch the oxen from their golf carts and ford a waterway to reach the green. The charming course summons budding players to its fairways each year for a Junior Golf Tournament sponsored by Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Dawn Coe-Jones, who began playing golf at March Meadows when she was 12.
After rounds, players can head to the clubhouse’s restaurant to feast on casual grill fare. The on-site pro shop showcases the latest golf gear, apparel, and rocket-propelled three-woods.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 36 course * Course rating of 71.4 * Slope rating of 124 * Three tee boxes * See the course layout
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.