Red Barn Market

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”   — Henry Ford

The Red Barn Market is known around Victoria for its good quality, fresh, local produce and the meats and cheeses sourced locally.  There are currently six Red Barn Market stores in the Greater Victoria area.

Outdoors 1

The Red Barn Market opened its doors in 2005 at Mattick’s Farm location in Cordova Bay.

Meat 1The Red Barn Market is known for sourcing meat locally, smoking these meats and cheeses as well at their own local smokehouse.

Sausages 1         Their own sausages are made daily.

Outdoors 2          Produce is sourced locally as well.  In fact, the Red Barn Market proudly features Island grown, Island raised, Island made foods.

Personal mealsPersonal meals are prepared by Red Barn Market staff and are big sellers to locals.  This Market at Mattick’s Farm is on the Lochside trail, so cyclists are frequent shoppers here.  Our son swears that the wraps at the West Saanich Red Barn location got him and his classmates through their Civil Eng Tech program!

Unique products 2The Red Barn market offers a number of unique products not generally carried in supermarkets, such as these bread kits.        Mrs Bridges Preserves             What to choose!  That really was my dilemma.
As I pondered this, a shopper came by and struck up a casual conversation, and she advised that the Red Barn’s meats are “clean”, always fresh, and are less expensive than similar meats at the supermarkets.

Apricot Peach Preserve    I chose a jar of Mrs. Bridges’ Apricot & Peach Preserve — great choice on the next morning’s toast!

 

Red Barn Market,  Mattick’s Farm
129-5325 Cordova Bay Rd,  Victoria       
250-658-2998
www.redbarnmat@shaw.ca
7 am – 7 pm daily

Red Barn Market,  West Saanich
5550 West Saanich Rd,  Victoria

250- 479-8349
7 am – 8:30 daily

Red Barn Market,  Vanalman
751 Vanalman Ave. Victoria
250-479-6817
6:30 am – 8:30 pm daily

Red Barn Market,  Oak Bay
1933 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria
250-592-0424
6:30 am – 9 pm daily

Red Barn Market,  611 Brookside Road
Victoria  (Colwood)
250-590-8133
6:30 am – 8 pm daily

Red Barn Market,  1310 Esquimalt Rd,
Victoria  (Esquimalt)
778-265-0370
Mon – Fri  6 -9,  Sat & Sun 8 – 9

Adriana’s, the Whole Enchilada

“The country of Mexico has just gotten its first Taco Bell.   You’re welcome.  Finally, Mexicans will have access to….Mexican food.  Bon appetit.  I can’t imagine how confused they will be when they get a taco.  ”  — Jon Stewart

We’re not telling anyone because “it’s always raining on the Island”…………..but we’ve been having stellar summers here with heat and blue skies and sunshine!

On several such hot summer days we found ourselves in Central Saanich — that’s within running distance of my house in North Saanich! — noticing much activity at lunchtime at a small storefront restaurant called Adriana’s.

Every time we’ve been near this place midday, there’s a lineup!  What’s their deal?!
Well, for one thing, they offer wholesome, hot meals to go.

 

 

Adriana’s serves authentic Mexican food — no Taco Bell fare here!

Adriana’s opened in 2011 and has remained committed
to using locally sourced ingredients to prepare their quality meals made in-house.

 

The options here are several, and they’re prepared
using top-notch local ingredients.
For example, their meat is sourced from
Carnivore ( Carnivore Meats & More ) in
Brentwood Bay, just north on West Saanich Road.

 

The chicken in my Chicken Fajita Super-Taco, below,
came from Carnivore.

 

Everything here is housemade, including the chips.

In addition to individual meal orders, there’s a good selection of prepared meals to go.

 

If you’re looking for authentic salsa or other Mexican dips, this is your place.

I love the chip and salsa sampling station!

You need authentic Mexican seasonings?  Check these out!

         

Our meal came with a complementary savoury cookie — just the right note to end a flavourful, hearty meal.  Of course, all cookies are made in-house as well.

   

The sign outside on the sidewalk really says it all:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adriana’s
2140 Keating Cross Road
Saanichton
250-652-7767

www.adrianasthewholeenchilada.com

 

Mon – Fri  9 – 7,  Sat 10 – 4

 

The Roost

“If you go back to the Greeks and Romans, they talk about all three – wine, food, and art – as a way of enhancing life.” – Robert Mondavi

 

Who on the Saanich Peninsula — and beyond — doesn’t know about The Roost?!

    

There are plenty of chicken motifs around, but none wears it more proudly than these gorgeous kings of the roost!

Maybe because it’s close to home and close to the Panorama Rec Centre with indoor and outdoor tennis, maybe because my visitors can easily find it — it’s the place I frequent the most for casual dining or just coffee.
Not to mention that the food and coffee are reliably good!
Baked quiches, meat pies, Mac ‘n’ cheese bakes………..

    

……………muffins and cookies, fruit pies and tortes, and so much more!  Everything is house made and SO good!

Get your coffee and snack and enjoy the fare and surroundings at the outdoor front awning-covered tables, or in the picnic area…….
      

        

…………….or in a separate “room” created with hedging……..
     

……or in the iconic bus which has its ever-present, faithful driver, watching over the tables behind him.

Or have breakfast, lunch or dinner served to you inside the Bistro………

……with the familiar smell of good quality, fair-traded coffee and the changing artwork by local artists surrounding you.
    
On this occasion, some of the pieces on offer were chicken paintings by Catherine McLeod,

and landscapes by Mary Pearson.

You can dine outside near the fireplace in a screened-in area,

or around the rear of the building in a secluded, sunken dining area…..

……the sunken dining area from the other side………….


………….adjacent to a pleasant water feature.

On this occasion I had the spinach & pear salad

and my husband had the ham & cheddar sandwich with a Caesar salad.   Perfect!


The Roost sits (give me credit for not saying that it roosts!) on about ten acres of farmland owned by Hamish, below.
That’s a combine behind Hamish’s right shoulder, and the dust behind his left shoulder is from another combine, harvesting the wheat that will be made into flour which will be used to bake so much of the great fare offered at The Roost.

His daughter, Sarah, grew up here, and now she and her husband, Dallas Bohl, own and operate The Roost.
But clearly, this is so much more than just a coffee stop, or even just a local restaurant.
This auger moves the wheat up into the grain bin for storage until it’s needed.
The tractor is a working piece of equipment……

…….as is this vintage Chevrolet truck.
    
The wheat is milled and finished on-site and is used to bake the breads offered at The Roost.

In addition to milling their own wheat for flour, this family keeps chickens for fresh eggs and meat…………..

………sheep for milk, cheese and meat,,,,,,,,,,,,,

……..and bees for their honey.
The honeybee boxes are in the fruit portion of the farm, which includes the blueberry bushes behind the boxes……

…………green apple trees…………..

…………..red apple trees……………..
    

……..strawberries, black tomatoes…………..

…………and grapes.  Oh, the grapes!  Rows of vines hanging full of grape clusters!
The Roost farm produces both red and white wines, available in The Bistro with your meal, or for sale to go.

Tastings of The Roost’s wines are available here, as are other mementos and gift items,


just inside the main Bistro entrance — next to the piano.

This is also where you can sign up to paint your own chicken!
Indeed, The Roost is so much more than what meets the eye!

There’s the large outdoor tent for private functions………….
  

……another area for private functions……..
………a games area with a bull riding simulator for kids of all ages………..

………………..and a ping pong table, plus a soccer billiards game.

And then there’s Hamish’s private collection of vintage cars and tractors…………

—————and the pumpkin carriage in the back corner!

And if you haven’t already figured out that this family loves having fun, and loves providing a venue for others to have fun, you have got to see [….ominous music here…..]……..

………the Dungeon!
What lurks behind those imposing doors, you ask?

The first room is deceptively benign, with its long tables (crafted by Hamish) ………..but look to the far end, behind the door with steel bars where there should be windows………
   

…………standing guard over the wine aging barrels beyond his right shoulder is a full suit of armour, and behind that is a somewhat uncomfortable-looking standing squeeze box……..

…………..and a true, functional rack!…………..

   

…………….and a throne to which none wishes to ascend, and the remnant of some hapless one, hanging on the wall!
Do you see the humerus?!

    

Full of tasty, wholesome, home-grown food and drink — plus plenty of room for a good time — Welcome to The Roost!

 

Roost Vineyard Bistro & Farm Bakery
9100 East Saanich Road
North Saanich

250-655-0075
www.roostfarmcentre,com

Sun – Thur 8 – 8,  Fri & Sat 8 – 9

 

Finest At Sea

“All men are equal before fish.”  — Herbert Hoover

But……….all fish are not equal before man!

Having heard about this must-see shop for fresh seafood, we headed to the James Bay area of Victoria. Within easy walking distance from Fisherman’s Wharf we found the seafood boutique shop, Finest At Sea.  And we were rewarded by our find!

Operating since 1977, Finest At Sea prides itself as being “the leading provider of the finest quality seafood on the West Coast.”

All their products are 100% wild and are caught by their own fishermen through sustainable fishing practices.
   
   

Finest At Sea employee, Flo, was separating lobsters into different tanks and Lili got a quick tutorial in handling live lobsters without getting a finger caught in a pincer!

The parking lot perimeter is decorated with murals by Steve Milroy’s Wonderworks Studio.

  

Finest At Sea’s food truck caters public events and is also available to cater private functions. 

Not only seafood is offered here, but some of their favourite seafood-prep items and seafood go-withs are offered for sale.
   

In addition to selling live and on-ice fresh seafood, Finest At Sea also offers a number of prepared food items containing their own seafood………..

………….plus food for our four-legged friends — really, many things seafood-related.

Lili bought a number of items to be prepared by the chef at home (husband!).
  

The twice-baked smoked salmon potato was about as good as a potato can get, according to my taste buds.
A fresh gem in this sea-surrounded city, for sure!
    

 

Finest At Sea
27 Erie Street, Victoria
250- 383-7760

www.finestatsea.com

Mon – Sun 9 am – 7 pm

10 Acres Bistro

My idea of heaven is a baked potato and someone to share it with.  –  Oprah Winfrey

Aaahh…….comfort food in comfortable surroundings — that’s what we discovered at 10 Acres Bistro.

 

This was during our coldest January since time began — oops! I meant, since temperatures have been recorded here!
We walked through the patio…………..

…………………….with its informative wallboard………………………………

…………………and into the bistro with its inviting fireplace………………………

………………………….past the cellar…………………..

………………………….through to the room with a tidy, cozy bar, aptly labelled, “Bar”……………………..

………………….and another wallboard proudly naming some of our fine local breweries whose brews are available here.

My guest, a friend from another province, likes to try the various seafood chowders available in restaurants in the Victoria area whenever he’s visiting, so that’s what we both ordered.  This one has wild salmon and halibut, with a farm garlic bread.

The seafood at 10 Acres is Oceanwise and sustainable, fresh seafood.  In fact, besides carefully procuring its seafood, 10 Acres has its very own farm north of downtown Victoria in North Saanich near my own home.
The farm provides ethically produced meat, cheese and free range eggs, plus seasonal organic produce and even honey.
As proudly stated here, “Free range happy animals taste better,” so 10 Acres offers fare from pasture raised ducks, turkeys, pigs and rabbits.

But wait!  There’s more!  And in this case, there really IS more!
On the same city block, but around the corner from the Bistro is 10 Acres Commons and Kitchen.

        

The Commons is an “uncommon” room with a large patio facing south, directly across from the landmark Empress Hotel.

The locally-based menu is also offered here along with local brews, buck-a-shuck and live music.  It’s a lovely spot to hang out.

And then there’s the Kitchen, which is a somewhat more formal dining room in the same building.  The colourful artwork highlights the tall ceiling here, making the room feel homey, yet spacious and airy.

While I was taking the various photos, I struck up a conversation with two delightful women who had moved to Victoria from Calgary, but never knew each other in Calgary.  Bernadette and Nadine (L – R) met when they both joined the Newcomers of Greater Victoria.

This was a heart-warming detail for me, as the Peninsula Newcomers Club is how Linda and I met when we moved here.
Bernadette and Nadine were casing 10 Acres Bistro for their “Dining Out” group, and we agreed:  10 Acres is a real gem!

10 Acres Bistro
611 Courtenay St, Victoria
250-220-8008
www.10acresbistro.ca
Sun – Thur 11 am – midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am – 1 am