Hump Day Quickies are quick posts published on Wednesdays. That isn’t to say that many of these places don’t deserve a longer look but I only tried one or two things and can only comment on the food that went into my face.
Usually when I’m in a strange, foreign land and I haven’t a clue where to find a decent bite to eat, looking for a crowded restaurant full of what I presume are locals works every time at least 60% of the time. Yes, you could break out your smartphones, fire up Urbanspoon/Yelp and read random reviews but doing so while walking down the street can result in walking into lampposts or worse, traffic. And that more of a thing to do sitting at your desk with a laptop, not walking around with your stomach grumbling, cursing your slow 3G.
“Strange, foreign land?! Don’t you live a 90-minute ferry away?” True, but I didn’t realize until a month ago that it had been more than a decade since I was in Victoria, back when it was a mythical place for elementary school track-and-field meets. It’s still British Columbia but I know just about nothing about Victoria.
Or Sidney, actually. The first I heard of Sidney was from iPhone Gary, who had recently moved there…and I can see why: Sidney is just stupid beautiful. Lochside Drive, for example, looks a lot like River Road in Richmond or White Rock but with a hundred mile sea view and gorgeous luxury houses.
After snapping some pictures, I headed into the central district to find lunch and saw a crowded little restaurant nearby. It’s not that I’ve never seen a place like Stonestreet Cafe before but when you see a green Starbucks on every corner, you appreciate places with a little character. It’s why classic cars have charm and soul. They’re designed by people that wanted a car to look like that, not because they can gain a little downforce. Starbucks are designed by interior designers. Stonestreet Cafe looks like someone started a cafe and things just started accumulating.
The menu is mostly baked goods along with soups and sandwiches, exactly what I wanted for a lighter lunch in the morning. One of the reasons I don’t really like breakfast is that all the foods all feel so dense and heavy, which is the opposite of what I want during AM hours. I went with a smoked turkey sandwich and a bowl of chicken corn chowder.
Stonestreet Cafe emphasizes the fresh and healthy as you can see by the mountain of greens in my turkey sandwich ($4.95/half, $7.95/full). You’d think I’d hate this as a bacon enthusiast but I actually prefer my sandwiches (and burgers, actually) this way. If you’ve ever seen me at a Subway, you’ll usually find me redefining the word “More.” when telling the “sandwich artist” how much lettuce I want. I wish they didn’t use cheddar but otherwise, a solid sandwich.
The chicken chowder ($4.95) tasted…okay? I liked the hearty bits of chicken and veg but it needed some more seasoning.
Stonestreet is a popular cafe with the locals. The friendly staff seem to know a lot of their customers names, some of whom were members of the BC government grabbing a quick brunch before heading to parliament. I wasn’t blown away by the food but it is a nice little place to sit and relax. There’s some patio seating outside to soak up those Vancouver Island summer rays.