We went to Victoria for the weekend and rather than eat on the ferry we decided to stop in Sidney for a late breakfast.
Hubby had done a google search for breakfast places and he came upon 3rd St. cafe. They were very busy. By the time we left there was a line up waiting to get in. Having eaten there I have to say that I'm not sure why. It was 11:00 and I didn't feel like breakfast so I asked if they had a lunch menu that I could order from. No problem, except that most of the lunch entrees were the same as what you would find on the breakfast menu. I guess the fact that they say all day breakfast should have clued me in.
My husband had the special omelette with Italian sausage, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms. I had a bite and to me the combination of ingredients did not blend together well. I think it would have been better with a different kind of cheese. It came with mushy fried potatoes that were distinctly lacking in flavour. I had a BLT. It came with a choice of french fries, soup or salad. It wasn't a bad sandwich but for $11.95 it is seriously overpriced. I mean it's not like I'm eating at some high end restaurant with great views, ambiance or decor.
We would not go back. We generally go to John's Place on Pandora St. in Victoria and they are much better value. The food is also much better and more reasonably priced for what you get.
Had their daily soup and mole chicken. Very authentic and tasty. Not only was the service good but the atmosphere lent itself to our meeting the couple at the next table...reminded me of being on vacation in Mexico!
If you want to try something different than the usual pasta or noodles, I recommend giving Carlos Cantina a try. Betcha won't be disappointed.
I was on the way to the ferry when I stopped in at Sidney to have something to eat to avoid BC Ferries' food. My option was limited since I was with a toddler so I decided to eat at Odyssia. We were one of two tables in the entire restaurant and it took 35 minutes for my food to arrive and they still made a mistake on my order. Food was high priced Chef boyardee in the restaurant...it was terrible. Basically, it was BC Ferries' food served in the restaurant.
Let's really get right to it - I love this place. We've just spent lots of time in Arizona where you'd think the Mexican food would be great, but it didn't come close to Carlos Cantina. The food here is excellent and the waiter is funny and cheerful. Carlos really makes an effort to give you choices with tasty dishes and excellent presentation - it does not all look the same as in some other places. The desserts are all made in-house and are very good as well. We have been back many times. The heating system in the winter could be better but it is worth it - just keep your coat on. Sidney is lucky to have this place.
I had planned to take the VICE group (and the ladies that tolerate us) to the Taste of Tokyo at 6 PM for the Saturday buffet but they were unexpectedly closed for a staff holiday. I discovered this upon calling for a reservation at 4:30 PM so was in a bit of panic about where to take the group! Happily, RC's came to mind. This hidden jewel is located on the second floor (handicap accessible) of a newish but undistinguished building located across the street from the Nicholson logging equipment factory in the industrial area to the East of Victoria airport. Don't be fooled: Within this building a wonderful dining experience awaits you!
My call for a reservation was promptly answered and the reservation efficiently taken. Upon arrival our group of 10 people was immediately seated at a table that had obviously been prepared for us beforehand. The seating areas are arranged around the Western perimeter of the building giving a panoramic view of airport operations if you are there before dark. The ambience is wonderful with good quality tables, chairs, tableware and tasteful fixtures. This being a Saturday, there was live music consisting of a solo guitarist/singer who played wonderful dinner music at a level that was just perfect. Loud enough to hear against the otherwise very quiet background, but soft enough for our table to engage in conversation.
The menu is fairly broad with interesting items and upon looking at it you immediately get the impression the management and kitchen staff care greatly about the quality of the food they are preparing. Our server was knowledgeable, friendly, and engaged well with the group. This is important to us as one of our number suffers from celiac disease and must be very careful to avoid foods containing gluten. Our orders were taken promptly and accurately with one minor exception which was more my fault than RC's. When pointed out, the error was immediately and cheerfully rectified. The appetizers and food were delivered promptly and the quality was to rave about! The ingredients were fresh, perfectly prepared, and presented with style. Our entire group was very impressed with the overall dining experience and it should be pointed out that two of our number are or have been professional chefs. The cost for my wife and I (2 appys and 2 entrees) was about $50.00. Not inexpensive, but outstanding value if you are looking for an upscale dining experience.
To sum it up: The management and staff at RC's are clearly aware of all the details, both large and small, that go into the making of a wonderful dining experience and they succeed in taking care of all those details in a relaxed and efficient manner. We will return...
Stonehouse Pub is only a fifteen minute walk from the Schwartz Bay ferry terminal and is a good alternative to eating the poor food served by BCFerries. The house burger is a good size and cooked so that it is nicely juicy. The fries are crisp. There is a good selection of beers on tap. Service from the cute young full-breasted waitresses is quick and cheerful.
This beautiful pub is located in the woods north of Sidney and quite close to the BC Ferry terminal, such that a 2 ferry wait could be turned into an opportunity to imbibe in a beautiful setting.
We just had a lunch there - on the patio and the pub is beautiful in summer as it is hidden in the woods and surrounded with majestic evergreens and gorgeous landscaping. The dining area inside in the winter is quite a bit smaller although there is an annex building with lots of skylights to warm up those fall and winter days that are probably coming. The pub was just acquired by the current owners 3 months ago and they have removed the fire place and put the bar there.
The menu is limited but the meals we sampled were excellent and the service was quick, friendly and efficient. The prices seem reasonable as the most expensive meal (at lunch) was a $15 steak. Most other meals were about $11 or $12. I forgot to ask if there was a more expensive dinner menu, although it seems likely.
I liked it and will be there again.
It's hard to believe the Carlo's Cantina, with all its local popularity for those who know where to go to eat great Mexican food, didn't have a link on this site, until now.
The important thing to remember, great food aside, is not to beat the path to Sydney on Monday and Tuesday as many times as I have, as those are owner's much treasured days off. Also, it's a TINY cafe with only 16 seats, on 4th St., turn left off the main drag.
What is TO remember is that between 11:30 ~ 8:30, this is THE place to hoof it to for incredibly delicious Mexican food WITH salt, seasonings, AND FLAVOUR. I say that in caps with hopes that a few other of our Mexican joints in town will take a big hint and, at least, add salt to their food. But for now, I'll hoof all the way to Sydney because when I do catch it open, it is so worth it.
I had the chicken enchilada, smothered with a colourful, delicious goopy mess of salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, amazingly flavourful guacamole, with perhaps some other stuff, along with the tastiest black beans I've ever had, and rice to accompany. If I could get that black bean recipe, I would be a happy gal.
My partner had a vegetarian version of the enchilada (noting lots of excellent veggie options on the menu, and I think his came to under 10 bucks). We were both pleased as clams with our dinners, and with the kind attention of the eccentric owner, who is just pure pleasure to be around.
The only drawback is driving to Sydney with low blood sugar, and making it there without a crash. Other than that, this is THE place to go....
I attend flight school in the same building as RC Grillhouse N' Lounge, so I eat here regularly and often even grab my morning coffee before flying lessons. During the week, I usually eat here between 5-6 PM and it is rarely that busy. It is apparently much easier on Friday and Saturday nights, however.
The servers are quick and helpful, friendly. The food quality is very, very good. My favorites are their lemongrass wings and honey Dijon ribs. They also have a delicious selection of salads, with the tossed greens being the best in my opinion. The coffee is always fresh, and there are about 4 different beers on tap. On Tuesdays (the Tuesday I was there, anyway), they had a $4 domestic bottled beer special. $2 for a coffee. If you're an aviation buff, this is a great place to grab a bite or just a coffee and watch the airplane activity. They've even placed binoculars at some of the tables so you can look at stuff!
There’s also a bar where you can sit and watch the flatscreen TVs if you like. Tables are enough for anywhere between 2 people (or 1) and a larger-sized party. Also, they seem to have live music on the weekends, and I can imagine that would be pretty fun.
Parking is easy and pretty much always plentiful, so that’s not a problem. They accept cash, debit, and credit card. All in all, a really good, great food, excellent service, very good value for the dollar, and it sure beats eating anywhere else at the airport, especially the airport terminal (which is actually on the other side of the airport).