Okay my sweet readers, this one goes out to my hometown readers in Victoria BC. This one’s for you.
So here is a bit of fun... well, what I think is fun. We will call it a bit of adventure into the realm of food. I am talking about finding new and old places to find all of the tasty stuff you want to cook with. This is how I spend my days off, cruising around, trying to find sources of all things edible. I love finding little shops that specialize in great cheeses, meats and veggies. This is always a good thing. So here is a little tour of the places that I have found and love to haunt in Victoria. Now bear in mind that these are just some of my favourites and that the find of a great shop, going in and chatting with the people that work there. These are the people who will give you suggestions and they will advise about what you want to cook and how to do it properly. You must remember to be brave my gentle readers, try something that you have never tried before, you may like it, you may not, but at the very least you will know.
I know that you have heard this statement before but I will say it again, try, at the very least try, to buy as local as you can. Not only will you get a better product, which is always good, but you will be supporting your people. That is a great thing.
So now a little tour as dictated by the making of a sandwich. My love for sandwiches is epic. In my mind there is very little in this world that is as satisfying as sitting down and eating a sandwich. I think that is why I love Charcuterie as much as I do, it is a deconstructed sandwich. So we have to deal with two major components: the bread and the filling. So I will start with the bread. I am a huge fan of Bond Bond’s bakery on Blanchard. I start off by saying that the product at this joint is simply awesome. From sourdough to baguette, I have never bought anything in this shop that is not top notch. The other fun thing about this place is that they have a daily offering which is only made on a specific day of the week. You want a triple rye, head in on Wednesday. I use their buns for my pulled pork sammies, check out the picture that will make your mouth water post, and their French bread is a key ingredient to making my Bailey’s French toast. On top of offering a great product, the staff is exemplary. They are quick and efficient and will greet you with a smile. I give a double plus good for Bond Bond’s bakery.
So now that we have our bread we must find something to go in between the slices, this means meat and cheese. For the meat part I would recommend Choux Choux Charcuterie on Fort St. Okay I love this place because it offers stuff that is a little different than the North American palate is used to and they cure a ton of their meats in house. These two reasons alone are reason enough to check them out. I have yet to go in and not find something that is interesting and fun. You have never tried rabbit pate? They have it. This is an awesome place to explore and try something that is a little out of the ordinary. You can check them out online at http://www.chouxchoux.ca/ they are totally worth checking out.
Choux Choux does sell cheeses in their shop however I take a quick run up Fort St to Hilary’s cheese. A place that started up in Cowichan Bay, Hilary’s offers some of the best artisan cheeses that I have found in Victoria and are ridiculously delicious. The staff there is super helpful in matching your cheese to the meaty goodness that is going into your sandwich. You can check out what they have to offer at http://www.hilarycheese.com/
Sometimes you want a one stop sort of shop and do I have the spot for you. Moseying out of the downtown core of Victoria and up into Oak Bay we find the grand daddy of delis, in my mind anyway. I am talking about Octavio. Those who have been there know that this place is awesome, like so good it left awesome three miles back. They offer great cheeses, meats that they cure in house and bread that is baked on site. The folks, who work there, are knowledgeable to the point of excess and this is a good thing. The best thing is that they are willing to help you pick out exactly the right thing for whatever you are doing. If I could I would live there. That is how good this place is. Check them out at http://www.ottaviovictoria.com/
So there are some of my favorite spots. Give them a try and if you have any suggestions of places I should check out feel free to share. Go forth and make sandwiches.