Fisherman’s Wharf: a meal with a view

It was one of those days we just couldn’t decide where to go eat.  I pulled out my trusty “must try” list, but the 2 places which piqued our interest weren’t open this Thanksgiving Monday.  We decided to jump in the car and see where the day took us.  A beautiful crisp fall day dappled in sunshine, we found ourselves drawn to the ocean, as is so often the case.  We pulled into Fisherman’s Wharf to see what we could find.

It’s been a while since I’ve been down here, and things have changed.  Once your typical dingy set of docks, there are now several posh boulevards lined with charming & colorful floathomes and a slew of businesses nestled amongst them to feed the hungry crowds of visitors they draw here.  Several proprietors compete for the best Fish & Chips, in addition to which there is a BBQ joint, ice cream parlour, gourmet coffee houses, and a dessert shop.  We perused the menus with interest, and while I was tempted by the fish tacos and barbequed ribs on offer at some of the other places, we decided to stick with the long-time favourite: Barb’s Fish & Chips.

My companion ordered a cup of Chowder (advertised as the best on Vancouver Island) and the Cod & Chips, while I chose Barb’s Famous Burger (currently competing for Victoria’s Best Burger on JackFM) and a piece of carrot cake to follow.  There’s a big crowd here on sunny days like this, despite the nip in the air, but Barb’s keeps their line-ups moving quickly with a beeper system that works like a charm.  We entertained ourselves watching tourists feed the seals nearby, which had grown fat & happy on plentiful feedings.  In no time at all, our pager beeped and our hot meals were ready.

The chowder was in the New England style, and creamy delicious.  Packed with chunks of seafood, but not a hint of fishiness to be found, it lived up to its reputation.  We both thought the fries to be some of the best in the city as well, plump and tasting full of earthy goodness.  The fish was too densely breaded for either of our tastes, but the fish was fresh and flavourful inside.  My burger was satisfying and tasty, although it won’t get my vote for best beef.  The carrot cake was rich and moist, a satisfying sweet end to a good meal with a great view.  We’ll definitely be back again to try the competition.

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~ by Dee's Cheap Eats on October 22, 2010.

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