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Wannawafel

Wannawafel

If you’re craving a sweet and delicious treat that won’t disappoint, Wannawafel is THE place to find it in Victoria!

Featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in the fall of 2010, Wannawafel is a virtual “waffle heaven” that delights both locals and tourists.

Belgian owners Renaat and Krista Marchand brought a piece of Belgium to Victoria with them and along with it, their incredible passion and care in all that they do.

Using only authentic Belgian recipes, all their waffles and toppings are made from scratch. Yes, even the toppings are made from scratch (try the extremely tasty berry compote for example).

Liege Waffle With Whipped Cream

Liege Waffle With Whipped Cream

Oh and trust me, you can taste the difference between “from scratch” versus “from frozen” which is what you will most likely experience when you buy a waffle at any other restaurant around town.

Keeping their menu simple and authentic, Wannawafel serves two basic types of Belgian waffles – the “Liege” and the “Brussels”.

You can eat them plain, or add toppings like icing sugar, whipped cram, ice cream, berry compote or belgian chocolate sauce. With so many variations, we asked Krista to recommend something for us.

Based on her recommendations, I ordered the “Liege Waffle” ($3.58) with berry compote (extra $2) and Mark got the “Brussels Waffle” ($3.58) with whipped cream and chocolate sauce (extra $2.50).

The Liege is a dense and sweet waffle whereas the Brussels is a light and fluffy.

Mark and I both loved our waffles, but preferred the Liege just a bit more. This is obviously a personal preference and whether you add one (or more) of their incredibly yummy toppings or order your waffle plain, you can’t go wrong with any choice you make here.

So next time you’re needing a sweet fix, or wanting to take your friends or family out for a treat, I invite you to head on down to Market Square and taste one of Belgium’s finest exports – the Belgian waffle!

You’ll be glad you did.

IN A NUTSHELL…

Food: ★★★★☆
Atmosphere: ★★★½☆
Service: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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Wannawafel

Address: #102 – 560 Johnson St., Market Square, Victoria

Neighbourhood: Downtown

Phone: (250) 590-5300

Hours: Sun – Fri 10 am – 5pm
Sat 9 am – 6 pm

Price: $ (under $10 per entree)

Dress: Casual

Why come here: Best waffles in Victoria, hands down! Wannawafel is the real deal, owned and run by a delightful Belgian couple who put their heart and soul into their business.

Website: www.wannawafel.com

Brussels Waffle With Whipped Cream And Belgian Chocolate Sauce

Brussels Waffle With Whipped Cream And Belgian Chocolate Sauce


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Posted in INTERNATIONAL0 Comments

Harbour House Restaurant

Harbour House Restaurant

This summer I recently discovered something I haven’t found many times in Victoria, and that is a restaurant that has been around for over thirty years.

Though we had heard about it, neither Mark or I had been to the Harbour House Restaurant before.

We didn’t know much about it except that after looking at their menu online, we looked forward to some fine seafood dining.

As we often do, both Mark and I started our evening off with an appetizer each.

To get my seafood fix, I ordered the “Avocado Shrimp” ($11.50).

Avocado Shrimp

Avocado Shrimp

I have always loved the whole shrimp/avocado combination, and I was happy to see that my appetizer gave me plenty of both.

Although I enjoyed it, I had hoped for a bit more “wow” factor which I have had from similar dishes at other restaurants (for example Pablo’s, which I will review later!).

My guess is that it was the mediocre sauce in this appetizer that made this dish lack a little for me.

Mark ordered the “Carpaccio” ($14), and really liked it.

The dish came with lots of cheese and good quality olive oil, making it definitely worth the $14 Mark said.

After our appetizers we decided to share the“Classic Caesar Salad for Two” ($22).

Carpaccio

Carpaccio

This turned out to be the highlight of the evening.

Herman, our wonderful server (who incidentally has a great Spanish accent), prepared my very first authentic Caesar salad right in front of us.

This is a lost art he said, and I agreed as I have yet to see this being done anywhere else in Victoria, let alone anywhere else.

Unlike most Caesars that you would order at a restaurant, this one was made with two “secret ingredients”, a raw egg and olive oil.

Herman also added plenty of garlic and just the right amount of anchovy to make this Caesar salad one of the best ones I’ve ever had.

Classic Caesar Salad for Two

Classic Caesar Salad for Two

For my main course I opted for the “Rack of Lamb” (Full $36). Herman said it was good so I even went for the full rack as opposed to the half.

When I got my entree, my lamb was perfectly done (medium rare) and the meat was a nice light pink colour.

It had a nice crust on it as well which I also liked.

The challenge I had with this dish was that it came with a Martini demi-glace which for me, overpowered the lamb and made it so that I couldn’t taste the meat as much as I would have liked.

Mark ordered the “Sea Bass” ($31), and comparing it to other dishes of its type around town gave it a “solid average”.

It wasn’t the best, or the worst he’d ever had. He found the fish was a bit chewy and the risotto that it came with was over seasoned (a nice way to say it was too salty).

Before I start sounding like I am giving this restaurant a negative review, I want to mention the things we enjoyed about the Harbour House atmosphere.

Rack of Lamb (Full)

Rack of Lamb (Full)

Our window table gave us a lovely garden view, and the warm ambiance that developed in the evening as the oil lanterns shone on the tables was really nice and romantic.

Also, though it wasn’t on at the time (probably because it was the middle of summer), the fireplace in the main dining area gave the place a nice look as well.

This restaurant has been going strong for over thirty years and has every right to be proud of that fact.

The only thing that I might say about its atmosphere is that it seems to attract an older crowd (50 plus) and it may be due for a makeover if it wants to keep going for another 30 years.

The service we had didn’t need a makeover though, and we were very happy with our wonderful, friendly server Herman.

View of the Garden

View of the Garden

Overall we found the staff to be professional, and all well dressed (in tuxes!).

As a small but important note, I was happily surprised when Herman brought me a finger bowl with lemon water in it so that I could clean my hands after my meal (kudos for them saying it’s okay for me to pick up my lamb with my hands!).

To finish off the night we both ordered dessert. My “Chocolate Cake” ($7.95) was again in the “not the best I’ve ever had but not the worst either” category.

I guess when dessert prices hover over the $6 – $7 mark I expect a bit more “wow”…

Mark got his usual “Creme Brulee” ($7.95). and gave it a solid thumbs up (yeah!).

It had a Marzapan flavour too it though, which he liked but wondered why that wasn’t written on the menu as he expected the traditional vanilla taste.

Overall our experience at Harbour House Restaurant was pleasant. I don’t want to say we had the best meals we ever had because we didn’t. But we did have a very nice evening with decent food, great service, and nice ambiance.

We will be back again, but next time will be trying some of their other offerings.

IN A NUTSHELL…

Food: ★★★½☆
Atmosphere: ★★★½☆
Service: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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Harbour House Restaurant

Address: 607 Oswego St., Victoria

Neighbourhood: Downtown

Phone: (250) 386-1244

Hours: 4:30 pm – close, 7 days a week

Price: $$$$ ($25 and up per entree)

Reservations: Recommended

Website: www.victoriaharbourhouse.com


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Posted in AMERICAN, SEAFOODComments Off

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