April 27, 2014

The Local Kitchen, Victoria

It was Times Colonist 10k weekend, and that meant I was doing my best wheezing pig impression at 8.45am, running along Dallas Road in a cloud burst, wondering why in the hell I got up at 6am for this.  But as usual when I am Dallas Road, I saw the sea, the cargo ships, the mountains of the Olympics and stopped caring about the wind whipping through my bones and started to enjoy myself again.  And I came home in a record time (for me, and that's all that I am running against), damp but uplifted.  I love my endorphins...

TC10K weekend also means not being able to get a breakfast reservation anywhere between 9 and 11.  But's that is just fine, as the Local Kitchen didn't open till 11.30 for Brunch, and we were first in line to get our table. Four of us, two of us on post run highs and two of us on post watching runner what-ever-you-call-its.  Only to discover brunch was off, and it was the normal lunch/dinner menu.  No steak and eggs for me.

Instead, I got a cheeseburger and bacon (no veggie burger either... my two post race staples, gone), along with hot, dark coffee and an eyeful of the European Rugby match.  The burger was great.  Juicy inside, with a chargrilled outside, lots of crispy flavourful bits around the tender meat.  There was just the right amount of salad, crispy bacon and a lovely soft chewy kaiser bun.  The cheese was a little light and probably could have been done away with, without making any changes to the meal.  This is no gourmet burger.  Just Canadian pub food done well.

The rest of the menu is the same sort of staples. Chicken burgers, tandoori wraps, huge salads and plates of poutine.  No truffle oils or goats cheese shavings with reductions of raspberry.  Big servings, minimum of fuss, decent price.  The same cannot be said for some of it's neighbours...

The location has had many changes in the years I have lived here, and I'd never been in before, never hearing anything good about the food, the service or the beer.  They seemed to cater for an after work drinking crowd when I worked downtown, and went through a couple of iterations as that, but the Local seems set in, and popular with some of the IT crowd.  The 'KixEye' wings being a sure sign that someone around there goes very regularly. With it's sunny patio, I may suggest it for an evening beverage sometime.

Two things to note, though. First, the men's toilet is a trap. There's a small step up to the porcelain throne, that almost led me to turning an ankle.  I suspect after a couple of beers more than one person has ended up flat out with new bruises.

Secondly, all the servers that day looked the same, except for the lady in the purple dress. I suspect the pod people are taking over, as I swear I saw the same server at Bubby's Cafe later.  Just be warned, the Victoria restaurant scene may be about to be taken over by 20-something brunettes with pony tails, nice smiles and pleasant demeanour.

Though, that doesn't seem like such a bad thing, really.


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