Now that Steve and my two daughters have come to visit me while I look after the twins, we’ve had the opportunity to eat at some local Comox Valley restaurants.
Our first dining experience: Avenue Bistro, a very mod establishment that touts innovative cuisine using local ingredients. For starters we went with the very tasty brandade fritters (cod potato cakes), and the Estevan tuna stack which was good but could’ve been better had it not been overcooked. The kids menu has standard offerings (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, chicken strips), a bit surprising considering the regular menu looked pretty creative. However, this was our first foray into the world of white table clothes and shiny glasses, so I played it safe with the grilled cheese. The sandwich had a gooey mix of cheeses between slices of foccaccia bread. Nice, but with that kind of bread, the sandwich was about 4 inches in depth and way too big for a small mouth. We had to pull it apart and compact it so their little mouths could handle it.
From good to bad: we were disappointed with our purchases from Cakebread Artisan Bakery. At first I was thrilled to see a macaron this side of the Rockies but the excitement was shortlived as I bit into the oversized chocolate macaron and had it disintegrate in to a crumbly pile. There was macaron shrapnel everywhere. And to make matters worse, it was rock hard and had no taste. The same went for the hazlenut meringue (pictured above with the macarons), but the sourdough bread at Cakebread is stellar. Too bad about the macarons; I got all excited there for a moment.
Breakfast this morning was at the Union Street Grill and Grotto on 5th Street, and as it turned out, one of best breakfast experiences we’ve had in ages. The products are fresh, local and the dishes just edgy enough to be different. The Tannadice Farms pork sausage was so good, Steve ordered a second serving. My West Coast Benedict totally rocked with perfectly done eggs overtop fresh crab and spinach drizzled with a silky homemade hollandaise. The children’s serving of French toast is just a smaller version of the adult’s, made with artisan raisin bread soaked overnight in some magical mixture. Simply delcious.
Out of all these retaurants, I would go back to Union Street Grill with no hesitation whatsoever; the dinner menu looks even better.