Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Beautiful Noontime in Victoria: Poutine Denied!

When it comes to tying on the feedbag, lunchtime is Dolly-girl's number one favorite time of the day. So, long about 9 in the morning, she's starting to check through her looking-around-Victoria book to see if she can get some skinny on where to fatten up from some tipster that's been to a joint before, with me? "Jack, there's a coupla places we need to eyeball for noontime feedbags. Look, Anna-Maria, look here in this book and see what you think..." The two of us, that would be me and my lovely daughter, pushed our breakfast plates away to see what Dolly-girl was running up the flagpole. "Look here at this place called Canoe, and this other one called Queen Mother's Waterside Cafe, let's go to one of them. Can we, Jack, can we? Is it a good idea?" "Settle down in your pumps there, Dolly-girl, it's still a coupla hours 'til lunchtime and I can do a lot of things, but making the big hand get to the six and the little hand get to the eleven ain't one of them." Dolly-girl likes to get a jomp on the lunch crowd. "OK, OK, I'll be good, but people'll be lining up, I tell you." I noticed her feet were still doing the little happy dance they like to do.

At the crack of 11:30, we were sticking our beans through the door at Queen Mother's, only to find out that, although the sign said "Queen Mother's Waterside Cafe," it was now a land surveyor's joint. "No lunch, here," Dolly-girl muttered, to which Anna-Maria added, "They might share--I saw a couple lunch boxes in there..." I took command. "OK, it's Canoe. They brew their own." Dolly-girl shot me a look through the wave. "That's not a good way to make an important decision, Jack. This is about lunch."

We strolled through the gate, asked the Mister of the house for a three-top, and followed Missy's wave to a nice spot under an umbrella with a view of Trouble's side of the harbour. I could tell from the crew that was headed out to nab terrorists, or maybe patrol for the stray WWII survivors who still harbor ill intentions for the harbour. "Jack, that's a group of whale watchers." Dolly-girl shattered my mental yarn...

We were the third table to be seated--a group of 3 and one of 4 beat us in. "If we hadn't stopped at the Queen Mother's we woulda been..." Anna-Maria reached over and patted her knee. "It's OK, Dolly-girl, it's OK." Little did I know.

Missy was right quick with the whaddayas. "I'll have whatever hops to the table itself." "Gotcha, IPA. Ladies? OK, two blonds. Need sand? I'll be back."

And she was. Pretty quick. The brew was tall and cool and was just what the doctor woulda ordered had the doctor been me. The girls stirred their joe while we finished giving the 3-page whaddaya the twice over. I knew at once what it was going to be for me 'cause right there, in black and white, was poutine!

Kennebec fries! Curds! Brown Beaver ale gravy! Yes!

We ordered up. I was so excited I can't even remember what the girls told Missy to hustle their way. Salad and pizza, I think. I didn't care. Dolly-girl was right--lunch was the best. We did tell Missy to bring us a bowl of yesterday's special and three spoons. That would hold us until it was time to dig into what I was thinking was gonna be a 5-curd delight! Missy came back with the chowder. It was some of the best we'd ever slurped down our hatches. We all gave the nod to that.

Unfortunately, that was the last we saw of Missy for a long time. By now the joint was hoppin'. When she did get up her courage to waltz by our spot, she mentioned that our order was being delayed by a table of 19 that was ahead of us. Hmmm, we were the third table in and by now everyone else was eating, and we were behind a table of 19? And time was running out--We had to meet Dania and Leo Beech at the ferry in a quarter-hour. We packed up. The head guy waved us out--no charge, but no poutine either. So, poutine denied gets no rating. Canoe had charisma, it had charm, it had potential--it coulda been a contender. Instead, it gets a goose-egg for service. If you go to Canoe, take your paddle, you may need to give the kitchen a little encouragement. Better yet, go to the Bug Zoo instead...


Ronna said...

So close yet so far. That sucks the big one! Goose egg fer sure!

Ronna said...

I was thinking about it. You could have called this post "Poutine Interrupted." Let's plan a meet next year and go on a poutine taste test. You bring the Lipitor. I'll bring the Canadian coinage.