Friday, August 20, 2010

If you happen to be in Terrace, BC...

It's a long way to Tipperary, particularly if Tipperary is Stumptown and you happen to be in Terrace, British Columbia. And, it's a long way in more than one way. After spending the week talking with people that needed talking with, if you get my drift, down the road up here, I decided to head to Terrace and get a jump on catching the Clipper that will take me south and back to the arms and wave of Dolly-girl D'Mestiere. I crossed the Skeena River bridge, pulled into town, set the brake at the Bear Country Inn, and decided to tie on the feedbag at a local eatery.

I talked to a local, name of Spoon, Urban Spoon, although that doesn't sound very local, now that I think of it. He tipped me to a joint called Villa 46. Said it was outta place up here, but the best and hippest feedbags in town. He had it right.

The place was mostly empty when I walked in. It was a nice night so I jerked by thumb towards the outside tables and Missy gave me the up and down. I parked my carcass and she was there quick with a dose of the Skeena and a whaddya-want. After a week down there, I knew what I wanted up here. "Drown three and make it snappy." She did. On both counts.

Those of you who read these pages know that I'm engaged in a War on LARD, and it's a war Jack is gonna win. I sipped my three-men-in-a-tub and looked over the offerings. Soup and salad seemed right. Down the road that's a bowl of Heinz 57 and a handful of iceberg. Villa 46 looked like something else would walk through the door. I asked Missy for her recommends. "Not much on that soup you're eyeballin'. Then I'm not much on chunks of fin flippers swimmin' in broth." I shot her a look--how could you not like that? "Bring it. And how's that radio salad?" "The best--can't go wrong with that one." "I'll have it. Oh, and a glass of whatever skidrow you got. Faire un vin rouge"--I tried la deuxieme lingua. "Elle est à tu." Close enough.

The joint wasn't jumping, but it took Missy a while to get back with the slurp. I knew the hash slinger wasn't in there opening a can. When she got back, voila, a fish stew that was easy on the eyes, as pretty as Fiora, and tasted good, too. I dug into a bowl that had salmon, halibut, mussels, and prawns (that's what they call shrimp up here, I guess to get around that whole 'jumbo shrimp' thing). It was tasty--could have used a shot from Mike and Ike, but hey, or is that eh?

Missy was back to check on me. "Howsit?" "You'd better learn to like fish in a bath if you have a chance to eat this on the house," I told her. "It's just what the doctor ordered." She nodded. "Yeah, I'll give it another try. Cookie tells me I need to up my tastes if I'm gonna work a joint like this one instead of being a soup jockey at some hash house on the road to Yellowknife. Une autre verre de vin rouge?" I thought about it...for about 1 second. "Sì, un altro bicchiere di vino rosso." "Si, è tuo." She was good.

Next out was the radio salad--fresh albacore, grilled to perfection, and rolled in the magic word--open sesame, get it--on top of some cowfeed that looked like it jumped right out of the garden and into the bowl. There was a little shot of a sweet and spicy dressing on the side that made the whole thing stand up and shout, "I'm the best damned tuna and salad you've ever had!"

I moved inside for a cuppa, a shot of the little emperor, and a green bottle of fizz to top off the night. Seeing as how it wasn't busy, the HMFIC, the hash slinger, Missy, and I had a chat. Interesting folks, trying an interesting, hip, eatery. I tipped Missy like an overloaded boat in the rapids, headed out the door, and ambled back to the Bear Country. I feel good when the feedbag hits the spot I need hitting. Tonight, I was whistling a happy tune. Stumptown quality, I'll tell you. If you happen to be in Terrace, don't miss Villa 46.

No comments: