There was once a time in my life where I dreaded weekends. That was when I knew I became a workaholic. But things change in life and sometimes if you're lucky, it brings along people who will change your outlook on life itself.
I was looking forward to this weekend and not knowing the details made it that much more enjoyable. First stop of the day was brunch in Victoria called Agrius. I've never heard of it before or seen photos of it online so definitely new to me. The restaurant shared a space with a cafe but the decor felt very modern. The kitchen was open and if you sat in the right spot, you could watch the chefs put together your meal.
I shared a half dozen oysters and ordered a smoked salmon benny. The oysters were very good, each shell sat on a bed of sea salt and was accompanied with a pickle like sauce. The first bite had no fishy aftertaste whereas the second one I had delivered more of an ocean taste. It was a nice range of flavours that made me want to order more.
The salmon benny sat on a Chinese style doughnut which was freshly fried. It was a unique benny and I've never seen it done this way before. The doughnut portion was similar to ones you get in Vancouver's congee establishments. From the hollandaise sauce to the egg done medium, to the salmon, it was a perfect dish. It's also important to note that their coffee is special. The flavour profile in it was multilayered and I wish I asked what it was.
Next food stop was Smith's Pub for a snack before dinner. Some of us (mostly me) were getting to the hangry level and needed some food. We ended up going to Smith's Pub because the previous place was super rude about our large group. I had a Californian beer which again, I wish I recalled what it was because it was delicious (something torpedo) accompanied by a grilled cheese (which was ok).
10 minutes after that, we arrived for dinner at Cafe Brio. I ordered a saison to go with my roasted duck breast with duck confit & potato röesti, apple braised cabbage, cider vinegar jus. Mind-blowing good. Seriously, highly recommend it, the crust on the duck was done to perfection. My experience with duck is mostly with Chinese BBQ style ducks but this was up there. We finished our meal with dessert which was equally impressive, Crispy Fried Pastry Cream with pear semifreddo, rosemary sugar, brandy caramel sauce.
After dinner, we managed to catch a comedy show at The Heckler, danced at the Canoe Brewpub (our bartender bought my friend Adrian and I a deconstructed margarita), and ended up at Darcy's Pub (College scene). It was an incredible day full of great food, laughs, and fun.
The following day was definitely a recovery day. We started at the Med Grill Restaurant for brunch where I ordered the breakfast scramble skillet. The garlic toast and hashbrowns were definitely the highlights. That was probably all I could stomach at the time but it was perfect for how I was feeling. Food was good, service was excellent, the price was reasonable.
After lunch, we explored downtown for a bit and stopped at The Cookie Guy first to try it out. Definitely was good, not sure if it's Mrs Fields good but very enjoyable. We also stopped by at Habit Coffee for a warm drink. I loved the decor inside with the bar seating, magazine rack, and just calm atmosphere in general. My hot rootbeer float was totally weird though, next time I should stick with a coffee.
Victoria was an amazing getaway for me because I spent it with amazing people. Sharing experiences always make memories stand out more and I appreciated the pace and friendliness I experienced in Victoria.
Thank you to Jacquelyn and Kristian for being such amazing hosts.
Agrius - 732 Yates St, Victoria, BC
Smith's Pub - 777 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
Cafe Brio - 944 Fort St, Victoria, BC
Canoe Brewpub - 450 Swift St, Victoria, BC
Darcy's Pub - 1127 Wharf St, Victoria, BC
Med Grill - 4512 W Saanich Rd, Victoria, BC
The Cookie Guy - 1122 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC
Habit Coffee - 808 Yates St, Victoria, BC