I’m writing this as I eat peanut butter blondies – just had my SIXTH one of the day! Yes, they are THAT good. And now I’m feeling a little guilty, as they are quite rich in calories… at least I did a spin class today? I can just never control myself around healthy, homemade baked goods, especially if they contain my two favourite ingredients: peanut butter and chocolate. Darn!
So here’s my second post in my Sunshine Coast vacation series – you can read the first post (Monday) here. Moving on! On Tuesday morning, I woke up at about 7:30. After cleaning, washing, and changing, I quickly published my prom blog post. Then, at around 8:10, Dad drove me into Sechelt to buy muffins from the famous The Bakery, a coffee shop and bakery known for their incredible muffins and scones.
On the way, we passed a health food store, Bayview Szechuan Restaurant, and the Golden City Chinese Restaurant. Here’s the Bakery! It was a half hour drive into Sechelt. We also went to the gas station and McDonalds to buy breakfast sandwiches for Dad and Seline. Can you believe they don’t like sweet baked goods in the morning?!
Here is the Bakery! We didn’t get here until after 9:00. I was starting to get hungry!
The bakery smelled so yummy, and I was just DYING to try everything – but Dad let me settle on five muffins. Yes, five! But in my defence, I shared with Mom and had some the next day. I was disappointed with the service – the woman at the counter, who was in her late teens or early twenties, was very impatient. Despite the fact that there was no one in line after me, she had such a bored and irritated expression and tone of voice. 😦 For such a sweet coffee shop, you’d expect kind and enthusiastic servers!
Back to the muffins! We didn’t get home until 9:40, and by then, I was very hungry!
Clockwise from top: Lemon poppyseed muffin, raspberry mango oatmeal muffin, gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin, savoury scone with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, blueberry scone
Smile, Mom! We dined outside, in our little table on the patio/balcony. I loved eating al fresco because of the lovely bird chirping, warm and gentle wind, and sunshine. We also had quite the view from the resort! I could see the entire marina and most of Madeira Park. It was incredible.
The muffins were incredible, too! Mom really enjoyed both of the scones. Out of the five, the two scones were her top two favourites. In contrast, I didn’t like the scones as much as the muffins – I rated these as my two least favourite of the five. I wish the savoury scone had some bigger, cheesier chunks, and the blueberry scone had more blueberries. But both had crumbly, buttery textures that are ideal for scones.
The lemon poppyseed muffin and the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin were my personal favourites – 1st and 2nd place in my book! While Mom enjoyed the lemon poppyseed muffin (she gave it 3rd place), the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin was her least favourite. She said it had too much “filler”, being the raspberries, mango, and oats, but that’s what I enjoyed about it. This muffin would be perfect on a bowl of creamy oatmeal. The lemon poppyseed muffin had great flavour and was much more buttery. It crumbled easily and had the yummiest muffin top!
The gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin was very unique as well. It didn’t seem gluten-free, but once I knew, I could tell. I’m guessing it contained rice flour and some sort of gum to hold it together. Mom and I both found this muffin okay, but nothing special. I was hoping for some big, tender chunks of apple and a stronger cinnamon flavour. This muffin top was delicious, though, sprinkled with some sort of raw sugar that caramelized when baking.
The results of our baked goods taste test?
- Blueberry scone
- Savoury scone
- Lemon Poppyseed muffin
- GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
- Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin
- Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin
- Lemon Poppyseed muffin
- GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
- Blueberry scone
- Savoury scone
The two muffins below were my favourites! I deem these even better than Whole Foods’ muffins. 🙂 They were e
ven better than just as good as homemade muffins.
After an hour of kayaking, getting soaked, and taking a quick shower, we headed back down to the marina for lunch. Our resort, the Painted Boat Resort, had it’s own restaurant downstairs.
Again, we had a beautiful view of Pender Bay, and on the other side, Madeira Park. Being about 1:00, there were surprisingly few people at the Restaurant.
To start, we had the crispy chicken wings. They were gluten-free and made with a rice flour and cornmeal crust, with a red pepper dip. Dad and Seline thought this appetizer was very unique, and I couldn’t agree more! Chef Steve Boudreau told us that it took him two months to create and perfect. I believe him! Even though I’m not a chicken wings girl, I’m sure they were scrumptious from the way my family raved about these guys.
The calamari, which was served with tzatziki sauce, had a light crust and minimal oil. Mom liked how fresh the seafood was.
Funny story! I checked the Restaurant’s menu online the day before coming and was SO excited to order their flatbread with arugula, herb pesto, smoked ricotta, and mushrooms. However, it wasn’t on the menu the next day. I asked the waitress, and she invited the chef out onto the patio to speak with us! I told him about how I’d been looking forward to trying the flatbread, and he insisted on making a custom flatbread for us – with any toppings we desired! While they didn’t have smoked ricotta cheese, he made this wonderful flatbread for us – starring regular ricotta, sprouts, and sweet grilled corn. This was delicious – I especially loved the handmade crust.
Flatbread with roasted wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, sliced beets, sprouts, roasted corn, ricotta cheese
Mom and I ordered seafood dishes – pasta for her, salad for me. Both were very, very yummy and featured house-smoked salmon. I love how the salmon came in chunks, rather than slices. My salad was very fresh, and the creme fraiche went well with the smoky fish. Mom’s linguini was rich and creamy, contrasting the sharp flavour of the fresh seafood. Both were plated beautifully, and I thought the portions were just right. I devoured my salad and ate lots of Mom’s noodles. Yum!
Local seafood in white wine & fennel cream sauce, fresh herbs & lemon
HOUSE-SMOKED BC SALMON
Roasted beets, frisee salad, crème fraiche, chives, toasted almonds
Dad and Seline ordered the beef burger and the fish tacos, respectively. Seline thought her tacos were just okay. It was kind of out of character for her to order fish tacos (she’s more of a burger // fish and chips gal). Seline wouldn’t order the tacos again, but ate most of her entree. Dad’s burger was enormous! He asked for bacon to be added and had a hard time devouring this sandwich because it was so, so thick. Both Dad and Seline enjoyed the crispy fries, though they thought the fries were quite normal. Dad was stuffed after his burger. It really was huge!
Ocean Wise cod, herb vinaigrette, fennel & onion slaw, avocado
PENDER BEEF BURGER
Tomato, lettuce, red wine onions, served with salad or cut fries
Time for dessert! I really, really, really wanted to order one, or even both, of these. I found them in the online menu and had been looking forward to trying them for ages! Don’t they sound delicious? Brown butter pecan crumble on blueberry cheesecake? Vanilla + strawberries with nutty praline on sweet chocolate mousse? YES! Unfortunately, both of them were temporarily off the menu.
- CHEESECAKE MASON JAR – Blueberry compote, brown butter pecan crumble
- WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – Toasted almond praline, vanilla macerated strawberry
Chef came out again after we finished our entrees, and recommended the chocolate terrine and mushroom ice cream. The chocolate terrine, he described, was like a mix between a fudge and a dense cake, with the texture and flavour of a brownie – all topped with fresh maple sugar from Quebec. That sounded good, but… mushroom ice cream? We were a little bit skeptical – until he confidently told us, “if you don’t like it, you won’t pay for it.” SOLD!
GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE TERRINE – Fresh berries, maple sugar
CANDY CAP MUSHROOM ICE CREAM – “A mushroom festival favourite”
The verdict? The chocolate terrine was super yummy. Creamy, chocolatey, but not overly sweet. It reminded me of a flourless brownie, with a smoother texture and less “crusty”. It was similar to a rich, dense cake, but not mousse-like at all. The maple sugar went well with the cake, and I loved the sour contrast of the berries and compote. There were also little blobs of cream (I’m guessing it was Greek yogurt, as it was quite sour) that I liked dipping the bites of chocolate into.
As for the mushroom ice cream – WHOA. It was GOOD! I took the first bite, with my family goggling at me, trying to read my expression. The ice cream was so yummy! It had a unique flavour, though not mushroom-like at all. It reminded me somewhat of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel, with notes of caramelized maple syrup. If you didn’t tell me that it was made of mushrooms, I would have never, EVER guessed. The ice cream, along with the terrine, berries, and cream, were devoured in seconds. What a delicious lunch and dessert!
After hobbling back to our resort (we were STUFFED!), we rested and did some research. Though our appetites didn’t fully come back by dinnertime, we couldn’t resist sushi takeout!
Sushi Bar 5517 in Sechelt has great reviews. People claim it is one of the best sushi restaurants in the Sunshine Coast.
I called in the car right after leaving the resort, so they’d have half an hour to prepare everything by the time we arrived. I was shocked, when we got there, to find that they were STILL working on it! We waited for another ten minutes before finally paying and bringing our sushi back into the car. They made this so slowly and carefully! But in their defence, there were only two sushi chefs and quite a few customers.
The restaurant itself was loud, a bit crowded (just a narrow space) and surprisingly warm. You’d expect a sushi place to be cool, maybe even breezy, but Sushi 5517 was almost humid! Yeah, it was about 35 degrees outside, but still. Dad said the fish might go bad because it was so warm inside. They did have some fans, though. Why not any air conditioning?
Going from left to right in the photo above:
Cast Away Roll: avocado, cucumber, radish, carrot with spicy mayo inside, topped with real crab, popcorn shrimp, crunch, tobacco, sweet spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, House sauce
Mango Roll: prawn tempura, scallop, salmon, avocado, mango with soy sheet inside, topped with sweet spicy mayo, mango sauce
Lobster Roll: lobster, tempura, avocado, cucumber, crab, with BBQ sauce
The mango roll was my favourite, followed by the Cast Away roll and the lobster roll. I saved the California rolls for Seline. To be honest, the rolls were nothing special. I’d say they were definitely better than Sushi Garden, Nao Sushi remains my favourite sushi place (I haven’t been to many, obviously!), and I think this is partly because we had to wait half an hour before digging in. By then, the tempura wasn’t as crispy as it should’ve been, and everything became slightly room-temp/warm after sitting in the car. Aw man!
That’s it for today, everyone!
Totally irrelevant but today I totally overate. Mom and I made stuffed sole with dungeness crab and roasted garlic + white cheddar mashed potatoes, with a béchamel sauce on top. Served with quinoa and garlicky sautéed Chinese greens, I loved every bite of my dinner and went back for seconds, thirds, and then FOURTHS. After that, I had FOUR, yep, FOUR squares of chickpea blondies made with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I should’ve had one plate of dinner and then one or two blondies, but I couldn’t control myself. I am now super, super full. 😦 So much for intuitive eating tonight!
On another note, my sister and I will be selling homemade goodies at the farmer’s market next week. Here are some of the ideas we have!
bookmarks (flowers? quotes?)
oatmeal recipe cards
salad topping cards
I don’t really have much else to say, but I’m glad it’s Sunday night. I love Mondays and how they are a new start to the day.
A new start, a new beginning, a new perspective, and new opportunities – I love new weeks! 🙂