Good afternoon everyone! I had a pretty awesome day so far (minus the road test, which I’ll write about in just a minute). I met up with the lovely Rachel @ Moments with Rae at around 8:00 for breakfast at Cafe Medina, which we both enjoyed. I’ll be posting the review sometime in the future. Then, Mom and I borrowed some books at the library, and I took Arnie for a walk before having lunch. Then it was time to drive. 🙂
So… I failed my road test! Everything was going so perfectly well for the first HALF HOUR (entire test = 35 minutes). I did every shoulder check, signalled every time, maintained perfect speed and steered with control. I even did the best parking I’ve ever done. Ever. Seriously. Then, right when we were heading back to ICBC, literally just as we were turning left into the ICBC parking lot, I panicked on the yellow light and turned on the red light. I knew right away that I did a dangerous action, and of course I failed instantly. DARN!
Now, onto a more positive note – this is one of the final posts of my Sunshine Coast series. You can read the other posts by clicking on the date you’d like to see: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The Saturday post is in the works, I promise!
We arrived at 8:10 on Friday morning: Lefty’s Restaurant in Parksville. The place was dimly-lit and had a hip, but rugged, relaxing atmosphere. We noted that the service was pretty slow, but at least the waitress was very welcoming and enthusiastic.
Classic breakfast with multigrain toast, bacon, eggs, potatoes and ketchup, grapefruit slice
This was Dad’s. He thought his meal was simple and pretty basic. There was nothing special about his eggs, potatoes, or bacon, and he was a little disappointed that Lefty’s doesn’t offer white bread (they only have sourdough and multigrain). Dad loved the raspberry jam though, which reminded him of the strawberry jam he had often as a child in Taiwan.
Sesame bagel with butter and jam
Mom wanted something a little lighter, so she opted for the sesame bagel. This came with homemade raspberry jam and some whipped butter.
1/2 spinach-feta omelet with red onions, multigrain toast with homemade raspberry jam, potatoes and orange slice
Seline and I weren’t terribly hungry, so we decided to share a spinach-feta omelet. They actually sliced the omelet in two, gave each of us a slice of toast and a large helping of potatoes. They were even kind enough to split the dish onto two separate plates, which I appreciated!
This was more than enough for me. I loved the slightly charred feta cheese here, as well as the extra zing from the red onions. Seline gave Lefty’s a 2 out of 5, Mom deemed it a 4, and Dad rated them 3.5. What do you think?
In the morning, we shopped at Thrifty Foods, visited the Cheeseworks Factory, and walked around Milner Gardens and Woodlands. Funny moment: I mentioned, totally randomly as we hiked, that owls are essentially “flying cats” because they eat mice, have creepy (sorry, cat people!) eyes, and are pretty intimidating! Without batting an eye, Mom replied, “that’s because owls are part of the cat family. They just have wings.” We couldn’t stop laughing!
Southwestern Flair Fish Taco: Spiced Halibut and Salmon, Roasted Tomato Pineapple Chutney, Chipotle Aioli, Tortilla, Cabbage & Carrot Slaw
Since we got two free entrees as part of our BC Ferries vacation package, Seline ordered the fish and chips (two pieces). She thought this was cooked very well and actually gave the Pacific Prime Restaurant a generous 3.7. However, she noted that the waiter was somewhat unprofessional and did not come to give us refills. He also lacked the enthusiasm and knowledge that we were looking for.
The Beach Club Deluxe Burger: 6 oz. of Ground Chuck Loaded with our Special Blend of Herbs and Spices, Fall Greenery, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle Red Onion, Beach Club Special Sauce on a Brioche Kaiser
Dad’s entree was the burger, which he thought was delicious! A 4 out of 5, in his opinion.
Grilled Nectarine and Rainbow Beet Salad: Slices of Grilled Nectarine, Beet Confit, Summer Greenery Leaves, Citrus Pomegranate Emulsion and Roasted and Salted Pistachio Nuts
Mom and I shared the salad, which I added a piece of grilled salmon to. Unfortunately, I found the salad overdressed, with not enough pistachios. I also think the salmon was cooked unevenly – the middle was essentially raw while the outsides tough and chewy. This meal was definitely a miss for me.
After visiting the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in the afternoon, where we saw rescued bears, owls, eagles, hawks, and a beautiful wild deer, we drove down to the famous Coombs for an Italian dinner. I was also excited to see the famous goats on the roof! Cuckoo Trattoria and Pizzeria is, without a doubt, the most famous restaurants in Coombs. It is also incredibly popular – we had to eat at 5:00 because there were so many reservations.
I was so happy that we scored a large, sunny patio seat.
Italian herbed lemonade: fresh basil, mint and rosemary
I thought I hated lemonade. Seriously, I did. Until I tried this. It was lemony and extremely fresh, without a super sour taste. The herbs infused it with zest, and the overall drink was so, so unique. Perfect for cooling down on the warm evening! Oh! Weird thing – Cuckoo didn’t offer water. You had to pay to buy bottled water, which we found strange.
Our server brought us a big bread basket, and I happily nibbled on some whole wheat, rye, and the salted thyme focaccia. The bruschetta was quite tasty as well, though the garlic flavour was a little overwhelming. Basil, tomatoes, and bread are practically best friends! Seline liked the focaccia a lot.
Freshly-baked bread with bruschetta and whipped butter
Risotto Piemontese: local wild Chanterelles and Porcini mushrooms slowly braised with rich beef stock and Parmesan cheese for a traditional Piedmont Risotto drizzled with Truffle oil
This was my first time trying risotto, and I have to say I’m not 100% a fan. The flavour was incredible, cooked in beef stock and cheese. The truffle oil had great taste as well, but it was the texture of the rice that I didn’t like. Yes, I know it’s al dente with a bit of “raw” and “uncooked” pasta in the middle – that’s authentic! – but it didn’t work for me. Dad agreed. He felt like this was totally undercooked, and I know what he meant. The centres of every grain of rice were still quite powdery and hard. The grains were very toothsome, but again, the flavour was AWESOME. I’m going to have to try to make some kind of mushroom soup inspired by this dish.
All cheese bianca: special blend of mozzarella, aged gouda, asiago, gorgonzola, parmesan and quark cheese, make this the ultimate in stringy cheesiness
I liked this a lot. The creamy blobs of cheese (I believe it’s quark?) were my favourite part, along with the pungent blue. The crust was thin, crispy, and made with plain white flour. The pizza was charred on the bottom, which is just how I like it. And the toppings… talk about cheesy! This was definitely the cheesiest cheese pizza I’ve ever had. After accidentally eating a bite of blue, Seline spat it out and declared that blue cheese tasted like how cow manure smells. :O We visited the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks that day, which probably explains why she had the scent of cow poop in her head. But still! I guess blue cheese isn’t for everyone!
This really WAS the “ultimate in stringy cheesiness”! Look at those mozzarella lines!
Conchiglioni: homemade fresh pasta shells stuffed with organic spinach, fresh ricotta and Asiago cheese, baked in creamy tomato basil sauce
I died when I tried this dish. The sauce was perfection and I need to know how they made it! Creamy, but not overly rich. There was an evident tomato flavour, but it wasn’t too sour or acidic. The texture was slightly thinner than regular alfredo sauce, and was flavoured with basil and Italian herbs. Sprinkled with freshly-ground black pepper and grated parmesan, these shells were amazing. My favourite part, aside from the heavenly sauce, was the ricotta middle. Ricotta is one of my fave cheeses (okay, along with maybe 50 others) and it went so well with spinach and sharp Asiago here. I want to eat this again!
Seline ate only the pizza (after picking off the blue cheese), while Mom, Dad, and I devoured the risotto and conchiglioni (how on Earth do you pronounce that word?!).
We couldn’t finish all of this and placed some into a plastic container to take home. Funny story – it was placed carefully into our cooler, where it stayed for 2 full days without tipping over and spilling. Then, right as we were parking into OUR OWN DRIVEWAY, at HOME, the cooler fell over and water splashed into my beloved risotto. Noooooooo!
I ate three of these, which took a LOT of self-control because honestly, I could’ve eaten five or six without even trying. It was incredibly hard to stop at three! I mean, look at that creamy, fluffy ricotta and herbed tomato sauce!
The desserts here made me drool a little bit – from the chef’s tiramisu to the forest berry cake, I wanted to try every single one! But we had to save room for ice cream!
I didn’t end up having any ice cream. I tried the Nanaimo Bar Brownie ice cream and the chocolate hazelnut, but was not really impressed with either one. I decided not to order one at all, especially after the server informed me that they weren’t made in-house (like Rain or Shine ice cream in Vancouver) – but rather imported by Island Farms. So not worth it, in my opinion. 😛
There were really goats on the roof here! They trampled around and went into their own wooden hut. It was so bizarre to literally see goats. On the roof of a market.
At Goats on the Roof, a market, we bought some nectarines and a lemon-blueberry muffin that I ate for breakfast the next day. You’ll see it in my next post!
Not much else to say here! I’m going to have a little snack (maybe some natural popcorn and berries) while making dinner. Then, I’ll be heading to a hot yoga class and getting ready for my Shadow Shift at the Vancouver Aquarium tomorrow. Have an excellent evening, everyone 🙂