Although I love dining out, there is something to be said for those “readily accessible and quick” kind of places. The kind of place I can throw on my jammy bottoms disguised as work-out pants and still get a decent bite to eat. Meeting all such requirements is that of a food truck; for evident reasons, they have become increasingly popular over recent years. Transcending our expectations of a mere decent hot dog, food trucks have found their niche within the realm of cultural cuisine and gourmet food. Of all places, Duncan’s Saturday farmers market offers up a few worth visiting.
One of my favorites thus far is Jakes on the Road which is parked just outside of Duncan at The Red Arrow Brewing Company. It is notable for two reasons. First, it is owned by the owners of The Craig St. Brew Pub, where I have yet to be disappointed; second being the talent of Dan Hudson behind the window. Dan is renowned for his many culinary endeavors, not to mention his recent appearance (and victory) on Chopped. Moreover, his culinary efficacy and tenacity is unquestionable.
My recent visit to Jakes on the Road led me to the most delicious halibut burger I have had since I left the coast. My grandmother used to say you could judge how good a burger is by the number of napkins you need to eat it; Local halibut served on a fresh brioche bun and chipotle mayo certainly required a three napkin rating, evidenced by the steady spill over my chin as I ate it. I finished with a hot bowl of butternut squash soup with a delightful hint of roasted garlic and lemon.
Mmmm. I was also informed that on Sundays they serve eggs benedict. Benny’s to go.. really a gem of an idea. But it gets better….
Originally I planned to ‘mention’ the Red Arrow Brewing Company next door. But this Saturday I had myself a beer tasting experience that requires more than a mere mention of this establishment. In all honesty, I am more of a wine-drinker, however accompanied by my cousin Julia visiting from the city, I decided to show her what the valley had to offer; we decided to start at the Red Arrow.
We were very well greeted (something that leaves a little star in my experience wherever I go), so I pulled myself up to the bar and started in my first real beer tasting. Julia noticed my confusion when presented with the tastings, “This isn’t your first rodeo is it?” “Why yes. Yes actually it is”. “Light to dark”, she offered. “Thanks ‘tips’”. And so it began.
What made this most enjoyable was having it all explained by the knowledgeable guys behind the bar. They really had me at “coriander in the yeast”. I had no idea beer could be so complex. Brewing beer truly is a craft and Red Arrow truly has mastered it. For a girl that does not drink much beer, I discovered that I indeed enjoy a good stout. Who knew? Or at least the one here anyhow. It was described as “the best day of your life and put it in your mouth” beer. And that it was. And it didn’t stop there. They had merchandise sure to honor your west coast spirit.
Yup, we drank beer and shopped. Suffice it to say we had an incredible evening.
SO if you are heading south towards Victoria slow down past Duncan. Look for the beautiful red brick building on your left and grab a bite and a beer..and make sure to ask for extra napkins;)