Lisa has been wanting to take me here for a long time. We ventured across the harbour in January, walked down the rain-flushed streets of Esquimalt, to come to a door and a sign outlining a two-week New Year’s vacation. Understandable but it only prolonged and intensified our desire to go together.
But then, summer is the time to sit outside.
This is dockside green, über-sustainable mixed-use development in vic west.
Enter fol epi, resident organic bakery.
It means ‘wild wheat’, I think.
For a city of this size, there is already a lot of good food. But this bakery is only taking things to the next level. Already a bunch of other restaurants and delis are using Cliff Leir’s fantastic bread.
So, all in all, a perfect place for a siblings-only, summertime lunch.
From here on out for the foreseeable future, Jer, Lisa and I will see each other even less frequently. We feel the need to celebrate our time together when we can.
There is bread – a beautiful round loaf is coming home with us. But wait there’s more:
Really solid pizza. Pain au chocolat delightful (though the Tartine one still haunts me). I’m really into these canelés, little custard-filled cakes from Bordeaux – carmelised on the outside, spongy and moist on the inside. And the berry tart is just ridiculously flavourful.
And right next door (they even share an open interior wall) is Caffe Fantastico. Green pepper, gooseberries, and a little bit of elderflower. Good coffee for good pastries.
We are happy Victorians.
Jer is gluten-free but he makes an exception for the day.
Lisa is behind her lens for most of these. I’m sure you can tell because they are wonderful images that could never come from mine. Big thanks, sis.
And an ice cream sammy for the road. Choco cookies, vanilla bean ice, gianduja and crushed hazelnuts.
Back across the bridge, Jer drops us off downtown and heads back to work. Lisa and I pass through some of our favourite places, including Silk Road teas (which now carries Mast Bros. and Rogue, two of my favourite chocolates), and the biggest and best used-and-new bookstore Russell Books. We also pick up materials to make a slackline: webbing at the old-school hardware store Capitol Iron, and carabiners at the modern outdoors emporium, Mountain Equipment Co-op.
I’m looking for some Borges and Russell is out. High demand I guess. But wandering through another, Renaissance Books off Bastion Square, I find Labyrinths. They have a pretty stunning collection, I have to go back and rifle.
The next day, we have a tea-time snack calling for us.
Fol epi bread, buttered, dusted with dark chocolate, and broiled.
With the toast in the oven, we make tea.
Good drink for good eats.
A light sour; a round, full crumb; a crackly crust that gets serious in the oven.
We also do a version with maple syrup instead of choco. The bread absorbs and turns like cake.We are Canadian, after all.
Both get finished with a bit of sea salt. This is my kind of bread and butter.
And later, after dinner, macarons. I almost forgot about those.
Black currant, hazelnut, vanilla bean.
One bakery visit that keeps on giving. Best enjoyed with siblings.