2022 Sumer/Autumn Beer Roundup

Interesting times continue! I’ve left the culinary industry and began a new career in retail, started a podcast with my buddy Simon, become and middle-aged homeowner/DIY enthusiast and lately I’ve tried to generally chill out more on my off hours. 

Key to my even keel amidst these chaotic times is to kick back with a brew or two on my off hours. Savouring my beer and taking notes has been a great exercise in mindfulness and has helped me not only expand my palate, but also learn new things about my favourite liquid art form. It’s about time to pass on a couple things I’ve noticed during this last summer/autumn. 

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Tacofino Will Change Your Life (Tofino, BC)

Tacofino requires no press from me. It’s the single place every Tofino native and tourist alike can agree to eat for lunch. It’s grown from a single taco truck parked behind a surf shop at the edge of the world to a multi-location empire stretching it’s delicious octopus-like tendrils all over the island and mainland. It’s food is always on point, so there is no reason to review it…

…Except it changed my life!

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2018 Autumn BC Beer List

It’s been almost a year since my last beer list and the landscape of my local liquor store has once again reconfigured Matrix-style to suit the tastes ‘n times.  I’m happy to report that the BC craft beer industry in general has mostly marched past the pumpkin spice frenzy of Octobers past (only counted two!) and has focused on more quality-crafted brews with, say a new strain of hops standing in for what used to be a lot of guava and Vanilla-Rooibis nonsense. (more…)

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Il Falcone (Courteany, BC)

Via: https://www.ilfalcone.ca/

I recently sat down with farmer, philosopher and garlic guru Brent Garstin at his bucolic Comox Valley farm for a secret project that hopefully I’ll be able to share in a bit. Brent dropped all kinds of knowledge on me, including where to get some of his award-winning garlic to eat.

Crystal was then gracious enough to pick me up from the middle of nowhere so I treated us to dinner at the restaurant Brent suggested. Neither of us had ever eaten there, but I had high hopes after Brent said, “they do things there the right way, authentic… People that I trust say it’s the best in town.”

Those people were right.

Located at the end of the main drag in Courtenay and easily spotted thanks to its copious grape vines and nearly-neon orange paint job is Il Falcone. We arrived around six and scored a couple of seats in their small dining room just before the dinner rush hit. On the way by I peeked in the open kitchen and saw a guy laying out sheet after sheet of fresh pasta and knew we’d made the right choice.

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Spot Prawn Tortelloni

My parents are coming from Ontario to visit so we’ve been busy this week cleaning up the yard, trimming back the encroaching  forest and sowing the last crop from the garden so when they arrive they’ll have a place to lounge in the sun and something to snack on. I intend to do quite a bit of grilling for them, but not every meal. Here and there I’ve packed away freezer bags full of pre-made nibblets for the nights when we’ve had a bit too much adventure.

One of these instant meals includes a heaping helping of our local Spot Prawns, which I’ve still got frozen in water-filled bags from back in June. I mentioned that spot prawn makes a fine stuffing for dumplings of all shapes ‘n sizes and that goes for stuffed pastas as well!

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