Checking out the Market

This is the third annual Christmas Market in town. We visited the event the first year it was open and decided we would take the kid along with us for a weekend getaway! With a travel advisory just lifted for the area we risked treacherous weather conditions for our drive down to the coast. The roads were perfect the whole way. Some compact snow near the high elevation and dry all the way to the lower mainland. Advisory? That is a whole fantastic different story on its own………winter drivers. HA! I’ll leave it at that.

After we let our son stretch out and terrorize the Walmart we continued on our journey stopping for lunch at a place in the next town. I had a craving for a good burger. Haven’t had one for a while so she was searching for a local grill or diner type place to check out. With the help of the Urban Spoon app she found a place that had great reviews called the Wildcat. Located just off the highway this place looks like a rustic house converted to a restaurant. Once we were inside I was really excited. Rustic wood decor and logs, creaky old wood flooring, out dated decor. It was going to be awesome. The menu was typical grill stuff. But what the sasquatch sauce was this!!! A triple patty burger served on half a loaf of french bread!!! Sign me up! She ordered an open face chicken sandwich with vegetable soup. Everything shows up and looks………..pretty effing generic. My burger is freakin’ enormous though!
Look at that thing! It looks like she could ride that thing on the moon! But it was so no name tasting. Such a disappointment. The patties tasted like they came from a 36 pack for $7.99, there was some relish stuff that was sweet but did not have much flavor and the bread was just plain old white bread. The other toppings were good though, onions, lettuce and tomato were all very fresh and the bacon was great! The highlight though were the yam fries. Yummy and crispy. That’s all I ask of my yam fries.

Her sandwich was also mediocre. The soup was not good but my son enjoyed it. Probably because it was kind of mushy and bland. The chicken on the sandwich was good but missing some flavor too.

Kind of a neat place, I like the old style design and the menu has promise but fails to execute in the kitchen. I think a couple orders of wow! and some high fives and they could bring the food up to greatness. I’m kind of leaning towards not recommending it though. It’s a tough one. I’m going to give Wildcat 2.9 white bread boxed patty previously frozen generic stars out of 5.

Well we made it to the Christmas Market and what the jingle bells is this??? A line up 10 minutes long??? This will be great. Once inside the gates you couldn’t really move. We brought the stroller for ease of transporting the kid……..giant mistake. It was so overcrowded it was nearly impossible to navigate without running over someone. So I did. Line ups for nearly every food vendor, craft booths were packed too. This was insane. The biggest problem is they fence the whole event in mainly because they serve alcohol. This would never happen in Europe, only in sissy North America. They laugh at our public events with “beer gardens”. There is a large group of people we can thank for that……lets give them a nice slow golf clap shall we. clap…….clap. Anyways, back on topic. The food we did have was really good. I quite enjoyed the bratwurst with sour kraut, the apple strudel was not the greatest and the gluhwein was average. Another issue I had is since the first year the prices have increased and portions decreased. Lame. It’s too bad because this is a great event, restricted by venue size and permits most likely. Unfortunately he was ultra grumpy as well so we headed back to the hotel for some snacks and sleepy time.

I was disappointed with the market. We were both looking forward to it and having him there with us so he could experience it as well. The overcrowdedness ruined the whole thing but what can you do. I’m giving the Christmas Market 2.6 over priced not so handmade one size too small lederhosen out of 5. If you must check it out once and move on.

We left early enough to find ourselves in the lovely community of Chili again for lunch. Thanks to a couple shakes of the Urban Spoon we came across a highly recommend Vietnamese restaurant called Galaxy Restaurant. They specialize in Pho soup. Well with a nice rainy west coast day it sounded perfect. Inside was small, cozy and filled with locals for lunch…..a good sign. But they did look at us like we were aliens or something. We were greeted by a friendly lady and started browsing the menu. She loves soup so she went with the Pho and I had a combo dish served spring rolls and a pork and noodle dish.

Now this was so freakin’ delicious I almost adopted the little Vietnamese girl running around in the kitchen! Unbelievably fresh and vibrant flavors. Everything was cooked perfectly, the sauces were great and the generous amounts of vegetables was precisely balanced. The meat was excellent and seasoned beautifully. Her soup was dollied out in a bathtub sized bowl. Boiling hot and you can watch the raw beef cook before your eyes. Amazing! The depth of flavor in pho is ridiculous. It hits you in waves. Cilantro, then some heat, then you get tickled by some lemon grass……it’s so wicked! We also ordered some rolls as a starter. They were packed tight with shrimp the size of rainbow trout, sprouts, carrot…….mmmmm! And a peanut dipping sauce that was so good!!! While I tried to finish the rest of the soup, he was running around the restaurant and climbing on the benches. One of the ladies began to talk to us and ask how old he was and then tell us stories about her little daughter. It was really nice. They take the time to provide us with this unbelievably delicious lunch and then take the time to get to know the customer. That was just as good as the food.

This place was awesome. I think it was the best Vietnamese food I’ve ever had. The whole experience there was what I expect when I go to a little place like that. I’m giving restaurant 4.8 golden chopstick silver bamboo platinum pho bowls out of 5. Check this one out!!! Thanks again everybody! OFG out!