Vancouver/Vancouver Island trip report, part 2: Ucluelet/Tofino

Finally getting around to summarizing part 2 of our trip - one of our favorite places on earth, Ucluelet/Tofino/Pacific Rim Park.

We stopped by Twin City Brewing in Port Alberni. They only have growlers to-go so poor B had to get one of Run of the Mill IPA (hope my sarcasm comes through). We arrived ~5 pm on a Saturday. Grabbed some halibut and salmon from Ukee Seafood. B also got a small piece of smoked peppercorn salmon for breakfast. We grilled that up and I put in atop thin spaghetti noodles (Catelli Smart brand with higher protein and fiber content) with many cloves of garlic, lemon, olive oil, scallions. ‘Twas pretty good even though our trip to the local Co-Op market was disappointing - not the best produce section but I made it work. Beers (did I mention in my previous post how much we’re enjoying the beers we’ve gotten?) and white wine and eaten from our balcony overlooking Ukee Harbor.

Sunday: We tried to go to Sandbar Bistro located inside a fancy (but low key) resort not for the food but just to sit on the beach for lunch, but we find it doesn’t open until 2 pm. We randomly settle on Hatch Waterfront Pub. My meal is very meh (mushy chickpea fritters on a boring salad) but B enjoys his salmon atop salad and spring onion eats a decent salmon kids meal. Nice location on the water, though. We also find out that bees are crazy this time of the year. We got divebombed throughout our meal.

Sunday dinner is still delicious leftovers at home.

Monday: We decide to skip Tacofino - we had it a couple of times back in 2014. Plus, spring onion doesn’t like tacos. :expressionless: So lunch was at Shelter, which was a favorite of ours when we last visited in 2014. I know it’s very touristy but we had a very good meal then and now. I ordered a bit too much food - seafood chowder (good but could’ve used more seafood in lieu of veggies), juicy Thai mussels with fries. B’s salmon BLT was his favorite dish of the trip thus far and spring onion enjoyed his salmon, as well. Weird photos below because we were seated under a red umbrella on the patio). We take the sauce from the mussels home (and the waiter completely “got it;” maybe we’re not the only ones).

Stopped by Tofino Brewing but their refrigerated system to fill up growlers was down. Sad faces. I made a meal of yet more noodles with bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, leftover Shelter mussels sauce, and cod from Fishfull Thinking in Ukee. I was disappointed to find that everything they sell is already vacuum packed. Yes, it’s fresh, but the plastic makes me sad. At least the meal was good. A Ukee dog for spring onion.

Tuesday: Finally made it to Zoe’s Bakery for very good sourdough. The interior is a little more airy/less dense and chewy than I like but it’s still delicious. Beautiful crust with a leaf pattern on top. We pack up a picnic lunch and head to Incinerator Rock. Nothing better than tomatoes (even bad ones), cukes, cheese on sourdough. We may have snuck in some beer and wine. We check out Howlers Family Restaurant because spring onion wants to look at the arcade. The unassuming facade contains quite the scene! It’s really hopping and the menu has interesting sounding items. There is a wait so it’s leftovers at home for dinner but we’re putting it on the list for next time.

Wednesday: Our last day and we finally have lunch at Jiggers Fish and Chips. This was one of our favorite meals in 2014. It’s still as good as ever and now they have a more permanent spot with an actual indoor eating area. All the ordering and cooking is still done from their truck. We could eat it every day except, well, it’s fish and chips. We’re both trying to maintain our bikini beer bods.

Lots we didn’t try (Kuma, Wolf in Fog, Frank’s in Ukee, The Shed) but I have a feeling we’ll be back. Part 3 (Jordan River, Sidney/Victoria) of my report forthcoming.

(Photos are a bit out of order but my WiFi connection is slow so I ain’t gonna attempt fixing it.)

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold