September 2, 2018: A Grateful Fail!
Montreal Smoked Hash
$13.65 after tax, before tip (I can't believe I tipped them 15% let alone at all!)
I'm not too sure when I first heard of the Grateful Fed restaurant. It was a few years ago at least, but I had not been out of the West Kootenay at that time. Needless to say, I was freakin' psyched to go there sometime. I had to go there!
I had three Okanagan trips for this little triathlon pack I put together for myself this summer, all taking me through Kelowna, so there is no way I would not be going to the Fed at least once.
Today was the day...the last of my triathlon tips. I just finished my last race in Summerland a couple hours ago, and was stopping here on my way back through town.
Like the idiot I am, I forgot to write down the address before I left home, but I had a pretty good idea of where it was. At least I thought it was on a road that started with 'B' that ran parallel to the main road coming off the bridge. I just had to turn left when I got into town and I should be OK as I remembered it to be a few blocks.
I found it easier that I thought I might. I definitely had some anticipation flowing when I located this place from the street. The real challenging part was finding a shaded parking spot for Fennario. After a few laps, trying to keep my wits to stay close to where I needed to be I got my parking sorted though...and only a block away from the restaurant.
So, here I was about to quench a multi year thirst of curiosity. Exciting!
I didn't wanna sit out on the patio because I wanted to see what it was like inside...straight through the door I went!
It only took about 2 or 3 seconds to be completely let down. It should just be called some kinda classic rock thing regurgitated thing. There is barely any Grateful Dead anywhere. The only damned actual record I see of theirs is Skeleton's From The Closet. If you know your shit, you know that is the shittiest record the boys ever put out. A crap-ass best of released by a label after they left it to capitalize on their back catalogue. (DO NOT LISTEN TO THE "TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT" ON THAT RECORD! They took that beauty, edited the shit outta it, and turned it into an absolute abomination!) Speaking of an abomination, they put it right next to a Coors Light neon sign. I'm not even a beer guy, but I know that shit is absolute garbage!
I went to the washroom when I first walked in though and it was way down the hall at the back of the building. I had to walk past the kitchen. I took a quick glance when I passed by. Daaaaamn...shit just keeps gettin' gnarlier!
(An offshoot part of my job is to inspect the kitchen where I work, so I know what to look for, and this one...Shit maaaan...those guys don't want me walking through there, that's for damned sure!)
I took a photo of the only real Dead section on the wall, but I couldn't sit beside it 'cause they were rolling cutlery into napkins. This place seemed to be a crash course on how to shitty even shittier real fast! I sat beside the Beatles section because of a couple Beatles nut friends of mine. An old-school bro, Dave, and a newer friend, Kelly. Thinkin' of those two were the most positive experience in there.
The music they are playing hurts my ears and definitely licks balls! Of course it wasn't Grateful Dead, or any of the post-Jerry group arrangements, nor was it any of the boys' solo groups. Not even anything close like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, etc, etc, etc. It was some ball lickin' metal(ish) music that made me wanna stick ice picks in my ears just to take my mind off of the torture I had to sit through!
Although it is 1:30pm, there is no lunch menu, only breakfast. Total bummer again. I did not sleep in and am hung over, I want some lunch, not breakfast in the afternoon, but oh well, take what you can get I guess!
The tiny menu was very limited and not very appealing either. I got a Montreal Smoked Hash. Outside of thinkin' 'bout Dave and Kelly, pretty much the only positive so far is how fast the food came.
I needed to send a message to a friend who was possibly meeting me there, so when she brought me my food I asked if they had wi-fi.
The password was one they did not deserve: fedheads
I didn't even have to punch in the password though as it just connected automatically. Surprise, surprise...they can't even do that right!
I immediately put a post on my facecrack account:
"At The Grateful Fed in Kelowna right now. Talk about false advertising. Wonder if I can sue for that shit!"
The server said she would bring me some jams for my toast, but didn't do that. Oh well...par for the course. I'm just gonna plow this food into my face so I can get the hell outta here.
As for the food itself...
Where's the ooooooze?!
There is definitely a smokey flavour to the food, but let's face facts, this shit ain't hard to make or fuck up!
Food OK, but overall rating:
Oops...I was wrong...food is salty as fuck and I didn't even put anything on that shit. Also...eggs over easy my ass! Eggs over cooked more like it! This place can suck it!
When the server brought my bill to me, she got all excited about the sticker on my laptop: The Funk Hunters. I told her it came with my laptop, that I bought it from my friend. Then I told her, if I put a sticker on it, it would be like the shirt on my back, which was a Grateful Dead tour shirt.
Was I shocked that this girl got psyched on Funk Hunters and couldn't give a shit about the Grateful Dead in a restaurant called, The Grateful Fed? Not at this point.
When I left I saw they had packed up the patio. I guess it was a short day which is why no lunch menu. Seemed strange to close so early on a sunny Sunday of a long weekend, but was no surprise.
What a total fuckin' joke! The food sucked! The kitchen was a disgrace! The decor licked balls! The music made me want to kill myself!
...and they couldn't give one sweet fuck about the Grateful Dead!
As a true connoisseur of all things Grateful Dead, I found the Grateful Fed nothing short of absolutely insulting!
I didn't take a photo of the outside front of the place when I left, because at that point I just couldn't give a shit!
When I got to my van I apologized to Fennario for the waste of time. (I wonder if any of them would even know the significance of my doggie's name...oops...I don't have to wonder that. Of course they wouldn't!)
I got in my van and popped in an old tape from 12-12-73 and blared it. I needed to knock that shit outta my head and get it straight with what the Grateful Dead really meant!
I went to the Kootenay Country Co-Op today. I hadn't been there for awhile. I thought it was time to go grab some food there as I have been to the Wednesday Market, Evergreen Natural Foods, and Safeway in Nelson.
The Co-Op has recently moved locations to their long anticipated new building. It is much, much bigger than it was before, offering much more selection of goods. I was psyched to see what I could get there as I have been on a pretty limited grocery list for my diet.
I was in there early in the morning, which was nice as it wasn't too busy. Long ago, I used to have a self imposed rule to never go there on a Friday afternoon as it would be so busy I would just bail on what I needed and try again after the weekend.
I was quite surprised by the limited amount of produce available to me. They had plastic tags and stickers on so much of their stuff too. Although this no new plastic thing is much easier than I anticipated going in, I kinda can't wait for it to be done so I can eat some damned bananas and avocados again.
Right out front of their door was a display of peaches that I wanted to get. They were in the Pulp Fibre cartons. I was psyched. I grabbed a pack and had a fatty smile on my face. Then I remembered that my time restricted eating schedule was for when I was at work.
I immediately started picturing myself eating peaches at work and knew that sticky fruit hands were not gonna be at all conducive to my work environment, so sadly I put them down. I might go back on Friday to get some for the weekend, but can't say for sure as I might just go somewhere else instead
I poked around the produce and got some stuff that would be good for me and that I could bring to work. Before I left I needed to grab some more rice as I was out. I also decided on a bit of elbow pasta too. I got the ultra-hippy kind too: Quinoa-Rice pasta elbows!
I brought the worng lids to the containers I had with me, and couldn't get new ones, but I did have a couple old bags that I have used for a long time. **I only bring a few new bags into my house per year as it is...just reuse the crap outta them.
Once I had the rice and pasta, I was set enough for myself, and headed towards the checkout. On my way there I passed by the salad bar cafe stands. They didn't have much out for serving yet because it was so early, but they did have something that caught my eye: Enchiladas!
Those fuckers looked good. Before committing to getting some in my mind I had to check on the packaging. They had the hard papery recyclable take away packaging, so I was goin' for it. They weren't too big, but I only grabbed a couple.
Now, armed with those, I was ready to make my break to the checkout, pay for my food, and get the hell outta town so I could crawl into bed for some sleep.
I unloaded everything to get rung through, then walked around to the other side of the till to start packaging up. Once the girl was done with my stuff she leveled me with the bad news:
In my head all I was thinking was, "Are you fuckin' kidding me?! SEVENTY TWO FREAKIN' FIFTY FUCKIN' FOUR! Who in their right gawd damned mind thinks this is OK?!"
I was looking at the food I had. Here is the list:
-A little bit of Carrots
-A small amount of rice and elbow pasta
-2 Heads of Broccoli
-1 Bunch of Celery
-2 Bulbs of Garlic
-3 Small Red Onions
-2 Small Enchiladas from their Salad Bar thing
No matter how I looked at it, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how this small amount of food could cost this much gawd damned money! These people are outta their damned minds if they think this is acceptable. There's no need to wonder why people can't afford to shop and eat at this place. I was just glad I had some cash left over from a Gift Card thing I bought as a fundraiser one of my friend's kids was doing.
I'm all for supporting local business and stuff, but this makes ridiculous look awesome!
Many years ago, when I was on a small disability of about $450/month after my rent portion I was able to shop exclusively at the Co-Op. Now I bust my ass workin' like a mutha-fucka and I can't afford to shop here exclusively. The new Co-Op is outta freakin' control with this kinda shit goin' on, that's for damned sure! I'll keep goin' there for the odd thing I can't get elsewhere in town, but for staples, this place can go to hell! They sure talk a lot about being community oriented, but this says the exact opposite. My goodness!
(I'm gonna put photos of my menu tonight throughout this, but food list is at the end.)
I'm still making up some ground on my fitness end of things. I can also feel the changes in my body starting to take hold as well. My muscles are tired, but they are really tightening up a lot faster. I had been working out for awhile now, but not like this. Typically, one or two rest days a week are ideal to rest my body and let my muscles breathe so-to-say. Going hard every day is definitely a change, but it is not what I am writing about today. My topic of the day is "sugar!"
This was a surprise thing I never really thought about. Eliminating all new plastics really altars what one can eat. Pretty much everything in a package is gone; and then there are things like bananas and avocados that disappear from the menu as well because of the simple little stickers put on each of them. (I will keep mentioning those because I really miss them already.)
Rosemary, Garlic, Ginger, Seasoning swimming in hot Chicken Stock
When you remove all plastics, the food that is left over is just natural fresh produce as well as grains. Meats all come in wrappers of some sort...even the film on the inside of the paper meat gets wrapped in is a disqualifier. Even though I don't eat too much meat, I do find myself missing chicken just because I can't have it, not necessarily because I want it.
With only fresh organic food on the menu, I was sure my tolerance for sweet, sugary things would really disappear. I didn't realize how much until this morning.
I went into Safeway immediately after work as I was dropping something off at a friend's who lives nearby. I was on the cusp of my restricted eating time, so I went there to see if there was anything available to me. (I was hoping for some fresh bread from the bakery) Turns out that pretty much the entire store is off limits, even their little bit of organic produce. (The Safeway in Nelson has a really hurtin' organic department as it is. Save-On-Foods is quite literally 100 times better with abundance in selection for organics and bulk foods...possibly even 200 times. You can tell SOF actually listens to their customers needs and is aware of their demographic. Safeway has their heads up their asses in this regard.) Plastic everywhere!
When I went to the bakery, I was immediately eyeing up the bread in paper bags. It was all off limits too as every one of their paper bags had a thin plastic window in them. Bummer! All that was left was the bulk bakery stuff.
I scanned through what their bulk selection had. I grabbed 4 bagels. When I left, I caught a glimpse of the doughnuts and figured it was my only chance, so what the hell. I grabbed a couple chocolate dipped ones.
I had them all in a paper bag, but although it isn't plastic, I still didn't like bringing that home as I am kinda getting into the non-existent waste effect all of this is having.
I started digging into the doughnut before I even got outta the store. I instantly regretted it. The sugar was so overwhelming my body didn't seem to know what to do. My taste buds were on the front lines and were totally horrified. I got a glimpse of light headedness too that took no time to show itself. I could feel it travel right down my throat, leaving a thick sludgy residue behind. I didn't get heartburn, but a shitty feeling did emerge
Aside from the obvious overwhelm, I was actually fascinated by how fast my body acclimated to the effects of fresh, natural organic produce, rooted mostly in rich greens like kale and broccoli.
Even though the doughnut made me feel like shit in numerous ways, I am glad I had it, because it really showed me something. Yes, the terrible effects it has on my body, but also opened my eyes to the effect of how removing plastic can severely alter one's diet for the better as a whole. It was like a minor epiphany that I won't soon forget. I never really gave thought to the way plastic influences so much of our foods we eat and that are available to us.
I'm definitely not trying to be a condescending prick or anything, and I'm definitely not saying I won't eat sugar again., but this is just a simple observation for what I have experienced so far...and it happened in no time at all.
With the doughnut behind me, it's back onto the regular program...with a touch vigor. (The bagels, by the way, I gave most of them to my dog.) On the menu for tonight is my favourite thing to make...my one-pot meal I make in my skillet.
I have made this for Jana a couple times and she loves it! It's just a lotta different vegetables, a sauce or stock, and usually boneless skinless chicken breast. (No chicken tonight though!)
My ingredient list for tonight:
-Chicken Stock that I made on Day 1 (from the leftover roast chicken I had)
-7 Small Red Potatoes
-2 Celery Stalks
-Lots of Broccoli
-Some Red Onion
Toss that shit in a skillet, put a lid on it, and throw 'er in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Stylin'! The only bummer is I can't eat it hot outta the oven as I have to wait til I go to work dammit!
I stopped into Pixie Candy on Baker Street to grab a surprise treat for a friend. While I was in there surrounded by all the nostalgic candy from when I was a kid, I got hit with an urge for Mackintosh's Toffee.
I haven't had that stuff since I was maybe 10 years old, so I found myself lost in a bit of anticipation wondering if they had some. Sure enough, they did! It was in a wrapper, unlike the way it used to come in a box. It made me happy to get some. I kept it in my pocket to try and keep it warm so it would be softer rather than rock hard. (I still remember those toffee rules from back in the day.)
Being that it's a little chilly outside right now, it was still hard when I got home. Even still, I tried a bite. Nope! Too hard, so I put it back in its package and into the kangaroo pouch in my hoody while I sat and wrote about my Valley Vittles burger. I forgot all about it.
When I was done writing I remembered it was there and was psyched to see if it was softened up a little more so I could try some for the first time since forever.
I had a little unexpected surprise when I pulled it outta my hoodie pouch...there was a dog bone stuck to it. Apparently I had Fennario treats in my pouch too! Not only one of her bones, but there was a tad bit of lint too
Undeterred I was still goin' for it. "Ain't no dog bone or silly-ass lint's gonna be stoppin' me!"
I bit into it. It was laborous! Even being warm and pliable, filled with a very nostalgic inducing flavour, it was like fast forming concrete around my teeth. They threw down an instant veto.
"You stupid fuck! You tryin' tuh kill us maaaan?! Don't eat that shit yuh dumb bastid!"
I didn't disagree. I sucked on the little piece I had that was glued to the back of my teeth, but it wouldn't dissolve or go away, so I had to pry it off so I could swallow it.
It was a nice try of an old memory, but the rest of it got tossed. I think my teeth would either break or get pulled out if I ate anymore regardless of its sweet smooth creaminess.
It left me with the opinion that candy like that is best for when you're a little kid before your adult teeth come in. Waste that shit on the throw-away teeth and then smarten up going forward in life
Valley Vittles in Slocan Park
$12 and change
I had to go up to the Co-Op in Slocan Park to order some oil for heating my home. When I was almost there I noticed the 'Open' sign lit up at Valley Vittles just before the Co-Op when driving up the Slocan Valley.
"Sweeeeet! I'm gonna finally get to crack into one of those fuckers!"
Amie told me about it when I was doing my burger tour thing last summer. Every time I went there it was closed though. I was either too early, too late or came on a Monday when they were closed.
I don't get up there too often, but it just wasn't workin' out for me when I did. It was just a spontaneous thing, so I wasn't prepared with my camera or laptop to write about it properly. It was nice to just sink into a burger normally though.
I went through the door and looked around quick. It's a quaint little place. Home-y! I was welcomed with a friendly hello. I smiled and said hello back, and that I was sent there for a burger.
I was checkin' out the board and seein' what they had. I ignored most of it 'cause I was only interested in a burger as I had been jonzin' for one for awhile, but never really acted upon fixing that urge.
I went with the "Loaded too" burger. It had bacon, cheese, banana peppers and avocado...among other stuff. The regular "Loaded" burger had BBQ sauce instead of avocado. I'm not really a big fan of BBQ sauce on a burger. The only exception to that is if I am at backyard BBQ kinda thing and the patty is basted in the sauce while on the grill. That's the only time I am interested in that sauce.
After I ordered I went and sat down. Even though I didn't have my glasses and couldn't read shit, I flipped through the Nelson Star just for something to do. I did see Marion's obituary. That made my heart sink, but I felt glad that Tara and Justine had told me about her passing last week so I didn't find out from the paper. That would have been a crushing blow to have found out that way. Good gawd I loved her!
When the girl brought my burger she asked me who sent me. I told her that Amie had. (Amie is her sister.)
"Oh my gawd! You're the burger guy!"
That made me laugh.
"Yup, that's me!"
She asked my name, and we got to talkin' from there. She is a super nice person. Her name is Melissa.
Melissa pointed to the can of Coke I had on the table and told me she had a Ginger Ale stashed for me for months. I was flattered. I told her that I don't get up the Valley at all too much, and every time I did she was always closed, but that I had to go to the Co-Op to order some oil for my home and noticed that she was open.
She told me she was afraid of me, which kinda made me curious as to what Amie had told her. Seeing that she had specially had some ginger ale on the stash for me, and knowing myself how honest and merciless I am when I write about food, I pretty figured out the basic gist of what Amie might have told her.
I said wasn't prepared like I usually am when I go out to eat now...that I usually have a camera and laptop. This was spontaneous. I also said I don't announce myself, I just order normal like anyone else and give my honest take on things. When I write, I never say if I know the owner of a place or any of the servers, and I'm honest. It's the only way to be objective, and most importantly, fair to everyone.
The first thing I noticed about the burger was the square bun. That was definitely a stand-out from every other place. I like things that stand out because they make it memorable. "Off to a good start," I thought to myself.
I asked her about the bun. She said it was from the Pass Creek Bakery. "Sweet! Local! Nice one!" are the words that fell outta my face when she told me that. We talked a bit more, and then Melissa left me to it and went back behind the counter.
I wasted no time diving into it. She had prepared me that it could be a bit sloppy. I don't always like that, but sometimes I really love it. It made me think of food at El Taco. I embrace the full tilt sloppy there. No matter how hard I try, I seem to get that shit all over myself and love every second of it.
Sinking into this burger I felt the same way. I was like a warm juicy flavour overload of chaotic harmony. I was shovin' that bastard in my face kinda like Homer Simpson at the all you can eat seafood place where the Sea Captain Guy was lookin' out from the kitchen as he said, "Aye..Tis a remorseless eatin' machine!"
That is the roll this burger reduced me to. A remorseless eatin' machine!
I barely even noticed so much of it in ways. It was too good to take the time to dissect. I remembered seeing a piece of bacon sticking out when I grabbed for a sip of my Coke. I looked at it and said, "Oh no you don't you lil' fuck! You ain't escapin' my wrath!" I pulled the rest of it out and ate it on its own. "Nice try yuh bastid!"
There was sauce and pieces of avocado, banana peppers and lettuce falling on the plate. I'd push 'em into a pile with my hand and then pick up the mess and stuff it into my face too...then shove more of the burger in my face.
Even while ravaging the fucker I took mental pause a few times to laugh at her being afraid of me. The was definitely nothing to be afraid of! The Valley Vittles "Loaded Too" burger kicked total ass!
When I was done, my hands were covered in yummy, gooey slop! It took three napkins to get them mostly clean. I renamed it in my head, "The Three Napkin Burger!"
What a nice surprise this was. Super friendly service, and a kick-ass burger. I absolutely recommend stopping into Valley Vittles for a bite. It seems kind of inconspicuous when passing by on the road, but over the years I have found that those can often be the best places with the best food.
The Valley Vittles Three Napkin Burger was packed with love. I can tell you that much!
I'll be going back for sure...probably later in the spring. Next time I'll be packin' my camera to take a few photos.
Since it is the Winter Solstice, and many people are getting colds, I felt this is kind of a good time to put this up here.
When I brought a fat jar of this amazing tea to work a couple of the girls were quite diggin' it. I love it! It tastes amazing and has really great healing properties. It's the only tea I drink, and have I been for 20 years.
-2 slices of Lemon
-Few little chunks of Ginger (Cut/peel off skin)
-1 Cinnamon Stick
-Apple Cider Vinegar (Optional)
**I didn't have any honey when I posted this.
Fill the jar you are gonna use with water so you know the proper amount. (I drink it by the jar as the size of a mug just doesn't cut it!) Pour water into a pot. Add the lemon, ginger, and cinnamon stick. Cover with lid. Bring to rolling boil. Turn off heat, but let steep for a bit on the still hot burner. Pour entire contents into the jar. Add honey to your liking and a tiny splash of cider vinegar if desired.
If you want to travel with it and keep it hot for longer, wrap the jar in a small towel. I figured this trick out when I used to go down to the ocean and sit on the beach watching the sunrise when I lived on the islands many years ago. I'd roll 'er up in a dish towel, put it in my pack, and break out the hot tea as I watched the beauty unfold.
10 – rel-ish bistro – August 16, 2017
$18.90 After tax, before tip
I was having another one of those super sleepy feelin’ nights at work, so it was pretty stylin’ to walk outta there into a bright sunny day. It was so bright that it took me a couple moments for my eyes to adjust, and I was diggin’ it! "Sweeeeet!" I had only one thing on my mind...to get home and get in the water for a swim.
As I was rubbing my eyes from the bright sun the thought of how starving I was came along and punched me in the face. My starvingness knocked out any thought of swimming in that moment which left me in a short conversation with myself.
"Daaaamn maaan! I gotta sort this shit out right here and now!" The light bulb clicked on in my head instantly, and said to me:
"It's burger time again, go to rel-ish mutha-fucka!"
I promptly answered myself,
"Ooooh shiiit, that's a freakin' great idea!"
That was it, rel-ish's tractor beam grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go. I could resist no longer. That shit was pullin' me in right then and there! I couldn't wait!
The location of rel-ish has always had a special draw for me because of my love affair with the Rice Bowl stemming from the first summer I lived here in 1999. (I’ll write about that - and my introduction to wasabi, sushi, and Pad Thai – at another time.) I’d go eat there and then stroll over to the Co-Op and grab some food as a routine 2-3 times a week.
I was sad to see the Rice Bowl go. With the Co-Op recently moving as well the dynamic of that end of Baker Street has changed from a time that was. No place has changed more than where rel-ish is it seems. It is nice to see them holding things down nicely.
I don’t eat out too often, and I have my certain places for certain things. For rel-ish, that has been their Baked Cheese Bread appetizer. H-O-L-Y FUUUCK is it ever good! Daaaamn… It’s like a quick junkie fix of pure awesomeness! If it was liquid I would swim in it all day long, laughin' and gigglin' all the while.
I’ve never had their burger at rel-ish, but I’ve definitely heard a lot about it. I was one hungry, super starving bastard too, so I couldn’t freakin’ wait to get at it. Shiiit maaan!
The patio was full, so I went inside. I didn’t care that it was such a nice sunny day, inside was good for me. I'm not much of a big crowds kinda guy anymore anyway.
I got myself really, really psyched up because of how hungry I was. That resulted in me walking in there with very high expectations.
I went to the back to find a seat. There was a little triangle-like booth that seemed a bit around a corner, but really wasn’t. Perfect, I’ll sit there. It was my own little world.
The hostess came to give me some water and bring me a menu. I smiled and told her I didn’t need a menu because I knew what I wanted. She smiled back, said some kinda somethin’, and then went to get my server.
In the time between the hostess leaving and, my server returning, I took pause to enjoy the simplicity of the plain water in my glass.
"Water, the nectar of the gods!"
I always prefer plain water to water with fruit, and would rather it come that way 100% of the time. Fruit, or vegetables in the case of cucumbers, should be offered as a choice, not given with no choice.
Plain water at a meal is important for pallet cleansing. Adding fruit to the water leaves a slight flavour residue that may, or more importantly, may not go with the food being eaten. Plain water every time for me please!
When my server arrived I ordered my usual: A burger with cheese, bacon and hopefully jalapenos…and a ginger ale that comes with the food.
She said they have one called “The Uncle Buck,” which came with Sriracha Mayo, Swiss Cheese, Capicola, Tomato, Red Onion, Lettuce, Hot Peppers, and Crisp Sweet Potato. I didn’t hear anything she said past “Uncle Buck” though, because I instinctively started thinkin’ of John Candy and started gigglin’.
I had to get her to repeat it to me, so she grabbed a menu as they were only about two steps away. She opened it up to show me the Uncle Buck, and also so I could also see the option of Building My Own. She did tell me that it could get expensive that way though with the add-ons I wanted.
As I scrolled through what was in The Uncle Buck I thought about it. It looked good, but even though it might cost more, I was going with the usual so I could keep things consistent and a fair with the rest of the restaurants.
Since I had the menu in front of me I could actually see what was in the Build Your Own, but I didn't bother reading it as the foundational toppings were irrelevant to me. It just had to have bacon, cheese, jalapenos, and come however else it comes.
She did explain to me that the fries had to be baked as their fryer was down at the moment. I didn’t care ‘cause I felt baked might be a nice break from fried.
I didn’t think too much about anything at all, and reading the ingredients of the Uncle Buck was kind of a waste of time because there wasn't any real doubt that Build Your Own with Bacon, Cheese, and Jalapenos is what I was goin' after.
A few stops ago on my burger tour I started taking notes during the experience. One of the reasons for that is that it gives me something to do while waiting for my food to be prepared. I pulled out my paper and pen to start scribbling down as soon as my server left my table.
The hostess showed up with some ketchup, a water fill up, and everything else I might have needed. Sweet. After a couple places lacking in that simple area, it has now been something I pick up on more…the littlest things as simple as S&P, and ketchup when serving a burger and fries. It seems odd that plain normal shit has at times become a luxury.
Part of the reason I didn’t bat an eye at the thought of baked fries was because they made me think of Hoanie from when we were roommates on Saltspring Island. She cooked baked potato wedges all the time. She cut them a bit bigger than thick fries and always seasoned them nicely.
Even all these years later she’s still rockin’ ‘em to the point where it makes me smile to see them if I have randomly stopped in. (I don’t see her enough anymore and it makes me a bit sad at times. Hoanie is a really special person.)
(Savanah on her way to Texas)
The thing that I thought about most while I was waiting for my food was another person who randomly appeared in my mind. Savannah!
For those who know me really well…Savannah is Sierra’s younger cousin. I’ve known both their mom’s virtually their whole lives. Totally kick-ass sisters raising totally kick-ass kids!
Savannah is 13 years old and already a very accomplished gymnast. Watching her and her progression over the past bunch of years has been quite incredible. The photos and videos her mom (Shannon) puts up are insane. I’m not shy about telling both of them how seriously bad ass Savannah is.
The reason she came into mind from outta the blue is because she was down in Texas on her own for a bit for some gymnastics stuff. I thought it was for a week or two for a camp, but it turns out it was way crazier than that. Savannah will be staying in Texas for a year for intensive gymnastics training and competing while she’s in school.
I’m so excited for her ‘cause I know how much she loves it, how hard she has worked, and what it means to her. Go Savannah Go!
I was gruuuvin’ on that thought when my food arrived.
When my food came I looked up to thank my server. I also asked for a steak knife, which made me feel like, by now, I should just be asking for it when I first order my food.
This was definitely the hungriest I have been on this burger tour yet! I’d been awake for about 18 hours and hadn’t eaten anything, so it felt like my insides were starting to eat my insides.
Because of how much I had heard about this burger and how freakin’ hungry I was I really couldn’t wait to get at this fucker!
It was served open faced. I never really thought too much about an open faced burger other than it’s like a build-your-own. Sometimes I’m into that and sometimes I’m not.
Looking at this burger, and then getting into it, I really liked that it was served that way. Being able to really see the extent of the bacon smothered in cheese was nice.
Having the perfectly cooked bacon right on top of the patty and sealed in by melted cheese was a thing of beauty. It definitely was a burger’s version of gorgeous looking. I mean, shit maaan…it was one sexy mutha-fucka!
I also liked that the peppers were staring me right in the face. Knowing that they were gonna get merged in with the cheese when I put the burger together, it led me to say to myself, “Lookkit you, you lil’ fucks! I hope you bring the heat ‘cause I’m gonna eat the shit outta you!"
The salad-y side was very vibrant with the way the variety of colours stood out. I was definitely eating with my eyes before my meal started. I took a couple photos, then put it together, and took a couple more.
I started thinking about how much I can’t stand cutting open my burgers. Absorbed in that thought for a moment made me want this tour to come to a close so I could eat a burger like it was meant to be eaten...grab the whole thing and shove it in my face!
Somehow, thinking about the end of the tour made me anxious to get back to the Best Western…my burger home court! Eating at all these other places made me feel like I was cheating on the BW…whoring myself out to all the burgers in town. I really miss having a shake with my burgers. Shakes’r the perfect touch, and they barely exist in this town!
(As I typically only go for a burger once every 3-4 months, all the ones I have been eating made me start thinkin’ about doing a vegetarian dish tour of Nelson. Once I had that in my mind, I thought about a chicken dish tour and a curry dish tour as well. I think I’m gonna keep going with this food touring thing of Nelson.)
As much as I am fed up with cutting these burgers in half before I eat them, an aspect of that has become one of my favourite parts of the burger tour experience that I never saw coming. After I cut it in half there is always a little coat of the juice from the patty on my right thumb because of the way I open it up.
When I lick my thumb I get a first faint preview of what the patty is going to taste like. It gives an advance on the level of moisture as well as how the spicing is. (How much or how little there is, and a good sense of the flavour.) It builds the anticipation even more. It makes the next few photos a pain in the ass to get done ‘cause I just wanna get on with it. It has become like the first test to pass, and rel-ish crushed it!
The first bite is never the best one, but it is my favourite one. I’d say the third bite is the best one ‘cause that’s the first real bite when you’re hitting the middle of the burger where the main event of the party is.
The first bite is my favourite though because of all the anticipation finally manifesting in a single moment. From the time I decide to go for another burger, picking a place, ordering, having the food hit my table, and then the whole photos and opening it up thing…shit…it just seems like forever! Add in the little tease with the juice on my thumb…fuck maaaan!
I did admire this one opened more than the rest for sure. The way the bacon was done under the blanket of melted cheese…it was captivating to me. Also, the peppers standing out and sayin’, “Hey mutha-fucka…let’s do it!” had my full attention! I was ready to destroy this sexy lookin’ bastid!
Even being my favourite one, the first bite doesn’t really count ‘cause it holds the initial rush of endorphins or whatever from magik in your mouth. It wakes up and kick-starts your taste senses. I always like to take a little drink after the first bite to somewhat cleanse my palate now that my taste buds are awake and ready to party.
As I was about to take a sip of my water I was put on notice that the peppers were comin’ out swingin’. They were making their presence known ‘cause I could feel the heat from the peppers emerging and sayin’ they were here to mess me up! “Sweeeeet…I love a good battle you lil’ bastids!”
Two bites in was very validating and the difference maker right off the bat! The second bite confirmed my anticipation was as I suspected it, that the way the bacon was served was the best by far.
I embraced my captivation even further. I just couldn't get over having the bacon served under that thick blanket of melted cheese like that. It is way better than having the bacon sitting on top of the cheese on the patty, or on top of the salad toppings.
The cheese holds the bacon in place, even pulling it down a bit into the patty. The juices from the bacon start seeping into the patty and mixing with the juices of the beef. It seems to have added this sense of potency to both of the flavours, so that when you bite into it, the juiciness of the two mixed together washes over all your taste buds in a pretty wonderful way. It’s a profound flavour explosion with a euphoric rush.
The patty itself had a great texture to it. It was perfectly moist and so nicely cooked. The sear lines were beautiful. The spicing was great, and it held amazing flavour. The star of the meal lived up to its purpose.
The addition of the way the bacon juices mixed with the beef, and what happens when you bite into it all, seemed to have the same effect as what happens when Popeye scarfs down his spinach. It just turned it into this ultra ass whuppin' burger that was ready to punch out anything in its way.
Rel-Ish is by far my favourite place for the way the bacon and cheese aspects of the burger were approached and served. No other place comes remotely close.
The salad part of the toppings was fresh and quite enjoyable. The peppers held their heat true with every bite from start to finish. I don't care much for caramelized onion and would choose raw ones every time. That raw crunch and the sweet juicy pop with bite is such a natural accent to a burger.
The balance of the fresh toppings vs patty (with cheese and bacon) was perfect. As I have stated before, I can’t stand when places put this mountain of salad between the patty and top bun. It doesn’t make any sense. It makes it harder to eat, and buries the patty in the process…which is a total shame
(*I did a shitty job at holding this and taking a photo at the same time.)
Each bite of the rel-ish burger brought such a variety of flavours, textures, and sensations washing over my taste buds. It was a great size of a burger, and it was easy to eat. As a burger is meant to be, every bite had a bit of everything in it.
The bun was great too. Fresh, soft, and the perfect size for the balance of the patty and toppings! It wasn’t soggy or greasy either. It was just right.
Before I had finished my first half I understood why I had heard so much about this burger. It was fuckin’ good!
One thing that drove me a bit nuts was a particular spice that really stood out and was amazing, but I couldn't place it. I know it, and I love it, but I was drawing a blank, so I couldn’t identify it. I likened it to seeing one of your good friends who you have known for years but totally blank on their name like a dumb-ass when you randomly run into them. (I have no chance on identifying that spice now as I am at home writing this. Bummer!)
The baked fries asserted themselves right from the start. Their aroma stood out in a very familiar way. They were nice cut fries, but as I never deep-fry foods at home, the smell of them being baked felt surprisingly comforting to me.
I enjoyed the difference of baked vs deep fried. I liked the texture. I also simply liked that it was different from regular routine of a burger served with deep fried fries. By a surprise default, the fries really spoke their piece and I dug it!
The ginger ale?? Nice and crispy…no fruit!
The burger was so good that I made a point of it to finish my fries before I started into my second half. I didn’t want them disrupting the flavour flow of the burger, and did not want them to be the last thing my taste buds that I walked out of there with.
There was a moment I really took pause as I was going through the second half. It was one of those moments of perfect content-ness. It was like everything around me went silent as I got filled with a peaceful sensation and all was calm and right. The burger was a great size, but I didn’t want it to end.
I didn’t realize how busy the restaurant had gotten til I got up from my table. It was virtually full. All but one table and a little back bench table were gone. It half blew my mind that it was that busy at that time of day in the middle of the week. Totally crushing it! It’s easy to understand why though.
This was a great experience for something as simple as a hamburger, fries and soda. This burger at rel-ish is a great example of how to do a traditional burger with your own take, but staying true to the simplicity. It was beautiful. I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!
I was curious what this one would cost after my server telling me it could get expensive when I ordered it. When I got my bill I was happy. It was a full $3.00 cheaper than the most expensive one, was on the low end of the average pricing. Score another point!
I just wrote this long-ass thing about rel-ish, but here’s the four worded version:
Rel-Ish?? Fuck yeah maaaannn!
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.