____________

Chill and mirk is the nightly blast,

Where Pindus’ mountains rise,

And angry clouds are pouring fast

The vengeance of the skies.

   ___________

When I found myself under this dangerous-looking sky yesterday, I knew I could find a poem to aptly describe it.  Lord Byron came through.  Thank you, good sir, for lending us the first stanza of this fine poemIt’s as if you were there eating fish and chips with me.

Since most of yesterday was overcast but bright, I came up with this plan: I’d go to Steveston, get sushi, pick up a hot tea, and take my picnic to Garry Point Park.  I’d sit on the grass, enjoy my lunch, a view of the ocean, and the trees in their golden Autumn glory.

Apparently, my plans are made to be broken.  Turns out there’s a lot of businesses in Steveston that take Mondays off, so the sushi place I had intended to go to was closed, and by the time I’d wandered around a bit and chosen a new spot, the sky was pretty dark.  The wind was getting restless, and I feared my time at the park would be spent crouched under a tree, hiding from angry raindrops.

So, NEW PLAN.

Instead of sushi, I decided to get one more fish and chips meal before winter truly sets in, and went to Pat’s Galley.  It’s just down from Kari House on the main boardwalk, and they do breakfast, fish and chips, and classic diner-style food.  You could potentially get French toast, cod, and a reuben sandwich all in one meal.  There’s a decent amount of seating inside, though I imagine that in the height of summer most people take their food to go.

I stuck with my traditional fish and chips order of one piece of salmon, one piece of cod, one piece of halibut, and a side of chips, which came to about $22.  When my order was ready, instead of walking to the park, I settled on a boardwalk bench with a view of the harbour.  It had this sweet dedication on it…

…which is exemplary of just how much Steveston residents love their village.

With yesterday’s backdrop of heavy grey clouds, the harbour was mighty and swashbuckling.  I was so pleased to be sitting outside, and managed to get most of my meal in before the rain fell.

How did Pat’s Galley compare to the others?  Well, one slight problem was that in the 5 minutes it took me to get from the restaurant to the bench, the batter had sogged up a little, so I ate around the edges of the fish to get a sense of it.

The batter was thicker than Pajo’s – more like Dave’s, Pisces’, or Sockeye City’s – and had a satisfying, deep-fried crunch.  The wild salmon was moist and flavourful, and definitely the best of the three; both the cod and halibut tasted slightly plain and drier in comparison.  I’ve come to love battered salmon so much, now poor halibut doesn’t stand a chance!

While the salmon was good, the chips were a bit disappointing.  They were thick cut but very soft, and not salty enough.  Maybe they’d also have fared better if they weren’t packed into a takeout container.

Pat’s Galley provided a little bag filled with napkins, cutlery, ketchup, salt, pepper, and malt vinegar, and they’re the first place I’ve come across in Steveston that use packets of Kraft tartar sauce.  Here’s something I probably shouldn’t say, but will anyways: I love store-bought tartar sauce.  It’s strong and has a kick, so I really didn’t mind that it wasn’t homemade.

Has anyone tried other meals at Pat’s Galley?  They certainly offer a lot more than the other classic F&C spots, and I’d be curious to hear what’s good for breakfast.

And now, DESSERT.

While in Steveston yesterday, I also went into a shop called Sinfully the Best, and left both full of chocolate and happy with the world.  As you may recall, I am a cookie monster, and guess what: in addition to their housemade chocolates and numerous gourmet products, Sinfully the Best also make a mean cookie.

Several kinds of mean cookies, in fact.  There were various sugar cookies and shortbread, as well as a marzipan jam, triple chocolate chunk, chocolate diablo (double chocolate with a hint of cayenne), and pumpkin cookies, the latter of which looked – and almost tasted – like a ginger molasses cookie.  I got one each of the triple chocolate, chocolate diablo, and pumpkin, and loved them all.

The mildy-spiced chocolate diablo has a wonderful, different flavour, while the triple chocolate is a bit more traditiona; it was thick, chewy, and full of good quality chocolate.  And the three I got were only 75 cents each!  As I said, there will be more about Sinfully the Best in an upcoming post, but I just couldn’t wait to talk about these.

And try as I might, I simply couldn’t find a poem by Byron dedicated to cookies.  It’s ok though, cause Cookie Monster’s got it covered.

Pat’s Galley

3900 Bayview Street, Richmond BC

604-277-1812

Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options, though the menu is rather meat and seafood heavy

Sinfully the Best

3993 Chatham Street, Richmond BC

Cash and cards accepted