Address: 2863 Foul Bay Rd.
Phone: (250) 598-4794
Price: ~$10 for a sandwich
Notes: The best kept secret in the city for breakfast & lunch. Closed Mondays.
The deli/imported food store on Foul Bay in the little strip mall between Camosun and Safeway has (somewhat) recently opened up a small cafe as well, using local ingredients and meats and cheeses from their 'parent' shop. The result is a hole in the wall that is cosy & welcoming with delicious, fresh and (did I mention?!) delicious food.
The space is tiny; if you think of a galley kitchen this is a galley restaurant! There is a bar that runs along the length of the little prep space, and another set of bar-like seating on the far wall. They have recently also purchased the flower shop that's in between the original Charellis and Charellis & Co, so who knows if an expansion might be in the works or not, but the style of food they're doing lends itself to cuddling up to the bar or stopping at the to-go window to grab a bite on your way to work.
Much like some of my favourite restaurants (Ferris' upstairs, the now gone mini-Spinnakers space in James Bay) the set up is simple: a hot plate, microwave and mini-oven and some amazing food prep for a well-designed menu. I think there's something magic that comes out of someone having to design around constraints... creativity seems to blossom when a good chef gets involved. Luckily, this is a very, very good chef! Local Chef extraordinaire Anna Hunt, formerly of Paprika Bistro, is the woman behind the menu here so it is no surprise that she's done an amazing job. The menu changes weekly, so lots more opportunity for creativity to come!
Note: although they say they only take cash, during hours of operation of the Charellis deli you can pay with your debit next door.
July 23, 2013
May 17, 2013
July 23, 2013
Despite it being peak lunch hour our order was taken immediately and our ploughman's plate arrived right away. The sandwich my coworker order and my sausage roll were not far behind. Despite how busy everyone was we were checked on by pretty much every staff person to make sure we were happy and well fed. They seemed to genuinely care, which is a lovely feeling.
May 17, 2013
Despite being a busy weekend morning Chef Anna Hunt was behind the counter by herself. She was kind of like a magician, floating back and forth between customers and cooking and connecting with her coworkers or organizing someone to be at home for child care but still balancing it all.
I was reflecting during an upcoming podcast recording with Cory Pelan from the Whole Beast that it's sometimes the owners that are the rockstars in the Victoria food scene, not so much the chefs because they are hidden away. Not so, here. I wonder if that instant feedback and connection to her customers is what made her want to move from the well-loved Paprika in Estevan Village to a smaller scale operation?