Locally owned and operated

👤Charlynn Toews 🕔Oct 02, 2013

OK, so barbecue season is over—quit your whining and go chow down at a locally owned and operated eatery.

I am here to help, so I offer a few options for you across my neighbourhood. In Masset, you must go to Bud’s. It’s a new 1950s-style diner with beautiful chrome-trimmed tables and chairs, spin-able stools and banquets in the most fabulous turquoise colour—the fridges of that era really rock and rolled. On the day I was there, I was disappointed they didn’t have chicken and waffles, an American diner staple, but was very happy with the classic cheeseburger.

My little family are creatures of habit in Rupert. We go to Smile’s if it is lunchtime, the Crest if it is supper, then like to stop in at the Cow Bay shops and walk on the docks of Rushbrook Harbour to look at boats. When our teenager took his first “N” drive to Rupert, we put our GPS locator in the truck and watched the emailed blips as he and his girlfriend safely travelled along the Skeena. Their first stop? Parked right outside Smile’s. Then, yup, a few hours later, drove to the harbour to look at boats as an aid to digestion. He had the Fisherman’s Combo, a huge dish with halibut and scallops and shrimp.

Speaking of fish, Blue Fin Sushi Bar in Terrace or Smithers is very yummifying. In Terrace, you must lunch at 11:30 a.m. or you will be disappointed that all the tables are full. I don’t like sushi, so I gorge on tempura seafood and fish. This is my theory: I can never make battered fish at home taste as good, with that super crispy finish, because I do not have a commercial deep-fryer. Or a thermometer. Or a good batter recipe. Let’s just say it’s better out there.

And would someone please re-open SeaMasters Restaurant in Kitamaat Village? Excellent seafood, right on the waterfront! I suspect the hot new industrial jobs have drawn away all their staff.

I saw a cool poster on Facebook. It says, “Old Hazelton—Time for a road trip! Shop at Art + Antler, eat at BC Café.” That is an excellent idea, because that is exactly what my co-worker and co-foodie Carrie and I did. Except we ate first—of course.

Carrie told me the lovely story of a couple from Hazelton who moved to Kamloops. When they heard the historic BC Café was closed and up for sale, they came home to run it. Ain’t that romantic? The menu is a combo of urban-hip and home-fried. Their veggie burger gets rave reviews.

Carrie also knows Leah Pipe, the très-chic woman who opened up a “part-art-studio-part-shop.”  You know the kind of store where you fall in love, where you want to buy every single item in it, or possibly move in and sleep on the floor at night? That was my reaction to Art + Antler. First, there’s Leah’s own artwork. I am crazy for her modern take on northern themes. If I had the nine grand she was asking for the biggest piece, I would’ve plunked it down on the spot. Well, first buy a bigger house to put it in, but it would have all been worth it.

I satisfied myself with buying an antique silver spoon. There is a woman after my heart, who knows to stock ancient cutlery! (Not enough stores do, you know.) I admitted to Leah that I collected old silverware. “And what do you do with the pieces?” she asked me. “Oh, I eat with them.”

All this is making me hungry. I think I will go to Don D’s tonight. I dream about their burritos.