Quirks of Eating Out

One of the quirks of small town living is finding somewhere to eat. Normally, our meals are home made and made-from-scratch. Occasionally though, I like a break from cooking. For these times the options are fish & chips, burgers and pizza. In Ucluelet, Jigger’s fish & chips is the best and Surfside burgers in Tofino is outstanding. For pizza, Abondanzza is legendary.

But here’s the thing. You have to synchronize your expectations and appetite to the idiosyncrasies of the restaurants.

Take for instance fish & chips. Google says Jigger’s is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 7pm with options to dine-in or take-out. Dine-in is really dining outside on picnic tables in an open air patio. The business hours are correct except that they’re closed between 3:00pm- 3:45pm, sometimes earlier, sometimes later.

Surfside burgers are beefy wonders served with chunky fries and the roar of the ocean meters away. It’s ideal, so long as you’re not intimidated by giant black crows hopping around and beadily eying your fries. More than once I’ve channeled Dirty Harry in a corvid stare down.

“You’ve got to ask yourself one question:

‘Do I feel lucky?’

Well do ya, punk?” 

The pizza at Abondanzza is legend. People rave about the crispy wood fired crust and tasty fresh toppings. They’re open everyday except Mondays and Thursdays between 4:30pm and 10pm except on Wednesdays when it’s 11:30am – 5pm. Except when there’re exceptions.

Many times we’ve gone within the posted hours, only to find the business closed. The small town grapevine being what it is, I’ve heard reasons for closure. They include staffing, family, out of dough and fishing.

Once we tried phoning ahead to order pizza for pick-up; except no one answered. Curious, we went to the place to see if it was open. It was, they were just too busy to take orders by phone. We ordered the pizza and was told it’d be a ninety minute wait, so could we come back then please. Another time we were lucky and arrived when they were open and it wasn’t too busy. We dined-in inside and it was only a forty five minute wait.

The other day I met my neighbor coming home from work and carrying a box of Abondanzza pizza. It was just before 5pm.

“It’s the best pizza around!” he said.

“How’d you get it so early?” I asked.

“I ordered ahead,” he said. “I sent in my order yesterday.”

So that’s the secret for getting great pizza when you want it. Order it one day in advance!

16 Comments

  1. You’d like Hawaii. The hours here for restaurants – and other businesses – can be very random. If I want to eat somewhere I always call on the day, but there’s no guarantee that anyone will answer.

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    1. I am sure I’d like Hawaii 😉
      When I was working I use to regularly interact with east coast and west coast guys. They were like oil and water in terms of intensity… for work. Now I appreciate the lifestyle 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One day in advance!
    That’s a new one for me because living in a big city usually means an hour max for my order, whether dining in or ordering on phone. The closer the diner, the lesser the time 🙂

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    1. Those are the perks of city living. Although, it depends on the city. In San Francisco the resto scene can be horrific. When I visited my daughter there I was shocked when she told me that there were 3+ hour wait times to popular spots.

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      1. Most of the better restaurants here in London take reservations – indeed, most restaurants at all quality levels do so. If a place has long wait times like that we would just go elsewhere!

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    1. In cities here, I’m used to having restaurants open continuously between lunch & dinner. When I first went to Europe years ago, I was shocked that I couldn’t find anywhere to eat at 4pm. It hurt even more that I was in Paris in August when all the businesses shuttered for vacations. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s all about local knowledge and being in the know! There’s a pizza food truck here on a Friday and Saturday and it’s the same deal. Get in early or miss out. But I kind of like that. Tourists are only around for a short time and it makes sense that the permanent residents are catered for better.
    Love that you channelled Dirty Harry in a Corvid stare-down! I bet he gave you the Corvid stink-eye in return! Ha!

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    1. Is your town a seasonal vacation place too? My little town is. The population is under 2,000 but in the summer it’s easily x4 more … sometimes all at once in the Co-op grocery store! 🙂

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