Where I Ate In Auckland – Part Two – WFLNZ

Pies, cheese, pizza, that stuff is good. Burgers and pub food? That’s my jam. Let’s dance.

The Fox Sporting Bar & Restaurant

A sports bar that streams any sporting event you can think of and they make their own beer? It’s true, and it’s Foxes in Auckland. Thier beer is good and they streamed the Canadian Mens World Cup qualifier for me. It’s also one of the few places in Auckland that has seats at the bar which I love. T-bone steak with eggs and chips was the only choice that I could make. I mean, New Zealand beef is good and then you throw a couple of sunny side up eggs on it? Go ahead, try and tell me this isn’t something you’d order. You would, I did, and it was fantastic.

Steak and eggs!
Steak and eggs!

Burger Burger

Burger Burger comes up on most searches for “best burger in Auckland.” I hopped on a bus in the pouring rain and headed for New Market to see for myself. Burger Burger uses local produce, free range meats, they have a good recycling program, and they’re a part of Conscious Consumer which incorporates the use of environmentally and socially responsible products and services. All of that is nice but if the burgers suck it’s pointless. Well, they don’t. In fact this is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. So fresh and juicy, I added bacon and cheddar to mine. The bun was fresh and up to the task of holding everything together. The fries were pretty good too, they came with a side of mayo.

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The Albion Hotel and Restaurant

The Albion was in the hotel I was staying in. I only went once. It was a weird place that always seemed kind of empty. No seats at the bar, which is apparently common around the world but there was also no table service. That may be normal but in my opinion it sucks. As far as the hotel goes I was pretty happy. Clean enough, good location, and cheap. I had fish and chips on my one visit to the pub, they were good, not great.

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Adey’s Place

Adey’s Place (formerly Blair’s On The Beach) is a little beachside shack in Piha. Piha is on the west coast of the North Island but is technically still part of Auckland. My tour guide recommended the fish burger and said the chips won some sort of award. Sounded good to me, also there was really only one other place to eat. The award winning chips were good, definitely award worthy. The fish burger was good but two pieces of fish was overkill. I took one out to eat separately, it made the burger better. This may be the only time in my life a lobby for less meat.

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Stay tuned for part three where I go full hipster.

Scott.

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Willow’s Galley in Estevan Village – WFLBC in Victoria

Estevan Village is a quaint little neighbourhood in Oak Bay steps from the soft sands of Willow’s Beach. The one block retail strip is pure nostalgia with an independent toy store, a pharmacy, trendy shops, and trendy restaurants and cafes. Estevan Village holds a special place in my heart. My grandpa used to live at The Uplands Gate, an apartment building located about 2 blocks away. I used to walk with him (and my mom) through the village and down to the beach when I was a child. Willow’s Galley is a small fish and chip shop that’s been a fixture in the village since 1978 (I’ve read 1980 but the staff told me 78 so…). If you think the building looks like an old corner store you would be correct! I’m not sure how old the building is but it’s been there for a long time.

Willow's Galley
Willow’s Galley

I spent the weekend in Victoria with my daughter and part of the plan was to retrace the steps of some of my favourite childhood memories. We parked outside my grandpa’s building and walked towards Estevan Village and Willow’s Beach. We stopped at Willow’s Galley for a quick lunch. I had 1 piece of Halibut and chips. The batter was golden and crispy, the halibut was hot and fresh, the chips were hand cut and very tasty. I really like the batter they use. It’s not fancy, there’s no panko, it’s not tempura. It’s just a simple batter. Solid, classic fish and chips from friendly people in a cool location? What’s not to love.

The goods
The goods

Hayley and I ate our lunch on one of the picnic tables outside but Willow’s Galley is close enough to the beach that you could walk there before your food got cold. Fish and chips at the beach seems like a good idea.

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My grandpa passed away many years ago. It’s hard to think about how long he’s been gone. Taking Hayley to “visit him” was very fulfilling. All of the places we visited were just as magical as I remember them. I know that my childhood memories aren’t about the things I had, they’re about the things I did and the places I went with my family. I hope Hayley knows how much this weekend meant to me. Actually, I know she does.

Twitter – @WillowsGalley

Facebook – Willow’s Galley

Web – Nope…

Scott.