Quick bite – Mag’s 99 Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina

 

It's pretty hard to miss this place, it's brighter than the sun
It’s pretty hard to miss this place, it’s brighter than the sun

Ever wonder what would happen if someone took over a KFC/Taco Bell and started making the same kind of food but actually used good ingredients and cared about what they were serving? Just off Highway 99 as you roll into Squamish there’s a VERY bright yellow building that used to house the aforementioned fast food giants. It closed about a year ago but has been resurrected as Mag’s 99, a fried chicken and Mexican joint using fresh, never frozen chicken and house made GOOD stuff with no preservatives whenever possible.

Nice view of The Chief
Nice view of The Chief

I was in the mood for fried chicken, the Mexican dishes will have to wait for another visit, so I ordered the 3 piece “snack pack”. It takes up to 10 minutes to get your order but it’s piping hot and fresh when you get it and you get a plate of tortilla chips and chunky house made salsa while you wait.

Tasty house made salsa
Tasty house made salsa

The chicken is everything that fried chicken should be, the flavours are very reminiscent of KFC or Churches but the quality of the chicken is far above any fast food joint. I had a thigh, a full wing and a breast in my combo with fries and a drink for under $10. The batter is delicious and you don’t get the greasy fried chicken hangover that usually accompanies fast food fried chicken.

3 piece snack pack
3 piece snack pack

Verdict. Mag’s 99 is good, classic fried chicken made by people who care. Go check it out if you’re in Squamish.

Scott.

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The Campfire Grill – Smokin’ Barbecue

The WFLBC BBQ Challenge has officially begun, first stop Squamish!! Squamish? Yes, Squamish, I recently spent a week in Whistler for work and did a lot of eating all around town and I now have a stockpile of restaurants to reviews for this blog and for the Vancouver Observer.  On the way home I wanted to stop at a BBQ place I had heard about via Twitter called The Campfire Grill – Smokin’ BBQ. I had no idea what I was in for.

I don’t know what I was expecting but this certainly was not it, and what a nice surprise! Located at the Eagle Vista Resort and Campground at 1940 Centennial Way in Squamish it’s about as inconspicuous as it gets, it’s actually in the campground! Thinking that the GPS had led me astray I finally noticed the trailer and assorted small structures around it and headed over to say hello. Chef Mike McCrea and his wife Inger, aka the boss, greeted me with a smile and gave me a tour of the truly unique and pretty awesome setup they have. You really have to see it to appreciate it but it is very cool with gas heaters in a outbuilding filled with picnic tables, a fire pit surrounded by benches and an ordering area with another heater and a nicely done menu board along with very professional brochures and business cards.

Mike was kind enough to make me up a one man sample plate for the purposes of my BBQ Challenge that consisted of pulled pork, pork ribs, beef blade, chicken, and a stuffed burger. The pork was juicy and well seasoned, the beef was fantastic and savory and the chicken, dark meat by request, was cooked perfectly with the skin on. The ribs, which I ate before I remembered to take a picture, had a nice smoky crust and were tender and juicy as well.  The stuffed burger which is only available on Friday is made with locally sourced organic beef stuffed with pickles, banana peppers, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. Great texture and flavor from the beef and the stuffing was awesome, plus it was cooked a nice medium, perfect. Over all this is some of the best food, let alone BBQ, I have ever eaten.

Then there are the sauces, oh my god the sauces! All made by Chef Mike they are a foursome of mouth watering accouterments to go with the fantastic meat. There is a trio of BBQ sauces, bourbon, apricot and chipotle and a honey mustard sauce. The Honey mustard goes great with everything but pairs best with the chicken. The apricot paired best with the pulled pork and the bourbon went great with the ribs. The chipotle was my favorite and went great with everything, especially the beef. I also tried Chef Mike’s home made pecan tarts cooked on the grill and they were fantastic!

So BBQ challenge 2011 has it’s first official entry and if this food is a sign of things to come I’m in for a great ride! If you’re passing through or visiting Squamish, or if you just want to go somewhere incredibly cool to eat you need to make a stop here. Based on my BBQ experience this place may be hard to beat. I may have to rearrange my categories a little but I think the WFLBC BBQ Challenge is going to be a big hit!!

Scott.