Written By Guest Writer Places / Travel Apr 29, 2011 Driving Vancouver Island SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestWhile in the city I adhere, for the most part, to a diet of refinement and good ethics. That is, I seek out good quality food that more or less honours the trifecta standard of organic, fair trade, and local. But when I’m on the road these rules can admittedly slacken a little —sometimes a lot— in the name of quick service, and finding something that’s easy to eat on the go and completely novel from my daily Victoria grind. While I love finding a hidden gem of culinary excellence by serendipitous accident, the exceptions to the rule are often my favourite part of the trip.Heading up island from Victoria towards Tofino, there’s a mixed bag of quick stops you can be proud of and others that are sheer road trip indulgence. Before I split the city, I usually fill a bag with some fruit from the Market on Yates and my all star pick-me-up, a bar of dark chocolate, preferably Organic Fair from Cobble Hill. Once on the highway heading North, you can swerve off Highway 1 into the Drumroaster in Duncan at #24-1400 Cowichan Bay Road for a superb Americano to fuel you up for the drive ahead. Rolling along into Nanaimo, you may want to pull over for a quick bite at Mon Petit Choux Bakery at 101-120 Commercial Street. Take a break and sit down for their roasted chicken breast with rosemary aioli and cranberry compote sandwich or Halibut Blanquette en Croute; or keep on truckin’ and grab a house made baguette to go. A little further up, Parksville’s Real Food (152 Morrison St.) offers take-out meals like their Torta Rustica, fresh bread, and fresh salads featuring local ingredients. Grab a couple forks, jump back in the car, and you’re good to go.When heading West toward Tofino, I usually pull into Coombs Old Country Market. It’s admittedly touristy and the pastries are piled obscenely high with multiple layers of sugar, but it’s an entertaining place to peruse and grab some candied salmon, coffee candies, or an ice cream cone (sugar in many forms is a real theme here). The big gimmick is the goats on the roof and several signs as you approach it make absolutely sure you know about them. I haven’t met the goats yet, but the service here is always friendly and helpful, the restrooms are always clean, and the coffee is always, well, hot.Driving on through to Port Alberni, I must confess the J&L Drive-In pulls me in like a magnet. My parents used to seek out shiny fifties-era diners on our cross country road trips through the U.S. as a kid, and I hold a nostalgic soft spot for any place that refuses to glorify the classic burger and fries. The food is nothing to get too excited about here, but it’s a fun stop and hits the spot. And nothing says road trip like a root beer float and a greasy basket of onion rings.When doing the trip in reverse, be sure to hit the Tofitian on the Pacific Rim Highway on your way out of Tofino. They serve impressive coffee and are sandwiched between the Wildside Grill, a fish and chip wagon that gets that classic just right, and Beaches Grocery, a tiny supermarket jam packed with excellent produce and semi-healthy snacks of the salty and crunchy variety for the long ride home. – by Katie ZdybelPlacesVancouver Island SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like First Look / Restaurants / Victoria July 31, 2020 The Palms Launching a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic may seem counterintuitive, but don’t tell that to Rob Ekstrom and Darren Cole – the two ... Read More Destinations / Travel March 3, 2020 Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort Continued from March | April EAT magazine’s Best of Asia in Mexico. by Shelora Sheldan The morning after the Taste of Asia event, after ... Read More Events / Family / Victoria July 11, 2019 More Than Just Cracker Jacks at the Old Ball Game On June 7, the Victoria HarbourCats played their home opener game at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park against the two-time defending ... Read More Chefs / Culture / Destinations / Elsewhere / Travel May 7, 2019 An Introduction to Letters from Lyon to EAT I have spent my career thus far with a few goals in mind: climb the brigade of each kitchen I set foot in, put in my time and become “chef”. ... Read More Beer / Beer & Cider / Drink / Events / Victoria March 24, 2019 A New Beer Society in Town Victoria Beer Week launched its sixth annual festival earlier this month, which ran from March 1-9. In addition to the festival returning for another ... Read More Food Events / Pop-Ups March 3, 2019 Cake by Taryn Valentine’s Day Pop-up With Valentine’s Day comes cake! And flowers. And many other gifts that are made consciously and locally. On Feb 14th, I visited Taryn Haywood as ... Read More Comments are closed.