baoHowdy there, pretty ponies!

How are you, colts and fillies? We hope you have been having a lovely, sun filled weekend.

As it happens, our favourite things this week all begin with the letter B.  But let us not beat around the bush (see what I did there?) let us get down to brass buttons, err, tacks.   Bao, a new Asian eatery located at 626 Fisgard, in the centre of Chinatown, serves up a cornucopia of Asian comfort classics including ramen, bibimbap (a Korean dish consisting of rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chili paste, and beef or other meat, topped with a fried egg) chicken wings (sauced either a sweet Sichuan or spicy Korean chili sauce), noodle dishes and, the piece de resistance, the Bao Bun.  Bao or Baozi are soft wheat buns that are steamed and then stuffed with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings.  At Bao, you may order one steamie for $4.50, or three for $12. We suggest three as, once you try these little babies, you aren’t going to want to eat just one. We sampled several – the Taiwanese Classic, the Shanghai Black Bean, the Tonkatsu Chicken, and the Char Siu.  Our favourite? It was a tie between the Tonkatsu Chicken (crispy chicken topped with strips of piquant pickled ginger) and the Taiwanese Classic (tender pork belly slathered with liquoricy hoisin sauce and dusted with peanut powder).  Three bao make for a sustaining but not too heavy lunch, and, if you have room left over, order the the nutella/banana bao.  You won’t regret it.  One of our staffers, a confirmed banana hater, was wowed by this toothsome treat.   All we can say about these heavenly buns is Bao Wow!  Nice Buns! https://www.instagram.com/p/BIGRo5BgBg2/?taken-by=horsingaroundvictoria

Moving along.  Our second B is for Big Wheel.   There are days where only a burger will do (vegetarians, admit it, even YOU have yielded to the siren call of Rebar’s fabled almond burger).  While a number of restaurants in Victoria make a superlative burger, of late we have been jonesing for Big Wheel. We resisted this eatery for a long time as we were discomfited by their use of processed cheese.  As confirmed cheese lovers, this seemed too great a sin to overlook.  However, in the interest of not succumbing to food snobbery, and in deference Big Wheel’s cadre of fans, we thought we should at least try their product before rendering our verdict. To our surprise, we liked the burger a lot. Big Wheel’s mantra is to emulate the classic American cheeseburger.   We like the soft squishy bun (custom made) which has that all important perfect bun to beef ratio.  The burger is adorned simply, with lettuce, roma tomato, (a good choice as Roma’s have less moisture and will not render your bun soggy) crunchy pickles and a dollop of Big Wheel’s special sauce (a tasty mayo based concoction).  The processed cheese?  Well, it adds an addictive saltiness without overwhelming the star of the show, the beef patty (ground in house from free range meat that is hormone and antibiotic free).  Another bonus, the burger is substantial but not enormous, satisfying our carnivore cravings without putting us in to an unpleasant “food coma” (those with heartier appetites need not blanche, you can always order an extra patty).  Big Wheel is licensed, but we prefer to pair our patty with a creamy milkshake.  Made with real ice cream, the vanilla shake accompanies, but does not overpower, the bounteous beef.  Where’s the beef?  Right here, my friends: https://www.instagram.com/p/BH75PQ5BlKF/?taken-by=horsingaroundvictoria

Big Wheel Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato“>

Our final B is for Betty-Ann Lampman.  We heard (via the social media grapevine) that there is a book forthcoming of Betty Ann’s inspiring 100 day project (for more on Betty-Ann’s participation in the project and to learn about the project itself, click here: http://www.timescolonist.com/victoria-artist-creates-100-portraits-in-100-days-1.2018570  We love Lampman’s meticulously rendered, expressive paintings.  We cannot wait for the book to come out and we hope it is soon.

Well, that is it for our B festival this week darling readers!  Visit our Twitter or Facebook page and tell us about your favourite burger.  As always, we love hearing from you.

Have a wonderful week, my lovelies!


Monty and the whole gang at H.A. H.Q.


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