There is something enjoining in facing the sea on a near dark evening and talking to a friend. And that is what transpired in Whiffen Spit in the village of Sooke. On my way back to the campgrounds, I was in the mood for a light snack. So when I saw Route 14 Diner, I thought I spotted a sure thing.
Inside it was almost filled with one empty table. A doe-eyed smiling lady came over with the menu. I decided on a crab cake plate. – for two small 3 inch crab cakes average tasting plus a small side of carrot/cabbage shreds, I paid CAD$16.00 plus tax and tip. It was nicely plated in a white long rectangular but Not a sure thing!
I asked the server a suggestion on a breakfast place on the way to Port Renfrew. She blurted out Shirley Delicious.
Yes it’s in the community or hamlet of Shirley along Route 14 (also dubbed West Coast Road) where you can hardly see any house or people.
I was intrigued.
The next morning, I got there close to 8 am. It was an A-shaped frame and Julia (who had a very light European accent – turns out she was Dutch) asked if I wanted coffee. A few seconds later, a bubbly slim man named Phil came out. His accent was harder to pinpoint – and as it turned out – as often the case - with an inflection from South Africa.
Shirley Delicious had an unusual brunch menu in addition to the standard sausages, eggs and bacon. I had two flat pancake-like corn frittata which was served warm - topped with a salsa of cubed tomatoes and feta cheese - noticeably tad too cold – just direct from the refrigerator? CAD$ 9.00. For dessert, a gluten free Double Chocolate Cranberry & Walnut Torte – CAD $6.50 - quite hard to bite after being in the cooler overnight – but holds promise.
The siren’s call was the selection of baked sweets, a number of which are gluten free. As I was planning to go on several hikes later that day, I stocked up with Pumpkin Cinnamon Shortbread CAD$4.00 (satisfyingly dense), Salt Caramel Cheesecake with a douse of caramel syrup CAD$4.00 (okay), a Peach Berry Pie (a bumbleberry mix) CAD$5.25– (tart and sweet), a cheese-ham squarish croissant CAD$4.50 – fresh from the oven – how can you go wrong but otherwise ordinary. The star was the Cinnamon Twist stick. With a core of sugar cinnamon syrup this is a must (twice) at CAD$3.50.
Reasonable prices, good friendly service, Shirley Delicious is a welcome pause in the journey. And just a mile away is a panoramic short hike to the Sheringham Lighthouse.
Address: 2794 Sheringham Point Road corner Route 14
Tel: 778 528 2888
Open every day 8 am till 5 pm except Christmas.
BTW here is a good blog on what Vancouver Island Beyond Victoria has to offer including Shirley Delicious.