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Spinnakers | Victoria | 308 Catherine St.


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#21 Rorschach

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 09:49 AM

Mea Culpa for starting another thread unnecessarily. I searched for one before posting but I must have misspelled it or something. Spinnakers is in several guide books for tourists and their beer gets stellar reviews everywhere such reviews are published. I love the Honey Pale Ale there, and several others. I should stop patronizing the place. But the family was in town and it was a bit spontaneous because of the weather and the fact we were all walking and the location was ideal. In all fairness, their baked goods at the front are top notch. I had a pesto bread stick there that was totally awesome and their mini-baguettes are great. Each of these items were $1.25 - a food bargain by anyone's standard. Bring a picnic basket with some lunchmeat and basic fixings and buy a baguette and you are set for a delicious and cheap lunch sitting on the park benches and looking out over the water. The residents along the waterfront are planting flowers and everything looks so nice. The dog walkers and the joggers and the familys out in the sun -- it doesn't get much better. If Spinnakers could pull together some tasty signature dishes, it would be an ideal destination. All seafood and meat dishes there blow -- they even screw up chicken wings and fish and chips! The best tasting dishes there are the pizzas and their chili!

In summary: Great Beer & Great Bakery. Restaurant: Yecch!

#22 Mike K.

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 02:45 PM

Had my first top-notch meal at this place in several years.

I was very, very surprised by the meal, which was a special of the day and consisted of baked vegetables with a cornish pie/pastry sprinkled with a delicious sauce.

The place may very well be coming around!

#23 Rorschach

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 09:03 AM

I did send their details to the "Kitchen Nightmares" producers, but not sure if Chef Ramsay will come to Canada or that the people at Spinnaker's are open to his scrutiny.

The place is successful in spite of their generally poor food service. I still find myself going there regularly for a pint of Honey Pale Ale. Their service is still spotty.

Their bakery does not make the pesto sticks any more so about the only good bakery item there is the dog biscuits. My dog loves them, but I have a feeling they are probably crap too.

#24 Rorschach

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 09:12 AM

I can't seem to stay out of this place when I want a pint. I noticed last night that there were some new service people that did a good job, and that the food coming out of the kitchen was good for a change. The food was just regular steak, salmon, chowder, burgers, pizza, hailbut and chips stuff like that - but there is a new cook for sure because it all tasted very good by my subjective standards.

At the moment, I'm no longer imploring readers to stay away. I think it's worth a trip back for now. Let's see how long they can keep it up. I'm glad somebody decided to improve the basics at Spinnakers.

Service was much better - I've usually been greeted with indifference, but some new faces with some cheer and enthusiam makes all the difference.

#25 KublaKhan

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 12:49 PM

Their fresh breads...especially the blue cheese something or other...are fantastic.

Also, the clam chowder is thoroughly delicious.

Add a pint (two) of dark ale and you've got a whole lot of Heaven.

#26 Rorschach

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 05:05 PM

Their bakery has always been good. If you check my old posts, you'll see I pointed it out. For years, the food has been poor and the service even worse. In all fairness, I must point out that improvements have been made and that Spinnakers is worth a visit even if you are not a tourist reading a five star review in a guide written by someone who probably never went there. During the bad times, Spinnakers received glowing reviews in tourist guides which were undeserved. I'm not saying it's time to give the place three Michelin stars, but if they can keep this up for a year, they deserve their first star.

The beer has always been good there. Never has this been a question. Locals like myself have simply been put off by bad meals and bad service. I'm going to be going at least once a week for a while to give some progress reports to make sure it was not a fluke and I'll post here. For the moment, Spinnakers is pretty good and I recommend it.

I will second KublaKhan's opinion on the chowder -- it's very tasty. It's "seafood" chowder rather than clam chowder and mine had clams and bits of salmon in it. It tasted the way I want it and the bread that came with it was delicious and fresh. Can't ask for much more.

#27 richardsandwich

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:02 PM

both times i've been in the last 5-ish years the food has not lived up to its well-written, tasty sounding descriptions on the menu. average at best. great atmosphere, views and beer though.

#28 Rorschach

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:56 AM

Yes, food has been bad there for a long time, but lately it seems to this diner that some improvements have been made. This is only lately and may not last.

#29 julienne

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

I don't know what to make of Spinnakers. It's almost like they're trying to be too many things to too many people. They're a gastropub, they're a brew house, they're an artisanal bakery, they're strictly using local, seasonal, organic produce. Then there's beer -chocolate - cheese pairing. Tasting menus, wine lists, etc, etc.
The last time I had their chowder, I swear I could have used it for glue. An absolute gloppy mess that didn't sing the praises of sustainable seafood. I'd love to see Spinnakers celebrate being a brew house that serves great pub food using great ingredients. To me, they're just not cutting it.

#30 Rorschach

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:19 PM

Has it slipped back already? I had some great chowder there a couple of weeks ago. I have to try the chowder at Red Fish Blue Fish.

#31 julienne

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:47 AM

Has it slipped back already? I had some great chowder there a couple of weeks ago. I have to try the chowder at Red Fish Blue Fish.


IMO, they have an inconsistency in what comes out of their kitchen.

#32 VicBooster

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 01:50 PM

They've slipped up again.

I really want to give SP the benefit of the doubt but after this latest disappointment it will be a while before I return for a meal.

#33 Rorschach

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 09:34 AM

Well that just sucks. I was sure a turnaround was on the horizon. They had a completely different crew of service people and it had to be a different cook. Maybe the problem isn't the employees? As the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head down. So what could a boss be doing to cause this kind of phenomenon?

#34 cluseau

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 10:54 PM

I was here the other night as I had some family in town.

The food continues to a new low. I don't care if it's local if it's flavourless! The halibut in the fish'n'chips was rubbery and didn't really taste like anything and the fries (which they seem to serve with everything now) were COLD! How long do they have to sit around for that to happen?

After mentioning this to the waitress we got some hot fries, but no concern for redemption with the bill, so no tip...what a shame as I'm not in any hurry to go back now.

#35 Holden West

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 08:27 AM

Mrs. West and I had lunch on the patio one recent weekend. I had the margherita pizza and she had the spinach salad. I washed it down with their new wheat beer blend (recommended by the knowledgeble and charming server) and Mrs. West had a delicious blue raspberry martini.

The pizza was great and the spinach salad was excellent. It was delivered with goat cheese instead of the advertised bleu cheese but in the opinion of my dining partner this only enhanced the flavour. We then noticed the table behind us--which had been seated before we arrived finally got their meals. Including what we realized was a replacement meal: we were served the customized salad meant for our neighbour. We were pleased with our good fortune but regretted that it came at the expense of the other table, who were a little annoyed but took it in stride.

All in all we were satisfied enough that we will one day go back and give it another chance. Our previous trip wasn't good--the food was bland and the fish and chips lacklustre--certainly no better than any average take out joint. And the service merely adequate.

I would say enjoy the drinks but choose wisely on the menu.
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#36 Bernard

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 08:50 AM

My recent experience http://goodfoodca.bl...spinnakers.html

#37 ptolomeus

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 04:50 PM

I went there the other night, took the basic fish&ships with my beloved Hefeweizen. The Halibut was OK but not more than that and the fries were just warm and tasteless (but what can you expect from British food :D). The beer was excellent and will be the only reason for me to go back there!

#38 Mike K.

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:01 AM

The food still leaves a lot to be desired. I ordered nachos, and they were nothing special.

The folks at a place like Cactus Club manage to consistently dish out decent food, but Spinnakers can't seem to manage a simple and staple item on the menu.

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#39 rjag

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 03:47 PM

Had brunch there today as a matter of fact, 4 of us went, 2 had the halibut and chips, 1 had falafel burger and 1 had eggs benny.

We'll give them a 5 out of 10 for the bland tasteless meals we were served, a 5 out of 10 for the average service and a 9 out of 10 for the view from the deck.

#40 mat

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 07:45 PM

What is it with the higher end brew pubs around town? The food always seems over priced and mediocre. Spinnakers has completely lost my custom.

Canoe is great for the in house brewed beer, and the service is excellent. The food is really not that good, and while they have recently played around with the menu to balance the pub lunch vs dinner crowd - it still does not work; on price and quality.

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