Barb’s Place – Victoria, BC

At the start of August for the BC long weekend, I went to Victoria with friends to visit some Cadet friends. Once we had settled all the minor things, I began researching places to eat. Are you surprised that’s the first thing I did? =P

Actually, James wanted to go to Barb’s Place for their famous fish and chips. They are voted the BEST in Victoria for the past 24 years..impressive! The walk from Downtown Victoria (which I associate with the harbour and Empress Hotel) was pretty long, about 15 minutes in the middle of the day.

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There was a long line up when we got there, and the line never seemed to die down at all. We waited under 10 minutes though, it was pretty fast. Waiting for the food however was much longer.

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You are given a pager so you can sit and wait til it beeps, then you come up and exchange the pager for your order.  It’s a very good system for managing the huge crowds they have, but the space around the pick up area is very cramped.

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Not really wanting to overload myself with food, and my stomach wasn’t feeling well anyways, Kevin and I shared a 2pc Famous Fish and Chips ($12.95) and each a Freshly Brewed Ice Tea ($1.75). The Iced Tea is supposed to be freshly brewed, but it was not worth the price or hype IMO.

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Comes with the essential sides, coleslaw and tartar sauce. The tartar sauce was realllly tasty….I nearly licked the container clean. The coleslaw was nothing memorable, but not bad either. Just average.

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Since Kevin and I were sharing, I let him eat first while I took pictures. When I ate my fish, it was very dry and obviously over fried. I had ate half of it before I complained to my friends, and they told me to take it back and ask for another one. Since we were all cramped on the table and I had taken my shirt off (I told you it was hot…), Kevin got up and went to exchange it for me. Thanks! :) The new piece I got was very moist and the fish flaked off nicely. The batter is puffy and not too oily either, and there isn’t an abundance of it, unlike some places I’ve been to.

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Although my meal was redeemed by them replacing it without asking any questions (they do have a reputation to uphold after, winning “best of the city” 24 years is not an easy feat), I would not go back again. First of all it was far from the Harbour, which is where most tourists would be when they visit Victoria. Second it was not astoundingly delicious or good, and the prices do not seem to reflect the true value.

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