Shine Cafe, 1320 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC
If you can get past the mustard yellow & tangerine orange McColour palate at Shine Cafe (Blanshard location), you quickly realize how vastly more appealing this renewed space is compared to the space under former occupant - Demitasse. Demitasse became increasingly filthy and run down over the years and by the time it closed it was just waiting to be put out of its misery. New tenant Shine has revived the space, spruced it up, giving it a much appreciated second life, and if my lunch there today was any indication of the menu at large, I say shine on you crazy diamond!
I'm hearing great things about Shine's breakfasts, which could put up a serious challenge to the hugely overrated other breakfast/brunch spots in that part of downtown. And with the pulled pork fad becoming so last year, Shine also threatens to steal business from the much over-hyped Pig BBQ directly across the street. Compared to Pig BBQ's mono-dimensional menu, the highlight of which is cold meat and bad sauce, Shine's menu is a breath of fresh air.
What Shine has going for it is an already well established, well liked restaurant up on Fort Street, thus it has that all important word-of-mouth street cred. Shine also has that family owned, local flavour that consumers increasingly seek out; they serve Fernwood coffee and Silk Road tea products, among other locally sourced foods.
The chicken club sandwich on sourdough (which I shared with my better half) was fresh, vibrant and extremely well balanced. The accompanying onion rings were nicely battered, crispy and delicious.The price ($12) is midway between the more expensive and cheaper clubhouse sandwiches to be had in town. I noticed that the daily breakfast sandwich listed on the specials board was selling for a mere $4.75, so no price point complaints from YRS. Service was good. I'm very much looking forward to a return visit, next time for breakfast.