In August, my friend N rented a house in Gibsons. We arrived on a sunny Friday to acres of private waterfront property, a six-bedroom house with spacious entertainment areas and a hot tub looking out into the ocean.
N and her entourage brought groceries with the intent of cooking, but everyone was too preoccupied with partying to actually prepare any meals. When I stepped in, I was micro-managed by RHWONJ. RHWONJ forgot to tell me her cooking instructions and then later complained to me that I was didn’t do something she never told me to do. By Sunday morning, L and I wanted to get out and explore the town. For this post, let’s listen to Charles Barkley “Crazy“.
N drove L and I into the waterfront shopping district. The three of us
walked into Beachcomber Coffee Company and enjoyed expertly made americanos. N and I stocked up at Sunshine Coast Olive Oil while L stood patiently outside. We strolled around the main shopping streets and enjoyed a live music performance. I peeked inside The Healing Hut because I wanted to see what a cannabis dispensary looked like inside. I know these places are common in Vancouver, but they are not in Calgary (pre- October 17, 2018). The store is bare bones. There’s a display by the till and other foreign objects.
By noon, we decided to have lunch at Smitty’s Oyster House. The restaurant doesn’t fill up the tables inside the restaurant. Instead, most customers wait in line to sit in a large communal table on the pier.
We ordered fresh oysters on the half shell ($3 each), salmon cakes ($12), Smitty’s salad ($9), Pan Fried Oysters ($18) and Fish Fritters Cod ($16). The food and wine was reasonably priced. Most glasses of wine ranged from $8-$13.
The highlight of the meal were the raw oysters from New Zealand. Creamy, bright and sweet, I couldn’t believe these oysters were flown in from somewhere so far away. If I had known the oysters would be that good, I would have skipped my entrée and just consumed oysters. L agreed. I’ve never enjoyed an oyster more than I did here.
The fish fritters were tender and the batter was puffy and light. I personally prefer a harder, more brittle batter. The malt balsamic drizzled on top of the fritters was too strong for my liking. The portion was too big for L to eat on his own.
The fried oysters had a hard, thin batter. There was a layer of wet batter against the fried exterior. The oyster itself was smallish and cooked so the meat was still tender.
N had to leave to go back to her other guests. L and I lingered and ordered more drinks. L even chatted up the older couple sitting next to us, a social rarity.
We walked around some more and L suggested we eat again, this time at Smoke on the Water BBQ Shack. I wasn’t hungry but I was eager to kill more time. We shared the Smoked Port Back Ribs ($19) – a half rack of ribs, with slaw, beans and fries. The ribs were hard, perhaps because they weren’t that warm. I thought the BBQ sauce was a tad simple. Maybe I’m just spoiled with the great BBQ I get back in Alberta. In any case, if you happen to make a stop off in Gibsons, I’d recommend Smitty’s for their oysters and island eats.