The Clay Pigeon
1002 Blanshard Street
J: They say two birds in the hand are worth three in the bush. But it only took one bird, the Clay Pigeon, to be worth 3 food lovers. Ed and myself were accompanied by none other than Donald Kennedy of the Victoria Burger Blog and were more than glad to have his insight. Ed and I were finally able to relax in the atmosphere that is the Clay.
Our server for the night, Darion, was smart and had wonderful taste. Her knowledge of the menu and the ingredients involved in our meals astounded me. I should've tipped her more because her services in my opinion are worth double.
Perhaps I shall return with a "tip part 2" in a marked envelope. I knew this place was class as we were served glasses of water with small wedges of lemon bobbing about.
E: Her friendliness was what made the Clay Pigeon experience worthwhile. James and I heard of the food quality, but to finally be there with friends is what made this particular visit even better. And I finally got to try the crispy fried pig's ear.
While I know that within my ethnic community the Chinese can eat some pretty strange animal parts, I found this delight to be better than what I can get in Chinatown. There's a meat shop that sells crispy pork belly. While the Chinese version is more hard, the ear is much more softer. I wished I had chopsticks with me because does not do this dish any justice! The sweet chili sauce made for a great complement along with the fresh green lettuce used. And that was just the appetizer.
J: I was still feeling the expansion from Murchie's. I knew it was important to have something that wouldn't make me feel uncomfortable for the rest of the night and seafood was the answer. I chose an oyster burger, made po'boy style and dressed in chili aoili sauce with kale. It was all contained in a gluten free bun.
The oyster tasted so soft such that it was almost purée. The aoili sauce had a hint of lime and that made for a nice flavour combo. With the exception of a couple of chewy spots in the oyster, I almost wanted to sing its praises by breaking into a song, ala Sound of Music. The side of chips were most welcome and the fact there wasn't a lot of salt made me smile.
E: James' quizzed look over what kind of potato was used had me chuckling. I knew it was taro root, but I never thought it'd make a good chip! I had a small offering of the same side dish, and I found them just as delectable. A light spiciness made for an excellent complement for the Reuban that I had. It was made from a corned bison tongue. I've tried corned beef before and never cared for it; the bison intrigued me, and the tongue tasted much like a soft ham.
Or maybe that was the leftover taste of the pig's ear? Either way, I liked the sandwich. I opted out of the sauerkraut. The rye bread was soft in the interior, but I found the crust a bit too hard for my liking. I liked the fact that the dijon seed mustard was offered as a side. I could slather or use just enough to make a few bites stand out than to have it added on.
But these two dishes were enough to make me go into a food coma. I was deeply satisfied.
Don was great to offer me one of the delicious house-made marshmallows, and by then, it was time to roll on home.
J: But not before I finished my Andersons root beer which is made in-house at the Clay. Now this is root beer! It was almost like drinking a fine champagne, bubbly and swirled just right to bring out a hint of ginger. Fortunately there wasn't too much carbon. I could safely drink this concoction without making any magical noises afterwards.
E: If that was the case, I'd be keeping a safe distance away from James. I'd often hear James tell about how packed this establishment is during lunchtime when he's in the area for church service. Late at night, on a Sunday, all was quiet, and not a creature was stirring except for the sounds at the nearby Royal Theatre. Is that a concert that I hear?
4½ blokes out of 5