Print Edition: September 12, 2012
With the opening of the shiny new building at Canada Education Park (CEP), it is finally kind of cool to be from Chilliwack. It might not be the corn capital of the world anymore, but it’s my stomping ground, and this is the moment I’ve been waiting for. For all you newbies heading to the ‘Wack for the first time, here’s a guide to food near campus – I’m sure you love having a Tim Horton’s underneath your classroom, but you’re going to get sick of bagels and cream cheese pretty damn quickly.
Support fellow students and get some exercise on the way
5579 Tyson (UFV TTC), Chilliwack
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Fare: The menu changes day to day and week to week, but always has three options for entrees (think lasagna, salmon, roasted chicken) as well as a daily burger special and a daily pizza special.
The closest place to grab a bite near campus is technically campus itself: UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre is just down the road from the brand new CEP building, and the cafeteria is attached to UFV’s culinary arts program. This means that the prices are still affordable, since the meals are really the projects of culinary arts students, but delicious, since the meals are really the projects of culinary arts students. The only downside is that the hours reflect class-time: it closes at 1:30, leaving you out of luck if you’re trying to grab a bite before an evening class.
The best in the west is a feast from the east
45641 Lark Road, Chilliwack
Hours: Mon to Sat: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: $8-$12, depending on donair size and drink choice
Fare: Donairs, donairs, donairs, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, more donairs.
I have oft waxed poetic about the joys of the donair; hot and tender shaved meat, fresh veggies, and a cornucopia of sauces encased in a tidy pita packet. Peggi’s Donair is run by a kindly donair maven fittingly named Peggi, and although the menu is entirely donairs, there is enough variation that it’s an alternative to fast food you won’t soon get tired of. Try a Halifax donair with tomatoes, onions and sweet sauce, or go the taco route and get one with lettuce and jalapeños. You have the choice of chicken or beef, and a variety of indie drink brands to choose from. (Anyone want some real iced tea or a British soda?)
Or is the best in the west a feast from FAR east?
1-45540 Market Way, Chilliwack
Hours: Mon-Thurs,Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Closed every day 3 p.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays.
Prices: $14 lunch box, $17 dinner box, $5-$14 rolls
Fare: Teriyaki, tempura, sushi rolls or sashimi, specialty spicy dishes, steamed rice and green tea.
Living on the west coast, we have ample access to fresh fish – which means ample access to good sushi. Sushi Maru is a 15 minute walk or a five minute drive from CEP, tucked in the Garrison development on the other side of Keith Wilson. After recent renovations, the restaurant is looking snazzy; it’s a quiet and calming atmosphere for a gentle meal. The fish is flavourful and fresh, and the tempura is perfectly crispy, hot, and melt-in-your-mouth. Their menu ranges from simple California or tuna rolls to the more elaborate specialty rolls, each of which is a meal in and of itself. Maru is a little more expensive than some of the other sushi places in town, but the small price hike is definitely backed up by quality.
I’m feeling a little classy
45555 Market Way, Chilliwack
Hours: Sun to Thurs: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri to Sat: 11 a.m. to 12.a.m.
Prices: $15-$30, depending if you order a steak or a glass of wine.
Fare: Wraps, salads, flatbread pizza, steak, wine and seafood.
Chilliwack might be more of a redneck town than Abbotsford, but we are capable of classy operations; if you’re feeling a little fancy and your wallet isn’t groaning under the weight of tuition, you may well find yourself at the Garrison Bistro. It’s down the street from Sushi Maru in Garrison Crossing, and is also the closest place to get a glass of wine or a cold beer. Their food edges on the gourmet side of things, with blue cheese and bacon chicken wraps or personalized flatbread pizza with feta and olives, and you’ll pay a little more for the upscale atmosphere. But you know what? Once in a while, it’s nice to treat yourself. Just don’t wear your sweatpants, because the hipsters will glare at you.
A home-cooked meal away from home
The Hide-A-Way Café
45639 Lark Road, Chilliwack
Hours: Sun to Tues: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Wed to Sat: 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fare: All day breakfast, burgers and fries, fish and chips, butter chicken and samosas, soups and salads and onion rings.
Finally, maybe you just want some simple, good food. The meals at the Hide-A-Way Café are simple, but hot and good. This is the place for a burger like the ones your grandmother made when you were a kid. Love went into those crispy onion-rings, and using hash browns instead of an English muffin in eggs Benedict, drowning in cheese and hollandaise sauce? It’s a match made in heaven. This is the kind of food you would make if you were ever home, weren’t so damn busy, and actually bought groceries once in a while. (By the way, you need to pick up some milk on the way home.)