More sun means more patio time. This particular patio is further than where most would travel, though the view is certainly worth visiting. Though shame that the weather didn’t agree with us today.
Located by Jericho beach, the drive is far, and the parking lot fee is pricy. So we took advantage of the decent weather and decided to park further away, enjoying our stroll to the Jericho Sailing Centre. We approached hesitantly. The exclusivity of the building, with it being a club with member only restrictions, and its chain gates doesn’t help the restaurant earn walk-in traffic.
Since 1990, The Galley Patio and Grill has been one of Vancouver’s best beach front casual dining destinations. With their unique view, encompassing the downtown skyline, Stanley Park, the Northshore Mountains, Bowen Island, and the Straight of Georgia; they are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
You enter through the side entrance of the sailing centre, travelling past the boats docked, up a flight of winding stairs, down an empty hall, and past bulletin boards with notices. You know you are at the restaurant from the looks of the snapped surfboard repurposed to a sign above red framed doors. This is not your usual route towards any restaurant, but this isn’t your typical restaurant. The restaurant and the it community centre it was built in comes with a rich story. It was going to be torn down in 1972, but sailors begged the city to save this historic building, so here it stands today, a community centre on the water. A momentum of an old military operation from World War 2, rebuilt to this sailing centre in 1900.
The restaurant was your typical food court set up. You order at one of two counters and grab any available seat. The tables and chairs are simple in and out doors, though it is really the view on the patio you come for. A 140 person patio, with a members only side and another open to the public. Though if you like the space, but want a settling less casual, they do rent their rooms out for events. And with a table cloth and some natural elements they become a unique place for a larger birthday gathering or for an impressive work function.
The service counter closest to the door was for your dressed up fast food, deep fried, lunch fair. Soups and salads, appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers listed on menus over head. Highlighted in red with white and blue stripes, it had a consistent sailor theme to it. To the right of this was the secondary counter serving more cafe friendly items. Instead of beer and wine it had coffee and tea. Muffins, croissants, and other baked goods sat ready behind glass. Though if you are in it for dessert you can choose from 12 classic flavours of neon bright ice cream. Bubble gum or tiger tail anyone? The ice cream was your classic scoop and serve from white buckets set up. Not that ice cream goes bad, but they didn’t looked all that appealing sitting at the very bottom of the bucket.
You may be wondering how well they do without the sun and the great patio weather. They do well because of their food. They have recently hired a new chef to revitalize their menu, to improve the dinner program, and to have fun with their cuisine. After all you need a reason to bring them in, and a better one to have them coming back. Though even with the clump of clouds, the view is definitely worth the trip out. Today the sun was trying, and we still took in the scene before us with much delight. The thought of walking straight off the beach, up to this patio, with sand still in between your toes is an alluring one. And I can imagine even more so with the heat from a full sun shining against your shoulders.
“Kettle chips & queso”. House fried kettle chips dusted in sea salt, served with their signature cheese sauce and jalapeños. I never had a chip so good. Fresh, crunchy, and light. I could haven eaten a bag of these with or without the creamy warm cheesy dip. Freshly fried really makes the difference.
“Grilled sausage & kraut”. Pork sausage, sauerkraut, and hot mustard. The juicy and spicy sausage paired well with the fresh sour pickle. And the hearty mustard added some depth.
“Wild BC salmon salad”. Grilled sockeye, green beans, olives, and a free-run egg; coated in a mango vinaigrette. This was a simple salad, only lightly dressed. I couldn’t make out the mango in the dressing, but was able to enjoy the freshness of the greens. The green beans were a nice addition, my first having them in a salad. Their crunchy snap was a nice contrast to the leafy greens. The boiled egg was stiff by comparison, I found the yolk over cooked. And the salmon was definitely the highlight of the dish, tender and flaky with a peppery seasoning.
“Jamaican jerk chicken burger” with a mango salsa. The chicken breast was cooked perfectly, a moist centre with a slight char from the grill. The rub was evenly coated, it had a naturally smokey and spicy tone to it, it went down with a slight burn. I would go back just for this burger.
“Grilled haloumi & avacado” flatbread with grilled zucchini and roasted red pepper, topped with crema. I liked this the most, and surprisingly so given its look, especially compared to the other more visually friendly appetizers. I liked it enough to google what “haloumi” was: “hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes also cow’s milk.” It has a higher melting point, therefore you are able to boil or grill this cheese. It was like the most flavourful vegetarian taco that have ever had.
“Sockeye salmon roll” with BC salmon, celery, onion, celery, and aioli, wrapped up in butter grilled roll. The salmon was a little on the dryer side. I could have used some mayo to moisten the mix. The celery and greens really helped to freshen up each bite.
They call their nachos, “Vancouver’s best nachos”, made with “South of the border” taco meat, handmade salsa, onions, guacamole, roasted corn, black beans, and lots of nacho cheese. The size of the serving was most impressive. A dish fit for four with plenty of condiments to go around. In humour they called their toned down version of this, without the meat and corn: “Vancouver’s 3rd best nachos”. The greatness of a good nacho platter is in its size and elaborate dressing. Plenty of ingredients evenly sprinkled, served with fresh dips. This had it all.
“Oceanside charcuterie”. Oyama select meats, Quebec cheeses, smoked salmon, olives, and bread. Pretty standard, you can’t go wrong with a good build your own bite of m meat and cheese.
“Chilerio pulled pork”. Sinaloa Mexico pulled pork, cheddar, and jalapeño on a griddled sourdough bread.
“All ‘Merica burger” made with jalapeños, ‘Mercian yellow cheese, red hot onions, and a chipotle mayo.
“Baja fish sandwich” with beer battered cod, chipotle slaw, and salsa.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
This is your old fashion beach style restaurant, serving light summertime classics that any one can find delight in. Dishes enjoyed best on their beach side patio with ice cold beers. They service the beach with their dressed up fast food. Not just hot dogs and onion rings, but chicken burgers and homemade kettle chips. All you do is walk up from the beach, and sit down to enjoy their view: English Bay, Vancouver, and beyond. Don’t deny your cravings.