We (Diana of @foodologyca, Mark of @fooddaddyca, and I) were visiting Oliver BC for the weekend, with accommodations in the nearby town of Penticton, British Columbia. So, seeing as we were in the area anyways, we decided to visit a few of the local, well recommended hubs within Penticton.
The night of our 2 day and 1 night stay, we had dinner at Theo’s, an authentic Greek restaurant within their downtown core. For the full review of our time spent dancing and dining visit the link below.
After dinner we went for a miniature stroll along the beach. Previously the go-to for ice cream and decadent desserts there was “The Peach”, operating out of a peach shaped concession stand at the onset of the promenade. However, since my last visit it has now turned into a lemonade stand (which I hope sells peach lemonade, alongside the classic. We couldn’t tell as it was closed after our dinner at around 8pm).
Instead, they have rebranded their style of ice cream and cake milk shakes and dipped cones topped with cakes and cookies; moving to a shop across from the beach further down. The menu is exactly the same, but now includes a new chocolate cherry shake to mark the new shoppe and their new name: “Cherry on top”.
The all encompassing decor is what sets them apart and draws you in. A cherry blossom tree, giant double cherries on a stem, a shelf full of red and pink candies, and a bathtub full of cherries (all artificial of course). Like their desserts, this is all very photogenic.
On the menu are 6 over the top shakes and cones with combinations like caramel and pretzels, birthday cake and rainbow sprinkles, and peanut butter and chocolate. All classic, all sweet. I highly recommend sharing one if you intend on finishing it.
I have already explored the majority of the menu on several previous visits, so we decided to split the new Cherry Bomb shake today. A cherry milkshake with ribbons of chocolate, topped with a large square of Black Forest cake, whipped cream, and yes, a cherry on top. It drank exactly as you think it would. A sugar attack that was much too sweet for me, but a feast for the eyes for sure.
From here we were in food coma and it was time to head to our hotel for the night: Lakeside Resort Penticton. I have visited the hotel’s bar: Barking Parrot a handful of times, so it was nice to be able to stay in the property for once. The bar is a hot spot for snacks and over flowing drinks with a view.
It is an older property in need of an upgrade and renoivation. Although it might not happen, given its popularity. Due to its location, central to the city, and adjacent to the beach and casino, it is typically booked up and none of the patrons seem to mind the state it is in. This is possibly the nicest accommodation within Penticton that is not an Airbnb.
It was clean enough and suited us fine for the night. A room with two queen beds dressed in red. A box spring on the floor with a firm mattress atop. No bed frame, just a fatigue worn headboard. Simple in furnishings with the standard lamp on bed side table, desk and chair, mini fridge and coffee maker; plus cushioned seat and additional side table. And thankfully air conditioning to keep those who like it cool cold, and extra comforter and fluffy pillows to keep those who like it cozy, warm. I fall into the latter catagory.
However, my issue was with the washroom. There was no fan, and with 3 adults who like hot showers, the small space got steamy fast. The towels were fresh and clean, but the complimentary shampoo and conditioner, soap bar, plus body lotion left you wanting more from the beauty care products. And worse was the shower drain, that did not drain. You were left standing in your own run-off as a stagnant body of water pooled at your ankles. A slow drain that required a cool down in between showers so that each person can start their shower building on their own run-off.
Thankfully the sleep was fine and with only a one night stay, we were up early and ready to go the next day. This was thanks to the announcements made for the start of the 11th annual Okanagan Granfondo, bike race. This is a mass cycling event where cyclists can choose from one of four distances, each starting and finishing in Penticton. Our 11am check out became 8am thanks to the Canadian anthem being sung at 7am, and the subsequent 1, 2, 3 countdowns to signifying the start of each heat; not to mention all the cheering that followed. All announced over microphone, all audible from our hotel room, facing Lakeside Resort’s open air parking lot.
Being rudely awakened we decided to take advantage of the earlier start to our day, and sough out some coffee by foot. The majority of the roads were blocked off intermittently for the race, so it was best to go it by foot. To be able to see the racers pedal firsthand and take in the sights of the beach and the city before being scorched by the sun.
Our walk took is to Wayne and Freda, a highly popular cafe, given the winding line we joined. And the wait we took to eventually deem it all worth it. One customer at a time, offering hot beverages, meal replacement smoothies and a light sit down service menu. There is plenty of seating indoors and out, wrapping around the elevated building and extending into a repurposed shipping container.
Mark had the 16oz Pacesetter smoothie, which he declared one of the best he has had, as he gulped it down greedily. Banana, mango, almonds, dates, chocolate protein powder and almond milk. Tasty and healthy, a great combination.
Looking for more chewing than sipping, Diana and I ordered a couple of their open-faced toasts.
The Winter Toast is prepared with housemade beet hummus & fig jam with herb roasted carrots & onion, topped with arugula, blue cheese, walnuts & spicy honey. It was well conceived with plenty of levels to its flavour profile. I liked the heat and sweet of the chili drizzle, but just wished there was more blue cheese and walnuts to go with it. A similar contrasting flavour profile came from the jammy-ness of the figs and the pepperiness of the fresh arugula. I definitely smeared and cleared the plate of its sauces with this one.
Diana had the Salmon Toast with smoked sockeye, pickled onion, sprouts, tzatziki, and a herb vinaigrette. The salmon ate lean, not overpowering any of the vegetables. I would have like some more cream cheese to play off the popular pairing, but as is it ate clean and healthy, offering a nice start.
And with that, that was the end of our time in Penticton, we would leave the city sooner than later, trying to not get too caught up in the blocked off roads and the extra traffic from the before mentioned extravagant bike race. More on driving through that available in my review of the 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid that we drove there in and back. Stay tuned.