This past weekend I made a trip to my second home – Victoria, BC – to celebrate my birthday. If that sounds familiar, it might be because I did the same thing last year. What can I say, my birthday is a great excuse to go visit my friends I left behind on the island. And who couldn’t use an island getaway in the middle of summer?
This time though, I made plans with a friend I had yet to meet in real life!
If someone could tell me how I managed to make my face look flush with my neck in this photo, that would be great. Because I need to avoid that for the rest of my existence.
In case you didn’t recognize her, that would be the one and only Kelsey from Snacking Squirrel (not to be confused with another blogger named Kelsey I met up with in Victoria awhile back). I knew I had some free time while I was in Victoria, so I asked Kelsey if she would like to meet up for lunch. I let her choose our dining location, since she’s a little more in the know on the happenings in the YYJ. When she suggested AJ’s Organic Cafe, I took one look at their website and was sold.
AJ’s is located in the gorgeous new Atrium building on Blanshard St. between Yates and Johnson Streets. It’s so open and airy, with that great modern west coast architecture. Love the way the light casts such a warm glow on everything inside. Very welcoming.
The building is also host to a variety of other foodie destinations, such as Habit Coffee, Pig BBQ Joint, Zambri’s, and Cook Culture. I would say it is basically the perfect location for a food blogger meet up, don’t you think?
AJ’s Organic Cafe is located right in the centre of the Atrium. A modest space with tons of natural light and inviting decor.
Food blogger at work!
Living wall – yes, those are all real live plants. Beautiful.
Hours of Deliciousness – this made me giggle.
Their menu features local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, changing with what’s in season. Instead of producing paper menus, they project the daily menu on to the wall. Such a clever way to deal with an ever changing menu.
After some intense deliberations, we each selected a wrap for lunch.
While Kelsey went with the Turkey Gobble Wrap (free-run, non-medicated shaved turkey breast with garlic chive cheese, shredded carrots, peppers, zucchini, tomato, mayo, mustard, and lettuce), I decided to try out the special wrap of the day – the Turkey Pear Wrap.
Turkey Pear Wrap – fresh, island raised, hormone free smoked turkey breast all wrapped up with crisp organic lettuce, sweet pear, white cheddar, and house made organic fig mayo.
I’ll admit, it was the fig mayo that intrigued me the most. I would say that the fig was subtle, but present. Loved the smoked turkey with the sweet pear and cheddar – a nice salty sweet combination. And the perfect size for a light lunch.
Kelsey even made me this jewel-studded birthday card. Love it!
Which was a really good idea, because when the waitress came around to take our plates, she noticed the card, and before we knew it she had returned with this:
One of their drool-worthy carrot cakes, topped with cream cheese frosting, candied orange peel, and walnuts.
Even better – she brought two forks so we could share. Which is good, because I couldn’t very well sit there and mow down on a cupcake while Kelsey just watched. And it was her card that got us the cake in the first place.
It was such a delightful, laid back afternoon. We probably spent a good 2 hours in the cafe chatting away, like only two food bloggers with ties to Victoria can. We’ll definitely have to meet up again next time I find myself in Victoria – I’m sure there are more little gems like AJ’s to explore! Thanks for helping make my birthday special Kelsey!
Make sure you go and check out Kelsey’s recap on our lunch date – she has a ton of great photos, including a much better photo of the two of us.