Yesterday I had the chance to relive some memories from my youth.
No, not those memories of my 2 year old beer-swilling self.
This one involved a meal from one of my favourite BC restaurants – White Spot. Search my blog and you’ll see how much I enjoy their delectable Triple-O sauce covered burgers. It’s a sick addiction. I’m okay with it.
But it wasn’t just about those delicious burgers and fries yesterday. Wednesday, August 17th was Pirate Pak Day! If you grew up in BC, I guarantee you have fond memories of the good ol’ Pirate Pak.
This is where some old school photos of my Pirate Pak ship collection would have been awesome. Too bad I can’t find any.
I’m sure those of you not familiar with this BC institution are thinking “WTF is this Pirate Pak thing?” Don’t worry – I’ll explain. The Pirate Pak is White Spot’s kid meal – you get your main, side, drink, dessert, and chocolate coin all served to you in a cardboard pirate ship. Which is pretty freakin’ awesome when you are 10 or younger. And sucks when you turn 11 and can’t order them anymore.
But those brilliant marketers at White Spot came up with a solution for those of us getting on in age, just wanting to feel like a kid again, and have done so to support a good cause as well. Pirate Pak Day (now in its 4th year – how have I missed the past 3?!) is the one day a year where us adults can indulge in our own adult-sized Pirate Pak, with $2 from each Pirate Pak sold going to Zajac Ranch, a “longtime B.C. charity dedicated to giving children with life threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities an unforgettable summer camp experience.” They have raised more than $105,000 over the past 3 years – obviously, us BC’ers love our burgers served in cardboard boats 😉
Since I was working over the dinner hour, I decided to order my Pirate Pak for take out for lunch (which is fabulously easy, as you can order take out online from White Spot). The adult Pirate Paks offered your choice of burger – legendary, bacon cheddar, chicken, or veggie – with fries, coleslaw, drink, ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry), and yes, even the gold coin. I decided to get the chicken burger, opting for the multigrain bun to satisfy my grown up taste buds.
When I went to pick up my Pirate Pak, I was a little dismayed to see it wasn’t presented to me in the boat. In fact, the girl at the take-out counter asked me if I wanted the boat. Um…duh? You can’t very well have a Pirate Pak without the freakin’ pirate ship, now can you?
So I brought home my lunch and flat, unassembled ship, found a nice spot out on the back deck, and put together this flashback to my youth while my mom watched on and laughed at me.
Sienna was unimpressed that I didn’t get her one.
Turns out that an adult sized meal doesn’t quite fit as well into the ship as I remember my kid’s meals doing. But I made it work.
Key to the authenticity of the Pirate Pak is placing your drink straw in the mast.
That’s one crowded pirate ship!
I chose the vanilla ice cream, and was pleasantly surprised with the quality.
And yes, there was buried treasure. Aye Matey!
You better believe I totally ate my meal straight outta that cardboard boat. And that I still have the boat sitting on the kitchen counter. You never just threw away the ship – you saved them and created a whole fleet to proudly display on your bedroom windowsill. I have a feeling my mom wouldn’t be impressed if I started that again.
My parents actually went and got their own adult Pirate Paks for dinner (although they skipped out on getting the ship). They said it was so busy it took them over an hour to get their dinner – and that was just for take-out! Glad I had mine for lunch. Oh, and in case you are wondering, they raised $46,714 this year!
I’m already marking my calendar for next year’s Pirate Pak day!
If you grew up in BC, do you have fond memories of the Pirate Pak? Or if you didn’t – do you have a childhood restaurant favourite that you wish you could enjoy again?
PS – I took a look at the current offerings for the kid’s Pirate Pak meals, and I was impressed to see that White Spot now offers an array of mostly healthy sides other than just fries. They have mashed potatoes and gravy, grapes, veggies and dip, steamed broccoli or carrots, or a mini salad or caesar salad. You can also forgo the pop and get 1% milk or juice as your drink. Great to see them giving families a variety of choices to meet their kids’ health and taste needs.