Primal-ish On the Sunshine Coast

September 15, 2011


This past weekend was my first time on the Sunshine Coast! It’s a 40 min. ferry ride from West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay to Langdale). It was a great way to take advantage of the awesome weather.  The day revolved around two of my favourite things: food and beaches :)



I ate breakfast at home, to avoid the overpriced, lackluster ferry food. Visitors, sorry to burst your bubble. Locals, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.


It was a little trickier to hunt down tasty primal grub than I had hoped – a couple of places I had scouted out online had shut down (I guess that’s not uncommon for an area that relies heavily on tourism). But we did find a couple of gems. There was a tiny but swanky kiosk right at the pier in Gibsons Landing. It’s appropriately named “The Shed,” and has a Mexican inspired menu.

80% of our menu is certified organic at any given time and we strive to use fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. The large majority of our ingredients and supplies are sourced locally in the Gibsons area without the use of a vehicle.

Side note: I’m picky about my seafood (there’s no such thing as “organic” seafood – you can’t control what and where it eats). But I do try to get my Omega 3’s,  mostly by sticking to herring, sardines, mackerel, and wild Alaskan salmon. Meaning, not much seafood for me on these excursions.

My friend, however, devoured a halibut taco and said it was the best he’s ever had. The halibut was battered, but they did have some primal-ish options on the menu if you skip the shell, like the coconut battered shrimp burrito. I’ve also read that they sometimes have organic buffalo – their menu changes frequently, so I’d recommending stopping by.



For lunch, I was very excited to try the Gumboot Restaurant in Roberts Creek, as I had heard good things about it. Ooops! I should’ve done my homework – it’s heavily geared towards vegans and vegetarians!  Grains and tofu galore. They did have burgers, but by the time I got to that section of the menu, I had kinda lost interest, especially at $16. The café next door had a few gluten-free treats, which was kind of a recurring theme on the Sunshine Coast. They didn’t look overly appetizing, but I was hungry, so I opted for a “coconut dream” which resembled a macaroon. Bah. $3.50 for what tasted like dry, coconut-flavoured oatmeal… As an aside, I really shouldn’t be putting things in my mouth just because they’re “gluten-free”, since gluten is only one of many no-no’s. Perhaps more importantly, being primal and all, I should know better than to forage for food at a vegetarian/vegan spot. My primal instincts failed me…

We were pretty hungry by that point, and decided we’d just pick something up at the IGA deli which advertised a selection of natural and organic deli items. Strike 2. At the deli counter, right by the large sticker that said to ask them about their natural products, the lady looked at me strangely and appeared confused. I was then told that their entire selection consisted of  3 types of natural deli meats. Pass.

On to Plan C. We grabbed a roasted chicken (not natural, you do what you can…) and headed for the beach at Davis Bay. BTW, since when are wasps carnivorous? This is the 2nd time in a month that I’ve been swarmed by wasps while eating meat… (Google just informed me that adult wasps bring meat – typically other insects – back to the nest to feed young larval wasps! Noted.)



Dinner was a hit. We ate at Smitty’s Oyster House, back in Gibsons Landing. It’s got a sweet location right by the boats/docks, next to the pier. We ate at a long wooden communal table – I wish more restaurants had these! It’s a win-win: they fit more guests, and the guests get to interact and have a more lively dinner. As for the food, ordering paleo/primal is never simple. Except this time it was.

8oz Flat Iron Steak Grilled and Sliced, Served Atop a Tower of Hand-Cut Sweet Potato Frites with Balsamic Reduction and Topped with Truffle Compound Butter

I know, I know – yam fries are not exactly primal (vegetable oils, possible gluten contamination…). I’ll be the first to admit that yam fries are my weakness. I mean, they’re yams! Sigh. I’m working on it….


Dinner was delicious and the presentation rocked. My friend enjoyed his burger special (with bacon, truffle compound butter, and homemade ketchup and mustard), and fried oysters.


As for the wine, we went with the server’s recommendation: JoieFarm’s A Noble Blend 2010.

Aromatic and spicy it combines Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Auxerrois, some of the first vinifera to be planted in the Okanagan Valley.

I typically prefer sweet whites, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Don’t be scared off if that’s not your usual preference – a few other parties at the table were loving it as well.

Overall, a fantastic day capped off with the perfect coastal meal.

Smitty's Oyster House on Urbanspoon
The Shed on Urbanspoon

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