Going Off the Comfort Food Deep End at ‘Ruth & Dean’


by Andrew Morrison | One of my favourite food experiences in Vancouver is Dock Lunch off Main Street. No matter what’s on the menu I’m always guaranteed a good, honest, exceptionally well-prepared meal that I will talk about for days to anyone who will listen. A lot of the awesomeness  within the little soul food restaurant is bound up in its chef/proprietor, Elizabeth Bryan, who likely needs no further introduction since a majority of our readers are Vancouverites well-versed in things that taste really good. But did you know that she has a sister and that she owns and operates the diminutive Ruth & Dean in Victoria? True story. Susannah Ruth Bryan and her husband Robert Dean Smith opened their shop on Douglas St. (just off Yates) about two years ago. I’d been in before for treats, but yesterday afternoon was the first time I’d ever really sat down and gone to town on the small menu of comfort foods. There was a broccoli and asiago sandwich grilled to gooey next to a hearty cheeseburger soup loaded thick with cheddar and crispy croutons; perfectly baked green onion-specked biscuits weighed down and warmed up with properly seasoned sausage gravy (served with the same soup); and a beautifully presented ‘antebellum’ salad of iceberg chop, radish, tomato, cucumber, pepper bacon, apple and cornbread lit cooly with a buttermilk dressing. All of that might sound on the heavy side of dense, but everything had a light, deft, almost fine touch to it. Delicious, high quality stuff – all of it – and considering the $12 of each plate…an absolute steal. Put Ruth & Dean solidly in the ‘must try’ column on your next Victoria visit. Bonus: excellent cookies and cakes of legend.

lkhg – the antebellum salad – IMG_1295 – broccoli and asiago grilled cheese with cheeseburger soup – IMG_1299 – green onion buscuits and sausage gray – khgf – cheeseburger soup detail, because cheeseburger soup –

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