We stand outside of the doors to Real Food. It’s a choice location for a lunchtime eatery in the heart of Nanaimo’s Heritage Mews.
The interior is bright and spacious. Bold blues and greens adorn the walls with roomy booths lining the far wall. The art is a series of food paintings done in the style of post-modern tuscan vegetable market, which I quite like. The bright green menus are (criminally) fonted in comic sans, normally a cardinal sin for anything other than a preschool, but I’m hungry so we push on.
Real Food boasts “Real food for the same prices as fast food…”
Soup and a sandwich at Real Food will cost you $10.50. Tax, tip and a $3.00 cup of self-serve coffee and we’re over $30.00 for a deuce. I can go to Wendy’s (the most expensive of the fast food chains) and feed the entire family for about $20.00, so their “fast food prices” are off the mark.
But this is a quality joint and I don’t mind paying a bit more for good food. The pulled pork sandwich seems like it would go real well with the tomato soup. Due to an earlier mishap, there’s only enough left for one of us. I make the chivalrous gesture and opt for a side of slaw.
While we sip on our $3.00 coffee the music cycles through classical, reggae and Frank Sinatra. The owner is pacing nervously around the space and I wonder if she’s onto us. When the food arrives, there are two words that immediately come to mind – portion control. Taste-wise, it’s not bad, not really, but it’s not memorable. The texture reminded me of canned salmon, the taste didn’t remind me of anything.
I spend the rest of our lunch wishing I had another sandwich, but I’m not willing to cough up another $7.50 to get one so I absently pick spelling errors out of the menu.
For a lunchtime eatery, Real Food wasn’t bad, but I just don’t think it warrants the $15+ price tag. Not when there are other delicious choices with bigger portions and/or lower prices.
Food or Fail rating: Fail