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August 14, 2010
Rodney and the Pirates

We were delighted yesterday when Wilcox Group, the public relations representatives for White Spot Restaurants, dropped off samples of their Pirate Pak for Adults.

Bless their hearts, what a great idea it was of White Spot's to support a children's charity, while at the same time, making every former BC kid's dream come true -- permission to purchase a kids only Pirate Pak hamburger meal without being made to walk the plank afterwards.

The presentation was just as we remembered it: cardboard ship, drinking straw mast, hamburger and fries riding cargo in the hull, cold slaw fore, ice cream aft ... and ultimate treasure, a gold foil-wrapped chocolate doubloon slotted into the poopdeck. As a follower on Twitter suggested, a little flask of Captain Morgan rum in a rowboat would have been nice too, but yo ho ho, you can't have everything.

It was all perfectly charming, but also, unfortunately, one of those culinary "you can't go home again" experiences.

Thanks to our now grown up and epicurean tastes (read spoiled and jaded), the burger in particular was nothing like the nostalgic treat of childhood memory. To be honest, it was stuck in the doldrums -- pretty bland tasting, or as a pirate might say "lily-livered".

Apologies here to the lovely ladies at Wilcox. We don't suppose having the product criticized is what your company Pres has in mind when she extols the advantages of social media marketing. However, that's the way the winds were a blowin'. And the condiments provided, little squirt packs of mustard and ketchup, didn't look armed to save the situation.

On the other hand, the occasion did provide an excellent excuse to pop the lid off a new jar of pickles bought at RauDZ restaurant in Kelowna just the week before. Chef Rodney Butters sells homemade canned goods under his RJB label, and his "Simply The Best Pickles"*, a sweet and savoury combo of organic cucumbers, onions, peppers, spices, wine vinegar, etc., was begging to be challenged.

Could it play the Douglas Fairbanks' role and swing in from the yardarm, cutless between the teeth, to rescue the day?

We slapped some under the bun to find out ... and Ahoy, Matey! The briny, sweet pickle conquered the job and afterwards it was brisk sailing all the way. Now THAT friends, was a burger for adults.

But don't let our yarn put you off course. White Spot, as part of their Treasure Chest Fund, will be making the Pirate Paks available to all non-commissioned kids (on August 18th only) at all B.C. White Spot locations. Three variations: Legendary Burger ($9.99), B.C. Chicken Burger (11.99) and Veggie Burger ($10.49).

Two dollars from every Pak will be donated to the Zajac Ranch for Children. Take your hearty crew along and buy some meals to support the good work of the Ranch. Even though you won't be able to wash it down with some organic craft brewed grog, you probably can plan to smuggle in your own stash of grub enhancer.

*Simply the Best Pickles are available at RauDZ restaurant and selected retail food boutiques in B.C. $10/ 8 oz jar.

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Copyright Cityfood Magazine 2009