Here’s how good the grilled sandwiches are at *Farm Gate Store, a little place along a country road on Mayne Island, one of B.C.’s southern Gulf Islands. While delivering the sandwiches to our shaded picnic table, our server slips and drops them onto some construction dirt. She sheepishly heads back inside to make them afresh. Me? I would have just wiped them off and dug in.
What makes these meat or veggie sandwiches ($7 apiece) so delectable? Layers of ham, melted Havarti, truly ripe tomatoes and wilted eggplant, all loaded onto Seeded Hearth bread, from Victoria’s Portofino Bakery. The clincher is a sauce of caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar and cream cheese, bringing everything moistly together. A similarly moist, dense carrot and coconut muffin, in a rectangular shape, finishes off our scrumptious lunch.
Farm Gate’s logo sums things up: “Local people supporting local agriculture.” The place is indeed a hangout, islanders chatting amongst themselves and with owners Don and Shanti while picking up plump berries, bunches of basil and organic lamb and chicken, nearly all of it from nearby farms. The farm, too, is where Shanti grows and cuts flowers for stunning bouquets that sell for only $11.
This is what a country store should be: local, friendly, exceptional.
Farm Gate Store
568 Fernhill Road, Mayne Island, B.C.
Daily 10 am-6 pm, except 10 am-5 pm Sunday