Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: Charlie Don't Surf (White Rock, BC)

The sun has been glorious as of late.

We've been having cocktails on the patio, the plants have been happy, and last weekend, we did some driving and relaxed out in White Rock.

It was a good outing - we did some antiquing along the way, found some bargain bin deals (printer cable for under $2!) and strolled along the pier and boardwalk.

The first stop we wanted to make was The Boathouse, but since they were pretty lukewarm about wanting our money, we took off down the street to Charlie Don't Surf for some grub.

We were promptly seated on the patio after the hostess served another patron (she greeted us and asked us kindly to wait 30 seconds on the red couch / kings throne while she did so).

We started with a pair of cocktails - M ordered his standard caesar (it came with two pickled green beans), while I ordered the Charlie Martini. The caesar was tasty, but small. The Charlie Martini was nothing too special, but it was a nice clean drink to go with the deep-fried seafood that we were about to order!

Charlie Don't Surf Restaurant in White Rock BC: Tasty Caesar for M, a Charlie Martini for me. The drinks were strong, my friends. Perfect for the patio!

A sidenote - my martini was served unstrained. I'm no martini expert, but something tells me that the strainer on the martini shaker is supposed to remove thise ice. I didn't mind it as it was a full-strengthed Grey Goose concoction...but I'm just saying...

We ordered calamari to share. Initially, we were thinking of *only* ordering fish and chips, but added on the calamari as we were sitting near a sign that boasted calamari as a "must order" dish at Charlie Don't Surf.

Calamari appetizer at Charlie Don't Surf, White Rock, BC.

As we later noted, the calamari was at the bottom of the list - it was crispy and not too greasy, and there was a good tzatziki with it, but there was simply too much batter. The batter fell off every time you tried to spear a piece of calamari, and also fell off inside the small container of tzatziki provided. I wouldn't say it was disappointing as it was a good size, but I'd change up the batter a bit so that it didn't crumble everywhere.

Finally, our fish and chips came - the kitchen had the foresight to separate them onto two different plates since we were sharing, which was nice. M whispered that because they separated them, we had twice the tartar sauce! lol - he makes me laugh.

Half portion of fish & chips at Charlie Don't Surf in White Rock, BC.

The chips were nothing too special. The fish was nicely done though - flakey, tender, crisp and not greasey. Service was great as well - our server was available when we needed her, and came by to check on us a couple times.

I was telling M how "Charlie" reminds me of: a) my brother, or b) Charlie Sheen, in his current role as "Uncle Charlie" on the sitcom "Two and a Half Men". With that in mind, this was nice patio / pub grub with an emphasis on alcohol and sun!

I'd come back to Charlie Don't Surf for more of their food, especially with good company and to enjoy some sun.

Note: the brother is *not* an alcoholic womanizing bachelor like Uncle Charlie, but he *does* appreciate a good fish & chips!

Charlie Don't Surf

15782 Marine Drive [map]

White Rock BC

Phone: (604) 538-1988

Charlie Don't Surf on Urbanspoon

Boathouse on Urbanspoon


  1. That "must order" calamari looks totally seductive....

  2. Hi Jessica and Mark,
    Nice post on Charlie don't Surf, definitely a local White Rock favourite. Hey, if you're interested in another White Rock restaurant that is actually a true ORIGINAL 50's diner serving awesome food, check out Five Corners Café; I'm sure they'd love to have you review them. (Sherman's beat you to it, however.. lol)
    This place was opened in 1948 and still has some of the original design, decor and equipment; it's run by 3 great local gals and has lineups most of the time with locals and visitors to White Rock alike. Here's a couple of links - feel free to "like" the place.. :)
    Urbanspoon – 69 Voted – 94% “Like”
    Facebook – over 500 “likes, or previously, Fans”

  3. Not doubt charlie can't surf... He also can't run a service based restaurant either. While his hiring practices are "a la Cactus Club" he forgot to check to see if his team knows how to listen and be polite. Ooops... guess that doesn't matter to Charlie. Don't let the location fool you, the service is as bad as Charlie's ability to surf. Stay away.


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