Siku girl dines out… in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

You might think when you’re in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, on Victoria Island, in a community whose population now stands at only about 1,900, that you wouldn’t have a big choice of dining possibilities, but you do.

In fact, your options do run from the typical fast food to bistro fare.

And, depending on your mood they’re all alright, but there’s something similar about them: no alcohol is served—and that’s despite the new cannabis laws that mean some clients are likely to be found smoking weed right outside.

As I stay further away from the Kuugaq Café from other restaurants in town, that’s where I tend to go more when I have time. That’s because the meal also comes along with a good walk. Inside the café, I find an open kitchen, along with a choice of seating options in the large room (wooden tables, bistro tables for two and sofas and chairs.)

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A menu of daily specials is on the blackboard. A typical lunch features Arctic char soup, muskox chilli, muskox burgers, roasted caribou panini, some pulled pork combos and a bowl with roasted cauliflower, squash, lime, avocado and quinoa.

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I opt for the muskox chilli which fills me up for the rest of the day.

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I also end up at the Kuugaq Café for a pre-Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham, roasted vegetable and mashed potatoes. Wonderful.

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I love the muskox burger always.

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When someone wants to meet me, or I have an interview to schedule, we meet at the Kuugaq Café because it’s quiet, as well. It’s like an extension of my living room or office (if I had one in Cambridge Bay.) To me, anyway,  as well, the prices also seem reasonable compared to most restaurants in Iqaluit which often leave you feeling poor.

Launched in February 2017, the café, owned by Stuart Rostant and Amanda Doiron, is thriving. It’s closed Monday, but open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Weds., from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thurs. and Friday and weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I am never alone there, either: you always find a nice cross-section of the population, from young, pregnant mothers to RCMP officers to high school students and entire families, Inuit and non-Inuit.

Second on my eating list in Cambridge Bay would be the locally-owned Saxifrage which makes a big effort to have its food look appealing. It’s got an Edmonton sports-bar appeal, and if I wanted to watch sports or eat good food close to town, that’s where I’d head.

You can also get homestyle takeout from the Qillaq Lodge (think meatloaf, roasted potatoes, peas, salad and dessert) and fill-you-up fare from the Arctic Lodge or you can head to the Quick stop with its pizza, chips and burgers.

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Like an iceberg: reprise

Did you miss my Like an iceberg series on being a journalist in the Arctic during the 1990s?

It’s been five years since I started this Date with Siku girl blog, and I’m sure many have no idea this series which I wrapped up in the spring of 2013 exists.

In Like an iceberg, I talk about an exorcism, brain surgery with a hand drill, robins in Iqaluit and a visit to the High Arctic’s fossil forest — as well as some big issues like censorship of the press, sexual abuse and violence.

There are also many photos you won’t see anywhere else…

So, here are all the links — and relive those times with me.

Like an iceberg: on being a journalist in the Arctic

Like an iceberg, 1991…cont.

Like an iceberg, 1991…more

Like an iceberg, 1992, “Shots in the dark” 

Like an iceberg, 1992, “Sad stories”

Like an iceberg, 1993, “Learning the language of the snows”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., “Spring”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., “Chesterfield Inlet”

Like an iceberg, 1993 cont., more “Chesterfield Inlet”

Like an iceberg, 1994: “Seals and more”

Like an iceberg, 1994, cont., “No news is good news”

Like an iceberg, 1994 cont., more “No news is good news”

Like an iceberg, 1994 cont., “A place with four names”

Like an iceberg, 1995, “More sad stories”

Like an iceberg, 1995 cont., “No place like Nome”

Like an iceberg, 1995 cont., “Greenland”

Like an iceberg, 1995, cont. “Secrets”

Like an iceberg, 1996, “Hard Lessons”

Like an iceberg, 1996 cont., “Working together”

Like an iceberg, 1996 cont., “At the edge of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1996, more “At the edge of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1996, cont. “Choices” 

Like an iceberg, 1997, “Qaggiq”

Like an iceberg, 1997, more “Qaggiq”

Like an iceberg, 1997, “Qaggiq” cont.

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Qaggiq and hockey”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Brain surgery in POV”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont.: “Masks on an island”

Like an iceberg, 1997 cont., “Abusers on the pulpit”

Like an iceberg, 1998, “Bearing gifts”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “At the top of the world”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “A bad week” 

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont.: more from “A bad week”

Like an iceberg, 1998 cont., “Memories”

Like an iceberg, 1999, “The avalanche”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “An exorcism, followed by a penis cutting”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., more on “the Avalanche”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Robins in the Arctic”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Fossil hunting”

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont., “Where forests grew” 

Like an iceberg, 1999 cont.,”And then there was Nunavut”