Bertha’s Isla Mujeres

May26

IMG_0077

Bertha’s is owned by the same  family that has Rooster and is equally fine. When we started out we had a little difficulty being understood bu the Italian server.

bertha1

Then Enrico came along and his English is exceptional and he made us feel right at home (even though we were the only table in the restaurant).

bertha2

Sister # 2 chose camarone (shrimp) on seafood rice

bertha5

and my bro-in-law a chicken with an unusual pasta presentation.

bertha4

They shared a grill vegetable salad. D and I followed suit and we were delighted with the taste and presentation.

bertha3

Another friend was gutsy and selected the whole octopus. He LOVED it!

bertha6

We rarely order dessert at an Isla restaurant because the entrée portions are typically huge. But on this night, six of us shared an order of churros with dipping sauces which we all enjoyed immensely.

Kath’s quote: “With the exception of octopus, I don’t think I’ve met any food that I didn’t like. And by the way, sometimes I do like octopus. I’m just not crazy about it by itself. I love sea urchin. I love uni. If I’m going to die of anything, it’s going to be gluttony”. -Justin Timberlake

tenticle heart

Love never fails.

 

 

Please share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyEmail this to someone

Amar Peruvian Restaurant-Isla Mujeres

May25

amar1

The Amar Peruvian Restaurant on Isla Mujeres was very obliging when they said that they could accommodate our large group on a Sunday evening. The place had a nice vibe and was comfortably appointed.

amar2

When we arrived the place was not terribly busy but by the time we ordered, every table was occupied. This caused extensive delays and our dishes came out of the kitchen one at a time. In fact one dish ordered by the Frenchman, never came out of the kitchen at all!

amar3

amar4

Niece Dani ordered the vegetarian ceviche and the quinoa salad to share with the folks at her end of the table. She especially enjoyed the citrusy dressing of the latter and made note of the variety of textures and crunchiness.

amar6

She thought that her main of shredded chicken was one of the best meals she had eaten on the island.

amar8

Sister #2 selected the crispy chicken but thought that they over did the soy sauce in both the chicken and the fried rice.

amar7

My Bro-in Law also had a chicken dish and his portion was three times the size of his wife’s.

amar9

Many enjoyed the fish of the day with garlic sauce.

amar5

D and I asked our server to suggest the most “Peruvian” item on the menu. He suggested the tapas of three ceviches. We loved all three but particularly the crispy version which had been coated in panko flakes and fried.

amar10

For our main we shared a bowl of seafood paella which was very hot (temperature not spiciness) and was chock full of seafood especially calamari rings. The taste of saffron which is characteristic of the dish was not apparent. I would also say that it did not have that paella pan taste of haven been lovingly turned over throughout the day.

Service was very apologetic about the long delays. They tried to make amends with caramel and passion fruit panna cottas. D and I quite enjoyed our choices but the table got pretty grumpy because of the trouble in the kitchen. With so many fabulous choices on the island, I am not sure that we twill try Amar again.

Kath’s quote: “The 3 basic ingredients are rice, saffron and olive oil, with seafood, chicken, vegetables and a wide variety of other ingredients that may also be included (pork, rabbit, duck, etc.). Paella originated in the Valencia region, traditionally cooked outdoors and eaten right from the pan”. Food Reference

484

Love never fails.

 

Please share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyEmail this to someone

Diner’s Grill

May23

In North American a diner is typically a small roadside restaurant with a long counter and booths. The Diner’s Grill (405 Turenne St.) has neither a long counter nor booths but it does serve up authentic diner-style, from scratch, comfort food and it does so very, very well.

Located in the middle of the St. Boniface Industrial area, it took Siri to help us successfully navigate to the spot. Since my daughter-in-law and I had a three year old and a one year old with us, our server (who I assumed was Josh, one of the owners) immediately gave us a children’s menu to order for the little ones.

IMG_0938

Delightfully wholesome selections like a grilled cheese sandwich (with Bothwell cheddar no less) and a hearty chicken noodle soup arrived soon thereafter.

IMG_0944

The former was ooey and gooey with crispy edges, just as it should be and the latter was full of chicken, herbs and rotini noodles.

IMG_0934

Even the child’s portion was more than generous and fed both little ones with left overs.

My DIL chose the Reuben with a side of fries and I the crispy chicken sandwich with a side of jalapeño corn chowder.

IMG_0940

Oh my goodness, the Reuben was absolutely amazing. For one it was enormous and even though we were splitting it, my DIL brought ¼ of it home. It had the standard corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut but it was the from scratch remoulade sauce. Don’t confuse their French remoulade sauce with the Creole remoulade sauce that is popular in Louisiana. Creole style remoulade sauce is red and usually quite spicy. French style remoulade sauce is milder and can be somewhat tart from the capers and pickles that might be added. It offset the rest of the sandwich ingredients perfectly. Beware though; it was so juicy it would have run down our arms if we hadn’t utilized a stack of napkins to sop up the excess. I have always been a fan of Reuben sandwiches and from now on, I will always compare them to the Diner’s Grill perfect sandwich. The French fries were a bit overcooked but we kept picking at them anyway. The youngest would dip them in ketchup, lick off the ketchup and then dip them again.

IMG_0939

The crispy chicken sandwich that I shared was stellar: generous, perfectly cooked and crispy as promised. It was topped with apple cider vinegar cole slaw on a pretzel bun. So too, the jalapeño corn chowder that we loved but also could not finish.

If you have a big appetite and aren’t concerned about your waistline, you will love this authentic place. Here’s a scoop: they are opening another restaurant called The Tipsy Cow on Portage Ave. this summer.

The Diner’s Grill is owned by Joshua Mesojednik and Yang Meng. They are open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and also have Dessert, Kids’ and Take Out Menus available. Their hours are Mon – Thurs: 7am – 3pm, Friday: 6:30am – 8pm, Saturday: 8am – 3pm, Sunday & Holiday Weekends: Closed. They are wheelchair accessible.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Kath’s quote: “According to Omaha lore, the combination of rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut had been dreamed up in 1925 to feed participants in a late-night poker game at the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Omaha by a local grocer, Reuben Kulakofsky. Charles Schimmel, the hotel’s owner, was so taken with the sandwich that he put it on the hotel restaurant menu, designated by its inventor’s name. Fern Snider, a one-time waitress at the Blackstone, entered the Reuben in a national sandwich competition in 1956; her entry won–hence one of the earliest pieces of documentation for the name of the sandwich, an OED cite from 1956 from the food services journal “Institutions“. -Jim Rader

0e24fa3e0e9dfd7e2aafda5cabd7574a

Love never fails.

Please share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyEmail this to someone

Mediteranean Fund-Raising Dinner at Mon Ami Louis

May16

monami2

People find it increasingly difficult to find a unique way to fund-raise these days. Friends of ours came up with a brilliant idea but you would have to have access to an iconic restaurant and the talents of chefs to pull it off yourself. Our young friend is off to Greece this summer with an organization who works with fleeing immigrants by providing them assistance with their transition and some comfort as the process takes place.

Her boyfriend happens to be on Chef Luc Jean’s team at Mon Ami Louis. The latter graciously made his restaurant available in order to make the event a reality.

monami4

In keeping with the Greek destination the evening’s theme was a Mediterranean one, commencing with a Greek Salad featuring premise-marinated olives that had been warmed to allow the full pungency of the olive to be experienced when tasted. I also detected some orange zest which I appreciated because I sometimes find the traditional recipe of olive oil and lemon juice too tart.

monami6

Even when the salad was tossed around, the effect was beautiful. Mixing the salad allowed you to spear an olive, some feta and one of the veggies with each and every bite.

monami5

Sister #3 who stepped in as Sous Chef always teases me that my life is a journey of searching for that perfect bite.

monami7

The main course was a delectably stuffed Moroccan Chicken that the team managed to keep perfectly moist. The accompanying carrots and rice were topped with a cool dill sauce to offset the subtle spicy tastes of Moroccan spice. I did not see any plate retrieved by the volunteer staff that still had food on it. Everyone consumed every last bite. A sign of a meal well loved.

monami8

Dessert was an espresso panna cotta (Italian cooked cream) with a raspberry coulis. The refreshingly thin fruit sauce complimented the rich panna cotta beautifully.

monami1

In short, the meal was perfect but so too was the company and the setting. All this and creating a little bit of assistance to our lovely friend who is Greece bound.

Kath’s quote: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give”.

 063

Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Please share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyEmail this to someone

Sardinia Smile – Isla Mujeres 2017

May15

tuscany3-2-32-390x259

D and I arrived before the time of our reservation because we were so darned excited for the evening to commence. Plans had been made the year prior and that’s a long time to anticipate an evening. We met these precious Australians in person by “accident” in Tuscany in the Fall of 2015. Read the whole story here: http://foodmusings.ca/italy/tuscany-trip-report-day-3-part-2/

dani9-390x260

In the time in between their son became engaged to our niece and planned a destination wedding on Isla Mujeres; which was another beautiful story: http://foodmusings.ca/food-celebrations/anywhere-in-the-world-he-chose-our-beach/.

sardiniansmiles2

The first time D and I dined at Sardinia Smile on Isla Mujeres, the evening was so delicious that we sat back and reminisced about our time in Tuscany, and then we remembered that we would be together with G & H when the wedding took place. We sent them a FB message asking them to dinner at Sardinia Smile a year  in advance!

The evening had finally arrived. D was grateful that we were early so that he could study the wine list in advance and make a couple of Merlot selections for the evening. As guests started arriving and we had an opportunity to spend some extra time when G & H and their lovely friends G & A and B & K, the evening just flew by, so it was a good thing that we had the opportunity to gather our thoughts at the beginning.

sardina3

This was exactly how I predicted the time would be when we finally were reunited.

sardina2

We started with bruschetta and octopus ceviche and whatever else was ordered by the table which included Sister #2 (the Mother of the Bride), my wonderful brother-in-law and old friends of theirs.

sardina4

Once entrees came along it was considerably later in the evening and the lighting was not opportune for food photos. This was the shrimp ravioli that D enjoyed.

sardina7

H chose the spinach ricotta ravioli and loved it as did I with the fruita de mare fettucine.

sardina8

The best choice of the evening was made by G who decided upon this simple mushroom ravioli with truffle sauce. In deed we were all enthralled with our selections, the wine an our time together. I felt badly when I heard that dinners at the other end of the table were less than stellar. Perhaps our anticipation of the evening made everything taste that much better.

sardina10

Mini desserts ensured that the time would be remembered as sweet and delicious.

Since that evening we have been planning and dreaming about another traveling adventure. We intend to meet up with G & H, their family an their delightful friends B & K in Melbourne. How soon this will occur? No one can predict, but when it does, I know the time will one again be sweeter than honey.

Kath’s quote: There isn’t any questioning the fact that some people enter your life, at the exact point of need, want or desire – it’s sometimes a coincendence and most times fate, but whatever it is, I am certain it came to make me smile.” ― Nikki Rowe

sardina9

Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyEmail this to someone
« Older Entries