Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Sardinian Smile-Isla Mujeres

November24

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The biggest and most pleasant surprise while enjoying all the amazing food that Isla Mujeres has to offer was eating at Sardinian Smile Restaurant. We had walked past it on the south end of Hidalgo numerous times and rarely saw a full restaurant. This absolutely mystified us, as the food was nothing short of sensational, equal to the dinners we enjoyed while traveling through Tuscany!

On the evening we dined, delicious bruschetta arrived as one starter and then a basket of homemade bread served with olive and parmesan for dipping.

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Our first course was Octopus & Beef Carpaccio with truffle oil! I can imagine the taste right now…..

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Our pasta course was artichoke ravioli with tomatoes, lobster ravioli, mushroom ravioli and four cheese ravioli (the latter being the traditional Sardinian version). All these delectable packets had been pinched by hand.

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We can’t remember the name of this dish but it was as sensational as the rest of our meal.

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Dessert was absolutely not necessary, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

Sylvia the owner of Sardinian Smile was so passionate about the ingredients she brings over from Italy, the dishes they serve and food in general. We hit it off immediately and I would love to spend more time with her. Her staff, many of whom are her relations, share her passion and their service is warm and efficient.

We are planning a very special dinner at Sardinian Smile in 2017 when we are next on the island.

Kath’s quote: “Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts, but to cook well one must love and respect food”. –Craig Claiborne

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Love never fails.

2016 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Five

November23

It was an overcast morning and there was no sunrise. Friend Peggy that we had the pleasure of meeting at Luna D’Miel a previous year, knocked on our door and we invited her for breakfast.

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After a scrumptious breakfast, we went walking and shelling together.

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When I got home, D had moved us to an upstairs unit at Villas San Miguel for the rest of our stay. The suite had a smaller footprint but we loved the second floor balcony which overlooked the Caribe.

It was cloudy and slightly rainy so we stayed put that afternoon. D did venture out to get rib man ribs for future consumption. The rain continued and the streets were quite wet.

Dinner was at Muelle 7 (see link of our visit here) after a famous restaurant with the same name in Veracruz.

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We saw a partial sunset from the vicinity. We walked down Hidalgo and spotted the Jets game on at Nash’s. We stayed for one period and visited with Brother #3 & L. We enjoyed a glass of wine alone on our balcony and then slept that evening to the sound of the waves.

Kath’s quote: “The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping.”  ― Virginia Woolf

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Love never fails.

King + Bannatyne

November22

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Years ago when I worked in Winnipeg’s Exchange District we could lunch at the King’s Head Pub, or grab dim sum or a noodle bowl and that was about it. Recently, the area has been re-populated with exceptional restaurants and now all you have to do is head in that direction and you are certain to come across one. You will not have any problem remembering where King + Bannatyne is located because it is exactly where the name indicates.

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My lunch date and I intentionally decided to meet at 11:45 am before the rest of the lunch crowd arrived and it was a good thing that we did because we were fortunate to occupy one of the last open tables. There was counter service which means that all their staff can be busy with ensuring that you get your sandwich efficiently but it is still made to order. You can taste the freshness with your first and last bite.

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My gal pal raved about her River City Brisket sandwich. She said it was the perfect ratio of meat and fat and appreciated the tenderness as well as the bold taste from the spicy rub and house-made mustard. She was less enamoured with the potato leek soup but admitted it was because she makes her own decadent vichyssoise.

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Equally loving pork and cilantro, the Bann-Mi was an obvious choice for me. King + Bannatyne’s ode to a Vietnamese sub sandwich was chock full of just cut pork roast and spritely tastes of cilantro and cucumber. Even the bun was a testament to freshness. The potato salad that I choose as a side was an appropriate foil to the sandwich. Potatoes had been (I am guessing here) marinated in vinegar and then tossed in sour cream or perhaps a mix of sour cream and mayonnaise. The result was a salad where the lovely earthy taste of the potatoes held its own.

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Fear not if you are vegetarian as Chef Tyrone is always experimenting with versions of veggie sandwiches. On a second visit, I got to meet owner Mike Del Buono. The name was familiar and sure enough, I went to junior high school with his father!

King + Bannatyne is open Monday-Saturday from 11 am -8 pm. The have all day, take out and catering menus available. They are accessible to person with mobility issues but the restroom was not visited to check accessibility.

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.

King + Bannatyne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The potato, like man, was not meant to dwell alone.” -Shila Hibben

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Muelle 7 (Pier 7)-Isla Mujeres

November21

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We were delighted to be invited to taste the fabulous seafood offerings at Muelle 7 (Pier 7) in March 2016.

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We had visited previously for drinks and to watch the sunset but had never had the pleasure of dining.

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Our evening started with delicious just blended margaritas, mine was mango and D’s was lime

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and wonderfully silky guacamole.

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When this seafood platter arrived for us to share, we thought we had died and gone to seafood heaven! There was lobster, shrimp, squid, octopus and grouper. The seafood was so fresh and perfectly prepared with a light touch. The dinner was served with rice and tasty potato wedges. We had a little bit of lime drawn butter left over from seafood dipping and D poured it over the rice to ensure that we got to appreciate every morsel of the platter.

The setting of Muelle 7 just before Playa Sol on the bayside of the island is stunning. Service was warm, hospitable and efficient. We look forward to visiting again and again.

Kath’s quote: “You can put the greatest seafood restaurant next to an average steak house in an urban area, and that steak house will do more business than the seafood place. If you go to the water, you can put an average seafood place next to the greatest steak house, and people are going to eat seafood”. -Tilman J. Fertitta

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Love never fails.

2016 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Four

November18

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We sat with our coffees and watched the glorious sunrise and

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then headed down Hidalgo for a fabulous breakfast at Lola Valentina’s (see the link for full description and lots of photos) of stuffed poblano chilies and tres leche French toast.

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We spent the afternoon at the beach because we thought that it was likely Sister #3 and Dona’s last beach day.

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That evening was Fredy’s 20th anniversary and we had so much fun.

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When we arrived at 5 as instructed, he told us to go away and come back at 6, so we went close by to Brother #3 and L’s room for a drink.

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Brother #3 is on the left (we also call him the Mayor of Isla) and husband D is on the right.

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Fredy’s was festively decorated and Two on a Hammock (Marla & Javi) were playing. Jan and Bruce joined us. Fredy was serving free appetizers:

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bread stuffed with cheese,

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tuna stuffed jalepeno’s,

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grilled shrimp, grilled veggies,

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guacamole and pico de gallo.

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Everyone else at the table ordered entrees but we had reservations at Mayan beach Club (formerly the Sunset Grill).

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We had a couple of glasses of wine

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and shared a tuna tartar

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and tequila flan. We had a beautiful table in the sand on the beach but it looked like we missed a lot of fun at Fredy’s.

Kath’s quote: “I hate missing everything. That’s why I want to marry well and be a grand lady. Then I can host all the parties, all the time, and see everything that is going on always. How can you stand not knowing?”  ― Gail Carriger

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Love never fails.

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