Food Musings

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

La Lomita-Isla Mujeres

January18

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We have been going to La Lomita since we first started visiting the island in 2005-see a couple of links here: 2013, 2014, They have always served their cervesa by the glass and I was never a big fan. But that has all changed. The new brightly coloured terracotta glasses must have been kept in the freezer as they were frigidly cold and made or the most thirsty-quenching beer that I can remember drinking.  We loved them so much we tried to duplicate them when we got home. Our youngest daughter found three such vessels at a second hand store and they now keep a permanent place in the freezer at our beach house.

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We always order the chilies relleno, one of our favourite Mayan dishes served on the island. Stuffed with goey Mexican cheese, floating on a light and tasty tomato sauce and topped with crème fresh and a crumbling of a second cheese which resembled a feta.

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Friend Donna (we call Dona while on Isla) ordered the delectable breaded fish.

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Sister #3 sampled the garlic fish. Everyone was delighted by their choices as always.

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I am always amazed at what comes out of La Lomita’s kitchen.

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I sometimes dream about La Lomita’s lime soup featuring a spritely broth, pulled chicken and crispy tortilla chips. Portions are always so plentiful that I often take left overs home for a second meal. Such was the case on this day.

Kath’s quote: “Fish in the hands of a skilled cook can become an inexhaustible source of gustatory pleasures.”-Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

coffeefilterheart

Love, that is all.

Isla Mujeres 2015 Trip Report- Day Nine

January13

I caught D’s cold and slept through sunrise. Since I missed the day before too, I was in withdrawl.

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D took his typical walk into town to fetch the newspaper. He got a little bit sunburned the day before and spent the rest of the morning in the hammock trying to finish his book.

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Since we were sticking close to home, I prepared a big breakfast in the convenient kitchen of Luna d’Miel. It was sensational if I do say so myself.

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After breakfast and tidy up I went shelling.

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We stayed around the apartment all day because of D’s sunbrurn. I finished my book and started a new one.

In the evening we ventured out for dinner at Basto’s with Luna d’Miel neighbours Gloria and Huw.

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Since we were in the vicinity of Limon, we couldn’t head home without dropping in to visit our friend Sergio. He insisted that we stay for a glass of wine and chit chat.

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We had brief snatches of time with Sergio as he worked the grill and made his guest feel right at home.

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The gentleman sitting at the next time was also enjoying Sergio’s attention as well as sharing an appetizer with him and eventually we got to chatting too. It turned out he was Bob of Joyce and Bob’s Casitas del Mar. I have long admired the tidy units as we buzzed along the east shore road and was particularly intrigued because Joyce and Bob were the names of my parents.

The connections did not end there. Turns out that D knew Joyce’s sons when they work at the restaurant that D managed. It also turned out that D also knows Joyce’s brother and calls upon him for his business purposes. Joyce’s family is from Saskatchewan as is mine and her family immigrated from the Czech Republic as did mine.

We had so much fun connecting the dots in this way that Bob insisted that we stroll to his home to meet Joyce in person.

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We enjoyed one last glass of wine in their beautiful walled garden under a covered palapa.

In 2016 we will divide our time between Luna d’Miel and Villas San Miquel. We are so looking forward to our first visit to the Villas. With its convenient downtown location, if D needs to stay close to home because of a cold or sunburn, I will still be able to wander town or head to North Beach. We keep thinking that the Villas will offer the best of both worlds-the convenience of Centro with views of the Caribbean!

Kath’s quote: “All true friendliness begins with fire and food and drink and the recognition of rain or frost”.G.K. Chesterton

coralheart

Love, that is all.

 

Tom Yum Thai

January12

I have volunteered at the Children’s Hospital here in Winnipeg for a number of years. Many hours on the job are spent snuggling a baby and staring out the window. In doing so, I have often wondered about Tom Yum Thai that is often within my gaze at corner of Sherbrook St. & William Ave. Recently, the opportunity to discover more about the restaurant, presented itself.

The place is cozy with booths along one wall and delicious aromas wafting from the open kitchen. On the day we visited, they explained that they were short staffed and it was obviously “all hands on deck” with one of the regular cooks taking care of us at our table. This sometimes makes for a disastrous dining experience but not when smiles are genuine and food so authentic and delicious.

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First up was a “Lettuce Wrap Salad”. We wondered: is it a lettuce wrap or is it a salad? While we were scooping spoonfuls of sautéed veggies and crunchy rice noodles onto torn lettuce leaves, we realized that indeed both descriptions were appropriate. The first successful bite could be dubbed a “lettuce wrap” but subsequent attempts, kind of fell apart in our hands. We immediately reached for our forks, not wanting to interrupt the delicious tastes, which turned out to be more like eating a “wrap salad”. Don’t let the mess dissuade you. The mushrooms, red and green peppers and onions were perfectly seasoned with basil and proved to be absolutely delectable.

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We especially loved the Tom Kha Galangal Soup. Typically my favourite Thai soup, the galangal is an authentic ingredient that definitely gives the soup its distinctive floral flavour. The galangal, which physically resembles ginger (but not in taste), is thinly sliced from raw product. In Tom Yum’s version the galangal appears to have been pickled or at least stored in brine. Cut into very thin little ribbons it holds a prominent place in the texture and flavour profile of the soup. We also loved the sweetness of the coconut broth. Palm sugar is typically called for, but we detected that brown sugar was utilized providing caramel notes.

The large shared bowl of soup along with the starter was the perfect amount for a tasty, light lunch. We would not have known that this had not been a regular day in the restaurant, had we not been apologetically told.

Tom Yum Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.” Norman Kolpas

flowerheart

Love, that is all.

Thai Son, Queens, NYC

January8

Another restaurant that I had the pleasure of visiting in NYC.

On our many visits to New York we have always stayed in Manhattan but this time we discovered how easy it is to get in and out of Manhattan and enjoy the more affordable lodging in the Burroughs like Queens. More about this fascinating neighbourhood in a future post. In the mean time I made a solo visit to Thai Son while D was on a Brewery adventure.

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The spot was busy with solo diners who I imagined were business people on their lunch breaks. Service was efficient and the dishes were proudly served by the kitchen staff.

I was tempted by the Com Suon Bi Cha (grilled pork chop and shredded pork) that I had seen raves about but in the end opted for my favourite Vietnamese dish-Banh Hoi Thit. This noodle dish (which is then wrapped into clingy rice paper) makes a great little packet that can be eaten on the go. In Viet Nam the dish is a breakfast one-kind of like their version of an egg mcmuffin. Given the two, I would rather have the former, any morning of my week.

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Rice vermicelli noodles are lightly steamed and become extra sticky so that the toppings of your choice will adhere together when wrapped into the rice wrapper. The strings of noodles are as thin as a toothpick but the texture is firm enough so the noodles do not fall apart. When topped with what I call “candied” pork, that is thin pork strips that have been marinated in a sugary sauce and then char-broiled, I am crazy about the taste. The sugared peanuts add another dimension and are perfect when offset by the variety of vegetables that accompany: lettuce leaves, cucumbers, cabbage, carrot, mint and pickled onions. When the packet is plunged into fish sauce you are treated to another hit of sweetness.

Sweet/salty is my favourite taste profile.

Thai Son is one of the many ethnic restaurants found in Jefferson Heights-a foodies’ dream come true.

Thái Son Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “New York is a gothic Roquefort.”-Salvador Dali

cucumberheart

Love, that is all.

 

Tavern on the Green, Central Park, NYC

January6

Sometimes when I am organizing my expenses (which I do quarterly) I realize that I have dined at an amazing place that I have forgotten to write about and share the adventure with you my loyal readers. Such is the case with this iconic place.

On our arrival day in NYC en route to Milan and then Tuscany, we had a picnic in Central Park in the late afternoon just as the sun was “setting” behind the urban landscape of skyscrapers. We stayed in New Port that evening and we were reluctant to leave all of our favourite sites in Manhattan.

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So we wandered through the park and decided that it might be nice to stop for a thirst-quenching beer. We thought of crossing the street to the Upper West Side when we accidently came upon Tavern on the Green.

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There was a private reception taking place in the courtyard and because we had already had our picnic, we didn’t want to go to the dining room for a full meal (besides we were dressed for a picnic, not Manhattan dining). So we opted for the quaint Beer Garden appointed with picnic benches overlooking the “green” and the beautiful and historic apartments of the Upper East Side (think The Dakota) as the backdrop.

October evenings are still fair in NYC and it was the perfect choice.

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I let D do the beer selecting and whatever it was he chose for me was refreshing and delicious. Nothing quenches my thirst like a cold beer. You?

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The food menu showcased simple fare and we selected a Polish Kielbasa

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and Potato Latkes. The latter were a bit overdone and greasy for our liking but hey, it was our first evening in NYC, we were not inclined to make a fuss and send them back.

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Simple food, served in a garden in Central Park in one of our favourite cities in the world. What could be wrong with that?

Tavern on the Green Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “There is nothing yet which has been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.” –Samuel Johnson

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Love, that is all.

 

 

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