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Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, Winter Bites, Kenora by Guest Bloggers J1 and J2, Part 2



The next day we returned to the Lakeside Brewing Company for a beer and a couple games of pool.


We couldn’t help but order the remaining Winter Bites menu item- the quesadilla. A 12” tortilla filled with house blend cheese, red and green peppers, green onion, red onion, and your choice of mexi-beef or grilled chicken with a side of fries. Every order of fries comes with a choice of 3 house made seasoning salts – Lemon and Chili, Garlic and Parmesan and Brewhouse. We decided to do a very comprehensive taste test  and the Brewhouse seasoning came out the winner, although all 3 were incredibly enjoyable.


After a short siesta at our hotel – the Lakeside Inn, we returned to the brewery for dinner. Ok, ok, now before you accuse us of being obsessed with this place… you’re right, we’re obsessed. Our dinner started with the beer battered, sarsaparilla BBQ Almost Famous Chicken Wings. These were perfectly cooked and fabulously saucy.


Next up was The Best Damn Chicken Sand’ – open faced, grilled chicken breast, goat cheese, drunken beer pear, prosciutto, sarsaparilla BBQ sauce, hammer and sickle sauce and arugula with cheesy jalapeno fries. This was a similar offering to the pulled pork sandwich and had the same “Wow!” factor.


Our final taste at the brewery was the Rookie Nacho Platter Topped with Deputy Chief’s Chili. To be honest only a couple of bites were consumed that night because we were entirely stuffed from our feast, but they were hearty and delicious. The suggestion of the Chili addition to our nachos was suggested by our server and we were told is a favorite of the owner of the establishment.


In addition to feasting, our night was spent playing crib which is a favorite activity of ours and reminded us of lazy nights spent at the cabin. There were a plethora of games that the brewery had put out for patrons to engage in as their tribute to ‘Family Day’ which was the holiday in Ontario this day. We thought this was a lovely idea and our night couldn’t have been more enjoyable. Fabulous food, fantastic service and the beer-oh the beer.

Kath’s quote: “He was a wise man who invented beer.”-Plato (Greek philosopher) 428- 347 BC

beer heart.jpg

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Three Girls and Jacks, Pike’s Market, Seattle



D and I often decide to have progressive dinners especially when we are traveling. We don’t often have a meal that lasts all day long as we did recently on our last full day in Seattle.  In spite of being almost directly next door to the world’s original Starbucks, we stopped for a photo and seeing that there was no place available to sit, we found a croissant and coffee spot when we could map out our strategy of covering off Pike Market most efficiently.





After taking in the original fish tossing counter, browsing the beautiful crafts, photographing artisan produce and tasting the offered slices of pears and apples, we met at the lunch counter in the back of the 3 Sisters Bakery.


Knowing that this was THE place to taste a meatloaf sandwich, we forgot our own pledge to only eat seafood all that day. The sandwich though was worth the deviation with its homemade brown bread, soft textured and savoury meatloaf, mayo, Dijon and meatloaf sauce (ketchup, brown sugar and Tabasco).

Three Girls Bakery on Urbanspoon

When a respectable time arrived for D’s first beer of the day, he guided me towards The Pike Brewing Company where he chose a whit beer worthy of attention.




A couple of hours later we plunked down at the back counter of another Pike’s icon-Jack’s Fish Spot boasting the world’s most fabulous, famous, freshest and …..  Sitting next to us was a student from Vancouver and next to him another one from Calgary. One was originally from Beijing and the other from South Korea.  They tried to find a common Asian language between them but ended up conversing in English. They had both ordered Jack’s fish chowder in a hollowed out loaf of bread. They took pictures of eating the unknown phenomena. We enjoyed the enjoyed the same silky chowder in a paper cup topped with oyster crackers. The bacon, potato, onion and plentiful seafood chowder was picture worthy indeed.


Next up was a shared order of scallops so delicately fried that the flesh had just begun to transform from translucent to opaque. With a squeeze of lemon and a horseradishy cocktail sauce, they were one of the eating highlights of this quick jaunt. I won’t even mention that they were nestled upon the most delectable fries.

Jack's Fish Spot on Urbanspoon

I purposely did not want to go into details on the fries even though they were worthy of extensive narration because later that afternoon D had researched our spot for an early dinner. You see, food isn’t our only motivation when selecting a dining spot. J1 tasked D with tasting the largest variety of beer possible which suited D just fine as J’s beer passion is also becoming D’s.

Irony was not lost upon us here. We kept track of the score of the Winnipeg Jets game being played in Calgary, the day before we would see them in person in Vancouver at Brouwer’s, a Belgian brew house in Seattle where we ordered….wait for it ….poutine!  Professed to have Seattle’s best Belgian pommes frites, we couldn’t resist (but should have). Not because the Belgian take, with beer cheese sauce, Belgian quad demi and fresh cheese curds and Berkshire pork belly wasn’t delicious in itself. but because we could have saved some of money and ordered the happy hour order for $3 instead of the $15 that we spent and still had room to go out for another shared seafood dinner, which we had to forgo.

Kath’s quote: “Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class.”-Jeff Smith


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Lakeof the Woods Brewing, Winter Bites, Kenora by Guest Bloggers J1 and J2


I believe it is apparent how much we enjoyed our stay in Kenora and all of the amazing culinary experiences we encountered. It is soon to be apparent which was our absolute favorite!

June 29th 2013 marked the opening of the first brewery in Kenora for 59 years. The quality of the beer that is coming out of the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is incredible. We were taken on a tour of the brewing facility and through the brewing process from grains to glass. For the sake of time though, we will focus today on the food that we encountered with a small sprinkling of beer here and there.

We were able to have absolutely everything that the brewery had to offer on the Winter Bites menu and then some. The very first thing that we enjoyed on our first day in town was the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Tender pulled pork with sarsaparilla BBQ sauce, drunken beer pear, goat cheese, hammer and sickle sauce and arugula in a filone bun.

This sandwich is the real deal! It set the tone for all the food that we were going to enjoy over the next few days and I can’t even put into words how much we enjoyed this offering. Sweet, flavourful, hearty, and more.

After this lunch, we took some time exploring Kenora as a town and imagining what it would be to live there year round as well as having it be a home destination for cabin life. We were only out of the brewery for a few hours before we returned for dinner. The amazing part of how the Winter Bites menu is put together is that as a couple (or two people dining that don’t mind sharing plates) you can experience everything they offer for only $50 total!


The two apps that started the dinner off were…
Beer Battered Shrimp – Golden fried beer battered shrimp with house made zesty cocktail sauce.


Goat cheese Bruschetta – Grilled garlic focaccia with goat cheese, tomatoes, onions and herbs topped with three cheese blend and baked hot.

The bruschetta was amazing bursting with layers of flavours. The shrimp really took the cake though. Beer battered shrimp will never truly surprise you due to the simplicity of the dish. Shrimp, batter, sauce… simple right? These shrimp somehow found a way to be very dynamic with such a simple nature. The sauce has a beautiful kick that some establishments will not try to develop anymore seeing as though you can succeed with a dipping sauce using just ketchup and horseradish. The sauce was exactly what was needed to add to the malty sweet crunch that the batter brought to the table.
The dinner came out next which only added to our amazement of the menu.


Number one was the Meat loaf. House made bacon wrapped meatloaf drizzled with sarsaparilla BBQ sauce, served with twin skewers of new potatoes, with house vegetables, roasted garlic and beer gravy.


Number two, the Pork Schnitzel. Bread crumb encrusted pork loin grilled crispy, served with smashed potato, beer caramelized red and green cabbage, roasted garlic, side of beer gravy and dill sour cream.

Obviously when you are eating at a brewery, you expect the menu to incorporate beer into the items which sometimes can find its way into items in an unbalanced way. Sauces and caramelizing are very easy ways to bring beer into a meal where they will not overpower in any way, but will naturally enhance the diversity of the flavours. The Meat Loaf was juicy, and very well seasoned with the ‘can’t wait to swallow so I can have another bite’ kind of effect. The Schnitzel was an amazing dish with so many different ways to eat it with the sides and sauces it seemed like every bite was different. Perfectly executed, and an item I will personally have again.


Finally, we found ourselves at the dessert part of the meal with the Firehouse Beer Chocolate Cake and Gluten free Turtle Cheesecake


I (J1) have never been the sweet tooth type of person. I believe I got this from my mom, but I will more likely have another helping of fries, or another dinner roll, or something crunchy and salty for dessert than a sweet. That being said, the brewery might find themselves with a bakery attachment in the future based on popular demand. These desserts were out of bounds. The use of beer in the cake is again such a smart way of incorporating the presence of malty sweetness, and it didn’t dry out the cake like can sometimes happen when introduced. Turtles cheesecake… need I say more?

Kath’s quote: “Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life.”-Georges Blanc


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Winter Bites in Kenora Part II-by Guest Bloggers J1 and J2


We have learned a ton of useful bits of information, lifestyles, and strategies from our parents. One thing we have picked up from our parents was how to really relax when the time presents itself. We often refer to this as “cabin mode”. We have become very very good at getting into cabin mode in an appropriate amount of time. After being in Kenora for only two hours we had checked into our hotel room, had a great “Winter Bites” lunch offering, and stocked out hotel fridge with two big bottles of Prosecco, and a dozen different Ontario Craft beers that we hadn’t seen in Manitoba before. We know how to get comfortable and facilitate a good time in our family.

After spending two incredibly blissful days in Kenora we decided to have a Winter Bites Lunch marathon. We got out the Winter Bites Passport and looked at every lunch offering, and when the restaurant opened and charted a course for five lunches in one day! Was it 100% necessary… well, no. But it was a ton of fun and it really felt like a fun “touristy” thing to do. We started the day with the Four stack of Buttermilk Pancakes that we showed in the last post.

The second stop on the marathon was Bijou Steakhouse. We chose to try the Steakhouse Burger.

Kenora Steakhouse Burger.jpg

An amazing burger patty, with their house made tequila BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, cheddar, and four Shocktop battered onion rings!!! The fries on the side were fantastic but that burger really stole the show. We were able to talk with the owner of the steakhouse about some fun new things going on at Bijou which we are very excited to check in on when we make it back to Kenora. The space has an amazing vibe and I really want to go and check it out one night when there’s a band playing and it’s packed.

The Bijou Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

After the Burger we went to check out the Cornerstone conveniently located right next door. The fun thing with how the Cornerstone is doing the Winter Bites lunches is they are offering different specials all the time. When we arrived our server described the BBQ chicken cheese steak sandwich that was featured that day.

Kenora Chicken Cheese Steak.jpg

The zippiness of the bbq sauce that was on the sandwich was an amazing compliment to the classic flavours present in a cheese steak. We had a laugh when the server was explaining how a lot of people are surprised when there is no steak on the sandwich when it arrives due to the name. I explained another time when somebody I know thought they were eating chicken when they had ordered a chicken fried steak… not naming names.

The Cornerstone on Urbanspoon

We then enjoyed a slow walk over to Ristorante Pizzeria Italia to tackle another lunch item. I really loved the art that was placed all around the restaurant. I felt like it really captured a lot of my favorite memories of when I was in Italy years ago. Pair the warm ambiance with a dynamite Cannelloni di Carne and you got one amazing lunch!

Kenora Cannelloni.jpg

Balance is one of the things that great Italian food is blessed with a balance of flavours, textures, herbs and spices, everything. This Cannelloni was the model of balance. The meal was bold, elegant, big, subtle, fresh, rustic, and more all at once. It should be said that Cannelloni has been a food of love for both of us since we were young and it would often be the food of choice on birthdays, valentines days, and most recently, New Years Eve.

Ristorante Pizzeria Italia on Urbanspoon

Our final stop was at Dinos Greek Restaurant. If Ristorante reminded me of Italy, then Dino’s is IN Greece! The people, the interior design, the interior architecture, the menu (of coarse), everything screamed Greek. It was so fun to finish off the adventure at Dinos because although it didn’t remind us of our homes growing up, it still oddly felt like home. It felt like they knew we were coming and were excited we made it, which if you imagine it, is a great feeling when you walk into a restaurant.

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The Gyro platter that is offered on the Winter Bites Lunch Menu is amazing. The freshness of the Greek salad was a very refreshing addition to the beautiful hearty gyro. The meat had an amazing depth of flavour and the sauces mixed with the fresh veggies in the gyro complimented each other perfectly. I know that often the gyro has a sort of food court style label thrown on it, but this take on the classic dish really has a great restaurant quality feel to it. I will definitely have this again when I am next in town.

Dino's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Stay tuned for part the final bites of our Winter Bites Kenora experience!

Kath’s quote: “Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent turn of mind, must like, I think, to read about them.” –William Makepeace Thackeray

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply. Thanks for the gift of hearts Anne.


My Turquoise House-Inspired by our Travels


I first fell in love with the colour turquoise years ago when I entered a water cave called the Blue Grotto off of the Amalfi coast in Italy.  A subsequent trip to Cozumel with Sister #3 cinched the deal. I was smitten and started incorporating azure in my jewelry, wardrobe and eventually in my home.


In our bedrom, turquoise is combined with lime green and mauve. That might sound kind of “out there” but I think that it works. On my side of the bed are photos of my first journey to Isla Mujeres with my sisters in 2005 and D’s first trip a year or so later. Above our bed is also an original print that I bought while visiting the Frenchman’s family home in Peterborough.


By D’s bedside is a photo of the Wee One’s first visit to Isla. Black and white photos of Italy and Paris also adorn the walls. A coral heart found on the beach outside our little apartment on Isla has a prominent perch.


This hutch in the dining room was my first big commitment to the colour. It houses china, glassware and crockery but of particular delight are the bowls that I purchased for each of us from my favourite dressmaker’s shop on Isla Mujeres.


I love organic pieces like shells, rocks and coral that I accumulate as I beach comb wherever I travel. If there’s a beach-I’m on it!


This window box is full of shells collected on Isla.


In the vase above are a bouquet of the internal spiral of bleached conch shells.  I think that they resemble cala lilies. The photo montage are of the gorgeous coloured buildings found on Isla.


On another wall of the dining room is a collection of photos from Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the French Riviera and Paris.


Turquoise has even crept into the grey and yellow colour scheme in the kitchen.


This pretty little bowl was also purchased on Isla.


Turquoise with red, brown and black in our family room.


And so it is in my cozy little home, dreaming of a turquoise sea.

Kath’s quote: “She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.”  -Janet Fitch


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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