Browsing: Food & Travel

Good Eats, Ottawa

October31

From our hotel window on the 17th floor of the Delta in Ottawa we could see Good Eats on its own little island surrounded by a sea for cars. We were curious about the vintage building but more than this…we were hungry for a lovingly made cup of coffee and perhaps some toast or pastry to start the day.

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We got both, but let me start with our entrance to the historic home. Walking up the worn steps I wondered who had previously lived there and what was the family’s story. We entered what I assumed had been their living and dining area complete with original fireplace in the corner.

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Marlene chose avocado toast and I the breakfast sandwich and we were able to share both. The former came on a lovely seed infused bread that had been lightly toasted. The smashed avocado was a wholesome taste but in my opinion needed the addition of a glistening of salt to enhance the creamy bite.

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The latter came with light and airy eggs on a toasted English muffin with a smear of something that tasted to me like red pepper hummus. The combination of the two was deelish. Marlene also had a beautiful latte. I found that I was already coffeed out and stuck to water.

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I loved the vibe of the place. The building was light-filled and just my style. We met a FBCer who had also spotted the café from our hotel. Good people gravitate around good food.

Kath’s quote: “I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia.”-Barbra Streisand

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Love never fails.

Piazza di Nardi

October23

Have you ever travelled by car through Italy on the auto strata? If you have and you have stopped at one of their “auto grills”, you may recognise the food service counters at Piazza di Nardi. The food at these Italian rest stops is surprisingly excellent and so is di Nardi’s. You may wish to order a slice of pizza, a meatball sandwich or eggplant Parmigiano. On this occasion I decided to compile lunch from the vast array of cold items.

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While in Italy we sometimes would stop and purchase a baguette, some meat and cheese and fashion our own sandwiches. This can be done at Piazza di Nardi as well, but they make it simpler by having pre-maid sandwiches on hand. I chose ham and cheese on forcaccia bread. The fresh and hearty sandwich was enhanced by a cluster of grapes.

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I added the fig in homage to our time in Sicily where we simply plucked them from our hosts’ tree for our breakfast.

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I wanted to sample even more items that I had not enjoyed since our couple of Italian adventures so I also ordered a small seafood salad which was chock full of calamari and just the correct tartness from the vinegar marinade.

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Two kinds of arancini in Sicily.

I also chose what you might consider the strangest thing: an arancini (literally an orange) which is so named for its shape but is actually a fried rice ball.

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The dish may not sound appetizing but it absolutely was. Peas, meat sauce and mozzarella were stuffed inside a seasoned ball of rice (actually a cup of rice was hand-shaped and then the stuffing was placed in the cup. Then a second bowl shaped rice cup was added to the top). This all got sealed up, covered in breadcrumbs and fried. They can be eaten right out of the pan as a hot course in an Italian meal or packed away to eat as a cold snack. We ate ours on a train trip from Sicily to the Amalfi Coast.

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The bonus when you lunch at Piazza di Nardi is that you can purchase other grocery items while there to plan your next meal. I picked up artichoke bruschetta and spinach gnocchi.

Piazza di Nardi is located at 1360 Taylor Ave. They serve lunch and dinner features daily and also have deli items and a catering menu. They are open daily Monday to Saturday from 9 am until 8 pm. On Sunday they are open 11 am-6 pm. Hot items are served from 11:30 am-7:30 pm.

Kath’s quote: “Italian food is all about ingredients and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy”. -Wolfgang Puck

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

BMC Market & Tacqueria

July26

When you think about tacos, do you imagine a crunchy shell loaded with grated cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, etc? Your preference may be exactly that. But, if you travel to Mexico where tacos originate, you would never find a version like the one mentioned above. In Mexico (and I don’t mean at an all inclusive buffet but an authentic Mexican tienda), we order tacos for snacks and light meals when we are on vacation. The tortilla is always made with a corn flour which gives the wrapping a distinctive taste. Typically tortillas are eaten like flat bread to mop up what is on your plate but are also stuffed with a variety of fillings.

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Our family prefers shrimp or fish tacos but we also enjoy fillings like shredded chicken, el pastor (pork and pineapple sliced off a spit) and even chorizo sausage. If you are lucky, you may find a convenient spot that will serve three tacos for $5 (US). We consider the discovery of these places a significant one. There is a singular restaurant in Winnipeg where you can find this style of fare. They are called BMC Market and Taqueria at 722 South Osborne St.

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The façade of their building is an electric blue, similar to the vibrant building colours you will find in Mexico.

Upon entering the restaurant, you go directly to the kitchen window where you make your selection and pay for your snack or lunch. They have a taco trio for $5 and another for $7. I ordered the $5 trio itemized above. This is a significant bargain, as we pay the same amount but in US funds in Mexico. Mind you, some little places will also through in a Mexican beer for that price.

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There is cheerful table aroud the corner from the kitchen.

At BMC Market and Taqueria the only garnishes you will find will be cilantro and some chopped white onion and this too is genuine fare. There will also be a bit of lime for you to squeeze fresh juice over the tacos and a salsa which can be ordered, mild, medium or hot! Unless you eat spicy Mexican fare on an ongoing basis, I would warn you against the hot as it is very picante! All the fillings I sampled were carefully prepared, void of fat and absolutely delicious.

The BMC Market – Taqueria is open Monday to Saturday 11:30 am -8 pm and Sundays 12-6 pm when they have an all day menu available. They are wheelchair accessible.

Kath’s quote: “Don’t tell me you miss me. Tell me you are outside my door with tacos.”-

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Love never fails.

 

Rhombus Guys Brewing Co.-Grand Forks, ND

June9

In the afternoon when we planned on an evening’s visit to Rhombus Guys Brewing, we perused the on line menu and decided that we would try Scotch-eggs that evening. But when we arrived at the locale (a beautifully restored heritage building), there were lots of lighter choices on the menu. Since we started the day at Darcy’s and stopped for Happy Hour and an appetizer platter at Ground Round, we thought maybe we should get some vegetables into our tummies.

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Since we were at a brewery, we started with….beer of course!

There were four of us and we comfortably decided upon each pair sharing the cobb salad and grilled cheese sandwiches. Did you know that?:

In the late 1930s, LA’s famous Brown Derby restaurant owner Bob Cobb went to fix a late night snack for Sid Grauman, the owner of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. He took leftovers from the refrigerator and chopped them up finely because Grauman was suffering from a toothache. Grauman loved the salad so much that Cobb added it to the menu.

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The salad was not made precisely as they were in the 1930s but had lovely modern touches like rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes.

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The sandwich was fine enough. I selected it because of the promised inclusion of bacon jam. The taste which I am familiar with and love, was not prevalent but as I say, it was a pretty good grilled sandwich.

We were tempted by dessert but decided instead to head to Mike’s where the girls enjoyed ice cream as we parked our car near the river.

The best part of all of this were the lovely chats that we got to have together. Life is so busy that even with a family as close as ours is, time to visit is precious indeed.

Kath’s quote: “I smile because you are my sister. I laugh because you can’t do anything about it.”-Unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

Darcy’s Grand Forks, ND

June8

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On a recent jaunt to Grand Forks, ND for a sisters’ weekend some helpful restaurant tips from a Winnipeg blogger friend.

We knew that our hotel provided a continental breakfast, so we checked it out before heading over to Darcy’s for breakfast. The items that we were looking forward to were bagels and cream cheese or peanut butter or perhaps a bran muffin. When there were no of these style of items available we decided on just coffee. Unfortunately the coffee wasn’t particularly good either. So the good news is that we were hungry when we arrived at Darcy’s and that was opportune as the portions were enormous.

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My SIL ordered an omelet, pumpernickel toast and hash browns (I ate most of her has browns). I chose a poached egg, grilled ham and cinnamon brioche French toast. Both dishes were excellent.

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But the reason we came was for the caramel rolls-a tall yeasty cinnamon bun drenched in caramel. It wasn’t a breakfast add on in my mind…it was dessert!

Kath’s quote: “There’s no war going on between blondes and brunettes…It’s between girls who can eat cinnamon rolls without gaining weight and me”.-unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

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