Browsing: Restaurant Features

Galway and Ard Bia at Nimmos


We knew weeks in advance of our arrival in Ireland that we would be there in time for the Galway Food Festival.

We strategically chose Saturday to make the drive to Galway City.  We wandered down Quay and then High Street (which are both restricted to pedestrians only) to find the Festival Village.

Along the way we also came across the Galway Market.  In the end, when we arrived at the Festival we had a quick look around and then decided to head back to the market and the quaint shops of the outside mall.  Since the intent of the festival is the celebration of Galway as a good food destination with a strong focus on artisan, seasonal and local produce, the festival was a success, even though we decided not to stand in the lines at the individual booths.

In the mean time, we accidentally found Ard Bia at Nimmos.

I was enthralled by the amazing little space and by the name and went on line to find out the source.  Ard Bia was on Quay Street five years ago then moved into Nimmos and both places were run by the same owners for two years.  In 2008 they moved Ard Bia to the Nimmos building in the Spanish Arch. The space is now the combination of both Ard Bia and Nimmos.

We warmed up with tea and sweets and then ventured back to explore the town.

Browsing and shopping was wonderful fun as the shops were as beautiful on the outside as the inside.

Ard Bia on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “A woman is like a tea bag — only in hot water do you realize how strong she really is.”-Nancy Reagan



We were on a double date with J1 and J2.  To kick off the weekend of our trip to Ireland, we decided that we would love to have a pub supper.  We headed downtown (and downstairs) to an unnamed location and decided to get back in the car and aim for Luxalune on south Osborne St instead.  I was so glad, as I have wanted to visit this Gastropub ever since they opened.  I loved the wide open space and the cozy couch pit.  We sat at a table in front of the big screen as a Jets games was on.

I do not profess to be a beer aficionado but J1 certainly knows his stuff.  He chose a really spicy selection with tastes of citrus and coriander. Later in the evening D ordered one with essences of coffee and chocolate.  Who knew that beer was such a culinary experience?  Certainly not I.

So what to eat, to complement these libations?  We each chose a tapas and then shared everything that was plunked on the table.  The presentation with a number of items in cast fry pans was very much to our liking.  The blueberry brie was delicious on points of a savoury bread.

I selected the fries loaded with seasoned ground beef and cheese.  I remembered delectable hand cut fries at the Warwaruk brothers’ former location that we loved and visited frequently called Lux Sole.  I was a little bit disappointed that the fries had not followed the brothers to Luxalune.  However, the sauce duo that was served for dipping, redeemed the dish.

Similar toppings were served on the nachos, but for some reason they tasted so much better on nacho chips (perhaps it was the addition of hot peppers and black olives).

The fourth dish were tomato wraps stuffed with a smooth and delicious cheese.  I often consult an on line menu to discover the details of a dish which I particularly like, but I was unsuccessful in my search.

The Jets won in overtime, the company and food were wonderful and the beer unique and tasty.  We were all set for our next Pub supper-in Ireland!

Luxalune on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “There was an Old Man of Columbia,
Who was thirsty, and called out for some beer;
But they brought it quite hot, in a small copper pot,
Which disgusted that Man of Columbia.”
-Edward Lear

Limon-Isla Mujeres by Guest Blogger: Sister #3

Walking into Limón, located on the main floor of the home of Sergio Contreras Martinez and Charissa Gillingham’s, feels like arriving for dinner at a friend’s. Formal enough to feel special, yet casual enough to feel welcoming, this new addition to the Isla Mujeres restaurant scene is unique.  Sergio, Charissa and their 4 year-old Max, sit at a corner table enjoying their nightly meal together while still keeping an eye open to ensure their guests get the utmost attention.
We request a table in the garden and are very pleased with the ambience of the place. We are delighted with the Chef’s surprise amuse bouche of fish and shrimp dip with chips which we enjoy with a glass of Chilean red wine in honour of my dinner companion’s country of origin. 
For our mains we order the Arrachera – tender grilled flank steak served with bean and chillies and a delicious sauce with just the right heat.
We also chose the Tikin Xic – fresh fish done in a saucy rendition of this Isla classic. 
The only thing I thought would have made our meals perfect would have been a little potato to accompany the beef.

I loved sitting across from the BB-Q and watching the chef grill the meals to order. We enjoyed our conversation with the chef who told us lots about the varying cuisine found across Mexico. 

Earlier this year when the beach club at Playa Sol closed with no plan to reopen, I was sad to see it go and wondered what operator Sergio would do next. Well like a Phoenix, Limón has risen and Sergio looks healthier and happier than ever. It was great to see him in this location, where he can be close to his family and even tuck Max into bed everynight  

We had a really good visit with Sergio. We could see the passion he has for this place as he showed us photos of various menu items. The menu features some classics but also gets inventive featuring things like hibiscus tacos and offering a wide range of vegetarian items.

Limón is located on calle Lizeta just up the hill from the Super Epress in las Gloria.

Kath’s quote: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” –Voltaire

Dinner at The Grove Pub on Grosvenor


D and I had both spent the day visiting our Moms.  I had plans that evening to attend a neighbourhood wine and cheese party.  In between though, D and I met for a quick supper and to watch the first period of the Jets game.

I have enjoyed lunch at The Grove Restaurant and Pub but never dinner.  We positioned ourselves side by side as couples sit in French cafes.  We were not feeling particularly romantic, we just both wanted a good vantage point of the TV screen.   The evening started with a couple of Rock Creek ciders and we had barely begun to quench our thirst when our dinner of appetizers arrived.  We were pleased with the kitchen’s timing.

The chevre and roasted pepper croquettes were milder than I imagined they would be.  I could taste a well blended bechamel but could not detect the sharpness of the goat cheese.  This was not because the pepperiness over powered the goat cheese (because the taste of a pequillo peppers is closer to a bell pepper than a chili pepper, despite their small size).

We really enjoyed the fish bites especially the haddock nuggets coated in panko flakes.  We prefer our salmon a wee bit rare and these were quite well cooked.  Happily, the accompanying curry sauce moistened the morsels for us.

The scallops were absolutely sublime!  Perfectly seared to our liking so that the surface was slightly crunchy but the inside was still almost translucent.  Topping the scallops was candied pork belly, and they were nestled upon caramelized apple & onion purée and a drizzle of lavender port syrup-oh my!

We met another Winnipeg Chef as they were leaving.  The sign of an exceptional restaurant is when other chefs choose to eat there.

The Grove Pub and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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

Nanny’s Diner


My last night of an almost month long stay in Thompson, I ventured out one more time to pick up more Jets paraphernalia at Giant Tiger.  This was a serious find-NHL labeled Jets sweaters in a zip up or v neck style in classic white or navy blue.  The first time I was there, I bought one for D for $15 and then when everyone back home saw them, I knew that I had to get more.  Upon my return, they were marked down further to $10 and I ended up purchasing four of them to make all the guys in the family happy.

Have you ever seen the Expedia commercials where the guy falls arm pit deep into a snow bank?  Well, this happened to me in my quest to get out shopping.  I was cutting across a field to get to the sidewalk.  The winter’s snow was covered with a thick layer of ice and then more snow.  I could predict where the bank wouldn’t hold me and was hoping that my footing was secure when-wham, I thought that the Expedia gnome was going to have to rescue me.

Needless to say, I decided to take a cab back to the hotel but before I headed out, I decided to have a quick bit of supper first.  I wandered into Nanny’s Diner and was immediately drawn to white board specials describing Newfie Fries and UPTOP Poutine (I would rename the latter-“Over the Top” Pouitne).  As I settled in, I looked at all the photographs of their home province of Newfoundland.  I have always wanted to go as I have a set of friends who have replanted themselves there as well as extended family who are from there.  Some day.

In the mean time, the Pouitne arrived.  When the helpful waitress asked me what I thought, I truthfully said “A fun taste but not something that I would want on a regular basis.”  She replied: “Yes I know what you mean-maybe only once a week.”  But I was thinking “Maybe once in my life time.”

The fries were perfect.  The gravy, not too rich or salty.  I do prefer the authentic cheese curd recipe but the shredded cheese was pleasantly sharp and plentiful.  The “Newfie Stuffing” made for an interesting taste variation and the fried baloney and onions put the dish -over the top.

Nannys Diner serve a really eclectic list of offerings from samosas, wings, and deep-fried pickles to foot-long hot-dogs and homemade burgers.  They only serve fish and chips on Fridays-cod of course.

Kaths quote: “I come from a home where gravy is a beverage.”-Erma Bombeck


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