Mar 30, 2011

Tearing Up the Food Circuit

So it's no secret that I love food.  Like, really love food.  Not only is it great for your survival, but it tastes great too!  Amazing isn't it?

I also love going to restaurants, and eating new things.  And I will try anything once, just to say that I did.  Except for that time when I was in Scotland and no matter how much I pep talked myself, I couldn't do it.  I couldn't eat the haggis.

Dave and I are lucky because there are so many delicious restaurants in our neighbourhood.  And the amazing thing about this is that they all look like shit from the outside so no one thinks to go in them.  So then there is MORE FOOD FOR ME!  No, that's not nice, I know.  It is true that they look like garbage from the outside but I promise you that the real treasure is the food itself.  If more people could get over how things look from the outside, the world would be a better place, no?

This last week for some reason, Dave and I restaurant hopped like it was going out of style.  What does that saying even mean?  Anyway, we did, most likely because I was incredibly lazy this week and didn't want to cook.  

The first place we went to was one of my all time favourite watering holes,  Cool Hand of a Girl.   We have been going here for years and damn, it really is a hidden treasure.  The staff is amazing, the food is amazing, and they always have something new on the menu every week.  

This mango-orange juice is fresh squeezed and perfect for when you are sporting a slight hangover.

Tamales.   So, so good.  I had never had tamales before this day, but Cool Hand makes me want to try things I never would think to try.  Because they are that good.  I have complete trust and faith in the cooks there, because I know that no matter what I eat it is going to be fresh, organic and delicious.  Make sure to try the cheddar chutney sandwich; it's drool-worthy.

This salsa?  I could consume it every day, on everything.  Maybe even on ice cream.

If you like spicy, and I do, then this is for you.  We were warned before hand about how hot this habanero sauce was, and of course whenever anyone says that to me, I act like they have NO IDEA that they are speaking to the creator of spicy, the Goddess of Mouth Fire.  And then I stuck my fork in this paste and tried it. And died and went to hell, it was that hot.  My taste buds needed an entire day to recover after that stuff, but it was yummy!

This salad is one of the best salads I have ever eaten.  Cabbage, pumpkin seeds, cucumber and cilantro, with the lightest and most delicious dressing.  I could eat a pound of this stuff.  Dave likes me later when I sound like a trumpet on account of all that cabbage.  They also have the best tasting fruit, which makes me jealous. The fruit in my fridge never tastes that good.

After breakfast we went to my next favourite place for dessert (breakfast was at 3PM so dessert was ok).  A good friend suggested Espresso Mi Vida to me a few weeks ago and I had been dying to get back there.  The first time I went I tried their heuvos rancheros (for the first time ever) and I was BLOWN AWAY.  I am not lying when I say that I now crave them, like, continuously.  So scrumptious.  

We went there for coffee and their delicious 'cookies'.  A coconut, powdered sugar, yummy concoction with a thin layer of dulche de leche in the centre. Need I say more?

Best seat in the house.

Dave doing what he does best.

See the look of satisfaction on my face here.  It doesn't get any better than this.

Last night we decided to go to a place we had been wanting to try for a long time. Aquila  is one of those places where if you blink, you will miss it.  It is in a pretty crappy area for the kind of cuisine it boasts, and it's unfortunate that most people walk by this place thinking it's just another dive/ shithole in the Junction.  

We had read some reviews on it, and everything we read said to try the ribs. Now, I don't like ribs.  I was a vegetarian for 15 years and the reason for this is because I absolutely cannot ingest fat, gristle, or eat anything that resembles the animal it once was.  I am slowly getting over this (sort of), but the one thing I have a problem with is bones scraping against my teeth when I eat meat.  I know, I am a freaking weirdo ok?  So even though I eat meat now, it is usually a nice piece of boneless, skinless something or other that is a giant lump of flesh when you think about it, which is just as gross.

Anyway, I digress.  Aquila.  Expensive food that tastes great.  It really was worth it, and I am so glad that we decided to go.  Because now we are in the know, and I hear that their rooftop patio is the shit in the summertime.  I cannot wait.

Why are you even looking at the menu Dave?  You know you are going to follow MY educated suggestion of ordering the ribs.

The wine was fantastic.  I am trying to cut it out of my life.  Not alcohol, just wine.  It's fattening.

Waiting for our food.  I do believe this is my year of making stupid faces.

We got the wild mushroom crostini as our appetizer.  It was an explosion of flavour in my mouth.  I would go back just for this, never mind the ribs.  Tasty city.

I am telling you, the wine was really good.

For my main, I got the smoked salmon and rice with a white wine sauce reduction. It was good, but not as good as the app, or below, the ribs.  

That's right.  I ate some of those ribs.  And they were the best things I have tasted in a long, long time.  They are smoked in house (for days it seems like), and the barbecue sauce is home made.  DAMN.

Still had to eat them with a fork though.  I had Dave pull off pieces and put them on my plate.  They totally stole the show.  What salmon?  Give me those ribs! They were falling off the bone, the perfect amount of smoky and sweet.  The bones were even soft.  Dave forever ruined them for me though, because just for funsies (not to eat, god no!) he pulled a bit of the bone apart and scooped out some of the marrow.  I PUKED UP MY ENTIRE SOUL.  Thanks Dave, you officially win our forever running gross-out contest.  Not sure I can top that one.  

I promise this won't turn into a foodie blog.  Not when I end the post on thoughts of scooped out bone marrow dancing in our heads.

Mar 24, 2011

Thank You Mother Nature

So I am pretty sure that you are only a true Canadian when you psych yourself out into thinking that Spring has arrived.  We all do it.  It's mid-March, there have been two days of warm, spring-like weather, and we all decide to pack away our winter jackets.  

This is foolish.  And again, we all do it.  Maybe we are all just optimistic that winter has released us from it's cold death grip?  I don't know.  But we go through this same song and dance every single year.  Sigh.  I am sure you guys know where this is going.

Look it's the sun!! He's a weak little guy, but as the day progresses, he gets stronger, and I get happier!

That is a genuine smile.  You can even see a hint of a dimple.  Those don't normally show themselves unless I am stupidly happy.  Actually it might be a wrinkle.

Grass.  How I have missed you.  How come you could only stay for such a short amount of time?

Shadows and things on our faces.  This means that the sun is shining.  We are also squinting.  SQUINTING EQUALS SUNSHINE!!!

Love this picture, love this guy.

Sunshine bits on the grass.  Told you it gets stronger.  

Witch tree.  

This hill is the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.  It doesn't look like much, but believe me, when you are trying to balance your coffee and 3000 calorie breakfast sandwich from the Tim Horton's across the street, this guy is an asshole to walk up.  Just kidding about the breakfast sandwich.  Maybe.

As we left work that night, this is the sky that greeted us.  No sunshine to speak of.  In fact, looming clouds and freezing cold winds whipped a little hello in our faces as we stepped outside.  Because Mother Nature is experiencing a tiny bit of PMS this week I think.

Gone are the smiles and happiness.  We know what we are in store for.

Oh but wait!! Then Dave suggested we go out for some Indian food and I got happy again.  YEEESSS!  Because nothing says impending snowstorm doom then having a curry!  Just the kind of poundage I needed to face the storm that was barrelling down on us.

I am REALLY happy about the decision to hoover some curry.

We went to our favourite place in the city.  Now I know everyone has a 'favourite' place to go for Indian food, but I have to say that our place is the best place.  It was written about somewhere once.  And it is so effing good.  The guy who owns the place is the NICEST human being on the planet.  Not sure how he manages to stay so lovely, but I wish I knew his secret.  Maybe it's all the butter he cooks with all day.

Stuffed bread rolls.  Shit.  I could drink a jar of their spicy mango chutney.

Evidence of all that butter.

I have never tried the dessert there, but this pistachio mango ice cream was way too good.  I am going to be dreaming of that one for a little while.

Next time you are in the city go and visit Curry Twist on the west end.   Tell them Katherine sent you.  Get the butter chicken.  When you are rolling home you won't be disappointed.

Before we went to bed that night I said that maybe the weather people were wrong in their forecast?  Maybe we wouldn't wake up to 15cm of snow and it would only be a light sprinkling.  Like the pistachios on my ice cream.  I drifted off to sleep dreaming of yummy things and sunny skies.

Only to wake up to this:

The start of the 15cm of snow.  Yes.  This was only the start.  It carried on all day. Thank you Mother Nature.  Now drink some tea and take a Midol why don't you?

Not very happy anymore.  Hey Dave, make a mad face when I take a picture!! Good one, good one....naw you look good!

Across the street from work.  Look at the blizzard happening around us.  Bullshit. Also, now you know where I work.  Don't stalk me a-holes.

Guy with the snowblower is smart.  Everyone else was digging themselves out with a shovel.  It was heavy packing snow too.  

Anyone feel like offering me their beach front summer home for a week or two?  I don't care if you are staying there also or if you are creepy.  I am too, so we'll get along nicely.

Besides, I would be in a sunshine coma the entire time.