Montreal 2013

For the third year in a row the August long weekend found us in Montreal for Osheaga. The weekend was all about good music, good times and of course,  good food. The highlight of the weekend was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis singing “Same Love” with Tegan and Sara.

1. We discovered a cute little pizzeria up the street from our hotel.

IMG_42612. Our hotel provided us with fresh croissants at our door every morning.

IMG_42673. We visited the Jean-Talon Market. Jean TalonWe bought our first Ontario peaches of the season while at the market in Quebec.

4. We munched on Montreal-style bagels from St-Viateur Bagel.

IMG_4292Easily the best bagel I have ever eaten. Warm, soft and perfectly toasted. The sesame seeds had a nuttiness to them and the lox and toppings were perfect and fresh.

5. We enjoyed Croque Madame in Old Montreal.

IMG_4302 I had this exact meal last year and I will probably have this exact meal next year. So yums and so Montreal.

6. We tried our first Montreal food truck at Osheaga,  Montreal Dim Sum.

Montreal Dim SumThe pork balls and shrimp dumpling were unreal! This has caused me to crave dim sum for the past month and a half. If I lived in Montreal I would track this truck down on a daily basis.

7. And last but never least, we finished our visit with some Montreal smoked meat from the iconic Schwartz’s.

Schwartz'sWe have made it a tradition that we grab some sandwiches from Schwartz’s before we leave the city and we eat them from the Mont Royale lookout.

Another great visit to Montreal and definitely not the last time we visit this city or Osheaga.

The Goulash House

A few weeks ago I had a few appointments in Newmarket and my dad was nice enough to drive me around to them and then take me for lunch. We went to a relatively new restaurant in Newmarket, The Goulash House. The Goulash House opened earlier in 2012, shortly after I moved to the city, and I was severely disappointed that I had missed its opening. I have been waiting for months to try this place and I finally got to. It was well worth the wait.

The Goulash House serves Hungarian cuisine and has the rustic, simple decor that pairs naturally with this kind of food. It is homey and cozy, a perfect ambiance to enjoy a bowl of thick, juicy goulash.

JDL started off with the goulash.

IMG_3102After seeing this stew, I need to learn how to make it. If any of my Eastern European friends/family have a recipe for goulash, preferably one that goes in the crock pot, hook me up! My dad loves their take on the goulash stew and says it’s enough to stand alone as it’s own meal. But that’s no fun, we had to get more food…

Next, JDL ordered the schnitzel sandwich.

IMG_3103And I, of course, ordered the pierogies.

IMG_3104This pierogies were amazing! They were crispy on the outside but tender and cheesy on the inside. The sour cream was thick and creamy and the bacon and onion mixture was crispy, salty and a great way to offset the richness of the cream and cheese. The pickled cabbage was unreal – slightly sweet, tangy and crunchy. These are the best pierogies I have ever had, but to be fair, these are the first pierogies I have ever had at a restaurant. Polish fail I know.

If you are in Newmarket this place is definitely worth a visit and for people in Toronto, it is worth the scenic drive to Newmarket.

Happy munching!

Chicago 2012

Oh, hey! Remember when I had a blog? Things have been incredibly busy over the past month with work, travelling, baking, appointments and Christmas. There is a list on my phone of about 10 posts that I have to write and I’m hoping over my Christmas break (5 days off of work, then back for 2 days and then off for 4 more!) I can catch up on life and food.

On American Thanksgiving weekend we went to Chicago for a wedding and a little getaway. The wedding was of a friend I had met in university, Nicole and her now husband, Andrew. They are a beautiful young couple and they are so in love it just makes you smile. I’m glad we were there for the wedding, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

We were there from Friday, November 23rd to Tuesday, November 27th with the wedding taking place on the Saturday. As like any other trip I take, the majority of my pictures and highlights revolve around food. Here is a day-by-day breakdown of where and what we ate and some details about what we did in Chicago.

Friday, November 23  On Black Friday we were walking up the Magnificent Mile which is probably one of the worst ideas we have ever had. It was packed, crowded and terrible – a very bad first impression of Chicago. As we would learn the rest of our stay, Chicago is nothing like this. It is relaxed, friendly and comfortable.  GC and I met up with Cynthia and we tried to go to The Purple Pig but it was packed so we opted to try some legendary deep dish pizza at the chain Giordano’s.

Me and GC with a deep dish Chicago-style pizza. Photo credit: Cynthia

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Last week I spent some time on Lake Huron at a cottage with my family. We spent the week going to the beach, watching sunsets and visiting picturesque towns along the coast line.

Sunset in Kincardine.

In Port Elgin we stopped in at an Italian restaurant called Rosina. I realize this isn’t a real link to the restaurant’s website, but this is as good as we are going to get regarding information about this place.

Every town, regardless of its size seems to have an Italian restaurant and luckily for Port Elgin, this is a good Italian restaurant. The interior is modern with rustic touches like the butcher block topped with a huge chunk of Parmesan cheese. Although it is nice inside, you can go in and be served looking  like a beach bum which is what we did. My favourite part of the aesthetic of this place is the little Nonna they have as their logo – she just captures Italian cuisine and eating perfectly.

I took pictures of the menu for my own purposes (I have been to too many small restaurants without websites and only realized it after the fact, forcing me to make up descriptions and ingredients) so I have included them in the off chance that someone from Port Elgin is looking for information. Based on the quality of the food we had that night, I can only assume this menu changes seasonally but I am sure there are some items on here that are year-round staples.

Amelia and Dad both ordered starters.

1. Dad ordered the Caesar Salad

Romaine hearts, crisp pancetta, anchovy croutons, parmigiano fricco, with roasted garlic and caper dressing. I love this parmigiano fricco that came with it. I think it’s a different way to incorporate parmesan into the dish. A modern take on a traditional and common salad.

2. Amelia started off with the Scallops

Pan-seared scallops, smashed avocado, garlic, arugula, pancetta, tomato and black olives in lemon thyme oil. I think it is interesting that they paired avocado with scallops and interesting in a good way. Avocado does not make its way into enough dishes even though it is completely fantastic.

For dinner Dad, Amelia and I ordered pizzas and Mom ordered veal.

1. Dad’s Funghi Pizza

Pizza Funghi with roasted portobello, button and porcini mushrooms, tomato and asiago cheese. I do apologize as this isn’t the greatest picture but it gives you the general idea that this pizza was loaded with mushrooms. Mushroom pizzas, when done right, are delicious. There are so many different types of mushrooms that we don’t get to use in our everyday cooking and a mushroom pizza really highlights the depth of flavour mushrooms are capable of. I liked that Rosina would feature different Italian cheeses on each pizza. This pizza featured asiago, a nuttier cheese that brought out the earthy qualities of the various mushrooms.

2. Amelia’s Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni pizza with pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. The pepperoni was spicy which is not common to traditional thin crust pizzas. There is always a slight hint of spice in pepperoni, due to the curing process, but never to the extent that it leaves your mouth feeling hot when you are done. This pizza had that heat.

3. My Fig Pizza

Fig Pizza with fig marmellatta, Gorgonzola, prosciutto and arugula. This is one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The marmellata was sweet and grainy, giving the pizza the essence of figs without the fleshiness that I dislike. The Gorgonzola was creamy, with that strong blue taste that works with the sweetness of the figs to offset the overpowering qualities that figs and Gorgonzola both have. The arugula was crispy and fresh. The prosciutto was salty and a great accent for the sweet creaminess of the figs and cheese working in tandem with one another. My only complaint about this pizza was that the crust was slightly too crunchy for my liking.

4. Mom’s Grilled Fillet of Veal

Grilled fillet of veal, crushed mini red potatoes with black olive, baby carrots, sauteed baby spinach, beet tapenade and sauce agro dolce. Mom really liked this dish – her only complaint was that she ordered her veal medium-rare and and it came medium-well. Apparently this is a common issue when ordering veal.

If you live in Port Elgin or you are just cottaging in the area, this restaurant is definitely worth a taste. Classy and classic Italian flavours and aesthetics.

Happy munching!