I spent a week in Halifax last month. Visiting favourite restaurants is like visiting old friends – there’s never enough time to spend with all of them. I made it to the Economy Shoe Shop, the Wooden Monkey, Sushi Nami, and of course, the Henry House (twice). The food was all just as great as I remembered, especially the seafood. I tried to get at least one dish a day made with fish or shellfish. The night we went to Five Fisherman, I had a lovely seared tuna and many, many plates of mussels from their mussel bar. Nothing says “vacation” to a prairie girl quite like a week’s worth of fresh fish. Yum.
Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ category
After wanting to visit for the past two years, I finally made it to Calgary to have lunch at FARM, Janice Beaton’s sweet little bistro. It was a late lunch – 2:00pm – so I’d missed out on the sandwiches. No worries there, as the salads looked like the perfect meal for the first epically sunny day of spring.
I had the spring salad, which featured Broxburn cherry tomatoes, crispy torn croutons, pickled red onions and thin slices of fresh asparagus and green beans. The dressing was buttermilk-based – perfect with the chunks of 3 year cheddar that replaced the salad’s usual smattering of feta.
The restaurant’s decor is casual and homey, with blackboard menus and kitchen-style chairs. As I was on a quest for shoes and didn’t have a cooler to safely transport any food purchases, I skipped the temptations of the attached cheese shop. This also kept me from breaking out into any long-winded, Monty-Python-inspired speeches. Next time, I’ll come properly equipped to bring home some of the local cheese and sausage and make the most of the Janice Beaton experience.
I made a fantastic discovery while in Edmonton this weekend: The Duchess Bake Shop.
I spent my Sunday morning looking for just the right spot to have some elevenses, and happened upon a review of Duchess on Urbanspoon that looked extremely promising. After a quick drive over to 124th Street, I was not disappointed. I managed to snag the last little table along the side of the shop and sat down with a big old latte and a dark chocolate croissant. Not as flaky as the pastries I used to eat in Paris, but for a Canadian croissant, this was downright spectacular. The dusting of cocoa on the top was an especially nice touch.
The pies and cookies in one of the display windows kept calling to me…
But it was the macarons that won out. I took a sampler box back to my friends’ apartment, where we saved them for a light post-dinner dessert with tea. Unlike the pain au chocolat, there was nothing lacking with these macarons. The flavours were strong but not artificial and the texture and size were perfect. If I lived in Edmonton, I would probably visit this sweet little cafe on a weekly basis.
Last weekend, I took a couple days off work for my birthday and flew out to Vancouver to visit my sister and some friends from library school. I spent most of the time wandering around Kitsilano and Granville Island and eating at some truly fantastic restaurants. Here’s a recap of the best places I hit over the four days:
Friday’s lunch was at Pelican Seafood Restaurant where I ate enough dim sum to last me about three days. It was the first time I’ve ever eaten dim sum, and now it’s something I’ll be seeking out whenever I’m in a big city. Lovely stuff, especially the little radish cakes, pork sticky rice and steamed donut-y things. We also had spicy tripe and tendon, which was a tasty surprise.
My birthday breakfast was at Solly’s Bagelry in Kitsilano. I haven’t had a good bagel in years – possibly since I left Montreal. The bagels at Solly’s were chewy and yeasty and perfect when smothered in a schmear of fresh dill cream cheese. Their cinnamon buns are also fabulous according to my sister’s friend.