WestJet Magazine Feature - Thank You! |

We wanted to write a personal Thank You to the team at WestJet Magazine for featuring us in their September 2016 issue!! It is an honour to be a part of your publication. As well, it is our first published image in print! Thank you again and here it is.

If you missed our blog feature on Etto, click here.

The Fat Badger | Vancouver Public House

IMG_7726Vancouver has finally got a more than decent pub - the right beer, cider and proper pub grub.The Fat Badger is situated in a house in downtown Vancouver - top floor only, bar and tables, it's the perfect hangout after a long day's work. The scotch egg is by far my favourite of the establishment along with a pint of Fuller's ESB.

Chip butties, sticky toffee pudding - classics from the UK and many more.

It's a small, loud and proper pub. On Sundays, they offer their Sunday Roast. To be expected: Yorkshire pudding, roast pork or beef, and sometimes I've heard of lamb being present. What a treat!

The Fat Badger is a hit and we can't be anymore grateful for its presence.

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Pine State Biscuits

Pine State Biscuits was a highlight of my trip to Portland. At their farmers market in the Market District, I lined up for about twenty minutes just to order the Moneyball. Biscuits and gravy with an over-easy egg on top. The gravy was made of shitake mushrooms and the biscuits were delicious. Baked fresh and served fresh. The egg just topped off my experience - they are my favourite food item if anything. I was eager to try the cider but it immediately sold out when I got into the line. It is a MUST. You will not regret a single minute waiting in line at the market.

DEEEE-RICIOUS! is all I can say.

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Enoteca Sociale

An absolute favourite. Italian, family styled dining is one of my favourites. I of course have to blog about Enoteca Sociale because a) it's definitely a number one of mine in Toronto and b) it's just so good! IMG_8637

Opened not long ago, this Enoteca has so many things working for them. They are welcoming, the service is superb and they know what they're talking about! Moreover, if you want to taste the best of italian food (or as close as you're going to get to it) with local produce, Sociale has it all. The menu has changed every time that I've been and has not failed me once. From antipastis like their house-cured meats, to their home-made pastas (which is a huge seller for me), everything is delicious.

The last time I went I got to enjoy bone marrow - decadent and so worth it - as well as various pasta dishes from spaghetti to ravioli... Pork chop was another entrée that I got to taste (simple dish but juicy nonetheless).IMG_8638

That evening, a sticky toffee pudding (the best in Toronto might I add), a lemon pudding, and a butter tart with a chocolate filling was offered on the menu.

I highly recommend Enetoca Sociale, but make sure you make reservations WELL in advanced (I usually book at least two weeks in advanced!) Enjoy!

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Cork & Fin

 It's all about being fresh. I love being home because you can get the freshest seafood, and have it turned into something delicious. Cork and Fin not only has a great cocktail list, but the food menu shows promise. The oysters (which were a dollar each during their monday event "a buck a shuck",) were super yummy and from the east coast. My mum had their seafood chowder, that came with fish too. For my appetizer, I had the salmon tartare with quail egg and caviar on top (seafood friendly). To finish, I had the lobster ravioli (a bit too thick of a pasta might I add but the lobster meat and cream were fantastic).   Of course we had to have dessert and we ordered the olive oil ice cream with fleur de sel. The ice cream was very different but loved it - except for that there was too much fleur de sel (there were moments where I was trying to have a conversation or enjoy the ice cream, but the immediate saltiness was quite overwhelming at times...)  Overall, I had a great experience at Cork and Fin, I highly suggest you go if you're in Gastown, Vancouver.

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Al Fresco Restaurante Italiano

Al Fresco was such a wonderful experience. Sitting on the patio, enjoying sangria and pasta... with the sun shining, nothing beats Lisbon during the summer. If you're a foodie, well this is a great spot for you!

Below, we have the appetizer of an egg, lightly battered and fried on top of greens, with a side of mushrooms.  The sangria was very refreshing especially in the heat, but as our entrées we kept it hot. We enjoyed vongole (clams in white sauce with linguine) and a creamy mushroom pasta. Lastly, we enjoyed a specialty of the restaurant: a Zabaione, which consists of egg whites, sugar, and a sweet wine (like that of Moscato d'Asti). It's the consistency of a light custard. Very rich, but definitely a must try. If you want to see more of Al Fresco's creations, click here to get to their Facebook page. Bom apetite!

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Truckeroo!

Well, who would have thought that I'd be lucky enough to experience a Truckeroo in DC. The first day of the festival, May 17th, was one of four days of the festival (the rest happen once in June, July, and August). The festival is comprised of many food trucks from the area and offer special menus or their signature dishes. The event took place at the Fairgrounds in Washington, DC. Being my first time visiting the capital of America, it was super cool to be a part of something that has been fairly new in the food world. Food trucks were never really a novelty, but now with social media and more fancy looking and appealing trucks, the food truck industry has rocketed sky-high. It's amazing how much dedication chefs put into making food in their trucks, prepping in a kitchen the day before or morning of. Serving many customers throughout the day and making them happy. The festival ran from 11am to 11pm - talk about a lot of prep to serve myself and many others! Now, the food trucks that I got to try were super tasty and a lot of fun to try. DC Empanadas was a delightful find (after doing some twitter research and reading reviews). They had a chili filled empanada and a specialty the WMD empanada. So good. The second truck was the Tapas truck -  spanish dishes that included corn fritters, and crispy calamari sticks over garlic fries. Lastly, Takorean was a very tasty twist on tacos. Kimchi and korean styled brisket were just a couple of the simple but delicious ways to make a Korean taco.

Overall, Truckeroo was a fun experience. Lots of people came out to have favourites or to try something new. It's a fun family event and the venue sold drinks separately (non-alcoholic and alcoholic). The next date for Truckeroo is June 14th! If you're in DC, be sure to go check it out! You can take a look at the website here where they will tell you everything you need to know and which trucks will be at each event.

Ganso!

Welcome to Brooklyn, NY. - home to many up and coming Ramen joints, and already well established ones too.

Ganso specializes in soy sauce based broths with their ramen. They make chicken wings (probably deep fried twice) that are finger-lickin' good. Belly pork buns with a korean twist and another set with short ribs. The food is great and the portions of the ramen are perfect (not too big and not too small). You could order a second if you're really hungry (I probably would if I was really hungry the day I went). If the egg in a bowl of ramen is important to you (as it is to me,) depending on what ramen you order you get a soft boiled or a really REALLY soft boiled egg... almost poached but not. There is a short rib ramen and the Ganso original (which is simply pork shoulder and pork belly like most ramen joints).  Moreover, there is a spicy ramen and what they call the "Stamina" ramen bowl, which consists of a chicken broth. You can take a look at their menu here.  On the way to the restroom at the back,  I spotted their fridge with all their sake products inside - not bad!

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I love Ippudo Ramen but Ganso has definitely made it into my good books. Gotta love ramen!

Salt.

IMG_6532 Great for pre-drinking and a quick bite to eat. Salt in Gastown, Vancouver offers floaters of wines that you can choose to try. American, Argentinian and European known wines are offered on their list. Furthermore, cured meats and pâtés are delicious pairings to the drinks. Their chalkboard at the back of the room lists the cheeses, meats and condiments. Of course, there are desserts listed too.  Lastly, it's a small restaurant and gets busier earlier in the evening 'til late. Salt is located in Blood alley  (a bit dodgy for many peoples likings, but that's what makes the place fun to get to and to enjoy). Be sure to check out Salt!

Ohla

Barcelona has so much to offer. From the sites to the food, the drinks and the people - this buzzing city is the heart of Spain. Having stayed at a hotel with the number one bar in all of Barcelona, you couldn't pass on having a drink. The bar tender had been voted one of the best in the world - amazing! Max de la Rocca is renown for making the best cocktails and beverages at the Ohla bar. Many cocktails were tasted and shared amongst us one particular night. PicNic de Jalisco was a sweet and sour mix of passion fruit and marmalade - like a margarita but better. Then there was the Teasing Bee, made of 42 Below Honey vodka, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, ginger and pineapple juice. Raspberry Mule was one of my favourites. There was a specialty cocktail made with Lavender but he wouldn't tell a soul what he put in it. It was simply delicious (and not too floral might I add). Lastly, my dad's favourite libation is that of the G&T. He only likes it the one way, but Max only made it one way. He was up to try it out, and boy did he ever enjoy it! It was so unique and served in a large tumbler. You could imagine after two of them how you'd feel... My dad described it as, "the best gin and tonic I've ever had."

It was such an experience watching Max create concoctions - you just had to trust his taste. Although it was just him at the bar making the drinks (and it took a little while), it was worth the wait. Max, thank you for such a fantastic experience last summer. I love Barcelona and loved it more when I tasted your signature cocktails.