This was not the biggest year of travel for the Savoury Traveller household but it was plenty savoury. And we did have quite a few major milestones too.
I finished by MA in Professional Communications.
And we took an epic three-week trip through the East Coast to celebrate, after I presented my thesis at a major conference.
Sister and Brother-in-law ST added the most wonderful ray of sunshine to our lives with the birth of our first nephew Caleb.
I ran my first half marathon (with my Mum who ran the 8K!)
And we started this here blog. This being a blog about the pleasures of the palate, I thought it apro pos to wrap things up with the best bites from 2011.
Best post-workout breakfast
Nature’s Path flax oven waffles topped with natural peanut butter, sliced bananas and a dollop of Krema lemon passion greek yogurt. I can get downright religious in my love of post-workout breakfast food and unlike most of them it even photographs well! The world of running/healthy living/fitness blogs has already given us more than enough internet photos of oatmeal:-)
This little meal set off my major craving for WannaWaffle.
Most creative and inspiring meal
If you are in Halifax, I have one word for you: Gio.
Forget everything you’ve ever thought about hotel food. Yes, this restaurant is located in the Prince George Hotel in downtown Halifax, but it is also a place you will find things like beet risotto with wild mushrooms and edamame (above).
Pork belly and fois gras steam buns with homemade potato chips.
A rhubarb sorbet palate cleanser!
Every bite of this meal was courteously orchestrated by their staff and passionately planned by the kitchen.
Best meal from my own kitchen
What’s the first food that popped into my head instantly? What I want to make right-this-second? Homemade Bibimbap.
Best holiday meal
Brined turkey with curry spices and cranberry chutney at my Dad’s house for Thanksgiving. Brining is where it’s at! The turkey was well-seasoned and was the most moist I’ve ever had—a true accomplishment given the size of this beast. My tastebuds are a bit biased since I ran that half marathon the day before!
Best local restaurant discovery
Although we were romanced by our recent trip to Prima Strada, it couldn’t rival the decadence of our anniversary dinner at Brasserie L’ecole. I am so ashamed that we live less than ten minutes from this place and it took us five years to visit. Shame on us.
You know it’s good when you still want to take a picture after you’ve half-desecrated the food.
Best food truck/stand experience of 2011
At the November Downtown Winter Market, we sampled El Guapo’s chorizo sandwich with roasted red peppers, arugula and golden-baked-sunshine-in-a-bottle-olive-oil.
A chilly and sunny Saturday morning is a perfect time for chorizo, and what other sandwich of this quality costs just $5 in downtown Victoria? I think you should get one–they’ll be at the market again on January 21st!
I wanted to say La Fogata Lantina, the new Columbian hole-in-the-wall occupying Pig’s former spot over on View Street, however every time I’ve tried to go back to document it for the blog, it’s been closed when it is supposed to be open. So you’ll have to settle for a recommendation that if you see it open, go in. Get a chorizo arepa with extra pineapple sauce. I stumbled home with a goofy grin on my face and that feeling of almost yogic clarity that all is right with the world. If you’re still not convinced, check out Liz and Adrian from the Guilty Kitchen’s post!
Also, La Taquisa Mexican food in Cook Street Village.
Ok, I failed at this category. I like street food, ok?
Best burger of 2011
Jackalope convinced me of the virtues of the soft bun and that apples have yet another purpose in life. Mr. ST’s vote is for Relish Burger in Saint John.
Best junkfood of 2011
It’s a tie between chocolate covered potato chips and lobster flavoured potato chips—both came from PEI! The former combines salty and sweet and the latter has a shamefully long list of true junk ingredients.
Also, deep fried pickles?
My ass did not need to know about these.
Best Seafood of 2011
If you make it to Cape Breton, do the entire Cabot Trail.
If these views aren’t enough to snag you, then perhaps the fact that the best lobster roll ever and these super light and crispy fries can be found at the only restaurant at the veeeeeery top.
This recommendation comes with the experience of about seven lobster rolls in less than two weeks…..Mr. ST took on the task like it was his life’s calling. He even sampled the McDonald’s lobster roll available in only certain locations within Nova Scotia. I found this to be a bit like how old saggy yogis in India twist and bend their tender bits around sticks and do lunges and such to strengthen the mind and demonstrate commitment. I am not sure which would be more painful—that or a lobster roll made three days ago to McDonald’s standards? The pain Mr. ST will go through to gross others out is truly senseless. But it DOES make me laugh.
Most Bizzare Must-Order Food
Two words: Corn Cheese.
In an empty Korean restaurant in a Halifax strip mall. I tell you this so that if you find yourself at a Korean restaurant with something similar, you please take the chance.
It was delivered to the table sizzling and crunchy and totally confusing. “Embrace weird things on the menu of life” I think I found my tombstone statement. Sorry, it must be all this dang cheese.
What are your favourite food memories of 2011?