Monday, June 1, 2009

Coast to coast delicious-ness.

I just went on another trip. It was the cheapest cross country trip I could manage, via greyhound, cheap flights, and Craigslist rideshares; staying on couches and in hostels. My best good friend from high school, Tiffiny, was getting married in Denver and my sister was graduating from university a few weeks later in Montreal so I figured why go home in between?? I went to some amazing cities and met some wonderful new friends. Being the girl that I am I bypassed most of the fabulous museums that I could have visited and my trip centred mostly around food.

Here's the backbone of it all:
A zippy bus ride from Vancouver to Seattle where we (the other best good friend from highschool) had a short stopover to investigate the Pike Place market and witness the men throwing fish. A few hours later we were on the wrong city bus out to the airport which came very close to making us miss our flight to Denver. We caught it, which got us into the city just in time for the bachelorette party.
After the wedding and a few more days in Denver I went to explore Boulder, just north. In a nutshell: not the quant little hippy town I expected but beautiful none the less. And it has a million little places to get a good meal.
Boulder to Denver one early morning to catch another flight to Newark, New Jersey. Train ride into New York where I met up with my sister, then on to three days with not enough sleep, lots of lemonade and the discovery of the city's great parks and fun restaurants.
Next, we found a ride on craigslist to Montreal with two guys who appeared to be transporting basketball shoes over the border so they could sell them. Legit? I'll never know, but they drove fast and got us home quickly.
Montreal: ate lots of food, proudly watched my sister graduate from architecture, and went to the Cirque du Soleil (!!).
Finally, last night, I boarded a flight back to Vancouver. Phew...

Also - a continuation of my camera saga - it died the day of the wedding (two days into the trip) so I have no photos. Use your imagination.

So with no photos I figured I would give the details of a few of my most favourite meals of the past two and a half weeks. Pretty basic stuff, no five course restaurants or fancy wine, just food. And drinks. Great fun!

-Westside East in the lower east side of New York City. After a big night I told Jeff, the guy my sister and I were staying with, that we needed to eat a big plate of vegetables for breakfast. He sent us a few blocks up from his place on Avenue B to this little place. After a short wait we sat at the bar (which was tended by two extremely cute boys) and were presented with menus that, on top of the usual brunch items, had a special sheet that was all vegetables. Great choice, Jeff! Four choices cost $15 and we got tomato and basil salad, asparagus with lemon and almonds, soy glazed green beans, and sweet potato fries. The choices change daily and the staff handwrite the menu with big, slightly unreadable cursive. With a big glass of lemonade (which became my new infatuation in New York), I felt re-energized enough to wander over to Union Square to take a nap.

-The best sandwich of my life. Somewhere in Chelsea (again, New York), I was lead there by my sister. It doesn’t have a sign and I don’t know it’s name so it‘s kind of like a myth. Or a fable. Olive bread, fresh mozzarella, spinach and home cured prosciutto. And ginger-mint-lemonade. Eaten in a park. I’ll let you dream…

- Picnic in a park across Parc from Mount Royal, Montreal, Quebec. Myself, my parents and my sister lying on the grass in the first sunshine after five days of rain. We bought a Portuguese chicken (lots of spices and when you buy it, they put it in a bag and pour what looks like half a cup of butter over it. Mmm…) from a shop on St. Laurent and the ingredients for potato salad. Also, a bottle of wine, some cheese, bread, grapes and Peak Frean cookies (which are a necessity on my family picnics). We laid on the grass for hours, basking in the sunset. The week I was in Montreal we went to a lot of wonderful meals in some great restaurants, but this was by far my favourite.

-The Rio Grande in Denver, Colorado. To start with, a direct quote: “credit cards, speed limits, and Rio Grande’s margaritas: all things that should have limits”. One margarita at this mexican place has something like three shots of tequila and they will only allow you to drink three. However, if your thing is breaking rules, you can push the limit and move from the patio to upstairs and maybe the new waitress will bring you three more. There is a reason they have a limit, because too many might make you decide it’s a great idea to drive to Tiajuana to see if the margaritas are just as good there…
Our dinner was homemade tortilla chips and salsa. Tasty, complimentary, and just enough to keep us from doing things we weren’t proud of.

Other places I went that I loved:
-Illegal Pete’s, Denver, Colorado. Awesome, cheap mexican food with cute boys.
-Sunflower Grill, Boulder, Colorado. You will want everything on the menu and it’s all organic, some vegan, and mostly local.
-Golden City Brewery, Golden, Colorado. Some guy decided to brew some beer in his garage and let people drink it in his backyard at picnic tables.
-The Library, Avenue A, New York City. Excellent place to celebrate a random guy’s 30th birthday party. The books and the bathroom are covered in graffiti and the drinks are cheap. Perfect.
-Wilensky’s, Montreal, Quebec. You go and order “the special with cheese” and you get a toasted boloney sandwich with heaps of mustard and a dill pickle. Cherry coke - optional.
-Aux Vivres, Montreal, Quebec. A vegan’s paradise filled with healthy looking people and the best breakfasts.
-The Khyber Pass, Montreal, Quebec. Afghani food in a below street level cave on Duluth Street. Biryani and rose water pudding were my highlights.

My Potato Salad - best eaten outside.
7-8 red potatoes, cubed and boiled until they are just tender
3-4 hard boiled eggs
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
Handful of radishes, sliced
A pickle, finely chopped
Red onion, finely chopped

Mayonnaise, lets say ¾ cup
Grainy Dijon mustard, about 2 or 3 tablespoons
Apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper
A little dash of pickle juice

Mix up the dressing in the bowl you will be using, then stir in all the other ingredients. I am not against a warm potato salad in the least, although if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight the vinegars will soak into the potatoes and make your salad taste that much better. Cooling is just a side effect…

*The trick to perfect hard boiled eggs: put your eggs in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them, then onto the stove, uncovered. Turn on the heat and leave it for around twelve minutes. Use a timer! The water should be softly boiling within the first five minutes and then just let it go. At the end of twelve minutes, I put the pan into the sink and let cold water run over it. Peel them and the yolk should be just cooked, not fully solid but not runny either. The perfect hard boiled egg!

No comments:

Post a Comment