Archive for February, 2007

Yes, I know I’ve been a bad blogger.
Yes, I know you hate me.
Yes, I will attempt to make it up to you with tons of food pictures.

Well, you may be wondering what I’ve been up to as of late that has prevented me from posting.  These last two months have just been really hectic for me.  I went to Beijing for a few days and I just recently came back from a trip to Montreal and Quebec City.  Now, I’m planning my next trip [yes, already] to Bermuda.  I’m sick of cold places! 

 Enjoy the bundles of food!

Breakfast stuffs from our B&B: 

breakfast, day 1 eggs 
eggs benedict

We kept having to take up a table for 4 for all the food the two of us ordered. =X   There were bagels, croissants, various jellies and even a passionfruit pudding type topping.  They make fresh waffles and french toast on the premises.  For day one, I had fruit salad, brie!, croissant with 3 different type of jams: orange, raspberry, and strawberry all made from actual fruit.  My fave is the strawberry.  

You all know how much I love my eggs.  I had eggs scrambled with cheese and bacon on the side.  Mmm… crispy bacon.  The next day, I had eggs benedict with more bacon.  The food quality is good for a small bed and breakfast; I love that the breakfast is unlimited too. 

In Quebec City, we went to visit Erico’s Choco-Musee, which is located right outside the city walls.  They’ve been in business since 1988.

erico choco musee choco museum  choco musee
chocolate chocolate hearts

This museum chocolaterie combo stages antique chocolate molds and casings in addition to various hot chocolate making contraptions (like the one in the red floral pattern that you see above).  The chocolatiers here will make you chocolate molds of anything you want out, given you have the time to wait for it to be prepared.  I bought a whole bunch of chocolate here for friends back home – they have a lot of unique flavors for their chocolates from lavendar to espresso and everything looks really cute presentation-wise too. 

Three hours from Quebec City lies the city of Montreal, and Montreal’s Chinatown if filled with Vietnamese restaurants.  I think it should be more of a Vietnamese Town, than a Chinatown.  Even some Chinese restaurants have Viet menus.

chinatown my canh /
shredded roast pork rolls roast pork roll inside
spring roll vermicelli rice

I decided with the abundance of Viet choices, we would have Vietnamese food.  Oddly enough, there’s a Pho-Bang New York!  I wanted to go there, but my friend vetoed the idea because we could get that in New York.  So we chose a local Viet joint- My Canh.  I ordered some shredded roast pork rolls.  The rolls came in a rice paper wrap summer roll style with lettuce, mint leaves, bean sprouts, rice noodles, and the shredded roast pork.  The infamous fish sauce is used for dipping.  The bean sprouts give the roll a good crunch and the mint gave it a kick since the actual shredded roast pork is pretty flavorless- the uniqueness comes in its texture.  I also got the vermicelli noodles with spring rolls, which comes with more fish sauce.  Mixed in with the noodles are bean sprouts, mint, cilantro, carrots, daikons, and bits of red cabbage.  My friend got a rice combo with a pork chop, shredded pork [yes, more], and a fried egg on rice with salad on the side- which he did not eat.

Le Cochon Dingue.  The crazy pig.  Quebec City.  They had a good 3 course meal deal for Carnaval, however it was for pork and I didn’t want that. 

 le cochon dingue pig
bean soup salad
ribs raspberry square
chocolate cake

The restaurant is situated in Vieux Quebec, which is in the Lower Town.  The Lower Town is accesible by Fornicular, or an elevator from Upper Town.  I ordered a pre-fixe meal for $17.95c.  It came with soup, my entree, dessert, and a drink.  We ordered a pitcher of Sangria, which I don’t recommend because it tasted more of a strawberry juice color and consistency that was not typical of deep red-wine concoction I’m used to.  The soup of the day was white bean soup [yea.. not a fan of the bean soup .. I’m more of a bisque/chowder girl].  I also ate my friend’s mixed green salad with pine nuts.  The salad could use a few tomatoes and I didn’t like the unknown salad dressing.  My entree was a half rack of maple house-smoked ribs with small caesar salad and potato skins.  I loved the sweetness of the ribs, but the salad and potato were average.  I should’ve ordered more ribs.  My friend ordered the steak with the house sauce.  The sides were all mediocre.

 Au Pied de Cochon aka Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurant and restaurant concept.  He talked about it in his book Nasty Bits.  If you’re in the bathroom at the restaurant, there are a ton of articles with him in the restaurant.  He loves the bustling bar type setting with gourmet foods. 

au pied de cochon au pied de cochon
au pied de cochon  bread
foie gras boutin foie gras burger
DUCK IN A CAN duck in a can

This place is foie gras heaven.  There’s just sooo much of the goody lying around- it’s sickening!  I tried poutine for the first time in my life and it had foie gras in it!  Poutine is fries with bits of cheese curds and drenched in gravy.  The poutine one from Au Pied de Cochon has foie gras infused in its gravy and has foie gras pieces!  It was soo addicting- I loved it.  I was so foie gras obsessed that I even ordered the foie gras burger as my entree.  It was a big piece of foie gras with goat cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato and balsamic vinegar on the bottom.  There was too much of the balsamic vinegar and the bottom bun ended up soaking a ton of it up, but it was too overbearing.  We also got the duck in a can, mainly for the name and the concept.  How do you serve and cook a duck in a can?  The duck seemed to be cooked with a corned beef and cabbage concoction and a huggeeeeee slab of fat!  The fat scared me.  Look at the size of the thing!  Hidden in between the fat and the duck was a piece of foie gras!  Talk about pleasant surprises.  Was I all foie-gras’ed out after this meal?  Just a bit.. but it only took me until the next day to get over it.





Stay tuned for… Beijing fooding recaps!

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soho park

I was eyeing Soho Park ever since I saw the green picnic table out back for what is now their beer garden. Soho Park sells basic grill and street foods with a menu consisting mainly of burgers, salads, and sandwiches in an “airy garage-garden” type setting.  Think: indoor park – that’s what the decor reminds me of.  Some of the seats are actually benches, the walls are exposed brick, and there’s the picnic table. 

soho park outside soho park inside

Soho Park is known for their variety of drinks, especially beers [they have a lot of locally brewed options], but what I found surprisingly good was the vanilla milk shake.  It tastes like vanilla bean ice cream in shake form- but better.  It was so rich, creamy, smooth, and vanilla-y.  I think it may be too overwhelming for those who aren’t huge vanilla fans like me though.  The person who made mine got it at the right consistency; not too thick that I couldn’t drink it with a straw, but it wasn’t like vanilla juice either.

vanilla shake

Usually, I would never order a burger that isn’t either turkey or veggie, but they don’t have either of those choices here.  All they serve are thin patty beef burgers.  Since I was craving for a burger, I decided to suck it up and try it regardless of the meat content.  I got the park cheddar cheese burger; it came, finely shredded iceberg lettuce, Gus’ sliced pickles, the house special sauce, and tomato on a warm potato bun.  One can also opt for a combo with fries on the side (which I’m sure you can see I did).  For a non-frequent meat eating person like me, the thin patty is sizeable for me but I can see this could be a cause for complaints.  When I first saw it, a picture of Wendy’s cheeseburger came to mind, but trust me when I say that the looks are the only thing similar – the quality here is so much better.  I did not like their overly potato-y, non crunchy fries, but I like that they used the sea salt to make them extra salty.  Also, these fries are handcut.


We also ordered some homemade herbed buttermilk red onion rings with a homemade garlic aioli sauce.  The red onions are fried in a light batter that didn’t seem to coat each onion ring thoroughly.  The batter was a thin crispy layer that separated easily from the onion.  What stood out from this dish is the fact that they used red onions instead of white; it made the onion sweeter and more flavorful.  I did not taste any herbs though.  Also, the actual onion pieces still had their crispness in tact, as opposed to some oil soaked onion rings where the onion was just a string of sogginess.

onion rings

A friend of mine tried the hungarian spiced kielbasa.  It came with sweet caramelized onions, which I stole, sourdough toast points, and a smoked paprika mustard as a dipping sauce.  My palate can’t exactly tolerate any sausage-type foods so I can’t comment on this dish.  My friend did give me a thumbs up and said the level of spiciness was good for her. 


Several weeks later, I made a second visit to have yet another burger (gah! Could it be?  Miss Beancurd is a carnivore in the making?!) and my friend had the Caesar salad which came in a big metal tub. 

So, I’ve concluded that Soho Park offers some no frills fare in a very subdued environment.  The atmosphere reminds me of a hipster version of a dive bar- if that makes any sense.  If you’re in the neighborhood and have the munchies, or you’re done with a day of shopping and want to sit down with an ice cold beer- this is the place for you.  It’s a good alternative to the Mercer Kitchen and Zoe a few blocks away.  I do not believe that this is something one needs to travel out of their way for though. 

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