Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Caffé Verona + Bacon Rustico = Amore

Ever want an extra bit of love with your mornings? I know that I did today and while I always feel a special energy from my daily ritual Starbucks, today needed a little something special. And so when I went into Starbucks this morning, my heart felt warmed to see that Caffe Verona was the Bold pick of the Day.

Do I hear you saying "Why?", well because of all the coffees that Starbucks offers, Verona is the one that provides the most romantic and loving of flavors. It's like being wrapped in the arms of your handsome Lover (or so I imagine). And breathing in that warm, aromatic steam sent me to a place of ecstasy. But since one does not live by coffee alone (something I have yet to be fully convinced of), I paired my Verona with a delicious and still fairly new sandwich at Starbucks, the Rustic Bacon.

Now I know I'm painting a fairly good mental picture here but just in case you're more of the visual type, here's a snapshot of my breakfast mere seconds before I attacked it.

Now, let me just say that when I chose the Rustic Bacon, I expected the flavors of it to pair well with Verona but the two blended in a far more profound way that I expected. The Rustic Bacon has egg white, cheddar and obviously bacon on a cheddar chive artisan bun. It was those flavors meeting with the roasty sweetness of Verona that created a perfect balance.

The two complimented each other ideally, smoky, sweet, savory and herbal. Combined between the coffee and sandwich, these intense flavors were lifted by the smoothness of the Verona and the light airiness of the sandwich's egg white.

Together it was a warm, soul food sort of morning that comforted into this current inspiration that I'm sharing with you. I only hope that if you're in need of some coziness you'll turn to this same combination and find what I did.

True Love.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Celebrating with Gold Rush Nachos at the Water's Edge Restaurant

As everyone knows, today was the illustrious closing of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and while I've been beaming with pride at our Athletes accomplishments, I was equally excited to celebrate along with the rest of Canada watching the Olympic Closing Ceremony.

And at the Water's Edge Restaurant located at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel they've been honoring our Gold Winners with a special deal. For every gold medal our Canadian's won, the Water's Edge discounted their nachos by $1.00. And with a grand total of $10.00 Gold Medals, the Gold Rush Nachos were $10.00 off for today. So taking a queue from the awesome initiative of the Water's Edge, I headed down to watch the Closing Ceremony there and eat some truly outstanding Nachos.

And take a look at these Olympic worthy nachos...

Yes, oh yes! I could eat my computer just looking at that photo.

We're talking about pulled pork, spiced chicken and beef resting on tons of cheese, bell peppers, tomato, black olives and tri-color tortilla chips. (It typically comes with red onion and jalapeno as well but the Water's Edge being as awesome as they are customized mine so that my sensitive stomach wouldn't freak out.)

There were so many points of interest on this plate that I had no idea where to start but let's just say it was totally competing for my attention with the Closing Ceremonies (and at times, winning.). But once I dove in, there was an explosion of flavor in my mouth! Warm and succulent pulled pork mingled with crunchy bell peppers and juicy tomatoes to make for the perfect first bite all topped with fresh, cool sour cream. And every single bite after that was pure bliss and artistry.

Every flavor mingled perfectly with the next, each bite unique and each flavor adding it's own unique touch to the plate of sheer t yum. And you know how sometimes when you get nachos, there's not enough to cover the vast amount of chips? Well let me just say, Water's Edge has made that problem a thing of the past! No chip was left behind as each one had enough to top them until they were like a mini tortilla flavor party!

And the portion was so generous that two could easily share it and while, me, being the greedy little foodie that I am kept the plate to myself, was rewarded with a nice little take home pack of leftovers to eat...right...about...now. (Hey, it's just a little extra inspiration, that's all.)

All and all these nachos, like our Canadian Olympic performance was pure epic win!

Go and get some...now!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Greatest Western Sandwich in Eastern Canada - The Dundee Arms!

Want the best of the West but live in the East? Have no fear!

I've found the best Toasted Western Sandwich on PEI at the Dundee Arms and it's got everything a person could want and more!  Generous in size, this practically mile high Western is filled with fresh ham, sweet bell peppers and the soft bite of onion to give it that extra bit of pizzazz. Not only that but it comes with a choice of three sides. A garden salad, Caesar Salad of the Soup of the Day. All that for $8.95 on their Saturday & Sunday Brunch Menu is not only outstanding but with the atmosphere of either the Griffon Dining Room or the Hearth and Cricket makes for the perfect package. Oh and I couldn't forget to mention Denika, one of the sweetest waitresses I've ever met who not only brought me incredible food but a huge smile to my face!

Just to give you a visual, take a look at my glorious plate of from this morning...

Yup, that's it, right there all pretty with it's tempting good and cute garnish of fresh fruit. Jealous, aren't you? Well you should be! Because that's the breakfast that made But don't feel too bad because you too can go and get yourself an amazing Dundee Arms Toasted Western on Saturday or Sunday on their brunch menu.

As you can see I choose the Soup of the Day, which in and of itself deserves a review. But I'll try and do it some justice right here. A Roasted Vegetable Crème Soup, it was robust, had a bust of extreme natural flavor and epitomizes the idea of soul food. Thick and hearty with a warmth that spreads straight through you, this soup could warm the coldest Island day. It's flavor was a blend of root vegetables and roasted bell peppers. Sweet, savory and satisfying, the Dundee's chef hit perfection on every point with this delicious soup. Topped with an herbed crostini topped with olive oil and cheese, this soup could easily hold it's own for any meal.

Now beside that is the star of this show! That perfectly, perfect Western that I've already been raving about. Fluffy fresh eggs filled with the freshest ham, bell peppers and onions are piled high on nicely toasted bread. With the savouriness of the ham meeting the trio of bell peppers, the sweet and salty are a perfect pairing with the zing of onion. And my, oh my, when you put it all together and take a bite, it's like a party of flavor in your mouth.

In the end, there's no where else to go for a Toasted Western than the Dundee Arms!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Saying Cheese at the Orange Lunchbox

Anyone who was on Prince Edward Island today knows that it has been one of the snowiest that we've had all Winter long. But even with all 27 odd centimetres of snow built up against the sidewalks, I just had to make the trek to The Big Orange Lunchbox today!

But what could posses a girl to venture out in such conditions? Well, pure Island cheese, smothered against home made bread, grilled to perfection with a side of the best fries in the world could definitely be the reason. And it was!

Check out the bounty that I was rewarded with upon crossing into the Lunchbox's glorious smelling territory...

Yeah, that would make you go out into all sorts of crazy snow too, wouldn't it?

And thanks to the dedicated staff at The Big Orange Lunchbox, that's just the platter I was served toady. The Legend -wait for it- Dairy Grilled Cheese is the best twist of a classic grilled cheese that you're ever going to cross paths with. Two delicious ADL cheeses mingling to create a sumptuous flavor that's matched with the best grilled cheese crunch and soft fluffy inside of their house made bread.

Of course any grilled cheese with such potent flavour and awesomeness needs a co-star worthy of such grandeur! And The Big Orange Lunchbox's signature fries are the most ideal companion, the perfect crunch, satisfying taste that can only belong to PEI Potatoes and seasoned until heavenly!

Now you might think I'm a little bit excited over something like a grilled cheese, but with the touch of Chef James' Oja, a grilled cheese is something to get really excited over!

P.S. I gotta say a big thank you to Jason for being such an awesome waiter and a total ray of sunshine on this snow stormy day! (And for telling me about the epic Apple Poutine that I can't wait to try on my next visit.)