|the downside of the backseat in a convertible in rain|
Aaaanyway, we left for Westport Ontario on Friday to spend the long weekend visiting family. I was pretty sure we were not going to be able to find a nice place to stay so last minute and would have to make the 30 minute commute back to my sister's place every day (said sister was on her boat in Westport, a lovely little town north of Kingston) but on Thursday i started emailing a few B&Bs on a lark and much to my surprise, one of them had a cancellation later in the day and emailed me back with the offer of a room. We stayed at the Rothwell Stone Cottage and I am so happy we did.
Margot and her husband were so friendly and helpful, the house is beautiful, the grounds are well kept and there is a really nice pool in the beautifully landscaped backyard. Breakfasts are delicious, fresh and home made and the coffee is plentiful and strong. I have to be honest, I don't always like B&Bs. I am very much a nice hotel girl, complete with puffy linens, room service and lots of privacy in my sound proofed room. It's like a Goldilocks situation with me. I have been to B&Bs where it truly feel like I am sleeping in my cousin's old bedroom while he is away at university and I try my hardest to not be an imposition. You are just happy if there is a jar on instant coffee on the table with some creamer and a stale muffin in the morning and you can't wait to get out of there. Then there are the B&Bs that are SO precious and full of $$ antiques that they seem kind of stuffy and prissy and I can't relax. I end up feeling like a rabid 4 year old trying desperately not to break stuff the whole time I am in the house. I feel like I have to tiptoe around and not touch anything until I wonder why the hell I am paying these people to make me feel so coarse and clumsy.
|yogurt and fruit with homemade granola|
|frittata, home made yam scones|
I am happy to say that this did not happen here. This one was was too warm, and that one was too cold but this one was juuuuust right. It's nice enough to be lovely but it's still cosy and you feel like you can kick back and sit on the furniture and we felt really relaxed. I will admit one embarrassing thing right now but don't spread it around or you will ruin our reps. Shack and I thought it would be nice to sit in the dark out back the first night and read on our ipads. It was a brisk evening and we were enjoying the absolute quiet which just never happens at home but at the first, loud rustle in the bushes we both froze and looked at each other in mild panic. He said "what the hell was that?"
Being the city folk that we are, I immediately assumed it was a crazed serial killer, escaped from Kingston Pen hell bent on murdering us in the garden and I starting calculating how long the police response time is in Westport. Shack said "maybe it's a bear. Let's go into the sun porch, these bugs are eating me alive". After ten more minutes of loud rustling, coming ever closer, he finally pretended to yawn and said "let's go back to the room. I'm beat" and he pushed me out of the way and ran back into the house.
Our hosts thought it was most likely a lovely dear but I know, in my heart of hearts, that it was a crazed serial killer from the Pen who was going to kill us in the garden and leave our entrails for the bear to feast on. Country people are too trusting.
We had a great time visiting with family but on Sunday it was time to return to the Big Smoke. We left Westport after breakfast to meander home to Toronto, which is normally a 3 hour drive on the 401. Of course, because we are who we are, we didn't get home until 9pm but we had a great drive, complete with a ride on the Glenora Ferry, taking us into Prince Edward County for a visit to Fifth Town Artisan Cheese in Picton. I have always wanted to visit this environmentally responsible cheese maker but we are always in more of a hurry and it's kind of out of the way. As we were driving along a lovely, winding road trying to find it, it occurred to me that I had heard something about them closing at some point in the near past and the absence of signs started to worry me a wee bit. Of course, I did not share this sudden memory with Shack because that might not have went over so well and I was just starting to fret when suddenly I realized that we just drove right past it. I was very happy to learn that although they had closed for a time due to divorce and drama, new owners had bought the business and hired the assistant to the former cheese maker who is using all of Fifth Town's recipes and methods to carry on the traditions of the original Fifth Town. I encourage everyone to make the drive to Picton and visit this place - you can even book a tasting. The cheeses, mostly sheep and goat, are so interesting and delicious and it's such a pretty place. We walked out back after purchasing our cheeses and there was a young lady grilling corn. I wanted a piece but I thought "$3 for an ear of corn???" Come on. I was really hungry and I am ruled by my belly so I sucked it up and asked for an ear. Well, that delicious, sweet corn was only the beginning. I was given a container of their very own alpine butter whipped with their own parmesan to spread on it and was then presented with a choice of three fancy pants salts. Because I can not make my mind about such things, I used all three salts so it was like eating three cobs of corn, which is always better than eating one. It was the best $3 cob of corn I have ever had and I am still kicking myself for not getting a second.
On monday, which was a holiday here, we grilled some steaks and I made a scallion aji amarillo salsa thing, inspired by our MVP (most valued Peruvian) and even The Kid kept asking for more. A recipe for that will be coming soon.
On Tuesday we drove downtown to have a food truck lunch at the Sony Centre. As always, we got the pad thai fries from Fidel Gastro but I cheated on Fidel and my new favourite thing was the Chicken Tikka Box from The Feisty Jack. A whack of crispy fries smothered in chicken tikka, hot sauce, raita, a kind of Indian poutine - total food o' my fickle heart.
|The Feisty Jack even gave me this free mushroom toast|
Now, if all of this good food wasn't enough , The Kid and I ended the week by going to Xola for dinner last night. There used to be a wonderful little Mexican restaurant on the Danforth called Pachuco. We ate there quite a few times and would have gone more often if it was closer. It was run by the Fernandez sisters from Mexico City and they served traditional Mexican food with a contemporary twist that they call modmex cuisine. I just called it crazypants delicious. Imagine my delight when I spied a sign a couple of weeks back that said "Pachuco opening soon" in the window of the vacant spot next to Ed's Real Scoop right there on Queen St in The Beach. Ed's is at 2224 Queen East so this place must be at 2222 Queen East but it's so new that you can't find it on the internet yet so just remember it's next door to Ed's. Anyhow, a week later, the actual sign was up but it said Xola and I became obsessed with finding out if it was the same people so when I finally got a chance to pounce on someone, I totally pounced and I would like to apologize for that right now. I was told it was, indeed, the same three sisters, the same cook and, basically, the same restaurant with a new name. I have never been so happy.
The Beach is a lovely place to live with a stunning boardwalk, dogs as far as the eye can see, beautiful gardens and friendly neighbours but the food sitch is terrible. It's nothing but wings, pubs, wings and more wings with a smattering of decent sushi restaurants. We desperately need Xola to thrive and to stay so we can have nice things just like our neighbours in Riverdale so I am counting on all Beachers to support this place and I am also telling all of my friends who don't live in The Beach that we finally have a little restaurant that is worth the drive to Acton.
|would you look at that ceviche? Not a chicken wing in sight|
I have to admit, the service was spotty but it was absolutely packed and they are brand new so I am willing to cut them some slack. The Kid had a cochinita burrito which he inhaled. He said it was amazing and we will all have to take his word for it since it was gone before I could get a bite and we shared guacamole with smoked salmon. They did a version with smoked trout that I was partial to in the other restaurant but it was still delicious. My ceviche was wonderful. It had just the perfect level of limey tartness and an abundance of avocado gave it a creaminess that not all ceviches possess. It was exactly what I wanted although be prepared to wait a good 30 to 40 minutes for it. I was so happy to know it was being prepared fresh that I didn't mind the wait. I had a fresh, tasty margarita to help me pass the time and planned what I was going to eat on my next visit.
favourite pin this week was this roasted strawberry cheesecake ice cream
if you have to ask why, I don't know you.
favourite instagram this week: These sardine cans from eatlivetravelwrite brought back so many memories of being abroad
favourite share on facebook: I love this little video about how to deal with an avocado
favourite food find of the week is the Toronto Food Truck App
favourite tweet - just look at these stunning photos. If this doesn't make you want to jump on a plane and go straight to Italy right now, you are not human
Woohoo! New Post and super exciting announcement :) Check it out here :) Tks x http://t.co/HPYO0IuKzO
— Katie Quinn Davies (@WhatKatieAte) August 8, 2013