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Elmira’s Own

16 Sep

Elmira’s Own offers vine-ripened tomatoes grown in their specially designed greenhouse allowing their delicious tomatoes to be available year round.  Located approximately 100km west of Toronto, this farm has gained a stellar reputation in the region.


Inside Elmira’s own greenhouse. It is not often opened to the public, but this special trip was made possible by Door’s Open Ontario. Thank you for opening your Greenhouse doors to the public. What a special treat!


A bowl of cherry tomatoes from Elmira’s Own.


Locally made tomato soup using Elmira’s Own tomatoes.


Pupuseria Latinos

15 Sep


As its name indicates, this family run restaurant offers home cooked Salvadoran dishes.  Having established itself nearly ten years ago, it’s become one of the best places in the region for authentic Salvadoran food. I have been going there for many years and their food continues to be amazingly delicious. Check out their facebook page here!


Enchiladas (Salvadoran style). These provide an explosion of flavours and crispy crunch.


Corn tamale. The filling is light and fluffy, and goes well with a side of sour cream.


Savoury pupusas! The Pupuseria Latinos offers various fillings for their pupusas including cheese, zucchini, beans, chicharron and loroco.


A spot-hitting veggie burrito.

London, Ontario

26 Aug

Some local food places to explore while visiting London, Ontario.


A combo dinner meal from Los Comales, which is a laid back restaurant serving Latin and Mexican inspired dishes.  On this plate are pupusas, flautas, tostadas, rice and beans, salsa and a lightly seasoned coleslaw. Everything was so tasty and not oily. Complimentary chips and salsa are served to all restaurant patrons.


Merla Mae‘s is an iconic ice cream shop in London. There are both classic and avant garde ice cream creations available.


Inside Merla-Mae‘s.


One of Merla-Mae‘s sundae creations, which had soft serve vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and crushed macademia nuts. A wonderful summer time treat indeed!


Covent Garden Market, located in the heart of London’s city center, is the city’s farmers’ market. There are local produce stalls, meat and fish vendors, organic fares, baked goodies, fresh flowers, sushi, crafted chocolates and handmade crafts. Upstairs is a British tea house and kids’ theatre company.


Handmade wooden pear and apple from the farmers’ market.


Billy’s Deli Restaurant has quality breakfast and lunch dishes.


An eggs benedict from Billy’s! So delicious!


26 Aug

Stockholm is a beautiful, vibrant and modern city. It is known for its Nobel prize, Royal family, museums, archipelago, water front and rich history.  Below are some pictures that illustrate this.


This is the smallest statue in Stockholm (Jarnpojke, the “Iron Boy”). It is thought to bring good luck to those who offer it a gift or rub its head.


This is a photo taken at Gamla Stan (one of the oldest parts of Stockholm.)


Stockholm’s television tower (Kaknastornet). Visitors are allowed and the top offers a stunning 360 degree view of the city. There’s a full service restaurant, as well as a causal skybar offering drinks and sandwiches. The expansive gift shop is on the main floor and has a wide selection of souvenirs.


One of the views from the television tower.


Another view from the top of the television tower.

Costs in Stockholm are a bit steeper than in comparable cities around the world, but as a tourist its easy to take it in stride. There are, however, free walking tours which provide a unique opportunity to learn about Stockholm in a short period of time. The etiquette is to provide the tour guide a tip. The local public transit system is also tourist friendly and there are travel pass options for short term travellers visiting the city.

Some museums in Stockholm:

  1. Nordiska Museum*
  2. Vasa Museum*
  3. ABBA Musuem
  4. Tekniska Museet** (Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology)
  5. Ethnografiska Museet** (Museum of Ethnography)
  6. Sjohistoriska Museet** (Maritime Museum)
  7. Polismuseet** (Police Museum)
  8. Scenknost Museet (Swedish Museum of the Performing Arts)
  9. Naval Museum
  10. Railway Museum

*Noriska and Vasa museums are next to each other.

**These museums are clustered together in one area of the city by the shoreline. The television tower (pictured above) is also within walking distance.


In front of Tekniska Museet is their mathematical garden.


A lunch offering at Tekniska by Pontus. Very tasty, and while rich was not overly salty! On the menu was also moose meatballs.


The front of the Museum of the Ethnography (Ethnografiska Museet).


A bowl of vegetarian noodle soup from Matmekka, which is located inside the Ethnography Museum. A bowl of simple/healthy ingredients with delicious subtle Asian flavours.


Inside Vasa Museet. This is the historical warship, named Vasa, that sank only a few minutes after setting out to sea. It’s an iconic part of Stockholm’s history and one of its more popular museums to visit. In the summer, avoid lines by visiting right when it opens. The ship set sail in 1628 and through unique circumstances found underwater almost fully intact in 1961. Therefore, it provides a living history of the 17th century.  Physical perservation of the ship is an ongoing endeavour.


The front entrance to the Martime Museum. Located right by the water, it is a quiet peaceful place to visit.


Inside the Martime Museum..


From the buffet, which offered salads, fruits and seafood dishes, at the Martime Museum’s bistro.


A satisfying meat lasagna from the Martime Museum’s bistro.


By the Martime Museum, there is a walking path along the water that leads into the city center. This path passes by Vasa and Nordiska Museum.

Banh Mi Boys

27 Jan

Fried Chicken Bao

Banh Mi Boys serves an electic style of “sandwiches”. There are three styles (i) Banh mi (Vietnamese influence), (ii) Taco (Mexican origins) and (ii) Bao (Chinese style).* Each of these are available in various fillings influenced by a global palate, such as North American style barbecue, Japanese panko and French duck confit. They also offer Kimchi fries which is an Asian inspired take on Quebec’s famous poutine.


Grilled Pork Banh Mi

The bao style sandwiches are my favourite.  Recently, I had their fried chicken bao. SO good! The fried chicken was crispy on the outside and inside the meat was juicy and tender. Fresh, colourful, lightly pickled carrots and cucumbers accompanied the chicken. The bao itself was soft, chewy and slightly sweet.  This made for a delicious flavour and texture explosion in my mouth.  All their Baos are under five dollars. For lunch, ideally I like two!

*When they first started, the Taco style sandwiches were not available.


16 Dec

Ramen is a noodle soup dish that has been popular in Japan for centuries. It is commonly considered a fast food and in recent times, ramen has become increasingly promient in North America, much like the way sushi was introduced some years ago.

Ramen consists of three parts: the soup base, noodles and toppings.  There are many variety of broths but the commonality is that the broths are simmered for hours to allow for a more delicate but rich flavour. Interestly, a tiny portion of each day’s broth is saved and used as a starter to make a new batch the next day. This is known as the master stock and the oldest known dates back 1500 years.  Traditionally, the ramen noodles at a location in Japan are handmade but in Canada this is rare.  The toppings vary but usually consist of a few slices of meat (often pork), seaweed, and oriental vegetables such as bamboo shoots and bean sprouts.

Pictured below are two ramen dishes sampled at Santouka. Santouka locations are found all over Japan and some places around the world. There are two locations in Canada; one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto, both locations which I have been to and were quite crowded each time I visited.

Shio ramen at Santouka.

Shio ramen at Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen at Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen at Santouka.

Quebec City

29 Jun

Bonjour! There is so much history, culture and beauty to discover in Quebec City. The highlight of the city is old Quebec, which is a maze of whimiscal shops, cafes, restaurants and murals tucked amongst cobblestone steps and century old buildings.  Its most famous building is Chateau Frontenac, a grand hotel overlooking the st. Lawrence river. Cruises along the river are also available.

View of the St. Lawrence taken from old Quebec.

View of the St. Lawrence taken from the Promenade of Governers’ in old Quebec.

Le Chateau Frontenac.

Le Chateau Frontenac. Parts of the hotel are currently under renovation.

A mural located in old Quebec.

A mural located in old Quebec.

Surrounding old Quebec is the parliament buildings, the orignal fortress of the city (known as the citadel, I believe) and the Plains of Abraham, where many historical battles occurred.  There is also a reolving restaurant, L’Astral, located at the Concorde hotel which provides a panoramic view of the city. It takes approximately 1.5 hours for a full revolution. It’s an expensive place but here’s a tip: order drinks/desserts instead and let it be known that this is your intention before sitting down. The Observatorie de la Capitale also provides an aerial view of the city. Admission is approximately $10 and once there you can learn about the history of the city.

Parliament buildings.

Parliament buildings.

Drinks at the revolving restaurant.

Drinks at the revolving restaurant.

A view from the revolving restaurant. The shadow of the restaurant can be seen.

A view from the revolving restaurant. The shadow of the restaurant can be seen.

The revolving restaurant is located within Concorde hotel.

The revolving restaurant is located within Concorde hotel.

La observatorie de capitale.

La observatorie de capitale.

For the foodies, there’s so many delicious places to explore. Near the VIA train station is a farmer’s market and along Rue Saint Jean is Moisan, a specialty grocery store founded in 1871. My favourite food place was an incuspicous takeout joint that specialized in Lebanese galettes called La Galette Libanaise. Galettes are a circular bread type food item. At La Galette Libanaise, the dough is flattened in front of you and then baked, which only takes a few minutes. The galettes are accompanied with your choice of chicken, lamb, minced beef, cheese, veggies (lettuce, pickled onions, cucumbers, hot peppers and olives) and two sauces: a spicy one and a garlic one. Bon appetit!

A local beer.

A local beer.

Since 1871, Moisan is a specialty grocery store.

Since 1871, Moisan is a specialty grocery store.

A inside view of Moisan.

Inside Moisan.

La Galette Libanaise.

La Galette Libanaise.


La Galette Libanaise with meat and cheese, $6.95.