Thursday, July 30, 2015

Food, Glorious Food

Howdy Humble Readers,

(This post was meant to post on Wednesday night, but Blogger was being persnickety)

My Beloved and I had a great little trip to the Big-City-to-the-South. 

We really didn't do much.  The only things I had planned, other than my Beloved's mock interview (which was moderately helpful), was where we were going to stay and where we were going to eat.  And knowing my hobbit-ish nature, you have to know that the food was a big part of this little trip.  Please forgive me as I rhapsodise about the wonders we experienced over the last couple of days. 

When we do any travelling, even just down the highway, I have a rule about eating out.  We WILL NOT eat anywhere we could eat at home.  I will not go to a Timmies, or a chain restaurant (unless it's a chain we don't have in the Shire, but even that's a last resort).  I prefer to find locally owned and operated places. 

My Beloved trying to eat the
enormous Booker's Burger
A big help in this regard has been the Food Network Canada show "You Gotta Eat Here" (same format as 'Diners, Drive-ins & Dives' with Guy Fieri).  Over the last few years, we have discovered, with their assistance, some amazing restaurants.  This trip was no exception. 

After my Beloved's interview, we spent some time window shopping in the downtown core before we headed to Booker's BBQ Grill & Crabshack.  From the outside, it's not much.  In fact, I've driven right past it countless time when coming into the downtown area.  It's across the street from what appears to be a very seedy hotel but we are taught to not judge a book by it's cover, right?  Oh my, it was yummy food! 

My burnt ends & fries
with bbq mayo dipping sauce
My Beloved had the Booker's Burger... a burger with smoked brisket, smoked pulled pork, and crispy onion straws... with the yam fries.  It was huge, I wish I would have gotten a picture of it when arrived at the table.  He was moaning and groaning in happiness as he chowed down.  I had the appetizer order of burnt ends (brisket) and a side of fries.  I have to say, the burnt ends were little chunks of smoky, saucy heaven.  We both agreed we'd have to come back some Sunday for their all-you-can eat ribs and crab. 

After lunch we needed some exercise, so we decided on a whim to go to the science center.  It was a fun little jaunt, and I'm definitely looking forward to taking the wee-lings there when they are a bit older.  Later we checked into our hotel and both had a bit of a rest as we had been up extra early. 

The last time we were in Big-City-to-the-South for a getaway, two years ago, we went to Big T's BBQ & Smokehouse, and I fell in love.  I had been daydreaming about their dusty rib ends and deep fried pickles ever since.  I knew that even though we had just had BBQ for lunch there was no way I was going to miss a chance to go to Big T's. 
The dusty rib ends are hiding under the ribs.

I had the two-meat plate... a half-rack of St. Louis ribs, dusty rib ends, mashed taters, and fried green tomatoes.  A heart-attack on a plate, to be sure, but oh so good.  I especially enjoyed the tomatoes, crunchy and tart.  My Beloved had the smoked meatloaf with dirty rice and potato salad, and he dared to say that it was better than my meatloaf... lol.  Then I had a bite, and I whole-heartedly agreed.  As good as Booker's was, I have to confess that Big T's is my favourite. 

That is the biggest slice of meatloaf
I've ever seen!
The last of our food adventures came this morning, at a tiny little breakfast and lunch place called OEB.  The last time we were in Big-City-to-the-South, I had wanted to visit but they were closed.  I'm so glad I put it on our list for this trip.  Their eggs come from their own flock of free run chickens.  Their potatoes are all cooked in duck fat.  Yes, I said duck fat.  And they are AMAZING!  Seriously, if I lived any closer, I would have to eat there once a week.  At least.  And I would die in about 6 months. 
My Beloved had the Croque Madame.  Thick cut sourdough rye toast topped with rosemary ham, roasted tomatoes, some of the amazing potatoes, mozzarella, summer truffles, and brown butter hollandaise.  On top of all that, as if it needed more, were two eggs. They were supposed to be sunny side up, but my Beloved and I share a strong dislike for runny yolks, and the staff at OEB were more than happy to accommodate. 

My Beloved's Croque Madam

I had one of their 'box'd breakfasts'.  Imagine poutine... that wonderfully heart-stopping Canadian combination of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy.  Now, picture that done for breakfast, served up in a Chinese food take out box.  A healthy helping of those crispy-duck-fat-fried-potatoes, topped with cheese curd from Quebec, brown butter hollandaise sauce, crowned with poached eggs (I had scrambled... again, runny yolks make me shiver), micro greens, and I chose the lox and capers.  Oh good gravy, IT WAS THE BEST BREAKFAST I'VE EVER HAD!  I couldn't finish it.  I gave it my best shot, but I was defeated.  Oh, and while my Beloved was paying, they brought him a coffee in a to go cup.  I thought that was a great touch.  All in all, OEB was well worth the 2+ years wait, and we most certainly will go back the next time we are in the Big-City-to-the-South. 

My box'd A-Lott A-Lox
I'm not going to step on the scale for a few days after all that crazy food we ate.  But it was fun, and we have a couple of new go-to places for when we head south. 

The rest of our time away was filled with a lot of time hanging out in our hotel, and a bunch of time window shopping.  We did make a couple of purchases... Ginny's backpack/lunch kit for school, a couple of little treats for the wee-lings, and some 'fancy' tea (David's Tea, Forever Nuts)  for me.  We were going to stop at an antique mall that I've been wanting to check out for a while, but we were both wiped after all that food and walking, so we headed home a bit early.  It was a great chance for us to reconnect, hang out, and just be a couple. 


  1. Mmmmm OEB, I used to live a 5 min drive from there (just on the other side of the Deerfoot). If you are in that neck of the woods again you should also try out Diner Deluxe and Boogie's Burgers. We have good food here in the Big City to the North, but there are places I miss in Big City to the South.

    1. The last time we were in Big-City-to-the-South, I really wanted to go to OEB, but we got there and it was closed for their annual staff vacations. We ended up going to Diner Deluxe and I remember it was really great too. I'll make a note to check out Boogie's Burgers when we get the chance. I want to do a You Gotta Eat Here tour of Big-City-to-the-North sometime too.

  2. We have the same foodie rules ourselves. Why go to a bland boring chain when you can try a specialty dish at a place where people put a lot of thought into the food?

    1. Exactly! Before we were married, my Beloved did a lot of travelling, but for him food was never a big part of it. He went to London and ate hot dogs from street vendors. He went to China and ate at A&W. Ugh.

  3. Yum yum and yum! I agree to your dining rules and I'm so happy you had a nice time. You both deserved it!

    1. It was a good time. Maybe next time we get away we'll get up to your neck of the woods. :)


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