Thursday, March 22, 2012

Restaurant Arepera

Rue Duluth in the heart of Montreal's vibrant plateau always promises yummy good times. There is an abundance of "bring your own wine" restaurants which can make your nights out way less expensive and way tipsier at times. But, I was with my friend (with whom i like to lunch) or "chum de fille" as you will, for a lunch date--so no wine this time. We had better plans: to consume hearty, flavourful, exotic...Venezuelan food!

We headed to the corner of Duluth and De Bullion to check out the restaurant, aptly named Arepera as it serves the traditional arepas. Not sure what that is? Neither was I. The handsome and friendly waiter was very happy to explain that arepas are a type of white corn flour chewy bread stuffed with delicious meats and vegetables of all kinds. Sounded good to me!

We went with the chicken and avocado arepa. Hoder, qué bueno! It tasted like chicken salad suspended in the creamiest guacamole imaginable. Pleasure synapses fired in my brain--the combo of carbs from the corn bread, fat from the avocado, and protein from the delicious fresh chicken just flooded my limbic system and made my brain and taste buds very, very happy.

We also ordered a "plato" which comes with the meat or veggie stew of your choice, rice, black beans, fried plantain. Oh the plantain..., is there another substance that lends itself better to a quick bath in piping hot oil? I don't think so! You eat all of this with another mini-arepa and amazing homemade sauce. Avocado sauce, and homemade hot sauce with chipotle peppers. I will be back to Arepera just for those sauces. Trust me.

You can't say the food at Arepera isn't fresh. The cooks were grabbing produce off of the display to make our lunch. Beautiful. 

The interior is clean, bright, and warm. All the elements you need for lunching on a cold winter's day.

A hammock in the restaurant, why not? You might need this after stuffing your face with delicious arepas...I settled for a brisk walk home, feeling full and satisfied.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cayman Food Times

I recently visited a friend living on Grand Cayman Island. What an amazing trip. Fun, sun, surf and sand...all the clichés of a holiday getaway. I excitedly looked forward to all the fresh food, especially fruit, that I would be able to consume in this tropical paradise. I should have done my research, because when I arrived I soon realized that a lot food is brought onto the island on shipping containers from the United States and even from England. Here is a little look at the yummy things I ate and drank while on Cayman.

I pretty much had the best brunch of my life at the Westin Hotel on Cayman. An all you can eat and drink Champagne brunch! The bubbles and conversation were a-flowing, and you could tell which tables had nearly drunk their fill by their noise level.

Oh god, look at that delectable clutter of food. I went heavy on the seafood with seared tuna, seafood salad, seaweed salad, sushi, dumplings and for desert: bacon, breakfast food of champions. I win at life!

This is plate number one, with champers glass numer two. Foodgasm.

Hello rum punch, where have you been all my life? Later in the evening, I accidentally smashed that blue water glass. People who know me will not be surprised.

Oysters! Served with cocktail sauce, how pedestrian. This restaurant, Guy Harvey's was actually OK. However, when my steak was brought to me cold, I had to complain. Fueled by rum and visions of Gordon Ramsay screaming "start again!" I returned my plate to the waiter. For some reason the head chef, who really should be in the kitchen, was faffing about in the restaurant talking to customers. He had the nerve to tell me "you know eet eez very deefeecoult to cook ze steak hot, because you ask for medium rare". To which I rolled my eyes and replied that my dinner companion had ordered his steak rare and his was served hot. The chef kind of looked at me with a "you caught me talking out of my ass" look. Touché!

Freshly grilled Mahi on the beach. With a jerk seasoning, no less. This is what I had been waiting for.

Aside from eating, I did a lot of standing around in infinity pools with swim up bars mere meters from the beach. No big deal.

Also, lots of margarita drinking.

And this.