This is absolutely disgusting. I’m just curious to see who these “fast-food fans” are…LOL actually, I take that back! I don’t want to!
*sigh* What has the world come to…
The Wooden Monkey
1707 Grafton Street
My boyfriend and I decided one day that we just HAD to go on vacation this year, so we decided to check out the Canadian East Coast! While we were planning our way around the Atlantic provinces, we realized there was just too many things to do in the EC and with insufficient time to cover everything, we just decided to spend our days in Nova Scotia.
Luckily and unintentionally of us, we decided to head to the EC just when the G20 was about to hit Toronto, just as it was Fleet week in Halifax and just as the Queen of England was to arrive! Halifax was a bumpin’ city!!! We met up with my friends the night we arrived and checked out the night scene. There were lots of sailors there…so yeah – love sailors!
While we were deciding on the activities for the next day, my friends had asked me if I had any dietary restrictions (even though they fully know I don’t), but I told them I prefer to eat vegetarian if I can. I think they just wanted an excuse to take me to the Wooden Monkey – although none is needed! We had walked by the Wooden Monkey while bar-hopping and decided to meet up there for lunch the next day.
The Wooden Monkey serves up food for everyone. They had gluten-free, veggie and vegan options as well as, meat any meat lover would be proud of! All four of us got pizzas that day!
The Cheese Pizza (with gluten-free crust)
My friends got extra goat cheese on their – good call, that’s all I gotta say!!
“THE” Veggie Pizza
This was the most epic of epic vegetarian pizzas ever! Conan and I were not feeling that hungry (as we went for breakfast at the Wired Monk) so we shared this pizza.
I don’t even think I need to describe to you all how excellent this pizza was. It’s pretty clear this veggie pizza did not need meat to make it edible. It was a thin crusted pizza jam packed with spinach, onions, tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, pesto, potato, zucchini, feta and mozza cheese. It absolutely deeeeelicious!!!
The Wooden Monkey was so memorable and so delicious that when we returned back to Halifax at the end of our vacation, that was the ONLY thing on my mind. Needless to say, we returned for our last meal in Nova Scotia.
The Lamb Burger
Again, I don’t even know if any description is necessary. It was not a “special” lamb burger in any sense – I mean it was a typical lamb burger patty with some goat cheese. Except the lamb burger was free-range lamb seasoned with rosemary and garlic and the cheese was seasoned and creamy. The fries were SOOO GOOD! Spiced and perfectly fried – not too crispy or soggy – like I said, perfect.
Most people who love meat just cringe at the idea that something which isn’t meat can taste good. Well, this burger is awesome. Made with lentils, carrots, miso, garlic, onions, daikon, seeds and oats, it’s more filling than any meat product could ever be! It was served between a fat free 5-organic grain pita. I paid some extra for the apple salad vs. the potato roasties. If a meatless burger is made properly, it will never be crumbly or dry and this burger was definitely made properly!
After some reflections of our epic trip through Nova Scotia, a couple cups of Just Us coffee (a fair-trade coffee co-op originating in Nova Scotia) and eavesdropping on a young family beside our table, we paid the bill and walked out of the restaurant. I felt sad and I walked out slowly because I didn’t know when it will be the next time I will ever come back to Halifax, breathe in the salty ocean air, taste the sweet red Nova Scotia wine (Blomidon Estate Winery being my all time favourite!), feast at the Wild Caraway and chill out with friends at the Wooden Monkey.
Can you tell my mind is focussed on only one thing right now?
Just after writing that review/rant on comfort foods, I started to think about my love for American Southern fare in general. It’s really something I love to indulge in. Fried chicken, sweet cornbread with lots of butter, shortbread cookies, apple pie, pumpkin pie, braised short ribs, bbq ribs (I like saucey!)…mMmMmMm! I don’t even know how I’m going to get through this blog entry!
Anyway, I know and I’m familiar with how comfort food and southern food works. You need lots of butter, some more butter and then butter on top. You can’t really make anything worth serving without it. That said, in order to make myself feel better about eating my favourite foods, I try modifying recipes to make them less “harmful” I guess you can say.
So I’ve decided I will start a project and work through some recipes and make them “healthier” and post them here. I’m currently packing up my current place of residence for a move in September so all my cooking utensils are spread throughout boxes and cupboards but once I settle down, I’m going to start!
Actually I can start by posting some recipes I tried last Thanksgiving!! WOOT! Excited!!!!
For those who know me well (or maybe even those who don’t), I love eating! I try very hard to eat healthy, but there are those times when you just really don’t want to do that and you “forget” about everything healthy and gorge on your favourite comfort foods.
One of my favourite types of comfort food is American Southern cuisine! Which is a bit ironic because I always put down the US for serving up crappy food – but just to clarify, I just think they do ethnic foods wrong!! (Actually, the US does serve up some pretty unhealthy food :( LOL)
My all time favourite comfort food restaurants is located in Denver, Colorado – Steuben’s Food Service. Steuben’s is named after a popular restaurant in Boston – a city which I love! I have yet to see if this Boston Steuben’s still exists and if it does, must check it out!
But back to Steuben’s in Denver…I don’t even know where to begin! I remember the first time my boyfriend took me there, it was for a late breakfast and we sat outside on their enclosed patio where my eyes lit up with gluttony as I carefully scanned through the brunch menu.
It felt like they had everything on that menu; and with menu items such as chicken fried steak and eggs, pancake stack, bacon & sausage roll egg sandwich, chicken and waffles, pulled pork sandwich, bbq beef brisket, and biscuits & gravy – I was in comfort food heaven! (and this was just the brunch menu!)
Naturally, I went for the basic breakfast – 2 eggs, hashbrowns, toast, breakfast meat (which was I believe ham…Canadian bacon? it was soo long ago…). I usually do the basic breakfast when I try out new places, it’s my litmus test to see how good a restaurant is – if they can serve me up a delicious basic, then their “specialities” must be equally tasty, if not better! I also ordered a malt milkshake because a) LOVE LOVE LOOOVE malt (maltasers, horlicks, malt candies); b) I’m in America – land of excess!
In the end, my meal was impressive despite the fact I felt I gained a few pounds and my arteries became a bit more plaquey. Steuben’s had found its way into my heart (in more than one way), it’s a place where I frequent whenever I’m in Denver, and where my mind wanders whenever I feel like some good ol’ comfort food.
P.S. Their cubano is AWESOME!!!! so are their drinks…
I’ve started to type up a whole bunch of recipes for my computer. WHAT A TASK! I’m only doing this because I’m moving and I have to somehow reduce my clutter and the physical things I have to move and/or organize so I stupidly decided to digitize a stash of recipes.
I’m definitely paying the price now…