Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Cheesecake Factory - Chicago

We arrived in a foggy Chicago and one of the first things we wanted to hit up was The Cheesecake Factory!
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All those lovely cheesecakes just waiting to be eaten!
Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
This appetizer was a meal and it was really good!
Factory combination with Steak Diane and Shrimp Scampi and a pasta substitution.
I was really torn between pasta and steak here - so I went for both and I'm super happy I did. The pasta was perfect for absorbing the extra sauce from the shrimp scampi.

Macaroni and Cheese Burger
This was all that we expected and more - so much gooey cheese!

Chris' Outrageous Cheesecake
Chocolate cake, brownie, toasted coconut-pecan frosting and chocolate chip coconut cheesecake.
It was super rich and very coconut-y - which is amazing if you love coconut. It was really good, but way too heavy as a dessert after steak and pasta. Still awesome the next day!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Wayhome Music Festival - Oro-Medonte, ON

My friends won passes for the Wayhome Music Festival in Oro-Medonte, Ontario (near Barrie). With free passes, we could afford to be more flexible with our schedules - so we went up to Barrie on Friday night after work: 
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Day 1 - July 28, 2017
One of the first things we did was hit the food truck area to grab food and it was strangely quiet in the area (no lineups or anything):
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Pretty good late night snack and they came with your choice of fillings: dulce de leche or chocolate and there was extra dipping sauce on the side. Yum!

 Day 2 - July 29, 2017
We chose the camping option, so early the next morning we went to the main area to see what kind of breakfast options we could get. Honey Bunches of Oats sponsored cereal for camping festival goers! So we got a bowl of cereal and some milk to start our day. 
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After lazing around in the morning, we finally entered the festival grounds around 12:30pm and headed over to the food trucks to see what our lunch and dessert options were. 
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Eva's Original Chimneys Food Truck was on hand! Original cone with vanilla ice cream - Delicious and so refreshing on a hot day!

Caramel and chocolate cone with a toasted marshmellow on top!

Free Lime Ice and camping cup at the MEC tent!

Barque Smokehouse has a stall here too!
Yummy Pulled Pork Burger with tasty and saucy pulled pork and seasoned fries.

 Day 3 - July 30, 2017
Refreshing Strawberry Banana smoothie to start off another hot day in Oro-Medonte.

We saw these lineups at the Canadian Cheese stall over the weekend, but we didn't really know what it was about until we spoke to the people and found out they were giving out free grilled cheese sandwiches!

Mozzarella and Gouda cheese sandwiches. They were supposed to have some kind of stamp on the top (hearts, flags, etc) but I think they got a little lost in translation.
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Pita Pit's Chicken Caesar wrap - I haven't had one of these in a really long time, so it was a nice throw-back to a classic filling meal.

After all that, I still had some money remaining on my Wayhome wristband (since we were going cashless). So I had to find something around $3 - which ended up being a tea here:
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Watery Chai tea $3
I was pretty peeved that this tea with a tea bag was $3. They didn't even add the milk or cream to it for me. It was definitely not the best way to end the festival - I felt like I was forced to spend my money at the end and I was super unhappy with the last thing I bought. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Schwartz's - Montreal

Schwartz's is a Montreal institution! Super famous for the smoked meat and once you try it, you'll know why: 
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Smoked Meat sandwich
There was so much meat in this sandwich that it kinda fell apart. The meat was flavourful, tender and seasoned really well - so yummy to eat. I was also really surprised by the mustard - it's actually really good and pairs nicely with the simple white bread and smoked meat. 

Le Banquise - Montreal

La Banquise is a super popular Montreal poutinerie. Luckily it's open 24/7 so you have your choice of when to go but there's always lineups no matter what time of day (but especially at night after people go drinking and partying). 

La T-Rex with hot dog sausage, ground beef, bacon and pepperoni
It looked so good! All the meats were delicious and the fries were nice and crispy. The cheese curds were amazing! Any poutine here is great! Definitely worth the trip here. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Au Pied du Cochon - Montreal

Au Pied du Cochon came pretty highly recommended from a lot of people I spoke to about Montreal, so I was pretty excited to try it. They did warn me that their food is quite a bit heavier with an emphasis on pâtés and foie gras. 
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This was like a work of art - it looked and tasted so good!

Foie Gras Cromequis
I thought these would be bigger, but once I bit into it - it was more than enough. (Any more than this and I'm sure we would've been in comas). The foie gras was so buttery, rich and decadent and it had this great crispy outer crust. Highly recommended (even if you don't really like foie gras).

Shank and Risotto
Huge portion and so tasty! Well worth the price tag!

Tuna Tataki
Another piece of art served on a marble platter. It was so yummy.

Foie Gras Poutine and Tuna Tartare
The poutine was really good, but oh so heavy with all the foie gras (which is great if you love it). I just found it a little too rich with gravy and foie gras. 

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Duck in a Can
I was a little puzzled by the plate, until the waiter came back with the can and opened it on top of the plate! Super interesting way to eat it and the duck was really tender and succulent.

Tagliatelle pasta of the day
The noodles were really delicious in a slightly heavier cream sauce. I definitely think I prefer the meat dishes though than the pasta - it was a huge portion as well.

Stuffed Pied du Cochon with Foie Gras and pasta
The pig foot was SO GOOD! Crispy skin with gravy on top and served with mashed potatoes to soak in all the sauce at the bottom. The portion size was also gigantic - but it was oh so good! We left the restaurant holding our stomachs and ended up walking back to our hotel instead of taking transit because the meal was so filling. (It was definitely a good night)

Marché Jean-Talon - Montreal

Amazing market with fresh local produce, prepared foods and more!

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Aqua Mare
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Fresh seafood and prepared seafood for reasonable prices. Arancini with crab and salmon (to-go)

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Huge arancini balls and they were packed with flavour! Tender flaky salmon and yummy crab meat with mashed up rice and vegetables. I liked the salmon more than the crab meat since I could get more of the flavour. A great snack and/or meal!

Update January 2018: Pâtisserie De Gascogne has closed.
Across the street from Aqua Mare was Pâtisserie De Gascogne:

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Amazing cakes, tarts, eclairs and more! 

Tartlette Guérande citron framboise and Tartlette Bourdaloue 
Raspberry Lemon tart and French pear tart - Both were delicious with flaky tasty pastry and fresh seasonal fruit. The pear tart really reminded me of Clafouti's tarts and it made me really happy!


Next on our Jean-Talon Market crawl was Juliette & Chocolat, a popular chocolate place (known for their hot chocolate):


Cup of Grandma's Style Hot Chocolate with 55% Dark $5.99
So yummy - velvety and smooth and oh so enjoyable! It's on the pricier end, but it's so worth it!