Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thank you Anthony

Tucked away on Charles St. near Agricola, Chez Tess is the local creperie that, until recently, we sort of forgot about. But luckily at our most recent party we were reminded by a friend whom works there and, after a night of perhaps a few too many, Chez Tess was exactly what the doctor ordered. It certainly wasn't the standard greasy diner breakfast we all tend to crave after some heavy drinking but, let's be real, that's not really my bag anyway. Rather, our breakfasts were fresh, healthy and soooooo yummy. Surprise surprise, I ordered the crepe with pulled pork, poached eggs. housemade salsa, and sour cream which was one order away from being sold out. Lucky me. The buckwheat crepe was hearty yet light enough not to overshadow the other flavours and the meat was both succulent and juicy, exactly what I expect from pork of the pulled variety. To top it off, it was served with a wonderful house salad and a potato cake. I absolutely love establishments that go against the so called status quo and serve salad or unconventional 'hashbrowns' for breakfast. 

Brent had the eggs benny crepe with poached eggs, Sweet William's bacon, and brie. One word. Wow. This would easily have been the back up for me had all the pulled pork been sold. And because the benny was served on the same buckwheat crepe it was much lighter in terms of both taste and calories than the traditional english muffin version. Combined with some delicious Java Blend coffee and some complimentary mimosas (damn it helps knowing people in the industry!), this breakfast was not only delicious but memorable. With a menu full of interesting crepe combinations for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention some amazing sounding dessert crepes, it won't be hard to find a reason to go back. That and it's a few blocks away!

http://cheztess.ca/



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Monday, October 17, 2011

food?

I love food. Pretty obvious, I know. But these days the term food doesn't necessarily mean it is something nature made or even that it has any nutritional value at all. These past few weeks I have had many conversations about food. Everything from eliminating MSG from your diet to, my favourite, trying to find healthier 'fast food' options. Both of these it turns out, are harder than you may think.

We live in a world of convenience where you can get virtually anything you want whenever you want it. Want a fast meal on the road, you got it. Want 100 cereal options, you got it. Want a soda that doesn't make you gain weight, you got it. But when I ask for real food, that's where things get shady. Walk into any grocery store and look around. Save for the produce isle (and even that may not be so real anymore), our 'food' has become something out of a science fiction movie, conveniently packaged in whatever serving or flavor or ethnicity you want. And cooking? Well, why would I cook when I can just pop something in the microwave for a fraction of the time? Cooking has, in fact, gone from an essential and rewarding part of everyday life to an inconvenience. Now, we have families with two working parents relying on convenience foods because it's cheaper and, in most cases, faster than preparing real food. I am not judging or anything but which would you prefer your kids eat: frozen chicken fingers composed of 'real' chicken if you're lucky but most likely mechanically seperated chicken parts, MSG, hydrogenated fats, and a hell of a lot of salt or some homemade chicken fingers with simple, real ingredients: chicken, flour, salt, pepper, olive oil. Somehow we have landed in a backwards world where eating real food is harder and more expensive than eating processed, factory made food (and that includes your meat). Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Look at fast food. The concept is great if it were real burgers, real fries, real chicken. But no surprise, there's not much real food in fast food. Even what you think are healthier options, say for instance a grilled chicken salad, are laden with chemicals and, you guessed it, MSG. And that's at every single fast food chain I researched. Is it really so hard to prepare and serve a grilled chicken breast without all the 'seasoning'. Wouldn't it still taste like chicken. Apparently not.

I am currently reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and it's making me more concerned-or jaded-than I already am. Don't get me wrong, I've always been 'involved' with my food but only recently have I really started worrying about where my food is coming from or that it's even food at all. So begins my quest: try to learn more about my own food, eat only real food that I can actually pronounce, know where my food is coming from (luckily I live in Halifax where there is a thriving farmer's market open year round), and perhaps, more importantly, share this knowledge with you.

So, whether you're listening or not, let the ranting begin!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

i'm back baby

A lil preview of one of our breaky sammie creations - Brothers smoked bacon, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, basted egg, brie, and arugula - OH MY!
So, it has finally happened. We have packed away our camping gear and settled back into life in the city. OK, I know it's October and we've been back for months now, but between moving, painting, and my new position cooking at a local cafe, we've been pretty damn busy. But, of course, never too busy to get out there and grab a bite, especially to our favourite Halifax spots we missed all summer. On that list: Boneheads (I may have a slight pulled pork addiction, or at least I did when I finished my season, eating it four times in about a two week span!), two separate brunches at Coastal Cafe (which is now mere minutes from the house...perhaps not such a good thing!), some fantastic local fare and wine at Brooklyn Warehouse, an amazing dinner at daMaurizio, some quick Vietnamese at Star Anise, a lovely dinner with out of town friends at the Wooden Monkey, Talay Thai (where we introduced my sis to Thai and she loved it!), an oh so fresh banh mi at Indochine, The Bicycle Thief for some birthday appys and wine, and, of course, the list wouldn't be complete without a sushi lunch at Sushi Nami. Oh, it gets worse...just last night we went to Curry Village for a feast (but that blog is coming) and the list doesn't even include croissants and cappuccinos at Two If By Sea or a chocolate and NS wine tasting at Sugah! Wow, we eat out ALOT! And not only are we frequenting all these Hali restos, but we are cooking up a storm too with no blogs to show for it. That's why I promise this year will be filled with blogs a plenty including restaurant reviews, updates on the cafe, loads of recipes, and I am hoping some pieces on diet and nutrition.

So folks, grab your forks and stay tuned. It's gonna be a delicious ride.....