ALL ABOUT FOOD

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Street foods every proud Canadian need to try at least once

Clearly, street food is the best kind of food.

Why is it that food tastes a zillion times better when eaten outside, standing up as sauce drips all over your pants? Maybe because we Canadians are stuck indoors for 6 months of the year, or maybe we just like giving the middle finger to Ms. Manners. Canada is a cornucopia of food from other people’s home and native lands, and it tastes even better under the wide-open sky (or in the shadow of a skyscraper). Whether you’re eating from a truck or a stand, there’s no denying that Canada has some of the best street food around. Here are a few mouth-watering choices you need to try at least once before you die:

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DUCK (DUCK TRUCK MTL)

Yep, you read that right. The one and only place to eat this succulent fowl dehors is in Montreal (of course). Duck Truck MTL serves fresh, bite-sized portions in the form of salad, sandwiches and wings made by French chef Thierry Baron (of Le Plateau's Vertige restaurant). For the hardcore carnivore there's even duck tartare. Quack.

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POUTINE (THE KABOOM BOX)

Quebec invented it, but we still think of this gravy-and-curds delight as universally Canadienne. Vancouver's The Kaboom Box on the downtown corner of Granville and Robson does a kick-ass BC variety with mushroom gravy. Over in St. John's, Newfoundland, Ziggy Peelgood's Mex-Zig-An combo of fries, Mozza, jalapeños, salsa and sour cream's TDF.

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PEROGIES (PEROGY BOYZ)

Sure, Calgary's Perogy Boyz serve the traditional Polish variety of finger-licking dumplings, but you won't want to pass up the perogi poutine option. For something extra special, head to Victoria's The Hungry Rooster for a grilled cheese perogi sandwich with bacon, caramelized onions and aioli sauce on Portofino sourdough. Yowsa!

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BEAVER TAILS (BEAVER TAILS PASTRY)

If you haven't tried this hand-pulled fried dough finger food, you should probably move south. Heck, Obama ate one on his first visit to Ottawa and it's even a question on Jeopardy. BeaverTails Pastry makes the best of the best--go classic with cinnamon and sugar or go hog wild and order the Triple Trip with chocolate hazelnut spread topped with Reese's Pieces and peanut butter. O Canada!

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GRILLED CHEESE (P.A & GARANTUA)

We could probably make this at home in under 10 minutes, but nothing beats an ooey, gooey sammie made by an expert. You can try one with straight up cheese, but the gourmet kind might just change your life. In Montreal, P.A. & Gargantua does theirs with chilli. Cheesy heaven!

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HOT DOGS WITH A TWIST

Is there anything better than eating a wiener on the street? Hell no! Give them an Asian spin, and we might just be in street food heaven. Vancouver's Japadog carts serve up pork and turkey dogs with anything from seaweed and kimchi to black sesame and teriyaki sauce.

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CANADIAN TACOS

Much like pizza, bad tacos are better than no tacos. That being said, there's no need to suffer from so many great cross-Canada options. Anthony Bourdain himself has even given the thumbs up to  Grumman78's Mexican street-style tacos in Montreal (it's made with locally sourced ingredients). Olé!

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SWEET ICE CREAM CONES

Sure, soft serve trucks are ubiquitous, but one can always do better. In Toronto, Eve's Original Chimneys -- ice cream in a Hungarian-style roasted donut cone -- are so sinful, we're surprised they're legal. On the other side, Vancouver's Chouchou Breton Crepes does their Mme Honey Cherie with homemade raspberry compote and lemon ricotta cheese out of a tiny trailer on Water Street (they have savory crepes too if you prefer).

FOOD GALORE

WHERE TO EAT IN CANADA AFTER LOCKDOWN?

When Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper asked Canadians to nominate the country’s national dish a couple of years ago, its website comments form heated up faster than a frying egg on a mid-summer Toronto sidewalk. Poutine – golden fries drowned in gravy and cheese curds – dominated the exercise, while Montréal-style bagels, salmon jerky, pierogies, donairs, California rolls, and even ketchup-flavored potato chips jostled for taste-bud attention. Aside from showing that Canadians love their comfort food, the unscientific poll indicated that the national menu is as diverse as the locals, reflecting a casserole of food cultures whisked together from centuries of immigration. The nation’s ever-evolving restaurant scene borrows from the same pot of diverse ingredients.

L'EXPRESS

Montreal

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L’Express has all the hallmarks of a Parisian bistro – black-and-white checkered floor, art-deco globe lights, papered tables and mirrored walls. High-end bistro fare completes the picture with excellent dishes such as grilled salmon, bone marrow with sea salt, roast duck with salad and beef tartare. The waiters can advise on the extensive wine list. Reservations are essential.

KETOGENIC DIET

A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which can help you burn fat more effectively. Many people have already experienced its many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance.

Learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans to get started with the program, all you need to succeed on keto.  

What to eat on a keto diet

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The most important thing for reaching ketosis is to avoid eating too many carbs. You’ll probably need to keep carb intake under 50 grams per day of net carbs, ideally below 20 grams. The fewer carbs, the more effective it appears to be for reaching ketosis, losing weight or reversing type 2 diabetes.​ Counting carbs can be helpful at first. But if you stick to our recommended foods and recipes you can stay keto even without counting.

What to avoid

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The numbers are grams of net carbs per 100 grams unless otherwise noted. This means that on a keto diet you’ll basically need to avoid sugary foods completely, as well as starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. Also, avoid processed foods, and instead follow our keto diet advice. Furthermore, the food should primarily be high in fat, and only moderately high in protein, as excess protein can be converted to blood sugar in the body. Avoid low-fat diet products. A rough guideline is about 5% energy from carbohydrates (the fewer carbs, the more effective), 15-25% from protein, and around 75% from fat.

What to drink

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So what do you drink on a ketogenic diet? Water is the perfect drink, and coffee or tea is fine too. Ideally, use no sweeteners, especially not sugar.

A small amount of milk or cream in your coffee or tea is OK (but beware of caffe latte!). The occasional glass of wine is fine too.

KETO PIZZA

RECIPE

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Ingredients:

Crust

  • 4 eggs

  • 6 oz. shredded cheese, preferably mozzarella or provolone

Topping

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 5 oz. shredded cheese

  • 1½ oz. pepperoni

  • olives (optional)

For serving

  • 2 oz. leafy greens

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. Start by making the crust. Crack eggs into a medium-sized bowl and add shredded cheese. Give it a good stir to combine.

  3. Use a spatula to spread the cheese and egg batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can form two round circles or just make one large rectangular pizza. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the pizza crust turns golden. Remove and let cool for a minute or two.

  4. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F (225°C).

  5. Spread tomato paste on the crust and sprinkle oregano on top. Top with cheese and place the pepperoni and olives on top.

  6. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the pizza has turned a golden brown color.

  7. Serve with a fresh salad on the side.

FILIPINO RECIPES

THE GREAT SAVOR PH (YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

CREAMY BEEF AND MUSHROOM

CLASSIC SIPO EGGS

CRISPY FRIED GARLIC BUTTERED CHICKEN

CREAMY FRENCH ONION SOUP

GARLIC BUTTERED LOBSTER WITH COKE

PANSIT PALABOK

PATATIM

SPRITE BEEF AND MUSHROOM

BEEF CURRY WITH OLIVES

KALDERETANG KAMBING

GINISANG PETCHAY WITH TOFU

TINUMUS NA DINUGUAN

SINAMPALOKANG MANOK WITH LABONG

FILIPINO PORK HUMBA

CREAMY CORNED BEEF SOUP

ARAXI RESTO

Whistler

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Whistler's best splurge restaurant, Araxi cooks up an inventive and exquisite Pacific Northwest menu and has charming and courteous service. Try the seared wild scallops and drain the 15,000-bottle wine selection but save room for dessert: a regional cheese plate or the amazing chocolate ganache tart…or both.

BISHOP'S

Vancouver

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Behind its '80s-style beige exterior, Bishop's pioneered West Coast cuisine long before 'locavore' was a word. In fact, legendary chef-owner John Bishop is still at the top of his game, serving top-notch dishes in an elegant white-tableclothed room. The seasonally changing menu can include Fraser Valley lamb, Haida Gwaii halibut and succulent veggies that taste as if they've just been plucked from the ground. The service here is pitch-perfect, so stay a little longer and indulge in dessert: if you're lucky, it'll be rhubarb and rosemary panna cotta. And look out for the man himself: he'll almost certainly drop by your table to say hi and will sign a copy of his cookbook Fresh if you wave it in front of him. Reservations recommended.

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RESPECT IS BURING

Sudbury

This self-proclaimed supper club's focus is on rustic Tuscan cuisine but chefs aren't shy about getting experimental. The ever-shifting menu promises bursting flavors with every bite. Weekend evenings feature delectable sample platters and late-night drinks. The restaurant is living up to its name anew, having risen from the ashes after burning down in 2014.

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LIGHTHOUSE PICNICS

Ferryland

Lighthouse Picnics has hit upon a winning concept: it provides a blanket and organic picnic meal (say, a curried chicken sandwich, mixed-green salad and lemonade from a Mason jar) that visitors wolf down while sitting in a field overlooking explosive ocean views. It's at Ferryland's old lighthouse, off Rte 10; you have to park and hike 2km to reach it, but ooh is it worth it. Reserve in advance.

SWEET TOOTH RECIPES

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Ingredients:

  • pie pastry (enough to fill 16 muffin cups, your own or from a mix)

  • 1⁄2cup raisins

  • 1⁄4cup soft butter

  • 1⁄4cup packed brown sugar

  • 1pinch salt

  • 1⁄2cup corn syrup

  • 1egg, lightly beaten

  • 1⁄2teaspoon vanilla

Direction:

1. Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4-inch (approx) circles; fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill.

2. In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.

4. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

5. Drain raisins.

6. Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts.

7. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.

8. Canadians fall into two camps about butter tarts and are quite loyal to their favorite type: runny or firm.

9. I like runny-- the type that dribbles when you bite into one; if you like firm, bake them for the full 20 minutes, even adding another minute or two if you wish.

10. Let cooked butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven; then remove and place on racks until completely cool.

AWARD-WINNING

CANADIAN BUTTER TART

ROUGE

Fusion in Calgary

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One of the city's most celebrated restaurants, Rouge is located in a historic 1891 mansion in Inglewood. It's to hard to get a table, but once inside, enjoy the inspired, sustainable food and exceptional fit-for-a-king service.The menu evolves weekly but you'll find dishes like duck and pistachio terrine, beef bolognaise with hand-cut noodles or rockfish with curry coconut broth. A pairing menu ($115) is available at dinner. Tables are found in what was once the living rooms downstairs, along with the bedrooms upstairs. It's all white tablecloths and formal, making the walls cluttered with a hodgepodge of art seem out of place. Outside is a beautiful garden where many of its greens and herbs are grown.

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VIJ'S

South Granville

A sparkling (and far larger) new location for Canada's favorite East Indian chef delivers a warmly sumptuous lounge coupled with a cavernous dining area and cool rooftop patio. The menu, a high-water mark of contemporary Indian cuisine, fuses BC ingredients, global flourishes, and classic ethnic flavors to produce many inventive dishes. Results range from signature 'lamb popsicles' to flavorful meals such as sablefish in yogurt-tomato broth. There are lots of delightful options for vegetarians (jackfruit, cumin and cardamom curry appetizer recommended). Reservations are not accepted, which sometimes means a long wait; soak it up with a few spice-infused cocktails in the lounge.

WHERE TO EAT?

(TOP 10 BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD)

Looking for the hottest places to eat in the world right now?

According to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards 2019, the best restaurants in the UK are The Clove Club, which came in at 27th, and Lyle’s at 33rd – both located in Shoreditch, London. Here are the ten best restaurants in the world, with France, Copenhagen and Spain coming out top…

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1. Mirazur (Menton, France)

This year’s winner has been making its way up the ranks since it first landed in the charts at number 35 back in 2009. Headed up by Argentine-born chef Mauro Colagreco, the restaurant has an idyllic seafront setting, housed in a 1930s building with sweeping views of the French Riviera. It’s been a good year for Mirazur – as well as coveting the much-acclaimed accolade of best restaurant in the world, they earned a third Michelin star. The menu focuses on modern French cuisine with an Italian influence, with a strong focus on seasonal ingredients, many of which are sourced from the on-site three-tiered vegetable gardens.

2. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Often cited as one of the best-known restaurants in the world, Noma came in number two this year – although it has won four times in the past in its previous iteration. In 2017 it closed its doors, going on to re-open at a brand new location in Christiania with more space for experimentation and growing produce. Here they’ve taken things to the next level with a rooftop garden, fermentation labs, fish tanks and terranium. René Redzepi heads up the kitchen, with a menu focused on all things foraged, pickled, fermented and preserved.

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3. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)

Despite being a globally acclaimed destination, we’re told there are ‘no airs and graces’ at this Spanish restaurant, nestled deep in the Axtondo valley. Chef Victor Arguinzoniz is self-taught, and has only ever worked in his own kitchen. The restaurant is famous for its grills, upon which everything is cooked – even the desserts – creating a distinctive barbecue-style smokiness. Food is home-grown and seasonal, with famous dishes including homemade chorizo tartare, giant Palamos prawns and their legendary beef chop.

4. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)

At Indian chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant, guests are presented with a list of 25 emojis rather than names, so each dish comes as a surprise. Diners will embark on a culinary journey through ‘magic’ mushrooms, Indian sushi and sea urchin ice cream, before being presented with a list of everything they’ve eaten. But if you want to try it out, you’d better be act fast. Despite its immense success, Anand plans to close Gaggan in 2020 and open a small restaurant in Japan alongside fellow chef Takeshi ‘Goh’ Fukuyama.

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5. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Copenhagen’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant came in at fourth place. Found on the 8th floor of Parken Stadium, Geranium looks out over the Fælledparken (Common Gardens). Here Scandinavian ingredients in wild new ways: one dish, for instance, resembles razor clam shells, but is actually made from dough and coloured with squid ink. According to the guide, head chef Rasmus Kofoed ‘turns food into art, with endless imagination.’

6. Central (Lima, Peru)

‘Central takes diners on a journey through every altitude, from 20 metres below sea level to 4,100 metres above it,’ the guide tells us. Located on the southern edge of Lima’s Miraflores district, the big draw here is the colourful 17-course tasting menu, featuring well-known dishes like ceviche alongside more exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs that most customers will have never hear of. For three years it’s been hailed as The Best Restaurant in Latin America, and head chef Virgilio Martínez – still in his 30s – was voted to win the Chefs’ Choice Award this year.

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7. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

Each year, Portugese head chef Andoni Luis Aduriz closes Murgaritz for four months, during which time the team devises their next menu. One of the world’s most experimental restaurants, food here is created not just for pleasure, but as a way of challenging and provoking diners. Meals involve more than 20 courses, and often involve gastronomic trickery – think edible stones and deconstructed desserts.

8. Arpège (Paris, France)

After buying the restaurant L’Archestrate from his mentor in 1986, Alain Senderens, chef-owner Alain Passard renamed it Arpège after his love for music. By 1996, the restaurant had earned three Michelin stars, which it has maintained ever since. Passard still cooks there almost every day, creating a vegetable-focused menu using ingredients from at his biodynamic farms in Sarthe, Eure and Manche. Produce arrives at the restaurant on a daily basis just in time for lunch service, with famous dishes including “hot-cold egg” made with warm poached yolk and sherry vinegard-infused whipped cream, chives and Canadian maple syrup.

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9. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

At two Michelin-starred restaurant Disfrutar, it’s all about paradoxes. You might be served liquid salad, crispy egg yolk or gazpacho in sandwich form – whatever lands on your plate, it’s guaranteed to be both unique and surprising. Run by chef trio Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch (all formerly at the legendary El Bulli), meals at Disfrutar can run for over 30 courses, described as a ‘roller- coaster ride of a dining experience.

10. Maido (Lima, Peru)

Another Peruvian winner is the flagship restaurant of Lima-born chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, who learnt his culinary expertise in Japan. Consequently, Maido – meaning ‘welcome’ in Japanese – offers a hybrid Japanese-Peruvian tasting menu, featuring colourful and inventive dishes like fish hotdogs, dim sum with squid, and sea urchin rice.

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