Category Archives: Breakfast

Camping: The Food

So we ate pretty good when we were camping… I don’t know if it deserves its own blog post, but I like to have a record of what I ate so it’s getting one. On the way up in the car we were searching for a premium chip truck. We passed so many but we kept vetoing them thinking we would come across one that was even better. I don’t know what exactly we had in mind, but we did this for about two hours until we were all dying of starvation and agreed that we should have just stopped at the first chip truck we saw. Someone needed to make an executive decision there.

Anyway, we eventually stopped at the Native reserve right outside the park which had a fish truck. Stopping there ended up being the best decision because it was insanely delicious.

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The fish was apparently fresh white fish from Georgian Bay and I could definitely taste the fish more than I usually can in fish and chips, but I loved it. That tartar sauce too…dynamite. So it ended up working out.

Our first night camping we had tacos!

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Both hard and soft shells because that’s how you do tacos right. Tacos seem like they would be annoying to make camping, but they’re actually pretty ridiculously easy. The only thing you have to cook is your meat, and the vegetables are easy to chop. You may remember Evan and I had them the last time we were camping when the tarp full of rain water collapsed on Evan’s head as he was eating his taco…and I laughed about it for a week afterwards. I still laugh when I picture it.

Also featured when Evan and I were camping together last year is Ian’s fantastic camp stove.

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The BioLite! (not an ad, I just really like it!) You feed it little pieces of wood, light it, and a fan keeps it running. No propane required. Once it is hot enough you can not only cook on it but you can charge your devices or run things with the USB. It is extremely handy, and it works very well. It also has a sweet grill attachment that we tried out for the first time.

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Perfect for cooking alllll the wieners (we roasted a ton over the fire also. Bolt liked.)

And steaks. It was perfect for grilling up our steaks.

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On our second night for dinner we had steak, rice that we just cooked in a pot, and then corn that we cooked in tinfoil over the fire. It was amazing.

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That corn man. So good.

For breakfast on Sunday we had leftover steak, so we warmed them up on the stove and then cooked the old standby, bacon and eggs.

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I don’t know what it is about camping but everything you eat seems to taste better than usual. Maybe because it’s more work to make it so then it’s super rewarding when you get to eat it. I don’t know, but I like it.

Sunday was our big cliff beach adventuring day, so we brought ham and cheese wraps with us for a picnic, and then for dinner…

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Pasta with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and shredded cheddar cheese. It was SO GOOD. I remember thinking that it was the most perfect meal of all time as I was eating it. Ahhh, I love camping food!

We also roasted a ton of marshmallows over the fire, and of course s’mores happened…

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Errrrmagerrrrrd. And you know what else is really good to roast over the fire as an alternative to mashmallows? Starburst candies. I know, who would have thought. I read about it in that lame Buzzfeed camping hacks article so I brought some to try and they were awesome. The outside gets all crispy and crystalized and the inside is all soft and melty. That was the only useful information in that article. Everything else just seemed like unnecessary work.

And of course we had the chips that the racoons ate. I feel like we really did the camping food right! We were happy and not hungry, so that = success.

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Food Talk Friday

I got a pretty disturbing comment about that Vietnamese soup I wrote about on Wednesday.

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Sounds like weird lunch meat was the least of my worries. I probably ate congealed blood and pig’s knuckles. There were a lot of weird mystery items in that soup. When I read this comment to Evan he said “Yeah, now that you mention it, I remember you struggling with some kind of cartilage-type thing.” Welp. Pig knuckles! A hoof, basically. I may have eaten a hoof.

I feel like if you are going to include weird ingredients in your menu items, those weird ingredients need to be listed on your menu. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know. Normally if I am at a restaurant that is outside of my culinary boundaries culturally, I just eat without asking questions because I am afraid of the answer. What’s in that sushi? Oh, octopus testicles? Fabulous. Didn’t need to know that.

I think those days may be over for me now. Now I feel like I need to know. If there’s blood in my soup (congealed  blood), I’d like to know. Ah well, all good, just a life experience.

Anyway, moving onto more delicious things. I went to Evan’s house after work on Wednesday and when I got there he was roasting a chicken for dinner.

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So for dinner we had an entire chicken, stuffing (stove top but I’ll take it), gravy, and Brotherman’s slaw. What is this, Thanksgiving?!

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Nope, just another day at their pad. This is not even for my benefit, I promise. They are constantly cooking these elaborate dinners. And breakfasts. This is what they made me for breakfast yesterday.

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A frittata with a bunch of vegetables, ham, and a chocolate chip waffle.

No lie, this is an every day thing. Here are two other breakfasts I have enjoyed there lately:

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STEAK and eggs.

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PEROGIES and eggs.

No one has ever cooked for me like this before. I don’t even know how to express my gratitude. I guess blog about it.

They also just got a juicer, so my breakfast yesterday was followed by juice with mango, orange, and grapefruit.

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It tasted like Florida!

On Wednesday evening I was talking to Dawn on the phone for a while in another room, and Evan came in and surprised me with a glass of carrot, apple, orange, and ginger juice, instructed me to take a giant sip of it, and then poured wine into it to top it off. I can’t even explain my reaction to that. I thought I was dreaming.

So anyway, don’t blame me if I move in there. Winnie cooks me jack squat over here.

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Yeah, but your love isn’t edible Winnie.

I am going away for the weekend, and though I am excited about leaving the city, I am a little bit sad because it’s a huge food weekend in Toronto and I am going to miss it.

First of all there’s the first annual Halal Food Festival at the International Centre, which according to the website is two days of food in seven festival areas and 60 food sampling stations. Oh, and there’s a cheese seminar. I’m really sad to miss that especially.

And Sunday is Burger Day. All-you-can-eat sliders, various kinds, from 67 restaurants, for $30. It’s at Artscape Wychwood Barns.

It’s a good weekend to be a Torontonian. If you go to either of those events, please tell me how they are. I want details!

Have a great weekend! Eat lots! But stay away from the pig knuckles. The congealed blood also.

PSA: We didn’t just eat crap

I had a couple of very concerned comments on my first Florida post thinking that maybe we were just going to eat at all the buffets and fast food restaurants and call it a day without trying any of the good food.

Of course not! Not to worry, we didn’t just eat crap! Yes, we did eat a lot of crap, but we had to because of the novelty of it. We just don’t have anything like those places in Canada. We have the Mandarin, a Chinese buffet, but dinner is almost $30 a person. A far cry from Hungry Howie’s $6.99 special. But we ate at better places than Hungry Howie’s, IHOP, and Checkers. Oh right, and the Golden Corral… I’m not even going to talk about that because my Golden Corral plate is just an embarrassing disgusting mess of random items.

Anyway, we ate at a few nice places, so let’s talk about those.

Our first decent meal was at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Bradenton.

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It was my first Florida seafood experience and I loved it. They also had paper towels hanging above each table, just in case things got messy.

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It’s gonna get messy

And this was a good thing, as things tend to get messy for me.

Neither of us are big fans of oysters, so we started with the mussels.

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Hands down the best mussels I have ever had. The sauce they came in was so ridiculously good that Evan and I ordered bread just so we could dip it in the sauce. It was all garlicky and parmesan-y and I couldn’t get enough of it. I also loved the addition of tomatoes in there. I just can’t say enough about the mussels.

For my entree I ordered the pasta skillet with scallops. Which came with more bread. Delicious garlic bread.

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I was really sold on the pasta because of the Anna Maria Island sauce that was described on the menu. Typically I really prefer tomato sauce over oil or cream sauces, but when I read that it was a blend of tomatoes, artichoke hearts, basil, wine, and herb butter I just couldn’t say no. It was really good, especially the scallops, just melt-in-your-mouth good. But after all the mussels and all the bread I was pretty full so I ended up taking a lot of it home.

I also had a rum punch as it was on special.

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But just one, as those are dangerous for me.

Our next delicious dining experience was at Pop’s Sunset Grill at Nokomis Beach.

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We went there after a full day on Venice and Nokomis beaches, so don’t be judging my scraggly hair and shiny skin. I was swimming in that glorious ocean!

I really loved that they had outdoor seating right on the water, because patios are something I really love about Ontario and I noticed was lacking in Florida. I just love sitting outside, but I noticed most of the restaurants in Florida were indoor. Maybe because it just gets too hot to sit outside? I don’t know. I never realized how much of a patio culture Ontario had though until I visited here (in the summer, obviously we’re not crazy enough to patio it up in the winter).

Anyway, it was great to sit on the water and watch all the boats go by and be jealous of them.

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Evan’s Florida shirt killed me.

We had already had quite a lot of snacks throughout the day so we skipped appetizers and just went for the main course. And oh man is all I have to say about the main course.

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Whaaaat

We got the full steamship pot for two, which included 24 shrimp, two lobster tails, red potatoes, corn on the cob, onions and celery. Amazing.

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I LOVED the fresh seafood. There was so much of it, and it was pretty inexpensive also. The lobster was sooo good.

Our server told me they had the best pina coladas in the world also, so I obviously had to try one of those.

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I promise I am not wincing, I am just squinting from the sun. It was a good pina. Perhaps the best in the world, but I am not really a pina colada connoisseur so I cannot say for sure.

Dining experience #3 takes us to The Hub Baja-Grill, just outside of Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, where we had spent the day leisuring on the sand and swimming in the ocean.

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I look really excited about it, but really I was just excited for food.

Evan and I started with the nacho dip sampler, which came with salsa, guacamole, and cheese con queso.

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I loved the dips! The guacamole was so good both Evan and I commented that it would have won the Guac-Off!

Margaritas were on special here, and our server really recommended them, so that’s what I went with.

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No disappointment here.

Pints of beer were only $3 until the end of happy hour (again unheard of in Ontario), so that’s what Evan stuck to.

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I ended up switching to beer after my margarita.

It was a really cute restaurant and I loved where we were sitting. Our table was on the patio just off the street, so it was perfect for people watching.

And we were also really close to the live entertainment.

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That guy was really good actually. I was impressed.

For my main course I decided to go for tacos, because I LOVE tacos.

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But I have to be honest and say they were only okay. Someone in the kitchen got a little excited with the taco seasoning and I felt like the meat was noticeably too seasoned. Otherwise good though.

I tried some of Evan’s fish tacos and I liked them much better!

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I had the meal envy going on for sure.

I just wanna talk about breakfast quickly now. Paula really recommended Cracker Barrel, and we had also both never tried it, so we went there twice for breakfast.

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Twice because I could barely eat the first time since it was after our first night out with Paula and I was not feeling the most fab.

It should be noted that this was my first time trying grits, and they were not nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be. Same with the biscuits and country gravy. Well not the biscuits, those were obviously going to be delicious, but that country gravy always creeped me out a bit. But I liked it a lot. I also liked the apple butter a lot, which is in the bowl on the plate with the biscuits and country gravy. I’m sad we don’t have Cracker Barrel in Canada. I didn’t even know what I was missing.

So see, we didn’t eat horribly the entire time. Some decent meals definitely went down. I think my favourite was the steamship seafood pot. I wish I was still eating  that right now!

The Deer Run Inn

Hi friends!

As mentioned in my last post, a bunch of us spent the weekend doing winter stuff in the middle of nowhere Ontario, at Emily’s Dad Al’s hunting camp, the famous Deer Run Inn.

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Tripod for the group photo win. From left: Corey, Emily, Evan, myself, Dawn, Mark, and Dawn and Mark’s dogs Miyou and Bolt. You should recognize them all if you have been following my blog for a while since most of those beautiful faces tend to make an almost weekly appearance around here.

It was awesome to spend the weekend outside of the city with them all, and I had a really fun time.

The camp isn’t on an official road, so getting into it is a bit tricky in the winter because there is typically a LOT of snow and the “road” is unplowed and hilly. So we met Em’s Dad Al on the drive up in his 4×4 truck and he drove us in. I was grateful, as we had a lot of stuff.

Dawn and Mark came up a bit later though, so we made the trek back out so we could walk them in and help them carry everything.

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Dawn with her backpack and her brown blanket killed me. She reminded me of a movie character. I think the hunchback from 300.

The walk is about 30 minutes, but it wasn’t bad as we had beer to get us through.

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We liked to call Evan the Mechanic, or Coveralls, or Dan Ackroyd (because of Ghostbusters) because he was wearing an attractive one piece coverall set as snow pants.

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He said the coveralls were nice and toasty.

So a little about the camp. It’s gorgeous. Though the term “inn” is probably used a bit loosely…

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It has a lot of deer paraphernalia kicking around, and a lot of gun racks.

There are two rooms. In modern open-concept fashion, the main room is the kitchen and the living room together, and then there is the bunk room, which has five bunk beds with double mattresses on both the top and bottom bunks. Very functional.

The camp has no electricity (though there is a generator), and no running water. It is heated by a wood stove and a cook stove, and there is also a propane stove if needed (we used it for breakfast). There’s an old fridge on the porch that isn’t plugged in, and it kind of acts like a cooler. But in the winter keeping everything cold isn’t a problem, because you can just leave it outside.

We didn’t need a fridge for our snacks anyway.

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Epitome of health right there. We do not mess around when it comes to snacks. I had a lot of everything.

There is also no bathroom. Just this fancy outhouse.

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We were trying to figure out why anyone would put a window on an outhouse door, and we think it is because when all the men are up there actually hunting deer, they probably keep their gun nearby when they are using that in the morning. In case any deer wander by, you know.  It’s important to keep an eye out for your enemy at all times.

Anyway, the seat was frigid, but as far as outhouses go it wasn’t too bad. And besides the cold seat I have decided I much prefer outhouses in the winter to the summer, because there isn’t really a smell and there are no bugs. I have a feeling that thing gets pretty spider infested in the summer. And spiders, as you may know, are the one thing that make me panic inside.

The snow was up to our knees, so Evan shovelled a path over to the outhouse so we could easily get to it from the cabin.

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Very nice of him. Also, to the right of the cabin in that picture is the shower. We didn’t use it though. We just stayed dirty.

After we unpacked our stuff and got all settled, we got right into the winter activities. Like building snowmen!

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It was perfect snowman-building packing snow. We built two awesome ones, and then we trashed them.

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We had a pellet gun up there so we shot some cans off of that snowman before Mark tackled it. I actually have a pretty good shot!

And I have been wanting to make a snow angel for at least two years, so I got that dream out of the way.

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We also took the dogs on a big walk through the snow around the camp, and Corey showed us the tree stand he uses when he is there actually hunting deer with Emily’s Dad.

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I didn’t get a picture of it, but I wanted to post this one because in the top left of the photo is the “skinning shack.” We did not go in there, because I have a feeling it is just as horrifying as it sounds.

After dinner (lasagne), we played a round of Apples to Apples which I have never played before. It’s a really good family game and it was pretty funny.

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Coincidentally Evan brought the game Cards Against Humanity, which is exactly like Apples to Apples, only a million times more inappropriate.

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And I really do mean a million times more inappropriate. No exaggeration there. So we played that next, and let me tell you, it was the funniest game I have ever played. Ever. I was dying. Like laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. A couple people had to actually take a Tylenol because their heads hurt so much from laughing. Emily eventually had to lie down, as she just couldn’t take the laughter anymore.

And I really appreciated that they tailored the game for Canadians.

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I don’t think Evan stole his copy of Cards Against Humanity, just for the record. But there were a few American cards we didn’t understand, so we appreciated the Canadian effort.

We played the entire game, while wearing hats.

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We went through every card. It took us about five hours, but we did take a break to squeeze in some nighttime tobogganing.

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The hill wasn’t the greatest, but it was still a good time. We lit it with flares so we could see where we were going.

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It was pretty.

The next morning we woke up and made the best breakfast ever.

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So good. The hash browns almost reminded me of the amazing hash browns we had in Jamaica. Almost.

We also had toast, which Evan brought cinnamon spread for. Cinnamon spread!

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It took me back to my childhood! I took the leftover tub home with me and have been stirring it into my oatmeal in the mornings. It is goooood.

Corey, Evan and I also all had very attractive onesies that came in handy for the morning chilliness. Corey missed the onesie picture, sadly.

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Bolt and Miyou enjoyed them. My onesie was super comfortable. I think I might start wearing it all the time.

Fun times at the hunting camp!

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I am already excited to go back.

Jamaican Me Hungry

Alrighty, last Jamaican recap post. Let’s talk about the FOOD!

I was a bit apprehensive about the food, because I have heard stories of resort food not being the greatest or making you sick (like in Cuba). Just about how it’s cooked differently and can be bland tasting, and the sauces sometimes aren’t great (and this was a concern for me because I eat things for the sauce a lot of the time). This was not the case in Jamaica at all, and the food for the most part was amazing. And you can drink the tap water! That was a huge relief. I had no worries food-wise, and I was never hungry. Usually I was way too full.

The Buffets

Though we had unlimited a la cartes at our resort, we sometimes went to the buffet for dinner if we wanted to save time, or if we didn’t want to be too full (because the a la cartes left me feeling so full I thought I might actually explode). And we did the buffet for breakfast every day and usually lunch also. Good times in the buffet.

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(I need to take a second and just mention how much I loved all the adults on the trip, as they were usually more intoxicated than we were and they were absolutely hilarious.)

The selection in the buffet was insane. They had an entire section dedicated to CHEESE (we found Dawn and Leanne in the buffet after the catamaran trip eating plates of just cheese with the buffet tongs – they know how to do it right). The buffets basically had every food imaginable, including pizza, assorted meats, fries, sushi, fish, and a pasta bar. I discovered the pasta bar late into the trip and that’s pretty much all I ate for lunch and dinner for the last three days because it was SO GOOD, I couldn’t get enough.

I apologize for my buffet pictures because I tended to just load my plate up with random stuff and it just looks like a mess.

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That would be a giant salad of random goodness, pizza, curried potatoes, some pasta, and roasted vegetables.

This is an example of a lunch salad bar. I would maybe start with a salad (heavy on the cheese)…

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And then load my plate up with random goods.

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Bean salad, tomatoes and mozzarella, ham, steak, cheese, pizza, rice, fish. That was probably x2. I need to mention also that they had the BEST bread. Ohh how I wish I was still eating that bread. So good.

And after I found the pasta bar…

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That is a mess… This one is better.

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Ah, that bread!

For breakfast nearly every morning I had a perfectly made omelette…

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And I really enjoyed their bacon and hashbrowns. LOVED the hashbrowns. They also had cereal, pancakes, french toast, fruit, ham, scrambled eggs, potatoes, yogurt, and you could get your eggs done however you wanted. They also had assorted juices and a smoothie bar, and their frozen banana with milk smoothie was definitely my favourite there.

The only thing I would usually steer clear of was the breakfast ham and the hotdogs…both were just not made how I was accustomed to and I wasn’t really a fan.

For dessert I usually was too full to have anything besides fruit.

On the third beach, Sunset Cove, there was a little shack that served authentic jerk chicken which was pretty amazing…

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Served with seafood rice. You had to be careful while eating your chicken though, because they just chopped up an entire piece of chicken with a large knife and it included the bones.

Also, in the sports bar they served hamburgers, hotdogs, quesadillas, pizza and nachos until 7am every single night. It was fabulous. The quesadillas were the BEST.

The a la Cartes

We went out for several group a la carte dinners.

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This was in Poseidon, the seafood restaurant by the third beach. We started with the salad bar and soup here, and then for my appetizer I had muscles…

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With shrimp as my main course.

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I had several rounds of the salad bar, so by the time I was done my dinner I was so full I thought I might die, so I couldn’t even do the dessert thing.

The next restaurant I really enjoyed was the Mexican restaurant (though several people said it was their least favourite, but I don’t think they really liked Mexican to begin with). Our table had chips, salsa, and guacamole on it for everyone, and I wanted more of it so I also got it as my appetizer.

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I had soup as well. And for my main I chose fajitas, because I just love them.

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I thought they were really good, so props to the chef.

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I was also able to manage dessert here…

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I do not remember what that is, but I do remember that it was good.

And my favourite a la carte restaurant was Reggaetoni, the Italian restaurant. We started with the salad bar… 

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Again, lots of cheese…

For my appy I had the bruschetta…

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And for my main I chose the spaghetti bolognese, and HOLY. I was blown away.

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It was amaaaazing. I loved every last bite of that thing.

I was again too full for dessert, so I just had some fruit, but I got a pic of Joanna’s and it looks pretty delicious…

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That’s it for the a la cartes for me, but they also had a Indian, Asian, and a steakhouse and I heard they were all really good.

Also, just want to mention the airplane food, because we flew Canjet and I’m pretty sure it’s the only airline that still actually serves meals. Our breakfast on the way there was not good (in my opinion), but lunch on the way back was pretty decent!

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That pasta was not too shabby at all, and continued my three-day pasta binge. I also really enjoyed the bean salad.

Welp, that’s it! Jamaica recaps be over, mon! I hope you enjoyed. If you missed any of my others you can check them out here.

How to Gain 10lbs in One Weekend

It is very, very easy. Allow me to demonstrate.

I recommend starting your weekend off right with a huge burrito bowl for lunch on Friday.


That was deeeeelicious. And don’t be fooled by the lettuce. That bowl also included rice, chicken, pinto and black beans, corn, cheese, two kinds of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. So basically everything you can possibly put in a burrito bowl. I do not mess around.

Next, hopefully one of your friends will have a little potluck gathering pre-bar and will make an amazing dip that you can eat for hours and hours.

That was probably the best spinach and artichoke dip I have ever eaten. Huge credit to my friend Lauren for that warm and creamy deliciousness. I couldn’t get enough.

And if you are out with friends who you haven’t seen for six years and you don’t want the party to end, you should definitely hit up a 24-hour diner that serves everything imaginable. And poutine is always, ALWAYS a good idea, no matter what time it is (even at 3am).

I had some help finishing that, because right before I filled up with this:

A chocolate shake and poutine seemed like a really great combination when I spotted them both on the menu. And actually, my instincts were not wrong. No regrets here.

If it’s a beautiful day on Saturday, you should probably take advantage and sit out on a patio. And it’s hard to sit on a patio and not order food when everyone else around you is…

So that explains this:

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to share that, but I ate the entire thing.

And then when the people at the table next to you order the most ridiculous waffle you’ve ever seen and your eyes almost fall out of your head and you start salivating uncontrollably, you obviously have to order it too…

Because not ordering that would have been an absolute tragedy. I would have thought about it and regretted it for at least the next week. Possibly even the rest of my life. But I did split that with my friend Rebecca, so don’t worry, I didn’t get too crazy.

Oh, and you should also go out for brunch.

Twice.

After all, it’s the best meal of the day!

And you should probably drink.

Yeah, definitely need to drink.

Quite a lot.

(Best mojito I have ever had.)

And that should do it. I haven’t weighed myself, but if I’ve gained 10 pounds since Friday because of my gluttonous antics I would not be surprised. Though one of my goals since I moved to the city was to try out different restaurants, so I feel I made a decent dent in that this weekend.

Now please excuse me while I go and lie in my bed of shame. Ohh just kidding! I ran this morning. All good.

I hope you guys had a great weekend, filled with amazing eats. I had a really, really amazing one, so I still have some recapping I want to do. But for now, enjoy the food porn!