Monday, 11 March 2013

Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder (Revisit)

Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder

Just a quick post on some of my favourite items from Stockyards that I have never featured! We got our usual order of Fried Chicken and fries and featured below is the "Beast" burger and the infamous Ribs (only on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday), which IMO are the best ribs in the city.

The Beast
2 mustard seared patties + Secret Sauce + Caramelized Onions + Stockyards American Style Cheese

Best in the city! Smokey, delicious chewy bark, succulent, fatty, juicy meat. A killer BBQ as well.

Electric Mud BBQ

Eletric Mud BBQ (5 Brock Avenue, Toronto)

From the same owners as Grand Electric and located literally around the corner, we decided to stop by for a couple snacks before our dinner at Grand Electric (Yes still a 2 hour wait). The food is Southern inspired BBQ, with classic/country rock playing and the smoke from the BBQ going. As I still had Grand Electric's fish tacos and tuna ceviche very  much on my mind, we chose a couple dishes to try. I assure you I will be back soon to try the whole menu as the food is seriously addictive.

Beergurita (Agua Loca + Tequila + Lime Juice + Agave) and Porch Crawler (Thai Basil Gin + Watermelon Lemonade + Agave)
Both drinks were fantastic. The beergurita was like a classic margarita with a hint of beer flavor. My favourite was the Porch Crawler, incredibly refreshing and loving that Thai basil gin. We also had the Clydesdale (bourbon + grapefruit + lime + agave), which also was another hit as I am a sucker for bourbon cocktails.

Southern Fried Chicken
Seriously crispy + juicy fried chicken. Served with a honey sauce and a flavourful Tabasco Reserve.  The chicken was well seasoned, tender and crispy = some of the best I have had. Also a very good portion at four pieces, a great dish to share.

These were awesome. Fatty, juicy and tender as ribs should be and topped with a umami like sauce + peanuts + scallions created a dynamite flavor profile.

Electric Mud BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, 1 March 2013

Joe Beef

Joe Beef (2491 Rue Notre Dame Quest, Montreal)
One of Montreal's most celebrated restaurants, we had our last dinner in Montreal here after much debate (vs. Au Pied de Cochon). The restaurant has a daunting chalkboard menu written in French, with the daily menu and wine list. A very small, intimate restaurant with comfort food being their main focus. The portions are HUGE and you will without a doubt leave with a very sore (but happy) belly. Please note that it was extremely dark in here, so the photos are limited.

Cocktail of the Day
Bourbon + Cayenne + Citrus

Burrata Salad + Carrots/Veg
The burrata was creamy, silky and also the size of a baseball. The acidity and sweetness from the pickled vegetables balanced the dish nicely.

Foie Gras Double Down
Two 80g pieces of foie gras deep fried enveloping bacon, maple syrup smoked cheddar cheese, mayo and a brown sugared apple juice sauce. Wildly delicious, so good it scared me ha!

Lobster Spaghetti
Since my boyfriend is not a huge fan of lobster, this dish was all mine. Featuring 2 pounds of lobster and a plate of pasta that can easily feed 2-3, it was DELICIOUS. Perfectly juicy, succulent and sweet lobster with pasta dressed with a bacon, cream, lobster sauce. I would pay the hefty price tag of $49.00 again and again, loved it!

 Pork Sausage + Brussels + Mushrooms + White Gravy
The server explained that the pork was braised for many hours then repurposed into a sausage. Dressed in a white gravy with mushrooms and brussel sprouts, it was a very rich and hearty dish.. not for the faint of heart. I thought that the dish was a bit overseasoned.
I am a sucker for fries and Joe Beef's rendition was no exception. These were crispy, thin covered in herbs and parm. So incredible!

Joe Beef on Urbanspoon

Garde Manger

Garde Manger (408 Rue St. Francois - Xavier, Montreal)

As a fan of watching Chuck Hughes on the Food Network + hearing rave reviews about his restaurant, I naturally gravitated towards having dinner at Garde Manger. Luckily we got reservations without a struggle and we had a wonderful evening of comfort food with a cozy, fun and intimate vibe.

Chalkboard Menu

Bread Basket
This bread basket was awesome! A variety of fresh breads, some of my favourite including a cheese bread, foccacia with a paprika cream cheese spread. Delicious.
Watercress Salad + Raw Beef + Fried Pickles + Honey Vinaigrette
Another dish we loved. A simple watercress salad with sliced med-rare beef sliced thin. Perfect little fried, crunchy cornichons added a special element in both flavour and texture and it was all tied together by a honey mustard vinaigrette.

Foie Gras + Waffles + Maple Butter
As soon as we heard this was being served, it was an immediate yes. Foie and Waffles, come on! Two HUGE pieces of foie served with a waffle with a delectable maple butter. I thought the balance of the dish was off, as there was way too much foie for the tiny square of waffle. I was pining for more waffle.
Jerk Spiced Crab
Beautiful (spicy/gingery/garlicky) jerk flavours embody the crab. A messy affair indeed with a spice that builds slowly and steadily. The flavours were delicious and addictive.
Stuffed Quail with Lentils and Sausage + Cabbage Sauce + Cippolini
Probably our favourite of the evening. The quail was beautifully cooked, crispy and tender, with a lentil and sausage stuffing. The creamy cabbage and cippolini were a perfect pair to the quail, creating bold flavours and a clear definition of comfort food at its best.
Seared Scallops + Carrot Butter + Bacon + Gnocchi 
Scallops were over seasoned although well cooked. The carrot butter was the star of the show, a sweet, untcous, rich carrot butter that paired nicely with the salty, fatty bacon. The gnocchi was great although quite sparse.

Deep Fried Mars Bar
Not much to explain here. A perfect texture of a crispy fried mars bar with a chewy caramel center and vanilla ice cream to pair (sorry for the photo)!
Garde Manger on Urbanspoon