Best Of: First Blogiversary Round Up
HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY THE FOOD GIRL IN TOWN!
Wow, what a year it has been! When I first decided that I wanted to write a food blog I had no idea what an adventure it was going to be! I was really nervous when I pressed ‘publish’ for the first time, but since that very first posting on The Food Girl in Town so many great (and yummy) things have happened. I have reviewed over 30 restaurants, completed 8 food challenges, and talked about food until I have turned blue. It has been a great ride.
Here are some of my favourites from my first year as a food blogger; my best dishes, restaurants, and recipes, are listed here. This is by no means an official ‘Best Of’ list, simply a rehash of my favourite flavours that have lingered post after post.
House-Made Sausage, Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto, Ontario.
I visited Pizzeria Libretto on Ossington Street with my dear friend Erin from grad school to celebrate her birthday when Adam and I were visiting last February. I cannot believe I have not written a post about this place yet because it was amazing! We had four pizzas that evening, but the House-Made Sausage with caramelized onions, mozzarella, and chili oil was my favourite. The real Neapolitan pizza crust was delicious and the toppings were fresh. If you are ever in Toronto, visit this place!
I also have to give a shout out to my favourite local pizza! Morris East won my heart last December. You can read all about the delicious meal in my post East Coast Reunion at Morris East. Below is the scrumptious Mushroom Pizza.
Polo Frito, La Carnita, Toronto, Ontario.
I raved all about the yummy tacos from La Carnita in my post Dia de los Tacos: Dinner at La Carnita, and I’m going to do it again. They are SO good! My favourite from that evening was the Pollo Frito: I am a sucker for Mole sauce and, much to the despair of my family, have tried to recreate this delicious sauce to no avail. Oh well, guess I will have to make another trip to Toronto soon from some more tacos!
Best Mac n’ Cheese
Cheese n’ Doo, Get Stuffed, St. Johns’s, Newfoundland.
So I have never written a post about Get Stuffed because it would probably be the most impartial review ever. I worked at this lovely restaurant for over four years, and I still go back every chance I get to eat their delicious food. My favourite mac and cheese of the year (and every year, forever) is the Cheese n’ Doo from this Duckworth Street must visit. It’s cheesy, it’s gooey, its amazing. Enough said.
Best Foie Gras
Foie Gras Double Down, Joe Beef, Montreal, Quebec.
Anyone who reads my blog knows I love foie gras, I order it everywhere, but Montreal’s Joe Beef takes the cake. I am currently writing up my experience at this place, and though this may look like a heart attack on a platter it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Yes, that is two giant pieces of foie gras deep fried with bacon and cheese slapped in between. Yes, I probably took a couple years off my life. It was worth every future valve blockage.
Best Pork Belly
Pork Bun, Momofuku, Toronto, Ontario.
Pork Belly: another favourite. My sister keeps telling me to stop boring her by writing about it all the time. I can’t. It’s so delicious and so versatile. I was SO excited to revisit the newly opened Momofuku in Toronto last February, having dreamed for years about the Pork Buns I first tried in the original Manhattan restaurant. They were everything I remembered: soft, flavourful, and the best pork belly of the year. Stay tuned for a post on Momofuku, it won’t disappoint!
Pineapple Basil Caesar, Clint Pattemore for Mott’s Clamato at Imbibe.
I have sampled a lot of cocktails over the past year, and because of their haze inducing components found this category difficult to title. However, Clint Pattemore, the Caesar Mixing Officer for Mott’s Clamato won me over with his Pineapple Basil Caesar at last year’s Imbibe cocktail event. I wrote all about the event and my interview with Clint in Interview with a CMO: Imbibe, Clint Pattemore, and All Things Caesar.
Honourable mention goes to champagne, my forever beverage of choice.
Mini Powdered Donuts, Little Nicky’s Coffee, Toronto, Ontario.
These delicious looking morsels are from a great little place that I discovered during my last trip to Toronto. They were fresh, hot, and to be honest, the six that I bought still left me wanting more. Little Nicky’s just off Queen Street west would delight anyone who loves a great donut. I raved all about them in my rehash of our trip in The Good, The Bad, and The Donut: Toronto Food Marathon Pt. 1.
Best Thing I cooked
Grilled Oysters with Chorizo Butter, June Recipe Cover Challenge.
These were the most delicious oysters I have ever had, maybe even the single most amazing bite of food I have ever had. It was the first time I ever made oysters, and the chorizo butter sauce changed all our lives. Find out how in Barbecued Oysters Don’t Shuck.
Worst thing I made
Marsala Cream, New Year’s Day Feast.
Though obviously not belonging in the ‘best of’ category, I simply had to talk about the worst thing I made all year. The Marsala Cream that I prepared for our New Year’s feast was disgusting. It was gelatinous, sour, and weird. There were some delicious parts of the meal that you can read about in New Year, New Cookbook: Our New Year’s Day Italian Feast.
Bistro Le Coq, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I love this restaurant. Adam and I go there all the time, and every meal I am more and more in love with French food. I went there for the first time for Adam’s birthday and wrote about it in Bone Marrow, Foie Gras, and Birthdays at Bistro Le Coq. I love everything on the menu; the wine list is great and amazingly affordable and the atmosphere is romantic. Je t’aime Bistro Le Coq.
A Mano, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I visited A Mano for the first time on my birthday with my friend Amanda who was visitng from St. John’s. We popped a bottle of bubbly and ate delicious food, including the Crostini, with roasted pears, gorgonzola, and balsamic. I have tried all three of the Bertossi Group’s restaurants and this is by far my favourite. With great atmosphere, food, and service, stay tuned for a glowing review.
Tempo, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
We all know how much I love brunch. I’ve written numerous posts about this meal, the history of eggs benedict, and of course Tempo’s brunch in Feeling the Groove at Tempo Food+Drink. Tempo is new on the scene, but their Waffle Eggs Benedict is amazing and I cannot help but mention their deliciously large portions.
Reflecting on the past year I realized a few things: I love to eat pork belly, I order beef a lot in restaurants, and I absolutely love French and Italian food. I have learned so much about food through eating out and cooking in, and I am so excited to continue exploring the world one bite at a time.
I want to say thank you to all my hungry and loyal readers, the other amazing Halifax Food Bloggers, my recipe challenge guinea pigs Erin and Matt, and Adam, my editor, sous-chef, and partner in love. I hope everyone continues to Explore. Eat. Repeat. with the Food Girl In Town, and make sure to enjoy each bite you take, cheers!