Tag: Food Blogger

The 7th Blogiversary Itch

The 7th Blogiversary Itch

The seventh blogiversary post about all of the food I ate in the past year and all the hotels I reviewed.

Feeding the Sixth… Blogiversary

Feeding the Sixth… Blogiversary

I’ve been The Food Girl in Town for two thousand, one hundred and ninety days. Here’s what happened in the 6th year. You’ll never guess how many restaurants I ate in this year… yes, I counted.

A Barcelona Guide to 24 Hours of Eating

A Barcelona Guide to 24 Hours of Eating

Okay, I know eating out three meals a day is extravagant, but I swear, I’m not a crazed foodie who only eats out while travelling. But, when you’re in place for just one day, you gotta. If you get to spend a month somewhere, I urge you to hit the markets and cook like a local, but that just wasn’t the case for us this summer. Adam and I had 48 hours to eat up Barcelona after spending 10 days with my family in the beach town of Algorfa. There was no way to eat everything I wanted to eat. Heck, if I had been there a month I probably would have felt the same way. So we settled breakfast, lunch and dinner: Here is a Barcelona guide to 24 hours of eating.

Breakfast at Hüle in Barrio Gràcia

We stayed at Casa Gràcia, a hostel in what I think is the coolest neighbourhood in Barcelona. Gràcia is just far enough away from the crazy crowds of La Rambla, but only a 20-minute walk to Sagrada Familia. Honestly, I barely felt like a tourist hanging out there: think cool Modernist architecture and quiet streets with tons of local shops, hip gin bars and tiny tapas joints.

Hüle Bar is a great spot on a quiet street off the Passeig de Gràcia, just around the corner from our hostel. We popped in for breakfast around 10am and found the place teeming with locals: hipsters working on laptops, seniors chatting with the baristas, and even groups of business people having morning meetings. Great neighbourhood energy.

It’s intentionally sparsely decorated, with brick walls roughly painted white, graphic light fixtures and an eclectic array of vintage chairs. We munched on fresh pastries, espresso and fresh squeezed juice. A simple and typically Spanish (if not a little hipster) start to the day.

A Barcelona guide to eating breakfast

 

*This place turns into a cocktail bar with a completely different (and younger) vibe at night.

Lunch at Chiringuito Las Sardinitas

For lunch, we headed to Barcelona’s beach. In Madrid we ate at the markets, so we wanted to do something different here. After a morning of sightseeing at Sagrada Familia and strolling (weaving and bobbing miserably) along La Rambla, we were ready for beer and cool breezes. We wandered through Barceloneta’s quaint streets before hitting the main drag of overpriced restaurants and nightclubs along the beach. We finally came upon a more quiet stretch along la Platja de la Nova Icària where we found Chiringuito Las SardinitasThis seafood joint is part of a bigger group of restaurants, but it has cheap beer, greasy-in-a-good-way calamari and of course, the always necessary patatas bravas. Done like lunch.

 

A Barcelona guide to eating lunch

A Barcelona guide to eating seafood

My sentiment the whole afternoon: carefree joy about eating all the tapas I wanted. Between the beers, the bright beach-y decor and the salty breezes I could have sat forever.

A Barcelona guide to eating to beach eating

A Barcelona guide to eating to beach eating and drinking

Dinner at Bobby Gin

Post-day-drunk siesta came after a long trek back to Gràcia, but we were hungry by the time we got to Bobby Gin at 9:30pm, which we thought was late.

Ahem, no.

We were the first people there. After two weeks of 10pm dinners, we still found ourselves unfashionably early for dinner. This time I didn’t care because the waiter treated us like royalty and the chef himself brought out tapas. Gin bars are popular in Spain these days (along with Vermouth bars). Bobby Gin is no exception. Oozing coolness, the tiny spot has big personality and serves more than 100 types of gin. We drank many a cocktail, including some fan-fucking-tastic G&Ts, which I don’t usually like, but when in Spain…

A Barcelona guide to eating dinner

Bobby Gin was recommended by my co-worker at Travelzoo, and it delivered, which is why it tops my Barcelona guide for where to eat dinner.  The tapas were phenomenal, which was great because the reason I chose this place was solely based on the fact that it was close to the hostel.

So. Many. Tapas.

A blend of traditional and modern tapas, with a kick of Asian flare, we ate Ibérico ham done “roast beef” style with parmesan and almonds and croquettes filled with sharp cheese and topped with fruity compote. The chef himself brought out foie gras on crackers with apples.

A Barcelona guide to eating Spanish food

A Barcelona guide to eating supper

Then came patata bravas and battered calamari with miso, soy and chili. Just to name a few. And then we went home to bed, because we had eaten all day long and that’s freaking exhausting.

A Barcelona guide to eating Adam

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PINTEREST.BARCELONA

Learning the fundelentils

Learning the fundelentils

When I think of lentils, I think hippie food — like carob chips or bean sprouts. I never grew up eating lentils in Newfoundland, and they’ve always reminded me of split peas, which I truly dispise. But after eating at four great Toronto restaurants that are 

Why do food blogs matter?

Why do food blogs matter?

I just finished my first semester of journalism school. It was a fast-paced tough kind of fun, but my extracurriculars took a beating: Ethics class called food-blogging unprofessional, slamming bloggers for accepting free food, guest-speakers labeled bloggers as “amateurs,” and professors rolled their eyes when they found out I was a food blogger. 

Devour! Food Film Fest: Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Devour! Food Film Fest: Wolfville, Nova Scotia

A whole film festival about food? Yes please! Films about growing food, making food, eating food? This is what the world is made of people. A few weeks ago, Adam and I drove out to Wolfville to attend the Devour Food Film Fest. I was pumped!

To start our day of DEVOURing, we decided to fuel up at The Naked Crepe Bistro on Main Street. Even though it was 11am, I decided that I had to try the French Onion Soup as a little appetizer before my crepe.

French Onion Soup

When it got to the table, I was like “where the heck is all the cheese?” until I realized that the little nugget floating near the side of the bowl was a delicious cheesy chip! It melted slowly in the flavourful broth and was a delightful little twist on a classic dish.

Adam chose The Parisian as his crepe du jour.

The Parisian

Filled with shaved black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and the perfect dollop of Dijon, The Parisian was delicious. Adam ate it in about one minute.

I chose the Nicolette.

Nicolette

This crepe was stuffed with Brie, spinach, strawberries, almonds, and drizzled with maple syrup. It was great balance of sweet and savoury, although there was a little too much spinach up in there if you ask me. Delicious nonetheless.

After lunch, Adam headed off to the library to study, and I headed off to the Library Pub to drink. The Merchant Wine Tavern and Library Pub was dubbed the Devour Lounge for the duration of the festival and in the evenings there were delicious food offerings available to ticket holders. When I got to the pub, there wasn’t a whole lot going on, but I helped myself to a pint of cider and perused the program.

Library Pub

Next, I headed off to the Acadia campus for an industry session for food bloggers. As chance would have it, I caught the tail end of the session going on just before, Nose to Tail Cuisine, which was given by Scott Vivian, chef of Beast Restaurant in Toronto, and Chris Velden, co-owner of The Flying Apron Cookery, located in Tantallon. The early birds from our session were even able to try some freshly made sausage with sauerkraut; it was wicked!

Nose to Tail Cuisine

The industry session I participated in was The Food Blogger: Food Photography. Bonjwing Lee of the amazing The Ulterior Epicure, a food and travel blog, gave this talk. Here he is being introduced by the lovely Lia Rinaldo, Managing Director of the festival:

Food Photography

Bonjwing’s session was really interesting. We got to look at amazing pictures of meals he has eaten all over the world, and I picked up some great tips about white balance and shooting in dark restaurants. His thirst for travel and food is relentless, and his work-to-eat mentality is very similar to my own. He is pretty much my new idol. This session made me want to walk out the door, head straight to the airport and take photos of awesome food all over the world (even more than I already did).

The main event of our day at Devour was Food Porn: a series of short films about, what else? Delicious looking food. Adam and I met up outside the Al Whittle Theatre on Main Street and headed inside, found our seats, and gobbled down some yummy popcorn donated by Pete’s.

The films were mouth watering, tear jerking, and just plain lovely. There was variation in theme and context, but all the films revolved around food. Some of my favourites were:

Nettle Fettuccine Alfredo by Aube Giroux

This film was so well shot and looked delicious! I don’t even know what nettles taste like, but this short was enough to make me start growing them on my tiny apartment patio. You can see more of Ms. Giroux’s recipe films on her website Kitchen Vignettes.

Risotto by James Ingram

James Ingram of Jive Photographic directed this mouth-watering short with the help of Kelly Neil, a fellow Halifax food blogger and photographer extraordinaire. The music and images of this film induced such desire, I could almost taste the risotto. AMAZING!

The next three films were done by the same documentarians, The Perennial Plate, who are truly inspiring. All their films are dedicated to the presentation of sustainable and adventurous eating; they are filmed beautifully, and make you think about food in so many different ways.

Tea for Two from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                             A super cute film about love and the making of tea. I cried a little.

A Time for Foie from The Perennial Plate.                                                                                  This film is about a man, his geese, and the ethical making of foie gras. So awe-inspiring.

My overall favourite from the selection of films at Food Porn was also by the Perennial Plate and made me want to jump on a plane to Italy. Immediately. And live there. Forever.

10 Things We Love About Italy from The Perennial Plate.

The films at Devour represent a way of looking at food that isn’t simply about making it big on the Food Network, or scoring the most hits on your blog. It is about the creation of sustenance, the creation of community, the creation of art. It brought people together from all over the world who are passionate about food because it is a universal unifier.

Everyone needs to eat.

Cultures across the world use food to communicate tradition, to celebrate, and to come together. I loved the films that I viewed at Devour because they made me remember why I wanted to write about food in the first place. Coming together over food is one of the most innate and revered events that there is, plus it all tastes so good. I encourage everyone to attend Devour Food Film Fest next November, and always remember to Explore.Eat.Repeat: You never know where the next food adventure will take you.
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