Friday, March 30, 2012

North Bay's Classic 50's Diner - Hoagie's Diner

On Thursday, March 29th I was on the road shortly before lunch hour and decided to check out this little place in North Bay: Colonel Hoagie on the corner of Hwy 11 and O'Brien St.

First impression: The parking lot was already well filled and that was about half and hour before noon. Same inside: Quiet a lot of tables already taken and people eating or waiting for their order. Even so, the service was quick and without hectic. The decoration on the walls reflect the time of rock 'n roll, Pepsi and Elvis with some memorabilia like Route 66 plaques. Everything just matches: From the simple table settings to the decoration to the style of the menu. The choices are plenty: Classic 50s food, hamburgers, all day breakfast and great lunch platters.

I was in the mood for a hamburger and choose some putine with it: Wait time was very short and the plate came with plenty of food and a side of backed beans. Everything tasted great: Good fries, juicy burger and tasty putine. Only little suggestion is, that I expected my putine to be a little hotter (temperature wise) - but in the end an overall great lunch. Just a little detail: Even everything was well seasoned, you'll find beside ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper also some seasoned salt in a small shaker on the table .... nice detail.

As a regular visitor to this place said just perfectly: "Colonel Hoagies is always full. Very popular place. Good food and fast service."

I will certainly go back one of these days again and recommend that you check it out yourself and share your experience at Colonel Hoagie's in North Bay

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mushrooms - cooking with a superfood

I picked up some information about fresh mushrooms at the Wine and Cheese Show in Toronto and here a few interesting facts about this tasty, year around available fungus:

  • Mushrooms are grown year-round here in Canada. Growing mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll, which means that they do not require sun line to grow
  • Mushrooms are grown in the dark, in climate controlled buildings. Therefore, production and harvesting of seven of the most popular varieties (White, Crimini, Portabella, Oyster, Shiitake, Enoki and King Oyster mushrooms) occurs year around
  • Mushrooms are best when they are used within a few days of purchase, but can be kept up to one week in the refrigerator between the temperatures of 0° C and 2°C. They should be kept in a brown paper bag as they will breathe better and stay firm longer
  • Fresh mushrooms can help with blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, heart health, gout, healthy aging, childhood obesity and therefore are good for you beside being tasty
  • Depending on the variety they can be eaten raw, steamed, cooked, fried, added to salads, sauces, on a pizza, they also can be conserved in vinegar, dried or just be used as fresh as possible

If you are looking for more nutrition information or tasty receipies I recommend to check out the website

So, as you see, mushrooms are good for you and I hope that this little article inspires you to use mushrooms in your next meal preparation

Friday, March 16, 2012

History in the Breaking event - World Record attempt

On March 24, 2012 at 12 noon 200 stores will attempt to break the world record for the most Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese wheels cracked simultaneously.

In North Bay one of the participating stores will be Dollar's Your Independent Grocer.

The wheel here is 85 lbs/40 kg and will be cracked by hand with the traditional tools. After the successful splitting of the cheese wheel you will have the opportunity to buy some of the World Record Cheese right then and there

This will be a great event to be watching .... be there for the fun of it

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show this weekend

On Friday the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show will open its doors at the International Center. I always wanted to visit this exhibition - and this year we are going to do just this. Together with our friends we have planed a trip to T.O. with shopping at Brandt Meats and Dimpflmeier bakery, visiting the food show and do more stops at IKEA and Costco.

Hopefully we get a chance to see TV Foodnetwork Starchef Lynn Crawford on Saturday afternoon.

As you can see on the pictures we had an opportunity to meet Chef Lynn - what a pleasure this was. She is so approachable and inspiring as you know her from her show "Pitchin'In". She even personally signed her latest book for us!

It was a great trip, and, may be I see one of you there too next year .....
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Americans love eating with one hand only .... and other funny/interesting food manners

Just read this in and I am sure that it can't be taken to serious. It is a short article about dos and don'ts on the table around the world. Some place you suppose to make noises while eating, othernplaces you are not to cut the bread but to break it.

Here a few samples:

In the USA one handed food is prefered since the time of the Wild West: One never knew when it was needed to grab the revolver and therefor one hand was always "available" for duty. While the one hand was holding the fork and stuffing the hungry mouth the other was holding on to the Colt .... and even these days lots of Americans eat with one hand only (I just hope that the other one is not holding to a Colt today)

Going out with friends for dinner no need to wish each other to enjoy the meal like happening in the old world - the waiter will take over that duty after serving the last person of the group - now that's service, isn't it?

Again a difference between Old World and North American table manners: Should one have to go to the bathroom during the meal this should not be mentioned while leaving the table in the "New World" - it is enough to say that you will be right back.

There are lots of other table manners to observe: In Japan and China it is common to slurp the soup and show the host that you really enjoy it. In both countries the chop-sticks are the "tools" on the table. It is absolutely a "faux-pass" to stick them into the rice since this one usually is presented to the ancestors as special gift. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the ancestors ....

In a lot of Islamic countries as well as in India and Thailand people eat with their hands. Dishes are served on one large platter and everyone can serve himself. One thing is tabu in these countries: The left hand is not to be used to take the food since it is considered "dirty". People clean themselves with this hand and even the hands are washed before a meal and sometimes even in between the different courses.

Spaghetti without spoon and Baguette without knife: The French loves his Baguette bread. But bread will be broken and not cut - they will use the knife for other food like fruits but not to cut bread. In another country of Europe - Italy the use of a spoon to eat Spaghetti is not correct. This past should be eaten with a fork only: No cutting it, not biting it off and no spoon! So, make sure that you don't overload your fork when starting loading it with this traditional pasta dish.

If you finish your plate in Russia you signal to the host, that you are not full and would like more. Best to avoid to get seconds or thirds is to leave just a small amount of food on your plate - it will show your host, that you are full.

As you see, what's considered impolite in certain parts of the world may just be the right thing to do in other places. Best is to find out ahead if possible. Also, some families may have their own little rules and procedures they follow.

Don't let you hold back by being afraid not to do the right procedure - keep exploring it and enjoying it

Hope you had as much fun reading this little article as I had - and may be this will make you think about your own rules and manners around food

Friday, March 9, 2012

Still working at the beginning

I am still working on this blog - trying to find a good beginning and the right mix. I guess I just start somewhere and see, where this will lead me.

Food offers such a wide spectrum to explore and to write about: From individual produce and productions to preparation, from history to tasting today, from supply sources to interesting TV channels, .... you get the picture. I will try to find a good mix amongst all these various channels.

From someone who underwent Gastric Bypass Surgery and in the process lost over 180 lbs (about 80 kg) over the 2 - 2 1/2 years following the procedure you wouldn't expect such interest in food - but that's just me, I am still very interested and may be even more today because I am looking at it in a different way.

So, please keep checking back and if you have any suggestions feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Who knows - I may just inspire you too to look at your everyday food in a different way