Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kristen's love-affair with Brooklyn Warehouse

Here's another guest post from my friend Kristen of With Bite:

By now, it's fairly obvious that I have somewhat of a love-affair with the Brooklyn Warehouse. I could say the same old things; food's great, atmosphere rocks, service is fantastic, yada, yada, yada...but the thing that keeps me coming back is the fact that everytime I think about Brooklyn, I remember how much fun I had. This is a great place; it's a neighborhood resto, run by a father and son duo, who really care about the products that go into their meals, quality service and customer satisfaction.

Since I go there somewhat frequently, I've gotten to know George Christakos, and his philosophy on how to run a successful restaurant. It's evident, in watching his interactions with clientele, that lots are repeat customers - and repeats for a reason. Quality and consideration are two ingredients that go into every dish and drink, and for this, Brooklyn Warehouse is truly a winner.

As I write this post, I've just finished the Coast "Best of Food" Survey. Brooklyn Warehouse took top honors in several categories, but most importantly for me - Best Restaurant. After my most recent visit, in which I introduced my sister, visiting from Manhattan, to my favorite resto, Brooklyn took top honors in Best Burger as well. Had Best Caesar Salad been an category, I think it's obvious who would win.

For this meal, my sis and I chose two items that are signatures on Brooklyn Warehouse's menu. My sis also chose the refreshing Green Curry for her entree; a tasty green curry with fantastically fresh veg, but alas, my photog skills failed me for that one. Here, however, are the pics of what I would refer to as the quintessential Brooklyn Warehouse meal:

Caesar Salad

Halved Romaine heart, pancetta, foccacia croutons, caper berry "That Dutchman's Dragon's Breath" blue cheese dressing.

The Brooklyn Burger

7 oz. of grilled, organic N.S beef, Applewood cheddar, double smoked back bacon, served with tomato, onion & pickle, house-made crispy taters and red pepper mayo.

And what a meal this is. The Caesar Salad dressing is rich and creamy, slightly pungent with the blue cheese, but with a touch of sweetness to balance. The addition of grilled lemon adds a freshness that lightens up the dressing while adding a smokey zing. The use of pancetta as opposed to bacon is genius, as the thin, salty slices are just the thing to contrast the crisp lettuce.

The burger...oh, the burger. I ate the whole thing - and it ain't small. The patty itself was flawless, but the addition of sweet, smokey Cheddar and salty back bacon raises the bar. The fries were just how I like- crispy on the outside and soft within, while the red pepper mayo was a great alternative to the usual cup of Heinz.

I'm a big supporter of this resto, and not just because I've grown to know and respect both the owners and staff - but because they do it right, providing a wonderful dining experience at affordable prices in the heart of Halifax.

Take a trip to the Brooklyn Warehouse and see for yourself. Then, cast your vote for Best Restaurant and Best Burger. Early bird voting is open now!

The Coast's Best of Food 2009

Brooklyn Warehouse

With Bite blog

Friday, March 27, 2009

What are you doing for Earth Hour?

Saturday, March 28th is Earth Hour.
Turn off all non-essential lights at 8:30 p.m. for one hour.

So, for one hour, while a few candles are burning, here's what I'm gonna do:

1. Talk to my kids about climate change...likely with a story that will begin with "when I was the kid, we had a lot more snow in the winter..."

2. Get out the crib board

3. Listen to the wind up radio

4. Have a chocolate fondue

5. Give up on the crib game and play crazy eights instead with chocolate all over my face.

What are your plans?

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Banff to Halifax

Driving east this summer?

From the top of Sulphur Mountain overlooking Banff, Alberta it's exactly 3,867 kilometers to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Hours of driving?

Guess that would depend on a lot of things:
(a) Type of vehicle
(b) Children
(c) How fast you drive
(d) __________________ (you fill in the blank)

Halifax, Nova Scotia sign in Banff, Alberta

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Guest Post: Curry Cream Mussels

This week I am not on the "Right Coast" but near the west coast (the other right coast), in Alberta. Knowing that I likely wouldn't be as near a computer as usual, I asked my friend and fellow-blogger Kristen to do a guest post.

Kristen is passionate about eating great food and making it. Her blog with bite is about savouring every bite. Kristen is a supports locally grown food, Halifax restaurants and appreciates the art of cooking (and baking).

Here's Kristen's post:

This past Friday afternoon, I was thrilled to find out that Superstore had mussels on sale; 5lbs. for 5bucks! I immediately phoned my best gal Maria to see if she was available to celebrate such a deal. When I got home, 5 lbs. of these tasty shellfish in hand, I decided to make a creamy sauce to coat 'em.

Curry Cream Mussels
Nova Scotia Mussels with Curry Cream Sauce
5lbs. mussels, cleaned. Throw away any with broken shells
1 sm. onion or 1/2 large
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp butter
1 c. heavy cream
1tbsp. Curry powder

In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in butter on med-low heat. Add curry powder and stir to make sure all the veg is coated. Add cream and heat until just incorporated. Remove from heat.
In the same pot, place the mussels and pour the curried cream on top. Cover and steam on Med. heat, about 15-20 minutes until the mussels open. Note: Do not eat mussels that haven't opened on their own!

Gotta love the image of a big pot of steaming mussels!

Nova Scotia pot of Steaming Mussels

Read more yummy posts from Kristen's blog with bite

Further info: How to pick your own mussels

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Springing Forward: Atlantic Daylight Time

Fall Back
Spring Forward

Halifax Town ClockLoosing an hour of sleep is something I can live with because it's a signal that warm summer days are ahead. If it means that I can get an extra hour to get stuff done during daylight hours, like biking, then that's okay too.

Which makes we wonder, why do we change our clocks twice a year?

In the late 1700's, Benjamin Franklin suggested the practice but it took a few years to adopt the idea. In fact, it all started in Germany in 1915.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Daylight Saving Time (DST) accomplishes three things:

1. It saves energy. When we're awake, we're more likely to have our TVs, dishwashers, and lights on (among other home appliances). By shifting the hours we're likely to be awake to correspond with the daylight outside, we're less likely to have the lights on, so we use less electricity.

2. It saves lives. When people's waking hours correspond with daylight hours, they're safer. Traffic accidents, for example, are less likely when it's light out.

3. It cuts down on crime. Crime tends to happen after dark. As is the case with accidents, people are less likely to fall victim to crime when their waking hours are synced up with the sun.

Moving clocks ahead in the spring can have an opposite effect. There can be more heart attacks in the week after springing forward — especially during the first three days of the week. Also, with the rise of use in air conditioners, that has to have an effect on things somehow.

In 1984, Fortune magazine estimated that a seven-week extension of DST would yield an additional $30 million for 7-Eleven stores. Slurpee's?

Since 1966, most of Saskatchewan has not observed daylight time and stays on Central Standard Time all year round. Areas of Quebec east of 63 degrees west longitude do not change to daylight time and remain on Atlantic Standard Time year round. Pockets of Ontario and British Columbia do not use daylight time.

Confused between Daylight and Saving?Atlantic Daylight Time is used during summer in Atlantic Canadian provinces (Atlantic Saving Time during the winter). Many other time zones alternate between standard and daylight as well.

I have to admit, I was fascinated with what I found while researching this post. I always thought DST had something to do with farmers. In fact, when Canada started Daylight Saving Time during the First World War, farmers disliked it.

As well as remembering to change your clock on Saturday night, don't forget to change the battery in your smoke detector.

Halifax Town Clock photo credit: Darrell Theriault via Flickr