1. Home Sweet Home - I am blessed to live with an amazing gourmet chef, who makes the most amazing meals from 100% organic ingredients. We got cookbooks - we got spice racks - we got funky kitchen stuff - and we got Jacinthe - and when all these items align - it is spicy tasty wonderful foodtastic goodness.
2. The Tomato Pie Company - Joseph, Paulo & Rosa (and Pauline behind the scenes) and their wonderful cast of servers and helpers make the best Italian food I've ever eaten (outside of Joseph & Pauline's home dining room). AND THEY USE LOTS OF GARLIC - just like the menu promises.
3. The East India Company - when I want to share in the abundance of a gracious universe, I go to this Temple, and eat food prepared by the Priesthood for the faithful from the bounty of the body of the Mahta, that is shared in fair exchange. More than "just" an East Indian Restaurant - when I want to have food that tastes like a "home cooking from my spiritual home" - I go there.
4. Merkato - Ethiopian food make with care, and lots of spicy goodness. Kalumwa and her family are amazing people.
5. VJ's on Main - this says it all: VJ's special with cheese, fries and a large coke. A Winnipeg institution - the #1 burger and fries in every consumer poll.
6. La Fiesta - authentic central American cooking from El Salvador. extra papusas please - and some more horchata! Kiwi el fraisas for my friend!
7. The Garwood Grill for chicken souvlaki on a bun, and tangy vinegar dressing cole slaw. big goooey cheesey thick crust pizzas - to live for!
8. Musique Magique Potlucks - food is the product of all four elements working together - and when made by my musical family - these once a month gatherings bring all diverse culinary contributions into perfect harmony.
9. with friends who take pity of me and take me out for either seafood or mushroom celebrations, while Jacinthe enjoys a meal that won't kill her.
10. Frenchy's Salt Water Cafe - St. Petersburg Florida - tuna fresh off the boat, and hung by its tail in the kitchen, sliced into steak-like slabs, grilled over charcoal into flakey juicy perfection, drenched in spicy cajun seasoning and lime-herb mayonaisse and served on a soft fluffy bun with deep fried onion rings and potato fries, and very cold ale in thick glass mugs - the walls are weather-beaten boards, everyone sits at picnic tables and watches the sun go down over the water - and the greasy lime-scented hot peppery juices drip off your fingers. Anyone wanna go?
11. The Traditional Irish Breakfast served at Bewley's, on Grafton Street & Westmoreland Street, Dublin. It was a frequent stop in the morning on my way to "work" at HMV - it helped offset the hangover (lots of grease and strong coffee) caused by the visit to the pubs the night before, and sustained me through the day. Nothing like it in the world - and not for those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol - or for the non-carnivorous among us. Éireann go Brách!
12. The late and lamented Chez Paco - the best little poutine stand in Macamic PQ. closed this year due to the general economic hardship in the region - it defined "poutine" for several generations of loyal Abitibi residents. Our traditional "first meal" when we reached the farm was a trip into town for poutine.
13. anywhere friends gather to lift a glass and share a plate of something with much laughter (or tears) some tall tales, a bit of music, and kinship and camraderie.
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