Steerfish in Spearfish

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You never know what you’ll end up eating when you’re on the road and looking  a  good meal. Cathryn and I struck it rich in Spearfish, South Dakota when the manager at our motel recommended Steerfish Steak & Smoke.

Spearfish is one of those towns that most folks have never heard of, but this restaurant and the annual motorcycle rally in neighboring Sturgis have put them on the map. If you are ever anywhere in the area, visiting this eatery is a must.

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Better with Bacon @ Arby’s

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I never, ever, thought I’d be blogging and bragging about any food at a fast food restaurant. The new Brown Sugar Bacon Club Sandwich changed my mind.

Cathryn and I were on the road, returning home from our motorcycle trip to the west coast and back. We were into day three on the road, in the middle of Iowa, somewhere along highway #20. The gauges on the gas tank and our stomachs read almost empty, so we pulled off the road to fill up.

The choices were Subway or Arby’s and the latter won the coin toss. We couldn’t remember the last time we had eaten there. Ironically, a couple of nights before, I had seen a tv commercial about the new brown sugar bacon sandwiches at Arby’s. So, I ordered the Club and asked the girl if my sandwich would look like the one in the picture.

Of course, she looked at me like I had two heads, but another girl said that it was a big sandwich and I would like it. When I picked up the tray, I knew she was right. It had some serious weight to it.

The sandwich was stacked high with meat and bacon and all the other yummy stuff you get on a club sandwich. It had to be a half a pound, on a nice soft bun. I usually shun Arby’s for all their processed crap, but it was easily the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten there.

If I had to complain about anything it would be the brown sugar bacon. It was a bit sweet. I thought a smoky bacon would be better. Just saying.

Seattle’s more than Seafood

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Seattle deserves a lot more time than we allowed ourselves there, but with a Kamikaze agenda, we hit enough bars and restaurants to give us a good taste of the seaside city. For me, downtown Seattle means Pike’s Market on the waterfront. You could spend a whole day wandering through the dozens of shops in buildings on both sides of the street, and not see it all.

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Bikes n Brews

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin…home of the Brewers. And I don’t mean the baseball team. Shlitz, Blatz, and Pabst put Milwaukee on the beer map years ago. The Harley Davidson Museum is now a tourist attraction for motorcycle riders from all parts of the globe. They have their world headquarters and a factory there. IMG_2995

The old brewery buildings downtown have been converted to upscale condominiums. The city also converted other industrial buildings along the river into trendy shops and restaurants, creating the River Walk. It was hard to look at the old brewery buildings and not think about Laverne and Shirley.

 Milwaukee was our first stop on our cross-country motorcycle trip. Our friends Greg and Brenda made the first leg of the ride with us and did the museum tour at HD. Cathryn tried out one of the bikes to get the real feel of riding a hawg, then her and I took a ride along the lakefront, where they set had off 4th of July fireworks the night before.

We stayed in the Astor, an old hotel downtown that has been refurbished to include trendy apartments.

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Lord Amherst-burger

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By Cathryn Gagnon:

The historic town of  Amherstburg is the home to a cozy little pub called, Lord Amherst Public House and Wine Bar. It’s located at 273 Dalhousie Street, and named after  Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who served as the first Governor General of British North America.  This quaint meeting place comes complete with creaky wood floors and traditional English pub fare. Separate from the pub, there is a wine bar upstairs. It has a rustic European décor and features imported and local wines.

Our server was sweet, welcoming, and attentive.  We started off with a Grimbergen, dark lager, craft beer. It had caramelized undertones with a crisp coffee finish.  Since it was my birthday lunch, and my mother was buying, I thought I would splurge. We ordered soup and sandwiches.

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Belles in Cowtown

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By Cathryn Gagnon:

A recent visit to see Cityline in Toronto brought the girls and I to Yorkville.  We discovered that a favorite restaurant named Ciao, at  133 Yorkville Avenue, has been renamed Cibo Wine Bar. It did not disappoint.  I was pleased to hear that there now is a Cibo Wine Bar on King Street as well.The place is huge, among the other posh eating establishments in Yorkville.  Cibo is trendy and loud, but the whole atmosphere is vibrant.

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Taste Sensations:

  • CARPACCIO – thinly sliced raw beef, arugula, shavings of parmigiano.
  • FUSILLI – chicken, porcini mushrooms, light cream sauce.
  • ARUGULA – Prosciutto di Parma, shaved parmigiano reggiano, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil.
  • TONNO SCOTTATO + CAPONATA Seared Ahi tuna*, black olive salsa, green beans.

We chose to eat a lighter fare, but every mouthful was amazing.  I highly recommend Cibo Wine Bar, rating it 9 out of 10.

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Toscana…All the Buzz

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By Cathryn Gagnon and her Dining Divas 

This month the Dining Divas experienced Toscana Restaurant and Wine Bar at 3891 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor.  When making the reservation, the restaurant was completely booked, but they were able to accommodate us in the redesigned bar area.  I actually prefer to sit in the bar area at restaurants; the energetic atmosphere is abuzz, making it a fun setting.

Although it’s a fair size, Toscana is always full. The new bar area now seats about 20, and puts diners face to face with the sushi chef. Stylish round booths surround the comfy bar stools. Our favorite way, for my husband Ed and I to enjoy Toscana, is to reserve a bar stool and share a few of our favorite starters, paired with a bottle of wine.

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Relax at the Ben Miller Inn

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Two of the main buildings at the Ben Miller Inn & Spa are over one hundred and thirty years old, but it’s the simplicity and charm of the old grist mill, that keeps visitors coming back for some good old fashioned country R & R. It’s nestled in the rolling hills near Lake Huron, about ten minutes from downtown Goderich.

Rooms are available in different buildings or cottages, depending on the experience you are looking for. We stayed in one of the Mill rooms that overlooked a gushing stream and the Maitland River. The sound of the water and the view were amazing.

The room was clean will all the amenities, including a mini hideaway kitchenette. I was a bit disappointed with the overall condition of the old Inn. There is being old and there is looking old; the Inn looks like it could use some TLC. It was more evident on the property away from the main building.

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Food of the Gods – Icarus Resto Bar

safe_imageEd and I were in London, Ontario this past weekend for a friend’s birthday. We helped him celebrate at Icarus Resto Bar at 519 Richmond Street. I had been there once previously, having the best lamb shank ever, so I was looking forward to another gastronomic experience.

The lamb shank is braised with red wine and rosemary, served over creamy polenta, and accompanied by market vegetables.

There were twenty guests for the birthday party, so a pre-arranged family-style meal was served. Personally, I believe a party of that many people is a challenge for the diner, as well as the server and restaurant. Our server and the kitchen did not let us down.

To get our evening started my friend, our host, put a few bottles of wine on the table. A Schug Pinot Noir and McManis Petite Syrah were to go perfectly with the spanakopita appetizer and chicken kabob, and then beef kabob and lamb chops, respectively.

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KOMA – A Hidden Taste Sensation

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By: Cathryn Gagnon

This month the Dining Divas discovered KOMA (Kitchen of Michael Anthony) Restaurant – at 3090 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor. It’s nestled behind Taco Bell.

Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully decorated the restaurant is.  Luxurious red, accompanied by black accents with lovely furniture and great little bar.  The place is small – perhaps twelve tables, but it’s the perfect size for Chef Michael Anthony to shine.

The menu presentation isn’t fancy, a printed sheet of paper – but the appetizers and entrees certainly are. Windsor-20160420-00149

Once all Divas arrived, we chatted among ourselves and reviewed the deliciously described menu choices – most of us kept changing our minds on what to order as each tantalizing item was discussed.

After much discussion and input from our server, about the menu items, we finally decided.

Our starters in included:

  • Tempura Vegetables smothered in roasted carrot puree with soy honey dressing
  • Rice Balls laid over pulled pork tenderloin with san marzano tomato and guincale
  • Braised Lamb atop seared bacon corn bread, caramelized onion and blue cheese
  • Panko encrusted Calamari with dill soy honey ginger dressing and red curry cream.

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