Friday, May 22, 2015

Cabo Eats: Campestre

Date Visited: Dinner on Monday May 4, 2015
Company: Walk-in for 4

So... it's been a while, but I'm back and ready to hit the restaurant scene again... and just in time for patio season! I was in Mexico the first week of May and had spend the most of the month prior at the gym and trying to eat better in preparation. I was pretty lucky to to be able to try lots of the restaurants in Cabo San Lucas as we didn't stay at an all-inclusive. But instead of blogging about all of those places, I thought I'd just pick one that really stood out to my palate :)

Campestre is the spot where I thought we got to try the most authentic Mexican food, it was filled with locals and located off the beaten path. Our Cabo expect Laura suggested it when we asked for a cheap, authentic Mexican restaurant to check out, and it also happened that two of her local friends work there. It took about 10 minutes to get there from our hotel via taxi into some dirt road streets away from downtown. We were dropped off and entered a fairly large open restaurant with ample tables and even more floor space. It was about half-full for dinner and I didn't see any tourists there. Luckily they still had some english menus. We also got started off with some chips and salsa for the table. The portion of salsa was hefty compared to other restaurants, there was also a spicy salsa that was more liquidy. The tomatoes in the mild one were extremely fresh but light in flavour.

To start, I ordered the Bloody Merry (according to their menu) while the boys got beer and Laura got a Beer and tomato juice combo drink. I hadn't ordered a Caesar as of yet the whole trip so I was very excited to see how it would taste. The drink looked fancily dressed but more importantly it tasted amazing. Almost exactly like a Caesar but with more of a kick of different spices. The prices here were cheaper than anything we had seen before too which made things even better!

Their food menu had a lot of options with some photos to accompany. The one dish that stood out to me though Grilled Steak TampioueƱa with Quesadilla, Enchilada, Guacamole and Rice, mostly the photo beside it looked delicious. The plate I got however, looked even better. The steak was perfectly grilled a medium-well (just like how I asked) and extremely tender. It was a thin slice but had a lot of character with some fatty and muscly parts on the edges and tons of flavour. I thought I had gotten a tortilla on top but turns out it was filled with cheese! One difference I noticed from home was that their tortillas are flakey and layered unlike a soft taco shell. Also their quesadillas are mostly just all cheese, no veggies inside. The Enchilada was great too, I could only finish one of the two but I loved the red sauce and cheese on top. The guacamole was a nice addition to the plate as well as the rice, which had a lot more flavour compared to other plates I'd had.

Overall, I was very happy with my choice of dish... even happier the next night where I got to drunkenly finish my leftovers. Like many of the restaurants we visited in Cabo, the service was quite slow, we were sitting a while just waiting for our bills before we could find anyone to flag down. But despite this, they were always accommodating and even nice enough to call us a taxi to pick us up since there was no way we could flag one nearby. I would definitely recommend this to anyone going to Cabo that wants to try a local authentic restaurant, I'd try to come back here anytime I was in the city.

Food: 4.5/5 - Best meal we had in Cabo and cheap prices!
Decor: 3/5 - Pretty cute restaurant.
Service: 2.5/5 - Really friendly, but pretty slow. Little bias since Laura knew our servers though
Willingness to go back: 4.5/5 - Totally worth the trek.
Overall: 3.5/5


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Johnny's Eatery

Date Visited: Brunch on Sunday Apr 5, 2015
Company: +Will

On Easter Sunday, Will stayed over the night before and we planned to have breakfast in the morning before he left back to Toronto. I heard about Johnny's from a co-worker who told me it's a very popular breakfast spot in Oshawa with 2 locations. We called ahead just to make sure it was open and they were! We drove down to their newer King St. location which is in a large plaza. The place was pretty large with lots of seating and sections. The crowd was a bit older but there were also lots of families with large groups. We were seated immediately (I think by Johnny?) in a room beside a large TV playing sports. 

We took a glance at the menu and we decided to share a sweet and a savoury dish. +Will ordered the Waffles with Fruit and I got the Reuben Sandwich with Fries. Our waitress wasn't the nicest or fastest but she did her job. I noticed there was a very friendly atmosphere in the air, everyone seemed to know everyone and the workers too. My sandwich came out extremely fast! Will still had to wait a bit for his, which was just coming out of the iron. 

The sandwich looked really good, it had lots of layers of corned beef with some sauerkraut on the top. There was some plain mustard on the side for dipping. My only complaint would be that the bread was extremely buttery and not fun to hold. Maybe if they toasted it a bit more then it wouldn't have been as wet? The fries were plain but crisp and almost perfect looking with a golden colour. This is usually not something I'd order normally but wanted to switch it up and I'm glad I did, very reasonably priced also!

Will wanted the waffles and we also asked for it to be topped with some fruit and whipped cream. I was very impressed with what we received. The fruit was fresh and there were tons of it. The waffle was thick and fluffy but not very crispy on the outside. Will and I finished half our dishes and switched so by that time the waffle was pretty moist, but made the syrup easier to soak up! Delicious waffle and even better pairing of the two dishes by Will and I if I do say so myself :)

Food: 3.5/5 - Nice assortment of classics at fair prices. 
Decor: 2/5 - Very old feeling to it, nice amount of space but not very appealing to the eyes.
Service: 3.5/5 - We were in and out so quickly! Waitress was just ok.
Willingness to go back: 3/5 - Good spot for a quick breakfast but I can imagine how busy it gets with all its regulars.
Overall: 3/5

Website: n/a

Johnny's Original Eatery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bistro '67

Date Visited: Lunch on Friday Apr 3, 2015
Company: +Stephanie

Bistro '67 is a restaurant I've been wanting to visit ever since I heard about its existence. It's unique because it's a teaching restaurant apart of the Durham College campus which focuses on local farm ingredients. They happened to be open on Good Friday which excellently timed with trying out their lunch menu as they are usually only open for dinner on Saturday during the weekends. I made a reservation for 2 at noon and drove into a fairly empty parking lot at the College's Centre for Food. I took my time walking around the building a bit before heading up to the second floor where the restaurant was located. It's a very new building with large windows and modern decor. I was the first one in the restaurant and the waitress seated me to one of the side tables beside the large glass walls with the bright sun shining in.

When +Stephanie arrived, we took a look at the menu which was filled with quite a few sandwiches, salads, and hot plates. I decided on the Muffulleta, layers of salami, mortadella, ham, Edwardsburg cheese with spicy relish. Their Soup was a Carrot and Coconut with a cilantro creme and bacon bits which I also opted for because it sounded amazing. We really enjoyed talking about the restaurant and how cool it looked. They even had a screen which projected a live video of the chefs making our food in the kitchen!

Our waitress was also sweet and told us about their drink specials but all I was craving was a caesar. She brought me the Caesar '67 in a long, tall glass and it looked pretty appetizing. I thought the juice was a bit too thick, maybe they used tomato juice and not clamato? The spiciness was on point though.

Our lunches came extremely quickly (only ones there still!). I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the Muffulleta (never heard of the word before) but it looked like a very large panini with lots of meats in the middle. What they stated on the menu was exactly what you got. I thought there would be a bit more toppings in the sandwich, not just the relish. There was a lot of meat and the cheese was nicely melted but though the relish was salty, it didn't add much flavour. It was a bit plain for my liking, I could probably whip this up myself if I had a panini press... but at $13, I can't really complain.

The Soup on the other hand was a different story. The combination of carrot and coconut was creamy and delicious, I didn't mind the little pieces of carrots in there either. The creme on top was a bit spicy and added another complexity to the soup. The bacon bits were minimal but huge, each one was a treat. The temperature stayed consistent throughout and I really savoured each spoonful.

Food: 3.5/5 - Sandwich was not impressive but the soup! Reasonable price though.
Decor: 4.5/5 - Loved the decor, simple, spacious and lots of natural lighting.
Service: 4.5/5 - Extremely quick... but we were the first ones there :)
Willingness to go back: 3.5/5 - For sure, dinner is pricier but it's a unique gem in the Durham region you got to support.
Overall: 4/5


Bistro '67 on Urbanspoon