Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Eight

You-Know-Whats-Great-About-Winter-600x584 (1).pngI looked out the window this morning and thought “Yes!!! It’s not raining! I can walk!”
So I went outside in my “Aussie” winter gear, not realising that the sun does not always mean warmth here in Canada. Especially true when there’s a fierce wind blowing.

As I stepped out I immediately thought “This is a mistake” but I obstinately continued.

Five minutes later I broke into a jog to try to warm up and wondered at what temperature frost bite was an issue. If I had worn gloves, it would have been a whole lot better but I’m not sure I even own a pair of gloves!

When I finally got back hubby said he was about to get in the car and come look for me. I admitted that I almost called him from the local supermarket. They have wifi there and I’m travelling without international roaming so I’m not always contactable.

In any case, it all worked out and I warmed up with a couple of coffees as soon as I got back to the house.

We decided to drive out to Lockport today. I’ve been told a bit about Lockport and the Skinners that is located there and apparently a Winnipeg tradition.

I didn’t realise that Lockport was only a small location.

I was expecting a holiday type destination.
A place to take the family when you have a day off.

Still, I saw the Skinners there and after hubby described it as a Winnipeg tradition I thought I have to try that! There’s actually two down there. One on the highway and another  on the water (the original)


It looked so cute inside too!! And the lady who served us was just so nice.


We asked her recommendation for what to eat and she said they were known for their hotdogs so we got that. She asked if we wanted them with the works and we said yes! of course!

Turns out “the works” means with mustard, relish and 3 slivers of chopped onion.

They tasted not bad but I don’t know if they were worth the trip. And look at that Diet Dr Pepper with the exact amount of 591 ml in there. That was pretty funny.

We did have a look at their arcade room which seemed like a cool idea.

I probably would have had a better time if I’d actually put some quarters in there.

We had family coming by the house this afternoon so we stopped in at Tim Hortons to pick up some sweets. We didn’t know that there was already going to be a dozen Tim Horton donuts when we got back home so with our 50 Tim Bits, there was quite a selection of sweets!

And to top off our junk food day, we stopped in at A&W for dinner. We’d seen them advertising a Bison Burger for a limited time and just wanted to try it.

The burgers tasted fine. No different to any other meat burger I thought, but a lot heavier mustard taste than I’m used to.

Lastly, I’m happy to say, with one more day to go, I’ve found there is a working treadmill in the basement so I won’t have to battle the cold AND/OR potentially aggressive geese in the morning when I want to walk! Better late than never

So for now, beware of Canadian Geese and Goodnight and Bonne Nuit!


Today on the Dining Diaries….

A grumpy waiter does his best to spoil our experience
Nachos!! Nachos!!! Nachos!
Authentic music and good Sangria make everything better

gallery_venue3_Zapata's_800x500.jpgDiners today we were at Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant in North Adelaide. They claim to be Adelaide’s oldest Mexican restaurant and probably are, being established in 1975.

We walked into an almost empty restaurant as dinner service had only just started and a waiter came up to us with no smile and gave us a sense that we had interrupted something really important that he was going to do. It almost made me want to walk out but I’ve wanted to come back to this place for years so we just followed behind him to our table.

FullSizeRender (99).jpgHe sat us by the window and actually it was nice because we could see what was happening on the street outside and it felt a little more intimate.

The disinterested waiter gave us some menus and asked if we wanted to order something to drink. I really wanted to try their sangria but I hadn’t seen it on the drink menu so I asked if they did Sangria. He rolled his eyes and using as little words as possible said chastisingly “front”. I turned to the front of the drink menu and yes, there it was. Silly me. So I ordered some Sangria and tried not to cry.

I have to say, I LOVED that they had Mexican music playing. Loved that! It puts you in the mood. I love the way it’s decorated too. If you’ve been to Montezuma’s you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not as gaudy as the Montezuma decorations but a more elegant modern Mexican style. (FYI Montezumas is a guilty secret passion for me and gaudy does have it’s place!)

So back to the menu; I thought there were a lot of what you’d expect to find in a Mexican restaurant in Australia, as well as  couple of Mexican inspired dishes. What I should have researched more was the fact that they have half price nacho’s on Wednesday’s! I had heard people saying these serves are really big and when we ordered a large serve to share as an entree, the disinterested waiter’s eyes grew big (Effort) and said “they’re big” and I shut him down with a “we’re big eaters” and he turned away.

Turns out he was right. They were big, but I hate when people say that because my expectation of “big” is not the same as others. Still, they were a big serve and hubby and I easily shared a plate. You’d have trouble getting through this on your own I think!
But remember people, although these nacho’s are definitely worth coming here for, make sure you come on a Wednesday because they’re not cheap.

I couldn’t pick what photo I liked better – I should have had something else in the photo to give you perspective of how big this plate was. There was nothing to complain about that’s for sure! They were delicious!

A different waitress came to take our main order and she was lovely. I was so relieved.
Hubby went for the Carne a La Tampiquena – Combination plate of barbecue fillet Steak with onion and capsicum, a Chicken & cheese Enchilada coated with hot mole sauce, frijoles & salad.
I ordered Chilli Colorado – A typically Mexican dish of hearty beef chunks in a spicy sauce of red chilli served with rich, frijoles and fresh garden salad.

Mine (Above) was just delicious. It might not look so pretty on the plate but the beef was tender and just so full of flavour. The sauce was a little spicy but not overly so that you lose all taste in what you’re eating. The rice was cold which was a little disappointing and the salad wasn’t dressed but I enjoyed this dish anyway and it was perfect on this cold Winter’s night.

FullSizeRender (98)Hubby’s dish was equally interesting…

I’m not sure what he was expecting but when he bit into his steak his eyes glazed over. When he was able to, he told me that it was an excellent cut of steak and one of the most tender steaks he’s ever had.

The tomato and avocado on his plate was so heavily salted that he couldn’t eat it. He kept begging me to try it but why would I want to eat something that I’ve been told is over salted?
No thank you. I’d rather reserve my taste buds for things I’m hoping to like.

FullSizeRender (95)The chicken and cheese enchilada was an interesting item on his plate too because it was coated in a mole sauce.

We didn’t really know what this was.

He got me to try it as he said it had a sweetness to it. Now sweetness is something I don’t mind and I definitely did taste sweetness.

I’ve since looked it up and know what’s in a mole sauce.

It wasn’t unpleasant, and it was good to try something different but I’m not sure that hubby will go for it again.

So to sum everything up, we enjoyed our time here despite the efforts of the grumpy waiter – and let me add that the rest of the staff were really very lovely, warm and friendly.

The menu was varied, the food was good, the sangria was excellent and the nachos were great (Even better on a Wednesday)

Have you been to Zapata’s
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!


Till next we chow…

Feathers Hotel

Today on The Dining Diaries,

When nothing else is standing out, Sliders give an unexpected and welcome kick,
Overhead fans leave us shivering on an already cold night.
We ponder what the opposite of cosy and warm is….

FullSizeRender (62)Diners today we were at the Feathers Hotel. I didn’t know a lot about this place and I tried to get some information from their website but unfortunately it’s still under construction.

Their facebook page claims that Feathers is a fresh and exciting eatery.

It’s definitely fresh!

It was a bitterly cold day in Adelaide when we visited and we could see a fireplace inside the restaurant. Sadly, there were no empty tables near the fireplace so we sat ourselves a few tables down and hoped to catch a bit of escaping warmth.
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On first impression the dining room looked clean, fresh and modern. Geometric tiles on the floor and well thought out seating to maximise but not squash in the number of customers.

Music was playing and a TV screen was on to distract – At just a little past five, this place was filling up fast. There were already a few tables full when we arrived and a few more people came with young children while we sat.

Our server was lovely but she seemed quite anxious to have our order. I ended up choosing the  Papardelle Ragu – KI braised lamb shoulder in a red wine, roast tomato & vegetable sugo w/ herbs & pecorino
Hubby went for a few entree’s instead. He chose Pork Sliders – Slow roasted pork shoulder, house slaw, chipotle mayo in a sweet bun and  Arancini Balls – Semi dried tomato & basil w/ marinara sauce & vegan parmesan

I have to say, I was surprised at how busy it was at this time of night. It’s obviously a well loved place but for me there was something missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Overhead fans were on – probably to push warm air down but there was no warm air and we hoped the food would be able to warm us up when it came.

FullSizeRender (61)The food didn’t take too long to come out.

Hubby was pleasantly surprised by his Sliders.

They were a good size so his eyes were pleased immediately.  They didn’t skimp on the pork – It was tender and smothered in what they described as a tangy sauce, but it really gave a good kick!  Hubby said it reminded him of BBQ Ribs sauce.
The coleslaw gave your mouth a bit of relief but it was really a well balanced taste.

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The Arancini Balls were equally good.

Moist and full of flavour, yet crunchy on the outside. The texture was perfect.

We’d had these elsewhere a few times before and thought they were stodgy but the ones we were served at The Feathers were really lovely and not stodgy at all.

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My Lamb Ragu looked good when it came to the table.  I did think it looked a little small or perhaps lost in the plate that it was served in.
I was also a bit disappointed that I couldn’t smell that tomato and basil sauce. There were basil leaves on top but I think they’d just been thrown on there at the last minute. I couldn’t taste basil and I certainly couldn’t smell it.
The pasta was cooked al dente, and there was a generous amount of tender lamb throughout.
This was not a bad dish, it just wasn’t memorable. It was okay.
I think what made this experience not so great for me were those overhead fans because my dish cooled down almost immediately and was cold by the time I was finishing.
FullSizeRender (58)No pizzazz, no style, no aroma, not enough cheese and became cold almost immediately.

We also ordered a side of fries which were neither here nor there but the garlic aioli was kind of nice.

Efficient staff were by to pick up empty plates the moment you put your fork down.

Even though there was nothing too wrong with this place, I don’t think there was a lot right either. There was just something missing.
Perhaps it’s in the name? The Feathers. You think of something warm and soft – cosy – comforting.
While there is nothing wrong with this place, it’s not cosy. It’s the opposite of comforting and cosy. It was a little impersonal and I hesitate to say that as our server was a lovely young girl and these comments are definitely not a reflection on her.

I would probably go here again but next time order something different and see if that changes my mind about the food – and perhaps I won’t go until Summer time unless I can reserve a spot by the fireplace!

Have you been to the Feathers Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…