2 nights in a row in the same bed is a luxury on a campaign tour, but that’s what happened this time as we stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto. And that’s where we had breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and roasted potatoes with some ketchup, of course.
When you fly early, you eat often. And it was the case today as NDP Hobbitses were given a 2nd breakfast on Hipster Air. Options included a Pepper Jack Cheese Omelette or Belgium Waffles with a Cherry sauce. I went for the 3rd option, an Artichoke and Peppers Egg Torte with asparagus and potato patties on the side.
We got to the plane which was headed to Montreal. A variety of items were available, but I was attracted by the berries. Straw, Rasp, Black and Blue.
Just a bowl of Lays chips I shared with some reporters while having a beer at Chez Antoine.
After a news conference in Montreal, we settled in the Delta Centreville for filing time. The lunch menu consisted in a selection of salads and mini-sandwiches.
I started with a rich tomato soup. I picked a ham sandwich, a chicken ceasar, a tuna and red pepper open faced and a yellow pepper and homous canapé. On the salad front: a romaine and egg salad; a cherry tomato, feta and black olive salad; an artichoke, mini-corn and black olive salad; and a creamy potato salad.
I got late to the NDP plane today as I was with Jack Layton at the taping of Tout le Monde en Parle. So when we got to the plane, there wasn’t much left. Thankfully, the good stuff was still there. Beef meatballs in a BBQ tomato sauce. Who needs anything else?
Flying from Montreal to Sudbury where Layton will campaign tomorrow. Short flight, cold dinner. Fair enough.
Choice was between a Grilled Salmon Spinach Salad or a Peppercorn Crusted Roasted Beef Tenderloin, served with potatoes, zuchini, bell peppers and eggplant. I discarded the eggplant and enjoyed the rest of the Beef cold plate.
For dessert, a Pecan Tart. My favorite!!
Fresh fruits and pastries again this morning, this time at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto. I avoided the pastries, focussed on the fruits.
After New Democrat Leader Jack Layton toured the MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Plant in Brampton, we stopped for filing purposes (and lunch) at the Monte Carlo Inn.
After stops in Oshawa and Brampton, we concluded the day with an exciting rally in Toronto. The media staff on tour joined a couple of journalists for dinner – we went to LEE, the new Toronto restaurant of famous chef Susur Lee. It was a culinary experience that was well worth the hefty bill. I will have to say more later, but we shared a combination of delicious dishes.
Below, their signature Singaporean-Style Slaw. We also had Cheese Burger Spring Rolls, a Tomato Beet salad with Blue Cheese and Horseradish dressing, Sautéed Jerk Chicken, Duck Confit Rolls and Spice crusted Diver Scallops.
For dessert, I had French and Chinese Tong Yuen, sweet rice dumplings filled with chocolate ganache, shredded coconut and hazelnut. I know!!!
The NDP tour was overnighting in Hamilton before hitting the road for Brantford where Jack Layton was going to make an announcement to cap credit card interest rates.
After the announcement, we stopped to allow media to file at the Brant Park Inn and Conference Center – a Best Western.
A bunch of reporters decided it would be a good idea to go to the Air Canada Centre for the Leafs game against the Sabres. I reluctantly tagged along.
Well, hello, Regina!
The NDP tour overnighted at the magnificient Hotel Saskatchewan, a Radisson hotel, which has one of my favorite classic old school bars, the Monarch Lounge, with its Victorian-style decor and vintage ambiance music – and its able to serve you a proper Whisky Sour.
Breakfast was available in the Blue Room. A Hot and Cold mini-buffet, from which I selected the scrambled eggs, the home fries (with red and green bell peppers), hearty sausages and bacon. For good measure, I also had both fresh and liquid fruits.
Lunch was also had in the Blue Lounge at the Hotel Saskatchewan.
Vegetarian was the word, starting with a delicious cream of vegetable soup. I also sampled the vegetarian chili with rice, a green bean and almond salad, and a cabbage and mandarin salad. Also available were fresh and steamed veggies, cheese, a potato salad, a lentil salad, a green salad, fruits and some mini-pastries.
As we waited for the TV pool to come back from Moose Jaw and board the plane, we were able to take advantage of a fajita bar. All the usual toppings, beef and peppers, you made your own! Chicken quesadillas completed the Tex-Mex themed snack.
If you were not into it, a selection of sandwiches and a spinach salad was also available. But I was into it.
On the three hour flight from Regina to Hamilton, people could go for the Beef and Bell Pepper Brochette on Rice or the Penne Marinara with leeks.
You would think I would have gone for the beef, but because I wasn’t immediately hungry, they were out when I was ready to eat. On the side, a crouton-heavy ceasar salad.
In Vancouver on day 2 of the 2011 election, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency. Breakfast was had there, and consisted of eggs, (choice of plain or with mushrooms, gruyere and tomato concassé – that’s what I picked, they were delicious and creamy), roasted potatoes, turkey sausages, bacon and a selection of fruits (I had strawberries). I ignored the croissants and the muffins.
This morning, Jack Layton held an event in Surrey, where the NDP is gaining ground and well-positionned to make some gains.
We were at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford, and pasta was the theme for lunch. Three sauces were featured – Alfredo, Marinara, Bolognese. Two types of pasta, Fettucine and Penne, which I sampled with the Marinara and the Bolognese, respectively.
On the side, a Greek salad and some garlic bread.
The NDP Leader went mainstreeting in a mini-mall in Surrey – and that gave us the opportunity for an afternoon snack, thanks to Pizza King.
1 slice of Meat Lover (ham, pepperoni, salami, bacon, beef, italian sausage) and 1 vegetarian (tomato, pineapple, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, olives)
As we boarded the plane and said goodbye to Vancouver, snacks were available to the journalists and staffers. I ignored the pork gyoza, chicken fingers and mini-bean burritos and focussed on the fresh sushi. I had never seen sushi pieces this big, I have to admit.
Tuna, squid, salmon skin, shrimp sushi, you name it, they had it. Sampled with a hearty helping of wasabi and ginger.
Before the NDP tour landed in Regina, we were served dinner. Today, a seared Lemon Pepper Salmon Fillet with asparagus and cherry tomatoes served on a bed of penne. A Mesculin salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. For dessert, a brownie with a raspberry topping.
And so it begins!
Once again, The Waffle will record dutifully for you dear Wafflers what it is that one eats on a national election tour – on Jack Layton’s tour, no less!
These posts will be short and descriptive, as I am otherwise busy. But I cannot let you down, so here we go!
The last breakfast with Melissa and Clara, at Wilfred’s, the restaurant located at the Château Laurier, where Jack Layton would launch the NDP’s 2011 campaign once the writ was dropped.
Deluxe Breakfast Buffet at $26 per person! (Yikes!)
Omelette made on order in front of my eyes: I asked for red onions, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, cheese. A tad disappointing.
Side of potatoes with onions, bell peppers, and sausage bits.
Sausages, salami, smoked salmon, cottage cheese.
Orange juice, berry smoothie.
We were greeted on the NDP plane with snacks before Jack Layton’s 2011 Tour inaugural flight!
Fruits and a selection of sandwiches were available. I sampled the swedish meatballs and the beef penne au gratin.
Folks had the choice between chicken and beef for lunch.
I went with the beef, which was served in a rich gravy, with mashed potatoes, baby carrots and green beans.
On the side, a green salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, with an oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
For dessert, fresh fruits – with big blueberries!
Dinner was catered on the plane tonight, and Subway was the main provider. A selection of 1/3rd subs were available. I decided to ignore the bread and went for a Subway chicken salad instead:
Lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers, green peppers, pickles, processed cheese (!) and of course, chicken. Lots of black pepper on it all. I added a balsamic vinaigrette.
Also available: pizza from Pagano. I avoided that. I am that disciplined.
The Waffle has learned that the Clocktower Brew Pub will open a new establishment, its fourth one, in the Westboro area in the next few months. The new Clocktower will be located on the first floor of the Phase II of the Westboro Station, a Condo Project located on Richmond Road.
The rumour first surfaced last September on SkyScrapperPage’s forum, (one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web!) where a user claimed that: “According to someone in the sales office, tenants for the Phase I and II of Westboro Station include TD Canada Trust, Shoppers Drugmart and Clocktower Pub!”. Ottawa Foodies were soon looking for a confirmation, to no avail.
The Waffle can confirm today that The Clocktower Westboro has applied for a Liquor Sales Licence (indoor and outdoor area) with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in accordance with the Liquor Licence Act, to operate at 430 Richmond Road. Ottawa residents who want to comment on the applications can do so in writing to the Commission by March 22nd.
As far as I can tell, the Clocktower is applying for a simple Liquor Sales Licence. The holder of a sales licence may sell and serve beverage alcohol in a licensed establishment where light meals are available. According to the AGCO, “Light meals are not snacks which target cravings (nuts, chips, pretzels, etc). Lights meals are made up of more than one food element, such as soup and sandwich, or hamburger with fries, or salad with more than lettuce, which deals with appetite or hunger.”
And the Clocktower can deal with appetite and hunger. Mussels Night on Mondays. Wing Night on Tuesdays. Appetizers at half price for Happy Hour. Their menu is diversified and the food is usually alright, but it is a tad pricey – and service can be spotty, and is often unrelated to how busy the place is – or not. If you go for the food alone, you may be disappointed.
If you are going to try one of their brews, however, you have a better chance to leave happy. Folks at the Clocktower do offer fresh, great tasting, full flavored beers, using no preservatives, no additives & brewing them only in small batches. This approach has its downside, as too often one or more of their handcrafted beers are not available. Their regular selection consists of the Kölsch, a light blonde ale; a Rasperry wheat; the Wishart’s bitter, which is an ESB (my favourite, nice copper-colour with a nice malty profile); the Fenian red, which is an Irish red ale; and the Bytown brown, heavy on coffee and chocolate flavors. They also offer Seasonal Brews in rotation, beers such as an IPA, a Vienna Spring Ale, a Porter, a Pumpkin Ale, etc.
And the good people of Westboro will soon be able to enjoy them in their own neighborhood!
Burger King is once again trying to bring some heat to their burger line (to their Steakhouse XT line to be specific), this time in the form of a jalapeños and cheddar stuffed pattie, the basis of their new BK Stuffed Steakhouse.
Jalapeños and Cheddar.
In it, not on it, says Burger King.
The stuffed burger was introduced in Canada on February 24th, 2011, 6 weeks after first bringing it south of the border. This new menu addition is available across Canada for a limited time at a suggested retail price of $4.99.
Here is how the King is describing their new creation:
“When you take a flame-broiled patty, stuff it with jalapeños and processed cheddar cheese on the inside, top it with creamy poblano sauce, ripe tomato and crisp iceberg lettuce, and put it all inside a toasted, corn-dusted bun … well, you’ve got yourself a fire hazard.
What we’re saying is we had to get the fire marshal’s permission to sell this thing.”
Well, if the Fire Marshal gave his permission, surely it must be good. The Waffle had to find out, and did so as a reward for clearing the driveway after Winter returned this Sunday.
And so I ordered it. And so I tried it.
First impression, looking at it: well, it looked nothing like the picture in the ad. Of course. You could see a few bright green bits and a few yellow ones too, but I had to have a closer look, so I flipped the burger, and yes, here they were. Significant number of jalapeños and processed cheddar cheese bits sprinkled within the beef patty. I guess ”Stuffed Steakhouse” is better marketing than “Sprinkled Steakhouse”, but nobody can really cry foul for false advertising.
The 5 ounce beef patty, nicely charred, with the usual smoke flavour, was thicker than I expected, much thicker than a Whopper for instance.
The jalapeños certainly helped to keep the meat juicy and tender. There was a subtle peppery flavour to the meat, nothing powerful. The heat from the peppers was present - but no need to call the Fire Marshal, that’s for sure.
As for the cheese, well, it is processed cheese. In my opinion, it is mostly there for colour, because the patty was not cheesy in flavour nor in texture. Real cheddar would go a long way to make this happen.
BK claims that the Stuffed Steakhouse is ”complemented with creamy poblano sauce, ripe tomatoes and crisp lettuce on a premium bakery bun”.
The “premium bakery bun was fresh, fluffy. The corn flour added a different touch, something else than your usual fast-food sesame seed bun.
The sandwich did have a (very!) light touch of a mayo-based poblano sauce on the bottom of the top bun. It was barely noticeable, texture-wise and taste-wise. The poblano is a mild chile (one level below the jalapeño on the Scoville scale); it wouldn’t really add anything to the heat level, so why so little? More sauce and more poblano would add moisture and maybe help bring out the heat from the patty. If you are to try this burger, I would recommend asking for extra sauce. I ended up adding some ketchup to my sandwich – but then again, I love ketchup on my burgers.
The lettuce was chopped watery white iceberg, crunchy but nothing spectacular, and certainly not as green as the Boston lettuce they used in their ad. As for the tomatoes, well, it is winter, so the slices were not very juicy and they were quite small, but at least they weren’t mealy.
Overall, the Stuffed Steakhouse was better than I expected. The concept is interesting, the execution could be better (overlooking of course the fact that I stuff, err, sprinkle and form my own patties with all kinds of ingredients in there all the time). For sure, the meatloaf/fruitcake look wasn’t overly appealing at first, especially as it looks in the promo shot. But the burger was alright. They could get rid of the cheese in the patty and put a slice on it, because as it stands, it is simply buried. Then the burger would look and taste better, in my opinion.
- Michael K. on Poutinefest is starting today
- Rob S. on Poutinefest is starting today
- Joe B. on Getting refreshed in Saskatoon
- Anne-Marie L. on Testing Lay’s Bold Flavours
- Renée T. on La Poutine du Parc Vert
- Jean L. on Cat’s fish
- Jessica on A Chili Cheese Dog on James Street
- Cameron H. on ZaZaZa? YaYaYa!
- The Waffle on Poor Filet-O-Fish
- Ian G. on Poor Filet-O-Fish
- Isaac C. on Poor Filet-O-Fish
- Marion K. on Poor Filet-O-Fish
- Ray T. on Poor Filet-O-Fish
- Amy B. on Sometimes, St-Hubert is what you need
- Laura C. on Sometimes, St-Hubert is what you need
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