I have always envied the hosts of travel shows that showcase good places to eat. they eat, see new places and get paid to do all this. I mean, talk about job satisfaction. on our recent trip to Toronto and new york, we did something similar, we ate saw new places but alas did not get paid to do so, instead our credit cards were getting swiped left,right and center. But it was worth every penny. (though I would love to have got a pay cheque....but never mind!!). We enjoyed every "bite" of our stay.
haven't seen a more diverse place than Toronto. It was like a mosaic of everything different. people, food, language. We stuck to trying out good Indian food. Since we have relatives in Toronto (Mississauga) we got to savour some good stuff. We tried the veggie hot dog, that is available in downtown almost on every corner.The Indian Chinese is actually really Indian Chinese. specially if anyone has tasted the Chinese in kolkatta, then you would know what I mean. And the Chinese here is that close in taste. We had the best Channa bhathura, in a long, long time. when in Canada you have to try the most famous 'Tim Horton' coffee. You can call it the starbucks of canada. I fell in love with the coffee (as I was warned before that it is very addictive......). Not strong, not bitter. just the kind I like. Only two days in Toronto we did not have much time to explore the food scene. but from what we had, we knew that the rest would be as good.
After visiting this place my husband told me that I should consider this as my trip to France. Montreal is everything french. Initially I thought, montreal would be a small town with just a few places to see. but to my surprise it is huge. French is the main language here. A piece of advice; learn a little french when visiting this city, trust me it will help. I loved the food scene here. there are small dessert and coffee shops everywhere. Old montreal is a must see. And again a foodies paradise. my husband was particularly happy coz he found a lot of vegetarian options. unlike here, where he ends up eating a salad at an office lunch or cheesy cheese pizza. I found the food fresh, portion sizes were decent. And eating here is a ritual not a task. people love to enjoy every meal. and the best part of all this..........everyone was on the thinner side. at least the locals. I guess its the fresh ingredients, lots of wine and lots of walking. I simply loved it.
when in montreal don't forget to try out the crepes. You will find a lot of small local bakeries serving up excellent crepes. The deserts at coffee shops are a must. don't worry there is so much walking that such guilty pleasures are more than welcome. To get the french feel don't forget to visit old montreal and stop by a restaurant to enjoy some good food and wine.
NEW YORK CITY
I kept the best for the last. I had read, heard and watched a lot about this place. But its a whole different experience to actually be there in the middle of it all. The entire city is like a conversation. One o'clock at night the subways are packed like office hour traffic. It put back a whole new sense of life into me. The night we reached, our friends took us to a KATHI ROLL PLACE.oh my goodness, that place brought back memories of kolkatta. A very small place, nothing fancy. just good kathi rolls. (i forget my camera here....).
We had lunch at the first pizzeria in new york.new york pizza is a must. it was called Lombard pizza. Just across the street from that, we stumbled upon a place called "rice to riches". just flavoured rice pudding. I mean how innovative. The entire place is unique. the decor is cool and hip. I loved the concept of putting up catchy punch lines all over. This is a must try.
We had planned to have flafals at dinner, but all the pita places were shut as it was some festival that day. Our friends took us to a thai place called "yum yum thai'. I was so excited that to see all the other unique restaurants there. cuban, fusion thai, sri lankan. I just wanted to pitch a tent and go on a food expedition. Our last day in New york city was very obviously spent on trying out yet a few other places. Thanks to our friends in San diego, to tell us about MAX BRENNER. Its a chocolate lovers paradise. Its like getting into willy wonkas chocolate factory. The colour scheme of the place is chocolaty too. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and off course desserts. We were just on time for breakfast (they serve it till noon).
The menu itself is so overwhelming that at first you will actually get confused as to what to have...(hummm here again I envy those travel show guys......they get to taste a little of everything!!!!!!!). everything here is really good.(i assume). my husband loved the veggie burger he ordered. he said its the best he's had. their hot chocolates are a speciality. specially coz they serve it these cute mugs, which they call "hugmugs". There are pipes running all over the place filled with chocolate!!!!!!.
all that is melted chocolate!!!!!!!!
We tasted some good chatpata khana in new jersy. our last dinner was at a south indian place called tiffinwallaha.
I simply was in awe. So many good places to eat and so much variety. Be it the little kiosks or the restaurants. Our friends rightly said, that NEW YORK CITY, totally stands out from the rest of America. Two days were way to less in this city. one needs at least a week to ten days, to actually explore it. I simply loved it and it has made be hungry for more. !!!!!!