So, I’m pretty excited. It’s my birthday next week, and birthday celebrations generally mean delicious food, wine and parties! (Note the awesome photobooth pic from last year’s party!) I am already thinking of all of the fun and festive foods that I would love to have at a party or a b day lunch … and there are a lot. So, I decided that since this year is the big 3-0, I would try to think of my favourite 30 foods in Thunder Bay. There is really no rational reason for writing this, so please do not look for one. Just for fun and in no particular order. I hope you’ll add some of your favourites as well and let me know if I forgot anything! It’s always fun to try new things!
1. The Vegetarian BLT from Sweet Peas. Even as an avid real bacon lover, I constantly find myself drawn back to this delicious meat free version. Pair this with the spicy potato wedges and aioli, and you’ll be in heaven (albeit a meatless heaven).
2. Elk Tenderloin from Rainy River Elk Company (available at the Country Market). Flavourful and lean, this elk tenderloin can be used to make a mean Carpaccio, cut into medallions or roasted. If you haven’t already, you have to give it a shot!
3. Café mocha at Calico. Perfect “special treat,” For a rainy day, or just any old day. I started going here when they first opened because it is a fantastic place to write and enjoy a coffee. I don’t usually have time to stop and smell the dark roast anymore and hang out, but I still love it nonetheless!
4. The Morning Benningizer from MadeFRESH. Eggs perfectly poached, perfect hollandaise all atop avocado, tomato and spinach. Yes, please!
5. Khao Pad Krapow at Thai Kitchen. This Thai basil fried rice has just the right amount of spice and tons of flavour. Try it once and you’ll be hooked.
6. Strawberries and raspberries from Belluz Farms. Freshly picked, still warm from the sun, a perfectly ripe berry is divine on a summer’s day. I love to freeze them for a little taste of summer all year round! Can’t wait to take my kids here next week!
7. Bonbons. My husband’s grandfather brought Bonbons to Thunder Bay many years ago and served them in his 2 restaurants- They grew in popularity and are now everywhere in the city. But, my mother-in-law still makes the best ones because she uses her fathers original recipe. You can’t beat that.
8. Season Sandwich from Growing Season. Murillo bread topped with gouda, avocado and pesto. Bright and fresh flavours make this my go-to summer dish.
9. Moroccan lamb shank from Caribou- Incredibly tender and perfectly spiced, this dish is definitely my favourite entrée at Caribou. Going here for my B day dinner, and I cannot tell you how excited I am!
10. Cheese curds from Thunder Oak. All of the cheese from there is fantastic, but I am always astounded by the sheer volume of these curds that disappear during a gathering. Additionally, we can’t usually survive the car ride home without dipping into these squeaky beauties.
11. Pho from 3 Mangoes. A labour intensive beef stock slow simmered and served with rice noodles, bean sprouts, limes, cilantro and hoisin and hot chili sauces.
12. Eggs from Boreal Edge Farm. All of the eggs locally laid are fantastic. However, these eggs are extra awesome though because of how the chickens are raised! Check it out!
13. Sake Nigiri at Meiji. Slice of salmon. Rice. Perfect.
14. Tarmo Burger from Thunder Bay Restaurant. Bacon, cheese, onions and more. If the atmosphere doesn’t keep you coming back- this burger will!
15. Market Pizza- Eat Local Pizza. Jim makes so many kinds of pizza’s, but I love the combination of whatever he picks up at the market.
16. Gouda Biscuits from Northern Unique. (Preferably with a side of wild boar!) You can even buy them frozen and bake them from home. These savoury biscuits are amazing fresh from the oven.
17. Chicken Shawarma at Kabob Village- Wrap filled with rotisserie chicken, pickles and garlic and then pressed on the grill.
18. Roasted Pork Belly from Bistro One. Bacons classy cousin, pork belly is a deliciously salty, sweet and fatty way to start to a perfect meal!
19. Carpaccio from Bistro One. Raw slices of beef, sliced thinly topped with thyme olive oil, capers and cheese. Divine!
20. Bacon from Cornell Farms. Whenever I cook this people always ask where I got it from. People Love it! Thick generous slices of bacon that are great on their own, on a burger…nachos… mmmmm.
21. Beef Shawarma at Lumberjacks- Beef, pickles, tomato, onion and tahini on a pita.
22. Brisket from Tarrymore Farms. I am always glad to have one of these waiting in my freezer. The perfect size for my family and with so many ways to prepare them, who doesn’t love a good brisket!
23. Poutine at the Sovereign Room- Duck confit, tomato basil- whatever kind they have on the menu that day- I love it all!
24. Coney Dog at McKellar. No summer is complete without one (or three) of these! Don’t wear a good shirt when you go.
25. Crème Framboise from Caribou. A perfectly epic dessert. Nuff said.
26. Goat cheese and Steak Salad at Madhouse. Salad topped with slices of beef, goat cheese and a balsamic reduction. Hardly feels like you’re eating a salad at all!
27. Moose cookies from Northern Unique. I seldom have them, but I buy 2 every week at the market for my kids. Felix usually ends up eating both of them though.
28. 360 ale at the Sleeping Giant Brewery. My new favourite beer- I have to remember to stock up for this weekend!
29. Chai tea from International House of Tea. Ridiculously enjoyable.
30. Everything at Maltese. I don’t know how to choose anything from here. When I am stuck I just go here, and the service is second to none. The store is small, but the selection is huge, and you can find things you won’t find anywhere else. The cheese selection is amazing and they can get you just about any kind of meat you need. It is a great store, run by people that take enormous pride in customer service. It’s what keeps me coming back.
Hmmm. looks like I might need an entire month to celebrate! Works for me :)
What’s your favorite thing to eat in Thunder Bay? What is your favourite celebratory meal?
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