Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Visit to Kingston - November 16th - 18th

It snowed two nights ago, and it's snowing again today. I thought I'd post this picture for those who, like myself, love snow and winter. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it today.

This past weekend I went to visit Lucy and some friends in Kingston. Here's some of the things I did...

November 16th:
I left for Ottawa to Kingston in time for dinner. We went to a nice Vietnamese restaurant, called Little Saigon, for dinner. This restaurant isn't a pho restaurant though. It's just a small Vietnamese place. The last time I ate there was a couple of years ago -- before I became a pho addict. I remembered how godly their spring rolls were. I also remembered how much I enjoyed their pho. Over a couple of years, I've eaten a lot of pho and I've become quite the pho snob.

When Lucy, Jimmy, and I arrived at the restaurant for dinner, there were probably two tables being occupied. We ordered two plates of spring rolls to share, I had my small bowl of pho with no bean sprouts (they don't have medium bowls, they only have small, large, or extra large), while Jimmy had the bun bo hue, and Lucy had the vermicelli noodle salad with pork (bun). I didn't take any pictures because I figured you're all getting sick of my pho posts. In its place, here is my bowl of pho that I ate sometime in October with some friends. Just as our food arrived, the small restaurant was packed and a line started to form.

The spring rolls were the same as I remembered. They were juicy inside, crunchy outside, and very hot. Their spring rolls are kind of like the ones they serve at the Vietnamese Noodle House and at Pho Thu Do. Instead of using spring roll wrappers, they use rice paper -- the authentic Vietnamese way. Here's a picture of the spring rolls from the Vietnamese Noodle House.
I tasted the pho and was disappointed that the soup wasn't as flavourful as I remembered it to be. I know this place isn't a pho joint, but I just thought the soup could've been more flavourful. The flavour of the soup was quite weak and needed to be simmered for another few hours. As for the rice noodles, they were a bit overdone to my liking. I like them al dente.

Dinner wasn't bad. The spring rolls made up for my sad bowl of pho. I wish we had ordered more spring rolls.

November 17th:
Lucy wanted to make a pancake breakfast, so she did. By the time we started making it though, the clock read twelve o'clock. So our pancake breakfast turned into our pancake lunch. Oh well.

A little of this and a little of that and poof, we had a pancake batter. Lucy made the pancakes by eyeballing it and doing it by feel. Call it intuition. Here's the bowl with some eggs, butter and sugar.

Flour, milk, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, and some salt were added. Then the batter was allowed to rest for a few minutes.

Then on medium-high heat, a bit of butter was added to a pan, and then some batter was poured into the melted butter. Here's a tip: wait until the tops are looking like this before you touch the pancake. Check the bottom. The sides should be a bit golden. Once it's the colour you prefer, flip the pancake over and let it finish cooking.
I like mine practically deep-fried in butter. I love the crunchy and buttery crust and the golden brown colour to my pancakes, rather than a fluffy non-fried pancake. When you pour the pancake batter onto butter or oil (whichever you prefer to use) on a hot pan, the pancakes should form a deliciously buttered crust.
Lucy’s Comment:
I made these pancakes from scratch once I was old enough to mix the batter. Here’s a recipe that I sort-of follow:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

Before dinner, we watched the Santa parade from Jimmy's apartment. Unfortunately, we had a tree in our way so none of the pictures we took turned out. To her delight, Santa did look up and wave at Lucy.

After the parade, we walked to Lone Star to watch hockey and have some dinner. The Leafs were playing the Sens. We arrived there a bit late and so the restaurant and sports bar (upstairs) was full. As we watched the game while snacking on the salsa and chips, we waited for our table of three. Hmm.. yes.. this does resemble the last time I went to Lone Star. Like I did last time, I ate too much chips and salsa. But this time, I was more nervous than hungry. The Sens weren't playing that well and the Leafs were leading the game. Our table was ready by the second period. Seated near the corner of the restaurant, we had a booth that had a partial view of the television.

Back to food... Jimmy had the steak with his side of fried 'shrooms.

Lucy had the chicken enchiladas.
I had the chicken fajitas. For some reason, my tortillas were quite thick. Do you see that fat one sticking out? Sure I was pretty full with the chips and salsa, but I was going at least make and eat two wraps. I struggled real hard to finish the second one. I could've left it alone, but there were only two bites left. Then one bite left. I stared at the last chunk for probably about five minutes until I convinced myself that I would finish it.
The Sens struggled in the game, just as I struggled to finish my last bite of fajita. The Leafs dominated the Sens 3-0 in an uncharacteristic game for both teams. It seemed as though the teams switched jerseys or something. But a loss is a loss. Kudos goes out to the Leafs that played that night. Let's see them keep it up for the rest of the season. Bwhahaa! That's never going to happen.

November 18th:
We all stayed up late the previous night. We all slept in pretty late and wasted most of the day. Actually, I can't remember what happend that day except dinner. With Jimmy doing his assignment, Lucy made sushi for dinner. I helped a bit, mostly with emotional support, because everyone knows how much support you need to uhh.. make sushi. Riiiight. We didn't have everything to make the classic smoked salmon sushi rolls, so we improvised. I give myself too much credit, so let me rephrase that. Lucy improvised the ingredients. On the table for the stuffing, we had fish floss (it's basically pork floss, but with fish), leftover scrambled eggs and bacon, rice, a mixture of mayo, sriracha sauce and a bit of sugar and some chicken Lucy made by marinating it in soy sauce, red soybean paste and black pepper.
After mixing it all in a bowl, we added the sliced chicken. We left it to marinate for around five minutes. In a hot pan, we cooked the chicken and then drained off the grease. The chicken turned out to be super salty. After tasting a piece of chicken, I swear I started to mummify.
Here's one roll with everything on it; the mayo concoction, the really salty chicken, the scrambled eggs and the fish floss.

We ran out of the seaweed wrappers after, but still had some chicken and rice, so I told Lucy to make some rice balls stuffed with the chicken. For some more flavour, she rolled the outside with the fish floss. Yum. Sadly, the pictures are a bit blurry. I thought they were fine when I reviewed them on my camera. Oh well, my apologies. I think I was shaking from all the salt in my system... ahem...
We also had some miso soup to go with the army of sushi.
Instant soup mix is the way to go when everything is last minute. Yom-meh!

After dinner, I met up with my long-time friend, Carolina, at Starbucks. We had some drinks, cookies and some time to catch up. Long story short: they adopted two cute penguins from the store, only to behead them later. Poor penguins. Why would you hurt such an innocent looking thing? They look so happy to be posing for our blog.
Then tragedy struck. One was decapitated, while the other was amputated. For those who have a weak stomach, here is your warning: turn back now!



Little Saigon
284 Princess Street
Kingston, ON
(613) 536-5774

Lone Star
251 Ontario Street
Kingston, ON
(613) 548-8888

95 Princess Street
Kingston, ON
(613) 542-6446

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