Category Archives: Gravy

Heading East…Road Trip Anyone?

A road trip is all about the unexpected. All surprises along the way are welcomed (except for the surprise of the car breaking down, which thankfully didn’t happen!) I had one goal, see Mount Rushmore, everything else was take it as it came…

As you may have read, I began in Vancouver and then stopped in Calgary for a few days to visit some friends. I was just about to set off towards the U.S border, when I was lucky enough to get a co-pilot for the drive. How’s this for adventure? A friend from Vancouver flew one-way to Calgary and than would simply buy a ticket home wherever we happened to be in five days. She’s also to thank for some of the pictures. She’s 1/4 navigator, 1/2 official roadie photographer and 1/4 saint for having to put up with my singing.

The first of the eight states on the journey was Big Sky Country, better known as Montana. Montana is a lot of open road and open sky and definitely comes by its nickname honestly.

Somewhere in Montana aka Big Sky Country

And I know you can only look at so many pictures of the sky, but how cool is this one?

Rays of light in shining on Big Sky Country

When you know the drive will be over 3500 km’s (2100 miles) and you see a candy store, you stop, even if it’s only one hour into the drive.

Candy Store - Enough Said

Like i’m sure you are, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” there was.

A lot of stuff

I couldn’t bring myself to buy a straw full of sugar, I didn’t want to be too hyped up on sugar while driving, but I thought about it. For the record, I bought some “chews” gum (sour candy that turns into gum), chocolate taffy (that melted before I had a chance to eat it) and a butterscotch stick, which I shared.

Pixy Stix

So after one day of driving, we had covered one state, Montana is frickin’ huge! We were curious how huge, so a quick search to Wikipedia told us it ranks fourth in area, but 44th in population. And even though we made it to Billings, the “Star of the Big Sky Country” and also the largest city in Montana with a population of almost 90,000, there are not many options for food after 10pm. But you know the old saying, in life, you can count on three things, death, taxes and Denny’s.

We were pretty hungry and we had no discipline to say no to Denny’s evil/delicious offer of cheese fries, which were on their value menu for $2! If i remember correctly, it was cheese sauce and cheedar cheese!

Cheese fries

Don’t judge me, it was 10:30pm, I had driven all day and I wanted some gravy with sausage in it to smother my omelette!

Southwest Omelette with hashbrowns and the amazing country gravy

With Mount Rushmore on the agenda for the day, we still had to cover a part of Montana, a smidge of Wyoming and a chuck of South Dakota, but we were delayed with the possibility of checking out the Battle of Little Bighorn, or more commonly knows as the site of Custer’s Last Stand on June 25-26, 1876. Knowing very little about the Battle, I got the impression that the notoriety of the area is more the fact that the Americans lost to the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne tribes and the Americans gained a martyr in the process.

I always find it eerie to stand somewhere where wars were fought and where bloodshed occured and all you can see are rolling hills of greenery. The black tombstone on the bottom right belongs to General George A. Custer.

Battle of Little Bighorn

I’d never seen this before.

Honoring the horses in battle

Remember this…

Words to live by

We were slightly delayed towards Rushmore, but how often are you in Montana and right beside an American National Monument? Off we went east towards South Dakota, but we needed a little energy boost and Hoofers seemed like a solid choice. I’m always on the lookout for good food, coffee and gossip and a positive message!

Good food and a good message!

The decor was exactly how I thought it was going to be, I love not being disappointed! It had all the warmth and charm you’d expect from a small town restaurant.

Welcome to Hoofers

The special of the day was their Pulled Pork Sandwich, which seemed like a pretty good special to me. Unfortunately, it was just a bit on the dry side. I was surprised they didn’t throw any BBQ sauce on the bun because that would have made all the difference. As for their coleslaw, it was homemade creamy coleslaw and it was good! And on a positive note, I got some of my vegetables for the day (or so I tried to convince myself).

Pulled Pork sandwich with creamy coleslaw

As much as I dislike it when sitcoms end a show with “To be continued…”, I’ll be posting the second half tomorrow. I’m giving your poor fingers a break from too much scrolling. See you tomorrow from South Dakota!

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Filed under Calgary, Custer, Denny's, Gravy, Little Bighorn, Montana, Pulled Pork, Vancouver

Poutine in Vancouver?

Before I’m shunned by the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec for eating and writing about poutine in Vancouver, I need to premise it by saying nothing beats poutine in Montreal. I had heard people talking of Fritz for a while now, but I had held off going since it seemed like a sacrilegious act. So one night recently, it was about 2am and after an evening of Blackjack with some friends, the decision was unaminous, let’s go for poutine! We obviously were not the only one with the idea as the line-up was out the door and easily 15 people long.

Poutine = Fries, gravy and cheese curds

So with that prelude, Fritz European Fry House does a pretty decent job if you’re looking for the trio of fries, cheese curds and gravy AND you find yourself about 5000 km’s away from the province of Quebec. The fries are fresh, handcut, seasoned and quite good with a nice crunchy exterior.  As for the gravy, it was tasty, but it was a little thicker than what you typically find in Quebec. The cheese itself was  good, but disappointing as it didn’t have the elastic effect you get when the cheese is melted down by the heat of the fries and gravy.

Menu at Fritz

It may not be the birthplace of poutine, but even in Vancouver, you can find yourself  a very good poutine.

718 Davie Street (corner of Granville)
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 1B6
(604) 684-0811

Hours

  • Monday – Closed
  • Tuesday – 11:30am-2:30am
  • Wednesday – 11:30am-2:30am
  • Thursday – 11:30am-3:30am
  • Friday – 11:30am-4:00am
  • Saturday – 12:o0pm-4:00am
  • Sunday – 1:00pm-2:30am

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Filed under cheese curds, Friends, Fries, Fritz, Gravy, Poutine, Vancouver

Cheeseburger cupcakes – enough said!

This is what food blogging is all about, sharing among old friends and new readers (and maybe new friends) little treasures like a Cheeseburger cupcake! So credit for this goes to my friend Kate who put up a great link which can be found below. Her page has spawned cheeseburger cupcakes all over the place! Her page has a great how-to photo gallery, so I will let that be the instructional side, while I will offer a couple of suggestions and some other photos of my attempts.

I’ve now made these twice and it’s something that you will perfect as you learn what works best for you. As you can see from the pictures, the vanilla cupcake is the “bun” and the chocolate cupcake is the “patty”. What I have found is that a more realistic “patty” can be made by pouring only half the cake mix in the muffin tin (i’ll explain the use of the other half below) and then slicing off the top giving you a flat patty that sits flush on the bottom of the vanilla “bun”. However, more importantly this flat surface allows you to load up the “condiments” without them sliding off of it had you left it with a pointy cupcake top for the “patty”.

Wow, I hope that made sense!

With the extra chocolate mix, I baked it in a shallow cake tin, cut them in thin strips and froze them to serve with the burgers in an attempt to make chocolate fries! They didn’t look as realistic as I had hoped, but I was happy with the idea. Of course, since there were fries, I figured they should be accompanied with something, so I made chocolate pudding for a “gravy”. I’ve made this recipe before to huge success and I’ll post the recipe tomorrow along with a homemade whipped cream recipe that together makes an elegant yet simple dessert! https://tastesbetterwithfriends.wordpress.com/category/pudding/

Cheeseburger cupcake, chocolate fries and chocolate gravy pudding

Cheeseburger cupcake, chocolate fries and chocolate gravy pudding

Back to the cheeseburgers now, the condiments are plentiful…

  • There are a bunch of different colors of icing to simulate mustard, ketchup, mayo.
  • For the “cheese” portion, I used vanilla icing and the played around with red and yellow coloring to make orange.
  • Green coloring with shredded coconut to make relish or lettuce
  • I cut up maraschino cherries to make slices of tomatoes
  • The finishing touch are some sesame seeds on top of the bun, simply smear a bit of butter and then sprinkle so they stick.
  • For presentation purposes, it’s important to try and line the outside of the patty with icing so when the bun goes on top, you see the “ketchup, mustard, etc” oozing out like it normally would.
Cheeseburger cupcakes galore

I’ve now made them twice, once for a birthday party and the other time for a potluck dinner and they are still being talked about.  If you ever need something that will make you memorable, look to the cheeseburger cupcake!

Tastes better with friends

Tastes better with friends

http://www.flickr.com/photos/katedw/sets/72157617528706606/

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Filed under Cheeseburger cupcakes, chocolate, Friends, Fries, Gravy, ketchup, mayo, mustard, Pudding, vanilla