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Expanding My Palate

Published August 3, 2010 - 6 Comments

I really only have one rule when I go away somewhere new… I do not want to eat at a place that I could eat at if I was home.  No McDonalds, no Tim Hortons, no Swiss Chalet…  nothing like that.  That’s it.  When I went to PEI last summer, we stayed clear of any of that stuff.  It was the same thing with Cape Breton last week.

I’ve never been much of a seafood guy.  I know that it’s generally good for me, and I try to add a little bit of it to my diet when I can, but it’s not nearly enough.  Halibut is pricey, and only in season for a short period of time.  I’ve grown to enjoy salmon, which I can buy year-round, but still don’t tend to eat often.  But being on Cape Breton, I figured that I owed it to myself to try some seafood.  So the first place we went to eat was a nice little spot called Bell Buoy restaurant.

I looked over the menu and decided that I wanted to try something completely different.  Pan fried haddock with garlic mashed potatoes doesn’t sound like my usual choice.  And to make it even more interesting… we’d start with an appetizer.. something completely off the wall… like.. oh.. say..  SNAILS!?  Yes, that’s right..  my first foray into the world of escargot.  Covered with garlic butter and cheese.  Who can’t resist the taste of snail?  I joke, but truth be told… I enjoyed it.  As for the haddock, I enjoyed that as well, but I think that I would have preferred salmon or halibut.  But… the haddock was enough of a success that I’ve since purchased some for my freezer when I’m looking for a change of pace.

The next night the weather was beautiful and we opted to find a patio to sit out on.  The Yellow Cello cafe was the perfect spot.  And it’s fun to say!  Yellow Cello.  Yellow Cello.  Yellow Cello.  I didn’t go quite as exotic this time, preferring something a little closer to home.  Caesar salad and a BBQ chicken pizza.   It was very good, and the atmosphere was great.  We had fun sitting out there in the evening, watching people walk by, and listening to some guy playing music inside the cafe.

One of the interesting things that we noticed on the menus in Cape Breton is that their nachos come with bacon bits!  We never did try any, but I think the next time I’m doing nachos at home, I just might throw some bacon bits on there to see what it takes like.  As we all know… everything tastes better with bacon!  And while their nachos have bacon bits on them, apparently their potato skins do not!  Go figure.  I’ve never seen potato skins like that in my life!  Rather than 3 or 4 large half-potato filled with cheese and salsa or sour cream, I was served a huge plate with small slices of potato, smothered in sour cream and cheddar cheese… it’s the kind of thing that should appeal to me, but I actually did not finish them.  It was just a little much, and I really missed having salsa.

But all in all… I very much enjoyed my meals over there.  The food was great.  The waitresses were adorable.  And the atmosphere was usually very unique.  And not once did I eat at a fast food place!