Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BlogTO Article: Where to Get Arepas in Toronto

My article published by BlogTO can be read here.  However I thought I would share the original version....with more pics, without all the additions (that I wasn't too impressed with) and including a couple paragraphs that were cut.  Specifically, one unfortunate areperia that I included in my report.

As noted in the published post, the "Arepa Market" in Kensington appears to have shut down operation, however fresh stuffed arepas are still available at the same location, under the El Gordo name.



My love affair with South American cuisine started many years ago while travelling throughout southern California. Taco trucks abound, I was inspired by fresh ingredients and the joyful spirit of the working class Latinos. Upon my return home I began experimenting with different forms of corn flour and soon became obsessed with making the perfect corn tortilla. Throughout my research I stumbled upon a recipe for arepas, and it was not long until I left the tortilla press behind for these handmade corn cakes.

The best arepas in Toronto are as diverse a group as the many cultural populations that make up this beautiful city. The arepa, a national dish of both Venezuela and Colombia is commonly sold in restaurants called areperías. They can be eaten as a side dish, used as a base for other ingredients or as it is more typically recognized; the “arepa rellena” is opened (like a pita) and can be stuffed with everything from chicken and avocado to cheese, pork, egg and vegetables. There is even a sweeter dessert-type arepa sold at a couple spots around town!

Here are Toronto's arepa options;

El Arriero

This quaint Colombian restaurant at the south end of Jane St. was a very pleasant surprise. The walls are adorned with traditional artwork and crafts, and the picnic table style seating is cozy and inviting. Here the arepas are listed as “appetizers” and range from $4 - $10, however one could argue that items such as the larger meat stuffed Arepa con Carne is a meal in itself. I enjoyed an order of Chicharon Con Arepa and a bottle of Colombiana soda. Looking forward to return for a full meal in the near future

Rica Arepa

Rica Arepa located on Eglinton West (at Dufferin) offers take out and catering, along with dining in. Their atmosphere is akin to a fast food joint, as opposed to a traditional dining room. The Arepa Rellenas go for $5, while the Arepa Zuiliana are $8. I tried an arepa stuffed with chorizo, chicken and avocado and was not disappointed. This family run business appears to be relatively unknown and there is little to no information available online. However, I think with a little boost in advertizing they have the potential to be a well recognized (and appreciated) lunch stop. 

Colombus Bakery 

Colombus Bakery is quickly becoming known as a great spot to grab fresh baked traditional pastries, as well as other South American delicacies. When I visited at mid-afternoon, their seating area was full with dining customers, while several others waited in line at the counter. Arepas here are mainly offered as a side dish to their prepared foods, but what I really came for was the dessert like“arepa de chocolo” for $2 that is made with sweet corn and farmers white cheese. If you order this golden fried arepa ,you can expect intense corn flavour, with whole smashed kernels making up this sweet treat.

Arepa Café 
Possibly the most well known areperia in Toronto, Arepa Cafe has been thriving in the ever trendy area of Queen West since 2009. As it was for myself, Arepa Cafe is often a Torontonian's first introduction to this versatile little corncake. Their arepa menu is comprised solely of the stuffed version of this dish and there is an impressive 21 options! Expect prices to be a little higher than other arepas in town, however they all remain under $10. 


Located almost across the street from the Colombus Bakery on Dufferin, Arepiando offers a several original variations (such as “Hawaiian'...ham and pineapple) along side the traditional arepas. Their logo is bright and noticeable and the motto of “Colombia is our passion” is fitting for this popular fast food restaurant. In addition to their menu, Arepiando conveniently sells frozen Arepas made on site for you to enjoy at home. Prices vary from $2 for the Arepa Con Queso (cheese only) to $7 for the “Arepiando Arepa” which is stuffed with virtually everything on their menu and topped off with a hard boiled quail egg. 

Arepa Market 
Kensington's only arepa stop, the Arepa Market is tucked away in the back area of El Gordo Fine Foods. Their menu is simple and the prices are reasonable; $3 for plain cheese and $5 for the stuffed version. Nothing fancy here, just good old fashioned arepas and relatively small selection of fillings. With prepared take-away food options continuing to grow in Kensington, the Arepa Market is one of several traditional Latin American spots that cannot be skipped. 

Mi Tierra 

Mi Tierra is likely the largest authentic Colombian restaurant in the GTA. Located on St, Clair West, this traditional dining room offers a lengthy Latin American menu and with regular nightly entertainment. Here there are 2 arepa options; a $4 arepa served with your choice of topping (egg, avocado, bacon or Colombian sausage) or the $9 Arepa Con Carne or Con Pollo, which consisted of a large arepa topped with with a striploin steak or chicken, along with tomatoes and onions. Although the steak on my Con Carne came a little overdone, the meal and surroundings were second to none.

Sazon del Pacifico

I stumbled across this Colombian restaurant on my way to Arepiando on Dufferin. Inside, a television was blasting and the whole place overwhelmingly smelled of fish. Unfortunately the staff did little to acknowledge my presence, let alone offer me a seat, so I did not stay for a meal. Although I left unimpressed, I grabbed a menu on my way out and will likely to return in the future to sample their food. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Great NY Pumpkin Race

I was in New York City a couple weeks ago for the Vendy's, but that wasn't the only foodie event in town at the time...It was also Craft Beer Week!!  My timing couldn't have been more perfect.  Prior to my trip I did a little research on local beers, Micro Breweries and Brew Pubs in and around Manhattan, which quickly made me realize that I was going to be completely overwhelmed by the variety.  So, I made a decision...I would have to focus on one type of beer.  And, well...'tis the season for PUMPKIN!!

Over a 4 day trip I managed to try 9 different pumpkin beers.  And there were at least 5 others I couldn't track down.  A far cry from the 2 or 3 that are (maybe) available up here in Ontario.  Now, I'm not going to go into every detail about the flavour and food pairings for each pumpkin beer...I'm not an expert.  But I do know that I love beer and I love pumpkin...and for the most part these beers all rocked!

Basically they can be broken down into 2 types... Let's start with the your basic pumpkin ale.  These beers generally have 5% alc and have a smooth, subtle pumpkin spice flavour.

Blue Moon is based in Denver, CO and and Saranac in New York State.

Although I wish I could have brought all 9 pumpkin beers home, my travel arrangements didn't allow for any hoarding, so I was happy to grab a couple six packs to take home.  They were dispensed of shortly after my arrival back in Canada...

For those cross border shoppers, it appears these are two of the most common pumpkin beers available in stores in upstate New York.

Others I tried include, River Horse Hipp 'O Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Lambertville, NJ. And Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale.  Brooklyn, NY

Next stop was New York City's own Heartland Brewery.  I spent an evening at one of their local brew pubs in Manhattan, and not only did this place comfort me with it's similarities to my local favourite, the Mill St. Brew Pub, it also had a selection of 3 options for pumpkin beer!

The Smiling Pumpkin Ale not only has a hilarious logo, but tastes great too. 

They also offer a beer called "Stumpkin"...a mix of the Smiling Pumpkin Ale and their Farmer John's Oatmeal Stout.  Unfortuntely I did not get a chance to try out this medley.  I did however, try their stronger Imperial Pumpkin Ale, which was very similar to the others I will describe below.  But don't order a pint of this beer, because they only serve it in fancy!? 

So that brings us to the list strong ales...general 7-9% alc with a very pronounced, sweet pumpkin aroma.  I would compare the flavour of these strong pumpkin ales to a Hefeweizen, with it's distinctive banana and clove notes derived from the specific hefe yeast. 

Southern Tier's label offers a great (and hilarious) description of their potent ale.  Their brewery is located in Lakewood, NY.

And the final 2...

Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale. Akron, OH.

Heavy Seas (Mutiny Fleet) The Great Pumpkin, Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  Halethorpe, MD

So, that's it.  I drank more pumpkin beer in one long weekend than is probably recommended, however it was totally worth it.  Now I'm left to scavenge the local LCBO's for our embarrassing selection of pumpkin ales. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Vendy Awards!

Check out my latest posting on Food Network Canada's "Eat St"... NYC's 7th Annual Vendy Awards!!

Showing my Ontario Food Trucks love at the Vendy's

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Birthday Bacon Jam

I had been meaning to make bacon jam for a long while now, but unfortunately sometimes life gets in the way of consuming random pork products.  With some down time at home planned for this weekend, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to play in the kitchen.  And it's not like I needed another excuse, but since Saturday was my birthday I figured a few extra calories didn't count!

For me, cooking is not so much a routine of following a recipe.  I generally look up several variations of whatever it is I want to make, then just go for it in the kitchen.  So, I'm sorry if anybody wants an exact recipe, but I rarely write down exactly how much of everything I put into my dishes.

I started off by caramalizing a couple medium sized onions and frying off about a pound of double smoked bacon....

2 onions, butter, salt and sugar.  Low-med heat for about 45 mins.

When the onions were done (a little darker than the pic above), I added the bacon to the pan and began mixing in the following ingredients; Brown sugar, maple syrup, pepper, cider vinegar and coffee.

(I'm loving my Neat Pitch Black coffee these days.  A stop at this Ottawa Valley coffee shop in Burnstown is a must if you are heading down highway 508 towards Calabogie.)

So, everything gets mixed in a large saucepan and briefly cooked down to intensify the flavours.

Let cool for a bit, then fire it all into a food processor and let 'er rip!  

Et Voilà...BACON JAM!!

Earlier in the morning I hit up Art-Is-In Bakery at the Kanata Farmer's Market and grabbed a Multigrain and Roasted Fennel baguette.  Toasted in in the oven for a couple minutes, then slammed on some of the bacon love. 

I grabbed my growler of Kichesippi Natural Blonde and hit the couch with the bacon jam to enjoy the rest of my relaxing birthday weekend...

Monday, August 29, 2011

CNE Greasy Madness

At age 32 I finally made it out to the Central Canada Exhibition in Toronto for the first time in my life.  Since I was used to the much smaller Ottawa Super Ex, the CNE proved to be a complete sensory overload....but one I am glad to have finally experienced.

Of course, my main focus of this trip would be the ridiculous food pavilion.  So here's a few pics of the madness...

My burger choices...

What I came to the CNE for!  Bacon cheeseburger w/fried egg on 2 Krispy Kreme donuts.

 As horrifying as that burger sounds, it was actually pretty damn good.  Messy, but good.  And yes, I would totally eat one again...but not before a a lengthy period of dieting!  The "Behemoth" burger advertized above was sandwiched between two grilled cheeses.  Unfortunately there was not enough room in my stomach to try that one.

Dessert choices...

Deep fried slushy!
For those wondering how deep frying drinks is possible, there's a simple answer.  They take your beverage of choice and mix it will batter...than dump it in balls into the fryer.  So no, it isn't full of slush or coke that explodes in your mouth, but simply flavoured dough,  It was honestly a lot less offensive that it looks and sounds.  And definitely not too sweet.

After dinner, I wandered the fair grounds.  As to be expected, there were tonnes of games, rides and vendors selling everything from bootleg DVD's to incense and ball caps.

In the vendors area I grabbed a few kangaroo pepperettes.  There was also camel summer sausage available, and I regret not buying any, however I was already starting to run low on my frivolous CNE money.  The pepperettes were nothing too exciting and for all I know they could have been beef and or pork. 

Thankfully I did have a couple extra bucks to grab a pickle on a stick!

Let's be honest...everything tastes better on a stick.

Next stop was to see the cute little animals.  The "Pig Mobile" greeted me at the farm building and for a minute I thought that the Food Truck Eats event had started a day early!

Bacon in training.

 With the evening winding down, my day wouldn't have been complete without one final greasy snack...

The Deep Fried Mac n' Cheese Curds was by far my favorite food at the CNE.
At almost 10pm, the line ups for food were just as big as ever. 
Overall I had a great time.  The food did not disappoint and the crowds were not so crazy that I wanted to leave immediately after getting there.  Definitely something that I think everyone should check out at some point.

And foodies...don't be afraid let yourself enjoy some wild, crazy, and unhealthy food every once and a while!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food Truck Eats

My latest blog post of the Food Network Canada site for the show Eat St.

Po' Nuts (Beast Restaurant) Maple Bacon Donut

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Heart Lamb

With my collection of random meats accumulating in the freezer, I figured it was time I got down to cooking...and experimenting with new ingredients and recipes!   I'm lucky enough to have a small farmers market set up every Saturday only a couple blocks away from my home, so I try to take advantage of this any chance I can get.  This week I picked up some "Red Russian" kale, yellow cantaloupe, and a chocolate croissant from Art-is-in Bakery.  (Mmmm...buttery goodness..)

However,  the item I was most excited about was the small lamb heart I purchased from the Canreg Station Farm and Pasture.

No bigger than the size of my fist, I was excited to prepare this little gem.
 I learned about butchering hearts from the king of offal, Chris Costentino.  


So, I cleaned up my little heart and prepped the rest of the ingredients for a tartare.

I decided on a side of brussel sprouts sauteed in butter and bacon.

Probably not the best choice, because those flavours are very strong and could overpower the delicate lamb, but the sprouts looked amazing in the store, and well...bacon makes everything better.

I minced the lamb heart and mixed it with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, salt, hot peppers (from my garden...yay!) and parsley.  It turned out being a little spicier than I planned, but still good none the less. I toasted some multigrain baguette to  eat the tartare with, and tried to plate it up all pretty and such.

Here is the finished product....

So, I think it turned out pretty good...but then again, I'll eat anything.  Next time I would lay off the peppers a little and I would try to remember ALL the ingredients I bought.  (I had some capers I planned on using as well...)  I'll be back at the market next Saturday to buy another little heart, and will probably try a grilled preparation next.

For now...I need to figure out what to do with the other random meats in my freezer....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

T&T Waterfront Night Market

Just 3 weeks after experiencing my first night market in Richmond BC, I was excited to learn of the second annual T&T Waterfront Night Market in Toronto, Ontario. I quickly altered my weekend plans and arranged to make quick trip down the 401 with a couple friends.

Night Markets are popular all over Asia were vendors sell everything from prepared food items to cell phone cases.  They have a more laid back and casual atmosphere than they daytime counterparts and are a popular evening hangout for all ages.  Many of these markets have sprung up in North American cities over the past few years in areas with a high Asian population.  In Ontario, there is also an annual night market in Markham every July called Night It Up! 

We arrived in Toronto and met up with a small group of family and friends and headed down to the parking lot of the T&T Supermarket on Cherry St. for the market.  Just as we arrived, the skies opened up and a torrential downpour began.  Already soaked to the bone, we huddled under a vendors tent until the storm could pass.  So, what better time to start eating!!
A very soggy start to the evening

We started off with some BBQ pork jerky type item, and I grabbed a mango lemonade...figured I might as well buy from the vendors that were allowing us to hide under their tents!

Next we had a little help from our friends wife who braved the storm to run out and get us some more snacks.  We all shared a big basket of popcorn chicken and eggs in tea.

I am generally not a big fan of hard boiled eggs, but never one to shy away from trying a new item, I dug right in.  It is prepared by gently cracking the shell all over as to allow the tea to permeate the egg.  The result was a sweet and earthy flavour and officially the only type of hard boiled egg I really like! 

When the rain finally stopped, we pounded back a pile of goat skewers before I decided to wander around on my own.  The market was quite large, taking up the entire T&T parking lot.  I figured there was probably the same amount of vendors as the Richmond Night Market, however they were more spread out.  Probably a good thing because the crowds really started to pour in once the rain stopped.  There was a stage at the north end, but due to the rain the shows were cancelled for the evening. 

Next I grabbed a pulled pork taco, which was less than exciting.  I love making Mexican/BBQ fusion food at home, so I was looking forward to the taco, but I really shouldn't have wasted my time.  It was just dried out pulled pork on a dried out corn tortilla with a couple picked onions on top.  There appeared to be no cilantro, pico, or anything else available as condiments.  Thankfully I only spent $2 on it.

I checked out the oyster omelettes being made.  They used these giant circular frying pans to make a bunch of omelettes at a time.  This is one item you should share with friends as it is absolutely huge!!

One big difference I quickly noticed between Toronto and Richmond's night markets was the amount of stinky tofu in Toronto.  The smell was at times overwhelming as there were at least 6 vendors selling this aromatic dish.  In Richmond there was only one vendor selling it and there were frying in somewhere in the back corner of their stand so the smell was not evident at all.  I tasted it at that time and it had quite a mild and enjoyable flavour.  I was looking forward to it in Toronto, but after smelling it for a couple hours I decided to pass this time.  I later learned that the smell of rotting organic matter is something that can stay with you for hours, if not days later.  I still recommend trying it, as you will honestly be pleasantly surprised....however, just eat it quick before the smell hits you!!

Next was my favorite of all the dishes I tried that evening....I giant steamed bun with beef bulgogi.  The bun was fresh and the meat perfectly cooked.  Cilantro, cucumber, and lots of fresh jalapenos topped it off perfectly!

Just as they had at the previous night market I attended, the BBQ squid was a very popular item.  It did not disappoint.  I could have eaten the squid and steamed bulgogi buns all night long...

Met  back up with my friends about an hour later and they shared some of their takoyaki.  I was pretty full, and the lines were getting huge, so I decided that I had eaten enough for now.  We grabbed a some huge pineapple drinks and gathered the rest of our crew.  With another storm looming over the CN tower only a couple miles away, we quickly grabbed a couple cabs and headed out to the comforts of a friends condo to warm up and (finally) dry off.  

Overall, the market was well worth the trip from Ottawa.  I enjoyed some new dishes and spent the evening with family and friends who are as passionate about food as I am.   Can't wait for next year!! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vendy Awards Here I come!!

I'm very excited to have just booked my trip to the Vendy's in NYC on September 24th, 2011!

The Vendy's is a competition for the best street food and is held in support of the Street Food Vendor Project.

For more information, you can check out the website...

Looking forward  to sampling from all the nominated vendors who will be gathered for this event on Governors Island for the day.  In addition, I hope to make a trip to the Red Hook Ball Fields in Brooklyn for some Latino street food fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I couldn't eat street food the entire time...

It's true, there were times in my trip out west that I had to give in and eat food that did not come from a cart or mobile truck.  Luckily, I was still able to find some pretty unbelievable dishes, so I thought I might as well add them to the blog as well.

Oh, and there was some awesome local I'll mention them too.  Enjoy!

Coombs Country Market

Coombs was my last stop before I started the long drive across the island to Tofino. I was mostly excited about seeing the goats on the roof (yes, you read that correctly), however figured I might as well stop in at the market to pick up some snacks for the drive.

I was excited to find a large display of candied salmon, and knew I had to pick some up.  Now, I know this isn't the most exciting thing to anybody living on the coast, but to a seafood loving Ontario girl like me, it was like I won the lottery!  I grabbed some of the regular candied salmon, along with some maple candied.  Also snacked on an amazing fresh flatbread.  Also, I think there was chocolate croissant purchased, but I must have inhaled it before I even got a chance to realize what I bought.

When I arrived in Tofino, my first stop was to the Tofino Brewing Company to pick up a "growler" of beer.  A tiny brewery located in a warehouse in the south end of town, they fill the growlers up right from the tap in front of you.  The best part...they are open until 11pm daily for refills!


 A sunset snack of maple candied salmon with my growler!

Gary's Kitchen - Tofino

The only Chinese Restaurant in town, I heard about this place from various food bloggers and possibly something on the Food Network...I can't remember.  Anyway, the most important part is that I remembered about the "secret" Ginger Crab dish!

It is not on the menu and must be ordered one day in advance as they go out and buy the crab fresh the day of your meal.  Also, they usually insist that a minimum of 2 crabs is ordered, however if you travel alone and make sad puppy-dog eyes, they may do it for one!

That night I also tried a couple more BC craft beers.  I have always loved brews with fruity notes, so I jumped on the Whistler Grapefruit as soon as I saw it in the store.  Also grabbed a Phillips Ginger Beer (from Victroia).  Both were very good and the grapefruit definitely did not disappoint!

Next stop Vancouver...sushi, sushi and more sushi!  Besides the food trucks, this was basically the only thing I ate.  I was blown away by the prices, almost 1/3 of the cost in Ottawa.  Not to mention the portion sizes are absolutely gigantic and everything is a lot fresher than in my hometown!

While in Vancouver, I got a chance to meet up with my old college friend Lisa for lunch one day.  We hadn't seen each other for about 8 years, so it was going to be nice to catch up.  We grabbed a bite to eat at the Red Car Sports Bar.  It was recommended by one of Lisa's colleagues and it did not disappoint. Check it out one day if you are looking for a sports bar vibe with a contemporary atmosphere and food.  While there I enjoyed some polenta fries and a salad, along with a Red Racer IPA from Red Racer Beer in Surrey.

Other brews I tried while in Vancouver include the Okanagan Springs 1516 Bavarian Lager and Granville Island False Creek Raspberry Ale.

Took a day trip to Seattle with friends Jess and Matt who happened to be in town at the same time as me.  We had 3 stops to make while in town, two of them, Maximus Minimus and the Pike Place Market can be read about in my earlier post "West Coast Street Food" from July 16th.

The last stop was for dinner at The Crab Pot.  Another friends recommendation, I was won over when I heard that they came to your table with a bucket of seafood and dumped it all in front of you!!

Jess and Matt are all ready with their mallets!

Let the carnage begin...

A few days later, I left for the mountains.  With a stop in Squamish for a couple days of hiking, I stayed at the Howe Sound Brewery and Inn.  A beer lovers dream, my room at the Inn was located about 10 feet from the pub.  While there I sampled a variety of their beers, but by far my favorite was their summer seasonal, the King Heffy.  Upon tasting, I was immediately hit with a surprise of banana!  The bartender explained that it was the type of hops and yeast they use that gives it this distinct flavour. 

The first night I was there, I was lucky enough to meet up with Paul, one of the brewmasters for Howe Sound.  We had been speaking via Twitter earlier that week, so it was nice to meet and share a couple drinks.  Paul also took me on a private midnight tour of the brewery!  Later on we broke into his secret stash of a grapefruit beer.  All in all an amazing couple nights at a great location.  The Howe Sound Brewery quickly became one of my favorite microbreweries, second only to the Mill Street Brewery in Toronto.  Hoping that they will soon get some of their beers into the LCBO, so we can enjoy it on a regular basis in Ontario!

Next, I landed about 45 minutes north in Whistler.  I was able to get there for the Farmer's Market on Sunday, which was a great introduction to the resort town, as I wandered through the market at the base of Blackcomb.

The next day I planned to do usual touristy things including the Peak to Peak.  But, first things first....dinner!!  And couldn't all be glamorous.  One of the joys of hosteling is having access to a kitchen when you really feel like being cheap.  So, I chose to indulge in my guilty pleasure...ramen noodles.  Classy...I know!

As you can see, I also enjoyed a Longboat Chocolate Porter from Phillips Brewery.  They really do produce great beers!  Next one the craft beer list for the night was a Raspberry Porter from The Brewing Company in Kelowna.

After my trip to the top of the mountains, I hit up Roland's Creekside Pub for some BBQ ribs from Bob's BBQ.  I think I ate those too fast and forgot to take a pic.

Next stop was Crepe Montagne for dessert.  I had the "Belle Lili"...a crepe filled with banana, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  It was the perfect ending to a great west coast trip!

My last night, I spent winding down after dinner with a "Wee Angry Scotch Ale" from Russell Beer in Surrey.  I have to be honest, I just bought this beer for the name...but it was pretty good drinking as well!  Finally, I had a White Bark Ale from Driftwood Brewery in Victoria.  This was one of my favorites as I really enjoy wheat ales.

Almost forgot my breakfast the day I left!  The previous week I had been trying to get to  Muira Waffle and Milk for one of their waffle "sando's", but I never got around to it.  Luckily they were open in time for me to grab a bite to eat on my way back through Vancouver en route to the airport.  I was hoping that they would have their full menu available first thing in the morning, because I really wanted to try to the Korean bulgogi waffle sandwich, but only breakfast items are served first thing in the morning. So, I had to "settle" for a bacon, egg and cheese sando.  The bacon was baked right into the fresh waffle which was thick and fluffy.  It was honestly the best breakfast sandwich I have ever eaten in my life.  Please do no hesitate to check this place out for if you are in town.  The only suggestion I have is that they drizzle a little maple syrup on the breakfast items.  They also offer flavoured milks, which I definitely had to try.  I am not usually a big milk drinker, but the mango milk I had was excellent!

So, that was my trip.  I ate some amazing food and enjoyed a beautiful part of this country that I had never visited before.  I will definitely be coming back...hopefully sooner rather than later!