My friend Shelagh took me out for the day to explore more of Halifax. I live out of town and believe it or not, have never been to the Hydrostone Market. We had driven past it many times but I had never had the shopping experience.
By the way, Shelagh is offering a free photography e-course to one of my readers! Just go to her blog and say Suzie the Foodie sent you! She is one of the best photographers I know so check it out!
This was the place I wanted to go to the most in the market: Julien’s Bakery. A real bakery!
In some ways it had that old world feel to it when it came to the food but the seating area was quite cramped and uncomfortable. Not a place I would be very comfortable drinking my café au lait while delicately working on some pastry that took lots of time and effort to make.
Busted! He did not tell me I could not take photos but I was not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling so we quickly continued on our adventure. As a result, their food and coffee remain a mystery to me!
Lady Luck Boutique was such a charming shop with the most unique and varied jewellery and accessories! They even had a gallery at the back of the store. As much as I was enjoying shopping, it was quite clear that people who shop here have more disposable income than I do. Still, it was nice to look and admire the craftsmanship.
I finally had a chance to visit Liquid Gold Olive Oils and Vinegars which I had journeyed to via Shelagh’s blog post about the shop. How wild it was to taste flavoured vinegars and oils, combine them, imagine what you would make with them.
It is clear that their products are very high quality and fascinating for a foodie. I just don’t know how I would use strawberry balsamic vinegar. I kind of keep my sweet realm separate from my savoury one, which I know is terribly out of date. Combining chocolate balsamic vinegar with orange olive oil is a cool idea but how often would I do that to make my purchase worthwhile?
The balsamic vinegar that I loved the most was the fig but it was so strong that I knew upon tasting it and almost getting knocked off my own feet by its sheer flavour power, it may put Reg into some kind of foodie coma. So Shelagh and I continued to explore.
I thought this sign was quite adorable and funny!!!
It was not Halloween at the Hen House! They were getting all geared up for Christmas which was beautiful but way too early for me.
When we started to discuss what we would do for lunch Shelagh dropped the bomb on me that she was now vegan! As a former vegetarian, I knew how hard it was to eat out and feel safe that the food you were getting truly was vegetarian. It is even harder when you are a vegan!
We left the Hydrostone and made our way to Heartwood, an organic vegetarian restaurant.
Shelagh ordered the special of the day, a lentil soup. I was tempted to order the same dish but I had a hard time spending $8 on a soup that probably cost $2 to make. Shelagh loved it though, thoroughly happy with her lunch.
I ordered the portobello pesto sandwich which was $10.95. Yup, believe it or not, that is what that is. And I had no idea how to eat it. It never crossed my mind to use a knife and a fork, it was a sandwich! I eat my sandwiches with my hands. If I put the two together, it would be too big. So I ate it open faced, got food all over my own face and had it fall apart over my plate.
Without the Parmesan, the pesto was so weak and I thought there would be more mushrooms to make up for the lack of meat. I left to use the facilities but asked Shelagh if it was OK if we went somewhere else for dessert since I was not very satisfied with my meal.
I came back only to discover that Shelagh had told the waiter I was unhappy with my meal and I could have dessert there for free. I was mortified! I most definitely did not want to eat anything else there so Shelagh picked up a vegan cookie. I went to pay and told him not to worry about the dessert.
He then insisted I only pay 50% which was very kind but I did not want it to appear as though I complained just to save a few bucks. It also put the ethics of me writing about the food into question and so I absolutely insisting on paying 100%.
The hardest part of the day was finding a cafe where I could get a real dessert that was not pre-packed and a good cup of decaf coffee. We looked into several places but all they had were cookies and muffins wrapped in plastic and who knows how long they had been there?
The Coburg Coffee House is one of the only cafes around and can you ever tell. There is always a lineup almost out the door filled with a ton of people, many of them students. It is quite loud, not just because of the crowd, but because of the speakers playing music overhead. Not quite a calm and peaceful place to drink coffee and catch up.
They did not have a lot of baked goods to choose from but they did have what looked like freshly baked brownies. Unfortunately they keep them refrigerated. Who enjoys a cold brownie?
A cold brownie that was dry along the edges and my coffee was cold! Ugh!
If someone wants to make real cash one day they will open up an authentic comfortable friendly cafe that is open from early morning to late at night in downtown Halifax with fresh baked goods done right! Oh if only I did not have fibromyalgia, I would do it. I am lucky if I can bake half a batch of cookies a day but seriously, the city needs a real cafe!
That actually is not the end of the story of my day with Shelagh but after my cup of cold coffee we did end up striking foodie gold. That my friends, is another foodie story! Coming soon…