My Weekly Adventures: Hiking, Grand Prix and Food!

Its mid-June now! Summer is just around the corner although the weather probably doesn’t really feel like it much. Its been feeling very spring lately, which is normal but its been a while spring has lasted so long. Either way, enough about the weather. With the season well underway, we’ve been keeping ourselves eventful while different events have been showing up as well. I’ll wrap up with a little gardening update.

Hiking: Parc de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

June kicked off with our walk in Yamaska National Park. Its a casual walk along a fairly flat walk also set for cyclists as well. Its one thats great to kick off the beginning of the season. You can see the full recap HERE.

Grand Prix in Downtown Montreal

Grand Prix

As usual, Grand Prix landed in Downtown Montreal last weekend. Its always a busy weekend. I ended going with my mom for dinner at Noodle Factory in Chinatown and then heading to see the stuff going on on Peel and Crescent Street. This year was pretty disappointing. It felt not very special with not a lot of cars in general being showcased. It was kind of boring..although the music performed on the Crescent stage was probably the best show I’ve seen so I believe the line-up might be the highlight.

Hiking: Mont Chapman

Mont Chapman

Being the hiking crazy people that we are trying to be and working hard to keep up with it as much as we can before any potential things with events all pan out in July, plus the weather being cooler works well for those long hikes. After some long debate, we ended up going to the Eastern Townships in the middle of nowhere on a mountain hiking trail that we found called Mont Chapman. I have a few good things to say about this, mostly how challenging it was and how I somewhat disagree on the difficulty level they put it as and well, some complaints as well about this location and warnings/suggestions I’d give on this hiking track. That is coming up very soon in the hiking recap for this one. 😉

E3 2019

As usual, we had our E3 2019 off site coverage over at Game Warp. I talked about it over at the What’s Up segment this past week. It did set the course off over here a tad bit but other than some late posts, most of what I wanted to do still stayed relatively on track. You can find all the written recap coverage on Game Warp blog HERE.

Shopping Haul: Prep for Bridesmaid Duty

Its a week until my best friend gets married. I decided to take care of my hair and make-up so I had to go hunt down some stuff since I don’t normally put on make-up or do my hair in any particular way.  I did also get a curling iron which was on sale. I have a general concept of how do it and its going to simple but still match with the dress. Anyways, lots of new things that I’m trying out here so I’ll have to do a test-run at some point before since its a fairly early morning.

Gardening Update

Flower Garden Flower Garden

First part of the gardening update is planting in the flowers that I didn’t get around to plant the last time. Its not too obvious but I ended up putting the Hibiscus into the patch because I lost my chrysanthemums. And then in the other patch, I pulled up some of the other plants that was there that wasn’t looking too healthy and put in some foliage and the Monarda (Bee Balm).

Garden

Cabbage, Marigolds & Lettuce/Kale

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden

Gardening

Kale, Tomatoes, etc

The vegetables are all in. The garden is now all planted. The cabbage/marigold containers are growing very well. At the same time, the kale and the lettuce containers are also growing incredibly fast and pretty much ready for the first harvest. As for the poor tomato plant that was supposed to be hanging, it looks so miserable even through the last few rainy days.

Restaurants

Noodle Factory Noodle Factory

The restaurant that my mom and I went to was Noodle Factory in Chinatown. We got some pan-fried dumplings and then some fried handmade noodles. They were pretty decent.

Labothery

Labothery

A new bubble tea concept place opened up in Quartier Dix30 called Labothery. I will do a more elaborate post for it soon. Its a neat concept but as with any customizable ideas, the price increases accordingly.

Cute Kitty Pic

Cat

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
Its been a fun two weeks even though a bit busy as I was working out some press pass application also! 
Events are coming up in Montreal so I’m hoping to get ahead with some posts.

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Restaurant: Yunnan Rice Noodles (Brossard, Canada)

Asian food is having this nice interesting wave on the Montreal South Shore lately, especially in the Chinese noodles sort of thing. Yunnan Noodles has also picked up especially in Chinatown so its nice to see it come into the South Shore as well. Yunnan Rice Noodles hasn’t been opened for a long time (I don’t remember when it opened) but finally got a chance to go check it out.

Yunnan Rice Noodles are also known as “crossing the bridge” noodles which derives from a Chinese tale about a wife bringing lunch to her scholar husband. The menu actually had the story written out for those who didn’t know about its origins before. However, while noodles is the focus, the traditional style rice noodles is the actual experience while the other ones feel like it is more like the normal experience. I’ll explain later when I talk about the food. At the same time, there is a free helpings of noodles (just the noodles, not the ingredients). Also, there are other foods on the menu such as appetizers and such as well as a pretty good selection of tea as the back has something like a tea “bar”.

Appetizer

Peanut Butter Dumplings

Slightly spicy because of the chili oil and mixed with peanut butter sauce, these dumplings are pretty good. They definitely have a nice kick to them. The taste of the actual dumplings are a little mild and perhaps for some, even bland, but then my taste buds are adapted to the milder flavors so it was alright for me.

Main Meals

Traditional Rice Noodles

Traditional Yunnan Noodles Traditional Yunnan noodles

The concept of the Yunnan Rice Noodles is that the noodles is separate from the ingredients and the soup so everything is added in in sequence with the meats going in first, the veggies and I honestly can’t remember if you put the noodles first or last. Point is, everything ends up being added to the broth and it gives it this more crispy sort of taste and the noodles don’t get as soaked up in the broth. Its an interesting concept and as with many soup noodles style, the broth is really the key to all the flavors as well as the texture of the noodles and this one delivered on both of those elements.

Chicken Leg Rice Noodles

My friend got the Chicken Leg Mushroom Noodles (something like that..can’t remember the exact name) and its one that already has everything inside like normal noodle bowls. I had a little taste of the broth and its a little more salty and other flavors mixed in. My friend said that its good. It looks interesting especially as it has goji in it as well.

Overall, Yunnan Rice Noodles is a decent spot. The service was good, the decor was comfortable and the food was pretty good and the prices are relatively good as well.

Have you had any Yunnan rice noodles before?
Is the noodle/ramen phase hitting wherever you are?

My Weekly Adventures: Let the Gardening Begin!

And May has come to an end! Man, this year is flying by. Its hard to imagine that we are almost at the half year mark. I’m not sure how to recap the last half of the month, probably in frequent garden oriented content. As mentioned before, Gardening updates might just stick to these updates now since I don’t really have too much on the schedule once festival seasons start and such (depending on situation and work, of course) so to keep things interesting, I’ll be tracking some other stuff in this segment starting with this Adventures post. 🙂

Gardening Hauls (over 2 weekends)

1st Haul: Geranium Citronella, Green Lettuce, Kale, Foliage, Monarda, English Lavender, Cabbage, Phlox

The first haul was quite disorganized. The main thing was that I wanted to go but had a lot of unformed ideas and unset plans on the whole landscaping aspect. Plus, the weather was still a bit too chilly for vegetables be in ground, without risk of losing the crop so I stuck with some safe choices and perennials. You may notice that I picked up cabbage when I had completely planned on getting brussel sprouts and only realized when I got home that it was the wrong thing. Oh well, guess that’s my experimental crop for this year.

2nd Haul: Marigold, Snapdragons, Phlox, Campanula, English Lavender, Thyme, Sedum, Aster

On Victoria Day, after some debate and discussion with the husband to clear my mind a little, we decided to go back with a solid plan on how to take care of the the bee garden plans I had wanted to do. We settled on where to plant it and how to set it up and then what flowers to get along with getting the final pieces to my mosquito repellant container garden as well.

3rd Haul: Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber, Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper, Carmen Pepper

The weekend after, we went again for (probably not the final) time to get the vegetable plants. We decided since the last visit to get a hanging tomato plant (which might not be hanging anymore after some observation) and a bunch of other ones: the husband’s must-have is cucumbers and peppers, my must-have is zucchini and decided to try another variety of eggplant, hoping that its the type that I like.

Battle of Ingredients

Chicken Skewers

We finally got back to Battle of Ingredients with the whole gang and trying out our new barbecue. The husband was the grill master while Phoebe and I got all the food prep done. You can check out the recap post and some of the marinade and recipes HERE.

Ottawa Day Trip & Haul

Ottawa marathon weekend happened last weekend. While I don’t go with my friend to help with the racing anymore, my husband and I do head down to check up and hang out on the Saturday before his 5K and 10K race in the morning and leave in early afternoon. We also go because Eddie Bauer usually has great sales to replenish some hiking gear. This year, I ended up being the big purchaser and getting some new long hiking pants. I only had capris, which made the last hiking a bit complicated as I had to go in my jeans. We stopped at LCBO to pick up some Ontario Ciders and the husband wanted to get more Hard Root Beer. I went to Disney Store because to add another Disney plush to my collection. While there was a heavy debate between Timon (The Lion King) and Steamboat Mickey, the latter won the debate mostly because its price tag matched its size and Steamboat Mickey adds to my Mickey collection. I should do an Instagram post of all my Mickey plushes. We also went to the running convention to get some tape and ended up picking up KT Tape. The husband needs it for hiking while I need it for running. One of the main reasons that my running season hasn’t started yet. After that for the final visit is always T&T Supermarket to get some hot food for dinner, get some fun snacks and pick some cute stuff. We tried out this very interesting concept of heat-conducting hot pot sort of cup noodles. I’ve seen it in TV series before so was interested about how it works. It works fine except they only have extreme spicy varieties so we ate two pieces, had a bowl of ice cream to wash away the burning heat in our mouths and threw it out. If you like spicy things, its pretty cool though just to watch the process and then have this cool eating experience.

Gardening Update

Bee Garden

Bee Garden

The bee-friendly garden has gone next to the vegetable garden. Its a good spot because its next to the blueberry and the echinacea which are also bee-friendly plants that was already there. We left some space for all the perennials to grow into place while leaving room to swap around the annuals every year as I like to other bee-friendly flowers. I still have some grass and weed removal to maintain this space but I’ll get around to it soon.

Container Gardening

Cabbage & Marigold

Since I got the cabbage with not a whole lot of knowledge, I did some quick research and found that it companions well with marigolds so hence, these containers are now all over my garden. The hope is that the cabbage will grow well and have enough room. If not, it’ll be leaves I guess and beautiful flowers. I do have some cabbage going in ground so we can see which works where better.

Much of the same as last year. I have some lettuce in hanging basket and some hanging off the back patio. This year, we are changing up the garden as well so where I put my kale is where I’ll have more container gardening while also opening up a raised garden.

That’s the update for now! I’ll be doing more gardening to finish getting everything planting this weekend.

Restaurant: Yunnan Rice Noodles

YUNNAN RICE NOODLES

Not going to say too much about this restaurant visit but a new(ish) restaurant opened up on the South Shore of Montreal and I went with my friend to check it out. I’ve never had this Yunnan Rice Noodles which is quite unique in how its presented especially the traditional rice noodle variety. I will do a recap post on the experience very soon (probably next week)!

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

That’s it for this adventures post!
What have you been up to?

Restaurant: Brasserie T! (Brossard, Canada)

Its been a crazy restaurant phase lately. Unexpected to say the very least! Next up is a relatively new restaurant in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard, which is in the south shore of Montreal. Its an outdoor complex with a wide selection of many different types of stores, restaurants and entertainment.

Brasserie T! has its first restaurant in the Quartier des Spectacles area which is right next to Place des Arts in downtown Montreal. I’ve never been to that location before which is something on my to do list however, I had heard that the Brasserie T! at Quartier Dix30 was open and that it was pretty good that I decided to go there to check it out.

While my post here is going to be fairly short with only the little bit that I tried out, you can find the menu on their website HERE.

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30 is location in the Hotel Alt! in the Square Dix30 area. Its location is pretty nice with underground parking and side lots all around it. The interior decor is classy and nice but still has the casual feeling of a brasserie. The waitress that we got was also very friendly and accommodating. She jot down my allergies and made sure to double check on the questions I had related to make sure that I could have which food with no issues. When we asked about wines, she also made her suggestions but also went to ask the more experienced staff to make sure it was a good selection.

I went with someone who had been to the Brasserie T before and therefore, we were aware to ask for the specials which were not written on the menu. If you do go, that is very important to ask because the special menu is done with the vegetables and meats that they have fresh that week (or whichever duration the special lasts because I’m not sure and didn’t ask). There are usually some entree item and then one or two main meals, I believe.

Main Meal

brasserie t

Crab Roll

If you like seafood, rolls are a really refreshing summer meal. Usually we see these in lobster variety. Its nice that Brasserie T! swapped it up and used crab as the star of their roll. This roll was very refreshing mostly because there was a good amount of crab and a very nice crunchy coleslaw to go with it. It was also done well because it had a good balance of mayonnaise as well.

DESSERT

BRASSERIE T QUARTIER DIX30

For dessert, they have a pretty nice selection. However, as usual, there wasn’t anything else that I could have so I chose to have a sorbet. You could choose to have one or two scoops. Their flavor also changes to what they have available. The one that we got was for strawberry sorbet. I’ve never had strawberry sorbet (usually its more raspberry and such) so its a really nice one to try out.

OVERALL, Brasserie T Quartier Dix30 is pretty nice. The ambiance is nice. The interior decor is very elegant. The service was also really good and knowledgeable. The food was pretty decent as well. I’d be interested to go back and try out some of the stuff on their normal menu as well as see what else they come up for specials as the season as warmer and the produce changes.

Restaurant: Nom Nom Cantine (Montreal, Canada)

You can see the last visit to Nom Nom Cantine recap HERE.

Nom Nom Cantine

I recommended Nom Nom Cantine as our co-worker lunch spot last week and we ended up going there. I’ve never had the lunch menu before and only been there once before. The restaurant decor was still the same and the atmosphere is still very relaxing.

Appetizers

Nom Nom Cantine

Chicken Dumplings

The most impressed dish I had in my last visit was the dumplings so this time, I came back to try them again. These ones are steamed and the sauce is a little sweet and a think maybe a tad bit spicy. While I don’t have pictures, my coworkers also took dumplings. One of them took the pork and the other took the vegetarian. The latter is fried. I actually liked the chicken dumplings the best while the other two are pretty good also.

Main Meals

Nom Nom Cantine

Chicken Poke Bowl ($19)

Nom Nom Cantine

General Tao Chicken (They have another name but I can’t remember it)

Two of my coworkers ordered these two meals and shared it between them as they both wanted to try both of them. While I didn’t try the poke bowl (which wouldn’t matter since I’m not sure what its supposed to taste like as I’ve  never had it before), I did help them finish up the General Tao Chicken. The chicken here is done really nicely. There’s a nice flavor to it and a good texture in the bite of the chicken.

Nom Nom Cantine

Shrimps Soba Noodle

My other coworker and I ended up getting the Shrimp Soba Noodles which had some interesting ingredients like lemongrass and such that gave me the impression that in a soup, it would have this refreshing taste to it. Plus, its supposed to be pretty popular dish at Nom Nom. This noodle bowl did taste good and was quite the comfort food. The shrimps are done perfectly and the soba noodles done in a soup bowl is the first time that I’ve had it this way. Usually its served cold in my recollection. However, it was a little disappointing because the soup lacked a bit of flavor. It leaned a bit more towards the blander side. For myself, I’m used to it so it didn’t bother me too much but my coworker also didn’t quite like it as much because of that. On top of that, the disappointment came with the fact that it lacked all those flavors it seemed to have promised and turned into a very normal bowl of soup noodles.

After Lunch Tea

Nom Nom Cantine

Green Tea

I forgot to take the desserts that my coworkers ordered but I got myself a tea. Its always nice to see the care taken to present the tea and in this case, they had this whole thing. I believe the tea was sencha tea and had a fantastic flavor to it.

Overall, Nom Nom Cantine is still decent. It hasn’t really changed how I felt about it the first time around. The service is pretty good. The waiter was helpful and very friendly. The food presentation is very attractive. The flavors were mostly good except for the slightly blander soup base. The selection of food isn’t a huge amount but its a good idea to limit the options but offer a good quality of food in my opinion.

***As an ending note, the waiter did explain that Nom Nom would be changing form into an Italian restaurant later this year  because the restaurant was always meant to be more of a pop-up concept. You can see their first form was as a French restaurant called E.A.T. where we did go to in this post HERE.***

My Weekly Adventures: Day Trips, Hiking and Foodie Adventures!

Its a day of recaps today! After this morning’s What’s Up, we are going to see the last 2 weeks adventures. Its been a lot more adventurous than normal. Most will have its own post at some point as I sort through pictures and writing and such but here’s a nice overall look at what’s been going on.

Brasserie Elements

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Its been a while since we’ve had date night. My husband had a bit of work change and because of that we had time to go out for a spontaneous night out for dinner. We chose to check out Brasserie Elements.

You can see my overlook of the Brasserie Elements HERE.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency & Restaurant Cochon Dingue

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

On the same weekend, we also decided to kick off out hiking travels and headed out for a more travel and sightseeing than hiking journey to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. It turned out to have a lot of nice pictures and I saw a different side on this visit. I was able to see so much more this time after so many years.

You can see the recap of the time at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency HERE.

Restaurant Nom Nom

After a crazy time at work, my coworkers and I went out for a lunch out. We had a few choices but finally decided to go to my suggestion at Nom Nom at the W Hotel. If you were following here back in November 2018, we went for the MTL a Table back then. You can see it HERE.

This time going back, it was with the normal lunch menu. I’ll have a post on that later this week.

Gatineau Park & Mackenzie King Estate

This past weekend, we went looking for out next hiking location. We decided to go to Gatineau Park which  had some trails open. Due to their park situations, only certain trails were open. We ended up going to Sugarbush Trail and the Mackenzie King Estate area primarily towards the waterfall. Its really nice and I have a ton of pictures so I’m going to share a post on this location and kickoff the actual hiking season for this year.

Brasserie t!

brasserie t

Let the foodie adventures continue, right? I went out for a week night dinner to check out the Brasserie T! at Hotel Alt in the Quartier Dix30. A little hint to those interested in checking out this place, remember to ask for their special because its not on the menu and the waiter/waitress will let you know whats on the menu. I’ll do a short post on this as well in the coming week! I think its a pretty nice place and makes me wonder about their downtown location, which I have yet to go try.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
I was mostly travel and food, which is pretty much how I like it!

Have you been on any adventures lately?

Restaurant: Cochon Dingue (Quebec City, Canada)

Spring is here and the weather is doing very nice. With the warmer weather coming in, we’re heading out more for hiking and visiting different places. Due to later vacation plans in the making, we’re taking it easy on the closer places while also getting our hiking body back into shape. While I’m working through the first location’s post, we went to Quebec city and I took my husband to try out a restaurant that I had gone with my girl friends’ a few years ago (but unfortunately, didn’t write about) and thats Cochon Dingue. At the same time, I wanted to see the change there.

There are various locations in the Quebec area. This is the one that we went to.

Lunch

cochon dingue

Let’s first start with my husband’s choice for our late lunch. We had the regular menu and he decided to choose the Tartine Croque Monsieur which has pulled ham, tomato and Bechamel sauce, melted Swiss cheese on country bread and fries and coleslaw. He hadn’t eaten this in a long while however, this was very delicious. There was a lot of cheese which made it really nice. The pulled ham was done really good also. Everything was done worked well together.

cochon dingue

As for myself, I took the Crispy Chicken Burger with curry mayo, lettuce and tomato. I’m usually not much for beef burgers so this naturally became my choice. The crispy chicken is done really nice. There’s a good crunch to it. Its a fairly big piece of chicken so I had to eat some parts of just the chicken itself. Together, the burger works pretty good because of everything adding in to the different textures and flavors. However, alone, the chicken could be leaning on the blander side. The fries here is also done pretty good as well as well as the coleslaw.

Overall, we didn’t really try out a ton of food here and we didn’t come for the breakfast or dinner menus which is one of the things I like about this restaurant that it doesn’t peg itself into one category, therefore limiting its opening and service times. Another very good aspect is the atmosphere which feels very casual but also very creative because of the little decorations from the lights having little whisks around them. Aside from that, the service is fairly decent as well. I think the only thing that left me a little uncomfortable was when we first got in, the hostess was a bit rude and felt like we were bothersome rather than welcomed. Its something that bothered us when we first sat down but the satisfying food here did make up for a good part of that.