As I've mentioned in previous posts, the weather here has been exceptional good: Sunny & warm! Today was forecasted to be no different. Because of this, my plan was to have a quick breakfast at the hotel and then get out and enjoy the sunshine by just walking and enjoying Charlottetown on what is our last full day here - we depart late tomorrow.
My first stop after the hotel complimentary breakfast, was for a...
COFFEE! We've really gotten to know the fine folks at Receiver Coffee quite well. They have really good coffee there, and let's face it, we all know what hotel coffee is mainly like, for the most part. I need that caffeine jump-start to my day.
I got my coffee to go and I roamed the streets of Charlottetown taking in advice on life from the local shop owners:
Hmmm... I better stop rolling up my sleeves.
"Do you think my but looks big in this life?"
Now that I felt my sense of life direction had enough influence that I could handle in a single morning, I decided to pick up a couple more last souvenirs that I needed for gifts.
After this final shopping escapade, Caryn and I decided to go for lunch. It had to be a light lunch though because we had a whole afternoon and evening filled with food and eating planned with the group. Because the Great George Hotel is part of the Murphy Hospitality Group, they offer their Guests a $10 coupon per day to use at their own Murphy Group of restaurants, for not having housekeeping come to the room. Caryn and I had both taken advantage of this and thus we had these two $10 coupons from today already burning holes in our pockets.
This lead us to...
The Gahan House - Brewers of Handcrafted Ales.
Did we have beer? No. Why would anyone go to a craft brewery and not have beer? Because we can.
While we were waiting for our orders to arrive, I checked out the facilities... Yes, I do mean the toilet (actually just the urinal, but we're getting a bit personal, aren't we?), NO, I mean the BEER MAKING facilities:
Pretty cool. Everyone with a passion for beer that sees something like this, always leaves with their heads full of images and ideas on how to transform their basements into this. I was no different. Is that a "guy" thing, or is it just me?
Anyway, our light lunch came to the table:
I had the Coconut Curry Mussels for $11
...and Caryn had the Calamari for $13
Because she works so hard for me I decided that today was the day I was going to thank her.
"Put your wallet away Caryn. I'm pulling out all the stops for you!"
You do remember the two $10 coupons I mentioned above, right? My head's not just a hat rack, let me tell ya.
After feeling financially drained, I headed back to my hotel room to start getting my bags packed for the trip home tomorrow. After doing so (and realizing I still need to head to the liquor store to get a bottle of locally made Strait Vodka (see day 6 of 9 blog post)), we all met as a group for a behind the scenes kitchen tour at the local Sim's Corner Steakhouse:
This is where our private wrap-up dinner will be tonight, so we thought it would be fun to meet the Chef in advance and have a private tour.
The oysters with all the booze gives a whole new meaning to the term "oyster bar", and a meaning I quite like actually!
The live lobster tank was just around the corner, in the seating area of the restaurant.
The Lovely Kelly (how Caryn called her) showed us to the back kitchen area to meet up with their Chef: Kyle Panton. He and GM Craig led us through all the kitchen and prep areas and explained the workings of their kitchen to us.
PEI beef is incredibly delicious and Chef Kyle and the Sim's Corner Steakhouse has great pride in serving only PEI beef on their menu. Just in the beef tenderloins alone, they go through 15 cows in any given week. Other than one of the Fireworks Feast menus (2nd day at the Inn at Bay Fortune - beef short rib and flat iron steak) I have mainly been focused on the seafood delights of the Island. Needless to say I am really looking forward to sinking my teeth into a nice 10oz strip loin tonight.
They also showed us around the basement areas of the restaurant:
...and told us of some great stories about the history of the building. One of the stories I find most fascinating was that the wood for the ceiling beams on the main floor and these tables (pictured above) in this room are made from reclaimed WWII bunkers in New Brunswick.
There are in fact many old buildings here in Charlottetown and each one has a story and a history lesson - and is much more interesting than what I remember Social Studies was like when I was in school (sorry Mr. Bull, but that's kids for ya).
After they served us up a bunch of appetizers (bruschetta, cheeses, breads, dips, etc.) we said thanks to the team at Sim's as they left us with some great expectations of the amazing time to come tonight there for our wrap up dinner!
As you may have noticed, this blog post for "Day 8 of 9" is only "PART 1". I will be updating with a "PART 2" later tonight once we know the winner of the Large Big Green Egg! Stay tuned...
Also, since this blog post is much shorter, I want to take the opportunity to let you know that because of your support, my blog is starting to go global. Just in the past 7 days "Chef Dez on Cooking & Life" has reached these countries:
Thank you for your continued support by reading my blog. This isn't bad for a very young blog (I said young blog, NOT young blogger - I am far from being young!) and I would appreciate it very much if you would let family/friends know about it too.
Until next time (later tonight)... Happy Cooking!