Well, this is the first time since 2011 that I’ve been out to Prince Edward County and haven’t been here for business mixed with pleasure; it was strictly pleasure.
I took a week of vacation time from work and went to go meet a couple of great friends, Mike and Carol, who have been great travel mates over the years. Shortly after I arrived, the Mayor of College Street himself, Guido, showed up.
We had a great mix of culinary and libation experiences out and about, and made sure to make some great dinners together back at our usual rental in Cherry Valley; Spelt Linguine with Asparagus and Mushrooms and an Eggplant Parmigiana were the highlights in my opinion … and maybe that’s all we made?
Our travels took us to several spots, including the Village of Warkworth, which is a cute little spot to stop in for a little shopping or lunch.
What did we do and see?
Midtown Brewing Company – Bloomfield, ON – Wowzer! I loved this place. Really nice brew and a fantastic little menu. They made a classic Horiatiki Salad which was perfection; the real deal. Definitely recommend this brewery and brewpub.
The Courage – Wellington, ON – I found this spot on Yelp! as I was looking for a place to stop for lunch on the way home. They certainly didn’t disappoint. I don’t think that they were open last year … but regardless, they are making their mark. Pickled Radishes with Cultured Butter, Roasted Cauliflower, and Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Fries made an appearance. I want to get back to this place and try some other items, as they are quite vegetarian and vegan friendly! Our server was barely old enough to serve alcohol and did an amazing job!
KOKITO – Bloomfield, ON – Lovely little shop. Their website does their shop zero justice. So, just trust me on this one and head in.
Parson’s Brewing Company – Picton, ON – So, we found this gem last year. And it only got better. The food was amazing. Real Mexican. They brought over their Habañero oil for my Tostada. I also had Guacamole and Jicama Salad. Off the rails. One of my favourite breweries in the County, hands down. I love the Westy Pale Ale.
The Local Store – Picton, ON – A nice little concept. My favourite part was there was a goat rescue outback with a pack of the lovely creatures. It was kind of like a version of Blue Banana in Kensington Market. The ladies working there were really cool and helpful. The highlight? Papa Ghanoush and Momma Hummus
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company – Bath, ON – A great find from a couple of years ago that continues to be another favourite brew of mine. I love visiting their brewery as I love their T-Shirts and posters. For me, the 8 Man English Pale Ale is the #1 Choice.
The Vic Cafe – Picton, ON – I think someone mentioned the Vic Cafe a couple of years ago as a good spot for breakfast or a good meal, in general. No complaints here. I didn’t really eat much … I had a delightful butter croissant with the crew, but for me, it was the coffee. So Good! But honestly, check out the menu!
The Old Third – Hillier, ON – My all-time favourite cider. Straight up. This year, they released their 2015 Golden Russet Sparkling Cider – Cuvée Yquelon. Legendary.
County Cider Company – Wapoos, ON – has always got great cider. I remember the first time I came out and tried their regular Wapoos Cider, I thought it was awesome, and then I got into their Tortured Path Cider, which is still one of my faves to this day. We stopped for lunch there, but the pizza was definitely not up to par – great environment, the food? Meh. Not nearly as good as the other joint in the County, which shall remain nameless due to the recent hoopla in the media about the proprietor.
I spent a little time by myself getting some exercise (running and hiking) … shooting photos of the area on my iPhone … reading … sleeping … experiencing insomnia, blah-blah-blah … but overall, it was just nice to be around good friends.
It’s been quite the year.
I walked away from a very bad relationship.
I hung up the apron on La Natura – I just can’t continue the schlep anymore. And I won’t let anyone else put their hands on my food and still call it handcrafted. Trust me, it would be easier, and I could grow the company to the next level, but I started La Natura to impart a piece of me, not to mention the amazing ladies who helped me create and produce all of that La Natura Love to the local food lover.
And now it’s time to focus on what’s important; focusing on my yoga practice (thanks to Carol for helping to jump start this), read more books, stay consistent with my running and weight training, and most of all, continuing cooking amazing food to share with those who appreciate it.
While I won’t be creating La Natura goodness on an ongoing basis, I will be making it to share with my friends; always.
With love … from a place of good friends, food, drink, and experiences.