THAT..IS…HAM!!!!!I always have to be careful what I order, otherwise something may get lost in the translation, like when someone asked if I wanted chips with my meal. “Potato chips, or ‘chip’ chips like French fries?” I replied (J told me chips almost ALWAYS means French fries). Or when I asked my mum once to get me tomato sauce for my soup and she brought me home ketchup. Doh! I’m happy to say the food situation at “Maggie” (what the locals call Magnetic Island) was an unparalleled success.
The trip to get to the Island from home is a little over 90 minutes, so I made sure not to eat a thing until we got situated (apparently that long of a drive makes me carsick if I eat). When we got to the ferry terminal, I noticed they had a gourmet coffee depot that sold sandwiches and pastries. Since I got here, I have been on the hunt for a caramel tart-something my mum makes perfectly (but she is in the UK right now!)-and haven’t been able to find one. Lo and behold, the depot had one! That was my breakfast. PS: Do you know a great way for people to know you’re a tourist in Australia? Have the barista yell out “soy caramel latte” and look your way!
Caramel tarts are like little kisses from angels. Serious.After we got to our room, we asked the hotel owners where a good place to get a sandwich was, and he recommended a place about five minutes away called Sunbirdz. “It’s got a lot of frou frou stuff though, like bagels”. That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for! I ordered the special, a BLT (the B being HAM) with garlic aioli mayo and chips (French fries!) with scallions on top. It was excellent. Best sandwich I’ve had in Australia.
Our reservations for Man Friday were at 7pm, and it was the highlight of our day (yeah, we’re fat).
I talked J into trying their sangria, something he has never had before. It was really good, so much so we may try making a batch this weekend!
One of their appetizers were garlic feta stuffed mushrooms-something that sounded wonderful to me-J is not a fan of mushrooms at all. Of course he said I could have them since it was my birthday, and I’m so glad he did. They came out breaded-something I wasn’t expecting-and it made the feta all melty. J even ended up eating two because they were so good! He said they tasted like cheesy garlic bread.
We ate them so fast I didn’t get a picture! But this is what they looked like!J was torn between getting Tex-Mex spareribs and a beef burrito, but I knew what I was getting before we even got there-a Tasmanian eye filet mignon served over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes with garlic prawns. I got this last year when we came for our anniversary and it was the best steak I had ever had (except for my mom’s steak back home!). J ended up getting the burrito since authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in his neck of the woods.
Hee hee, love the Mexican flag!
The filet was a baseball cut, medium rare. UH-MAY-ZING.The next day we got up super early to hit the Townsville farmers markets so I could hopefully find some chilies to make my tortilla soup while I’m here. Turns out types like “Anaheim” and “Poblano” are practically non-existent: I found more Serrano and Sweet Thai types more than any other. At the last stand I found a pack of red peppers that the lady said were “medium” that I still can’t figure out what type they are. They look like this! Anyone have an idea?
I think one of my favorite things to do while I’m in Australia is to see all of the different types of fruits and vegetables and the price differences to the American market. Happily I was able to find everything I needed for my soup except cilantro! I ran into these MAMMOTH bell peppers (called “Capsicum” in Australia) that were 3 for $2.50.
Monday I prepared my soup as I watched the Emmys live at 11am (weird they were on in the morning!). I was dicing my peppers when Hugh Laurie came on and I glanced at the TV for a second and sliced the shit out of my thumb! That has never happened to me before! I started to sob and ran it under the water where it would NOT stop bleeding. Finally we grabbed a ton of paper towels and I put pressure on it. My angel of a husband who has never cut or diced anything in his life took over the reins and finished chopping the veggies for me. I went through three band-aids! The happy ending was my soup turned out GREAT!
*Look away if you’re squeamish about blood!!!*
Ow ow ow ow ow….I keep promising that I will post my soup recipe here, by the way, since I ALWAYS talk about it-I’m pretty much obsessed with it. Stay tuned…