#OXFORDFOOD – Five Fav Dishes from Oxford County

#OXFORDFOOD_Fav

Before my sister’s big wedding day, and to celebrate the return to Canada of my sister, I decided to take her on a “sistermoon” of sorts to Oxford County and she agreed wholeheartedly (who wouldn’t).  We packed up our bags and crammed into the surprisingly spacious Fiat 500 courtesy of #myAutoshare and went along our merry way to Oxford – which encompasses a small collection of towns (Ingersoll, Norwich, Tillsonburg, Woodstock to name a few) directly off the 401 – to discover what Ontario has to offer those looking to get away, but those who don’t have the time to take a long holiday.

AutoshareFiat

While there, we took in some sights, met some amazing people and had the opportunity to check out some local favourites, and learned a lot about the county, too. It sparked an idea from me: Favourites for Summer Series

I’m often asked about what I do in my day-to-day life and as I’m a frequent social media poster – they want to know where I’m going, who I’m going with and how’d I hear about it?! So here it is, a condensed mini version of my favourites. Once a week, until the end of the Summer (and who knows – maybe I’ll figure out something for the Fall), you’ll be privy to a collection of my favourites within the city, outside of it, or anything in between. Below, we start off with one of my favourite themes:

FOOD – Oxford County Edition.

1 – Truffle Mushroom Soup

639Mushroom

I love mushrooms, so this menu choice at sixthirtynine was a no-brainer (middle of summer weather – who cares?). Then I found out the family run restaurant is planning on expanding to include a farm (making ingredients that much easier?!) and was closing to the public for a couple of weeks to renovate, solidifying that I need to be back to choose some other selections as well and to check out the new digs.

[They’ve re-opened, check out the @sixthirtynine Instagram account to see the new look or better yet – go eat there!]

2 – Beef Tartar

BeefTartar

Bonus of going on a trip with a family member – you can eat off their plate. This dish was my sister’s choice, and it had me jealous but luckily, I was able to try it so I wasn’t too disappointed. We had the pleasure of learning about the history of sixthirtynine throughout our lunch, and I’m pretty sure it made my tastebuds relish the food even more.

[They’ve re-opened, check out the @sixthirtynine Instagram account to see the new look or better yet – go eat there!]

3 – Beau’s + Tipsy Soaked Cheeses

Cheese

After our tour of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, my sister and I had our pick of every cheese flavour they produce, um – delicious. There’s really no other way to describe it, so my apologies for the totally non-descriptive-completely-cliche word choice. We couldn’t decide what to buy but both ended up settling on the Beau’s flavour (they bathe the cheese in Beau’s flavoured beer every few days to achieve the distinct flavour) and Tipsy (this one is soaked in a Cabernet/Merlot wine mix for a few days) which pulled at our heart strings as it reminded us both of our grandparent’s tradition of cheese that they soaked in wine.

“I thought Nonna was the only one who did this,” S said with tears in her eyes (and that does not happen often).  It was a familiar taste neither of us had had in a while, as our grandparents both passed away over eight years ago, and along with them, many traditions no one in our family can seem to reproduce. Every time I ate a slice at home, I got the same wistful feeling – which was just, awesome.

4 – Kettle Chips with a Side of Beer

RamblinRoad

Okay, so this favourite is more of a “snack” but nonetheless, it was a great add-on to our adventure-Oxford day. Despite the extremely filling lunch, we were definitely hungry by the time we reached Ramblin’ Road Brewery and loved the taste-testing of the beers on tap paired with the on-site made kettle chips. Being the great partners we are, my sister and I ended up buying the sample pack of the beer so we could take home the Dakota Pearl Ale (DPA) – in short – they soaked the potatoes used for the kettle chips in water, once they’re done, they use that (really clean, promise) water to make this flavour of their beer.

The DPA was definitely my pick of the bunch, when I brought it home to B, he was more a fan of the pilsner – fabulous – now we won’t drink each others preferences.

5 – Skillet-Baked Chicken “Roulade”

ChickenCarrot

Ending the day off on the patio at the Elmhurst Inn and Spa restaurant, we indulged in the Chef’s Choice menu and the toughest part of the night was deciding on what to get. I have no idea what a “Roulade” was, so keeping in the adventure-theme of the trip, I went for it. Appetizer, Entree and Dessert to boot – Roulade me up, I say! The atmosphere of the patio and live singing while we sipped on extra-spicy caesars made this dinner a perfect way to end our exploratory day. On Thursdays, if you’re lucky enough to grab a seat on the patio, you can make friends with other diners and sing-along with the musical guest of the week. That is, of course, unless it’s cut short by threatening thunderclouds and a downpour of rain – which happened to us – but the beauty of staying at the Inn is after you get soaked, you can just jump upstairs and dry off in comfort.

I could have kept eating, truly, and this favourites list could have been longer (and my waistline larger) but in the end I guess the experience left us wanting more, with a desire to return with our better halves, our aunt, our mum, etc; basically wanting to show them the tastes we enjoyed, and of course, find out some new dining spots in Oxford County.

I mean, you gotta eat, right? At least three times a day. Nutrition is important.

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