Thursday, September 06, 2007

Canada: A Total Bust

That pretty much says it all. After a horrible night of sleep (thank you, teething baby and humid weather!), we still made it out the door and under the river to Windsor, ON by about 10:30 a.m. on a search for local cheese that we thought only Canada could provide, what with its relaxed dairy laws (as compared with the U.S. anyway - there's no poutine here after all). After getting a little lost, we found our way to the farmer's market I had located online, only to find it empty except for some frozen pasta and meat. Ugh! Not one vegetable, not one loaf of bread, and certainly no dairy products. So disappointed. Apparently they had been busted by the food inspector semi-recently for lack of the requisite number of handwashing sinks and other bizarre rules. So very, very bummed were we. I also find this a little questionable since this market was supposedly an endeavor backed by the Downtown Development authority - don't they know their local laws on such matters? Perhaps the disorganization that plagues Detroit extends across the river as well.

We found our way to a used bookstore on Oullette St. and picked up a couple of books and chatted with the very friendly clerk about baby related things, which was the highlight of the whole trip (according to me, anyway. Silas would probably tell you [if he in fact talked] that the best part was watching the bulldozer and crane kick the crap out of part of Oullette St, which they are ripping up to turn into a pedestrian zone. It was baby boy heaven!).

This landed us about lunchtime driving to "little Italy" on Erie St. to forage some grub (thus partially breaking our rules about eating out, since we drove ourselves there. But seriously, we were just trying to salvage a wasted trip over the border, and the fact that we had to pay about $4 each way to cross over). We ended up in a dark pizzeria/trattoria called Spago's, and as soon as my iced tea arrived courtesy of a soda fountain, I knew we had made a mistake, but my sleep-deprived brain and crabby child kept me from suggesting that we leave. When our pesto pizza arrived with anemic looking tomatoes and no sign of fresh basil in sight, I thought I would burst into tears. Bland cheese sealed the deal. I don't know if it's weird that food is one of the things that can send me into a pit of despair quicker than just about anything else (I'm recalling a Christmas dinner in Tuscon where we were served rice and beans and tortillas and I could barely believe that this represented respectable holiday fare to anyone, but I digress). The fact remains: I was despondent. This was not helped by the fact that my darling husband was announcing that this constituted a "good pie" to him. About the only good thing about it was the crust, which had a nice crispiness to it courtesy of the woodfired oven.

Has eating local ruined me? Will I ever be able to peacefully consume restaurant food without tears threatening? All I know is that I could have made a pizza that kicked the sauceless ass of the pathetic excuse for a pie that we were served.

I don't think we'll be braving the bridge or tunnel again to grand old Canadia anytime soon. Although we had considered taking my parents over to a restaurant called The Cook's Shop when they visit later this month. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about that one. Hopefully my pizza wounds will have healed by that point.

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