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Nasty habits – all by myself

Tonight I’m in Rossland, a ski bum town in winter and a mountain bike Mecca in summer. This time of year it’s just the friendly locals and me, who liked the look of the funky B & B here better than the hotel in Trail where I am doing my seminars tomorrow. Good decision – this is one cool place!
Dinner is more laid back tonight – time for some good old-fashioned pub food. Again i looked to Trip Advisor for some comments on a fun place and the one that attracted me was the Flying Steamshovel. I didn’t ski off the calories but I did do a good work our this morning and I talked for 4 hours so I think I deserve a break. Starting out with a local IPA called Nasty Habit seemed like a good way to start the evening 🙂

Once on a roll one should continue, don’t you think? The server mentioned it was wing night but I can’t eat a pound of wings alone so I compensated by peering potato skins, which she advised are “awesome”. They should be here any minute – hey look!

Nasty habit number two, check ! I might have had an easier time eating the wings, but what the heck. Caramelized onions, tomato, bacon, smoked cheddar… And the menu does say they’re “dressed “, not “garnished”. Not for the faint of heart this stuff.

If you’re a movie fan like me, you may know that Rossland was the real-life town used in the Steve Martin adaptation of the classic tale of Cyrano. This pub doesn’t look big enough to be the one Steve and his fireman pals frequented in the movie but it is just down the street from the Fire Hall 🙂 if you’re not a movie buff, you can enjoy the real history of the place, worthy of a movie script. The place is named for a contraption built by a local fellow that was meant to operate like a helicopter. It did get off the ground and cleared the building but then crashed horribly. Luckily the inventor was not killed but he was smart enough not to make another attempt. I feel it’s a worthwhile thing to toast his good luck.

You know, a great dining experience doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be true. This holds for any customer experience I think. I teach people that to deliver a WOW, you have to consistently and constantly provide an experience which exceeds customer expectations. I don’t expect white glove service at a pub. I expect a good time from tasty food and drink and friendly, knowledgeable service. The gal who has served me tonight is fantastic – the kind of server an owner usually wishes they could clone. She is younger than me by probably two generations and yet she called me sweetheart when she came to see how I was doing. I loved it!

Rossland is up the hill from Trail, and The Flying Steamshovel is a bit off the Main Street – both are worth finding. And if you want to stay the night (why wouldn’t you?!) then check out The Red
Barn Lodge B & B, as it operates on the same level – quaint, cozy, true to itself. Kudos to you, Rossland, you know how to enjoy life!

PS. I’ll post links for these great places in my mobile posts as soon as I’m home.

My bucket list is full of snacks

I just had another birthday and of course that brings with it all kinds of memories and more than a little thought about what is left to do on my bucket list. I had the good fortune of finishing last month on a foodie trip to Terra Madre 2012, and that refueled my passion for exotic food experiences (pardon the pun). Being a foodie, many of my bucket list items include a mention of food, so I thought it might be fun to share them…

  • I’ve always wanted to see the New England states, doing a bicycle tour. A bit of Maine lobster, perhaps a New Hampshire breakfast, and of course a whoopie pie! And who wouldn’t want to try a Smuttynose beer?

    Any company that has “Old Brown Dog Ale” is definitely alright in my book 🙂

  • I love convivial music, and seafood, and a bit of spice, so The Big Easy (New Orleans) is definitely on my bucket list.

    I can taste the crayfish and hear the music …

  • I have read about popular chefs and their restaurants for decades, and one place I have still never been is Spago. Wolfgang Puck is a kitchen icon who has survived a long time in a fickle world. 

    It’s just so quintessentially LA, don’t you think?

  • Although I’m not a fan of haggis or salt cod, I would like to visit the countries of my heritage – Scotland and Iceland – and enjoy at least some of their specialties on home turf. 

    Lunch in the Highlands, anyone?

    Who knew there were so many specialty foods so far north?

  • I want to go truffle-hunting. I have hunted for chocolate truffles in France 🙂 but never black truffles in Italy. I got to eat them in Turin last month as part of the truffle festival, so now I just want to see them in their natural habitat.

    Mmm, Italian decadence.

I like travelling because I get to experience different cultures, and a large part of culture has to do with food. Markets showcase specialties, and meal formats are linked to climates and family structure and business patterns. When I share those experiences in a new place, I feel privileged. I enjoy the kinship that comes from the humble sharing of food at a table.

Of course, even at home that can be special. Sharing a meal with friends and family always creates new memories, and this time of year is especially good for that. We will be hosting our yearly dessert party for neighbours and friends in a couple of weeks, an event that always warms my heart. Deep down,  I guess my bucket list is about sharing happy times with others, and often that happens through food.

Do you think I’m crazy or obsessed? Do you dream about great meals too? I’d love to know if I’m the only one who sees the kitchen as the centre of the universe.

Well, that’s enough for tonight. I have to go choose the wine for Sunday dinner 🙂

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