Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Turtle Jacks and Other Stuff

Turtle Jacks is a restaurant chain in the Greater Toronto Area that currently has 15 locations and claims to be expanding. They serve typical roadhouse food and if you didn’t see the sign on the way in, you wouldn’t know if you were at a Montana’s, Boston Pizza, Shoeless Joes, etc. Etc. Etc.

Typical of that style restaurant, Turtle Jacks has little to offer the vegan. However, if you find yourself there with a group of carnivores, there are some alternatives to get you through. The most highly recommended item on the menu for vegans is the Veggie Great Noodle Bowl.

Sautéed chow mein noodles tossed with Napa cabbage, bok choy, red pepper & julienne vegetables, finished with green onions & sesame seeds. Choice of Red Thai Chili or Sweet Teriyaki sauce. This dish is pretty darn good and quite filling.

Unlike a lot of roadhouse style restaurants, Turtle Jacks does offer the substitution of a veggie burger for any of their regular burgers. There is an additional cost of 99 cents which is bullshit because the cost of the actual paddy is most likely no more expensive for them to buy. Welcome to the world of veganism.

Do not try the deep fried dill pickles. It is one of the only appetizers that can be considered vegan (not sure what might be in the batter, though). For $9, you basically get one and a half pickles in a bland batter.

Am I from Mexico?

I get this often. No, I am from Canada. My e-mail address is from Yahoo Mexico and has the .mx extension on it. The reason for this stems back to my interest in learning foreign languages. A few years back, I kept sending for travel information from Spanish speaking countries and would ask for the material to be sent in Spanish. No matter what, I was always sent the English versions.

I got the bright idea to get an e-mail address from within a Spanish speaking country. It worked. Everything I received was in Spanish. Plus, I had the added learning opportunity from having to navigate Yahoo and the e-mail page in Spanish. When I started this blog, I decided to use that e-mail account as my contact e-mail because it was the least used of my e-mail collection. That e-mail, by the way, is if you feel inclined to get in touch.

Finally, a recipe...

This is a little something out of Southern Spain called Wrinkled Potatoes with Red Sauce.

· 2 lb of walnut sized new potatoes
· 2 TBSP of salt
· 4 garlic cloves peeled
· 1 TSP cumin
· 1 TSP paprika
· Pinch of dried thyme
· ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
· 2 TSP red wine vinegar

· Make the sauce first as it has to cool thoroughly before use. Mince the garlic. Add the cumin, paprika and thyme to the garlic.
· Slowly add the oil to the garlic, drop by drop, stirring all the time and adding the vinegar at intervals. When all the oil and vinegar is used up, transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and add about ¼ cup of warm water to make a thin sauce. Stir well and set aside until required.
· Wash the potatoes thoroughly but leave the skin on. Put them on to boil with just enough water to cover them, leaving the lid off so that the water evaporates.
· When the water has almost gone, throw in the salt, which will form a crust on the skins. Let the water boil away over low heat, watching carefully. When is has all evaporated, leave the heat on for about 30 seconds or so to dry the potatoes thoroughly and to get a wrinkled effect. Shake the pan a little if they threaten to burn.
· Serve the potatoes in individual dishes. Spear the potatoes with a fork and dip in the sauce.

Check out these previous posts:

Some Long Lost Far East Recipes
How To Peel An Avocado
Avatar: Why Aren’t The Na’vi Vegan?