Barrie Uncovered

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From one coast to another there are a lot of “foodies” in Canada.  We have such cultural ethnicity.  The other thing that we have is an extremely diverse landscape with each Province and Territory offering up their own uniqueness.  On top of that we have our local areas which have many different menus to tantalize us even further.

Starting on the East Coast we can try everything from a Jigg’s Dinner, Lobster Rolls to Screech Rum.  As we head into Quebec we all seem pretty familiar with Poutine, maple syrup and tortierre.

It’s in Ontario where things become a little different.  Here we are certainly known for our outstanding wineries and craft breweries, but our favorite foods are as diverse as the population!  We have our seasonal treats like corn on the cob or garden fresh toasted tomato sandwiches, however as food goes – I think our diversity shines in our “street eats”.

If you were to Google the favorite food in Toronto you’d likely find it’s a veal sandwich, Ottawa – Beaver Tails, Barrie – Skewers, a Korean BBQ restaurant and so on. ( We have different flavors on every corner it seems.

As we head into Manitoba it becomes very particular again.  There you’d find mouth-watering pickerel most often pan-fried with a bit of butter.  Saskatoon actually got its name from the all-important Saskatoon berry either made into a pie or jam.  Alberta is beef, beef, and more beef, with Vancouver being salmon and of course Nanaimo bars.  In Nunavut we find the somewhat strange Muktuk (fried whale) or, surprisingly…Shwarma!  Finally, in the Northwest Territories, we are told Arctic Char and game meats such as caribou and muscox are the favorites.

Travelling through Canada is divine for “foodies”.  We have so many very unique tastes to savor.  Again though, I have to say how nice it is to be in Central Ontario – Barrie to be exact.  I love our diverse menu offerings.  There are so many exciting flavors!  One of the “favs” for sure is the Korean Street Food found at Skewers, just up from Downtown at 9 Clapperton Street.  Don’t take my word for it though – go ahead – try it for yourself!


Spice it up!!

“Barrie-ites” are so lucky to have such a wide variety of ethnic cuisine.  I read an article today followed with this comment by one of the other readers: “As a new visitor to Barrie, I think it must be a great place to live because there are so many restaurants serving so many kinds of food!”

I totally agree!  I love to cook – but I also love to taste authentic ethnic dishes.  One of my favorite things to do is to figure out the layers of spices used to create such tatalizing meals.  Today my mind drifted back to learning about “The Spice Road” in elementary school.  Imagine the thrill of the Portuguese sailors as they were loading thir ships in India that first time?  At that time in history spices were very important because they helped flavor foods that weren’t as fresh as we get today.  The historical trader’s clamored for Black Pepper, known as the King of Spices.  Also known as black gold, it was one of the very first spices traded for in India.

Indian food is steeped in history, rich in flavor with a medley of spices.  I think my favorite Indian Restaurant in town is Barrie’s Tandoori Kingdom at 428 Blake Street.  One gray afternoon not too long ago I was trying to determine which spices were in the dishes I was enjoying there.  I was joined by one of the owners, who shared his love of spices with me.

The main Indian spices are black pepper, cardamom, chilli peppers, cinnamon, coriander seeds, tumeric, cloves, ginger and mustard seeds.  They are often oil-fried or dry-roasted to release their aromatics and flavors.  The spices are also carefully blended to create individualized curry blends.  As I was figuring out the flavors I was close – but no win!

The dish was Chicken Korma, rich and creamy, full of spices and flavor…Mmm!  With fresh Naan it’s a piece of Indian heaven.  I had correctly guessed coconut milk, garam masala, curry, tumeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom.  However, I missed the nutmeg and cumin seed.


Creamy Chicken Korma at Tandoori Kingdom is the stuff dreams are made of.  Head down to 428 Blake Street to dine in or call (705) 503-1400 for pickup and take a little taste of heaven home.



Welcome to Dosti Eats where you can visit time and time again tasting bold, exotic street food from around the world.  Dosti is as “Hip” as Simmering Kettle (the family’s other restaurant just across the parking lot) is “Old World”.  And…Dosti Eats even sells some of their bold flavors now for your pleasure at home!  Shalu, the owner of Dosti Eats sells her  homemade Malsala Sauce for use in your own cooking.  What a great way to experiment with Tandoori or Butter Chicken recipes in the comfort of your ownkitchen.

As the staff at Dosti Eats like to say, “We slowly take you on a journey so you can travel the world through your palate.”  Come in to visit Mexico and try a variety of Tacos or even a Black Bean Burger.  Europe gives you everything from Italian Meatball Sliders to Lamb Souvlaki.  Travel through the menu to India and try Pav Bhaji (Mumbai’s favorite thick vegetable curry served with a grilled bun) or the Street Meat Combo.  If it’s Carribbean flavors that you’ve been missing, order the Jerk Chicken or Roti Wraps, they’ll be sure to tease your taste buds.  Settling in Asia, the Dosti Bento Box or Banh Mi Sandwich are wonderful choices.  Finally,  if you are craving good old North American cusine, check out the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich or Wings by the pound.  It’s a great place if you’re taking out a group of people with distinctly different tastes!  It’s also a wonderful way to tease your taste buds as it’s really difficult to travel easily right now.

Something that Dosti Eats has become quite known for is their bold homemade Hot Sauce.  The staff are finding that the palates of the community have really grown in their search for new and exciting flavor, so be sure to try some on your next visit.

Shalu really thinks about her customers so often!  Today as we were chatting she mentioned that she is starting a “Take Home to Cook” section to her menu.  Boxed and ready for “take home service”, Shalu will have all the ingredients both fresh and dry premeasured with explicit recipe directions.  Shalu is doing this knowing that people are still a bit nervous about dining out but are missing the variety of choices in their diet.  I can’t wait, but while I do, I’ll be sure to drop in to Dosti Eats to quell the cravings.  Won’t you?