Explore the infinite menus of Mexico, the United States and Canada on a delicious journey of culinary landmarks.
Text: Lolita Cuevas-Avendaño & Sebastián Abeliuk (www.soltarcabos.com) ilustration: Mathias Sielfeld
When it comes to U.S. barbecue, ribs are the real stars of the show. In fact, there’s hardly a barbecue in Texas that doesn’t include this cut of meat. Whether you favor beef short ribs or pork spareribs, your plate will be piled high. To improve their flavor and texture, the ribs are marinated in a proprietary mixture that may include onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey and various other ingredients. BBQ ribs are generally accompanied with potatoes, baked beans and coleslaw.
Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse
2202 Inwood Road
Eggs, flour and sugar are the most common ingredients in a homemade cake, but if you add cream cheese, vanilla, a cookie-crumb crust and perhaps a fruit jam topping, you get the world-famous cheesecake. Soft, creamy and spectacular when cold, cheesecake is one of those glorious desserts that banishes any idea of dieting. Oddly enough, it was invented in 1872, when someone tried to imitate a French cake and “failed” – thank goodness for mistakes!
4737 California Avenue, West Seattle
What comes to mind when someone mentions New York? Jazz, parties, contemporary art and shopping, of course, but also gourmet food, haute cuisine and flavors from around the world. The king of the city’s culinary traditions is the pastrami sandwich. Usually beef brisket, the meat is cured in brine, seasoned with spices, smoked, and then boiled or steamed to tender perfection. The finely sliced meat is served hot, between two pieces of rye bread, with coleslaw and the ever-present pickles. A Big Apple feast par excellence.
174 Fifth Avenue
In the Mexican capital, it’s not unusual see street food stands, hot dog carts and simple establishments with a daily special that includes dessert, but few of these treats are as delectable as carrot cake: spongy, sweet and soft. Sometimes it’s round, other times it’s square. If you’re lucky the cake’s surface will be a little crispy, kissed by the heat of the oven. And just when it seems like it couldn’t get any better, you might find that your cake is filled with nuts and cream cheese or smothered in coconut and raisins. Either way, this delicious homemade Mexican dessert is a round-the-clock delight.
Avenida Ozuluama 4, Colonia Condesa
Without tequila, there would be no pachanga, and without hangovers, there would be no Mexico. To recover after too much fun the night before, the people of Jalisco have one of the best remedies: tortas ahogadas, which are said to have been invented accidentally when someone spilled sauce on a pork sandwich. Today, thick and crunchy birote rolls are filled with meat and smothered in tomato sauce entirely on purpose. Other fillings may include seafood or vegetables – the spicy sauce is what gives this messy dish its true character. While not a light meal, a “drowned sandwich” can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Tierra de Fuego 3160-2, Colonia Providencia
Pascal Mathieu, a Canadian born in Montreal, swears that maple syrup is more flavorful than honey. It is derived from the sap of the maple tree, whose leaf adorns the Canadian flag and inspires the shape of many maple syrup bottles. The harvest in early spring – when the snow is still on the ground – is a curious process: the trunk is pierced, a hose placed in the hole to extract as much of the clear liquid as possible, then the bucketsful of sap are boiled down to a thick brown syrup. Maple syrup is traditionally used to sweeten waffles and pancakes or to add a counterpoint to meat, corn and other savory dishes.
Le Relais des Pins
3029 Chermin Royal, Sainte-Famille
Poutine is considered the province of Quebec’s most iconic fast food dish. It’s impossible to resist the temptation of this French-Canadian recipe, made with French fries, gravy and cheese known locally as fromage cui cui for the squeaky sound the soft curds make when chewed. While there are several variations that use different kind of fries and sauces, the cheese tends to remain the same. Most places boast a signature poutine recipe, with some of the most famous being the “Italian” version with meat and tomato sauce or poutine made with chicken.
994, Rue Rachel E
There is a long and ongoing debate between U.S. and Canadian bacon: the former is made from pork belly, and the latter is a kind of back bacon made from pork loin. The first is crispy and fatty when cooked, while the second is thicker and juicier. Known as peameal or cornmeal bacon, the long, uncut strips of meat were once rolled in yellow peameal, and today cornmeal is used, which gives the bacon a slightly yellow color. This original product of Toronto is perfect for enjoying in a sandwich. Experts say that it’s the perfect mix between bacon and ham, sweeter and with a lightly savory touch.
Saint Lawrence Market
92-95 Front Street East