Judskii

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Tag: fish

A-T-L baby!

Yes! We took a trip down to Atlanta, Georgia and it was ah~mazing. I was going to put everything into one huge long post, but that looked like it was going to become a post way too long for anyone’s attention span, so if you’re looking for food pictures, that will be up in a couple days. So make sure to refresh my page every hour on the hour.

In this post, I recap every tourist-y think we did. We bought a 69$ CityPass that allowed us entrance to 5 of 7 of Atlanta’s tourist attractions.

Numba 1! The entire reason I started planning a trip down to Georgia since last year. The world’s biggest aquarium (though Toronto is saying they are currently building the new world’s biggest aquarium) located downtown Atlanta. I love aquariums. For my 19th birthday, we roadtripped to Quebec City and l’Aquarium du Quebec and I fell in love with the tanks and the fish and the jelly fish and the entire atmosphere of aquarium life. As an aside, I also love zoos, safaris, biodomes, and pet stores. After my first aquarium experience, I just knew that I had to go big or go home, and thus was born this trip to the Georgia Aquarium. Our citypass even allowed us free tickets to the 30-minute dolphin show that showcased dolphin flips, skips, and divers surfing on dolphin noses.

This water tunnel was amazing. The tank itself is a 6.3 million gallon habitat exhibit, wholly earning the title of world’s biggest. This tunnel is 100 feet long and allows you to walk underneath the tank while the fish swim above you. There is this huge whale shark that passes by every so often and reminds me to not get lost in the ocean ever because, damn nature is scary SON. On the left side of the tunnel, there’s a moving sidewalk that moves quite slowly. We did want to go through the tunnel at our own pace so we stayed on the right. However, the place was fully crowded, we were there on a Saturday after all. As much as I would like to say that it was calm and peaceful, it was not the case. It was loud with lots of excited children (myself included) and lots of oohs and aahs, which I fully enjoyed! I could stay in this place forever. I’m going to turn my house into a giant fish tank save for one small tunnel in the basement where I’ll spend all my time eating, sleeping, and watching fish.

The quiet area for watching the same fish is at the picture above where you see all the people standing in front of the rectangular viewing area. There, it was calm and quiet, with places to sit and just watch the aquarium life swim by.

Here’s a video I took while walking through the tunnel, there’s the huge whale shark seen briefly at the beginning, and then a giant fish, and then a super cool sawface shark (which the internet tells me is called a Sawshark. Should have seen that coming.)!

The aquarium building itself was gigantic, with so many different tunnels and areas with different exhibits. We were there for probably about 3 hours (not including the dolphin show) and we didn’t even get to see all the exhibits, missing two of them. Piranhas are damn creepy. They don’t swim. They just kind of stay floating, very stationary in the water, kind of like how a hummingbird hovers in one place. The piranha tank looked like a bunch of plastic fish tied in place. Too eerie!

Sea dragons (top right) are an animal that I didn’t even know existed. They are like mutant sea horses. Or sea horses that made babies with fairies. They swam very majestically.

At the bottom left, there are some giant deep sea crabs (Japanese Spider Crabs) who’s leg span can reach up to 12 ft! That’s almost two Shaquille O’Neals. They’re the largest living anthropod, and can live to 100 years. I LOVE ANIMALS.

And on the bottom right is a penguin. There were a few that were very intent on trying to capture a girl’s shiny necklace and kept chasing her around. They were very difficult to capture with the camera. It is very fitting that they are boyfriend’s favourite animal because they’re both quite awkward on land and easily amused.

Continuing with the animal theme, we also trekked out to the Atlanta Zoo! It is like any other zoo I’ve been too, but I always love seeing the animals. This was the first time I’d ever seen a panda though and they were beyond adorable, just like how the media makes them out to be. Two of them were snoozing awkwardly in the tree branches, and then there was the one that was just sitting on the ground with a bunch of leaves in his face and was just munch-munch-munching away.

Another funny sight were the two bush dogs in their exhibit. There was this pit in the middle of it with some large logs and branches at the bottom, so these two take it upon themselves to open their jaws terrifyingly wide and using very impressive teamwork to get those longs out of the pit! And then throw them back in. And then dragging them back out again. They were too adorable.

The zoo has a train that takes you around the kid’s animals area that had a petting zoo AND kangaroos. What else could you ask for. There’s even a rock-climbing wall, but I didn’t do it because, girl, I had just gotten ma nails did.

The World of Coca Cola was so much fun! Although the whole thing felt a little propaganda-y, I had fun anyway, because I grew up preferring Coke over Pepsi and I fully accept our Coke overlords when they rise to power. They have a lot of Coke memorabilia a really fun 4D movie. They then played this really cool video that made me enjoy being brainwashed.

We even found our lovers from Coca Cola’s past!

In addition to these three places we also went to the “Inside CNN” tour which was pretty boring and I would have much preferred to go to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, but perhaps that can happen next time we get down there because I would love to go back. I loved the city (aside from walking up and down the hills between our hotel and the main downtown area), I love the southern hospitality, everyone’s accents, hell, even the beggars were really nice. And the food. Oh my, stay tuned for the food.

Also, all the pictures above get bigger if you click on them. So click on them if you want a face full of POW WOAH WOAH WOAH.

Grand Electric

There’s something I need to admit to all of you out there.

I love tacos. I really do. It all started way back when I didn’t know any better and I would beg to go to Taco Bell at any time of the day. Mind you, this was back when I didn’t know how to drive, didn’t know how to get anywhere, and relied on older family members to cater to my intense pregnant-like cravings. What do you want to eat? Insta-answer: Tacos. Nothing but.

Getting a little older, I learned of the magic of Old El Paso taco seasoning and ground beef. So there I was, high school student and little brother, mixing up beef and powder, white flour tortillas, poorly cut lettuce and pre-shredded cheese. I was more than satisfied. I was happy.

Then comes college, the first time I was ever really constantly out of my house. I spent my days and most of my nights downtown Montreal going to school, doing homework, and eating and drinking with friends. The first time I hit up bars and restaurants, for no special reason other than we were tired and hungry and too far from home. Places like Mesa 14 opened up a whole new world of Mexican cuisine. The Three Amigos were my three amigos. Tacos that were prepared fresh and hot to my liking, with no pre-shredded cheese or canned salsa. Surely, this cannot get better. And then we went on vacation.

We actually went to Mexico. The land of chili, lime, and cilantro. Sure we were on a resort with the standard buffet fare, but then we ventured to the village markets, off resort property. I’ve been to Mexico twice now, and both times, the best food is off the resort. Sure, you’re risking food poisoning and germs that your body isn’t used to. But, let me tell you, it is all worth it.

And now where do we stand? My love affair with this wonderful beacon of hand-sized heaven. We stand, my friends, with the gourmet. The daring. The trendy. We stand among great chefs that do more than ground beef and seasonings. More than just your plain and packaged flour tortillas. We stand with pork belly, jalapenos, fancy things like “aioli”, with individual tacos that cost more than a meal at McDonalds.

On a chilly Friday night, we stand in front of Grand Electric Bar.

1330 Queen Street West, Toronto

 

I don’t know how to describe this place with any words other than super hip. The first time we tried to go, we made the mistake of getting hungry before deciding on the restaurant. The wait was to be 1.5 hours. This time, even though we arrived about 15 minutes after opening, the wait time was the same. I hear you have to line up before they open to actually sit at 6pm. The restaurant is decorated in vintage wood with the menus and specials written up on chalkboard. The whole place had a rustic western feel to it, like I was in a smoky saloon that had Jay Z performing all night. In addiction to the lovely warm feeling of the place, loud rap and hip hop was playing all night. The ambiance was amazing.

We sat at the bar, which was great because there was a lot of room for our dishes.

Tip: There are hooks underneath where you can put your coats/purses.

We ordered some drinks, bourbon and tequila and they were mighty strong. So, a warning, if you aren’t used to not-girly drinks that don’t taste like sugar.

Guacamole and chips with a large slice of pig fat in the middle. The guac and salsa were pretty standard, nothing crazy, but delicious all the same. They had sprinkled some sort of salty cayenne seasoning on the chips which really enhanced the flavours of the dish together. I took a bite of the pig fat because I had never tasted it before, and well, it was pig fat. Really delicious but too rich and oily for me to be eating the whole thing.

Tuna ceviche on a fried tortilla covered in cilantro, radish, onions, and jalapeno aioli. This is raw tuna so don’t order if you’re squeamish about raw fish. This dish was nice and Saney went crazy all over it.

“The tuna ceviche is booooommmbbbb. It’s sooooo good.” – Verbatim

The tacos!!! They were a little small but it was to be expected. However, their size is not at all proportionate to the flavour they pack. Each one was super decadent and flavourful. You can’t help but savour every bite. From the top going clockwise, we’ve got: Fish taco, pig tail, beef cheek, and pork belly. The fish tacos were topped with some slaw, chives, onions, radish, and if I recall correctly, mayo. The beef cheek had a guacamole and fresh jalapeno (not pickled!) topping and the pork belly had a cilantro and steamed pineapple topping. Everything was tender to a fault. Juicy. Extravagant. A delight. And definitely gone too fast. I was very excited to try to pig tail and it was unlike anything I’d ever had before. Almost a cross between foie gras for texture and crispy BBQ pork. The beef cheek was almost like pulled pork, but a great deal more delicate. Extremely juicy. The pineapple on the pork belly gave this taco a whole other dimension. It enhanced the smoky flavour and gave it a nice tang.

Oh what I would do to eat here again. I definitely need to eat here again.

Next up was the fried chicken that had a fancy name. It was probably Pollo Frito. Let me begin by saying that this photo does not at all do this dish justice. The chicken wings were piled high, topped with a mixture cilantro, chili peppers, jalapeno, and cooked lime, and then drenched in this sweet, sticky, spicy, garlicky sauce. It was heaven. There was no effort to share, it was eat as much as you can before it’s all gone. The chicken was crispy and tender. Drenched, but maintained it’s exterior texture. It was like magic. The spice was subtle but definitely there. It wasn’t overpowering to the point where you want to stick a fire extinguisher in your mouth, but it was enough to satisfy. Everything tasted fresh and the flavours married each other so well. Best chicken wings ever.

I want this in my mouth right now please okay thanks.

If I could, I would eat here all the time. I would brave the mildly cold Toronto winters, the stinky summers, the terrifying nights. I would do it all for Grand Electric. (It’s legal to marry a restaurant, right?)

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