Monday, October 13, 2014

Vacations in Ibiza

Hi guys! Back in May while I was in Ibiza I didn't snap a lot of pictures because I was too busy partying, shopping, and eating. I thought I'd then make one big post about those four days I spent in the small town of Ibiza.

The whole thing was sort of planned yolo style. A girl I know, Nicole, was an exchange student in Compiègne but I had met her before in Montreal. She sent me a text message asking if I felt like going to Ibiza. I said yes so we booked plane tickets and a hotel room. Her roommate, Amal, also came and basically it turned to be a girls vacations.

So we met in the Paris-ORLY airport and arrived at our hotel, the Argos. We didn't really have a view on the sea (we were slightly under ground level) but lucky us, the breakfast was included because there was a promotion for customers that had booked in April and May. My cheap side was quite glad and I would stuff myself every morning (it was all-you-can-eat and delicious).

There are many ways to go to the heart of the town, where the old city and all the boutiques are located. One of those ways was this little motorized boat that would basically go from one end of the port to another. All you had to do was pay a fairly small price (very small compared to the taxi or the bus).

Sometimes we felt like walking and would pass by some beautiful (and guarded) apartments. One of the locals told us Beyoncé and Shakira both had an apartment there (perhaps he was saying bullshit too because we obviously looked like tourists).

This huge pedestrian path is separated from the sea by a linear park (and clubs then and there). We gave thumbs up to an old man who was doing chin ups in the park.

Clubs are everywhere. The first night we went to the Pacha, one of the biggest clubs in Ibiza. Apparently it's worth going at the end of June or in mid-July (when all the students are done with school). That night only two rooms out of seven were open and the entrance was 30€ (compared to the usual 60€ or 80€ in July). According to a local, Blue Marlin is the new trendy place to go.

In the old city you get to come across interesting findings that make you forget about the clubs and tourists. Just like this pink building right there which, I suppose, used to house plays.

Remember the fortress on the first picture? I honestly think this was my favorite part of the trip. You get to go to the highest point of the island, which was probably the best way for locals to defend themselves. A church looks over the sea and tourists, locals, or newly wed couples and their families mingle together in the heat of the sun and the rocks.

Be careful as you go up : you might come across a few jewels and get lost in the meantime. You need to remember your path because as you go down things don't look the same and you might not find your way out.

Since the area is not car-friendly (it is not closed to motorized circulation but trust me you don't want to venture there with your car) some restaurants take advantage of the views and the situation to install interesting terraces.

This particular one, S'Escalanita, was quite lovely.

I'm not sure if there is another way to go into the fortress but here is the view of the wall compared to the heart of the city.

The marina in the town of Ibiza is quite large. There you can book a trip to the other islands, something I heard is worth doing since Ibiza is too urbanized (according to what the locals would say). Also the marina is the best spot to wait for a taxi.

We called a taxi and told the driver we wanted to go to a nice beach, since the ones closer to the hotel were quite meh. He suggested we go to Ses Salines, which is close to where the salt of Ibiza is made. On our way there we saw those ponds of salt water being dried as well as mountains of salt.

We were really happy to have spent that extra money to get there. There weren't too many people but the water was kind of cold. Old and young ladies were tanning with their bare breasts. And guess what? We did the same too. Oh, and some young man tried to sell us sunglasses, as well as weed and cocaine.

Though Playa de Ses Salines was nice, a local told us the best way to enjoy a nice beach is to rent a car and go as far as possible from the town. There you can find real little paradises of warm sand, turquoise water, and peace.

And so that's it for today. I hope you guys enjoyed those warm pictures on this Thanksgiving weekend. To finish off this post, here's an extra picture of me enjoying the salty water of Ibiza.

Until next time!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dirty Dogs

Hi guys! I haven't blogged in a while (I should stop saying that) due to my crazy schedule of the past few weeks. Luckily enough this is going to be over soon. I am going to take a few minutes to review a hot dog joint I tried when I came back from France that was recommended by my friend Daniel.

Rio, Sophie, and I decided to go on a food date to catch up a bit. I suggested we go to Dirty Dogs, located on Mont-Royal avenue, not far from the St-Laurent boulevard corner. You get in and smell and feel the grease in the air. The place is very small though it has a few benches (but you don't feel like staying indoor because you'd be eating next to people waiting in line).

The guys there are very friendly, the menu is very clear and easy to understand and there is a daily (or weekly) special on the blackboard behind the grill. For 3$ you can get fries and a drink with that.

So we ordered, waited a bit while everything was getting grilled up, and walked towards the Parc Jeanne-Mance with our greasy orders.

I had the Maurice Richard (the most famous hockey player) : Dirty Dogs sausage, foie gras, bacon, 3 year aged cheddar, caramelized onions and maple syrup.

Sophie had the Bernie Mac : bacon and cheese sausage with homemade mac and cheese, shallots and crispy bacon.

Rio had the James Gandolfini : mild Italian sausage with homemade bruschetta, pancetta, fresh mozzarella and pesto. He also asked for a side of sweet potato fries.

As you can see none of this is healthy. Even the side of sweet potato fries was so big we helped Rio eat it. I think the dog itself is a nice meal : it's not too much and you have some room for a Kem Coba ice cream cone (yes, we went to Kem Coba afterwards).

I really liked my dog despite the fat dripping all over the place. I love foie gras, and I think it was perfect with the maple syrup and caramelized onions. It's one of those recipes I would try to recreate at home. I kinda wish the buns were less doughy and had more of a brioche or baguette texture but they were okay. At least they held well, were soft, and didn't break down while we ate.

Rio and Sophie also really liked their dogs. For my part I think it's one of those places I would go back to just for the heck of trying everything on the menu.

I have to admit my dog was sort of pricey (around 15$) but worth it considering the fact that it had foie gras (it was grilled by the way, not just pâté). So do I recommend Dirty Dogs? Of course I do.

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