Table Scraps 

If Julie Andrews were a foodie she'd sing

"Apples with caramel

And short ribs with Dylan

Chicken that’s chili

And tartlets with onion

Tomato chilled soup with a goat cheese fondant

These are a few of my favourite things"

Now if you happen to be a Sound of Music fan go ahead and sing along to my slightly revised classic while reading up on my more recent favourite finds in Whistler.

Ric’s Grill was a surprising addition to the list. A steak lunch when the restaurant first opened kept me from returning a second time until the 30 minute wait at Earl’s sent my dinner party packing.

I was disappointed I didn’t get to satisfy my Earl’s chili chicken craving, but my dinner dates assured me short ribs at Ric’s would do the trick.

A short rib virgin, I envisioned the Flintstones kind framed in fat and so heavy, it could overturn a modern-day SUV.

Apparently, things have changed since the cartoon Stone Age. The smoky meat, slowly cooked and marinated for hours, pulled neatly off the bone with each bite.

The only problem was I couldn’t finish the rack; the meal was huge. The short rib dinner included toasty warm bread, a no-fuss, fresh spinach salad, and a bacon-and-cream-cheese-stuffed baked potato. Great value.

Another gem in the rough is breakfast on the Alpine Cafe and Catering patio. After a three-year devotion to the Gone Slam (Irish cream French toast, fried bananas, scrambled eggs, bacon and homemade toasted bread), I cha cha-ed to a new favourite, the Gallo Pinto breakfast. Inspired by chef Kevin Wood’s trip to Costa Rica, the dish includes a rice, egg, beans, cheese and green onions scramble with toasted tortilla wedges, salsa and sour cream. A few shakes of a lime chili sauce and a fresh avocado add on and you are dancin’.

Tuesdays are now a favourite day of the week. A group of my girlfriends gather around the dining table every week to catch up on our latest gossip. Lunch or dinner at Elements, voted Whistler’s Best New Restaurant, is the perfect choice with 50 per cent off the menu on Tuesdays – women only. Sorry boys. The crispy tofu chili lettuce wrap tops my list, along with what is probably every woman’s favourite dessert. The dilemma over choosing the warm chocolate lava cake or crème brulee is put to rest with the two piling on top of each other on one decadent plate.

Lunch with the ladies introduced me to my new favourite soup in town – although the gazpacho soup at the Four Seasons Fifty 80 Bistro is a close contender. Trattoria serves a refreshing chilled tomato soup that carries a zesty punch accompanied by a creamy goat cheese fondant. So stuffed, my cannelloni entree was shared around the table. The spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta haven was voted the table’s favourite of the day.

A quick pick-me-up favourite is a caramel apple at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Pass on the chocolate and live out summer memories at the carnival with this sweet classic. There are lots of fussed up versions – some with chocolate and nuts, others with Smarties and marshmallows – but I like the traditional version, but untraditionally, I sometimes opt for it sliced to spare my cheeks the sticky mess (although sometimes that is the fun of it).

There is nothing worse than getting a favourite then finding out you have to wait at least a month before satisfying that can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head craving. It will be well worth the wait when the Fairmont Chateau’s Wildflower adds fish and chips to their menu with a special beer batter made from the suds of the Whistler Brewing Company. The bratty hotel teased guests with a preview of the crispy-outside, moist-inside sea morsels at a Whistler Brewing launch party last month. Only 43 more days to go and counting.

Other favs around town are turkey sandwiches with cranberry bread at Portobello, French fries at Four ‘N Twenty, chai milkshakes at Behind the Grind, frozen chocolate bananas at Rogers’ Chocolates, and salad greens from Across the Creek Organics and butter tarts from Golden Crust Specialties at the Whistler Farmer’s Market.

Get muddled

You might want to revisit the movie Cocktail , starring Tom Cruise, to nail down some fancy bottle spinning moves before competing in a new martini-making competition.

The mixologist showcase starts Monday, July 31 and every Monday following until finalists battle it out for the top prize of $300 cash Monday, Aug. 21 at Joey Chan’s Chinese eatery.

Mixologists can concoct their secret elixirs using a choice of five muddle ingredients, five vodkas, five liqueurs and five juices.

Three martini-clinking judges will dub a master based on taste value, presentation, food complement and stage flare.

Each week mixologists moving onto the finals will also receive a $50 gift certificate.

To sign up, call 604-966-0966.

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