Aside from the obvious 'friends and family', here's a list of the things that I've quickly come to realize I took for granted, having lived in Canada my entire life:
1) President's Choice.. particularly their Blue Menu.
In the 8 years that I lived in Royalwood, Extra Foods was my go-to grocery store. I'm super sad that I don't have access to the Loblaw's brands. The one product I miss the most is the instant packaged steel cut oats (I've searched high and low with no success). Anything that I can get in a 'healthier' variety, is good enough for me, and that's what the Blue Menu was good for.
2) Old Dutch potato chips
This is a common one among people that move away, I think. I miss Ketchup chips and Dutch Crunch Kettle Cooked Jalepeño & Cheese, and Mesquite BBQ. *drooling just thinking about them*
I have yet to find anything remotely close in comparison to Stella's. Nothing beats the combination of Stella's atmosphere and menu. Nothing.
Yes, America has it's share of heart attacks served on a platter (Buffalo Wild Wings, I'm looking at you), but the fact that I can't grab a poutine at the closest New York Fries (or even Burger King if I'm desperate) kills me a little inside.
5) A&W Mozza Burger and Onion Rings
Come on. This one is a no-brainer. A mozza burger served with hot onion rings with ketchup for dipping? Pretty close to heaven, in my opinion. America has A&W... but I have yet to come across one.
So those are just some of the obvious foods that my inner foodie misses the most. There are a few more places that I miss because of the familiarity, but I know that I can eventually find places similar down here, it might just take a little time (and an open mind):
- Noodle Express for Dim Sum
- Ken's and North Garden for Chinese food
- New Hong Kong for Peking perogies
- Cora's for breakfast
- Unburger & Kawaii Crepe for Village food
- Parlour for coffee
Businesses that I miss:
6) BULK BARN! Canadians, count your blessings that you have Bulk Barn because this type of business is unheard of down here. There's ONE bulk food place down here and it's a 30 minute drive from my place -- plus it's not even good. I miss everything about Bulk Barn -- the variety of snacks, candies, spices, etc. The buttercream frosting, honey and molasses. The organic food and quirky products. I miss, I miss, I miss it soooo..
|photo cred: bargainmoose.ca|
7) Gale's Wholesale
Oh what I'd do to walk the long, dark and dusty aisles of my favourite wholesaler in Winnipeg. It was always nice to go there just for something to do on a day off or to kill some time. I'd always find something to spend my money on whether it was for my business or for personal use. I mean, who doesn't need a 5 lb. bag of Jelly Belly jellybeans?!
8) Vantage Lounge
Even though I had my share of ups and downs with my print jobs, I still miss having a business that I could trust to get the job done. Business relationships take time to develop and I felt like I had finally gotten to the point that I was comfortable working with them. I have yet to source out a printer down here -- I'm kind of dreading the process of looking for one :S
That's a pretty long list... I guess I'm missing home more than I thought. I recognize that I just need a little bit of time to become familiar with my surroundings and get used to what's available to me. I'll be sure to update my blog as I come across any gems.
In the meantime, feel free to send me any of the products mentioned above ;)