Mess Royale opened in San Diego last month, offering authentic Montreal-style poutine and bagels.

Until now, poutine with actual cheese curds and Montreal-style bagels have been pretty much nonexistent in San Diego. At Mess Royale, owner and Canadian-born Hugo Tassone, has cheese curds shipped in from Wisconsin and bagels brought in from St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal.

Upon entering, you’ll find the menu on the wall, with a TV screen playing hockey above it. There’s a whole list of poutine variations, bagel sandwiches, and more.

El Pancho Poutine

These soft-batch flourless almond butter cookies have a touch of cocoa powder to give them a chocolate almond flavor.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I was definitely looking forward to the three day weekend so that I could recharge. I wish we were able to have a three day weekend once a month. Obviously if we had them all the time then we’d just fill up that day with activities. But it’s nice to have that extra day every once in a while, so that you can just rest and reset. Which is definitely what I did this weekend, along with doing some lazy weekend baking.

I always want to eat at Din Tai Fung when in Taipei. Famous for their steamed pork dumplings (xiao long bao), this famous chain originated in Taiwan and there are several locations in Taipei.

While we now have several US locations as well, I still think they taste slightly better in Taiwan, the menu has greater options, and it’s a different experience.

I didn’t take too many photos on this visit, which I’m regretting, since I wish I could share more visuals of some of the different aspects.

After we were seated, our server asked if we wanted the full introduction. We decided to let her go through everything and I actually learned a few things too. For instance, you are supposed to dip the dumplings in vinegar and soy sauce, but until now, I didn’t know that the ideal ratio (at least according to them) is one part soy sauce and 3 parts vinegar, mixed with the ginger provided.

If you are interested in the cold appetizers, they will actually bring out a display case showing you the choices.

This particular location we went to was quite spacious and the dumpling folding viewing area was much bigger compared to the views provided at all the US based locations I’ve been to.

Shrimp and Pork Potstickers

I love this version of cooking potstickers, so that they have a crispy bottom that extends beyond the dumpling. DTF’s is one of the prettiest I’ve seen, with a perfect rectangle connecting all the dumplings. I haven’t tried making it myself, but here’s an article from Serious Eats.

Pork Xiao Long Bao