Saturday, June 30, 2012

Breakfast for Lunch: Vancouver Double Berry Pancakes Breakfast

Denny's currently has a "Tour of North America" special menu. When there for lunch earlier this week, I had the Vancouver Double Berry Pancakes Breakfast.

I am not sure what pancakes with strawberry and blueberries have to do specifically with Vancouver, but they were huge and bursting with fruit. I actually would have preferred normal maple syrup to the cream cheese topping - it was a bit too sweet.

The rest of the meal included two eggs, hash browns, and two pieces of meat (I had turkey bacon).

Post-Distribution Meal: Steak Sandwich at Ricky's

Steak Sandwich by raise my voice
Steak Sandwich, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

After spending a long day Friday distributing community newspapers throughout the inner city, a hearty meal was in order. My distribution partner and very special friend chose Ricky's All Day Grill as his restaurant of choice.

I had a Certified Angus Beef Steak Sandwich. Topped with barbecue sauce and fried onion, it was done to my specifications and tasted great. I mean, it's a steak sandwich - it's hard to go wrong.

Instead of the sweet potato fries listed on the menu (I like sweet potatoes, but not as fries for some reason), I opted for the bottleneck fries. They were crispy and plentiful, but could have done with some seasoning.

Tutti Frutti on a Hot Afternoon

Frozen Yogurt by raise my voice
Frozen Yogurt, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

I liken Tutti Frutti to a frozen yogurt bar. Grab your cup, insert yogurt, and then add as many toppings as you want. Pay by weight, and away you go.

Today's creation consisted of Death by Chocolate and Taro yogurt, topped with Smarties (which were a bit sticky from a combination of the heat and a yogurt-covered serving spoon), chocolate chips, Frosted Mini-Wheats (one of the best toppings, actually), and Froot Loops. A balanced meal, indeed!

On the Street: Fat Franks

Fat Frank by raise my voice
Fat Frank, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

Oh, Fat Franks, how I love thee. You are the epitome of street food in Edmonton. Getting a jumbo hot dog from your main stand on Whyte Avenue is especially a treat, for there is corn relish and black olives to be had. How you satisfy my hunger with your beef and chicken goodness. I have seen other hot dog vendors pop up lately in the city, but I doubt from you I will ever stray.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Alberta Beef Tacos at Brewsters

Alberta Beef Tacos by raise my voice
Alberta Beef Tacos, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

It has been a while since I ventured to Brewsters. Several of the new menu items intrigued me, particularly the beef tacos.

Two large soft taco shells were packed with pulled short rib meat, on top of a bed of coleslaw and topped with sweet caramelized onions and cilantro. There were a lot of flavours going on here, particularly sweet with heat, accentuated by the addition of the pico de gallo on the side.

The fries went well with the meal, but I think something like a southwest style salad with corn and beans would have elevated the dish to another level. That said, the tacos were filling and delicious.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting My Fry on - Five Guys

French Fries by raise my voice
French Fries, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

An impromptu trip out to Southside Common made trying the new Edmonton location of Five Guys an easy decision.

The completely white and red decor (including the washrooms!) was a bit disconcerting for me. Boxes of peanuts to much on while waiting for one's order were all over the place.

The menu was very limited - a selection of around five burgers, a few hot dogs, and a couple of vegetarian sandwich-type items. Burgers could have many toppings added to them for free.

As my stomach was a bit out of sorts, I opted to only try Five Guys' other specialty besides burgers: fries. Regular or large, they come either Five Guys style or cajun.

My regular order of Five Guys fries was a meal in itself. I was full after eating what was in the cup alone - in addition, a healthy portion was dumped into the bag. A portion which is typical in and of itself for other places as a small order. Wow. The fries were excellent, hand cut with skin. I did not find them too salty either.

Beside me, the cajun fries were coated in spice, while the cheeseburger being consumed was huge and dripping with toppings. When I return, I will opt for a small burger, as the regular contains two patties - far too much for me to handle, along with fries, which I will refuse to forgo!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grilled Beef Vermicelli at Ho Restaurant

The last few times I have visited Ho Restaurant (corner of 97 Street and 107A Avenue) I have enjoyed the pho. This evening, I decided to try something different.

I opted for vermicelli bowl with grilled beef. The size and price of the bowl was in line with other Vietnamese restaurants in the area, at around $9. The noodles were plentiful, atop a bed of salad, and topped with lots of thinly sliced, well-done beef. The beef was a bit on the spicy side for a plain grilled beef bowl, and tasted heavily of lemongrass. It got to be a bit too much towards the end of the meal.

Also, I learned something important: although there are soy sauce containers on the tables, what is inside of them is actually fish sauce. I don't care for fish sauce, which is traditionally served with a vermicelli bowl, and opt for soy sauce and hoisin instead. So, my lesson was learned the hard way. It would have been even harder for someone with a seafood allergy.

I am probably going to stick with the pho at Ho - and suggest to the owner that the fish sauce be labelled.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Pho Files: Pho Ga at Ngu Binh

Pho Ga by raise my voice
Pho Ga, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

Lunch today was at Ngu Binh (15620 95 Avenue). I opted for the Pho Ga (chicken pho), in part lured by the menu description of chicken breast.

The broth was chicken instead of beef, which made for a lighter texture. It had fewer layers of aromatics than the beef counterpart (at least, the last time I had it), but it was a deep, rich chicken broth. The fried onion bits dominated a little (I have no idea why those are often used in pho ga).

The chicken was mostly fresh, white breast meat as promised. And there was plenty of it.

Overall, this was a very satisfying bowl of pho, and while I prefer the beef-based variety, a nice alternative.

Best. Focaccia. Ever. (Italian Centre)

Focaccia by raise my voice
Focaccia, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

Spinelli's Bar Italia at the north side Italian Centre is serving up a lot more than espresso and sweet treats. Now, you can get grilled sandwiches, soup, pizza, and focaccia.

Focaccia. I have had it before and never considered it a big deal. A dense hunk of break, with seasonings.

I saw some gentlemen having focaccia at Spinelli's recently, and it looked very different. First of all, it had toppings. It looked more like pizza, without cheese.

I was at Spinelli's on Monday evening waiting for a friend, watching soccer, and killing time before a board meeting - in that order. I had also eaten supper early and had the evening munchies, so I had a piece of the tomato and olive focaccia (the other choice would have been tomato and jalapeno peppers, which I can't do for medical reasons).

My tastebuds were blown away by the rich seasonings, earthy olives, and sweet tomatoes. The bread itself was light and flaky, with the fact it had been heated making it crisp. I am not even sure I can put into words how delicious the focaccia was.

I will definitely keep this in mind when I am at the Italian Centre and wanting a snack or light lunch.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Breakfast for Lunch: Steak and Eggs at The Pint

Steak and Eggs by raise my voice
Steak and Eggs, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

I wanted to grab some lunch after the Pride Parade on Saturday, and since I had an afternoon meeting in the vicinity of 109 Street I headed to The Pint for some post-Pride food and libations.

I hadn't been to The Pint in a while and was surprised by their Hangover Brunch menu. All of the items are $10 and there is quite a range from egg and meat dishes to pancakes.

I went for the Steak and Eggs and a pint of Strongbow. My steak was juicy and thick - probably the best part of the meal. My eggs done over-easy by my request were already broken by the time the dish reached my table. The "hash browns" were Tater Tots a la Humpty's, and the slices of apple really did not do much for me. The two pieces of rye toast went well with the meal and I appreciated the kitchen heeding my instructions not to butter them.

Aesthetics aside (and the fact that The Pint could probably make its own hash browns) the meal was certainly worth the money. Service was also very friendly, and it was a great spot to watch Germany vs. Portugal.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake at Chili's

As we were celebrating a milestone birthday, after Sunday supper at Chili's we decided to splurge on dessert.

This cake is huge, extremely rich, and bursting with both liquid chocolate and ice cream. It is easily shareable, and afterwards I wish I had. We're talking major food coma here.

Steak Sandwich at Chili's

Steak Sandwich by raise my voice
Steak Sandwich, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

I owed someone a birthday supper, and Chili's was his restaurant of choice.

At the Westgate location, I had a steak sandwich. The weight was not listed on the menu, but I am guessing it was six ounces, and cut very thick. I ordered mine well done, and while I disagree with the restaurant's menu explanation that well done still has some pink inside, I was happy with how my steak was done. It was quite flavourful from the grill. The dollop of garlic butter ("steak butter" I was told) was quickly put to the side after receiving my meal. Dousing a steak in butter is simply foreign to me.

The onion straws atop the garlic toast made for a nice bed for the meat. As for the fries, they were seasoned nicely but nothing special.

I would have this again, but maybe with another side.