Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Veggie Shepherd's Pie by raise my voice
Veggie Shepherd's Pie, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

I did not expect to end up at Blue Plate Diner for lunch today, but that is exactly where I was.

My vegetarian shepherd's pie was a warm, comforting dish. The interior was a vegan chili with tomatoes, corn, and beans at its core, topped with Dijon butternut and potato mash. The mash tasted mostly from plain potato, and the inside was not too liquidy so that the pie retained its form throughout the meal.

Even though the portion is quite adequate, the meal came with a choice of side so I had to have Blue Plate Diner's fresh-cut fries.

By the way, the other meal on the table is the grilled veggie sandwich and a side of salad.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Breakfast for Lunch: Urban Diner


I haven't been to Urban Diner in ages, so when I ended up spending some time on 124 Street on Saturday, I headed there for brunch.

I started out with an order of poffertjes, which are small pancakes served with chocolate sauce and hot maple syrup for dipping. This was one of the dishes featured on the Food Network's You Gotta Eat Here. I can see - I mean, taste - why. These little morsels absolutely melted in my mouth.

Eggs with Chicken Sausage

Next up was my main course of two eggs, hash browns, toast, and chicken apple sausage. The eggs were done to perfection and large, and the has browns are very unique by incorporating sweet potato. Two huge pieces of toast would otherwise round out the meal, but I opted for the two egg breakfast with a side of meat. In this case, I chose the chicken apple sausage, which costs slightly more but is well worth it. The huge, dense, sausage is full of flavour, slightly sweet, and is probably the best sausage I have ever had.

Daal and Naan

Daal and Naan by raise my voice
Daal and Naan, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

I had two events to get to on Whyte Avenue this afternoon, and Naanolicious was almost smack dab in the middle of them.

Daal is one of my favourite East Indian dishes, so I was happy that a version of it is on the restaurant's menu (Dip Into the Lentil). A generous portion of the thick, lentil stew is served with a butter naan - it's a perfect pairing!

Chicken Enchilada Soup & Boneless Wings

I had a rather long day on Saturday and ended up kicking back for a while at the west end location of Chili's for a bowl of Chicken Enchilada Soup and an order of honey barbecue boneless wings.

I have had the soup many times before, and it was as thick, rich, zesty, and full of chicken as ever. The wings were great - plump and juicy, retaining the crisp outer coating despite the sauce. The only downside was that for the cost of the two starters I could have had a main, but this was what I wanted and it was satisfying.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tom Yum Soup at Viphalay

Tom Yum Soup by raise my voice
Tom Yum Soup, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

Yesterday a co-worker and I had supper at Viphalay prior to a meeting. In addition to Pad Thai, which I have reviewed here before, we also shared a Tom Yum soup.

I have never had Tom Yum soup before, and found it five-alarm spicy. That being said, it was also tangy and delicious. We chose chicken as the protein, which blended well with the broth and vegetables. It was very warming on a cold evening, on a number of different levels!

Chicken Two Ways at Naanolicious

Pickled Chicken

Hanging out at Blues On Whyte for most of the day Saturday led me to have a couple of meals at the adjoining Naanolicious. The pickled chicken is probably my favourite dish there so far. The sizzling platter of chicken, sweet onions, and mushrooms are cooked to perfection in seasonings commonly used in the pickling process. However, the dish does not taste like a bunch of pickles! The chicken is sort of like tandoori but more flavourful, the onion is so sweet that it decadent, and the mushrooms absorb a lot of the flavour too. This is perfect with a piece of naan to scoop up all of the sauce.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Later in the day I did a take out of a special of the day, which was grilled chicken in a teriyaki sauce with coleslaw and a piece of naan bunched up in the middle. It was a really good combination of flavours and the naan was a perfect starch. However, being bunched up in the middle made the dish a little difficult to eat - maybe it should have been cut up into wedges. The red cabbage in the coleslaw was also on the bitter side, which detracted from an otherwise fresh and delicious dish. The shining star of the meal was the chicken, which was grilled to perfection.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Pho Files: Vietnamese Beef Stew

Vietnamese Beef Stew by raise my voice
Vietnamese Beef Stew, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

As the sun began to hide and the wind and snow started to kick up, taking a co-worker for pho seemed like a great idea. We went to the Pho Hoa located on 97 Street and 106 Avenue.

I went for the beef stew with noodles, my first time trying it here. Even though it was a small portion, there was a lot of beef, and the carrots were cooked to perfection. The broth, while different in colour than I have had elsewhere (usually it is more orange), was very aromatic with spices and seasonings. A great mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Pho Files: Special Beef Soup at Doan's

After a rally on a cold afternoon I was craving a bowl of warm pho. The downtown location of Doan's was the nearest Vietnamese restaurant, so I headed there.

Onion Cake

I got started with a green onion cake. The shape was rather unusual: it was not round, but straight and cut into pieces. It tasted as good as an onion cake should, which is the important thing.

Special Beef Soup

The choices for pho is not as extensive as in other restaurants, and the only option for a plain beef pho was the Special Beef soup with beef balls, medium sliced beef, well done sliced beef, and brisket. I am not a huge fan of Vietnamese beef balls as I find the texture to be too chewy, but these were all right. The other kinds of beef also varied in texture, and there was plenty of beef to be had. The broth was wonderful, very fragrant and rich. I would definitely have this again, maybe without the beef balls.