Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Taste of Edmonton is a local food lover's paradise. There are a number of new restaurants and dishes in the festival this year. One of the tried and true is the Beijing Style Kung Pow Chicken from The Lingnan. I only had a spoonful of this as it was for someone else, but it was full of spicy flavour and chicken, on top of a bed of rice. Really intense. Creole Envie was my absolute must-try for this year, probably for the same reason as many others: the movie of the same name. That being said, for only two tickets I got at least six slices of lightly breaded and fried green tomatoes, which tasted slightly acidic with a nice crunch, accented by the creole aioli. Native Delights. The bannock fry bread, made with non-GMO ingredients, was absolutely delightful: not greasy but crispy on the outside, with a chewy inside and slight sweetness. Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse as I do not think I have the fortitude to withstand such a meat overload, but the Beef Garlic Rump Steak satisfied my curiosity. Rump can be a very tough cut, but this was marinated to perfection and the garlic was not overpowering. Although I had one bite that was practically all fat, overall I enjoyed the skewer. Langano Skies, another restaurant that I have heard many good things about but have never ventured within. Served with a small piece of sour injera bread, this was a great dish for vegetarians and a gentle introduction to Ethiopian food. Normand's Bistro was one of my favourite dishes of the afternoon. The meat was practically melting in my mouth, the mashed potatoes were creamy, and the sauce was at once sweet and savoury. Blue Willow was for someone else, but I managed to sneak a bite of the lightly breaded chicken in a sweet pineapple sauce. Edmonton Petroleum Club was my choice. The whipped cream and cherry filling between two chocolate cake wafers was certainly good satisfaction for my sweet tooth, although I would have enjoyed more of the cherry. On The Rocks was mine!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Padmanadi. There is an extensive lunch menu featuring perfectly proportioned meals of protein, rice, and vegetables, along with two spring rolls. I opted for the ginger beef, which was strips of soy beef in a tangy ginger sauce. There was a good amount of rice, some broccoli to give the dish colour, and the spring rolls were crispy and excellent. We also shared some corn cakes (sweet, crispy, and gluten free) as an appetizer, two of which you can see in the photo.
Pho Delight on Whyte Avenue for lunch yesterday and because it was too hot for soup, had the vegan bowl. This is one of the house specials not on the printed menu. It is a huge bowl of vermicelli noodled topped with picked carrots, cucumber, lettuce, lots of lemongrass tofu, onions, and mushrooms. This is probably the first time I have ever experienced mushrooms in a vermicelli bowl. The flavour of lemongrass permeated the tofu and the onions, which were sweet and delicious. There was a slight spicy kick, but not overpowering. Filling and really excellent. As a note, the bowl does not come with onion cakes or salad rolls - what you see in the picture is my share of some other goodies on the table.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Sherlock's on campus last night following the World Cup final, and ordered a chicken pot pie to help me drown my sorrow after Argentina lost to Germany. Served in a deep bowl, it had a lot of potato and chicken chunks with peas in a creamy sauce - definitely comfort food. The crispy, flaky top crust was perhaps the best part. My friend kept digging his fork in to share the goodness.
All Happy. I had supper there with a co-worker a few weeks ago. My friend ordered the garlic fried rice. I tried a little and it lived up to its name. Tiny bits of fried garlic were in every bite. It was too much for me, but she really liked it.
Sherlock Holmes with friends last week, and needed some food to go with my libations. I had the chicken fingers, which was listed under Appetizers but was huge enough for a meal. Five plump fingers with a mountain of fries. I could not finish - a rare happening indeed.
Zocalo, I wanted something sweet to go with my coffee. I tried one of the truffles that look so beautiful in the display case. I chose the basic fudge truffle, with a thick milk chocolate coating and a gooey centre that tasted of chocolate and caramel. At almost $4 for one it is a little pricey, but a decadent occasional treat.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Block 1912 is one of my favourite coffee shops, not just because the coffee is excellent, but because of the incredible, original desserts. When I wanted a treat, but something lighter, I tried the peach and nectarine cobbler. I loved the gluten free top crust, but found there was not a lot of fruit underneath. I also should have opted to have the dessert cold instead of heated up - I think some of the moisture might have gotten lost in the process.
Padmanadi is one of those restaurants I love but don't get to as often as I would like. When I had supper there a few weeks ago I tried a new item, the lemon shrimp. The "shrimp" is the same as in the sweet and sour entree, which is one of my favourites. The panko crust and lemon drizzle is very flavourful and made for an enjoyable appetizer.
Naanolicious. I went for the paneer version of their signature sizzling kebabs. My plate was filled with large cunks of the pressed cheese, cooked perfectly to my taste (I like it mild). The paneer is not as absorbent of the flavours as its meat equivalents, but it was still an excellent alternative when desiring a lighter meal. The accompanying saffron rice was perfect.
Jeffrey's Cafe a few days ago included a bowl of cream of potato and leek soup. It was indeed hot and creamy, with the flavour of potato dominating over the leek. In fact, I am not sure I would have known there was leek in it if it was not in the name.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Block 1912 and order a piece of chocolate brownie mousse cake. It features a thick layer of rich mousse atop a base of brownie. It is one of the riches pieces of cake I ever have eaten. It is actually more of a confection than a cake. Goes very well with coffee.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Earl's. I ordered a vegan bowl with tofu and a variety of vegetables atop a bed of quinoa, served with a lemongrass sauce. Although the portion seemed skimpy at first, there was more than met the eye. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, although the onions, stated on the menu as "crunchy," were actually caramelized, not fried. The sauce really completed the dish, and I loved how it was served to the side so the customer could control the amount (I can imagine it being overpowering for some, but I ended up using all of it). A perfect summer dish!
Pho Delight for a quick supper alone a couple of Saturday evenings ago and in addition to the soup I ordered (medium steak, of course), I was intrigued by the smoked salmon and avocado salad rolls advertised as a special. Very refreshing and delicious, each of the four rolls featured a generous amount of avocado and smoked salmon, along with noodles, basil, and other vegetables typically found in a salad roll. It was indeed a unique combination. I found that the peanut sauce, the same which accompanies other kinds of salad rolls, did not really go well with the flavour combination. Hoisin or plain soy sauce would have been a better choice. However, I was impressed that the avocado was of perfect ripeness (over-ripe avocado makes me gag).
Naanolicious with a co-worker last week, and was thrilled to discover Palak Paneer on the menu of specials. The spinach curry with pressed cheese is one of my favourite East Indian dishes, and I had yet to find it on their menu. The curry was creamy, smooth, and not overpowering, while the cheese was delicate in flavour and had a good, firm texture. One of the best I have had in a long time.