Saturday, December 26, 2015
Naanolicious, has a new menu which is much simpler and streamlined from the previous one. Fortunately, most of my favourites made the cut, but there are a few new things for me to try. One of them is the beef short ribs. Three Korean ribs (or, Miami ribs, as these were known in my household) are cut into small pieces with the bone in the middle, and grilled with Naanolicious's signature spices. The result is a crunchy, dry rib that makes an excellent appetizer, or meal if combined with some naan or rice. Naanolicious is a Halal restaurant, so while pork dry ribs are not an option, this is a great choice and a welcome menu addition.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Central Social Hall - for brunch, no less. The chicken and waffles I had were the most decadent ever. The waffles were unmistakably made from scratch, light and fluffy to perfection. Rich red wine gravy was drizzled liberally, as were blobs of cranberry compote. The chicken was lightly coated and consisted of juicy breast meat. This was definitely a brunch to remember.
The Rose and Crown last week. I had the smoked meat sandwich, upon which I have had my eye for a while. The meat was cold deli from Lester's, and it was good quality - I just wish there was more of it. The slices of dill pickle added a nice touch, and the lightly-toasted rye was great. The hot mustard was not to my taste, and I found it bitter, but I was told you can order regular mustard with it instead.
Kafana last week before a meeting in the area, and ordered the Pljeskavica - it's a HUGE hamburger served on top of a bed of fries, with a piece of bun on the side. This is apparently the traditional Balkan way to serve a burger, as opposed to the Balkan Burger on the menu, which is also huge but served with garnishes like ketchup and mustard. I love how the flavour of the meat took centre of the dish, while the beefsteak fries were seasoned and a delight.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Nha Trang, when having supper here was convenient this week, I decided to try something different. My chicken on rice was a large, thick, boneless thigh that tasted a little bit grilled but really did not have much flavour. Plus, the skin was not crispy at all - it was thick and gummy, and I had to peel most of it away, which was not pleasant. The portion was rice was huge though. My spring rolls were cold on the inside. In fairness, they originally brought me ones filled with pork - I had specifically asked for the vegetarian ones - and the replacements were brought out rather quickly, so perhaps they were not in the fryer long enough. However, I also had to take an important phone call during this time so if they were hot, even for a fleeting while, that time had passed by the time I got to them. Still, I am underwhelmed.
V Sandwiches sells more than just banh mi. I had a bowl of the well-done beef, which was steaming hot and quite large. The beef and noodles were plentiful, and the broth was quite rich and meaty albeit with a sour taste likely from fish sauce. I can see myself coming here quite often during the winter.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Padmanadi this weekend. I decided to try something I had never had before, the General Tao Chicken. Small pieces of fried vegetarian chicken was served in a tangy, sweet sauce along with bell peppers and shredded carrots. The amount of "chicken" was huge, and the flavour and texture almost reminded me of ginger beef, except this was unmistakable as imitation chicken. The sauce had less kick than a ginger sauce, and was more sweet without it being like a sweet-and-sour sauce either. Very unique, and definitely suited for sharing for two people with rice.
Sherlock Holmes Pub on Rice Howard Way is a frequent stop for me after events on Churchill Square. The deep-fries pickle spears are half off after 2 p.m. on Saturdays, so it seemed like a good idea to share some before the meal. Six (two were already consumed by the time the photo was taken) huge spears with ranch dressing and vegetable sticks were presented. The pickles were hot and totally coated in a very thick batter that absorbed the dressing well. The pickles inside were still moist, salty, and briny. This is a great plate to share that won't break the bank.
The Pourhouse Bier Bistro has a breakfast menu. I went for the steak and eggs, a favourite of mine (especially when I am very hungry). I think that was the largest steak I have ever had with this meal before. The eggs were done to perfection, and the potatoes were roasted with garlic, which got a bit more intense for me the more I ate of them. I would have preferred a smaller steak that was leaner - I found I was getting sidetracked with fat and gristle. However, this is a formidable plate for $17 and a must-try for brunch fans of the non-vegetarian kind. Plus, it is a very spacious place that is much quieter than other brunch places in the area. Definitely a best-kept secret of Whyte - for now.
Naanolicious - at least, until the new menu comes into effect - but have had few of the desserts that go so well with their new chai bar. The gulab jamun was a small portion of intense sweetness: small, round cake bites in a warm syrup. A perfect way to end a spicy meal.
The Rose and Crown where I had the Steak and Murphy Pie. The best thing about this comforting dish is the amount of beef. The carrots and onions sort of got lost int he rich broth. The pie read more like a beef soup rather than stew, but it was hearty. I never had Irish soda bread before: it was dense and salty and went well in the broth, which took some of its flavour from the Murphy's stout.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Ricky's. I was craving some comfort food, and chicken fingers (or, tenders as they are called on their menu) is my favourite in such a category. I opted for the regular portion, which was six small to medium sized tenders in a crispy coating, served with my choice of fries, wedges, or chips. I had the wedges, which were also very crispy, hot, and comforting. The tenders (and wings) take up a full page of Ricky's menu - I can definitely see why.
The Rose and Crown prior to filming a couple of events nearby at City Hall. Thursday, as it turns out, is Prime Rib Special night, and so I ordered that. My rather large slice of meat was cooked to perfection, served with lightly steamed red peppers and cauliflower, a Yorkshire pudding with gravy, and a few potato wedges. I would have preferred mashed potato instead of the wedges, but otherwise this was an economical, satisfying meal for meat-lowers. Seriously: I ran out of sides and still had a substantial amount of meat left.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Nha Trang which seems like it has been there forever across the street from the Royal Alex. First, I ordered onion cakes, which were excellent: chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and well-seasoned. Next, came my medium order of Phi Tai - pho with rare sliced steak. The portion was definitely adequate, it was steaming hot, and full of meat and noodles. The broth was a little more one-note than I like, however. It tasted strongly from anise, and little else. Although I certainly would come back here in the future, it would not be my first choice with Chinatown being so close by.
Padmanadi last week, I noticed a sign mentioning a special of chicken and waffles, for brunch only. Since chicken and waffles is one of my favourite brunch items, that clinched it: I had to return to the restaurant on the weekend for brunch. I was not disappointed. Five huge "chicken tenders" were atop a dense, flavourful waffle cut into quarters, with a side of syrup. The salad with peanut butter dressing added another level of flavour. Also, I wanted a side of "bacon" but they were out, so I opted for "sausages." They were huge and only $3.
Block 1912 because I have not yet had a chance to enjoy this autumn treat. The individual pie was loaded with pumpkin filling (albeit still a bit frozen in the very centre) and the crust almost read more like a decadent cookie, especially the frosted part at the very bottom (which helped prevent it from getting soggy, I am assuming). I didn't finish. I rarely do with Block 1912's desserts.
Chiantis last week, we discovered that the appetizers were on special for half price. So, I decided to try an order of Zucchini Fritti: thick zucchini sticks lightly breaded and fried, with a serving of ranch dip. The portion was huge, just like the zucchini. I will definitely be back for this!
Chianti Cafe on Whyte Avenue last week. While I waited for my associate to arrive, I ordered a cappuccino. I find it rare I can find a cappuccino in Edmonton that doesn't taste like something that could peel the paint off of a car. This cup was smooth and creamy - exactly as it should have been. Our waiter was proud of his work and honoured that I took a picture.
Padmanadi with my brother and father for supper, we like to start with a soup. This time we had the corn chowder, which was piping hot, full of sweet corn, and accented with veggie ham. A warm and comforting way to start a meal.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Hudson's. I ordered them when I was at the Whyte Avenue location for lunch this week. The Spolumbo's chicken maple sausages were large and had a good texture, although I did not pick up much of the sweetness from the maple. The onion demi-glace was extremely thick and soupy - more like a rich gravy, and that really dominated. Instead of the cheddar mashed potatoes I had fries (I don't like cheese in my mash and it was already all made up). Very filling comfort food, but if I ever had it again I would ask for the demi-glace on the side.
HALO Bar and Bistro, which is located in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel. I had a sampler platter, giving me a choice of three of the menu's small plates. The chicken pot stickers reminded me of a similar dish I get in another restaurant/bar I frequent - nothing really unique. The green onion chicken was two skewers of chicken breast deep fried in a crispy batter with green onion. The green onion flavour really did not come through - I expected more of a green onion cake sort of batter - and the flavour and texture was sort of a "fish and chips" kind of thing, making the aioli they were served upon go well with them. The star of the plate was the Alberta prime rib meatball slider, which was a dense, perfectly-cooked meatball in a fresh bun with slaw. I found that while the green onion chicken was hot, the other items had some temperature inconsistencies. Overall, for the price, I was not blown away by the food,e ven though I really liked the atmosphere of the place itself.
Block 1912 for coffee and a piece of pumpkin mousse cake. The top of the cake was fluffy mousse, with a thin layer of moise spiced cake underneath. Delicate sprinkles of dark chocolate enrobed the outer layer. The mousse part itself did not taste much from pumpkin - one had to scoop up the mousse and cake together for the full flavour experience. This was one of the lighter desserts I have had here, as far as a cake can go, and made a good after-dinner treat.
MEAT. I had the brisket, which is my favourite meat there, and for something different chose the green beans as a side. I am not usually a fan of string beans, but when they are fresh they can be wonderful. They were blanched and cooked lightly in butter, not enough to be overpowering, and sprinkled with bread crumbs. It was a light-tasting, comparatively healthy choice (butter aside, green beans are a great source of fibre), and went well with th brisket.
Viphalay is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday. Better still, there is a special lunch menu with a variety of affordable options ($15 range). I had one of the curry combos. The yellow curry was just spicy enough, with a familiar, rich texture and flavour. It was full of potatoes and carrots, as well as tofu (my choice of protein). The abundant liquid went well with the side of coconut rice (jasmine was the other option).
Italian Centre often. Usually I just have a latte or espresso. Last week I had a major craving for dessert, and had a slice of the lemon cake with my cappuccino. The cake was moist and sweet, and the lemon flavour resonated.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Maki Maki. I had a bowl of pho with well-done beef brisket. The broth was rich and meaty, the noodles were plentiful, and the meat was so tender it was falling apart in the bowl. And, there was lots of it. Plus, I loved the abundance of cilantro. Piping hot, filling, and totally comforting.
Co Co Di because I love Mediterranean food and it was there. I ordered the chicken kabob wrap with a side of tabouli salad. The wrap had a full kabob's worth of chicken in it, with a mild garlic sauce, pickles (the purple kind), and tomatoes. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and the wrap was small, but very tasty. I was accidentally brought fattoush salad instead of the tabouli, but it looked so beautiful I did not complain. It was the best fattoush I have ever had, with crispy pita chips, pomegranate seeds, onions, cucumbers, and a delicious house dressing. I was brought a tabouli to go when the mistake was discovered, which was much appreciated. At $12 this was a perfect portion for the time of day.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Riverside Bistro at the downtown Courtyard Marriott hotel has become my go-to place for supper before events at the Shaw Conference Centre. Last week, I was excited to attend the Chris De Burgh concert and had a steak sandwich before the show. The presentation of the meal was wonderful, with a balance between the fries and generous portion of onion straws. A few mushrooms graced the area around the steak, which I ordered well-done. And well-done it was - the charred crust was a bit over-done, but the meat inside was flavourful and not tough. I will be more explicit in my cooking instructions next time.
Edmonton Zombie Walk, I was in need of some hot comfort food. I went to the Rice Howard Way location of The Sherlock Holmes Pub and ordered Shepherd's Pie. The dish was deep and piping hot, with beef in a savoury gravy and lots of vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes. Comfort food doesn't get more comforting than this.
De Dutch on Jasper Avenue. I went for the Dutch Scramble, which is scrambled eggs with a choice of filling, potatoes, toast, and a choice of fruit or a salad (I chose the fruit). For my filling, I had the wild B.C. smoked salmon, which was also the priciest choice. Almost $17 for scrambled eggs seemed a bit high, but the serving was large and there was a lot of salmon. I viewed this as brunch comfort food.
Piccolino Bistro for his birthday recently. I had the vegetable pizza. I absolutely love how the thin crust stayed crispy without being over-done, under a mountain of toppings. The cheese to vegetable ratio was perfect. The variety of vegetables was also great. I ate half and took the rest home. Two people could easily share.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
An oncoming cold made me crave pho, and since Pho Delight, the soup side of Friends and Neighbours (10838 82 Avenue) was near a meeting, that is where I went and had chicken pho. Admittedly, my sense of taste was diminished as my head congestion grew, but the broth was soothing, the slices of chicken breast were ample enough, and the noodles were comforting. I could have done with a few more herbs in the broth but it got the job done.
A photo posted by Paula E. Kirman (@livingsanctuary) on
There are a few food trucks that I have been really wanting to try, and Attila the HUNgry is one of them. I finally tried their famous duck tots during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival last weekend. This was possibly the biggest serving of tater tots I have ever experienced. This was definitely the only serving of tater tots I have ever had that were topped with braised duck breast, lime Sriracha sauce, Hoisin aioli, and a mountain of peanuts. Filling, flavourful, and memorable. Next time I am going to have to bring a small shovel and someone with whom to share.
A photo posted by Paula E. Kirman (@livingsanctuary) on
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Remedy. I tried the vegan chicken chana wrap. Shredded veggie chicken was mixed with chana masala inside of the crispy, pressed pita shell. I am not sure if the batch I had was just slightly overcooked, but a number of the chickpeas were very dried out. Still, this is a great choice for vegans as it is both substantial and flavourful.
Tony Roma's for some time now, and decided to use it over the weekend. After the initial sticker shock of the dinner menu wore off, I opted for the $25 prime rib sinner. My thick slab of meat was cooked to perfection and served with two sides (I opted for mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables) which were also excellent. The prime rib in particular was soft and succulent, with the perfect combination of seasonings.
Block 1912 is usually the first place I head. I tried the tiramisu and found the flavours of mascarpone cream and cake soaked in coffee liquor to be rich and moist. This was a less traditional take on the dessert, as the only Ladyfinger to be found was a garnish on top. That aside, I loved how moist the dessert was, if not just a tad too sweet, and could barely finish.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Padmanadi I tend to order the tries-and-true, at least as far as I am concerned. When I went there this past week I decided to try something different: the Padmanadi Seafood Delight. And what a delight it was. I don't know how they do it, but the "seafood" had the right look and texture (as far as I could tell as a non-seafood eater). The fried potato bird's nest was filled with "shrimp," "fish balls," and "scallops," as well as a healthy portion of veggie ham, as well as a variety of vegetables in a smoky mushroom sauce. The bird's nest gave a sort of "fish and chips" feel to the dish. It took me a few moments to get over the weirdness of it, but then I really enjoyed myself. I am adding this to my list of things to order again.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Original Joe's for supper (on 125 Street and 102 Avenue) the other night and ordered a veggie burger. The patty was dense and soy-based, with a rather complex flavour profile coming from the guacamole on the top part of the bun and the hummus on the bottom. As well, a hearty portion of bruschetta was on top. I held the cheese (vegans be aware) and had fries and coleslaw as my two sides. The gravy is also vegetarian, which is just awesome. The coleslaw was very fresh and added some lightness to the meal. A win overall.
Fringe Theatre Festival so again I hit up some of the food on site. While there was actually quite an impressive selection of food this year, much better than in the previous couple of years, I stuck with the tried and true - I think I was more focused on taking pictures than eating. I got started with the Chicken Tikka from Zaika. The dish is very flavourful and making it a combo with the samosa really made for a hearty meal.