Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chicken Sausages at Hudson's

Chicken sausages #yegfood

I am always amazed when I see options for sausages that are not pork-based, so I was happy to see chicken sausages on the menu at 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.

Small Plate Sampler at HALO

Tasting some small plates. #yegfood

I was seeing a friend off at the Edmonton International Airport this week, and we decided to enjoy some pre-flight drinks and dinner at 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.

Just Desserts: Pumpkin Mousse Cake at Block 1912

Pre-Blues coffee and dessert #yegfood

Before going to see one of my favourite bands at Blues On Whyte, I decided I needed some coffee and dessert to keep me going throughout what was going to be a late evening. I headed a few doors down to 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.

Brisket and Green Beans at MEAT

Brisket and green beans #yegfood

Sometimes I just need to treat myself, and on Sunday evenign I did by taking myself out for supper at 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.

Breakfast for Lunch: Steak and Eggs at Friends and Neighbours

Steak and eggs #yegfood

I had brunch on Saturday with a friend who was visiting, and we opted for Friends and Neighbours (10834 82 Avenue) because of its location and selection of breakfast items. I had the steak and eggs. My eggs were done perfectly. I ordered my steak well done, and there was some pink around the edges, something I have often encountered with rib eye, which is what I think the cut was. It was soft and had a good flavour though, although we had to wait an extraordinarily long time. I chalked this up to the fact it was busy and steak can take a while to cook. The toast and potatoes nicely rounded out the meal.

Yellow Curry at Viphalay

Yellow curry with tofu #yegfood

I was happy to learn that the 95 Street location of 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).

Just Desserts: Lemon Cake at the Italian Centre

Coffee break #yegfood

Since I am quite frequently in the McCauley neighbourhood, I stop in to the 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

The Pho Files: Brisket Pho at Maki Maki

Time for pho #yegfood

I had a severe craving for pho over the weekend, and being on Whyte Avenue, my choices were limited. Then, I remembered 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.

Chicken Kabob Wrap at Co Co Di

Chicken kebab and fattoush salad #yeg

It was late in the evening and I was on Jasper Avenue, in need of food. I stopped in to 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

Steak Sandwich at Riverside Bistro

Steak sandwich #yegfood

The 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.

Shepherd's Pie at Sherlock's

Shepherd's Pie - need some comfort food. #yegfood

After shooting my first-ever 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.

Breakfast for Lunch: Dutch Scramble with Smoked Salmon at De Dutch

Dutch scramble with smoked salmon #yegfood

I grabbed lunch a couple of weeks ago after an event downtown, at 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.

Vegetable Pizza at Piccolino Bistro

Vegetable pizza #yegfood

My brother and I took our father to 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.