Monday, November 30, 2015

Breakfast for Lunch: Chicken and Waffles at Central Social Hall

Chicken and waffles #yegfood

After walking past it innumerable times, I finally made it into 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.

Smoked Meat Sandwich at Rose and Crown

Smoked meat sammie #yegfood

Another event at City Hall led me to have supper at 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.

Pljeskavica at Kafana

Massive burger at Kafana #yegfood

I had supper at 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

Chicken on Rice at Nha Trang

Chicken on rice with spring rolls. #yegfood

I am usually willing to give a place a second chance, so even though I was not blown away by my pho last week at 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.

The Pho Files: Well-Done Beef at V Sandwiches

Pho time #yegfood

Desperate for pho on Whyte Avenue last week, I noticed that 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

Vegging Out: General Tao Chicken at Padmanadi

General Tao Chicken #yegfood

A family supper brought me back to 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.

Deep-Fried Pickles at Sherlock's

Deep fried pickles #yegfood

The 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.

Breakfast for Lunch: Steak and Eggs at The Pourhouse

Steak and eggs #yegfood

While looking around at brunch options while on Whyte Avenue over the weekend, I noticed that 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.

Just Desserts: Gulab Jamun at Naanolicious

Gulab jamun #yegfood

I have pretty much worked my way through the entire menu at 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.

Steak and Murphy Stew at The Rose and Crown

Steak and Murphy stew #yegfood

Another event downtown brought me back to 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

Chicken Tenders at Ricky's

My favourite comfort food. #yegfood

I met up with my brother and father for supper over the weekend at the 109 Street location of 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.

Prime Rib at the Rose and Crown

Prime rib #yegfood

Last Thursday I had supper at 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

The Pho Files: Pho Tai at Nha Trang

Pho tai #yegfood

I have been spending a lot of time in the Kingsway area lately, and finally stopped in to 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.

Breakfast for Lunch: Vegan Chicken and Waffles at Padmanadi

Vegan chicken and waffles #yegfood

When having supper at 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.

Vegan sausage #yegfood

Just Desserts: Pumpkin Pie at Block 1912

Finally - I get some pumpkin pie #yegfood

In a rare moment, I had time to myself on a Saturday afternoon to read, sip coffee, and enjoy dessert. I had pumpkin pie at 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.

Fried Zucchini at Chiantis

Fried zucchini #yegfood

While I was meeting with a business associate at the Whyte Avenue location of 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!

Coffee Break: Cappuccino at Chiantis

Mid-afternoon meeting on Whyte. #yeg

I had a business meeting at 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.

Vegan Corn Chowder at Padmanadi

Vegan corn chowder #yegfood

When I go to 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.