Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grilled Chicken and Rice at Maki Maki

Grilled chicken and rice #yegfood

I have been visiting Maki Maki for pho on a regular basis lately, but wanted to try something different on a lunch stop there this week. Most of the vermicelli bowls had pork, which is a no-no for me, but I noticed grilled chicken and steamed rice with vegetables. The chicken was incredible, with a deep grilled flavour infused with lemongrass. The rice was plain but plentiful, and did well with the soy sauce on the table. The vegetables were just a few cut pieces of fresh tomato and cucumber, and was more like a garnish. The chicken was definitely the star of the plate, and I hope Maki Maki can make a vermicelli bowl with it.

Breakfast for Lunch: Banana Chocolate Belgian Waffle at Artisan Resto-Cafe

Banana chocolate waffle #yegfood

I had a very late lunch this week at Artisan Resto-Cafe on Whyte Avenue. It was more like a mid-afternoon snack: a Belgian waffle topped with fresh banana and chocolate sauce. I also had some syrup because much of the waffle was dry as chocolate sauce does not permeate the waffle like berry sauces and such. The waffle was freshly made, and chocolate and banana are favourite toppings of mine, so if you enjoy them as well then you can't go wrong with this. I found it a bit on the light side so if you're very hungry, consider getting one of the many breakfast sides with it.

Just Desserts: Chocolate Stout Cake and Triple-Berry Mousse Cake at Block 912

Dessert! Chocolate stout cake and triple berry mousse #yegfood

After a few weeks of renovations, Block 1912 is open again. I was there this past week for an after-dinner espresso and dessert. My triple-berry mousse cake was moist, with an outer layer of chocolate ganache, a top layer of thick, rich mousse, and several layers of berry-infused cake. I also tried the chocolate stout cake, which was rich and chocolatey, but did not taste much from stout. "Maybe it's just the shape you turn into if you eat too much of it," said the witty person who had actually ordered it.

Love Pizza

Trying a build my own pizza #yegfood

A photo posted by Paula E. Kirman (@livingsanctuary) on

I tried Love Pizza a few weeks ago on the recommendation of a friend who also wanted to try it. My custom pizza included sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, sliced potatoes, and an egg. I thought of it like a breakfast pizza. The ingredients were fresh and mostly local, and I could not believe how well the egg went on the pizza. The pizzas are all one size and one price, and take three minutes to cook. Love Pizza is an experience for all pizza lovers.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Pho Files: Vietnamese Beef Stew at Delicious Pho

Vietnamese beef stew #yegfood

A photo posted by Paula E. Kirman (@livingsanctuary) on

A meeting right across the street from the 124 Street location of Delicious Pho made the restaurant the perfect place for lunch. I tried the beef stew with cooked carrots and rice noodles. The broth was aromatic to perfection, as were the carrots perfectly cooked. The chunks of beef were smaller and leaner than in other versions of the stew, which made for easier eating. All in all, a definite win.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coffee Break: Granola and Yogurt at Credo

Thank you @credocoffee, for this mid-afternoon pick-me-up. #yegfood #yegcoffee #yeggers

I have been making a habit out of Credo Coffee. On one of my trips to the original 104 Street location last week, I was hungry in addition to wanting coffee, so I had a mid-afternoon snack of Credo's home-made granola with a generous dollop of plan yogurt on top of it. It was an excellent portion and the perfect pick-me-up. The granola was fresh and crunchy, with major overtones of cinnamon, more spicy than sweet. It went well with my macchiato, which is my new favourite drink there - it is small, but mighty.

Breakfast for Lunch: Coast Plaza Hotel

Breakfast - those are beef sausages #yegfood

I was at the Coast Plaza hotel for a function recently, and grabbed some breakfast while I waited, even though it was already around noon. The breakfast buffet was being put away, so I ordered an eggs/meat/potato dish from the breakfast menu - and it was more than enough food. The two eggs were done perfectly to my liking, while the beef sausages (a substitute for the pork) were crispy and delicious. The potatoes were a bit hard to deal with - they were undercooked, and served whole. If they were sliced they might have been more fork-tender, and also stood up better to the seasoning.

Turkey Drum at Brewsters

Turkey drum #yegfood

My first trip to the Meadowlark Brewsters in quite some time led me to order something off of the Irish-inspired special menu. It was a turkey drumstick - a whole drumstick grilled with crispy skin, a drizzle of a lemon aioli, and a slightly spicy barbecue sauce on the side. The meat was tender and juicy, coming away from the bone with only the use of a fork. The side of apple fennel slaw was a disappointment, though - it tasted pretty much like run of the mill slaw with a few apple slices thrown in. An additional small side of a starch would have rounded out the meal nicely - perhaps some tater tots?

Just Desserts: Mocha Cream Puff Tower at Block 1912

Coffee and a mocha cream puff tower @block1912 which is open again! #yegfood

The fact that Block 1912 has re-opened after four weeks of renovations (which are not quite finished - but hey, the place is open again!). The tempting dessert display is still there, and I tried the mocha cream puff tower. It lived up to its name - it had three levels of cream puff with chocolate ganache topping and mocha cream filling. The coffee flavour of the cream was extremely powerful, so be sure you are a coffee-lover before ordering this decadent treat.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Breakfast for Lunch: Sausage Hash at The Almanac

Turkey sausage hash #yegfood

The Almanac is a very nice little spot on Whyte Avenue that is sort of a cross between a French bistro and brunch joint. I went here for brunch and tried the sausage hash. To my surprise, I found out the sausage was maple turkey (not pork) and gluten-free to boot! I hope they put this information on the menu, because there are a lot of gluten-free and non-pork eaters out there. The portion was HUGE and I still had sausage left on my plate after all of the baby potatoes and sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms were gone. The fried egg on top brought the dish together, with its runny yolk.

Teriyaki Rice Bowl at Original Joe's

Teriyaki rice bowl - on a girl date with my friends Netta and Leslie #yegfood

I had a "girl date" with two of my best friends last week. We chose the 124 Street location of Original Joe's as it is centrally located and near one of our homes. I had the teriyaki rice bowl and was somewhat disappointed. The rice was just plain, boiled rice. While there was plenty of chicken and sauteed vegetables, the spicy yogurt dominated - my mouth sort of lost its sense of taste at one point, and was just burning. I think this is a healthy dish and a good-sized portion, but it needs to be toned down a few notches.

Just Desserts: Berry White Chocolate Scone at Leva

Coffee and scone @levacafe #yegfood

Coffee and a dessert at Cafe Leva is one of my life's little pleasures. I was going to have something other than what I chose to go with my Americano, but when I was saw scone almost smiling at me, I had to order it. It was crunchy on the outside with a buttery taste, while it was rich on the inside with melted white chocolate and lots of berry goodness.

Salisbury Steak and Route 99

Salisbury steak. #yegfood

To me, no meal screams "diner" like Salisbury Steak. I decided to try the one at Route 99 (8820 99 Street) when I was there for lunch last week. It started with a small bowl of the soup of the day, which was cream of broccoli (I could have had salad). Warm, comforting, and a great way to start the meal. Then, it came: a plate of glistening gravy atop a huge, thick beef patty, two mountains of mashed potatoes, and sweet carrots. The onions on top of the patty really made the meal - there were a lot of them, and they were fried to perfection. The beef patty had a great charbroiled taste, while I found the mashed potatoes to be slightly sour, perhaps from buttermilk. I would possibly have it with fries next time. This meal stuck to my ribs and kept me full all day. It was greasy spoon personified.