Friday, July 15, 2016

Original Hot Dog at Metro Billiards

Original hot dog #yegfood

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

I took a break from photographic duties the other evening to have a hot dog at Metro Billiards, which is conveniently located next door to Latitude 53, where I was shooting. Inexpensive and all-beef, I picked the Original which is loaded with mustard, ketchup, relish, white onions, and celery salt, on a toasted bun. While the hot dog could have been a bit hotter (I attribute this to the avalanche of cold condiments on top), it was big, tasted great, and sort of reminded me of a Fat Frank in flavour and texture. Where the meal fell down was with the sides. The coleslaw did not taste fresh at all, and the kettle chips were too salty and tasted burned. Even the ones that were not burned tasted burned. I think I am going to order fries next time.

Roasted Chicken Sandwich at Sandwich and Sons

Roast chicken sandwich #yegfood

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

I photographed Latitude 53's Patio party again yesterday evening, and once again went to Sandwich and Sons for an early supper. I tried the roasted chicken sandwich and simply could not get over it. It was like having a roasted chicken dinner in a crispy, fresh baguette. The chicken was cooked and seasoned to perfection, cut into cubes and covered in gravy, while sitting in a nest of cranberry sauce and stuffing. The way the chicken was cut meant that a lot of it was falling out of the bread, so this is definitely a "fork sandwich." And a delicious one at that.

Donair Platter at Urban Greek

Donair platter #yegfood

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

I needed a quick meal prior to filming an event downtown last week, and picked Urban Greek since it was convenient and I was craving a donair. Although it was sort of awkward to eat (when is a donair not awkward to eat?), it was worth the effort: the hand-shaved meat was distinctive and easy to tell was made in-house. I paired it with rice and roasted potatoes, which had even more of the delicious tzatziki sauce on them.

Mushroom Sandwich at Sandwich and Sons

Mushroom sandwich #yegfood

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

I went to Sandwich and Sons for supper last Thursday before heading to Latitude 53 to photograph their weekly Patio party. The vegetarian option for the day caught my eye, because it was a mushroom sandwich. Most mushroom sandwiches include the huge top of a portobello. This was a sandwich of toast and buttons - button mushrooms, that is. Sauteed with olive oil and delicious. I needed a fork to catch all of the falling mushrooms, like stars in a dream. Can you tell that I like mushrooms? Really, really like them? Cheese was an option that I skipped, that would probably have held the sandwich together a bit better, but seriously - why add anything to take away from the incredible, natural taste and texture of mushrooms? (This is a rhetorical question.)

Breakfast for Lunch: Farmer's Breakfast Skillet at Friends and Neighbours

Farmer's breakfast skillet - all veggie! #yegfood

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

A late lunch a couple of weeks ago at Friend and Neighbours (10834 82 Avenue) allowed me to further explore the abundant vegetarian menu. The Farmer's Breakfast Skillet was a sight to behold, with potatoes, a tofu scramble with kale, sweet and smoky tofu (which doubles in some dishes as veggie bacon), and crispy tofu. This meal really could have been called "Tofu Three Ways." I found the crispy tofu sort of difficult to eat since it crumbled very easily, and the bites that were not perfectly crispy were hard to chew. Some imitation ham or sausage may have been a better choice. Oh, and there was toast. This is the ultimate vegan breakfast.

Smoked Turkey Leg and BBQ in a Bowl from Smokehouse BBQ

Smoked turkey leg #yegfood

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

Summer means festivals, and festivals mean food trucks, and for me, that means I am going to having some meals from the Smokehouse BBQ food truck. At the Blues On Whyte Block Party at the beginning of July, I ate at the Smokehouse BBQ truck not once, but twice! My first item was the smoked turkey leg. This is usually offered as a special and always sells out before I can get one. Well, it was not going to elude me this time! The huge - and I mean, huge! - leg was smoked to perfection, the skin crispy on the outside with the inside remaining moist. Simple and good.

BBQ in a bowl . #yegfood

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

BBQ in a Bowl is a speciality that is a layered dish of French fries, meat, baked beans, and coleslaw. I had the version with the brisket. Lots of tender chunks of brisket was found between the fries, beans, and coleslaw. The slaw was fresh and delicious, and it has been ages since I have had good baked beans (for me, they are hard to find because they are usually laced with pork. Not here.). It was a hearty meal that covered all of the BBQ bases.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tempura Chicken & Pretzels at Metro Billiards

Pretzels and chicken tempura #yegfood

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

I am one of the photographers for the gallery Latitude 53's Patio series this summer, and while on a break last week I went next door to Metro Billiards for a quick snack. During happy hour on weekdays, appetizers are on for two for $15, which is a pretty good deal. My tempura chicken was not what I expected - I thought it would be bite-sized pieces, but instead I had a helping of chicken tenders in a crispy batter, with sweet and sour sauce drizzled throughout. The fried wantons added extra crunch, while the diced cucumbers provided some freshness and a flavour profile to balance the spice from the sauce. My pretzels were hot, soft, and delicious, with a spicy mustard dip that had a hint of curry. I should have brought a friend - I could not finish all of this!

Buffet at Punjab Sweets

Buffet at Punjab Sweets #yegfood

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

A meeting in Mill Woods brought me and my ride to Punjab Sweets. I was already familiar with the delicious selection of sweet treats, but had never tried the buffet. I normally don't like buffets because they are expensive, and in order to feel like I got my money's worth I overdo it and feel lousy for days afterwards. However, the buffet price was quite a bit lower than other comparable ones, and I found the food quality to be a step above at the same time. The butter chicken was made with white meat and had a unique sweetness to it. There was also a sweet rice that helped balance the spice of some of the dishes. The brown daal was divine, as was the tandoori chicken. The sweet, milky ras malai was incredible, as was the rice pudding with its hint of rose water. The price, selection, and quality was excellent and guess what? I felt fine afterwards. I cannot wait for my next visit.