Thursday, August 24, 2017

Just Desserts: Snowy Dessert

Trying a Snowy Dessert for the first time. Milk and honey goodness. #yegfood

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I stopped in to Snowy Dessert on Whyte Avenue out of extreme curiosity. I had seen the Coming Soon signs for quite a while, and wanted to learn first-hand what a Korean shaved ice dessert would be like. It's called bingsu and there are about a dozen different types from which to choose, as well as small pizzas and dessert toast. The ice is made from milk and honey, and has the consistency of snowflakes and the look of shaved coconut. It's a very light, sweet flavour, but not too sweet. I had the strawberry topping, and the outside of my bingsu was totally covered in sliced, fresh strawberries, with more in the middle. Very refreshing. However, I definitely think these desserts are made for sharing. I had the "small" and it was served in a metal pail with the spoon the size of a small shovel. I can't imagine trying to tackle a large one by myself. Also, the price point gave me a bit of a sticker shock. $12 for shaved ice (albeit delicious and unique) with fruit is a bit high. Large portions run in the $18 range. Worth trying for the novelty though, but be sure to bring friends.

Fish and Chips at Route 99

Yesterday's fish and chips. #yegfood

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Route 99 (8820 99 Street) is my go-to diner on the south side. I was not in a "breakfast for supper" mood when I stopped by here hungry after doing a workshop presentation, so I decided to try the fish and chips. It was a mighty portion of very crispy fish with a mountain of fries, along with tartar sauce and coleslaw. If you like fish and chips (and like your fish with a very crunchy coating), you really can't go wrong with this. The portion, which also included a soup or salad (I had the soup), defeated me.

Bibimbap at Washoku Bistro

I visited Washoku Bistro for the first time for a business lunch, and was impressed with how the menu had both Japanese dishes (mostly sushi) as well as Korean ones. I had the vegetarian bibimbap, my first time trying the dish. It was a beautiful, sizzling bowl of rice, vegetables, and a fried egg which my server mixed together in front of me. The egg, which was not fully cooked when the dish was brought out, finished cooking while being stirred in the extremely hot bowl, and made some of the rice very crispy. In fact, the food stayed very hot to the end. When my server saw I did not care for the hot sauce it was served with, she brought me a soy sauce which I liked much better. The sauce could also have been stirred in with the egg. I really enjoyed this dish and would love to try the beef variety too.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Pho Files: Chicken Pho at Pho Boy

I was so excited about my first trip to Pho Boy a few weeks ago, that I went again and brought someone in tow. This time my "choose my own" pho had chicken and mushrooms as my toppings (you can get up to three), and I asked for chicken broth and all of the garnishes. My regular-sized bowl had a lot of chicken, but it was shredded so a lot of it settled at the bottom, only for me to retrieve it at the end of my meal. As well, I am almost positive I actually got the beef broth - it was far too dark to have been chicken. My lunch date was not happy with the amount of beef in his large bowl and found the broth to be bland. We also tried the green onion cakes. We enjoyed these, and loved the hot sauce/plum sauce combination that was served on the side. Because I did like my soup despite the wrong broth, I am willing to give this place another chance, but my lunch date is not.

Chicken and Waffles at The Buckingham

#Vegan chicken and waffles. Yes, such a thing exists, and not just in my dreams. #yegfood

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I was in a vegan frame of mind a couple of weekends ago, so headed for The Buckingham, as I was on Whyte Avenue enjoying live music. I like the place - it has a good vibe, and the fact that half the menu is vegan sets it apart from the other pubs in the area. I had the chicken and waffles. The "chicken" had a good texture and crispy coating, but I did not like the hot sauce poured all over the waffles. Hot sauce and waffles do not mix. I had to keep adding maple syrup to temper the heat and flavour, and it just got very messy and unappealing. In general, I don't like food that is heavily sauced, but this was really too much. When I return, I will definitely try something else.

Breakfast for Lunch: Vegan Bowl at The Needle

Tofu breakfast scramble. #yegfood #yegbrunch #vegan

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The Needle Vinyal Cafe has a weekend brunch featuring a special menu and musical performers. I dropped by a couple of weekends ago and had the vegan bowl, which is a tofu "egg" scramble with red peppers and jalapenos over breakfast potatoes. I held the jalapenos, and am glad I did. I find The Needle's food to be rather spicy, and there was more than enough kick without that ingredient. The plentiful tofu had a curry flavour, and the potatoes, which was an extremely generous portion, were hand-cut and well-seasoned. Overall, this was a very filling brunch item that is ideal for vegans.