Sunday, November 26, 2017

Steak Frites at The Almanac

Last night’s steak frites. For blogging purposes. #yeg #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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I was at The Almanac Saturday night for a music show, and figured I may as well have dinner while I was there. It's a small menu and I went with something familiar: steak frites. I ordered my flat iron steak medium well, and it was perfectly done atop a mountain of fries, with a garlic aioli on the side (as well as ketchup). There is a butter that the steak is finished in, but I asked for it not to be used in my case, due to my issues with dairy. There is really no going wrong with this dish, and at $18, it is actually one of the less expensive items on the menu.

Just Desserts: Nutella Creme Brulee at Block 1912

Nutella crème brûlée and espresso. #yeg #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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Block 1912 is a regular haunt of mine on Saturdays. I had a craving for dessert, so headed here for espresso and a Nutella creme brulee. I was tempted to try one, even though I have never been a huge creme brulee fan, after seeing an episode of the Baker Sisters where the women visit Block 1912 and owner Jorel shows how it is made (on the show, it is referred to as "hazelnut chocolate creme brulee, likely because of the fact Nutella is a trade name and this was not a commercial for it). First of all, I love Nutella, so the creamy, chocolatey filling was decadent and rich to my tastebuds. The use of caramel on top worked so well because it hardened into candy. As pointed out on the show, sugar is generally used in this dessert, which ends up getting a burned taste that I personally find sickening. However, this dessert was perfection and I am already craving more.

Breakfast for Lunch: Big Beer Breakfast at Situation Brewing

Big Beer Breakfast (with beef) #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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Saturdays for me often means brunch, and this weekend I headed back to Situation Brewing. I opted for the Big Beer Breakfast: two eggs any way, hash browns, toast, and my choice of bacon or beef sausage. I chose the latter: two thick, juicy sausages that went well with the rest of the dish. It's not an overwhelmingly huge portion as the name of the dish implies, but it's got pretty much all of the elements of a hearty breakfast.

Soup and Sandwich at Homesteader's Kitchen

Egg salad sandwich and borscht - Saturday’s lunch. #yegfood #mystonyplain #yegeats #foodporn

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I gave a presentation at the Multicultural Heritage Centre in Stony Plain last weekend, and afterwards had lunch at their Homesteader's Kitchen. The menu items are prepared from local ingredients, and the prices are incredible. I had an egg salad sandwich, which was on thick white break. The egg salad was prepared with dill and vegetables, and on its own would have been filling enough. However, I had the borscht on the side, which was a creamy, garlicky broth with beets, carrots, and other seasonings. I actually have never had hot borscht before, and this was a pleasant introduction. If and when I am back in Stony Plain, I will definitely head here for lunch.

Mini Yorkshire Puddings at Sherlock's

Roast beef stuffed in mini Yorkshire puddings. #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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When I was at the campus location of Sherlock's a week or so ago, I opted for the mini Yorkshire puddings stuffed with roast beef, with rosemary au jus. The four puddings were indeed stuffed with tender roast beef, and for one person makes the perfect meal sized portion, but I wish the horseradish came with it and did not have to be ordered to the side for an extra $1.50. Otherwise, this is a lot of fun and flavour.

Fried Chicken from Northern Chicken

Just tried @northchickenyeg via @skipthedishes! Wow! #yeg #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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I finally tried the much-hailed Northern Chicken last week, thanks to Skip the Dishes. I had the original three-piece fried chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, which had a good crunch on the outside and was so moist on the inside (I think it was brined, which is a technique that helps keep those juices in). I also loved the coleslaw, which comes on the side. We also had the maple creamed corn, which was very thick, and while it had a sweetness, it did not taste much from maple. The chicken was definitely the star here.

Two Paneer Curries from Namaste India

Tried Namaste India yesterday, via @skipthedishes! #yeg #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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My brother and I ordered from Namaste India through Skip the Dishes last week. We each ordered a paneer curry. I had the palak paneer, which is my favourite. It was very creamy, with a smoky taste I really enjoyed. He had the butter paneer - chunks of the pressed cheese in butter sauce like what is used for butter chicken. It was quite rich and tangy. On the side was saffron rice. We ordered two servings, but one would have been more than enough. We also shared a plain naan and veggie samosas. The samosas came cold - I am not sure if this is how they are served in the restaurant, but it did not hurt the flavour at all. Overall the food was very fresh and satisfying.

Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie at District Café

Chicken and mushroom pot pie #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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An organizational meeting brought me to District Café a couple of weeks ago. I figured that in addition to coffee, I may as well have lunch. I had a chicken and mushroom pot pie, which was extremely fresh because the baker had just made another batch. While the size did not seem large, it was deceptively dense (but in a good way). The flaky, buttery crust enrobed the chicken and mushroom filling, with a side salad to lighten things up. This is comfort food at its best.

Rock Sole at New West Restaurant

Rock sole, hash browns, and veggies. #yeg #yegfood #yegeats #foodporn

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It's obvious from walking through the doors of New West Restaurant (15025 111 Avenue) that this place has never been renovated - nothing major, anyway. It's like stepping into a time warp. A no-nonsense diner with a menu of classic dishes like hot sandwiches, all-day breakfast, and homemade soups, the menu is extensive and reasonably-priced. I had the rock sole dinner, which came with a choice of soup or salad, as well as dessert. The sole itself was plentiful, pan-fried in a light batter and served alongside freshly-cooked carrots and squash and my choice of potato - which, in this case, was the hash browns. They are great with breakfast and equally so with supper. My cream of cauliflower soup was comforting and thick, while the chocolate pudding for dessert rounded off a good meal on a sweet note. No complaints here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dinner at Yianni's Taverna

Appetizers: roasted olives and hummus. #yegfood

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I was treated to a fabulous dinner at Yianni's Taverna a couple of weeks ago. We started with the hummus and pita, as well as the roasted olives. The hummus was rich and thick, and likely the best I have ever had. The olives were hot, marinated in seasonings and oil, and absolutely incredible. I could probably have made a meal out of the appetizers.

Rack of lamb for him and roasted chicken for me. #yegfood

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I had the chicken (top), which was a full breast grilled and seasoned to perfection. The vegetables were just lightly blanched while the lemon potatoes were excellent - cooked fork tender and not overwhelming on the lemon. A dollop of tzatziki on the side complemented the chicken well. I also tried a bite of the rack of lamb. While I am not a lamb fan, this was absolutely succulent, cooked to a perfect medium, and a huge portion.

Just Desserts: Bread Pudding at Block 1912

Coffee and bread pudding. #yegfood #coffee #dessert

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It was back to Block 1912 for a treat a few weeks ago. I love bread pudding, so was eager to try theirs. Warmed up, with some whipped cream on top, the dessert was enjoyable but read more like a piece of cake in a bed of syrup than a bread pudding. The pudding itself was not moist enough, and I just felt like I was eating bits of cake rather than bread. I liked it - it was sweet and comforting - but I think it needs a better description.

Chicken Skewers at Cask and Barrel

Last week’s chicken skewers. #yegfood

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I often go to the Cask and Barrel on Saturday afternoons to enjoy some live music. It's a cozy venue that is often family-friendly. On a recent weekend, I ordered some food off of the menu in addition to my drink. The kebabs come in either beef or chicken. I chose the latter. Four perfectly grilled skewers were served with a That satay sauce. My only beef (joke intended) is that the price point is a little high for something that does not come with a side.

Beef Schnitzel and More at Bistro Praha

Tonight’s dinner: pickled herring, tomato onion salad, and Wiener schnitzel. #yegfood #nomnom

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Bistro Praha is one of my favourite Edmonton restaurants. Alas, I do not get the opportunity to come here as often as I would like. A gift card and a farewell dinner for a friend brought me back, and I spent the evening enjoying European comfort food. I had an appetizer of the rolled pickled herring. Served with a generous dollop of sour cream, the portion brought me back to the Saturday afternoon lunches of my childhood. My main was the Weiner Schnitzel: a thin slice of beef in a crunchy, breaded coating. I ordered the half portion and am glad I did - the one schnitzel literally spanned across my plate. A full portion has two. The small scoop of fresh potato salad provided a flavour and texture contrast to the schnitzel. I opted for the tomato and onion salad which comes with mains, served as a starter. The tomatoes were so juicy and flavourful from being marinated, and the onions were sweet. This was a meal that satisfied all of my senses.

Just Desserts: Pumpkin Spice Cake at Block 1912

It's that time of year when pumpkin spice takes over the drinks and desserts of many coffee shops. I had a piece of pumpkin spice cake recently at Block 1912 and was apparently the first to try it. I am sure I was not the last. The cake was light and fluffy, with the pumpkin spice flavour coming from the icing between the layers. This was a really interesting and light alternative to pumpkin pie.

Soups at Rice Bowl Deluxe

Trying out the new Rice Bowl Deluxe in the west end, and thought the pho was fab. #yeg #yegfood #yegpho

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Rice Bowl Deluxe has a new location in the Lynnwood area. On my first time there I had the pho. I was surprised that the flavour profile of the broth was as rich as it was. It came with the basil leaves and beansprouts already inserted. Although the bowl looked small-ish for the price, it was deceptively large, with lots of sliced beef (I held the beef balls - never been a fan of their texture). There also also several kinds of green onion cakes available. I had the flat kind, and it was quite full of onions and a great side to the soup.

On my second trip, I had the Laksa soup with tofu as my protein. The soup already comes with tofu puffs, which absorb the flavourful mild curry broth. The sliced tofu that was added was a huge portion, along the the noodles. This was a very thick, rich soup and wonderful on a cold day. I had a green onion doughnut as well, which was crunchy but not greasy.

Korean Fried Chicken at Nara Fried Chicken and Tongkatsu

Korean fried chicken. My first time. #yeg #yegfood #friedchicken #koreanfriedchicken

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I have never had Korean Fried Chicken before, and tried it for the first time here in this little west end eatery at 8712 150 Street. I had the half fried chicken, the basic one with no sauce. So crispy on the outside, and so moist on the inside - I think I am a believer now! It also was not greasy or salty at all. I may have liked some dipping sauce to the side, but the pickled turnips provided an interesting flavour profile.