Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Abyssinia, an Ethiopian restaurant practically next door to my meeting, had a vegan buffet on Wednesdays and Fridays for only $15 starting at 5 p.m. As it was a Wednesday, I decided to give it a shot. Eight hot trays featured dishes including yellow chick peas, red lentils, kale, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage, squash, and carrots and potatoes. There was also a heaping plate of injera bread, and a bowl of rice. The dishes were spicy but not overwhelming, and a few could have been hotter in terms of temperature (but on the other hand, that also kept the spice heat level down). My personal faves are the carrots and potatoes, the yellow chick peas, and the squash, the latter having a sweetness that cut the spice. I would recommend going a little later than 5, as a few of the dishes as well as the rice were not available yet, and I was already full by the time they were out. For $15 this is an excellent value and a great introduction to Ethiopian food.
Delicious Pho on 124 Street. I had been eyeing the restaurant for some time but had not yet had the opportunity to stop in. The place is large, bright, and clean. The menu has all of the varieties of pho and vermicelli noodle bowls as well as some rice wraps with meat and other unique items. I went for the pho tai, which I always try when I go to a new pho place. The portion was huge, with lots of tender meat that was already cooked in the very hot broth when it was brought out to me. The noodles were plentiful and the broth was good albeit a bit salty. I also ordered onion cakes which were not quite as crispy as I like but were otherwise good. Prices are a little higher than your average Chinatown place, but they are not out of line either and the portions are pretty big. I would definitely come here again for a bowl of pho if I was hanging around in the 124 Street area.
Culina Muttart with its craisins, candied pecans, heritage greens, and delicious viniagrette. While lunching there earlier this month on a visit to Putrella, the corpse flower, I had a small salad paired with the soup of the day, which was mushroom. It was a cream of mushroom although the broth was thin, but very flavourful. The garlic in particular was sweet and not overpowering, with small, soft bits throughout the liquid. The mushrooms were plentiful and in large pieces, which I like. This was my first soup at Culina Muttart and I doubt it will be my last.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Kids in the Hall Bistro conveniently located right inside City Hall. A program of E4C, Kids in the Hall teaches at-risk youth the hospitality business. The food is prepared and served by young people. I had the beef short rib poutine, without the cheese since I have an issue with that. What I got was a generous meal of pulled beef in a rich gravy on top of thin, crispy fries. I actually ran out of fries before I ran out of meat. It was filling comfort food.