Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Appies at The Pint

Afternoon appies #yegfood

I was at The Pint downtown over the weekend prior to heading to a video shoot. Instead of a meal, I decided to order a couple of my favourite appetizers. The mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and gravy is the ultimate comfort food, and you can't find it in many places. The mustard and horseradish on the side made for some fun dredging. I also ordered a pound of boneless wings with honey mustard sauce, and guacamole as the dip. This combination actually worked better than I thought it would, with the creamy avocado and sweet honey mustard working together.

Pasta at Olive Garden

At Olive Garden for the first time in ages. #yegfood

I took a friend and co-worker to the west end Olive Garden last week for supper. I ordered one of the mix and match, pick your pasta pick your sauce combinations, which in my case was three-colour vegetable penne, with the primavera sauce, and I added a grilled chicken breast. I was happy with the price and portion size (and took some home, which does not happen often), and found the sauce to be a bit on the sweet side. The best part were the large pieces of vegetables. I also found that the sauce has some parmesan in it, so it is vegetarian, not vegan. The chicken breast was cooked to perfection and actually paired well with the sauce. Of course, the unlimited salad and breadsticks brought me back in my mind to coming to the restaurant with my family as a kid.

BBQ Chicken Pizza at Famoso

At Famoso for supper. #yegfood

I ventured to the original location of Famoso last week after doing a video shoot with a friend. I was absolutely famishes so went for a full-sized BBQ chicken pizza, with sweet BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, red onions, and cilantro. The onions and cilatro were very fresh and added after the pizza was baked. There was certainly a lot of chicken and the sauce worked well in place of a tomato sauce. The thin, pliable crust which is Famoso's trademark also lived up to expectations.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Festival Food: Interstellar Rodeo

I attended the Interstellar Rodeo music festival for the first time last weekend, as I was covering the event for a couple of publications. Like at most of Edmonton's festivals, food played a role. Food trucks were organized in several areas in the ampitheatre in Hawrelak Park and included some food choices that were new to me in this sort of venue.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

The vegetarian chili pot pie with a corn bread crust from The Pie Eatery was the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. The zesty, rich chili was balanced by the sweetness of the crust. There was some cheddar in the crust making it non-vegan. Interesting, The Pie Eatery is operated by the same people who do Smokehouse BBQ.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

No festival is complete for me without some kind of fried potato. In this case it was the crisps from Drift. The combination of seasonings on the thin chips was definitely a step up from simple salt. The dipping sauce was also incredible - I could do shooters of it.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

Speaking of potatoes, the roasted ones from Kitchen by Brad (Brad being local chef Brad Smoliak) were small, tender, local, and delicious. A great alternative to fries. The generous dollop of sour cream added creamy richness.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

The Mercury Room brought vegan fare to the fair (sorry about that - I couldn't resist), and the perogies were a hit. I had the potato-filled ones (mushroom and sauerkraut was the other option), which were served atop a bed of greens and covered in vegan sour cream, fried onions, and sauerkraut. As someone who generally does not like sauerkraut, this was fresh and not overpowering. The "sour cream" was the best part - it definitely did not taste like sour cream. It was more like a non-dairy tzatziki, but it added needed moisture to the dish.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

I went back to The Pie Eatery for something sweet. The pecan pie proved they know what they are doing. Pecan pie is not just pecans on top of a butter pie. Here, the pecans were integrated in a filling that included raisins and chocolate. I just wish I had a stronger fork - mine was too flimsy to stand up to the dense filling and hearty crust.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

Filistix was offering a variety of rice bowls. I had the green lentil vegetarian bowl, which also featured a variety of vegetables atop rice, with their signature slaw. I had a half portion and it was large enough. The full portions were simply huge (and also rather price at close to $15). The bowl was filling, flavourful but not spicy, and definitely a healthy option. Although I normally love the slaw, I actually did not think it went well with the flavour combination in this case.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

For a light supper on the Sunday, I had the chaat papdi from The Spice Rickshaw. Crispy samosa strips covered in yoghurt, red onion, chutney, and seasonings. Very flavourful, and very wet. I thought the serving could have been larger for the price ($7) but it was refreshing.

Food at Interstellar Rodeo

I ended where I began: The Pie Eatery. Their tarts of mini-versions of their sweet pies, and I had a chocolate peanut butter one. The centre is thick, gooey chocolate, while the peanut butter is baked into the soft crust. A win if you are a fan of this combination.