Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mushroom Pie at Cafe Blackbird

Mushroom Pie

Cafe Blackbird is located in the Crestwood neighbourhood where Jeffrey's Cafe was located for many years. Cafe Blackbird has kept the wine bar, redone the interior slightly, and totally revamped the menu. The small menu of sandwiches and salads are featured on a blackboard, along with the soup of the day, the savoury pie of the day, and a few other items. A variety of baked goods are in a display case. The menu was developed with help from Culina and the coffee from Iconoclast Coffee, as well as other local businesses. There is still live music, and the place has a neighbourhood charm to it. A sandwich will run you about $9 while a soup and sandwich combo is $14.

I had the featured pie, which was creamy mushroom. It was small and rich, with lots of mushrooms in a flaky pastry. I did not realize from the description on the blackboard that there would be cheese in it - this was a problem for me. It was also served with sweet chutney, which I did not understand flavour-wise in context with the pie. I also found the price to be a little high given the small size of the pie. The best part of the meal, for me, was actually the coffee. It was fresh and aromatic. I would definitely head back here for a coffee in a heartbeat. As for the food, I hope in the future there is more of a selection and that the descriptions are better presented.

Hakka Noodle at Naanolicious

Hakka noodles at Naanolicious. #yegfood

Naanolicious is well known as my go-to place for post-libation nourishment on Saturday evenings. I had the opportunity to try a few bites of the Hakka Noodles, an Indo-Chinese fusion vegetarian dish that is essentially a vegetable stir fry in a spicy, savoury sauce with elements of teriyaki and ginger. A very bold flavour, if I ordered this for myself I would add chicken and ask that the heat be turned down just a touch.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Veggie Dumplings at Pho Delight

Veggie Dumplings

Whether you call it Pho Delight or Friends and Neighbours (only a wall separates the two sides of what is basically the same restaurant at 10838 82 Avenue), you can order a variety of pho soups, western meals, and vegetarian dishes no matter where you sit. I tried the veggie dumplings as a snack. Five dumplings were filled with a tofu and vegetable mixture that tasted predominantly from spinach and peas. The texture was very pleasant and the outer shell tasted a bit like pan-fried pancake, although some were a bit overdone. Overall though this was a solid vegetarian take on an Asian favourite appetizer.

Thai Samosas at Viphalay

Thai Samosa

A business dinner at Viphalay saw me order some tried and true favourites, like Pad Thai and the coconut chicken soup. However, I was also in the mood for some Thai samosas. Five small crispy shells were stuffed with chicken, peas, carrots, onions, and yellow curry. Although I typically associate samosas with East Indian cuisine, these tasted noticeably different.