I have had the Little Italy numerous times at Santo's but when I had it again this past Sunday, it was different.
I have decided to diversify and am now enjoying my eggs sunny side up. The toast was much lighter - most of the time it has been nearly burned. Best of all, the hash browns are these small, flat, fritter-like creations that are lighter and crispier than the dense, cubed ones previously used. My only criticism is that they could stand a little more seasoning, as the flavour is quite bland on its own.
At only $5, the Little Italy is big value.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
I have had the Little Italy numerous times at Santo's but when I had it again this past Sunday, it was different.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I wandered away from the Fringe grounds for a bit during my shift to get one of Cha Island's large iced teas. The mate tea had grapefruit puree. I love mate (a drink popular in Argentina) so I went for it. The grapfruit really did not add much, only a bitterness. The smokiness of the mate cut through that fortunately.
A once a year treat no more - also from Punky Potato, I think these over-fried, greasy morsels contributed to my gastrointestinal distress. Really, cookies and chocolate bars are not meant to be fried. I am a reformed woman.
I have never had a real corn dog before (just the vegan variety). Since they are usually made with pork, I avoid them. However, brilliant me asked Punky Potato at the Fringe if their corn dogs were beef. I was told they were chicken. Fine - I went for it. The corn coating was not as thick or greasy as I had imagined. The filling was pure pink nitrite - didn't exactly taste like chicken, but didn't not either. I put some mustard in my tray and devoured the entire thing, a move I regretted that night as I expunged the contents of my stomach, most likely due to this lapse in my culinary judgement. Never again.
On my way to my final shift at the Fringe yesterday, I had lunch at Tutti Frutti on Whyte Avenue. This time, I only partook of the original Tart flavour, only loaded up the bowl 3/4 of the way, and finished it off with as much cereal as I could pack on. That was good eating!
Sunday, August 19, 2012
For supper after my shift at the Fringe was over, I went for the Mango Chicken Combo from Zaika.
I sure wish Zaika was closer to me as I would love to experience the food there, if what they are serving up at the Fringe is any indication. Mango Chicken is like Butter Chicken but with a hint of sweetness. The basmati rice is actually aromatic and the vegetarian samosa had the biggest kick in terms of spice - the delicious chutney helped cool things down.
If you are Fringing and are hungry for some real food, go for Zaika.
Da Capo has a second location along Whyte and 102 Street. Sharing digs with another cafe and a grocery, this location features all of the great espresso drinks like at the the original location.
Being so warm out, I wanted an iced latte. It really hit the spot. The strength of the drink was perfect and I loved the little pieces of ice that just floated on top and did not dilute things too much once they melted.
I wanted a light lunch on Saturday as I waited for my shift at the Fringe to begin. I headed to Nhon Hoa on 102 Street for a vegetarian banh mi (Vietnamese submarine sandwich). I wanted shredded veggie chicken, but they were out of that, so I had shredded tofu instead.
The tofu was more crumbled than shredded and I was surprised it was cold. I have had the regular tofu sub before, and the protein was hot. The tofu was slightly seasoned and there were also some clear noodles in the sandwich. Of course, my favourite parts are the mayo, cilantro, picked carrots, and the warm, crunchy bread.
At only $4.50, this sandwich was a great value and was actually quite filling.
Oh Tutti Frutti, why do you taste so good? I headed to the Whyte Avenue location and had a small bowl with three flavours: tart, green tea, and taro. I actually like tart the best. It's a bold flavour that defines to me what frozen yogurt should taste like.
I added cereal galore: Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Fruit Loops, Frosted Mini-Wheats, And Captain Crunch. Oh, and a few pieces of crumbled brownie, just because.
My lesson for next time: leave more room for toppings!
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I wanted something cool this afternoon while riding my bicycle around the neigbourhood on errands. However, I did not want coffee. I opted for an iced chai latte at Wild Earth Cafe on 85 Avenue and 142 Street.
It certainly was cold and refreshing. The chai flavour was not overwhelmingly strong and I could perhaps done with a little more of it, but it was better than being bitter which I often experience elsewhere. Perhaps next time I will try the chocolate chai.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The cozy eatery in Le Marchand Mansion on 115 Street and 100 Avenue has a small menu for lunch, mostly consisting of sandwiches, soups, salads, appetizers, and a few entrees.
I had one of the croissant sandwiches - a crispy chicken one to be precise. Three chicken tenders were arranged within a freshly baked croissant with tomatoes, mayo, pickles, and lettuce that was almost as crispy as the chicken itself. My side of fries were elegantly served in a dish and were lightly seasoned.
Everything about Cafe Du France defines class, especially the food presentation. Prices are reasonable (my sandwich was $11.95). I will therefore forgive the misuse of French in the restaurant's name (you didn't think that would get by me - did you?).
Filistix is one of Edmonton's finest food trucks, and I wanted to try one of their signature dishes: Chicken Adobo. A small chicken thigh was marinated in a tangy soy sauce, served over rice with Filistix's signature slaw. I wished the thigh was larger and the sauce was definitely elevated soy sauce (which especially went great on the rice), but the slaw is really what made the dish special. Almond slices and dried cranberries added lots of flavour and texture. Very fresh too.
I wanted to put some spice in my life on Saturday evening during the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. The line up to the East Indian eatery was so huge, that I decided to try East African food instead. Alberta Avenue-based restaurant Hakuna Matata offered rice with several options, including vegetarian, which is what I went for. The sauteed vegetables were very flavourful but not too hot and the rice was perfectly cooked. I'll have to pay the restaurant a visit in person one of these days.
One of my favourite Taste of Edmonton samplings this year was the Pad Thai from Numchok Wilai. So, when I saw the restaurant had a booth at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, I decided to try a full portion of the vegetarian version of this tasty noodle dish. The flavour was great - tangy without being overpowering - although I would have liked a bit more tofu.
I climbed all the way up the hill in the heat of the afternoon sun during the Saturday main stage, and by golly I was thirsty. There was a coffee stand at the top selling drinks made with Kicking Horse Coffee, which I have always wanted to try as it is Canadian, organic, and Fair Trade. Far too warm outside for hot coffee, I had an iced cappuccino (pretty much the same thing as an iced latte). The double shot kept me buzzed for the rest of the day, and it tasted great without having to add sweetener.
Getting a green onion cake is obligatory for many Edmonton festival goers. There is one booth in particular that sells a lot of the doughy, salty treat, but this year Hong Kong Bakery entered the fray. I always enjoy Hong Kong Bakery's onion cake during Taste of Edmonton, and since the line up was exponentially smaller than the competition, that is where I got my onion cake fix.
Another Folk Fest food ritual for me are the Cactus Chips from D'amores Deli. Nothing could beat a big plate of freshly made potato chips after a cup of cider in the beer garden.
Many top notch restaurants have food stands at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. One of them is Culina, which offered some salads and finger foods. I had a Saskatoon Berry "Lemonade" which was a tart, thirst-quenching treat.
This was my final treat of this year's Edmonton Folk Music Festival. I love frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, but tend to avoid them at public events since I have a habit of wearing the chocolate on my mouth for a while. But, since I was leaving, I figured it did not matter and had a "Decadent" banana pop dipped in chocolate and rolled in chocolate chips. It was refreshing and at least somewhat healthy, because underneath the chocolate I was eating a banana. Right? Right?!?!?
Another Folk Fest tradition for me is having a Fat Frank or two. I was so glad when the condiments included both sweet pickle and corn relish. It made my hot dog even more special - and colourful.
I always pack plenty of water for the Folk Fest, but sometimes I need something else to cut through the thirst. Lemon Heaven makes delicious, fresh, just sweet enough lemonade that comes in a huge size and is very refreshing.
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is one of my favourite events of the summer. Besides the great music, I always look forward to indulging in a few of my favourite treats, like an order of fresh-cut fries from Punky Potato. There is no beating the greasy goodness.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Anyways, this was the biggest surprise of the weekend for me. The cholent was beyond excellent. It was rich and full of all of its ingredients (although it could have used a bit more meat - which, by the way, was kosher, thus satisfying my Orthodox Jewish baggage), with a slice of ciabatta bun to catch those last few, tomato-based drops of the stew.
A vegetarian version was also available.
When I saw the caramelized plantain, I found myself craving some as well. So, for an additional six tickets I had a generous scoop of the banana-like fruit, which was cooked to a golden brown crust. The plantain was at once crispy, chewy, sweet, and savoury, depending on where I bit in. Definitely one of the highlights of the weekend's food.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
This year's version is radically different, and quite disappointing. The ground meat is almost absorbed by the amount of dough within, which is dry. There are a few vegetables here and there. The look and texture of the pastie was not very appetizing. It was grey, and, to put it in English terms, quite stodgy.
Fried, dry bits of chicken with some generic sweet and sour sauce poured over it. He was not impressed with the flavour or texture. At seven tickets, the portion was along the lines of Asian chicken dishes we had at Taste of Edmonton. We considered this dish a fail.
Unfortunately, it was hard and inedible. The consistency and colour was like an apple. It was not the deep yellow, sweet, juicy goodness I was expecting. Total waste of four tickets.
Friday, August 3, 2012
As if that wasn't enough to eat, three buttermilk pancakes were served with the omelette. I couldn't finish. This was the biggest omelette ever. Next time I'm taking some home.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
All menu items are now $6 (up from $5) and prepared by volunteers in the Buddhist temple where the tea house operates Tuesday to Friday from noon to 2 p.m.
I opted for the Laksa noodles. The deep bowl of spicy broth (coconut curry with lots of heat) was full of noodles, a few pieces of tofu, and some imitation seafood towards the bottom. The serving was hearty - never having had Laksa before I did not know it would be so spicy, but the flavours really worked well together.