Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Sailin' On. The truck made a stop at the Edmonton Earth Day Festival over the weekend, and when I finished performing my music set I was famished. The burrito was extremely substantial, and I was full for the rest of the afternoon. It was packed with refried beans, crumbled tofu, vegan chipotle sour cream, and potato hash, and topped with pico de gallo and more of the sour cream. At $11 it was the priciest menu item, but it was well executed, not too difficult to eat, and like I said, very filling.
Block 1912. I as craving a decadent dessert and went with the brownie cheesecake, which was a single portion of cheesecake with chocolate brownies swirled around in it. The cheesecake part was dense and rich, while the brownie part was not as gooey and chocolatey as the description led me to believe. The bottom of the dessert also had an oily taste that I could not quite put my finger on. Like most of the desserts at Block 1912, it was huge, and I gave half to a friend who happened along, and agreed with me concerning the flavour. Whether I would be in the mood for chocolate or cheesecake, I don't think I would go for this confection again.
MEAT for brunch. I had the Eggs Benedict with brisket. The brisket was smoked and pulled to fit perfectly on the buttermilk biscuits. I missed the caramelized onions that were listed on the menu. I held the hollandaise, but had my eggs poached soft so the yolk would add a sauce. One of my eggs was slightly underdone (the white was still runny in a few spots). The hash browns stole the show here - they were more like a thick, crispy potato pancake. I would love to eat a couple of them with some sour cream and apple sauce. Very unique.
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.
Naanolicious with another person, we order an assortment of finger foods and share. In addition to the delicious (and gluten free) vegetable pakoras and fish bites, we tried the bhel puri for the first time. It reminded me of a bagged mix my dad used to sometimes bring in from the grocery story, with rice-based crunchy noodles, puffed rice, and peanuts on top of coriander and tamarind sauce. It was crunchy and fun and I could see it going very well with beer. I would have liked it a little wetter - the tamarind sauce was very sparse at the very bottom, and a little more cilantro would have made the drier top part be a little less one note.