Friday, July 31, 2015
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Highlevel Diner for their weekly "Turkey Tuesday." Hot turkey sandwiches are on special for lunch. It was a pile of locally-raised turkey on fresh, multigrain bread with gravy and a choice of side. I went with the home cut fries because those fries are some of the best fries in the city, especially when paired with the house-made ketchup. But this lunch was about the turkey - oh, the turkey - this was real turkey off the bone, with pan gravy, just like home made. Not a turkey roast, not shriveled, dry pieces of leftover turkey, with thick, brown mystery gravy - this is the real deal. One of these days, I am going to have to come back later in the day for the full-fledged turkey dinner.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Brewsters and this meant a two-piece haddock and chips at a reduced price, with Pimms and Sprite as a drink special. So, guess what I had? The Pimms and Sprite was an extremely light and refreshing cocktail. I could see myself enjoying this more often during the summer months. Pimms is gin with a sort of caramel taste (and colour). The drink went well with the fish and chips, in a crispy beer batter full of moist fish. The tartar sauce had a slight citrus flavour to it, and the coleslaw was made with grainy mustard, which I found quite unique flavour-wise as far as coleslaw goes. I actually enjoyed dipping my fries in the tartar sauce more than the fish. In general, I found the whole British-inspired meal to be jolly good.
Pho Rice Pot numerous times, I have never had one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes: the brisket stew with carrots and rice noodles. The portion was huge, as is typical for Pho Rice Pot, and the amount of reasonably lean cubes of brisket was quite ample. The broth was flavourful but not too spicy. Perfect comfort food for a cooler day.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Highlevel Diner This proved to be a good choice on a number of levels. First, cyclists who come into the restaurant hold their helmets get ten percent off their meals Second, I discovered the weekday all-day breakfast special, which is two eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast for $7.99. I had an extra egg instead of the bacon. The portion was large, especially for the price, and I loved the roasted potatoes - a nice break from typical hash browns. Breakfast on a budget.
Delicious Pho at the halfway stop to grab some supper. I wanted something on the lighter side, so had the vermicelli bowl with tofu. The tofu was fried and covered in a mild garlic teriyaki sauce which also permeated into the noodles below. I asked for peanut sauce instead of fish sauce, but I actually did not need it. The serving was a good size and I like how the salad part is served to the side of the bowl instead of under the noodles (where the lettuce and sprouts end up getting hot).
Block 1912 on a rainy afternoon tempted me with the dessert display so much that I had to have something sweet with my coffee. I had a raspberry chocolate mousse - and sweet, it was. The chocolate mousse was perfect in texture and flavour. The raspberry ganache was incredibly cloying, however, even when cut with the chocolate and moist cake at the bottom. Chocolate and raspberry is one of my favourite dessert combinations, but it just did not come together well this time.