Monday, December 30, 2013

Unseasoned at Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar

Black Truffle Meatballs
Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar has been located in Old Strathcona for as long as the humans can remember, however neither had been there since their post secondary days, and the only thing that they could remember about Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar was that the restaurant seemed expensive when they were in their early 20’s. When a Groupon for $40 worth of food at Packrat Louie Kitchen & Bar went on sale, they took the opportunity to revisit.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

La Boulange - Bistro Style Elevated

Ricotta Ravioli
Having been a fan of Starbucks and the unofficial mooscot for Starbucks Omega for almost my entire existence, I was excited when we went on an impromptu trip to San Francisco as I was stoked to try out La Boulange, a Bay Area bakery and café that had partnered up with Starbucks to provide artisan pastries for Starbucks.

There were several La Boulange locations in downtown San Francisco, so I opted to try out the one located in the Westfield Center. La Boulange du Dome had ample seating and offers a variety of food that extended beyond pastries. They had cheese and charcuterie plates, sandwiches, and even pasta. The best part was that in addition to coffee, tea and other non alcoholic beverages, they also had alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and even sparkling wine!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mercato Mission - Italian with a Difference

When looking for places to dine in Calgary, my pal and classmate @bluebirdsy suggested Mercato, as she and her husband dine there often and enjoy the food. Mercato has two locations in Calgary, one in the Mission district, while the other is further afield in the Westside of Calgary. She noted however that the menus in the two locations do differ slightly.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Edo Elves Giveaway!

Since the holiday season is so near, I thought this uplifting story about Edo Japan sending elves out into Edmonton to perform random acts of kindness would be appropriate to get everyone into the holiday cheer mood! Little known fact, Edo Japan is an Alberta made venture, started in 1979 in Calgary to make fresh and hot Japanese Teppan-style cooking accessible to all diners, by placing this dining concept in food courts and suburban shopping malls.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bloom Cookies Bloomin' Awesome

Oatmeal Stout
I had first heard about Bloom Cookies from @thepolishviking and decided to pick up a few bags at @CityMarket104 when I first got the chance. They make all vegan cookies, including one vegan and gluten free option, and sell them at the farmers market in bags of three. They have a few flavours that are always available such as chocolate chip, while other flavours rotate, along with a feature flavor of the week.

Friday, November 8, 2013

2 Hour Eatathon at Asian Hot Pot Express

Hot Pot Burner
Although I have had hot pot before, I’d never had it outside of the female humans family home. So when Grammie asked where we wanted to go to celebrate the male humans birthday, we opted to try Asian Hot Pot Express. Located in Chinatown, just around the corner from Hong Kong Bakery, my favorite bakery in Chinatown, it’s a small space, filled with tables with heating elements at each seat. Grammie informed us that unlike other hot pot restaurants, Asian Hot Pot Express allows each diner to have their own hot pot, meaning that you can order any cooking liquid that you want, don’t have to fight for space in the pot, or risk nicking someone else’s food.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Act Food Truck = Mobile Burger Delight

PB&J Burger
Although I had heard a lot of good things about The Act Food Truck, the female human and I had never been able to try it for ourselves as they have a bit of a sporadic schedule as compared to other food trucks, and we never knew when they would be out and where. Luckily, we finally managed to catch them at Churchill Square one lunch hour and were able to partake in their Producer Burger, PB&J Burger, and Fries.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Foie Gras Me Brasserie Kensington!

If you’ve read my blog for long enough, you’ll know that I am a sucker for foie gras in all forms. However I have a particular weakness for seared foie gras, which I don’t see as often as I’d like on menus. On the rare occasion a restaurant does have seared foie gras on their menu, I will inevitably order it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

12th Annual Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival Giveaway

It’s that time of year again when the Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival rolls into town. This year is their 12th year, offering everyone a chance to try a variety of wines, spirits, scotches, beers, and food from a variety of local restaurants over a 2 day period starting Friday, October 25 through to Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Shaw Conference Centre.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

San Francisco– Part 2: Classic Attractions (Part 1)

Anyone who is visiting San Francisco for the first time likely won’t be able to avoid any of the major tourist attractions, and why would you want to? If it’s your first visit, you’ll want to see all of the sights that everyone else who has been talks about such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Coit Tower! So here’s my take on these classic San Francisco Attractions, the best way to get there, and some tips and tricks on the best time to go.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dime a Dozen Lebanese Fare at Chateau Beirut

Once again, we bought a Groupon to check out a place that we had seen in our neighbourhood but never ventured to try. Chateau Beirut is a restaurant situated on 107 Street just off 102 Ave, just beside Khazana, an Indian restaurant we had visited previously using  a Groupon. From the outside Chateau Beirut looked quite spacious from the outside, which is even more evident once inside. With high ceilings, exposed brick and wood floors, the space itself has a lot of character, and is big and airy without seeming cavernous.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

$1,000 Reward Offered for Return of Beloved Stuffed Toy Dog

On Saturday, September 28 around 2:00pm, a beloved stuffed toy dog, named Winston von Bark, was lost on the corner of Governor Nicholls and French Market Place in the French Quarter area of New Orleans. Winston is brown, approximately 11” tall, wearing a black t-shirt with the words “Ibiza Rocks”, a red bone collar and blue and red plaid shorts with a yellow waistband. Winston fell out of his owners’ backpack and witnesses reported seeing an adult male pick Winston up and walk away with him.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cookie Love's Fall Cookie Eating Classic

Cookie Love, a local bakery serving up fresh made cookies opened in Glenora last year and is celebrating their first anniversary with a cookie eating contest to benefit charity! They will be selling raffle tickets for $10 each at their storefront (12325a 102 Ave, Edmonton, AB) and at 124 Street Grand Market this Thursday, September 26, 2013 in order to raise funds for charity. There will be two prize packages to be won: one worth $500 donated by the businesses located on 124 Street, and the other prize package worth $1,000 donated by businesses that participate in Local4Local4Local. All of the proceeds will go the Cookie Eating Champions charity of choice!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Squabalicious at The Manor Casual Bistro

Odds and Ends
Although we’ve been aware of the existence of The Manor Casual Bistro for quite some time now, we’d never had the impetus to try it out. However, when Executive Chef Alex Sneazwell mentioned that he would be trying to add squab (otherwise known as pigeon – one of my favorite meats) to their summer menu, I knew I had to find time to try it out, as squab is very difficult, if not impossible, to find at restaurants in Edmonton.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Travel San Francisco Part 1: Tours

The female human and I near Golden Gate Bridge
I love San Francisco, it's got a great vibe, weather, there are hills and is near the water. Mooself, I've been twice, while the female human has now been four times and the male human even more often than that (although mostly for work). Since I know San Francisco is one of those destinations that a lot of people consider, particularly those living in Western Canada as it doesn't cost much to fly there, nor is staying or playing in San Francisco very expensive, it's a good choice for a quick getaway or a longer escape. If you’re taking your first trip to San Francisco, here are a few things I recommend you do. I’ll get to the things you must eat or drink in San Francisco, as well as the things I love to do in a separate post, but for your first visit, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time, here are some ideas to see San Francisco in a rush.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cibo Bistro - Still Not for this Bovine

We hadn’t been back to Cibo Bistro since it opened last year and at the time found it expensive compared to other restaurants in Edmonton that offer similar Italian fare, with food that was a bit hit and miss. However, @thepolishingviking had invited us to dine there again with her and a few friends, so we decided to see how things were a year later.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Moolicious at Naanolicious

Craisin Paapri
I rarely ever dine on Whyte Ave, even though it’s just a 30 minute walk over the Highlevel bridge and up 109 Street from where I live, I just almost never manage to make it down there except during the Fringe Festival. However, having bought a Groupon for Naanolicious, I decided it was time to drag myself from the couch and head on down to Whyte.

Naanolicious is located right next to The Princess, and the space itself although not extremely large is fairly large for many other establishments on Whyte Ave. After perusing the menu we opted to try a few small plates to share. First the Bhel Puri was a salad of sorts with crispy bits of sev, toasted rice and tossed in a mildly acidic dressing. It had a crunchy texture, with a hint of brightness from the acid and finishing with a mild heat. This was hoof down my favorite dish of the night.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pint Sized Portions at Plow & Harvest VIP Preview (CLOSED)

Plow & Harvest
Plow & Harvest is a new restaurant that just opened to the public on August 16, 2013 and is located in the West End of Edmonton. Their focus is on serving updated comfort food favourites in a casual environment, using and promoting local ingredients. I was invited to their VIP Preview on August 15 in order to see the restaurant and taste the food that they would be offering.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fulfilling and Flakey Fish at Fish and Chipper

Haddock Fish and Chips
On our last visit to London, we never found the time or the energy to seek out a place to try out traditional English fish and chips. Since we would be spending more time there this time around and we were more familiar with the city, we made sure we kept an eye out for a fish and chips place.

Lo and behold, the Fish and Chipper in Leicester Square, in the hustle and bustle of people buying and selling tickets to West End musicals lay a small and incredibly busy fish and chips restaurant. Although it’s listed as being in Covent Garden, it’s really just East off Leicester Square, between Leicester Square and Charring Cross Road. If you head East, you’ll find it located between two half off ticket booths, just past the Burger King on the North East side of Leicester Square. People were lined up waiting for tables, while others opted to simply get take out, with the latter being cheaper as there is a surcharge for dining in. Thankfully since we were such a small group, we were able to get a seat fairly quickly.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Date with Dishcrawl - 104 Street Promenade

Sliders at The Burg
If you’ve never been on a Dishcrawl event, you should give it a whirl, as it is a unique dining experience. Dishcrawl is designed to explore restaurants in a particular neighbourhood, allowing diners to try several items at a restaurant without committing to eating full sized dishes or a whole meal there. You spend only 45 minutes at each restaurant before walking to the next. When you buy a ticket to Dishcrawl, you will only know what neighbourhood you are visiting, not the specific restaurants. They will only reveal the names of the restaurants you are going to visit as you go on your Dishcrawl journey on the day. Or if you attend an Encore Dishcrawl event, you can find out what restaurants were visited from the initial event by checking out Tweets posted by those who attend the previous night. Dishcrawl will email you a few days in advance to let you know which restaurant you will be starting from, as well as to remind you to bring cash to buy drinks, and to dress for the weather, but menu items you will be tasting at each restaurant will remain a secret until you arrive at the event.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Plow & Harvest Sneak Peek Event - Win Tickets! (CLOSED)

A few weeks ago, a friend of the female human’s called to invite us personally to the Plow & Harvest VIP Preview on August 15th, a restaurant that he was involved with. Plow & Harvest will focus on comfort food, using and promoting local ingredients, but with an updated twist served in a casual environment. We are looking forward to attending and seeing the tractor that he had to track down as décor for the restaurant! Although we’ve been told no one, with the possibility of Moo, is allowed to ride it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Heaven from Blue Giraffe Creamery

Blue Giraffe Creamery Truck
Although the food truck landscape has expanded drastically in Edmonton, I have still longed for a food truck that is focused solely on dessert. Enter Blue Giraffe Creamery, a new food truck own and run by University of Alberta Business student, Avery Daugela, focusing on all natural, preservative free ice cream made to order with liquid nitrogen!

Avery, who is currently studying entrepreneurship and still has one semester left in school was inspired by her sister, who told her of a store in Australia that she visited that made ice cream only with liquid nitrogen. Wanting to get her feet work on starting her own business, she decided that a liquid nitrogen ice cream truck would be a unique and inexpensive way to start her own business.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sip 'n Savour at The Taste of Edmonton 2013

Smoked Jerky with Apple Puree
I have attend Taste of Edmonton for many years, but the last few years have bemoaned the fact that most of the food vendors have served the same item year after year. The point of the event is to allow restaurants to showcase what they have to the Edmonton public who might never have stepped a foot inside their restaurants, and hopefully garner them some new customers. For the customers, it allows us to try a myriad of different food and see if there are restaurants that we like, but had never visited previously. However, it seems as though most restaurants have shied away from changing their menu year after year, and have opted to stick with items they know were popular in the past and sold well. As a result, I've found the past few years that I've attended fairly boring, eating the same items over and over again.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Indian Food on Brick Lane at The Monsoon

London is abundant with Indian restaurants, which a wander down Brick Lane confirms, as a multitude of Indian restaurants compete and vie for business. Their strategy is aggressive, with staff standing outside their respective restaurants trying to woo perspective customers by offering them a variety of different deals from free alcoholic beverages, to a percentage of the total bill, anything to get you through their restaurant doors. We opted to stop and try The Monsoon, an Indian restaurant who promised not only one free alcoholic beverage per person but also 30% off our total food bill.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Palatable Parkallen Restaurant

Although I’d heard good things about Parkallen Restaurant from friends, I’d never actually gone. So when a Groupon for Parkallen Resturant went on sale, I took the opportunity to finally visit. The décor and furnishings inside the restaurant didn’t evoke a Lebanese or even Mediterranean feel, with only the hookahs located by the bar to signal that it was a Lebanese restaurant. In the middle was a large glass wine cellar, with a very impressive looking collection of wines, champagne and other liquors.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Revisiting Afternoon Tea at Claridges

Rose Champagne
Having visited on our first trip to London and had a great experience previously, I wanted to revisit to see if it was as good as I remembered it being on our first visit. After experiencing a disappointing afternoon tea experience our first week in London at Fortnum and Mason, I was really looking forward to afternoon tea at Claridges and knew this time not to eat before I went.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nose to Tail at Hundred Bar + Kitchen

Chef Andrew Cowan
If there are two things you can count on when you go to a meal being cooked by Chef Andrew Cowan, it’s that every course has meat and that you will never leave hungry, even if you can eat like the Hulk. This past weekend, Hundred Bar and Kitchen hosted a Nose to Tail dinner featuring various parts of an Irving’s Farm pig that had been broken down the weekend before. That evening, it was an intimate event consisting of my humans and I, @ThePorkGirl and a friend, and Alan Irving (@berkypigs2008) – one of the owners of Irving’s Farm.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Boo & Moo Bites: Smashingly Delectable Burgers at Smashburger

Smashburger Canadiana Decorations
This has been a burger filled week, first I had burgers for lunch at The Burg on Saturday, then burgers for dinner from Drift Food Truck, and now more burgers for dinner at the grand opening of Edmonton’s first Smashburger!

Smashburger is a franchise started in 2007 in the United States. The franchise gets its name from the way that they actually cook the burgers. All of their burger patties are made from 100% certified Angus feeb, rolled into a big meatball. They cook the patties to order, so when a burger is ordered, they butter the grill and smash the meatball onto the 400 degree grill with a special tool they developed. Cooking them in this fashion with the butter caramelizes the bottom of the burger and creates a seared exterior that helps keep the juices in. The Sherwood Park location would be their first in the Edmonton area and their third location in Alberta with the other two located in Calgary. In fact, Alberta has the only Canadian franchise of Smashburger thus far.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bummer at The Burg (CLOSED)

Build Your Own Burger Menu
We decided to check out The Burg located in the now defunct 104 St Grill space on the corner of 104 Street and 102 Avenue. Unlike the previous tenants, 104 St Grill, who had moved into the old Ric’s Grill space and seemed to have done little to change and make the space their own, The Burg had transformed the space! What was once a dimly lit and dated room filled with dark woods and booths was now a large, open and bright restaurant! Gone were the majority of the booths, replaced with light coloured bar height tables and chairs. They had significantly increased the amount of light in the room with natural light streaming through windows along all of the exterior walls. Without all the booths in the middle of the restaurant, the light was able to permeate throughout the large space. The lighter floors, walls and furnishings were a stark contrast from how the space looked before, which made it look modern and inviting.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sublime Patio Party at XIX Nineteen

XIX Nineteen Patio
XIX Nineteen, helmed by Chef Andrew Fung, has been open only 6 months now. Steadfast friend @thepolishviking was lucky enough to be invited to get a sneak preview of their menu, which happened quite literally just after we returned to Edmonton after a month long vacation in Europe, and enjoyed their offerings. Luckily for Moo, she was unable to attend an invitation only event to celebrate the opening of their new patio, and asked me to attend in her place.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Delectable Dining at Dinner by Heston Bluementhal

Roast Marrowbone
Having tried Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant a few weeks earlier during our vacation in Europe and having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we decided on a whim to see if we could get into his London based restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Luckily being listed on TopTable - the United Kingdom equivalent of North America’s OpenTable, a restaurant reservation website – we were able to quickly make lunch reservations, significantly easier than making reservations for The Fat Duck.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hot Fudge Addiction at Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream
When we visited Village Ice Cream for the first time in September 2012, we were instantly impressed and made sure to visit as many times as we could muster during our weekend there. With a solid line up of ice cream flavours they always offer and a few rotating flavours including dairy free sorbets, trying all the flavours we wanted in one weekend wasn’t an easy task! You can taste anything you’d like before committing and ice creams can come served in a cup or a homemade waffle cone. For hardcore addicts, they have pints for sale in their freezer as well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bully Food Truck Deserves Your Lunch Money

Bully Mac and Cheese
Bully Food Truck opened last summer, touting their fare as gourmet comfort food - basically your childhood favorites all grown up! Their slogan “Give me your lunch money” is apt considering I bought one of everything on one particular lunch hour and found almost everything was hearty and moolicious. The day I went, they already had a considerable line up that had formed immediately after opening.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Family Style at Hundred Bar and Kitchen

Marble Rye with Whipped Lardo
This past Saturday evening, Hundred Bar and Kitchen held their first family style dinner for only $45 per person. As is Chef Andrew Cowan’s signature, it was a carnivores dream, a meal that featured Irving’s Farm's beautiful pork and highlighted these porcine delights in many ways. It almost felt like a practice run for International Bacon Day.

Although they were still working out the logistical kinks of how they would work their family style dinner, 16 people attended the inaugural event. There were optional wine and beer pairings available for $30 and $20 respectively, as well as cocktails specifically chosen for the meal for $7 each.

Monday, May 27, 2013

“Cibo molto buona” at Cucina

Top Chef Canada Season 3 Contestants Danny Smiles,
Nicole Gomes, Jonathan Goodyear (Dennis Tay not
pictured but he was there), Moo and my female human
Although we arrived in Calgary in the afternoon on Saturday, we still wanted to try to hit Cucina for brunch as we’d heard good things about them from our foodie friends in Edmonton, and @littlemissandrea’s review spoke highly of their brunch. The Teatro Group, who also own Teatro, Vendome Café and Carne – a seasonal street meat stand that I visited on a previous trip to Calgary - owns Cucina – Italian for kitchen. The restaurant was a short distance from the hotel we were staying at, Hotel LeGermain, making it easy for us to dash from the Red Arrow office downtown when we arrived at noon, check in at Hotel LeGermain, meet our friend @bluebirdsy, then head on over to Cucina.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So So Co Co Di

Hommus with feeb
My Grammie bought a Groupon for dinner for four at Co Co Di so off we went one evening. The Groupon included a glass of wine for everyone, two appetizers and four entrees. The restaurant itself was enormous with booths along both walls, quite a lot of tables in the middle, the bar to the back left and the kitchen to the back right. The décor itself was fairly generic, with only the hookahs at some tables to indicate it was a Mediterranean restaurant.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mr Moo's Adventures Second Anniversary

Kara and Nevin Fenske  Food Angels
To think May 13, 2013 is only my second year writing this blog. I have met so many people, eaten so many incredibly things, been to many interesting and highly praised restaurants, and even gotten to travel.

I thought that I would share a few of my highlights from the last year with you all.
  • Female Human’s Hernia Surgery – In May 2012, the female human had abdominal hernia surgery after two years of waiting and was unable to go anywhere or eat much of anything for two weeks. She was in so much pain the first week of surgery that it was a choice between taking pain killers that made her so nauseous that she wasn’t hungry or would throw up if she ate (not a good thing to do when you’ve just had surgery on your abdomen) or not taking them and being in so much pain that she wasn’t hungry. The only thing she managed to keep down was bits of bland unbuttered toast or saltines. Luckily for her, after talking with the male human, angels Kara and Nevin Fenske of Drift Food Truck started making her bread sandwiches – basically toasted buns with the same spread they use on their pork belly sandwiches - allowing her to eat something that wasn’t so disgustingly bland that she wanted to throw up. It helped her get and keep her strength up enough to start getting off the couch and moving around on her own, with her first visit to the outside world of course being to Drift to thank them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

SWICH Pop Up - Mighty tasty sandwiches coming soon!

If you missed the SWICH pop up, I hope you had a great Mother’s Day! But you missed out on some moolicious food! No worries though, Alexi, the owner, operator and chef of SWICH, is due to hit the streets of Edmonton hopefully before the end of May or early June.

He’s partnered with siblings Tom and Monica Lim, whose family owns and runs Lan’s Asian Grill near NAIT and T.H.I.S Place, which is downtown, for his mobile sandwich venture. Their trailer will be open for business during lunch on weekdays, although their locations are yet to be announced, he indicated that they will have two spots, one located downtown and the other on the Southside. As well, they hope to cater to businesses and at event.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Samosas - Another Lesson in Indian Cooking with @michpetersjones

Samosa Filling
I always love eating Indian food, but not being even a mediocre home cook, it’s not the type of food I would ever try to make myself as I find the recipes are often fairly daunting. Fortunately for us @michpetersjones of The Tiffin Box and @BigAddie had been planning to make samosas this week, and we were lucky enough to be invited over to learn how to make them. Learning first hand, being able to actually see and participate in the cooking under someone’s direction, makes it less scary to attempt to make recipes that appear complicated. Now, making samosas can be labour intensive and @michpetersjones and @BigAddie admitted that in India, most people don’t bother making their own but instead go out to their local bakery and just purchase them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Enchanted at Niche (CLOSED)

PEI Mussels
We hadn’t been to Niche in over a year and decided to revisit it during Downtown Dining Week. We began with an amuse bouche of beets, strawberries, and goat feta, which was one refreshing bite. Next we moved onto appetizers, which included a large bowl of perfectly cooked and tender PEI mussels with roasted red peppers, basil, paired with corn bread and honey butter to soak up the fragrant and light broth. The male human opted for Bison Carpaccio with soy vinaigrette, parmesan, sesame oil powder and arugula, which he said had a very mild bison flavor to it and melted in his mouth. Least to say both dishes were devoured without delay.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Marvelling at Borough Market and The Greedy Goat

Enjoying prosecco with Winston von Bark
One of our first stops in London was Borough Market with my favorite canine comrade, Winston Von Bark and his lovely female human, Lindsey, and his male human, Stuart. The market was a ways from where we were staying in London, but was well worth the trip.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Contented Carnivore at Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus

Roed Hus Sliders
Having heard great things from @thepolishviking and having a Groupon in hand to Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus, we took the chance to visit after a long morning spent checking out the Star Wars Identities Exhibit at the Telus World of Science.

Located near the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in a small strip mall, one enters a small, but warm and inviting space decorated with stone, and consisting of a mix of cozy booths, as well as more flexible seating of tables and chairs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Delectable Dining at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Roast Marrowbone
Having tried Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant a few weeks earlier during our vacation in Europe and having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we decided on a whim to see if we could get into his London based restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Luckily being listed on TopTable - the United Kingdom equivalent of North America’s OpenTable, a restaurant reservation website – we were able to quickly make lunch reservations, significantly easier than making reservations for The Fat Duck.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

La Taqueria Trio at Mucho Burrito Muy Bruto

La Taqueria Trio
I was invited to try La Taqueria Trio at Mucho Burrito, a new and limited time offering, available only until May 3. To be honest, I had never even walked into a Mucho Burrito until I went in to try La Taqueria Trio even though there’s a Mucho Burrito a block away from where I live and I pass by it often.

Mucho Burrito is based out of Mississauga, Ontario, hailing itself as the new alternative to Mexican food and as “one of the hottest restaurant concepts to enter Canada.” Their concept being made to order Mexican food, allowing diners to choose whether they would like a burrito, taco or quesadilla, whether they’d like a small or large portion, white or whole wheat burrito, what toppings and sauces they’d like, and so on. Although it might have been a unique concept in 2006 when they first started operations, it’s hardly unique now with competitors like Taco Del Mar and Burrito Libre now commonplace in Edmonton.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Whimsical Delights at The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck
I had always wanted to go to The Fat Duck, even before I started my food blog. I had tried convincing the humans on our last trip to Europe to visit, but they couldn’t bring themselves to spend that much on a meal at the time. Least to say, they regretted not going last time, so on this trip, they made sure they got a reservation.

The restaurant is in the small town of Bray, meaning if you’re coming from London that you have to take a train from Paddington Station to Maidenhead, then either walk or take a taxi to Bray. When we pulled up in front of The Fat Duck, we saw a small, white, unremarkable building with nothing to indicate that it was The Fat Duck, except the easily recognizable logo for the restaurant, the fork, knife and spoon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Posthumous Review of 104 Street Grill (CLOSED)

Seared scallops, boar bacon vinaigrette,
wilted spinach and shallots
Even though 104 Street Grill is now defunct before I got a chance to post this, I've had some requests from readers to see my post anyway. So here is my posthumous review of 104 Street Grill .

We were invited to give 104 Street Grill a try when they first opened and they generously sent us a $50 certificate to encourage us to come for a visit. Unfortunately, they opened just before I went on my whirlwind tour of Europe and there was no way to squeeze it into an already busy schedule. However, they generously let us utilize the certificate after our return, once we had recuperated from eating out more in a month than we generally do in a year!

Occupying the former home of Ric’s Grill, the dimly lit room was filled with worn, dark wood tables and comfortable looking booth seating. We opted to start with the seared scallops, boar bacon vinaigrette, wilted spinach and shallots. The boar bacon was smoky and slightly sweet, but tended to stick together and had a somewhat chewy texture, which unfortunately stuck to my teeth and I wished that it had been cooked until it was crispy. The vinaigrette tasted nice but was a tad too acidic for my taste and the scallops were sadly watery tasting and chewy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

French Piggy at Bistro Saisons with Swine and Dine (CLOSED)

Hosted at the newly opened Bistro Saisons, this particular Swine and Dine featured French piggy dishes such as cassoulet, with Edmonton’s own Passion for Pork ambassador, @ThePorkGirl, hosting. Swine and Dine is an event that features locally sourced pork products, letting local restaurants to shine, showing what they can do with porcine goodness.

Bistro Saisons prides themselves in utilizing as much local product as they can with all of their proteins coming from within 150 KM of Edmonton, with the exception of duck breast which they get from the Fraser Valley. Chef and owner, Scott Ards, sources all of their vegetables weekly at Edmonton’s farmers markets.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Entertaining Edmonton Opera Brunch

Brunch at Sutton Place Hotel
We were invited to attend the Edmonton Opera brunch at Sutton Place Hotel for their upcoming production of Eugene Onegin. Although we had never attended an Edmonton Opera brunch before, my female human and I were fairly familiar with opera and in particular the Edmonton Opera and their work, as she had worked with them years ago as part of the stage management team on a few of their productions. So we jumped at the chance to spend a Sunday eating brunch while listening to opera singers in a venue more intimate than the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Revist of Pinkberry

Frozen Yogurt parfait
Although I had been to Pinkberry’s grand opening in West Edmonton Mall, I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit them again since then. I was curious to see what their prices and regular portions looked like. Since I had a $20 Groupon for Pinkberry, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to review the real experience.

It turned out that $20 at Pinkberry was quite a lot, as it allowed us to order two large Pinkberry’s with toppings, as well as a fruit parfait. The amount of frozen yogurt they put into the cup is quite generous and the amount of toppings they put in is only limited by the space available that isn’t already filled with frozen yogurt. Personally, I would’ve loved it if they’d put a little less frozen yogurt in and left a bit more room for toppings.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gourmet Goodness at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Amuse bouche of chilled tomato, radish,
fresh ricotta
, and cucumber
Restaurant Gordon Ramsey is located on Royal Hospital Road, and had we not have seen what it looked like online, would have easily walked by it. Located on a not very remarkable building with just a black awning to announce what it was, it was on a fairly sleepy street.

Upon entering, the space was simple yet elegant, and far more bright and airy than his other restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, which we had dined at on our last visit to London. We were easily the youngest diners in the restaurant that particular lunch hour, but we were happy to be seated off to the side with no potential arms deals occurring around us….  No, not kidding you, as our previous experience at the Claridges location kept us entertained all evening as we overheard the conversation on the table behind us, which sounded like an arms deal. Other friends we know have had a similar experience at the Royal Hospital Road location. We opted for the tasting menu, and I started the meal with what was quickly becoming my new vice, a glass of vintage champagne, in this particular case, Charles Heidsieck.
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