Monday, May 31, 2010

More Sushi! MOAR!

Wa's Japanese Restaurant
1721 Centre St N

Another sushi entry today. This time, Wa's on Centre Street. The restaurant has been around for a while as evident in the number of small renovations to the old one storey building. Major efforts have been made to update the decor but the stains on the walls and tablecloths show this tiny restaurant has been through the wars. When you look pass all the stains and uninspiring interior design work and give the food a try, you will realize all that does not matter.

The sashimi was fresh, it just kind of melts in your mouth. Mmmmmm... I ordered my usuals. Sake, toro, tako, ama-ebi and hotategai. There's also a dynamite roll in there. The thing I love most about Wa's is their ama-ebi. Tobiko is set on the body of the shrimp to give it a different texture and additional flavour. The result is fantastic.

I also had the
Tonkotsu Ramen. The Ramen is served in a hearty "creamy" pork bone broth. The flavour is very rich and oily as it is likely made from fat. Toppings at Wa's include seaweed, scallions, pickled ginger, bamboo shoots and a token slice of pork with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. The dried seaweed was very crispy despite being soaked in the broth and the pork was decent. I'm not a huge fan of the bamboo shoots or pickled ginger so I just kind of shoved them off to the side.

To finish it off, I had a Chawanmushi which is a Japanese steamed egg custard. It's more of an appetizer than a dessert, I just ordered it after the fact. The egg mixture was super smooth with a shrimp in the middle and topped with scallions, lemon peels and ikura (Salmon roe). The
dashi (stock) is very light and had sweetness of the prawn. I would recommend the Chawanmushi for everyone to check out. It's a simple yet delicious dish that is not usually on people's minds when they head to a Japanese restaurant.

Wa's Japanese on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where lb is not Pound...

#270, 14th Ave SE, Macleod Trail South

Have you ever wanted to have a $40 burger? Didn't think so. But if you ever felt the desire to, loungeburger would be the place. Kobe
wagyu (beef) topped with prosciutto wrapped lobster, butter lettuce, chives and a truffle hollandaise sauce all on a pretzel bun. Sounds delicious? I'd get it. But they don't serve it at lunch, since they "do not want to compromise the quality" of the end product. It's comforting to know that my $40 burger will be made to perfection, unlike that sloppy double quarter pounder with cheese at McDonald's. However, I've been told you can order the burger before hand and arrive ready to chow down. I was intrigued. Maybe another week. $40 is pretty steep. It is just a burger after all.

Special birthday shout out to Super Nat and Jordan! Woot!

I was gonna try the feature burger, bison with jalapeño peppers and hot sauce. But all that hotness seemed really unnecessary. Anyway, I ended up ordering the tiger shrimp burger because they didn't have the Ahi Tuna. It was decent, the elk burger was better. The shrimp is chopped and mixed with garlic and
scallions and made into a patty. It is then topped with lettuce, Asian slaw and sweet chili sauce on a focaccia bun. The focaccia bun was not as delicious as the one at Charcut. Not very memory foam-esque. I'm probably going to compare all focaccia bread to the one at Charcut and I'm not gonna lie, it will most likely be impossible to top. The shrimp patty was pretty good. It didn't have a really strong "taste of the sea". You know what I'm talking about. The Asian slaw was not very Asian at all. I'm not sure why they call it that. Burger came with a side. Salad or fries. I had the waffle cut fries. "Skinny" and homestyle is also available. Relative to the straw, the skinny fries were pretty fat. Homestyle fries were just down right obese (slightly fatter than the skinny fries) and with the skin on.

The variety of burgers is pretty good. Lots of different animals to choose from. Nice atmosphere. Big TVs to watch the game while you eat the $40 lounger. Ask for it when you go and tell me what you think in the comments below!

Loungeburger on Urbanspoon

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine
209 1st Street SE

Thursday was a wet one. It rained nonstop from morning to night. But David's gotta eat. Today would have been a good day to check out the TA Oasis as it is a block away, but crappy weather could potentially mean a shorter line up at Thi Thi subs. I was completely drenched before I even got to the end of the block. It's too late now to go back to TA... You can't get any wetter than completely drenched. 7 more blocks to go. Normally, the line for Thi Thi subs stretches to the sidewalk and curves around the block. Where 20 minute waits is the norm. Not today. As I walked up to the hole in the wall (literally), the line was still inside. Two other die hard fans were waiting for their delicious subs. As I opened the door, I was greeted by Thi Thi sub owner and family, cardboard "welcome mat" and the smell of the delicious saté sauce.

As I ordered by food, the saté ribs, more people began showing up. The sub sandwiches, stored in a giant rubbermaid tub, is sliced with a machete when ordered (Sketch? Yes. But it's effective). It is first lathered with butter (probably lard, or lard butter), then put through the toaster roller with the meat and cheese so that the cheese is all melted on to the meat and bun. Next, my usual toppings, carrots and cucumbers, are added. And finally, the Thi Thi special sauce is drizzled on. By drizzle, I mean squirted. Upon receiving my sub, I made my trek back to the office. Special thanks to the Children Festival's clowns for lending me their umbrella while I waited for the lights. That was very sweet of them. Not that it really matter because I was drenched from head to toe. But it's the thought that counts.

8 blocks and 10 minutes of drying off later, I was finally able to enjoy my sub. The bread, surprisingly, was still crispy. The special sauce was spicy and delicious. The veggies were crunchy and the ribs were tender. Totally worth it. Totally.

Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Frisbits Reunion!

St. James Corner Restaurant & Irish Pub
1219 1st. Street SW

Members of the 0-18-0 summer 2008 ultimate frisbee team met at the St. James Corner Pub on Friday to do some catching up. Jill had returned to Calgary for a visit for the long weekend. Congrats on the new job by the way!

I had the chicken quesadilla. They must have had to harvest their own wheat to make the flour tortilla, grow their own vegetables in the basement and slaughter their own chicken because there was no way it could have taken them an hour to make the food. It was a little ridiculous. The food was decent. Nothing too special. It comes with a choice of sides. I had the caesar. And yeah...

I should note that their Patty's Pickles is amazing. And I don't even like pickles.

Here's a famous shot of me snatching the disc from that nasty croc at the national championship game. Yeah...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday night RAW

Sushi Bar Zipang
1010 1 Ave NE

Went to Zipang for some sushi before frisbee on Tuesday. This is one of my favorite sushi restaurants, it's a little more expensive but the sushi is always fresh. Reservations are encouraged for groups since they fill up pretty fast. Got my usual items. Sake, amaebi (raw prawn), tako and hotategai. They didn't have any fresh toro today so I got some regular tuna. Zipang, Sukiyaki House and Wa's are the only places I've been to that serves the giant raw prawns. If your stomach can take it, I highly recommend it. It's a million times better than the steamed variety. It's unbelievably sweet and delicious. You can also have the head deep fried after and eat the shell and gooey stuff in the head too! Nice! I'm pretty sure I just grossed out everyone but don't hate till you try it!

I also got the Zaru Soba. Zaru soba is buckwheat noodles topped with shredded nori seaweed served chilled with a delicious sweet dipping sauce called soba tsuyu. Wasabi, scallions and grated daikon radish are mixed in with the tsuyu and the noodles are dipped into the sauce. Wa's also has a quail egg that you can mix into the sauce. A perfect dish for a sunny and hot day; unfortunately for me, Tuesday was rainy and cold. You can also get a side of tempura which I did not. I think soba is better served cold but other's disagree. You can be the judge of that.

Sushi Bar Zipang on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rice it up

Sun's BBQ Restaurant
1413 Centre Street NW

Let me first warn you that if you are looking a place with great service, this... is not it. There are probably a few health violations but if you are willing to look pass all that sketchiness, this is a pretty decent place. I got one of my favorite dish today; Indonesian Fried Rice. Fried rice served in its own mini wok with dried shredded pork, beef, shrimp and topped off with a fried egg. Is it real authentic Indonesian food? I don't know... Is it delicious? You bet! It's been a week and I haven't died from food poisoning, so just won't worry about it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Favorite Restaurant

Bistro Twenty Two Ten
2210 4 Street SW

Lunch at my favorite restaurant today! So exciting! I've been looking forward to it for a while. Located in the Mission district, this stylish little bistro serves up some delicious French cuisine. The dining area is open with large windows to let in ample sunlight during the summertime. The decor is very simple while maintaining many of the original building details such as the tin ceiling and brick walls.

I had the daily soup; it was a tomato bisque with ratatouille served in it's very own ceramic cauldron. The freshly chopped ratatouille is a interesting contrast to the hot soup and the result was quite amazing! The natural taste of the vegetables really brings out the strong flavour of the tomato soup.

I also ordered the grilled caesar salad with chicken. It still surprise me every time because, unlike other places, the chef grills an entire uncut romaine heart and top it with creamy caesar dressing, bacon bits, grated parmesan cheese and grilled chicken. It's a little extra work on the part of the diner but it's oh so delicious since all the juice is trapped within the fibres of the romaine lettuce. The chicken was very tender. This is by far the best-est chicken caesar salad I've ever had in my life. 5 stars out of 5. The only thing that could top this would be the south western steak salad from
Sonoma Market Cafe.

Bistro Twenty Two Ten on Urbanspoon

Peace Bridge Prez

Danish Canadian Club
727 - 11th Avenue SW

I attended the
Peace Bridge lunch presentation at the Danish Canadian Club this past Thursday. The bridge is penned by world renown architect Santiago Calatrava. When they first announced the bridge, everyone hated it. I'm pretty sure everyone still hates it. It was often compared to a Chinese finger trap. Maybe because it cost 25 million but look at it! It looks so unique! And cool! Maybe the colour selection wasn't the greatest but I'm willing to look pass it. Critics claim a 5 year old child can design something better but I beg to differ. I know it's hard to believe, but your kid isn't that gifted. You're just jealous you didn't think of it first. Get over it.

Anyway, the lunch. Roast beef with veggies and roasted potatoes. Seafood salad on the side, though you can't really see it underneath the giant piece of cheese over top of it. It was decent overall. The salad didn't have any flavour. At all. There was also some delicious cake which I didn't get a picture of. : O

And to end it all, we can just sit here and admire this sweet render of the new bridge over the Bow River courtesy of Santiago Calatrava.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pasty Pastry

Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie & Bread Shop
1333 - First Street SE

The Belgian Pastry place is really hoppin' on Wednesday. A tour bus dropped off a bunch of hungry tourists and everything was selling out. The couple in front snagged the last delicious looking bacon and potato quiche. Now I will never know just how amazing it could have tasted. So instead I got this ham and cheese croissant:

It was delicious, the roll was super flaky and I melted the cheese just right with the work microwave. 31 seconds. Note the photo was taken prior to the radiation treatment.

In addition, I got this fancy strawberry tart. It was so pretty, it was almost wrong to eat it. Almost. Because it was so insanely spectacularly delicious. Actually, it would have been a waste to not eat it. Om nom nom nom.

Happy Mother's Day

Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar
624 - 8TH AVE SW

Went to Escoba for dinner with the family to celebrate mother's day this weekend. Serving mediterranean inspired foods, every menu item has a recommended wine pairing to enhance the experience. I love Escoba, I went a few years ago when they were still in the basement of the Penny Lane Mall. They had this lava cake dessert that was called O.M.G., and O.M.F.G. it was so amazingly delicious. I have gone a few times since then but they seem to have removed it from their menu. It's a shame because it was so good.

This time around, we tried the shrimp, asiago and gorgonzola stuffed mushrooms. It's 10 times better than the prosciutto and brie stuffed mushrooms that I made. : ( The rustic atmosphere is dimly lit making photo taking difficult. My apologies for the bad photo quality.

For the main course, I had the daily special. A salmon filet stuffed with more seafood (I forget what), served over a potato patty and roasted veggies. Normally, I prefer my salmon in sashimi form with a little soya sauce and wasabi but this was pretty delicious. The flesh was still very tender and not at all dried out.

Avenue Diner
105 - 8th Avenue S.W.

Went for brunch at Avenue Dinner with one of my high school best friends Darcie today. I was a little worried when I got a text from her as I headed over to the diner that morning saying that we were placed on the waiting list. Was this going to be another Cora experience where the lines stretched for miles? As I approached the diner, I saw that the line has not yet extended outside to the street. A sigh of relieve. I saw a group of people heading towards the diner so I hauled ass in there. I entered the establishment to greet my friend and she informed me it will be a 5 minute wait, which is not really that bad (Considering I've waited 30 minutes at Cora before, which was worth the wait by the way).

Shortly after being seated, I ordered the avenue stuffed French toast. It was topped with grilled apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and a single gooseberry. The apples were a little sour so I loaded it up with the sweet tasty apple syrup. The french toast was stuffed with smoked bacon and brie. It was super delicious. The bacon and brie was very mild which complemented the sweet taste of fruit (not the apples), powdered sugar and syrup really well. Delish!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Game day!

1325 1st Street S.E.

Located in the strip mall along side
Bernard Callebaut and Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie & Bread Shop, L'Epicerie is a small French deli that seats 7 or 8 patrons. Serving a variety of soups, quiches and sandwiches, items are made fresh daily. I forgot what I order but I think it was the second sandwich, with ham, cheese and eggs? You would think that having slices of hard boiled eggs in the sandwich would be weird but it actually complimented the cured ham and cheese really well. It's nothing like an egg salad sandwich. I would actually recommend the croque-monsieur over the sandwich that I had. It's kinda greasy but oh so delicious! It's a shame they sold out when I was there. I wish I could speak french because I can't pronounce ninety percent of the menu items.

Lotus Grill
1032 Macleod Trail SE

Despite the "great" weather we've had recently, I had to play ultimate frisbee Thursday evening. And by great, I mean cold and snowy. So I headed to Lotus Grill after work to grab a nice bowl of hot
Pho before the game. My server had the Justin Bieber haircut, except it was a little thin at the front. It was not a good look.

Anyway, back to the food. I ordered the house special which has all the miscellaneous cow parts (brisket, tendon, tripe). The broth was a little weak, a little watered down and that is never a good thing. The cuts of beef were very thick; however, I'm not sure if this is a good thing either as the beefy goodness can not be diffused into the soup and rice noodles which essentially have no taste. Price at a couple of pennies under ten dollars (a large is two dollars more), you actually don't get as much as other places. A little disappointed to say the least.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yay for Free Lunch!

107-8th Ave. SE

Went to Milestones for lunch today to welcome a new member to our team at work. I had the lunch trio. Soup, salad and sandwich. The soup was a tomato bisque. Very rich and creamy but definitely not as good as the soup I had at Taste. Caesar salad on the side. It must be a Milestones thing but they seem to like to put large chunks of garlic in their caesar salads. It's not bad but some of the chunks are quite large. I had the smoke turkey for my sandwich. It was decent, nothing too spectacular... avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon and, of course, turkey sandwiched between ciabatta bread. What is surprising was that we finished in 45 minutes, because normally it takes 45 minutes to get our food! That's enough time to get a coffee at deVille. Score!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Sakana Grill
10 Crowfoot Circle NW

After a hard day of paintballing with friends for my friend Hazel's birthday, we headed to Sakana Grill in Crowfoot for dinner. I ordered the Takoyaki for my appetizer to share. Takoyaki is a fried Japanese dumpling stuffed with a chunk of octopus inside the ball of batter and topped with katsuobushi (fish shavings), mayo and some sauce. The dough super delicious.

For my main, I ordered a bunch of nigiri and rolls from the sushi sheet (Note that not everything on the plate was mine). I had the Amaebi (Raw prawn), Mirugai (
Geoduck), Hotate (Scallop), Tako (Octopus), Sake (Salmon), Toro (Tuna belly) and the truck tires... I mean, house special roll. Look at the roll in the middle... seriously, it's massive. It's twice the size of the other ones! I think Sakana Grill might be the only sushi place I've been to that serves geoduck sushi. It's probably not their most popular item. I tried "making" geoduck sushi at home once, it wasn't very good, but I think it's probably because we got the cheap stuff at T & T. The sea taste was really overwhelming. And not in a good way. It was a little better at Sakana Grill. I might have to try it again at home.

The sushi was decent overall, some of the items could have been fresher (Salmon) but you can't really argue with the price. Which isn't to say you should go for the cheapest sushi available but $2.10 for Toro?! I should have ordered like 10. That's like half the price of other places! It's good enough so you won't feel sick afterwards but it's not the best. For those interested, the rolls at the very top are the dynamite rolls, smoked salmon with cucumbers on the left. Second piece from the left on the bottom is the Kani (Crab) and second from the right is Sake (Smoked salmon).

All this was followed by a delicious marble cake from Cakeworks. Though delicious, some was wasted by smearing on the birthday girl. We're a very classy group. Must be the Sapporo.

Sakana Grill on Urbanspoon