Monday, 1 September 2014

Edmonton! Craft Beer Market! Rooftop Patio!

Craft Beer Market 
10013 101A Ave 
Edmonton, AB  
T5J0C3 
780-424-2337 
So, I was in Edmonton for a wedding and we had a few hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception. The bridal party told everyone to go to Craft for drinks and eats. They said the would be on the patio. Sounded good to us!  

The street Craft is on, has many delicious looking places on it. I wish I could've stayed in Edmonton longer to try them! The Craft Beer Market is a large building; you can't miss it. The main floor is full of large, leather booths, but the eye is immediately drawn to the big ass bar. So much beer! We headed in and said we were meeting a wedding party on the patio and they pointed to the stairs. We were told to go all the way to the top. Rooftop patio FTW. 

The patio was busy and beautiful. It had a great variety of places to sit, TVs, flowers, a bar and a great view. THIS was the place to be! 

The service was fabulous. We got the menus made our food and drink selections and she was right there to take our orders. Perfect. The beer menu is fantastic; over 100 beers on tap! We all tried a different beer. I lied. It was a summer day and I had a hankering for some Fruli. I did try everyone elses! They decided to keep it local. They chose Hog's Head, Alley Cat & Rice Howard Ale.  


While enjoying the local brews, we went with a light lunch. I downed a Margherita Flatbread. Everything about it was fresh; fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, fresh cheese, fresh garlic. My breath was fantastic. My dad picked the Fresh Vegetable Platter. It came with a pile of veggies, olives, a pile of flatbread and a big bowl of hummus. I always assumed veggie platters would leave you hungry, but this one was huge and had more than just veggies to fill you up! My brother and his lovely lady shared the Baja Fish Tacos. They said they were good, but the heat from the hot sauce didn't really add anything to the dish. They said it seemed out of place. The fish, dressings and salad were both very good.  

If I'm ever in town again, I'd definitely come back. Craft has a great vibe and we really enjoyed our visit. 

Lisa







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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bistro 67 Brings the Flavour

Bistro 67 
1610 Champlain Ave. 
Whitby, ON 
905-721-3312 

Time to go to where many of our favourite chefs started....school! Durham College has a culinary arts program that allows their chefs-in-training to practice in a real restaurant kitchen. Love this! In fact, there's a screen in the dining room where you can see chefs making your meal. The next big chef could be cooking you dinner and you didn't even know it!  

That's not all; it's field to fork. When you drive by on Champlain Ave or drive to the restaurant parking, you can see their gardens and there are plans for greenhouses too! It doesn't get any fresher than that. Whatever is in season is what they're serving.  

The venue itself is beautiful. Bright orange walls were the backdrop for the dark wood tables facing floor to ceiling windows. Everything was beautifully designed, right down to the lighting and table setting. Great atmosphere. Once the construction at the college is complete, the view from your second floor seat will become much more esthetically pleasing.  

After we ordered our drinks, bread and a house spread. The bread was fresh and the spread was AMAZING. Garlic, shallots and a whole lot of yum. When our Warm Baked Flatbread arrived, we kept what was left of the spread and used it for the flatbread too! Marinated tomatosfontina cheese, sherry onions and even more garlic all on a flatbread fresh out of the oven. The toppings were tasty, but not overwhelming. We made quick work of it even though it was huge. 

For mains we went with Steak Frites, Local Cornish Hen & Grilled Birch-Glazed Salmon. The Cornish Hen was tender, juicy and was infused with citrus. The strong citrus flavours were cut nicely with the pepperoncini polenta. Fantastic combination. The piece of salmon was HUGE. The picture doesn't do it justice; it was easily over an inch thick. The roasted peppers were great but the potatoes weren't fully cooked. The Steak Frites was probably the favourite. The steak was tender and well seasoned. The fries were truffled, sprinkled with thyme and served with tomato jam. You read it - JAM. This was not your grocery store ketchup. It had such a unique flavour that I have nothing to compare it to. Either way, it was fantastic. Gotta try it! 

The service was great. They were quick, attentive and knowledgeable. They are very professional. You wouldn't even know that the people there are in training to be chefs because it tasted like they were pros already! 

I realize they just put a huge logo for this place right ON the building, but it just doesn't stand out. I know if I'm looking for a restaurant, I'm looking for the traditional big sign near the road. If you're not from the area, you might not find it.  

This was my first meal at the culinary school and it won't be my last. Support your local college and give them feedback to make them the best of the best! 

Lisa






Bistro '67 on Urbanspoon

Friday, 8 August 2014

Must Go Back to Bistro 238!

Bistro 238 
1413 King St 
Oshawa, ON 
L1E2J6 
905-579-4688 

It was my grandmother's birthday and I wanted to take her somewhere we both hadn't been. Bistro 238 had fabulous reviews and a tasty looking menu, so off we went. The décor was beautiful. Dark leather chairs that you just didn't want to get out of. The staff were friendly and seated us quickly. It's a small space, but it doesn't feel small. They make use of the space, but you don't feel crowded. It's located in a plaza, so the picture above should help you find it. 


We were hungry, so we quickly made our choices. My Nan went with the Veal Tenderloin Special. It was a huge, tender piece of veal with seasonal vegetables smothered in au jus. I was worried because she's not a big eater. I stand corrected. She ate the whole thing it was so good. All she could say was that it melted in her mouth. My Dad selected the Alberta Striploin. It was as big as the veal! He too said it was fantastic and didn't leave a morsel on his plate. Cooked and seasoned to order with veggies and the cheddar & leek croquette smothered in mushroom ragout. So savoury! I picked the Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloin. Juicy, tender, sweet and savoury; I was very happy with my choice! The mashed sweet potatoes with the apple-brandy reduction was a winning combination. The presentation of all plates was perfect and the flavour combinations were perfect. Needless to say, we were stuffed. 

But...it's a birthday! Cake was in order. I chose the Lemon Mousse Cake, It was perfect after a meal like that. Light and airy with a delightful lemon flavour, but not too sweet. What Nan chose was AMAZING. I had to copy this description from their Facebook page to get it right, "New York style Cheesecake wrapped with Phylo pastry, baked in the oven and served with a warm berry compote." There aren't words to describe how amazing this was. I was lucky to get a bite. The warm cheesecake, the Phylo, the warm berry compote was absolutely to DIE FOR. I cannot encourage you enough to try this. I'm a chocolate person and I would give it up for this dessert.  

A fantastic venue to treat my grandmother on her birthday. She loved it and told everyone she knew about the food, and especially, the dessert. The service was professional and the prices were on par with the quality of the meal. 

I can't wait to go back; MAYBE I'll get a whole piece of that cheesecake to myself! 

Lisa






Bistro 238 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Taste of Toronto Verdict - Toronto Tastes Pretty Good

Taste of Toronto 2014 

The festival season is upon us and it's time for the first annual Taste of Toronto at Fort York. As someone from out of town, this was very easy to get to via TTC. Taking the bus from Union Station(which is a nightmare right now, can't wait until the construction is over!), brings you right outside the fort; a short walk and you are there!  

There was a Crown Dealer right outside the gates. Crowns being the official currency of the event were conveniently located on a card. Tap & Go = Awesome. All leftover Crowns were donated to Second Harvest! Charity Donations = Awesome. Not every vendor accepted crowns, which was a bit disappointing. No one wants to put all their cash on their card and then find out you can't buy what you wanted. 

The menu card for the event was nicely laid out, so you could pick what you wanted, flip to the map and go! The signage could've been better. It was hard to find the food stall you were looking for. You had to walk almost inside the stall to see if it was the right one; always awkward when there's a lineup! All of the vendors that did not accept crowns had great signage. Go figure! 

We first headed for the Amex Lounge for some shade and seating. There were signs that said Tweet for a Treat. I tweeted, but remained treatless. It was a hot one and there was complimentary snacks and WATER, so really the shade and water was a treat at that point! Thanks Amex! There, we scoured the menu card for our first victims and made our way over. 

Our first stop was The McEwan Group. One's Fried Chicken had my name all over it. It came with a buttermilk biscuit, chipotle BBQ sauce and some homemade slaw. The chicken LOOKS big, but it really wasn’t. It was a wing, so there wasn't much meat on it, but the batter was fabulous. The chipotle sauce had some nice tangy heat, the slaw was fresh and the biscuit was not bad. 

Our second stop was Barque Smokehouse. They brought the smoker with them! Epic! As you waited for your food, the kitchen staff would retrieve freshly smoked meats from the smoker. Doesn't get any better! My friend went with the Barque Rack O'Bama and she said it was worth every crown. The ribs were large, meaty and seasoned well. They also had 3 house sauces to try, from sweet to heat. She tried all of them. The candied, smoked bacon salad was the perfect pairing to these savoury ribs. The meal had a great balance of flavours for such a small plate!  

We can't leave without dessert! After consulting our handy menu card, we headed over to Richmond Station for a Station Ice Cream Sundae. No description on the menu, so we assumed we'd get some ice cream and chocolate sauce. We were so very wrong. This was THE most gourmet sundae I've ever had. It had creamy vanilla ice cream and toasted, slivered almonds smothered in an apricot glaze and topped with a slice of chocolate fudge. Did I mention the glaze had chunks of apricot in it? The sweet of the apricot paired with the salt of the almonds made for a party in my mouth. We were thoroughly impressed. 

The bands were keeping it lively and the crowd was loving it. Lots of seating everywhere so you could eat, watch and listen. We were in the Small Producer's Market, directly beside the stage, and you could still talk to the vendors without yelling. In addition to the food, the vendors brought a variety of wares, ice cream, teas, meats, beers, wines, cheeses, etcetc, etc. There was no shortage of samples either. 

If sitting around eating delicious food isn't your thing, Taste of Toronto didn't forget about you. There was The Tasting Room with sessions each day to learn more about pairing food with beverages hosted by experts in their industry. Pairing not your thing? There's historical cooking classes as well! They had Ice Cream and Salad Herbs Workshops for you history buffs! Craving more cooking? There's Metro Master Classes with hands-on sessions to help you make the best eats. Not a cook? There's more to taste at the Electrolux Taste theatre hosted by Toronto's best chefs. That's a lot packed into 3 days! 

There was no shortage of things to do and no shortage of things to eat. What a busy weekend! You won't want to miss it next year! 

Lisa




Saturday, 26 July 2014

An OK Time at the Hunter's Horn

The Hunter's Horn 
965 Dundas St W 
Whitby, ON 
L1P1L5 
905-665-7395 

My dad and I were looking for a bite one evening when we wandered upon the Hunter's Horn. Upon entering, we were immediately greeted, seated and your drink order was taken. Sweet. The décor is old and is in desperate need of an update. The booths are carpet had that dark pub red. Blah. They do have a nice patio though. They also host open mic night and showcase local talent. Gotta love that! 

The menu was short and sweet and the prices were pretty good. My dad picked Bangers & Mash and I went with the Philly Cheese with Minestrone Soup. I think he gets Bangers & Mash at every pub he goes to. he said it was alright, but he didn't leave a drop of gravy on his plate. Just ok, you say? My Philly Cheesesteak sandwich was good, once I got past the gristley pieces and fat. Lots of cheese, yummy peppers and the fresh baguette was what saved it. The soup could've used some help; not a ton of flavour there. 


My father was his usual charming self to our very young and kinda clueless server. I don't think she'd ever had a customer like him. She was polite and attentive, but she's gotta adapt to big personalities and not just do the deer-in-headlights thing. 

It was a good experience, but I don't think I'd go back.The décor and menu both need a facelift. I wish I'd had their wings instead! 


Lisa





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