Archive | Food and Drink RSS feed for this section

Review: Next Act Pub

16 Apr

I had heard a lot of good things about “Theater Sports” down at the Varscona Theater, and though it sounded like a fun new thing to try. I bought some tickets online for their weekly show, Friday at 11:00. 11:00 is kind of an awkward time for anything to begin, so I thought, what can we do for an hour or two before a show. Obviously good eats and good drinks was the most obvious option. So, in the spirit of the Theater, and the inspiration to try a new place, we went to the Next Act Pub on the corner of 104 Street and 83 Ave. The pub was small, but luckily we found seats. It was Friday night, so unfortunately it was a little loud for regular, sober communication. Good thing I always speak above proper room volume. The clientele was something I also noticed. Everyone was a little older, and looked more refined than the usual Whyte Avenue Friday night crowd. This I liked, mostly because I can appreciate a pub that’s devote to food, drink and good conversation.

The Menu, both food and drink, looked amazing. Diverse, yet comfortable choices, and most importantly, burgers. I will definitely return again to explore the other components of the menu, however, that night I chose the “Class Act” burger, very fitting if I do say so myself. Mr. D order the Macaroni and Cheese with the additional bits of bacon and jalapeno’s. To drink, we ordered a pitcher of Steam whistle. Probably not worth it as it was just less than 3 pints, and a single pint cost 6$. There were some really¬† nice beer choices, however, not as deep and diverse as you’ll find at Sugarbowl.

The Burger included cheddar cheese, bacon, and an overeasy egg. The egg was cooked perfectly which allowed the delicious yolk to flow throughout. mmmmm. The Patty though, was seasoned so perfectly. The meat was juicy and cooked very nicely. I consider myself someone who knows a good burger as it’s my favorite food and I’ve consumed far too many in my lifetime, and I can easily say, this was one of the best I have ever had, ANYWHERE! damn. I’m craving it right now.

Mr. D ordered the Mac and Cheese which was baked and steaming hot as it arrived at the table. It was creamy and not overly rich, and the bacon bits were, well, bacon bits so delicious. The Jalapeno’s were a nice touch, however, they were really hot and overpowered a lot of the other components in the dish. If you can handle them, they’re great, but next time we’ll sans the Jalapeno’s.

Overall the meal was delicious, hot, and fresh. The ambiance was great, the menu tantalizing, and the servers friendly. I would absolutely recommend the Next Act to everyone! Whatsmore, they have a foodtruck on the way this summer people! Here’s the website if you want more info,¬† http://www.nextactpub.com/.

Advertisements

A Date With a Blonde: St. Ambroise Pale Ale

1 Apr

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing, Quebec

On Friday night my significant other took off to watch a bunch of sweaty men grapple each other into submission (MMA) leaving me to fend for myself for an evening. Of course this was no problem as I had magnificent single dinner plans (cheese on toast and salt and vinegar chips) and a nights worth of entertainment at my feet (Downton Abbey! Thank you BBC). Now, in my short 21 years, I have learned that nothing makes a single lady night with BBC and snacks like a good dose of liquor to keep oneself sufficiently entertained and content. On my way home I entered the nearest liquor proprietor and wandered around desperately seeking a delicious and satisfying beverage. The initial problem, beer, or wine. As I was craving something bubbly, I began wandering around the craft beers and came across the St. Ambroise selection. I have tried their Oatmeal Stout, which I must say is absolutely delicious and highly recommended. However, since it was my intention to indulge in more than one, I thought it best to choose something that resembled less of a brick inside of my stomach.

Alas! Next to the stout sat my new dear friend, the Pale Ale. At 14.99 for a 6-pack, the pricing does not differ from any of the other similar 6-pack varieties such as Wild Rose or Alley Kat.

So with that, I skipped merrily to my quaint lil ol basement bedroom and settled in to some fine BBC programming. Now, for the beer. I wont pretend to be a connoisseur, however, I will attempt to cover it’s fine characteristics.

Appearance- Clear, Cooper/Amber appearance in the glass. Little head.

Aroma- Sweet, fruity, slightly bitter

Taste- Initially quite sweet, followed by a lovely bitterness. Fruity with a great taste of hops (which I personally love). Also, had a nice carbonation.

Overall, this is a wonderful choice and value for those that love a hoppy ale. As suggested earlier, the Oatmeal Stout available from the same brewery is an excellent choice also. This is certainly a beer that could be drunk on a summer day, cold, crisp, and refreshing, yet it serves well as a nice complement to food. Have any suggestions of other beers or any questions, pop in a comment! More reviews coming soon, as I love an excuse to indulge in a brew!

Yeah, I enjoyed this, the proof is in the picture.

Review: Filistix

1 Apr

I must admit, I am a stranger to Philipino cuisine, however, everyone must start somewhere. On my search for Edmonton food trucks and fantastic cuisine, I ran across the name Filistix, and whatsmore, I ran across the wonderful piece of information that they had set up a permanent residence in the University of Alberta’s CAB, or Central Academic Building. So on a lovely day in March I took off toward Filistix with my Beau and Mr. Vincent T in search of delicious foodstuffs. We all had The South Pacific (Ginataan Manok), which consists of chicken thighs, garlic, ginger, curry and chillies, all over jasmine rice. I must say, the flavors were much more subtle than I would have wished, or expected, yet, it was a creamy and soulful dish. The slaw it came with also lacked a big kick, and in my opinion required a little more acidity.

In relation to the other sources of food throughout the campus, Filistix is definitely a great choice, however, if you were to venture further, it perhaps would not be something I would crave or seek out over other gems the city possesses. Also, for 11$ a meal, one may expect something a little heftier! I know I do! Overall, I rate Filistix a B-, tasty but lacking the x-factor. I have read that the foodtruck is the superior medium for their food, so in the future, I’ll venture out, have a taste, and update!

Drift Food Truck

21 Mar

After a winter of following the hibernating exploits of Drift Food Truck I was incredibly pleased to hear of their return to the streets for Spring and Summer. With great excitement I perused the online menu all morning and shot my Boyfriend a text requesting his company on my food quest. He was pleased to accept, as I have a good history of leading him to delicious eateries (most of the time). Off we went on the train to a location only two stops beyond the University (Corona). Having emerged from the underground we quickly proceeded to a bank, as the food truck takes cash only, this is an important point to remember. Next we headed toward the truck location. It was easy to spot as it is the only bright metallic green truck on the street, and I am graciously supposing anywhere else in Edmonton.

Now getting cash and finding the truck were easy, however, I was left with a serious dilemma. What to order. The truck at this point in time had a selection of the following:

On the day, the Roast Beef was calling my name. We made it two and grabbed a fries to share. The Unfortunate part, it being very early Spring in Edmonton, the weather was not conducive to a picnic so we had to make a run for the LRT and head back to campus to settle in and enjoy our meal. This is one of the shortfalls of Foodtruck eating, the weather, and the requirement of getting creative in establishing an eating space, however, if you have a car, you will be fine.

The food was absolutely delicious, the ciabatta bun it was lovingly encased in was fresh and crisp, and the ingredients, Roast Beef, Peperoncini’s, Provolone Cheese and a Red Pepper Spread, molded together perfectly. Nothing over-powered or took away from the overall experience, and the serving size was just right. The famous fries which I had heard twitter rumors of for some time also delivered a flavored punch. The Drift Seasoning of roasted fennel, cumin, mustard seed and chili combined with fresh cut fries, and house made ketchup was a heavenly experience.

Since the first time, I have been back three times in as many weeks. I have tried all but the Jerk Chicken (once I do, I shall update the post), and the Vegetarian (I shall not update for this because I firmly believe in meat). The Braised Pork shoulder was a subtle, yet delicious sandwich once more. The addition of chunky pickle and cabbage gave the sandwich a beautiful fresh crunch, and the bacon, well, gave the sandwich bacon…mmmm… The other sandwhich, the Pork Belly, ahhh the Pork Belly. Easily my favorite selection of the bunch for many reasons. The first being, pork belly. This little doozy packs a brilliant punch of Vietnamese flavors with the inclusion of daikon, carrot, cilantro, and a lovely sweet chili mayonnaise. This sandwhich packs a flavorful punch and draws my eye each visit, and I must admit, I am craving one as I speak, especially with this little temptress of a photo:

The overall experience of Food Truck has been positive each visit, the owners are incredibly welcoming and kind, and the food is quickly prepared to a high standard each time. I would certainly recommend chasing this beauty down if you’re in town. The truck has a twitter acount: @driftfoodtruck and a website: http://driftfoodtruck.ca/ if you are looking for more information. And good news fanatic foodies, they attain all their ingredients from local businesses and producers!

Fat Frenzy

27 Jan

It was as of last evening that I came to the conclusion that I find no satisfaction or sustenance from foods which are considered healthy and nutritious. I had to receive some medical tests and was disallowed to have dinner with any fat content. The first thought that came to my mind had nothing to do with concern for my health and well being, it was in fact the terrible question of just what I would be able to eat for dinner. Obviously meat and dairy were disallowed, therefore I was immediately disheartened. It is because of this i realised just how much I love fatty foods. Not that I didn’t know before, but the fact that I was going through similar withdrawals to that of a cocaine addict after only a few hours was an indication that my affinity for the unhealthy went beyond what I was originally conscious of. The worst of it came when I went to the movie theatre that evening. I had originally planned to indulge in popcorn smothered in as much butter as the worker could muster, but my pre-emptive plans of gluttony were dashed! Pretzels and hot dogs and various sweets stared me down, and I began to grow weary. Thank goodness, once I was in the dark theatre free of temptation I was able to regain mental composure. My evening of hell is finally over, and I made the executive decision of Pizza for lunch to recover all lost non-essential fats from the night before, however I am left reflecting upon my need for all that is greasy and bad. I am tempted by a wide variety of such foods, however, one is held above all the rest. A food which I have almost no power to resist. A food which I believe, on my death bed, I will be using my last breaths to ask for. This food my friends, is the illustrious Hamburger.
I like to consider myself somewhat of a hamburger connoisseur. I scour the earth looking for the perfect and most satisfying combination of bun and patty that I can find. So far in my travels I have established a certain repertoire of my go-to hamburgers depending on what restaurant I have at my disposal. Here is my list of top 5 favorite hamburger joints on the planet, and my own burger of choice.

1. Fuddruckers
Fuddruckers allows you to literally glance into the butcher and choose your patty. 1/4, 1/2 and a full pound of meat are your choices. Now, if I am feeling especially like I want to put my heart under unecessary strain, I will go for the full pound of meaty goodness. However, the 1/2 pounder normally does me just fine. The buns are fresh and slightly toasted, and with a nice slab of cheddar cheese, that baby is good to go. You get to choose your own condiments so there is no worry about ordering to your likes and dislikes. I slab on the ketchup and Mayo and I’m good to go, because I am firmly of the belief that vegetables just take away from the full effect of the meat. That’s right, vegetables have no place next to my glorious patty of greasy, meaty goodness. Unfortunately, there are currently no Fuddruckers in Alberta, therefore it is necessary to hunt them down when I am in the U.S.

2. In and Out Burger
The wonderful thing about In and Out burger is the simplicity. The menu allows you to choose from a hamburger, or a cheeseburger. Could it be more perfect? The burgers are rather small, so it may be a good idea to request double patties, or to order a second. The buns are warm and toasty, the cheese is melty goodness, and it is smothered in ketchup and special sauce. Oh yeah, that’s as good as it gets. The trouble with In and Out is it is restricted to the western United States. California, here I come.

3. Five Guys Burgers and Fries
This was recently introduced to me. Same general idea as In and Out burger. Minimal choices, maximum satisfaction. Ordering a cheese or hamburger will automatically grant you two beef patties. The first time I experience this, I thought the fellow who took my order had read my mind. There is a great variety of toppings from fresh Jalapenos to bacon. I have the cheeseburger, which is absolutely drenched in melted cheddar. Topped of course with mayonnaise and ketchup. My mouth is watering.

4. Carl’s Jr.
This is your everyday, run of the mill fast food restaurant which is limited to within the United States, however, their burgers are incredible. My weapon of choice is the double western bacon cheeseburger. Two patties, 2 slices of cheddar, onion rings and bbq sauce. It’s paradise squeezed between two buns.

5. Jack in the Box
This is another American fast food chain, found on almost every block down there, however, it is not to be underestimated. On numerous occasions I believe my heart temporarily ceased beating after eating here. Double Ultimate Bacon cheeseburger: 2 patties, 4 slices of cheese, 4 slices of bacon. I don’t even have to order this one without vegetables. It’s like they crafted it just for me.

There you have it. My less than 12 hour fast from fatty foods prompted this outrageously revealing rant about my love for cheeseburgers. I feel both ashamed and hungry.