Thursday, December 23, 2010

Great Places to Check Out for Cute Christmas Gifts (food related of course)

Food related:

Duchess Bake Shop
  • Macarons (1.50$ each, 10$ for a box of 6)
  • Short bread (80 cents each)
  • Meringues (80 cents each, 5$ for a package)
Everything Cheese: Specialty cheese store

Kirstens Chocolates
  • Fleur de Sel Chocophilia bar (4.75$)
  • Cardamint Chocophilia bar (4.75$)
Jam Lady Preserves (available at Bon Ton Bakery)
  • Ecstasy in a Jar
Bon Ton Bakery
  • German caraway rye bread
  • cranberry raisin nut bread
  • rustic olive
  • lemon poppy loaf
  • antipasto
Prairie Mill Bakery
  • Pesto Parmesan bread, Carmel apple bread, apple cheddar bread
Old Fashion Bread Bakery (Latin Bakery)

Sunterra @Lendrum:
  • Olive tapenads
  • oil oils
  • Buy a 25$ gift card and receive 10$ coupon
Just google the names of these places to get to their website and find their addresses

Bon Ton Bakery

Cuisine: Bakery
Location: 8720 149 Street Northwest
Hot topic: Jam

Bon Ton Bakery sells not just bread and typical bake shop items but also carried a wide assortment of pasta sauces, jams, antipasto, salsa, dips etc.

I went there the other day because they carry jam from the 'Jam Lady' (6.95$). The  'Jam Lady' sells delicious and fresh jams at farmers markets throughout Edmonton but also sells her goods through Bon Ton. Thankfully, because finding her jam this time of the year is hard. Bon Ton carries a massive assortment of her jams from berry jams, to apricot, mango, hot pepper, rhubarb, raspberry cherry, to my favorite "Ecstasy in a Jar" which is fresh red raspberry jam with Calbaut chocolate. Yumm.

But they also carry Happy Camel and Dip Sea Chicks products.

I bought 2 jams (berry: strawberry, raspberry, black currant, and Berry Plentifully: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry), spicy red pepper and carrot jam (great with cheese and crackers) and a Chutney (5.50$) imported from South Africa.

They also carry a big jar of butternut squash pasta sauce that was absolutely awesome (8$)

The Treasury Vodka Bar and Eatery

Cuisine: Western
Location: Corner of Rice Howard Way and Jasper (Downtown)
Hot topic: Maple butternut squash soup

The Treasury is a cute dinning lounge turn night club in the late evening. Its located on the corner of Rice Howard Way and Jasper.  Decor is  "sexy", sleek, and trendy, while the food is upscale yet comforting. This place is great for a girls night out or even a date. There is a dress code so its one of those places you can go to and make use of all those dresses sitting in your closet.

I had the mushroom and brie phillo puffs (11$) and the maple butternut squash soup (6$). The mushroom puffs (3 to a serving) were a combination of sauteed mushrooms and slice of brie in phillo pastry topped with balsamic reduction. It was really good but it could have done with more balsamic reduction because the phillo was a little dry and left a little more to be desired. I could hardly taste or even see the brie inside the puffs, but nevertheless the abundance of mushrooms made up for that. The soup on the other hand is to die for. It is really thick and rich and oh so good. It's topped with some baked phillo and bacon foam. I love the soup so much i'd go back again just for the soup.

My friends ordered the green apple salad (14$) which I am most certainly ordering next time (greens, green apple, roasted figs, goat cheese, strawberry, candied walnuts and a honey lavender dressing).You can certainly taste and smell the lavender in the salad, to die for. Ivy had the Beef Wellington (29$) which I think was pretty standard.

For dessert we all had the ginger soaked carrot cake topped with cream cheese icing (11$). The serving looked tiny but it certainly wasn't.

Sorry about the dark pictures, my camera died half way and I had to use my camera phone.

Mushroom and Brie Phillo

Maple Butternut Squash Soup
Green Apple Lavender Salad
Beef Wellington

Carrot Cake

Friday, December 10, 2010

Duchess Bake Shop

Cusine: Bakery
Location: 124st and 107 ave.
Hot topic: Macarons

So I just fell in love with this place. I've been waiting to get the chance to stop by forever and ...... im in love. Everything looks so so so good. The decor is very Parisien and cute. They have an assortment of sandwiches, macrons, short bread, merangues, cookies, mini tarts and cakes etc etc. Check it out for your self you wont regret it. Items from Duchess also make really good hostess gifts and Christmas presents. Plus they have prepackaged items for easy gift giving.

Shortbread: Lavender, rosemarry, traditional, honey, etc etc (85 cents each)
Macarons: Everyday flavors: lemon, strawberry, salted carmet, pistachio, chocolate. They also have weekly flavors that they change up. So far i've seen and can remember egg nog, candy cane, strawberry and balsamic vingegar (1.50$ each).

You can also follow Duchness Bake Shop on Facebook to see whats baking :)
Happy eating

Lemon and Strawberry macaron

Wouldnt these make such cute little gifts
(this photo taken from their fb site)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Maki Maki

Cuisine: Japanese
Location: Off Whyte Ave (past the train tracks)
Hot topic: Maki rolls

So I decided to finally try out Maki Maki...and I was kind of a disappointed. The menu was big, but the portions were small. Service was also extremely slow for a rather empty restaurant. Not being fond of raw fish I ordered the avocado rolls (~5.50$), yam rolls (~6.50$) and cali rolls (~5.50$). Pretty generic, I know, but safe.

The rolls themselves were really good, but for what I was paying I was expecting something a little bigger. To be honest I was rather disappointed. Apart from the small portion sizes, the time it took to make the rolls was slow seeing the place was rather empty. Service was fine, the ladies were very friendly, but preparation was slow. Oddly enough they also brought out each plate one after another and not all at one time. I think bringing out all the rolls at once would have been a lot better. Overall the food was good, but the slow service, servings, and price left a little more to be desired. I left hungry.

Yam rolls

Thought the Erotic Roll with ecstasy sauce
 looked pretty entertaining

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TC Sandwiches

Cuisine: Vietnamese
Location: West Edmonton Mall
Hot topic: Vietnamese subs

This place seems to be one of the only places in Edmonton I've found so far that specializes in Viet subs. There is a small menu consisting of the basics like sate beef and chicken subs, pork, Viet deli meat.

Along with the meat the subs are filled with cilantro, jalapeƱos, pickled daikon and carrots, cucumber and some special sauces. Subs are 5.50$

I had the the grilled beef sub. The sub was good, but I have to say there was something about the meat in my sandwich I didn't quite like. I couldn't tell exactly what it was, perhaps the texture or the flavor, but I don't think it was very fresh. Other than that the sub was great. Love the cilantro and the cucumbers and the bread was perfect. Crusty on the outside without falling apart and making too much of a mess, and soft and chewy on the inside.

Grilled Beef

Sate Beef

Pho Hoa

Cuisine: Vietnamese
Location: West Edmonton Mall
Hot topic: Pho

So here is another great place for pho. From my experience the pho is better compared to some newer trendy places like Phobulous. Service is simple and quick, don't expect a friendly talkative waiter, which is great in my opinion. Just give me my food goddammit! Lol.  If you care about good service and friendly waiters, you probably shouldn't go here. Its a very take your order and bug off sort of place.

Sometimes this place is dead, but it seems to be very busy in the evenings, especially weekends.
I recommend the pho with beef balls (7$ regular, 8$ large) and the red bean drink. Nom nom nom.

Beef ball Pho

Dream Tea House

Cuisine: Beverage
Location: Off Whyte Ave
Hot topic: Bubble tea

Home of bubble tea! Pretty straight forward, big drink menu (3.80-4.50$). However, the shaved ice dessert is something worth mentioning. You can pick 4 out of 10 topping ranging from taro, tapioca, condensed milk, fresh fruit, lychee jelly, green apple jelly etc (about 4.50$).

I recommend the shaved ice with condensed milk, tapioca, red bean and rainbow jelly.

Twisted Yogurt

Cuisine: Dessert
Location: South Park and one in Sherwood Park
Hop topic: Real frozen yogurt

Twisted Yogurt has finally opened its doors on Edmonton's side side!! Ive been waiting for months! The self serve concept for Twisted Yogurt is great because you can create whatever you want and how ever much you want. While the Southpark location is rather small, the interior is well designed and very cute. It is a great place to go for a date, after a movie or just any old time. Another thing to add is the fact this place serves real frozen yogurt, not that fake stuff. That's why it has a bit of a tangy taste.

This self serve yogurt bar boots a variety of flavors, dry toppings and fruit. You take a cup, go to the machines and pick from an assortment of flavors from plain, chocolate, green tea, grape, strawberry, berry flavors, the list goes on. You can also get 2 in1 mixed flavors where 2 flavors of frozen yogurt come out twisted.

As for toppings there is a massive amount of topics you can choose from fresh fruit, cereal, gummy candy to dried goods. Some of the fruit they have include: Marciano cherries, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberry, mango, pineapple, kiwi. Some dry toppings include crumbled Oreo and Skor, gummy candy, shredded coconut, nuts and seeds, cereals etc etc. In the end you can top your yogurt up with chocolate or butterscotch syrup and sprinkles.

After filling up your cup you weight it.

Price range 2-6$ per cup, depends on how much you fill it up!

Picture from their website of the Southpark location

Eggnog and chocolate twist

Groupon Coupons

So I came across this site called 'Groupons' the other day which sells coupons for local stores/restaurants for a fraction of the price. Each day there is a new deal. So far i've bought a 30$ coupon to Famoso for 15$ (so thats a 15$ saving), and 10$ for 10 Bikram yoga classes (these classes are 15$ each normally). You just pay through your credit card on the site. So far so safe. Then you print off the coupon.
Certainly worth checking out. Plus these coupons have an expire date for some time in 2011 so no rush to use them either.


Cuisine: Deli
Location: Manulife Place (Downtown)
Hot topic: Salad bar
Nom nom nom.
Its located in the Manulife Place building downtown (in the same building as Holts) and has awesome fresh and super health food. There is a salad bar there that I've gone to pretty much everyday for the whole summer. The salad bar is based on weight so you pick out what you want and then you weight it.
You can pick from: 3 types of 'lettuce', chicken breast, cottage cheese, frit, cheese, cubed smoked ham, beets, pickels, eggs, cherry tomatos, alfalfa, tuna, the list goes on, and you can top it off with sunflower seeds, almonds, dried cranberries. There are also lots of dressings and even olive oil and balsamic vinigar and lemon juice for a healthier option.
There are also an assortment of sandwhiches and wraps, pizzas, pastries, healthy deli salads, and drinks available.
Everyday there is a 'big pan speacial', daily carve and daily pasta. The big pan specials typically alternate between jambalaya, butter chicken, ginger beef, shepards pie etc etc are are always 5.75$. The dail carve rotates around salmon, chicken and roast beef (serves with some sort of veggies and a carb), and pastas change each day too. They are always between the 5-7$ range.
Food here is very well priced and healthy.

Watermelon and my yum yum veggi sandwich
The outside


Cuisine: Neapolitan pizza
Location: Jasper Ave, North Common, South Common, Magrath
Hot topic: Pizza and flat bread sandwiches
So <3 Famoso pizza.
This is a must try place. Thats all I'm going to say. 
Mon-Thurs is "Pizza and a Movie Night" where with the purchase of any pizza you can buy a Cineplex Odeon movie pass for 6$, OR you can do the pizza and movie deal where you get a movie pass and a margarita pizza for 16$.
Super cute date place too!
And dont forget the tiramisu for dessert! It is a-mazing!

PS. I recommend the Wise Guy flat bread sandwich with the tomato bisque soup! To die for!

Wise Guy and Rosted Tomato Bisque


Punjab Sweets

Cuisine: Indian/Punjab
Location: 34 ave
Hot topic: Buffet

So I know there are a lot of nice Indian/Punjab restaurants in Edmonton that rate higher on the quality and decor scale then good old Punjab Sweets, however, I still like this place because its simple and straight up. The buffet serves all the items most of us would typically go for first, butter chicken, samosas, tandori chicken, curries, naan etc etc.

I like the butter chicken and the tandori fish. The fish it a bit dry but I like it. The butter chicken is rather sweet in flavor but its awesome.

Don't expect much in terms of decor if you go there, you'll notice its a converted Humptys or Wendys. ive heard people say bad things about this place, but I've been here several times and I have no complaints. Service is nothing to rave about, I dont even know if there is any service there haha, but its a buffet so its straight forward and in the end you go to the counter and pay. But stick to the food and I'm sure you'll walk out the door very satisfied.

Dinner buffet: 13$

Eva Sweets

Cuisine: Belgian waffles
Location: Varies
Hot topic: Waffles

So I can not get enough of these waffles. I hate regular waffles, but trust me there are no ordinary waffles. They are sweet, chewy waffles that can be topped with whip cream, strawberry and blueberry sauce and maple syrup. They are also fabulous all on their own, crazy, I know.

Eating them is the easy part, finding them however is not so easy. Eva Sweets operates out of a big van and travels around downtown, so finding them during the winter is a little difficult seeing as they don't get much business during the winter months and hibernate for a while. But look out for big downtown events especially at Churchill Square and guaranteed you'll find them. Good luck!

Plain: 4$
With toppings: 5$ Cash only


Cuisine: Vietnamese
Location: Next to where the old Fiore was
Hot topic: Pho

So Phobulous is a cute little Vietnamese restaurant near the university that serves quick and straightforwad Viet food. Cute decor, food/menu is nothing mind blowing, but it's still good.

Unfortunately for pho's sake, its the worst I've had in the city. Oily and the meat balls taste funny. The menu set up on the other hand is super cute.