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