Monday, November 5, 2012

Burrito Libre - The Park

Looking for a Southwestern burrito. I found Burrito Libre in the Park "Sherwood Park". Top 10 listed restaurant with good reviews. Located within the shopping center parking lot, fairly easy to find. Cookie cutter concept resembling Taco-Del-Mar and Mucho Burrito all trying to compare with Chipoltle. Burrito Libre fits in the middle puts out a decent product.

Settled on a regular Chicken burrito on brown wrap. Long grain rice, black beans, onions and peppers. Topped with corn, cabbage, hot salsa, and chipoltle. Good size, not overly stuffed were it's busting at the seams.
Side of chips and hot salsa to finish it off. I like that the chips were not greasy. The salsa wasn't overly salty could've had a bit more heat to make it hot. Under $9 for both burrito, chips and salsa. For the price paid I got a decent satisfying meal. If your looking for a cheap alternative take a break from Subway and give it a try.
Burrito Libre (Sherwood Park) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 1, 2012

State and Main - Lethbridge

Highly recommended by the hotel. State and Main in Lethbridge needed to be checked out. Sister restaurant of Original Joes chain. Recently opened building was an old East Side Mario's. Decent location within the Walt-Mart parking lot. Ordered the Beer Can Chicken, with mixed veg (salad) and stuffed potato. Rub on the outside very flavorful, very dark looked burnt when then put the plate down. More of a blackened chicken. Chicken was chewy with a rubbery texture, slightly on the cold side. Stuffed potato was very dry and cool. Neither were hot almost seemed to be microwaved. The best item on the dish was the mixed vegetables (salad). Service was very friendly and attentive. Popular spot as seating filled up very quickly. Based on the food quality I wouldn't venture a second try. State and Main on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pho Huong Viet Vietnamese Noodle House

Urbanspoon had this New Vietnamese location pop up 145, 1829 Ranchlands BLVD. NW Calgary, Alberta Pho Huong Viet Vietnamese Noodle House. Lots of rave reviews boasting a new best Pho spot to hit the NW of Calgary in some time and customers were lined up out the door to sample their food. Enough said pushed my new years reduced calorie eating plan to the side and headed on up to check this place out.
I was very surprised to see the decor with a modern warm feel with proper seating, when you go to Vietnamese restaurants now they paint with light green, slap down some peel and stick tiles with cast off yard sale lawn furniture. However not here nice interior friendly staff, it was lunch and I was able to snag one of the last tables available happy to see a full house. With a steady traffic of non stop walk in pick up orders, I can only imagine what supper is like here for take out.

When I first looked at the menu I opted for the Taro Bubble Tea I have become a fan of this smoothie style drink, and my first response when they brought it to my table was Oh My! Large portion with thick slushy heaping almost overflowing the glass. If this was any indication to the food I am in for a huge treat, the bubble tea was great one of the best I have had so far great job on the peals loved it.
Ah than they bring me #B13 Vegetarian Spring Rolls on Rice Vermicelli in one of the largest portion sizes I have had in a long time, not for a light weight. Lots of Veg and rice noodles spring rolls were prepared well I was very impressed with the quality of the food and service here pleasantly unexpected. Even though the reviews boasted high praise I always go in expecting plain, bland and not exciting, very good food, good service, clean well decorated I will be back I enjoyed my meal."> alt="Pho Huong Viet on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px" />

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sopapillas - Albuquerque, New Mexico Treat

The Sopapillas thought to have originated 200 years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a deep fried pastry pocket eaten as a desert or savory pocket. I stumbled across this delight about 4 years ago in old Albuquerque one night and asked for a recommendation for desert. I was given these golden pillows served hot and a squeeze bottle of honey, pick one up with your fingers and drizzle honey over top I was hooked! As you bite into the crispy pastry the sweetness of the warm honey and soft inside just melts in your mouth.
The air pocket created by deep frying allows you to use this as a vehicle to fill with  vegetables, taco beef, shredded chicken or pork load up with salsa and cheese and you have never had a taco quit like this before

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amazing light Yeast Doughnuts

Found this recipe on Allrecipes Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts, a very easy yeast recipe that comes out light, fluffy and taste great! I made mini versions with a small cookie cutter very easy to make filled version.

2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chicken for Lunch Edmonton

Famed Food court location from the owners of the TV shown featuring the Lingnan in Edmonton, Alberta this hideaway is located in the bottom floor Scotia Centre.
The firecracker owner Amy comes across as full of energy, shoot from the hip managing the entire steam table herself. I went early because of the legendary long lines Ive heard so much about and as stated the line up comes out of nowhere and extends into the food court.
It was my turn I panicked cause I couldn't remember the favorite item talked about by so many customer as Amy very quickly said My friend what would you like! She flipped the daily special listing my way almost annoyed I didn't know what I wanted and was going to hold up the line! The customer beside me smiled and said You must have the Hot and Dry Chicken! Almost sweating at this point I said sure I will try that. Amy said OK Buddy you will have the Ginger Chicken too..Try both you like it. with a tornado style motion she was filling the medium sized clam shell so fast I was surprised food wasn't flying everywhere, snapped an elastic band over top as the food was bursting at the seams.
I sat down to try the Crack Chicken or Hot and Dry chicken listed on the menu, the texture was like the light salty coating found on deep fried Asian chicken wings or dry spare ribs with some spice for the heat. Overall very good I can see why this is a favorite item and surprised someone else has not duplicated in other bigger mall locations.
The food is good standard Asian scoop and serve with some added specialties you will not find anywhere else, however the dynamic customer service and show put on by Amy is what draws so many to endure the long line up. You get huge portion of food good value, good flavor, and someone that just makes you chuckle and smile as Amy puts on a show.
Chicken For Lunch on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Japanese Village - Calgary

Japanese village has some fond memories for me this is the first Japanese food experience I had almost 18 years ago, we went with friends trying to be adventurous looking for something new. We were seated by a Japanese family and probably why it was so memorable is because the family more than the restaurant. They suggested menu items to try and insisted on some sake they had purchased the first one for us and were great company the entire meal. The Teppanyaki chef was very funny and interacted with us through the meal, we had a great time and the food was fantastic.
Thinking we would get a similar food experience it has been years since our last visit so needless to say excitement to see the Teppanyaki chef do his magic and provide a great show we couldn't wait. When we arrived at the new location 317 10th Ave SW the restaurant was very busy and we had a 30 min wait time which is not too bad. However they sat us in a poorly decorated lounge area that look pieced together with odds and ends and really didn't fit the decor of the main restaurant. We were seated towards the back by a doorway I'm guessing lead to the kitchen area the smell was so foul from dirty mop water we almost decided to leave.
When we were seated in the restaurant still very busy excitement resumed with floods of memories of our first experience about the show and food. I think we ordered the same as before steak and shrimp that came with accompanying soup, salad, vegetables, and rice with the one item that stood out the most was their house steak sauce.

This visit we noticed bowls of rice with the signature steak suace on top and sure enough when our food started to come we were offered a bowl. I would have to say this was the magical moment of the visit the flavor of the sauce and rice together was amaizing and could be eaten as a meal all in it self, the steak sauce is just that good! So good I had 2 bowls my steak and shrimp were great soft and tender cooked just right, overall the food was really good. I think were we were a little disappointed this time was the Teppanyaki show lacked interaction and was just routine with our chef. The other tables had a good chef that was funny and had guest  laughing and having a good time, so I think the atmosphere is greatly improved with who is cooking for you.
Overal our experience was good I think over time it has lost a little of the luster it once had but still worth a visit and we will be back.
Japanese Village on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smoky Squash Soup - Food Network Laura Calder

Brown Bag ChallengeWatching Food Network which is a frequent activity for me and  this morning Laura Calder was cooking Smoky Squash Soup that looked very good. I do enjoy watching this show as most recipes look great on TV, but do they taste as good as the host leads us to believe. Well here was my chance to take Laura up on that task, I have her cook book and sure enough the recipe was there. I was pleased with the advice on the TV show to peel and cube the butternut squash before roasting as this was easier to remove the skin and give more roasting flavor. This a thick rich soup and small portions would be recommended as the flavor could become overwhelming than a thinner soup. However I did enjoy the Smoky Squash Soup and pared well with a candied walnut, fig, feta cheese salad topped with a balsamic dressing. I have left over from supper to us for my Brown Bag lunch tomorrow, Thank you Laura.


Low Budget Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Brown Bag ChallengeWhen ever you have a busy day and need to make a meal that requires little effort that the whole family will love this meal for only $2.50 per plate you'll make it again. Buy boneless chicken thighs typically 9 or 10 piece pack for $9 place in crock pot with 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce and let simmer for the day; Or place in your oven covered at 325F for 2 hours until chicken is cooked through and tender. Serve inside a toasted bun with steamed rice, and broccoli makes for easy Brown Bag Lunch the following day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DA Kitchen Cafe Maui

Da Kitchen Cafe on Urbanspoon

Loco Moco
DA Kitchen Cafe in Maui ask many locals and they will tell you this is a must eat location tucked in a small strip mall near Queen Kaahumanu. When you arrive there will most likely be guest sitting in patio chairs out front and the inside packed, go in give them your name and take your spot outside and engage in friendly conversation with the others waiting for a seat. The service is very friendly and prepare yourself for monster portions with a great price point, the first time I went here ordering the chicken katsu barely eating half I had to take it home for later.
My absolute favorite meal with first hesitation was the Loco Moco I couldn't wrap my head around the description of this meal. Ground beef patty topped with egg, brown gravy and onions on top of rice and a side salad. Not sure how this would taste all combined together I did see many other tables order and look good. Well I am now hooked on this meal and crave it frequently the combination of gravy, egg, ground beef and rice all works so good together. The portion size is incredibly huge and is very hard to finish at one sitting.
I would fully recommend DA Kitchen to anyone and everyone that visits Maui this is one must visit on your trip. Interior is basic but comfortable, staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating but the food will bring you back again and again.

Decor: 6 out of 10
Service: 8 out of 10
Food: 9 out of 10
Price: 9 out of 10
Overall experience : 8 out of 10

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brown Bag Lunch - The Best Autumn Chili

Brown Bag ChallengeChili on a cool autumn day has to be a perfect match full of hearty ingredients and warmth to heat you through. I made this version of chili last night for supper and makes a perfect reheat Brown Bag lunch with a side of whole wheat flax buns. The 2ND day as anticipated the flavors continued to pull together over night in the fridge and made for a spectacular finish. This recipe was very simple took only 15 minutes to prepare than place on simmer for 3 hours so easily made in the morning for a crock pot dinner with plenty of leftovers for the next day. Low budget meal 16 servings at a cost of $1 per serving, healthy low fat full of fibre hard for any restaurant to beat this lunch.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wendy's Chili - Cloned Recipe

Wendy's Chili is one of my favorite versions and I have always wanted to find a recipe that comes close, my youngest daughter is also a huge fan of this brand. I stumbled across this website that boasts a cloned version of our favorite. This recipe is so easy to make prep time was only 15 min and let simmer for 2 to 3 hours I would recommend you simmer for at least 3 hours for the flavors to combine and tomato to break down. I was very surprised as this tasted very close to the original, my entire family enjoyed it and said this was one of the best they have ever tasted! One of the key ingredients that makes the difference is the green chili, I have become a huge fan of green chili after visiting New Mexico over the years. This will taste great the 2ND day after flavors continue to blend over night in the fridge which will make a great lunch.

2 pounds ground beef
1 can 29oz tomato sauce
1 can 29oz Kidney beans (with liquid)
1 can 29oz Pinto beans (with liquid)
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green chili
1/4 cup diced celery
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat and drain off fat.
2. Combine rest of ingredients to browned beef and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 - 3 hours until tomatoes have broken down.