Spaghetti Cafe Prairie

I keep a low profile as a food blogger. Only because I don’t have much time these days to pursue my passion. I was surprised to receive an invite from the restaurant owner to visit his cafe. I couldn’t visit in person, so I ordered from Skip The Dishes.

Food trends come and go all the time. Some have staying power, like ramen. Noodles for me are always a classic, never out of style.  Asian cuisines doing a take on western cuisine is not new. But this is the first that I have heard of Japanese spaghetti. Intriguing. I’m all for fast, good quality and affordable food.

I ordered the Japanese chicken spaghetti, with a salad and the carrot and lemon zest soup. The spaghetti tasted like roasted chicken with a slightly asian style soy sauce flavour. Like home cooked food. The carrot and lemon zest soup had vibrant flavours and color. Pasta was done al dente. Hubby had the spaghetti carbonara. I had a taste, it was good. The portions are really generous and it is good value for the price.

I could see my old, super active self hitting this place after a session at the climbing gym or day out in the mountains. Now I can see myself halving the portion and saving it for lunch the next day.

I like it. I’ll be back. Thanks for the invite, Takeshi!

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad

Spaghetti Cafe Prairie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Visit to the Hospital

As a foodie,  I blog about everything food related. Including the good and not so good.  I had a hospital stay for about a week back in January due to my new arrivals at the Foothills Medical Centre. Here is a recollection of what I ate.

The food was Ok. My first meal was lunch which was basically my first solid food in over 24 hours. Tasty when one is starving.

But let’s get back to breakfast.  I could choose my menu some days, when the sheet came around. Just the basics. Toast, egg, usually scrambled,  some kind of fruit, yogurt, milk and juice. Occasional muffin, pastry or hot cereal. Good enough for me. I’m not usually a milk drinker but I did during my stay because I was always hungry.

Apparently they had a small kitchen full of snacks which mostly consisted of peanut butter toast, yogurt and juice. Apparently, as I never made it there; I only asked the nurses for the above items.

The lunches were usually sandwiches with a salad, vegetable or soup. The sandwiches look like they might have been prepared in house.  For dinner, there was always a hot entree. I was pleasantly surprised one night when I got a cabbage roll. I’m not really into the idea of having my meal produced in say, Ontario, freezing it and shipping it here  to be rewarmed as typical in some healthcare settings. This is known as rethermalizing. I was tired of the obviously thawed from frozen peas, corn, carrots and beans, but hey, this is a hospital not a fine dining establishment.

It wasn’t a horrible experience, except for what happened below in the next paragraph. I’ve had airplane food, although not recently and I can say that it is still better than hospital food. I did supplement my diet with fresh fruit from home and some oat bars from Fraiche Desserts. But I can see how if one were used to more culturally diverse foods how one would encourage their family to bring in what they prefer to eat.

My last dinner was clear liquids, thanks to a bout of ileus. I was so hungry and looking forward to some food.  The real (as opposed to plastic) knife and fork that came with it was an additional insult. Thank goodness it resolved by next morning so I could have real food for breakfast.

I wonder what would happen if they let patients order from say, Skip the Dishes? Of course keeping in mind dietary restrictions.

 

Menu 1
Menu 1
Menu 2
Menu 2
Breakfast - Orange cranberry pop tart, toast with peanut butter and jam, hard boiled egg, apple slices, milk and apple juice
Breakfast
Orange cranberry pop tart, toast with peanut butter and jam, yogurt, hard boiled egg, apple slices, milk and apple juice
Breakfast Scrambled egg, toast, bran muffin, mandarin orange, milk and apple juice
Breakfast
Scrambled egg, toast, bran muffin, yogurt, mandarin orange, milk and apple juice
Breakfast Toast wit jam and honey, scrambled egg, cream of wheat, yogurt, mandarin orange and apple juice
Breakfast
Toast wit jam and honey, scrambled egg, cream of wheat, yogurt, mandarin orange and apple juice
Breakfast Scrambled egg, toast, yogurt, apple slices, oatmeal, milk and coffee
Breakfast
Scrambled egg, toast with peanut butter and jam, yogurt, apple slices, oatmeal, milk and coffee
Lunch Deli meat sandwich, beef stew with rice, roll with butter, milk, apple juice, fruit cup and rice pudding
Lunch
Deli meat sandwich, beef stew with rice, roll with butter, milk, apple juice, fruit cup and rice pudding
Lunch Chicken sandwich with side salad, green beans, can, cantaloupe, vegetable soup, milk and tea
Lunch
Chicken sandwich with side salad, green beans, carrots, consomme, milk and tea
Lunch Chicken sandwich with cucumber, peas, butternut squash soup, milk,orange juice and rice pudding
Lunch
Chicken sandwich with cucumber, peas, butternut squash soup, milk,orange juice and rice pudding
Dinner Cabbage roll with mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, fruit cup and tea
Dinner
Cabbage roll with mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, fruit cup and tea
Dinner Poached salmon with green beans, peas, carrots, carrot sticks, berry crumble and milk
Dinner
Poached salmon with green beans, peas, carrots, carrot sticks, berry crumble and milk
Liquids for Dinner Tea, fruit juice and consomme
Clear Liquids for Dinner
Tea, fruit juice and consomme

Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus

I went to the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus for brunch a while ago, it has taken me this long to follow with the post. When we arrived, it was a Saturday around lunchtime. As expected, the place was fairly busy. I ordered the herb butter pannenkoeken. It made for a substantial meal. The side salad was a nice fresh accompaniment to the substantial pannenkoeken. Hubby preferred mine over his Mediterranean.

The icing on the cake (literally!) was the Black Forest pannenkoeken. It was big enough for three or four people to share, after the main meal. It came with a cupful of liquor in a chocolate cup! Good thing I was driving home, as hubby had it all to himself. It was definitely a chocolate and cherry lovers dream. Need to go back…

Kruidenboter (Herb butter) Ham, mushroom, onion and cheese served with a herb butter patty and a small house salad on top
Kruidenboter (Herb butter)
Ham, mushroom, onion and cheese served with a herb
butter patty and a small house salad on top
Mediterrian (Mediterranean) Chicken, spinach, olives, feta cheese, house blend cheese, garnished with fresh tomatoes and red onions
Mediterrian (Mediterranean)
Chicken, spinach, olives, feta cheese, house blend
cheese, garnished with fresh tomatoes and red onions
Zwarte Woud (Black Forest) Warm cherries, ice cream, whipped cream, Kirschwasser in a chocolate cup and chocolate sauce
Zwarte Woud (Black Forest)
Warm cherries, ice cream, whipped cream,
Kirschwasser in a chocolate cup and chocolate sauce

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The Block Kitchen and Lounge

Looking for dinner one night, hubby, MIL and I went to The Block Kitchen and Lounge. It’s located on a section of 4th St. NW somewhat known for its turnover in restaurants. I would say it has the potential to become a nice neighborhood restaurant. We went early on a Sunday night, as expected the place was just about empty.

We ordered appetizers to share. The charcuterie was tasty. There were homemade bread and butter pickles and lap cheung. It also came with date jam,  honeycomb,  grainy mustard, cured meat and bread. We also had the sweet potato perogies. They tasted hearty and delicious.

I had the lobster pot pie which stayed steaming hot throughout my meal. Hubby enjoyed his steak and hubby’s mum, her burger.

Dessert was lovely. I had a rich butterscotch pie and Hubby the s’ mores crème brulee.

The service was a bit slow to start, but we mentioned we were in a hurry as we had a sitter at home. Our serv was appropriately quickened. Our server was nice and friendly.

Menu
Menu
THE “BLOCK” CHARCUTERIE cured meats, artisanal cheeses, pickled vegetables (for two)
THE “BLOCK” CHARCUTERIE
cured meats, artisanal cheeses, pickled vegetables (for two)
SWEET POTATO PEROGIES double smoked bacon, crème fraiche, fried sage, brown butter, gruyère
SWEET POTATO PEROGIES
double smoked bacon, crème fraiche, fried sage, brown butter, gruyère
LOBSTER POT PIE poached lobster, atlantic cod, peas, shellfish gravy, house salad
LOBSTER POT PIE
poached lobster, atlantic cod, peas, shellfish gravy, house salad
BUTTERSCOTCH PIE toffee crumble
BUTTERSCOTCH PIE
toffee crumble

Click to add a blog post for The Block Kitchen and Lounge on Zomato

Saffron Mantra

I’ve been ordering a lot of delivery of late; the latest foray was to Saffron Mantra last month. The concept sounded intriguing; a fusion of Indian and French cuisine. We started with the tandoori chicken tikka. It had layers of complex flavours which blended together well. The taste was sweet, smokey and spicy. For my entree, I had the Himalayan lamb burger which was spicy, yet creamy with the citrus mint aioli. The dressing for the house salad tasted of Indian spices and citrus. Hubby had the chicken fritter burger. I thought about ordering the wicked ghost pepper burger for him, but thought better of it. Someday, I will visit to dine in.

Himalayan Lamb Burger with starter house salad and Sizzling Tandoori Chicken Tikka
Himalayan Lamb Burger with starter house salad and Sizzling Tandoori Chicken Tikka

Saffron Mantra on Urbanspoon

The Himalayan

We went to The Himalayan a couple of months ago, on the recommendation of a friend.  It’s hidden away in a strip mall by the Westbrook LRT station. Easy to miss. It looks like a family run operation, and a busy one at that. Seating is limited, so best to go in the off peak hours. Hubby and I went early on a Saturday for their lunch buffet.

They have a good selection of vegetarian dishes, along with some meat. Everything was extremely tasty. Some of the things I tried included: pappadam, saffron rice, dal, butter chicken, Everest lamb and chili tofu. They also had a salad bar and a few desserts. The mango pudding, fruit salad and halwa were good. They also serve naan on the side.

The service was prompt and friendly. Well worth a return visit.

 

Lunch buffet
Lunch buffet

The Himalayan on Urbanspoon

Reader's Garden Cafe Revisited

Reader’s Garden Cafe certainly can’t be beat for atmosphere. This is a return visit, as I was originally here last year for my birthday. The food was good last year, but simply out of the ballpark this year. Thanks to a change in chefs.

We started with a complimentary appetizer from the kitchen. Popcorn mixed with flowers and herbs from the garden. A nice way to wake up the tastebuds. My friend and I split an order of eggplant soup and tomato & watermelon salad. The soup was flavourful and smooth. The salad was out of this world. The sharpness of the granita went well with the coolness of the watermelon. I could eat it all day. Hubby had the smoked salmon salad. It was beautifully presented. There were these tiny cucumber balls, and a mysterious olive shaped fruit. Hubby thought they were tiny watermelons, but I’m not sure what they are.

Onto the entrees. My lamb was succulent. It was nestled in tasty garlic broth. The cabbage rolls filled with lamb were delightful. My friend also enjoyed her lamb and hubby found his chicken tasty.

For dessert, we all shared the beet root mouse. I found the taste unique, and enjoyable. The meringue and sesame seeds added a nice contrasting texture.

I still love that their veggies and flowers are from their garden. I love their food even more now and expect to return.

Popcorn Appetizer with Herbs
Popcorn Appetizer with Herbs
Eggplant Soup
Eggplant Soup
Tomato & Watermelon Salad-Watermelon granita, pickled watermelon rind, chilli
Tomato & Watermelon Salad-Watermelon granita, pickled watermelon rind, chilli
Smoked Salmon Salad - Spring greens, cucumber balls, crisps and mysterious olive shaped fruit
Smoked Salmon Salad – Spring greens, cucumber balls, crisps and mysterious olive shaped fruit
Alberta Lamb Cabbage Rolls-Lamb & garlic broth, wild rice filling, roasted root vegetables
Alberta Lamb Cabbage Rolls-Lamb & garlic broth, wild rice filling, roasted root vegetables
Roasted Chicken Breast-Toasted barley & sweet onion ragout, seared Brussel sprouts, natural jus
Roasted Chicken Breast-Toasted barley & sweet onion ragout, seared Brussel sprouts, natural jus
Beet Root Mousse - Apricot, meringue and toasted sesame seeds
Beet Root Mousse – Apricot, meringue and toasted sesame seeds

Reader's Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

San Remo Ristorante

Hubby and I happened to be in the deep south of town Monday night. On our way home, we were looking for a place for dinner. We decided on San Remo, conveniently located off the Deerfoot in McKenzie Rowne. It was also $10 pasta night, so their usual menu of five pastas blossomed into twelve. It’s good value as the pastas are half or more off the usual price.

Hubby and I shared the prosciutto and melon appetizer. They were nice enough to split it into two servings for us. It looked beautiful and tasted just as good. Hubby ordered the braised beef short rib. He really enjoyed it.

I ordered the lasagna for my main. The portion size looked small but it was surprisingly filling. It had a nice, rich flavour. The service was prompt and fast, but not rushed. I had a good experience here and would return if it wasn’t so far from where I live.

Prosciutto & Melon Thinly sliced prosciutto & cantaloupe, lemon, mascarpone, truffle cream.
Prosciutto & Melon
Thinly sliced prosciutto & cantaloupe, lemon, mascarpone, truffle cream.
Lasagna House made pasta layered high with meat, tomato and cream sauces, topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, then oven baked.
Lasagna
House made pasta layered high with meat, tomato and cream sauces, topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, then oven baked.

San Remo Ristorante on Urbanspoon

La Vita E Bella

I like a little fusion with my Italian; it keeps things interesting. On a Thursday night, the place was just about empty. Given that, parking was still a challenge. Avoid the $15 Stampede lots south of the restaurant. Instead, as advertised on their webpage, try NW of the location around 10th Ave. We parked just down the street from Village Ice Cream. Convenient dessert.

I like the decor. It is in an historical building, called the Dafoe Terrace, built in 1910. The interior is cozy with a modern touch.

I started with the minestrone. It came out piping hot. I had to give it a moment to cool before I wet my whistle. It was fresh tasting and had a rich tomato flavor. I ordered the Nero linguine for my main. I was surprised that the pasta was made from squid ink. It was piping hot like the previous dish and delightful. The seafood was cooked to a turn; the scallops and prawns were still juicy. Hubby enjoyed his gnocchi.

The service was top notch and quick. Definitely worth a return visit.

NERO LINGUINI scallops, prawns, mussels, tomato, onion, garlic, basil, tomato sauce
NERO LINGUINI
scallops, prawns, mussels, tomato, onion, garlic, basil, tomato sauce
GNOCCHI house made ricotta and potato gnocchi, double smoked bacon, red onion, tomato, basil, red chili, tomato sauce
GNOCCHI
house made ricotta and potato gnocchi, double smoked bacon,
red onion, tomato, basil, red chili, tomato sauce

La Vita E Bella on Urbanspoon

Sabroso Restaurant

This restaurant has been on my wishlist as I was curious about it. Curiosity has been more than satisfied. I realize that large groups perhaps are not the appropriate setting for spectacular service, but ours could really use some improvement. We had at least 20 people in our party. The evening started out good; our server was on top of our drink orders. Unfortunately, as the evening progressed, the restaurant filled and our service got progressively worse. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except we were stuck with a mandatory 18% gratuity for large groups. No incentive for good service. Amongst the faux pas: the doneness of hubby’s steak was incorrect, the server mixed up a couple of the orders, and was slow in general.

The food was for the most part, average. Many who ordered steaks had the incorrect doneness. My beef skewers were dry. The salad and shrimp I had weren’t bad and the dessert was the highlight for me.

The overall volume was loud; even before the live band started playing. Halfway through our speeches, they finally turned the music down.

I was so busy socializing that I forgot to take pictures, except for the dessert. Sorry guys, there will be no next time.

 Milhojas con Arequipe  Dulce de Leche Custard/ Mille-Feuille

Milhojas con Arequipe
Dulce de Leche Custard/ Mille-Feuille

Sabroso Restaurant on Urbanspoon